Boston High School: Bacon Academy

New England Roundup: Connecticut

January, 30, 2013
1/30/13
3:28
PM ET
The Fairfield Prep ice hockey team has had some impressive starts in Matt Sather's 14 seasons as the program's head coach, but nothing that can match what the Jesuits have accomplished at the start of the current season.

ConnecticutFairfield Prep improved its record to 11-0-0 and remained the only unbeaten team in the state when it beat New Jersey power Don Bosco Prep, 4-2, Thursday at the Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport. Don Bosco entered the game as the No. 2-ranked team in New Jersey.

It was a 2-2 game after two periods, but Fairfield Prep senior forward Tim Edmonds scored the go-ahead goal at 4:28 of the third. The Jesuits doubled their lead on a Kenny Kochiss goal.

Fairfield Prep held Don Bosco to three shots on goal in the final period.

“This is a huge win for us,” Edmonds told MSG Varsity after the game. “Don Bosco's a great team. We were able to come out flying, and now we've got our confidence boosted. Coach [Sather] said this is a landmark day for us. I think we proved we can beat anyone we play if we play our game.”

Juniors Matt McKinney and Matt Wickman also scored for Fairfield Prep, which received 15 saves from Matt Beck.

Don Bosco (10-5-0) was playing without Robby Marsanico and Dylan Healy, two top-line forwards who were injured. Marsanico and Healy had 49 points in Don Bosco's first 14 games.

“I think they're a little better than that offensively,” Sather said. “But that's as fast a team as we've played all year. And I thought they were more physical than anyone we played this year. That was the most physical game we've played in, and I was pretty happy with the way our guys stood up to that.

BACON SELECTS LARKA
Twenty Connecticut high schools entered last week looking for a varsity football coach. That number was reduced by one Friday, when Bacon Academy hired Erik Larka.

Larka, a 35-year-old West Haven resident, was one of seven applicants brought back for a second interview. He spent four years as the freshman head coach and a varsity assistant at Law High School – his alma mater – but then left the coaching world until last season, when he was an assistant coach at Western Connecticut State.

Bacon had to find a head coach last summer, after Duane Maranda left to become the head coach at New London. The school selected Brian Enrique – an assistant under Maranda – but reopened the position after Enrique guided the Bobcats to a 2-8 record last season.

FOOTBALL MAY HAVE NEW HOME
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference is exploring the possibility of moving the state's championship football games from the University of Connecticut's Rentschler Field, which has hosted the title games for the last four years.

Poor attendance and below-expected revenue were the reasons cited for the possible move.

Rentschler Field can seat 40,000, but the largest crowd for the four championship games last year was the 4,576 that watched the Class LL championship game between Xavier and Norwich Free Academy on a Friday night. The following day a combined 5,189 showed up for the Class S, Class M and Class L championship games.

Central Connecticut State's Arute Field is reportedly being considered as a possibility for this year's title games. Arute Field has a seating capacity of 5,800 and has a turf playing surface. Rentschler Field has a natural grass surface.

CIAC PENALIZES HARDING
The CIAC fined Harding High School $500 and forced the school's boys basketball team to forfeit two games for using an academically ineligible player.

The player participated in five games, but Harding lost three of those five contests. The team forfeited victories over New Canaan and Fairfield Warde.

NOTEWORTHY
East Lyme senior Allison Stoddard collected the 1,000th point of her high school career during a 55-16 victory over Killingly on Jan. 19. … Capital Prep remained No. 1 in the Hartford Courant's girls' basketball rankings despite a 66-64 loss to Bishop Ford – one of the top teams in New York City – last week. Sophomore forward Kiah Gillespie scored 26 points for Capital Prep in the loss. … Junior Tyshon Rogers, a 6-foot-3 forward on the Crosby boys' basketball team, scored 64 points in victories over Wolcott and Seymour last week. Rogers entered the week as the state's leading scorer (30.5 ppg.).

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

January, 11, 2013
1/11/13
5:44
PM ET
When the game was over, Notre Dame High School boys' basketball coach Gary Palladino had earned another victory – and it was a memorable one.

ConnecticutLast Friday's 66-60 triumph over Berlin was Palladino's 400th win as Notre Dame's head coach.

Berlin erased a 16-point halftime deficit and tied the game midway through the fourth quarter, but Notre Dame made 12 of its 14 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter. The victory improved Palladino's record at Notre Dame to 400-294.

“This isn’t really about me,” Palladino said. “You don’t get to 400 wins at one school without great support from our administration, tremendous assistant coaches, and talented players who work hard and sacrifice for the betterment of our team and program. I have been blessed here at Notre Dame and share this honor with all those that came through the program.”

Earlier this year Palladino announced that this would be his final season as the Green Knights head coach.

Palladino began his career at Notre Dame in 1982. He has guided the Green Knights to 21 winning seasons, and 24 of his teams have qualified for the CIAC state tournament

Palladino has 524 career wins during his high school coaching career, which includes stops at East Hartford High School (7-13) and St. Paul's High School (55-18). He was also 62-69 at the head coach at the University of Hartford.

