Bartlett siblings excel
By Steev Riccardo
Webster - It’s really hard not to like the dynamic brother and sister duo Nikita and Deanna Truhanovitch the moment you meet them.
Nikita is a senior and Deanna is a junior at Bartlett High School, and though in many ways they’re normal high school students, both excel in other ways which draw the attention of their peers.
The Truhanovitch family also includes of Mom and Dad, who came to America from Russia, and older sister Amanda. The family moved to Webster in 1997 when they bought an abandoned house, “fixed it up,” and made the town their home.
Even though he calls himself “a very boring kid,” Nikita is far from that. Two of his fellow senior classmates Rocco DiStefano and Jackie Finkel rave about Nikita and Deanna and their athletic ability, their positive outlook and attitude, and their overall great demeanor.
Nikita started making his mark in town as a gifted athlete upon his arrival. He began playing soccer in the seventh grade and later discovered that his running and jumping abilities would make him a standout in track and field as well.
He credits his freshmen track coach Patricia Dupree for “throwing me out on the track and telling me to do the hurdles.” He finished first and has been at the top of the standings ever since.
The senior currently competes in the 55-meter dash, which he usually finishes neck and neck with DiStefano in competition after competition, the 55-meter hurdles, the high jump, and the shot put in indoor track. On the outdoor track team he competes in the 110-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles, the high jump, and the triple jump.
When running around on the soccer field for the Indians, Nikita “will do anything and everything that the coach needs me to do.” In other words, he plays a key role on the team, playing whatever position he is asked to play.
Nikita is quick to describe his relationships with DiStefano and Central Mass all-star soccer teammate Nick Kobel as strong and very competitive, helping him stay on top of his game.
“Rocco can joke around because of how competitive we are with each other and Nick Kobel and I have been friends since we were eight years old, and it’s a mainly competitive relationship as well.”
When asked about his most important role model and mentor, Nikita immediately credits his father, “He is always trying to push me to do the best I can and he has this funny way of doing it, he loves being sarcastic.”
“Academically he (his father) tries to get me to do my best, I’m very lazy when it comes to homework. It may just be the way he was brought up in Russia but he can be very strict with his approach. He doesn’t want me working in a factory, he wants me to do something good with my life and I take that to heart. He is very strict, apparently he did things when he was growing up that he doesn’t want us to do. We have curfews which our friends don’t have. We have to be at home way before everyone else. We are in our rooms by ten o’clock.”
Then there is the relationship with his younger sister Deanna. “People say we are twins, sometimes we have that twin moment where we say the exact same thing at the same time. When we listen to a song we both start jamming to it at the same time. When we fight it’s over really quickly. We are like best friends.”
Deanna, also an accomplished athlete, uses her talents in different ways. She started playing basketball and soccer in middle school but soon switched to cheerleading. She’s now an all-star cheerleader as part of a group that travels all over the state and out of state competing.
She is also on the track team and competes in the high jump, 55- meter dash, and the 55-meter hurdles, despite the fact that she had an on-field injury that resulted in a broken wrist last year.
Deanna’s real calling, however, appears to be in music, where she is somewhat of a virtuoso. She has been in the Senior Show Choir since the seventh grade and is part of the school’s Select Choir. Along with her best friend Alyssa Corey, she has choreographed one of the junior high songs. She also conducted the junior high winter choir this year.
With high hopes of becoming a music teacher and singing professionally, she has developed a strong relationship with Bartlett High School choir teacher and instructor Peter Carney.
“I look up to my choir teacher Mr. Carney a lot. He pushes us to our limit and helps us to be the best we can be. He also is there to help us get through a bad day. He is like a father to me, even though I don’t think he knows that yet, but he will now (laughs).”
Deanna also credits her sister Amber with being a great role model. A 2008 Bartlett graduate, Amber is currently attending WPI where she is majoring in bio-engineering.
She also values the importance of her friendship with Alyssa Corey, who is the dance captain of the show choir. “We have a lot of the same thoughts. We both went to visit Keene State College together for a tour because we have our goals set on attending school there. We are also both into show choir and whenever we need help we help each other.”
If that is not enough, Deanna has also done some modeling, but stopped when she got braces. She still has hopes of doing more of that work at some point as well.
Ultimately the siblings are team players and have a lot of pride in their school. “There are those select kids who say that the school isn’t very good, but the athletes here have a lot of pride in what they do. They want to make Bartlett a better place,” says Nikita.
“I think we have a lot of pride at Bartlett because a lot of other schools put us down and say that Bartlett is not a good school,” adds Deanna, who does not agree with mindset.
“Even when things do go wrong we all come together and act like a family. It is hard to see our players’ emotions when they lose a game. I know one player, Conor McCarthy, who took it very bad when we lost to Southbridge on Thanksgiving in football. He just wanted to show people that Bartlett was not bad. He has the most pride in the school and it’s really influential.”
Nikita continues: “You feel for our football players cause you know it’s a big rivalry with Southbridge and you want to see your team come out on top, but you can’t really hate on the other team because it’s the same thing for them.”
Once the school year is over, Nikita plans on attending college and is heavily leaning towards UMass Amherst to study game design and “possibly software programming.”
The siblings will stay close once Nikita graduates. “We are like best friends, a lot of people think we are twins, we never fight, we look out for each other,” says Deanna.
With kids like this, things are certainly looking up at Bartlett High School.
- Wednesday, 18 January 2012
- Posted in Categories: : News