Wednesday, May 16, 2012
New England Roundup: Connecticut
By Roger Brown
Has Mark Ecke's tenure as Cheshire High School's varsity football coach come to an end?
Right now that's a question Ecke can't answer.
Ecke was suspended following an incident during a junior varsity lacrosse game between Cheshire and Glastonbury on May 3. According to published reports, Ecke berated officials after his son Tucker, a freshman who plays for Cheshire, was hit by a Glastonbury player. Ecke apparently felt the hit was illegal and was upset that no penalty was called.
“Whatever happen with my future as a coach at Cheshire High, it doesn't matter,” Ecke told the Connecticut Post. “For me, my family is first priority. This was about my son and I'm very protective of him. That's what this was about.”
Ecke was reportedly escorted from the field by three police officers. According to the incident report, police were summoned to deal with “unruly behavior.”
Ecke, who is employed as a Cheshire police officer, is awaiting a personnel hearing with the Cheshire Board of Education. He was reportedly asked to resign, but refused.
“It was among one of the worst hits I've ever seen in lacrosse,” Ecke told the Post. “I've been involved in lacrosse for 15 years. I've been a player. I've been a coach. I've taken officiating courses. The official didn't call a blatant illegal hit.
“That's what got me. That's what brought this all about. And as a father, watching this happen, I got upset. I probably yelled more than I should have and I regret that it went down the way it did.”
Ecke has guided Cheshire to four state titles in his 17 years as the program's head coach. He coached under current Temple coach Steve Addazio on the Cheshire staff, and was promoted to head coach after the 1994 season.
Cheshire had a 49-game winning streak, which ended in 1996.
Ecke's overall record is 118-64-3.
SOFTBALL STREAK ENDS When the St. Joseph softball team defeated Westhill 10-6 on May 7 it ended the Vikings' 54-game winning streak in FCIAC games.
Westhill grabbed a two-run lead by scoring three runs in the sixth, but the Cadets responded with a six-run seventh. Taryn Figmic collected the game's big hit, a three-run double with two outs in the seventh and the score tied, 6-6. Figmic had two hits and five RBIs in the victory.
It was Westhill's first regular-season FCIAC loss since a 3-2 setback against Darien in 2009. The program's only other conference loss since then came against Fairfield Ludlowe in the opening round of last year's playoffs.
RALLY KILLER The Simsbury baseball team was in position to hand Northwest Catholic-West Hartford its first loss of the season. Trailing 7-5, Simsbury loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh, but Northwest Catholic-West Hartford erased the threat by turning a game-ending triple play.
Second baseman Ryan Coursey fielded a soft liner for the first out. The runners were moving on the pitch, so Coursey stepped on second for the second out and then threw to to first for the game's final out.
KINGS OF THE HILL The first victory of Noah Hahn's varsity pitching career was a memorable one. Hahn, a sophomore, pitched a no-hitter to lead the Avon baseball team to a 12-0 victory over Windsor on April 30.
Hahn, who plays shortstop when he's not pitching, struck out 12 and walked three.
Three other no-hitters have been thrown since that contest. Bristol Central's Matt Blandino didn't allow a hit during a 7-0 triumph over Maloney on May 7, Hamden Hall's T.J. Linta tossed a no-hitter in a 4-0 victory over Greens Farms Academy on May 8 and John Amoroso tossed a no-hitter to help St. Joseph defeat McMahon on May 12.
Blandino struck out 16 and walked one. Linta, a sophomore, struck out six. Amoroso struck out seven and walked two, but wasn't in position to collect the win until Mark Hirschbeck singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh.
LAX POWERS Henry West and Peter Lindley each scored four goals and Case Matheis collected five assists as the Darien boys lacrosse team defeated Ridgefield 14-11 on May 8 in a matchup between teams that entered the contest undefeated in the FCIAC.
Roger Brown is a freelance writer who has been reporting on high school sports in New England since 1992.