For Ariana Bruschi, winning the school award in the national Wendy’s High School Heisman competition is about hard work. The New Hyde Park Memorial High School senior is a standout Gladiators field hockey and lacrosse player and an avid volunteer.
“It [the award] really helped me and showed how hard work paid off,” she said. “I thank all my coaches and my guidance counselor Mary Beth Healy. They really helped me.”
The Wendy’s competition measured three parts: academics, athletics and leadership. These categories were strengths for Bruschi.
“I’m glad and honored to have won this award,” she said. “But it wouldn’t have been possible without my teammates, friends and coaches. You need to be close-knit with your team. As a team, you need to be unified.”
Bruschi excelled at an early age in two sports, making both varisty squads in 10th grade. Through six games (4-2) for the New Hyde Park Gladiators this season, she’s notched 16 goals and two assists and is on pace for a 50 point season.
“It’s a great award,” Gladiators head lacrosse coach Dominic Gagnon said. “She can play the game. Moving forward, she has a great opportunity once she gets to college. If she works hard in the offseason, she can do well.”
Gagnon feels Bruschi, a center, has potential as long has she keeps working to hone her craft. He sees All-County possibilities. Bruschi already nabbed the Scholar Athlete Award, Coaches Award for field hockey, All-County honorable mention and is one of Gagnon’s captains.
“Ariana has to have a strong finish to the season to make All-County,” he said. “She’s All-County material, but it’s all about practice and dedication.”
Bruschi earned membership in the senior and junior national honor societies, foreign language and art national honor societies. She also participates in Big Brother/Big Sister, Italian Club, and District Sports Night and acts as the photographer of the Lance yearbook.
Bruschi, along with the high school cheerleading squad, organized a breast cancer awareness theme for Liz’s Day, where the team put pink flamingos around New Hyde Park, dubbed “flocking” to get the word out. This October will mark the 16th year of the day, remembering Elizabeth McFarland who succumbed to breast cancer at the age of 42.
“Liz’s Day is a great event because it brings awareness to a diseases that affects so many women,” said Bruschi.
Bruschi will be attending the University of Delaware in the fall to study visual communications.