Friday, October 14, 2011
New England Roundup: Connecticut
By Roger Brown
Things couldn't be going any better for senior quarterback Casey Cochran and his Masuk High School football team.
Masuk is 4-0 and considered by many to be the best team in the state. Cochran, meanwhile, has been busy breaking records in the process.
Two weeks ago Cochran set the state record for career touchdown passes (86) in a 56-0 victory over Stratford. St. Joseph's Joe Della Vecchia set the previous record of 85 career touchdown passes last season.
Cochran extended that record when he completed 13 of 17 passes for 310 yards and four touchdowns in a 55-12 triumph over Barlow last Friday. The four TD passes gave him 15 this season and 90 in his career.
Cochran, who has committed to play at the University of Connecticut, has completed 50 of 63 passes for 1,221 yards this season. He's been intercepted twice.
Earlier this year he became Connecticut's all-time leader in career passing yardage when he completed 15 passes for 327 yards in a 49-14 victory over Oxford. That total gave him 8,027 career passing yards and allowed him to surpass Della Vecchia (7,710). Cochran has passed for 8,337 yards in his career.
“It's a great honor, but it's something I'd rather acknowledge after the season,” Cochran said following the Oxford game. “i want to keep my head clear.”
When the season began Cochran already held the state record for career completions (485).
It's unlikely Masuk will meet any serious resistance anytime soon since its next two opponents – Notre Dame-Fairfield and Immaculate – are 0-8 and have been outscored 112-349 this season.
Cochran is scheduled to graduate in December and enroll in college in January.
MEET THE NEW PRESIDENT Harding will have a new boys basketball coach this winter. Charles Clemons, a former assistant coach at Bridgeport Central and St. Joseph, was selected to replace Charlie Bentley, who steered the Presidents to nine state championships in 34 seasons before he retired last summer.
Clemons, 37, is a teacher at Bridgeport's Hall Elementary School. He spent 10 years as an assistant at Central, and five years as an assistant at St. Joseph.
In other coaching news, Mike Halley, who spent last season as an assistant coach with Mount St. Michael Academy in the New York City Catholic High School League, has been hired to replace Jeff Bussey as the boys basketball coach at New Canaan.
Bussey resigned in July after serving as the program's head coach for 11 seasons. New Canaan has a 22-39 record over the past three seasons, including a 5-15 record last season.
Halley has also served as the head coach for the Stamford-based Connecticut Flames under-17 AAU team.
ST. JOSEPH HAS FINISHING KICK Sophomore striker Sami Grasso scored in the 61st minute to help St. Joseph defeat Westhill, 1-0, in a matchup of undefeated girls soccer teams Wednesday.
St. Joseph improved its record to 11-0 with the victory. Westhill dropped to 9-1.
Westhill freshman Jess Laszlo entered the game with at least one goal in each of her team's previous nine contests. She collected 16 goals in those nine victories.
CHESHIRE'S STREAK ENDS Glastonbury broke the Cheshire girls swimming program's national dual-meet record of 281 consecutive victories by posting a 100-86 triumph over the Rams on Oct. 6. It was Cheshire's first dual-meet loss since 1986.
Cheshire, which was the Class L runner-up to New Canaan last year, lost 13 seniors and 24 swimmers overall from last year's team.
The meet came down to the final relay and Cheshire coach Ed Aston chose to split up his top relay team because Cheshire needed to finish first and second in the event to prevail.
DARIEN FACING TOUGH TEST The Darien field hockey team had an 87-game unbeaten streak entering Thursday's contest against Rye (N.Y.).
Darien's streak is the tied for the fourth longest in high school history. Marathon (N.Y.) Central and Louisville (Ky.) Sacred Heart also owned 87-game unbeaten streaks.
Darien improved to 11-0 by beating Westhill 7-0 Monday. It was Darien's seventh shutout in its last eight games.
Rye was 8-0-1 entering its game with Darien.
COLLIGAN SELECTS N.C. STATE Greenwich forward Shannon Colligan recently committed to play soccer at North Carolina State.
Colligan made two unofficial visits to N.C. State, and took her official visit to the school last month.
Colligan had 14 goals through nine games this season. She set a Greenwhich record for goals in a season by scoring 20 times as a sophomore. She collected 19 goals as a junior.
Roger Brown has covered high school sports in New England since 1992. He currently covers high school and college football in the Northeast for ESPN/Scouts Inc.