STAR GAZING
The inaugural Hall of Fame Classic, a high school football all-star game featuring players from Connecticut, will be played June 29, at Rentschler Field (4:30 p.m.).

The game replaces the Governor's Cup – an all-star game between Connecticut and Rhode Island – and the all-star game between Fairfield and New Haven counties. Connecticut won 11 of the 14 meetings with Rhode Island in the Governor's Cup.

The coaches and players for each team will be announced Saturday at the Walter Camp Breakfast of Champions in East Haven.

ONE-TWO PUNCH
An unbeaten record entering Saturday's contest against Fairfield Prep masked the fact that the Notre Dame boys' hockey team hadn't played well in the first period this season, and it was a slow start that cost the Green Knights in a 3-1 loss to the Jesuits.

Fairfield Prep scored three first-period goals and received 33 saves from Mike Beck in a matchup that featured the top two teams in the Hartford Courant's state rankings.

Matt Wikman, Connor Henry and Dean Lockery scored for Fairfield Prep. Darren Capobianco scored Notre Dame's goal at 12:38 of the second period.

“Today we didn't get off the bus,” Notre Dame coach Bill Gerosa told the New Haven Register. “Actually, it was the eighth game this season we didn't get off the bus in the first period. We've played well in our second and third periods, but we keep struggling in the first.”

Fairfield Prep improved its record to 7-0 and was elevated to No. 1 following the victory. Notre Dame, last year's Division I champion, fell to 7-1 and slipped to No. 2.

The teams will meet again on Feb. 16.

HOOP NOTES
Highlighting some top recent performances in boys and girls basketball:

" Weaver's Alyssa Stewart scored 24 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in a 53-31 victory over Wethersfield.

" Simsbury's E.J. Crawford scored 18 points in a 60-51 victory over Newington, and then poured in 20 – including the game-winning shot with six seconds to play – in a 70-69 triumph over Hall.

" Cromwell's Alexa Riley tossed in a game-high 15 points in a 53-50 triumph over Bacon Academy that ended Bacon Academy's 43-game home winning streak.

"Southington's Stephanie O'Keefe scored all of her 15 points on 3-pointers during a 48-41 victory overtime victory against Northwest Catholic.

"Tolland's Taylor Fortin averaged 37.5 points in victories over RHAM and Rockville.

GIRL POWER
Norwich Free Academy's Elisa Formiglio became the first female to play in a Connecticut football state championship game when Xavier defeated NFA 48-14 to win the Class LL championship last month.

Formiglio, a senior who didn't play football until last season, made both of her point-after kicks in the loss. She made 61 of 71 PAT attempts during the season. She also made one of her three field goal attempts – a 24-yard kick – and completed the season as her team's No. 3 scorer.

CONNECTICUT'S FROZEN FOUR
The inaugural Pioneer Valley Girls Winter Classic – the state's first outdoor girls hockey tournament -- was held Jan. 1 at the Simsbury Farms open-air rink.

The event featured four teams: Simsbury, Hall-Conard, Springfield (Mass.) Cathedral and East Catholic-Glastonbury-South Windsor. Simsbury defeated Hall-Conard 3-2 in the title game, and Springfield Cathedral won the consolation game.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader, and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

October, 24, 2012
10/24/12
4:55
PM ET
The 50-point rule in Connecticut High School football became a topic of conversation again after Norwich Free Academy defeated Stamford 51-0 last Saturday.

ConnecticutWhen it was adopted in 2006, the rule called for an automatic one-game suspension for any head coach whose team won by 50 points or more, although the suspension could be appealed. The rule has been modified and now states that any victory by at least 50 points is reviewed by a Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) panel, which would determine if a suspension is warranted.

NFA suspended its coach, Jemal Davis, for Saturday's game against Bacon Academy before the CIAC made a ruling.

“We strongly support all CIAC efforts to support sportsmanship,” NFA athletic director Gary Makowicki told the Norwich Bulletin. “There's a rule in place, we broke the rule and we're self-imposing the penalty.”

According to newspaper reports, NFA starters remained in the game after the team had a 42-0 lead in the fourth quarter. It was 49-0 with 3:25 to play when NFA blocked a Stamford punt that resulted in a safety that capped the scoring. The victory improved NFA's record to 6-0.

Stamford coach Bryan Hockter called Davis “classless” in postgame interviews.

“Something like that is going to come back to bite you,” Hockter told the Bulletin. “You just can't embarrass a team and I thought he was trying to embarrass us.”

