Checking in with ... Lilyana Sherbanee (NFA)
(Editor's note: The Day will be publishing a profile of a spring athlete for each day the high school athletic season is suspended.)
School: Norwich Free Academy
Sport: Girls' golf
College choice: UConn
Chosen major: Economics
Athlete you grew up admiring: Surfer Bethany Hamilton, despite losing her arm, she still pursued her dream and was able to overcome an obstacle that would have ended most people's career. Her determination through her circumstances has always inspired me to keep pushing through any obstacle life throws my way.
Checking in with Lilyana: “I love how diverse NFA is. It is incredible how many people I have encountered who come from different places and different backgrounds. I feel that being exposed to such diversity has helped me learn more about the world than I would being surrounded by people who are just like me.”
What you need to know about Lilyana: Sherbanee comes from a family of big football fans. “I am a diehard Patriots fan," she said. "My fall is consumed with watching football on Sundays with my family." So it should be no surprise that her favorite movie is “The Blind Side.” She’s had an active high school career, serving as a project outreach coordinator and working on the Hope Lives Here committee that helps raise awareness about homelessness in the community. She also is a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. As far as golf, Sherbanee grew up “caddying” for her father on Sundays, meaning she walked the golf course while he played. “I eventually grew a desire to play myself and it was a perfect fit. It has become a shared passion between my dad and I,” she said. They regularly play together, checking out different courses in Connecticut and Rhode Island. The best moment of Sherbanee's golf career came at the 2019 Eastern Connecticut Conference girls' championship. She broke 50 for the first time. “I showed up with a positive attitude and finished shooting a 48, one shot off of tying for third place," she said. "It showed how my hard work was paying off and it was the perfect end to an already great season.” She was most looking forward this spring to playing with Haley Price, who has been her teammate for the last three years. She feels fortunate that NFA has a girls’ golf team. “I would be fine playing on a boys’ team but being with the girls whom I have grown close with over the past three years has made my high school golfing experience that much more special,” she said, also making a point to thank her NFA coaches. Sherbanee's favorite Norwich restaurant is Irene’s (she recommends the Tommy BBQ Burger with curly fries.) She decided to major in economics after taking AP Economics as a senior at NFA and intends to go to law school after completing her undergraduate degree.
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