Churchville-Chili Saints fans recently filled the auditorium as seniors Ty Raines and Jennifer Zambuto signed national letters of intent to pursue their athletic talents at the college level.
Raines signed with the University at Buffalo’s Division I Bulls wrestling program. Zambuto will join the Division II Redhawks cross-country and indoor track and field teams at Roberts Wesleyan College.
Athletic director Michael Murray introduced the athletes and their coaches, and congratulated the students and their families.
“I am very happy for Ty and Jennifer,” he said. “Both of them have worked very hard to get to this place. They are true role models for what can be accomplished through goal-setting and hard work.”
Chris Memelo, assistant cross-country and track coach, shared highlights of Zambuto’s high school career. Wrestling coach Justin Raines, Ty Raines’ father, spoke on his behalf, detailing his accomplishments and contributions to the school.
Raines is a two-time AGR selection, three-time Monroe County place finisher, three-time Section V Class A finalist, 2016 Section V champion and three-time Section V place finisher. Last season, he earned a spot to compete at the state tournament held at the Times Union Arena in Albany. In four varsity seasons, he broke and set the school record for all-time career victories with 147 wins.
As an unseeded wrestler at the 2018 state tournament, Raines finished in sixth place at 138 pounds. With that, he became the second Churchville-Chili wrestler to place at the state tournament in their junior year, and the fifth to earn all-state honors in the history of Churchville-Chili’s program. Over the summer, he won an Olympic freestyle state individual title at 138 pounds. Raines plans to study mechanical engineering at UB.
Zambuto has been a member of the Churchville-Chili cross-country and track programs for six years. She received many awards over the past four years, including first-team all-county status for her race performances. She was selected to be a team captain by her teammates and coaches. She competed at the Section V championship meets for cross-country, indoor track, and track and field.
She has been a scholar athlete every semester during high school. This fall, Zambuto had an overall GPA of 99.231 and was the girls cross-country varsity scholar athlete recipient. She plans to major in psychology.