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING
Statewide leaders in football:

Passing (completions-attempts-yards-TDs)
Logan Marchi (St. Paul Cathlolic) 124-255-1,867-23; (Brad Westmark (Brookfield) 113-196-1,509-9; (Ackee Barber (New London) 80-152-1,425-19(; Jake Kasuba (Foran) 98-142-1,388-10(; Bryan Castelot (Bunnell) 77-166-1,366-10; (Malik Cummings (Masuk) 53-68-1,293-12; Brandon Basil (North Branford) 69-105-1,282-20(; Jordan Vazzano (St. Joseph) 72-133-1,120-14(; Antwan Byrd (Capital Prep/Classical Magnet) 50-76-1,110-13(; Robert Quinn Fleeting (Windsor) 69-95-1,095-13.

Rushing (attempts-yards-TDs)
Joe Pacheco (New Fairfield) 140-1,468-17; (Joseph Piatnik (Bethel) 172-1,153-14(; Jalon White (North Haven 121-1,142-17; (Colin Moore (Avon) 124-1,089-15(; Derrick Villard (Cromwell) 73-979-12; (Justin Potts (Platt) 111-954-13(; Cameron Tucker (Notre Dame-West Haven) 116-948-9(; Chris Young (Rocky Hill) 51-911-12; (DeAngelo Berry (Xavier) 100-890-20; (Jack Shaban (Barlow) 89-834-12.

Receiving (receptions-yards-TDs)
Justin Schaffer (Weston) 39-639-3; (Chris Caron (North Branford) 25-624-10(; Daija Fitzpatrick (St. Paul Catholic) 40-624-7(; Thomas Milone (Masuk) 21-592-8; (Devante Teel (Bunnell) 28-574-5(; Reid Morin (St. Paul Catholic) 28-549-9; (Nicholas Weissauer (Foran) 43-531-3(; Chris Vankamerik (Oxford) 28-510-6(; L.T. Nembard (Hall) 30-469-4; (Andrew Matos (Ansonia) 16-463-6.

Tackles (total)
Peter Serencsics (Bethel) 87; (Justin Cheverier (Valley Regional/Old Lyme) 83; (Cody Zaro (Trinity Catholic) 83; (Zachary Dombrowski (East Hampton/Vinal RVT) 80; (David Deleo (Trinity Catholic) 79; (Roekwan Holmes (Prince RVT) 77; (Shaq Rowe (Bullard-Havens) 72; (Brad Helmkamp (Simsbury) 71; (Cole Harris (New Canaan) 70(; Thomas Ullman (Granby Memorial) 70.

GOOD SPORTS
The CIAC has nominated 18 athletic programs for the Michael's Achievement Cup, which recognizes outstanding achievement in sportsmanship, participation, athletic scholarship, athletic personnel, equity, chemical-free initiatives and athletic achievement for the 2011-12 school year.

The following programs have were nominated:

Class LL: Fairfield Ludlow, Glastonbury.(Class L: Avon, Darien.(Class MM: Brookfield, Foran, Joel Barlow, Ledyard.(Class M: Haddam-Killingworth, Weston, Woodland.(Class SS: East Hampton, Northwest Catholic, Valley Regional.(Class S: Gilbert, Notre Dame-Fairfield, Wamogo, Westbrook.

One school from each class will be selected as a finalist for the award,which will be announced Nov. 15.

MILESTONE MAN
Farmington boys' soccer coach Steve Waters collected his 450th career victory when Farmington defeated Newington 3-1 last week.

Colin Cheeseman, Josh Moreno and Guido Shutz scored for Farmington in the victory.

Waters has a 450-72-40 record in 30 years as a head coach.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

October, 12, 2012
10/12/12
1:04
PM ET
It'll be the most hyped high school football game in the state this season, and deservedly so.

ConnecticutFriday night's contest between Xavier (Middletown) and Hand (Madison) features the top two teams in the Hartford Courant's state rankings. Each team is 4-0.

“I've been thinking about this game for a long time, No. 1 versus No. 2,” Xavier quarterback Tim Boyle told the Courant. “There will be a big crowd and a great atmosphere. What more can a player ask for?”

“Xavier is very, very good,” added Hand coach Steve Filippone. “They don't make foolish mistakes. Their talent and execution are at a very high level.”

Top-ranked Xavier, last year's Class LL champion, will carry a 30-game winning streak into Friday's contest (7 p.m.) at Palmer Field in Middletown. Xavier's last loss came against Staples in the 2009 Class LL semifinals.

The Falcons are averaging 44.3 points per contest and have outscored their four opponents 177-32.

Second-ranked Hand, last year's Class L champion, has won 17 games in a row. The Tigers are averaging 39.0 points per game, and have outscored their opponents 156-53 in their four victories.

Boyle, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound senior, has completed 46 of 79 passes for 726 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He has committed to play at Boston College.

Boyle is complemented by running back DeAngelo Berry, who ranks fourth in the state in rushing yardage (763 yards).

The Xavier offense will be facing a defense led by linebacker Matt Walsh and defensive end Peter Gerson. Walsh has committed to the University of Connecticut, and Gerson will continue his career at Yale.

It'll be the first time the programs have met since Hand posted a 31-16 victory in 2007. Hand leads the series 14-6.

