Seniors sign letters of intent, commit to playing college sports

Thirteen seniors in hats sitting at table

Thirteen Goshen High School seniors signed letters of intent to continue their education and athletic careers at college in the fall.

Jared Cassel, Savi Chilana, Jillien Gerace, Jake Kunis, Nicholas Paneto, Hannah Pena, Drew Raggio, Eric Romero, Jaden Salmoiraghi, Stephen Serkes, Jack Shannon, Robert Siracuse and Jordan Weaver signed their college acceptance letters in front of family and friends during a ceremony in their honor on May 28. Each of them thanked their families, coaches, teachers and friends for their support and helping them to succeed.

According to Matthew O’Brien, Assistant Principal/Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, only roughly 3 percent of high school students will participate in athletics at the collegiate level.

“Today, as we celebrate the hard work and dedication of these young student-athletes, we also look back on some of their triumphs over their career as a Gladiator,” O’Brien said. “Today is somewhat bittersweet because it signifies the end of their time here with us, but the opening of many doors for them.”

“My hope for you all is that you allow this ceremony to serve as a recognition of your exceptional achievement and also a recognition of all of the qualities you possess that made this achievement possible. I also hope you take a moment to appreciate the people in front of you and the people who helped you get here – especially your parents and coaches, and everyone who will be supporting you as you move forward in your journey.”

Jared Cassel

Jared Cassel has been about as dominant an athlete as one can be, both in football and lacrosse. In football, Jared was a two-time captain, all-division and all-section selection; defensive player of the year in both his junior and senior year; named team MVP his junior year and led the Gladiators to bring the Spirit Trophy home in their victory against Warwick.

In Lacrosse, Jared was a two-time captain, member of the team since 8th grade, three-time all-division selection, all-section selection, three-time outstanding offensive player of the year, all-time leading scorer in Goshen Lacrosse history, and recently broke the Section 9 all-time scoring record to become number one on that list all-time with over 235 goals. Jared will continue his career in lacrosse at SUNY Cortland in the fall.

Savi Chilana

Savi Chilana has competed in fencing for the past 8 years. The sport has taken him all over the globe including Sweden and Costa Rica where he competed internationally for the United States at the age of 15. This past year, Savi has received All Academic-Second Team and All-American First Team honors. When he is not competing, Savi works hard as the National Honor Society Vice President. Savi will be attending and competing at Penn State University, where he plans to major in Kinesiology and perhaps continue on to Medical School.

Jillien Gerace

In the four years of Varsity soccer, the three years of Varsity Ski, and the six seasons on Varsity Lacrosse, Jill has amassed quite a resume including two section IX soccer championships, and three section IX girls lacrosse championships. Not only was she a consummate team player – but she also amassed some impressive individual stats, averaging nearly 100 caused turnovers and 60 ground balls a season in lacrosse, defensive player of the year in 2017 and 2018, an all-division honorable mention in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and a two-time captain of the lacrosse team as voted on by her teammates. Jillien will be taking her talents to Johnson & Wales University in Denver, CO where she will continue her winning ways in lacrosse.

Jake Kunis

Jake Kunis has been involved in Goshen Football at every level, youth, modified, JV and was a three-year starter on the Varsity team, playing both offense and defense.

Jake’s football career has two defining moments: his game-winning touchdown catch with seconds remaining in the semi-final game sent Goshen to the section 9 final in 2016, and this past season, catching an 82-yard touchdown pass, giving the Gladiators the lead over Warwick, and propelling them to a victory which brought the Spirit Trophy back to Goshen. This past season, Jake had 7 touchdown catches and accumulated over 700 yards receiving. Jake also played baseball and lacrosse for two years. Jake will attend SUNY Cortland and will play football for the Red Dragons.

Nicholas Paneto

Nick kick-started his career through the eighth grade Indoor Track Team and has been an avid varsity athlete running for Goshen ever since. He is a year-round runner who competes for the Varsity Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Outdoor Track Teams. Throughout the duration of his career, he has competed at both the state and national level several times, has become a section champion, has set various school records, and continues to be a leader on and off the track, even in the absence of our track.

Nick has been just as active in his academic endeavors as well. This year alone he holds several officer positions including President of the National Honor Society and Vice President of the World Language Honor Society and has also notably been crowned this year’s Scholar-Athlete for the class of 2019. He has always challenged himself with a rigorous course load full of Honors, AP, and accelerated classes and will be continuing his athletic and academic careers at Middlebury College in Vermont.

