BY KEN MORSE
Editor’s note: This is the first in a four-part series about the 2021-2022 CIAC scholar-athletes of the year from Naugatuck and Woodland.
Obtaining all-league status for an athlete is a coveted mark that they all aspire to achieve. When you are recognized for your efforts in both athletics and academics, its an achievement that stands out among the rest.
When you are one of only two student-athletes in your school that is awarded all-State in scholastics, it’s an honor that bears the sacrifices that were made to excel in both the classroom and on the field of athletic competition.
Naugatuck senior Samantha Mullin is an achiever extraordinaire, garnering All-State and All-Iron Division status in softball and honored as All-NVL and All-Iron in volleyball to go along with a 4.6 GPA, fourth among the Class of 2022. Those accolades earned her Connecticut High School scholastic-athlete status.
“It certainly doesn’t allow for much down time,” said Mullin. “To excel in the classroom and on the field requires staying on schedule and getting things done in a timely manner.”
Being No. 4 in her class academically, Mullin took full advantage of her opportunities to get things done.
“That’s an awful lot of homework getting done,” she added with a laugh. “It really comes down to disciplining yourself and staying on schedule to get things done. I utilize my study halls and try to get as much work done as possible.”
Mullin and her all-out effort was evident as a sophomore as she helped her volleyball teammates to the best record in school history at 21-3 in 2019. That team won the program’s first NVL championship since 1998.
Mullin was also an integral part of the 2021 NVL runner-up softball team and completed her career with her 100th hit on May 11. She will move on to her next challenge, studying criminology at DePaul University in Chicago in the fall.
“I was looking at a lot of schools out in the Chicago area,” said Mullin. “I wanted to go to college in a big city atmosphere. I wasn’t really fond of New York. I like Boston but I wanted to challenge myself and go to a new place.”
Looking to start the next chapter in her education and taking on a new adventure like Chicago, Mullin will set aside her athletic desires and focus mainly on her studies.
“DePaul is right on Lake Michigan and it seemed similar to Boston,” said Mullin. “It’s a real nice area and I will live on campus. It feels like the right fit. I might want to branch out and look for a place of my own in my sophomore year. I will look at the work study programs as far as a job goes.
“I know I will miss sports. It has been a big part of my life growing up, so once I get acclimated I might do some intramural sports just to keep active. Nothing too serious, just to have fun and stay in shape.”
Whatever Mullin decides to do at DePaul, her ability to handle both sports and academics at the highest level of success will be a great asset for her as she moves forward in this new adventure.
BY KEN MORSE