The longest high school football winning streaks in state history:

Cheshire (49) 1992-96
Ansonia (36) 1975-78
Bloomfield (35) 1996-2000
Ansonia (35) 2005-08
New Canaan (34) 1967-70
Xavier-Middletown (34) 1970-1973
Fitch-Groton (34) 1999-2001
St. Joseph-Trumbull (30) 1981-84
Xavier (30) 2010-2012

Note: Stamford went 33-0-2 from 1911 to 1914; Derby went 33-0-1 from 1966 to 1970; and Southington went 32-0-1 from 1962 to 1966.

WOOSTOCK MAY GET RELIEF
The Woodstock Academy football program will likely move from the Eastern Connecticut Conference's Large Division to the Small Division for the next two-year cycle, which begins with the 2013-14 school year.

Woodstock's request was approved by the league's athletic directors Tuesday, but still must be approved by the league's principals next month.

Woodstock is 0-4 and has been outscored 174-21 this season. The Centaurs were 2-8 and were outscored 302-148 last year.

The ECC's athletic directors also voted on divisional alignment for the next two seasons. If Woodstock is allowed to move down, the league's three divisions will have a 4-6-5 format. No team from the Medium Division expressed an interest to replace Woodstock in the Large Division. The new alignment would look like this:

Large Division: East Lyme, Fitch, New London and Norwich Free Academy.

Medium Division: Bacon Academy, Killingly, Ledyard, Montville, Stonington and Waterford.

Small Division: Griswold, Plainfield, St. Bernard/Norwich Tech, Windham and Woodstock.

A PERFECT 10?
The seniors on the Bacon Academy boys' soccer team are playing for their third coach in as many years, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the team's results this season.

First-year coach Andrew Storton has guided Bacon Academy to a 9-0 start. The Bobcats will be seeking their 10th victory when they place Windham on Friday.

Bacon Academy has outscored its opponents 42-4 this season, and has recorded six shutouts.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been covering sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
2:55
PM ET
Recappping last weekend's CIAC state championship games in boys and girls basketball:

ConnecticutCLASS LL BOYS: Top-seeded St. Joseph used an 18-0 run in the second half to knock off second-seeded Hillhouse 62-54.

St. Joseph (27-1) received a game-high 26 points from James Jennings, and 18 from Timajh Parker. Parker made 14 of his 15 free throw attempts.

St. Joseph didn't make a field goal in the second quarter, and Hillhouse (24-2) led by 13 in the third. It was the 11th state title for St. Joseph coach Vito Montelli, who has won a state-record 880 games (all at St. Joseph). Montelli guided St. Joseph to victory over Fairfield Prep in last year's Class LL championship game.

CLASS LL GIRLS: A Jessica Lynch layup with 21 seconds to play gave ninth-seeded Newtown the lead for good in its 44-42 triumph over 10-seeded Mercy.

Mercy (21-6) overcame a 13-point deficit in the third quarter to take a 42-41 lead with 29 seconds to play, but Lynch's basket came on the ensuing possession. Riley Wurtz tossed in a team-high 18 points for Newtown (22-4).

Mercy has lost the Class LL championship game in each of the last three seasons.

CLASS L BOYS: Treyvon Moore scored a game-high 25 points to help second-seeded Career, Magnet defeat top-seeded Northwest Catholic 51-49.

The victory handed Career Magnet (27-2) the program's first state title.

Northwest Catholic (23-4) missed 17 of its 20 field goal attempts in the first half and trailed 29-13 entering the third. Kuran Iverson scored 20 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked four shots in the loss.

CLASS L GIRLS: A strong finish handed third-seeded Bacon Academy a 38-34 victory over top-seeded E.O. Smith.

Bacon (22-3) closed the game with a 12-0 run. E.O. Smith (25-2) failed to score in the final 5:49 and made one field goal in the fourth quarter.

Taylor McLaughlin led Bacon Academy with 13 points.

CLASS M BOYS: Senior Nolan Long, a 6-foot-9 center, scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as second-seeded Waterford collected the program's first state championship by beating fourth-seeded Watertown 71-57.

Senior guard Geary McLeon added 18 points, seven assists and five steals for the Lancers (25-2). It was the fourth loss for Watertown (24-4).

CLASS M GIRLS: Guard Fifi Walcott scored 16 points as top-seeded Weaver won its first state championship with a 55-47 triumph over second-seeded Tolland.

The Beavers (25-2) set a school record for victories en route to the title.

Kristin Schatzlein, Connecticut's Gatorade Player of the Year, scored a game-high 32 points in the loss. Tolland (24-4) committed 32 turnovers.

CLASS S BOYS: Vitor Melo collected 14 points and 13 rebounds to help top-seeded Immaculate defeat third-seeded Capital Prep 67-53.

Capital Prep (23-4) entered the game averaging 85.9 points per game, but was held to its lowest point total of the season. Immaculate (26-1) outrebounded Capital Prep, 49-30.

