A New Hit at SHU

Michael Simonelli Commits to Sacred Heart University


Batter up: Simonelli at bat for the CT Grind baseball team. Photo courtesy: Erica Simonelli, July, 2020

Sarah Moustafa and Kailey Howell

     As 2021 begins, seniors start to make decisions for what their lives will be like for the next four years. Michael Simonelli, a senior at Foran, has recently made that decision by committing to Sacred Heart University to further his academic and baseball career.  

     Simonelli has been playing baseball for 12 years, and played mostly the outfield position. He has played for different teams in the area, including the Gladiators and the CT Grind Baseball team.

     Simonelli has always been very passionate about baseball. He says, “I always knew I wanted to play college baseball, now going Division 1 is a blessing.”

     For some, parents can play a very large role in a student’s decision for the rest of their lives. Simonelli said that his parents have always been so helpful and supportive of his decision to go further in baseball, he says their support has helped him reach his goals.  Simonelli says, “My father played a very big role in my baseball career. He has always seen my potential, and pushed me to my hardest.”

     Michael’s parents are so proud of him and how far he has come in his journey and are excited to see how he will continue. Michael’s mother, Erica Simonelli says, “Michael’s hard work, dedication, and passion for the game has led him to this point. We are so proud of him and very excited for him to be a Pioneer!”

     Coach Walker, one of Simonelli’s baseball coaches at Foran, has seen firsthand Simonelli’s commitment to baseball and overall effort in this sport for a long time. Coach Walker says, “Michael has made an immediate impact on the baseball program from the day he stepped foot on campus. He is the first sophomore All-Starter in program history, a diligent worker, and is a tremendous competitor. I am most proud of the maturity and mental growth Michael has shown during his time at Foran. He’s become a leader and an even better teammate.”

     Mr. Frank Balestriere, the business teacher at Foran, influenced Simonelli heavily on the idea of starting a business and the stock market, leading him to major in business and marketing  at Sacred Heart. Mr. Balestriere states, “Two things that I admire most about Mike and that set him apart as a leader are 1) His willingness to think and fearlessness to share those thoughts with his peers, 2) His positivity that improves every situation including the classroom environment.

     Simonelli is ready for this next chapter in life and excited to further his career academically and athletically at Sacred Heart University.  

     He says, “When choosing a school to commit to, you want to go somewhere where you feel comfortable, and feel the ability to succeed. Somewhere they believe in you, and have trust in you.”