Three Watertown High School athletes signed their letters of intent to play their sport in college next year, two field hockey players and one girls basketball player.
Kourtney Kennedy will play field hockey at UConn next year, while her teammate Olivia Venezia will move on to Holy Cross. Joining Venezia will be Shannon Murphy who will play basketball for the Crusaders.
WHS Athletic Director Michael Lahiff said he was proud to have three athletes taking their games to the next level.
“A lot of people don’t know how difficult it is to do,” Lahiff said. “It is an honor to be moving on and continuing their athletic careers.”
Kennedy is one of the most decorated players on Watertown’s legendary field hockey team. It took some time for her coach, Eileen Donahue, to list all her accomplishments: Middlesex League All-Star for four years, League MVP the past two years, All-Scholastic, All-American, Top Scorer, Player of the Year and this year team captain.
With those accomplishments she got a lot of attention from college programs, and in her sophomore year she chose UConn.
“I really liked the whole team, the coaches and the whole campus is beautiful,” Kennedy said. “And it is not too far from home.”
As a junior, Murphy helped guide the Raiders girls basketball team to the school’s first ever state final. She said she knew right away that she liked Holy Cross, and she chose the school in Worcester in November 2015.
“I stepped on to campus and knew it,” Murphy said. “Everything from then on just confirmed it.”
When she visited, she got to play some pickup basketball with her future teammates, and she said they clicked well. She expects to play either center or power forward.
Her WHS coach, Patrick Ferdinand, said the Crusaders will be getting a special player.
“You are dedicated as a player, a student and to being the best person you can be,” Ferdinand said before the letters were signed. “But the biggest thing I can think of is you are a great teammate. Holy Cross is getting a wonderful teammate.”
Holy Cross also felt like the right place for Venezia, but she also got a push from a family member.
“I said, even if I don’t play here, I want to go here,” said Venezia, who committed in October 2015. “And my cousin (Lauren Sutherland) went there and she was the one that really got me in touch with the coach.”
Coach Donahue said Venezia has played all four years for the Raiders, but she has had a great senior year.
“This is the year everything broke out,” Donahue said. “You are an All-Star, you were successful with your club team. I am really proud of you.”