Hannah Pena

In addition to being a standout volleyball player, Hannah was heavily involved in the school community as a member of the Odyssey of the Mind during her freshman and sophomore years and the Chamber Orchestra for all four years.

She was part of the Puerto Rican Hispanic  Youth Leadership Institute during her Junior and Senior years where she represented the 99th District Assemblyman Colin Schmitt in Albany. This past April, she was awarded the Angelo Del Toro Scholarship for her grade point average, letters of recommendation and a written essay. As a member of the volleyball team, she was made captain during her sophomore year, and as a senior, she was the recipient of the Spirit Award. Her teammates will remember her for pushing them to do their best on and off the court.

Hannah plans to attend Manhattanville where she will major in Biology/Animal Studies in preparation for prosthetic graduate school. She hopes to design and create prosthetics for disabled animals and athletes.

Drew Raggio

Drew has been a staple in Goshen Lacrosse for the past four years. As a four-year starter on the team, Drew has accumulated many points – including 50 points this past season alone. In addition, Drew was named the captain of the team for this past season – his senior season. Drew will play lacrosse at SUNY Morrisville next year.

Eric Romero

Eric played small forward for his two years on the Varsity Basketball team. Eric helped lead the Gladiators to the playoffs in both years. Eric excelled from behind the three-point line, making over 50 three-pointers in his two years. This past season, Eric was named the captain of the team. Eric will be playing basketball for Five Towns College in Long Island and will be pursuing a degree in the newly added ITC program which focuses on interactive computer graphics and computer animation.

Jaden Salmoiraghi

Jaden’s lacrosse career includes being a four-year starter on the Varsity team, accumulating over 100 GBs, over 50 takeaway checks, and one goal. Since the beginning of his sophomore year, Jaden competed on the travel lacrosse team, the Hudson Valley Express. By the end of his senior year, Jaden was named a senior captain and by the end of the year and was selected as an all-division player.

Jaden also played football and was one of the ones who brought that Spirit Trophy back home. Jaden will be continuing his academic and athletic career at SUNY New Paltz.

Stephen Serkes

Stephen was a two-year starter at Left Tackle for the Varsity Football team. After his senior year, Stephen received all-league recognition, was a participant in the senior all-star game, and won the team’s offensive lineman of the year award. Stephen also competed for four years on the Varsity Tennis team, competing in doubles each year. In Tennis, Stephen is a 4-time division champion and a 4-time competitor in the county tournament. As a senior, Stephen was named a captain. He was also named a captain this past season on the indoor and outdoor track teams. Stephen will be playing football for Hartwick college in the fall.

Jack Shannon

Jack Shannon played Varsity Football for two years, totaling 727 totals yards, 45 receptions and seven touchdowns in that time. In his senior year, Jack won an All-League selection and All-Offensive 2nd Team selection. This past season, Jack helped lead the Gladiators to a Spirit Trophy victory vs. Warwick and a division championship. Jack was named by MaxPreps a top 40 WR in the state.

Jack also excelled in baseball and basketball during his time at GHS. He patrolled centerfield for all 4 years and led the Gladiators to a spot in the section championship as a junior. In basketball, Jack competed as a sophomore and a senior and this past year, Jack earned three Varsity letters for his participation in three Varsity sports.

Off the field and off the court, Jack gave back to the community by working as a camp counselor in a summer baseball camp for our young baseball players. Jack plans to attend Hartwick College in upstate NY where he will continue his football career.

Robert Siracuse

Robby Siracuse did a little bit of everything during his time with us at GHS. Robby was a key part of our football team for the past three years. He played running back and outside linebacker and was a key part of the Class A Division Championship this past year. Robby was also a two-year participant in Varsity Indoor and Outdoor Track, competing in the 100M, 200M, 4x100M, long jump, triple jump, pentathlon. Robby also competed in Varsity Tennis for 2 years as well. Outside of athletics, Robby was a state champion on the 2018 Mock Trial Team, is the senior class treasurer and an 8-time All-County musician, in addition to being a GHS Honor Roll recipient. Robby has chosen to play football at Hartwick College.

Jordan Weaver

Jordan has a number of accolades as part of the Gladiator football team, including All-Section IX selection, honorable mention for the All-State team, leader of Section IX in sacks, and a three-year starter. He also played basketball and was a thrower for the track team, and is the recipient of the Sojourner Truth award. Jordan will continue his football career at Utica College.