When Kamehameha’s Cassidy Fratinardo was a freshman, water polo coach Dan Lyons did not see a future Division I college athlete.
“No way,” Lyons said.
But the Fratinardo family plan says differently. When it comes to paying for higher education, there’s always a way for the four Fratinardo siblings, making life easier for father Tom Fratinardo.
Cassidy’s older siblings, John and Michelle, each attended Kamehameha and earned academic scholarships. Her younger sister, Maria, took an injury settlement when she hurt her finger when she was younger and already has her college costs squared away.
Cassidy blazed her own trail recently, signing a national letter of intent to play for St. Francis College in Brooklyn, N.Y., on an athletic and academic scholarship that will cover her full tuition.
“It was a big relief knowing college was paid for,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to living in New York and a big change in environment. I’m ready for the cold and winter; no problem at all.”
Fratinardo follows the path of former Warrior Ryenn Lyons, who graduated in 2011 and left for St. Francis. Lyons scored eight goals as a freshman, but she became disenchanted with certain facets of the program and transferred.
Dan Lyons, Ryenn’s father, said the program has grown under fourth-year head coach Megan Husak and gave Fratinardo’s selection his full endorsement.
“It’s a credit to how hard she’s worked,” Lyons said. “Her work ethic will help the program, and her personality will fit in New York.”
While the Big Island and fast-paced New York may be polar opposites, so to are the success rates of the Terriers and Warriors.
In Fratinardo’s career at Kamehameha, the Warriors never were so much as challenged during four undefeated Big Island Interscholastic Federation seasons. St. Francis, meanwhile, is coming off a winless campaign in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and finished 4-19 overall.
But Fratinardo already has shown the ability to adapt in the pool.
A self-described “ball hog” early in her career when Kamehameha was led by one or two upperclassmen standouts, she enjoyed her role as part of an ensemble cast as a senior. While she would have been, at worst, the No. 2 scoring option on every other BIIF team, Fratinardo was one of six players who scored between 30-36 goals as the Warriors won their fifth straight league title.
“The fact that we were so balanced made it all the more satisfying,” she said. “It was a great way for me to end my career here.”