CLASS S GIRLS: Three players scored in double figures for top-seeded Coginchaug, which won its first state championship by beating second-seeded Capital Prep 58-48.

Lauren Esposito scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Coginchaug (25-2). Audrey Biesak scored 11 and Jessica Solomon added 10 for Coginchaug.

DeJane James tossed in 19 for Capital Prep (23-4).

HOCKEY: VIZZO PROPELS NOTRE DAME-WEST HAVEN

Billy Vizzo scored three goals as second-seeded Notre Dame-West Haven (20-3-1) defeated fourth-seeded Glastonbury (20-5-0) 5-0 in the Division I championship game.

It was the only time Glastonbury has been shut out this season.

In last weekend's other championship games, fifth-seeded Trumbull scored five third-period goals during a 5-3 triumph over seventh-seeded Branford in the Division II championship game; and Drew O'Leary made 18 saves to help top-seeded Newington/Berlin beat third-seeded Northwest Catholic 2-1 in the Division III championship game.

Sophomore Brendan Strobel scored twice for Trumbull (17-9-0). His second goal gave Trumbull a 4-3 lead with 1:35 to play.

Brandon Ralph and Brendon Richard scored in Newington/Berlin's victory.

Roger Brown is a freelance writer who has been reporting on high school sports in New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

July, 5, 2011
7/05/11
3:59
PM ET
At halftime of Saturday’s Governor’s Cup All-Star football game there were those who probably thought Connecticut’s eight-game winning streak against Rhode Island was in jeopardy. If so, those thoughts disappeared early in the second half.

ConnecticutConnecticut, which led by four points at halftime, scored three touchdowns in the first 7:18 of the third quarter and cruised to a 37-6 triumph over Rhode Island at Southington High School.

It was Connecticut’s 10th victory in the 13-year history of the event.

Things began to turn sour for Rhode Island when Montrell Dobbs (Ansonia) scored on a 77-yard run to help Connecticut increase its lead to 17-6.

Dobbs, who was held to two yards on five carries in the first half, finished the game with 96 yards on 10 carries. He was selected as Connecticut’s offensive MVP.

“At halftime we talked about taking care of business in our house, and that’s what we did in the second half,” Dobbs said.

Rhode Island fumbled the ball away on the next play from scrimmage. Two plays later Connecticut’s Max Delorenzo scored on a 15-yard run to help made it a 24-6 contest.

Jack DeBiase intercepted a pass on Rhode Island’s next possession, and Connecticut cashed in when Joe DellaVecchia tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brian Kelly.

Kelly also caught a 13-yard TD pass from Kyle Nolan. He had three receptions for 69 yards in the victory.

“We just had to fix some problems,” Kelly said. “Our coach [Masuk’s John Murphy] told us that if we fix our mistakes we’d win.”

Connecticut’s only TD in the first half came on a 59-yard TD catch by Temple-bound wide receiver Nainy Bah.

Matt Cassidy’s fourth point-after kick followed Kelly’s second TD reception and capped the scoring. Cassidy also made a 33-yard field goal in the first half.

The Connecticut defense set a Governor’s Cup record by holding Rhode Island to six points. It was also the first time a team didn’t score a touchdown in the contest. Rhode Island scored on two Chad Bacon field goals.

Defensive lineman Wille Maxen (Pomperaug) was named Connecticut’s defensive MVP. Maxen, who will play at Central Connecticut State next season, made three tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

Murphy said although his team had a slim lead at halftime, he had plenty of confidence entering the third quarter.

“I watched this defense for two weeks so I knew how good we were,” he said. “I knew they weren’t going to score a lot of points on that defense.”

(Read full post)

Tags:

Football, Baseball, Connecticut, New England Roundup, Track and Field, Berlin (Conn.), Max DeLorenzo, New Canaan, New London, Brian Kelly, Glastonbury, Bristol Central, Notre Dame-West Haven, New Britain, St. Joseph (Conn.), Farmington, Montrell Dobbs, Bacon Academy, West Haven, Joe Della Vecchia, East Haven, Lyman Memorial, Rocky Hill, Xavier (Conn.), Amity (Conn.), New Milford, Kyle Decker, East Catholic, Torrington, Brien McMahon, Tucker Panciera, Sal Romano, Southington (Conn.), Precious Holmes, East Hampton, Immaculate, Weston (Conn.), John Wlasuk, Chad Bacon, Jack DeBiase, Kyle Nolan, Matt Cassidy, Governor's Cup, Wille Maxen, Central Connecticut State, Tyler Barrett, Bryan Daniello, Connor David, Lou Iannoti, Allen Nunez, Greg Ostner, Devin Over, Brent Pallela, Kyle Richards, R.J. Roman, Mike Scott, Dom Severino, Eric Stone, T.J. Wyrebek, Austin Barnes, Manny Cruz, Santiago Edgard, Alex Farina, Gary Flowers, Matt Greene, Carson Helms, Cheney Tech, Chase Livingston, Will Matuszak, Garrett Perusse, Pat Rogers, Kyle Schilling, Jeff Stoddard, Brendan Telfer, Jon Testani, Christian Trantalis, Eric Yavarone, Charlie Ameer, Dan Bouchard, Connor Buckley, Stonington, Dom Gambino, Zack Graves, Vin Guglietti, Quinn Irwin, C.J. Monroe, Orlando Morales, Colin Sledzik, Haddam-Killingworth, Justin Thomas, Corey Wilcox, Jason Byers, East Granby, Dwayne Ellis, Sacred Heart, Ted Gravel, Matt Harrison, Alex Iannone, Ray Kreiger, Zack LaFemina, Mike Mancuso, Alex Miller, Mike Odenwaelder John Olszyk, Career Magnet, Reid Roberge, Steve Starr

