Fox Chapel’s Emi Kartsonas makes mark in multiple sports at Aquinas Academy

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Saturday, February 19, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Emi Kartsonas has been one of the area’s busiest student-athletes, and it looks like she won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

The Aquinas Academy senior has had an outstanding high school career, lettering in basketball, field hockey and lacrosse, and those teams have all made the WPIAL playoffs each of their respective most recent seasons.

The Fox Chapel resident and her Crusaders teammates are getting set to host a WPIAL Class A basketball game Thursday, Feb. 24 against either Monessen or Riverview.

Aquinas finished the regular season with an 8-0 record in Section 3-A, 12-6 overall. The Crusaders are seeded fourth.

If there’s a favorite among her sports, it’s basketball, where she is a 6-foot forward.

“I’ve been playing basketball the longest, but I like all of them,” Kartsonas said. “Aquinas has only been in the WPIAL about five years.”

Kartsonas said her biggest athletic thrill came in the opening round of the 2020 Class A basketball playoffs where Aquinas fell behind Monessen, 17-3, at halftime, but rallied for a 34-30 victory.

“That was really a highlight,” Kartsonas said. “In field hockey this past year, we made it to the WPIAL finals, but we lost (to Shady Side Academy). Winning the section in basketball two years in a row has been one of my favorites.”

She has been an integral part of the Aquinas sports scene and has experienced success off the playing venues.

“Emi’s excellence in the classroom transfers to the court where she has become a dominant player underneath the hoop, both on offense and defense,” said Jim Richthammer, Aquinas athletic director.

Kartsonas is class president, also known as Head Prefect, a consortium of eight seniors. She also scored a 36 on the ACT test.

“Emi is an outstanding student who excels in classes like AP Calculus BC (1 and 2) and AP Literature,” said Aquinas Head of School Leslie Mitros. “She serves as Head Prefect and plays team sports as well. She is focused, balanced and does it all with a smile and a positive attitude.”

She has been with the Aquinas program since first grade.

Said Kartsonas: “Being in a small school allows me to be involved in a lot more stuff like the three sports. I was in a play earlier this year. It’s given me a lot of opportunities that maybe wouldn’t have been available at a bigger school.”

Being in the WPIAL also allows students, their families and fans to follow accomplishments and look at standings of the teams, among other factors.

Her father, Dean Kartsonas, was a standout basketball player at Shady Side Academy before the school became a WPIAL member and didn’t have the following that his daughter’s school has.

“I think (Aquinas) being part of the WPIAL and part of a section makes the experience much more memorable,” Dean Kartsonas said.

The elder Kartsonas played at Cornell and has been a success in the region’s finance industry.

As for Emi, she’s now in the process of choosing a college. After attending a small school for so long, Emi is hoping to enroll in a large school with a good sports program to follow such as Notre Dame or the University of Virginia.

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