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Amelia Canetto

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Amelia Canetto

Member of the CDSWOY Class of 2020
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Written by Michael Kelly, The Daily Gazette Sports Editor

She succeeded in so many things during her high school career.

There’s a natural talent that’s needed to do that, but also a curiosity and willingness to take on new challenges.

Amelia Canetto, a senior at Taconic Hills, combined all that throughout her high school career, which saw her star athletically, achieve academically and make her mark within her community.

“I put a lot of time and effort into athletics, but I also tried to balance my time in the classroom and outside of school,” said Canetto, who will attend Coastal Carolina University next school year.

The evidence supports that Canetto did more than try to maintain balance in her life. She succeeded, and that success was rewarded with being named as one of 10 high school honorees for the inaugural Capital District Sports Women of the Year awards, which also see three college athletes recognized.

Athletically, Canetto set school records on the track and led her school’s field hockey team. In the classroom, Canetto was a high honor roll student who challenged herself with difficult classes and academic opportunities outside of school. Within her community, she spent hours volunteering at a library, food pantry and more, plus worked as a camp counselor.

Everywhere Canetto went, according to Taconic Hills athletic director Angela Webster — who taught Canetto in math and coached her in field hockey — she made a positive impact.

“The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Amelia is that she is a workhorse,” Webster wrote in a CDSWOY letter of recommendation for Canetto. “She works hard, wants to improve and holds high expectations for herself.”

During her seasons competing for Taconic Hills, the 17-year-old Canetto set program records as a solo sprinter and in relays and competed at the state championships. Meanwhile, Canetto first started playing field hockey as a freshman, but finished her career as a high-scoring star. After earning her program’s Most Improved Player award as a junior after scoring 24 goals, she was named the team’s Most Valuable Player after scoring 21 goals.

At Coastal Carolina, Canetto will compete in track and field.

“As her coach, I have had the opportunity to witness an exceptional work ethic and competitive spirit,” Taconic Hills track and field coach Paula Voight-Jause wrote in a CDSWOY letter of recommendation for Canetto. “Amelia always seeks help with all aspects of her performance and works tirelessly during the season to improve. She spends extra time preparing for each competition, seeks out other team members to encourage, and leads by example.”

Canetto, a member of the National Honor Society, will study marine biology in college, a field she’s always been thrilled to learn as much about as possible. That stems from spending time on Cape Cod with her family. 

“I’ve always just had this love and fascination for the ocean,” Canetto said. “I’d read all these books and learned when I was older that there is still so much that we don’t know about the ocean.”

As part of a course through the University at Albany, Canetto did a research project and paper on the migration habits of sharks. Last summer, she participated in a program in the British Virgin Islands that saw her earn her scuba certification and help conduct research about a local turtle population.

Her dedication and enthusiasm fueled Canetto’s success during her high school career.

“Amelia is a remarkable young lady that will be missed in our classrooms and athletic fields next year,” Webster wrote. “She is driven to be a success.”

This article appeared in the 2020 CDSWOY Awards Program on August 18, 2020.

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