New England Roundup: Connecticut

June, 21, 2011
6/21/11
2:20
PM ET
Losses don’t come much tougher than the one the Southington High School baseball team suffered against Newington in the Class LL championship game.

ConnecticutSouthington thought it had won the title when Matt Spruill scored on Sal Romano’s double in the eighth inning Monday, but the teams played on after home plate umpire Dave Bindas ruled that Spruill never touched home plate and Spruill was called out on an appeal play.

Newington went on to claim the championship by posting a 3-2 victory in 10 innings.

“I heard the crowd and it was their side cheering,” Southington coach Charlie Lembo told WFSB Channel 3 in Hartford. “Then I found out the umpire ruled that he missed home plate. I didn’t see it, but Dave’s a good umpire so I’ll have to go with that call.”

Pat Meucci reached on a single in the 10th and scored the game-winning run from second base on an infield throwing error.

That gave 17th-seeded Newington (17-8) the program’s first state championship.

Newington’s Cole Bryant pitched all 10 innings to earn the win. He threw 176 pitches, struck out 16 and held Southington to six hits.

Romano also pitched a complete game (146 pitches). All three Newington runs were unearned.

(Read full post)

Tags:

Football, Baseball, Connecticut, Lacrosse, New England Roundup, Softball, Ridgefield, St. Joseph, New Canaan, Tyler Matakevich, Sean Goldrich, Brian Kelly, Southington, Notre Dame, Notre Dame-West Haven, Farmington, Wilbur Cross, Montrell Dobbs, Mike Georgalas, Bacon Academy, New Fairfield, West Haven, Brookfield, Joe Della Vecchia, Trinity Catholic, Fairfield Prep, Graham Maybell, New Milford, Lyman Hall, North Haven, East Catholic, Sal Romano, Matt Spruill, Dave Bindas, Charlie Lembo, Pat Meucci, Cole Bryant, East Hampton, Jim Riccitelli, New Haven-Shelton, Zach Miller, Tucker Schumitz, James Ward Jr., Kevin Phillips, Steve Dejournette, Alec Pacelli, Tyshon Shields, Riley Lefebvre, Kunimel Lomotey, Chris Laporte, Andrew McCloskey, Shaun Reiss, Paul Perrotti, Andrew Bielefield, Conor Shea, Dashon Riley, Scott McNeil, Zach Salazar, Cody Kitson, Austen Ahern, Kyle Kalanta, Marquis Leigh, Matt Murray, Nick Donofrio, Oxford (Conn.), Robert Williams, Kosy Broderick, Jordan Sebastian, Ruben Berger, Anthony Vorio, North Branford, Rohan Ifili, Sacred Heart-Waterbury, Anthony Sanders, Tyvon Williams, Trevor Keyes, Robert Fairweather, Mike Marini, Jeff Wright, Evan Opdahl, Justin Waltzer, Immaculate, Pat Murray, Chris Coyne, Jason Mawicke, Ryan Phillips, Mike Rivas, Phil Terio, Willie Maxen, Kevin Maxen, Dion Koumoutseas, Zach Emilcer, Jacqui Tuck, Shabazz McIntosh, Alex Delaney, James Barrett, Steven Buczek, Matthew Becker, Max Nacewicz, Kevin Harrigan, Dominic Williams, Zaire Reiph, St. Luke's, Alvin Garcia, Giuseppe Parisi, Shea McGorty, Matt Datin, Nick Adzime, Eddie Hutchins, Weston (Conn.), Clement Abonyi, Brandon Davis, Mark Robinson, Nicolas Rodriguez, Bullard Havens, Sacred Heart (Conn.), Terryville, Torrey Martone, Case Matheis, J.P. Walsh, Eric Parnon, Michael Francia, Pat Holland, Sam Somers, Andrew Buckanavage, Matthew Shannon, Parker Burr, Joe Costigan, David Dickson, Ryan Mallon, Sean Wilkinson

New England Roundup: Connecticut

April, 6, 2011
4/06/11
2:55
PM ET
Although the school has not extended a verbal scholarship offer, it appears that the University of Connecticut may be a likely landing spot for Masuk quarterback Casey Cochran.

