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Nonnewaug’s Three Amigos, or The Wolf Pack, are Heading to Marist

Alexa Spain (left), Peter Rickenbach, and Emma Evans are heading to Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and will live on the same floor of the honors dorm. (Contributed photo)

WOODBURY – When Virginia high school transfer student Peter Rickenbach sat down at a Nonnewaug High School lunch table at the beginning of his sophomore year, he didn’t realize he was about to meet his two best friends.

Then-sophomores Alexa Spain and Emma Evans saw Rickenbach needed a place to sit, and as Evans put it, “the rest was history.”

In just two weeks, the three amigos – or are they the wolf pack – will start their college careers the way they spent their last three years at Nonnewaug.


Rickenbach, Spain, and Evans are all heading to Marist College. What’s more, the three best friends are all in Marist’s honors program and will all live in the same dormitory on the same floor.

“Dorming with each other would have been too much, but being on the same floor is perfect,” Evans said.

When Evans and Spain met on their first day of school in homeroom, Spain was the “new kid.” Though WMS was new to all the sixth-graders, Spain had gone to school in Waterbury and was brand new to Region 14.

“Our friendship didn’t play that much in my decision to attend Marist because I wanted to go there for the education,” Spain said. “But it’s really difficult going to a new place and it really helps having your friends there.”

When three met in the school cafeteria that fateful day three years ago, they were in the same English class. Rickenbach said their friendship grew stronger when he and Evans were in the same AP U.S. History class the next semester.

“We sat next to each other and started joking back and forth,” Rickenbach said. “We really liked the class and we became tight.”

Rickenbach, too, said he’ll be glad to have his friends to lean on.

“I have trouble making friends so I’ll kind of have them to help me out, and they’ll help make sure I’ve got all my requirements taken care of,” Rickenback said. “They’re really good at keeping up on all that so I’ll fall back on them.”

Rickenbach had been looking at colleges closer to where he’s grown up in Virginia, and he and Evans were both looking at Marist as a “safety school.” Meanwhile, Spain was looking for a school where she could play volleyball, but also had Marist on her mind.

“The more we talked about it and the more we looked into it, it became one of our favorite schools,” Rickenbach said. “We all got in and we visited and fell in love with it.”

It took Spain’s interest in Marist to get Evans to begin thinking about attending the school in Poughkeepsie, NY.

“I wasn’t even going to look at Marist but I went with Alexa because she was looking and I kind of fell in love with it,” Evans said. “And we all got into the honors program.”

And as Evans said about the trio’s friendship, the rest is history.  

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