Twenty-Two Hornet Athletes Sign with Colleges and Universities to Continue Athletic Careers

Valley Echo Staff


Twenty-two of Passaic Valley’s talented athletes have signed letters of intent to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level. College Signing Day is a commemorative celebration of these student athletes who have given so much to their respective teams. This group of graduating athletes is the largest since Passaic Valley began the College Signing Day tradition four years ago.

Normally, the twenty-two athletes and their families would be invited to the cafeteria for a ceremony that included speeches from coaches, photo opportunities, and refreshments. Doing so this year was impossible due to health-related school closures. So, to celebrate these accomplished athletes, Supervisor of Athletics, Health/PE, and Activities Mr. Joseph Benvenuti designed the flyer below and shared the document with the community. The Valley Echo reached out to the students’ coaches, who offered words of advice, encouragement, and gratitude.

Supervisor of Athletics, Health/PE, and Activities Mr. Joseph Benvenuti: “What a tremendous honor it is to commit to collegiate athletics. We are tremendously proud of your accolades and achievements throughout your amazing careers here at Passaic Valley. The entire PV community is so lucky to have had you representing the Green and White on the field and on the court. Your legacy at PV will be of championship levels and hard for future Hornets to live up to. Best of luck in your future seasons on the collegiate level. We will be following you and cheering you on from PV.”

Ms. Lori Demsey, Head Girls Lacrosse Coach: “Being part of a team molds you into the type of person you will become after college. Work with your teammates and never let any obstacle get in the way of your goal. Winning is easy; losing, dusting yourself off, and getting back at it the next day is the challenging part. My advice is to never give up, even when the odds are stacked against you. If you believe, you can achieve!”

Mr. Joel Thornton, Head Spring Boys Track and Field Coach:  “During these unprecedented times, I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you to miss out on the most anticipated and final spring season of your high school career, Senior Prom, and traditional graduation. Your resiliency and ability to overcome this adversity will mold you into successful and amazing individuals. I am extremely proud of each and every one of you as you embark on the next chapter of your life. I am honored to have been able to coach you for the last four years. Best of luck.”

Mr. Ken Burke, Head Spring Girls Track and Field Coach: “Lady Hornets, I was extremely proud to be able to take over for Coach Johnson as the Head Coach of the Girls Spring Track Team this season. I know all of you were working hard to have a great spring season and the few days of practice that we had together led me to believe that we would have had a successful year. I would like to give special recognition to the senior athletes who missed their last year on the track due to this pandemic. I want to give a special thank you to:  Zuania Victoria, Victoria Pardi, Kristina Martir, Juliana Perro, Krisha Rana, Natalie Garofalo, Zoe Moore, Julie Garrity, Patricia Giurieco, and Olivia Picariello. You will always have a special place in my heart and in the history of this proud program for all that you have done to advance the Girls Track Team. I look forward to leading this team to great heights in the years to come.

Mrs. Kathy Hill, Head Softball Coach:  “These young ladies have put countless hours and dedication on and off the field and are excited to pursue their passion at the college level. They will each have success on and off the field and I am excited to continue following their college careers. It has been a pleasure to be their coach and watch them grow up. I’m honored to have been part of their childhood. I wish them the very best of health, happiness, and success today and always! Shana, Jada, Alex, Bella, Maiya, and Michaela never forget… ‘Work with purpose and play with passion!’.”

Mr. Jason Tiseo, Head Baseball Coach:  “The best is yet to come! Thank you for all your time and effort you have devoted to Passaic Valley. Continue to make yourself better every day, as a person, student, and athlete. This season was unfortunate in light of the pandemic, but it is out of your control. All we can do is control how we respond to the situation, and knowing the type of people you are, I am confident that your future is very bright.”

Mr. Marc Salvatore, Head Girls Basketball Coach:  “College athletics is a much bigger commitment than high school athletics. It is a year-round commitment that puts the responsibility on the athletes’ shoulders more than anyone else. You’re expected to do what you are supposed to do without anyone holding your hand. The mature, responsible athlete will make it while the others will stop playing because of the expectations.”

Mr. Michael Couden, Head Boys Soccer Coach:  “Always seek to better yourself. Never be satisfied with your development. Use every defeat or failure on the pitch or in the classroom as a learning experience. Every moment of your college experience should be cherished. Make lots of new friends and take advantage of all your university or college has to offer.”



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