ConnecticutCochran, a 6-foot, 210-pound junior, took his second unofficial visit to Connecticut on Saturday, when he attended spring practice. He also attended a junior day in February.

"I wanted to get a look at the new offense," Cochran said. "It was up-tempo, and a lot of pro-style, which fits me.

"I don't think I'll get an offer until they see me in person at one of their summer camps. It would be an honor to play for my home state."

Cochran, the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year last season, has an offer from Boston College and said he will attend BC practice this weekend. He made an unofficial visit to Vanderbilt in March, and is scheduled to visit Rutgers, Harvard, Virginia, Duke, Penn State and Notre Dame this month.

Cochran is on pace to graduate in January. He led Masuk to a 13-0 record and the Class L state championship last season, when he completed 200 of 295 pass attempts for 3,345 yards and 40 touchdowns. He led New London to the Class SS championship during his freshman season, and then transferred to Masuk.

Cochran said Vanderbilt, Connecticut, Rutgers and Boston College are the schools he hears from most frequently.

"Hopefully I'll get more offers in the spring,” Cochran said. “I'm in no rush, but I'd like to have it done before my senior season to get the distractions out of the way. If it takes longer, it takes longer."

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New England Roundup: Connecticut

February, 23, 2011
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A year when the Danbury High School wrestling team fails to win the Class LL title is nearly as rare as a winter without snow.

ConnecticutDanbury entered this year’s tournament having won the last 14 Class LL state championships, but the program’s stranglehold on the title ended last weekend. Xavier won three matches in the championship round and claimed this year’s LL title by earning 200 points during the state meet at Trumbull High School. Danbury finished second with 181 points.

It was Xavier’s first Class LL championship.

“It was quite enjoyable,” Xavier coach Mike Cunningham told the Danbury News-Times. “When we got the trophy, it kind of hit me. It’s something you’ve been striving for your whole career – to beat Danbury – and then it happened.”

Cunningham’s son, Tyler, won the 145-pound title; Will Chowanek earned the 103-pound title; and Elliot Antler prevailed in the 160-pound weight class.

All but two players on Danbury’s roster are eligible to return next season.

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New England Roundup: Connecticut

October, 27, 2010
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Last Friday night was like most others for Greg Volpe. Settling into bed, the East Haven football coach lay there for some time, his eyes locked on the ceiling and his mind racing from the game that evening.

“But I was thinking about a win,” he said, “instead of the reasons why we lost.”

ConnecticutWeighed down by months of missed tackles, headaches and losses, Volpe sounded like a man not relieved, but satisfied this week. That all the work was paying off. That the plan was starting to bare fruit. That, for his seniors, they could return to school Monday awaiting praise for the first time as high school football players.

With a 42-14 victory over Platt Tech last weekend, the Easties ended the state’s longest active losing streak and fourth-longest all-time, which on the books will number 36 games but featured far more setbacks than a scoreboard can show.

Not since Thanksgiving Day 2006, when it beat rival Branford, had East Haven (1-5) enjoyed a victory. In the time since, it’s endured three winless seasons, plummeting numbers and nearly two coaching changes. Volpe — also the coach of the semi-pro New England Knights and an American Football Hall of Fame member — entered the fray mid-skid, assuming command before last season when a new regime was expected to breathe life into the slumping program.

Instead, East Haven hit what Volpe called the lowest point before his tenure even began. A week before the season-opener against Jonathan Law — and after three promising preseason games — four to five players were disciplined for having alcohol, Volpe said. Unclear of what their punishment would be, Volpe wasn’t told of their suspensions until roughly two hours before kick-off.

“So I had to walk into the locker room and tell the team that,” Volpe said. “There was a lot of shock, a lot of tears. Of course, they were three or four of the better players, and we just stumbled out of the gate and never recovered.”

Until Friday, when, on Law’s campus coincidently, East Haven put together its first turnover-free game of the season and followed its defense, led by Niko Fiorillo, who returned two interceptions for touchdowns.

All said, the result was expected — by most at least. East Haven enjoyed mismatches in talent and size against Platt Tech (0-6), a member of the Constitution State Conference, whose best teams are regularly blown out in non-league and postseason games.

Only three teams had lost more consecutive games than East Haven, headed by Bassick, which lost 62 straight from 2001-07. Bullard-Havens (1996-2001) and East Catholic (1992-97) each lost 53 straight.

For most of the last decade, East Haven was largely a .500 team or worse, failing to win a game in 2004 and last seriously vying for a playoff berth in 2000. But its lopsided losses were among some of the worst in the state in recent seasons, and the significant drop in numbers (17 to begin this season) was startling.

“The hardest times was seeing (teammates) get down on themselves and stop trying,” Joe Costanzo said. “I don’t mind losing, but it’s the fact when they don’t try as hard as they can. That’s what killed me, that’s what killed a lot of the team.

“It was a bond that the team didn’t have.”

