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Morgan Burchhardt

Explore CDSWOY All-Time Roster Members

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Isabella Mancini

Member of the CDSWOY Class of 2021
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Written by Michael Kelly, The Daily Gazette Sports Editor

Above all else, Izzy Mancini loved being on the team.

“My favorite part of my years at Galway High School was playing on the sports teams,” Mancini said. “I love the sport dynamic so much — being able to compete is the main thing, but all the sports I played were in a team setting.”

And the 17-year-old who competed in basketball, softball and soccer led those teams during a high school career filled with accomplishments in competition, the classroom and in the community.

“Izzy Mancini is the athlete that every coach wishes they had 20 clones of to form their team,” Galway athletic director Elise Britt said. “Izzy is the whole package and will continue to excel far past her high school career in athletics, academics and citizenship.”

The valedictorian this year at Galway, Mancini is one of 10 high school honorees for the second-annual Capital District Sports Women of the Year awards. The 17-year-old said she was “extremely shocked” to earn such an honor, and it was one that had special meaning to her since one of her best friends, Rachel Wnuk, was one of the student-athletes recognized during the inaugural CDSWOY awards.

“To be able to get the same award, the year after, was incredible because I look up to her,” Mancini said.

At Galway, her teammates often looked up to her. A four-year varsity athlete in basketball and soccer, and a three-year varsity competitor in softball, Mancini was a top player in the Western Athletic Conference. More than that, she was a leader on her sports teams.

“From Day 1, she has been a mentor for the younger players,” said Phillip Meashaw, who coached Mancini in basketball. “She will frequently take time to check in with them and is a role model for them by the way she conducts herself at practice and games.”

“Izzy is a positive role model with all of her teammates,” said Mike Smith, who coached Mancini in softball. “Izzy is a tough competitor who gives 110% in all that she does. It’s a pleasure to know Izzy, and even a bigger thrill to coach her and watch her play.”

During her years at Galway High School, Mancini earned a variety of academic, athletic and community honors. She also was active in clubs, such as the science club and Leo’s club, and served as class treasurer.

Mancini will attend Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and plans to pursue becoming a pharmacist.
As valedictorian, she addressed her senior class during graduation, and commended all her peers for how they handled a senior year amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Rather than focusing on “what COVID did to us,” Mancini said her Galway classmates became four-sport athletes, watched after younger siblings and took up part-time jobs while finishing up their high-school careers.

“You can push through it,” Mancini said, “and my class did that.”

So, too, did Mancini.

“Izzy is the type of athlete that brings positivity, confidence and unity to her teams and community at large,” Britt said. “Izzy has many academic accolades, even more athletic accomplishments, and creates a culture of unity and progress.”

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