Naturally, interest within the school dropped as quickly as the misplayed hand-offs. The lack of appeal could also be rooted to the offseason, when Volpe waited out a bizarre episode in which he was told by the Board of Education that he wasn’t returning when in fact no official decision had been made.

“That was a nightmare,” said Volpe, who was publicly supported by his team throughout.

“They had no reason at all behind (firing him),” Costanzo said. “And we fought for him, just like Coach Volpe would fight for us.”

Volpe returned, and even after opening the season with too few varsity players to field separate offensive and defensive units, East Haven forged on. The players went into what Volpe called “24-hour recruit mode,” raking the hallways for available athletes. It entered Friday’s game with 45 varsity players on its sideline and 24 in its freshman program.

Those first-year players may be the best example of East Haven’s progress. Turning the freshman team into an “instructional program,” Volpe runs it through skill and fundamental work throughout the week, leaving only the day before a game for working on plays.

The change has worked. The freshmen are 3-2 this season.

“The program has had roadblocks not just on the field but off of it, too,” Volpe said. “And when it’s like that, it got to the point where the kids just expected bad things to happen. That’s where this year has been different.”

It may continue to be. East Haven’s remaining schedule includes Sheehan (1-5), Law (0-5) and Branford (1-5). Hand-Madison (5-1), which has been ranked this season, visits on Nov. 5.

The Tigers will likely see an East Haven team that has never been more confident.

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Connecticut football wrap-up

October, 4, 2010
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Xavier was sloppy and at times, even sloppier. But arguably the state’s most fearsome defense combined with Mike Mastroianni’s 240 yards rushing was enough to keep the state’s top-ranked team and ESPNBoston.com’s No. 3 team in New England unbeaten with a 9-6 win over Cheshire on Friday.

Mastroianni had two touchdown runs called back on holding penalties before scoring from six yards out in the fourth quarter. The teams were locked in a scoreless tie at the half, helped by Xavier’s five turnovers in a matchup of two likely Class LL playoff teams.

Xavier (3-0) has allowed 21 points through three games.

In other games:
  • Aaron Berardino turned one of Windsor’s two interceptions into a 32-yard return for a touchdown, and Windsor (3-0) stayed perfect with a 12-8 victory over CCC foe Southington. Southington starting quarterback Connor Butkiewicz (appendicitis) didn’t play, according to The Hartford Courant.
  • Staples first big test proved to be anything but by the fourth quarter. Leading just 17-14 entering the final frame, Staples forced Ridgefield into three turnovers to blow open a 34-14 victory. The Wreckers, the No. 3 team in the state in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll, essentially kept the Tigers from the playoffs last year by handing them their only loss.
  • New London’s defense made sure Wilton didn’t take down another giant. A week after upsetting defending Class SS champ St. Joseph, Wilton held a fourth-quarter lead before the Whalers hit a last-minute field goal attempt, scored two plays into a shootout-style overtime and stopped the Warriors on fourth down to seal a 16-9 victory. New London (2-1), unbeaten a year ago during the regular season, held Wilton to two first downs in the first half and 225 yards of total offense. “It all just came from the heart,” said New London linebacker Stephan Dance, who also scored the winning touchdown on a seven-yard run.The loss was part of Wilton’s traditionally brutal schedule between FCIAC and non-conference play.

    “We’ve made five trips up (Interstate) 95 in a month,” Wilton coach Bruce Cunningham said. “Our preseason game was up 95. We had to go to Trumbull twice because we got up there and as we were going to kick the ball off, it rained out. We had to go back the next day. We went to St. Joe’s last week. And we’re here.

    “We haven’t been home yet. I think we’ll be looking forward to putting the blue jerseys on.”
  • In the state’s biggest upset, Fitch rallied by Montville, No. 9 in the state media poll, in a 24-14 victory. Fitch quarterback Derrick Baldoz scored twice within a span of 4:02 in the third quarter to give the Falcons the lead. Just 2-9 two years ago in coach Mike Emery’s first season back in Groton, Fitch finished 7-3 last season and at 3-0 this year, is one of three unbeaten teams left in the Eastern Connecticut Conference.
  • And in perhaps the state’s wildest game, Bacon Academy scored 29 fourth-quarter points to stun Windham, 48-47, in Colchester on Saturday. ECC scoring leader Brennden Cullen threw for 301 yards, rushed for 93 more and had a hand in all seven of the Bobcats’ (2-1) touchdowns, rushing for five and throwing two to Alex Couture (15 receptions, 167 yards).
  • Tirrell Young-Williams had two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, to help Notre Dame-West Haven, No. 7 in ESPNBoston.com’s New England poll, to a 31-10 victory over Shelton.
  • Meanwhile, Masuk-Monroe, ESPNBoston.com’s No. 6 team, trounced New Fairfield, 47-0, and for once, quarterback Casey Cochran wasn’t the only star. Colin Markus rushed for three touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass for Cochran, who finished with three of them.

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