Boston High School: Branford

New England Roundup: Connecticut

July, 20, 2011
7/20/11
1:46
PM ET
When Paul Pasqualoni was the football coach at Syracuse he did what he could to lure Connecticut’s best talent out of state. How times have changed.

ConnecticutPasqualoni, who is in his first season as UConn’s head coach, is now doing everything he can to keep Connecticut’s top players at home. He got off to a good start when Ansonia High School running back Montrell Dobbs committed to UConn on July 7.

"I'm a Connecticut guy, and UConn is like the Rutgers of New Jersey -- it's our big-time school," Dobbs said. "I'm not sure if they had any interest in me when [former coach] Randy Edsall was there. Edsall had a reputation of not getting in-state kids [Connecticut signed eight in-state players in its last three recruiting classes], but I think with Pasqualoni there things are gonna change."

New Britain's Tebucky Jones and Bloomfield's Dwight Freeney are two of the Connecticut residents who played at Syracuse under Pasqualoni.

Connecticut was the only FBS school that made a scholarship offer to Dobbs, who said he also received mild interest from Pittsburgh, Louisville, Syracuse and Cincinnati.

He's the first in-state recruit Connecticut landed since Pasqualoni replaced Edsall as UConn's head coach.

Dobbs ran for more than 300 yards in seven of Ansonia's 13 games last season. He finished the season with 3,445 yards rushing -- the second-highest single-season total in state history -- on 406 carries.

He'll attend Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y., next season and plans to enroll at UConn in January. LeSean McCoy (Pittsburgh/Philadelphia Eagles) and Shonn Greene (Iowa/New York Jets) are among the running backs who played at Milford Academy.

He is expected to sign a national letter of intent in February.

"A year of prep school is going to help me," Dobbs said. "Milford is known for its running backs and that kind of got my attention.

"I think me going to Connecticut is going to open up the door for more Connecticut kids to go there."

IMMACULATE HIRES FOOTBALL COACH
Bryan Pinabell, who has spent the last three years as an assistant coach at St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta, was recently hired to become the head football coach at Immaculate.

Pinabell, an East Boston native, replaces Gary Bellagamba, who took over the program last year after spending several years as an assistant coach. Bellagamba resigned earlier this month after Immaculate posted an 0-10 record last fall.

Immaculate hasn’t had a winning season since 2003, when Steve Kaplanis led the Mustangs to the Class S semifinals. Kaplanis died at age 50 in 2005, and Immaculate has an 8-53 record under three head coaches since then.

Rebuilding programs is nothing new to Pinabell, who spent two seasons as the head coach at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School in Fayetteville, Ga. Our Lady of Mercy had won five games in six seasons when Pinabell took over, and he guided the Bobcats to seven victories – including six in 2007 – during his two seasons as the program’s head coach.

BRANFORD’S KACZYNSKI RETIRES
Branford girls basketball coach Ted Kaczynski announced his retirement on July 11.

Kaczynski, 62, spent the last 20 with the Branford girls program. He also spent one season coaching the Branford boys basketball team.

He coached boys and girls basketball at East Haven before moving on to Branford.

Kaczynski finished his career with a 355-290 record. He guided his teams to the state tournament in 26 of his 29 seasons as a head coach.

GUILFORD HIRES NEW AD
Jake Jarvis has been named to replace Chip Dorwin as the new athletic director at Guilford.

Dorwin retired at the end of the 2011 school year after spending 25 years as the school’s AD.

Jarvis, a 37-year-old Branford resident, spent the last two years as an assistant to New Haven athletic director Joe Canzanella. Jarvis has coached baseball boys basketball and girls basketball at Hyde.

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.

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

May, 4, 2011
5/04/11
6:12
PM ET
It took Bob DeMayo 53 years to record 799 victories as North Haven High School’s varsity baseball coach. The wait for victory No. 800 may have felt just as long.

ConnecticutAfter DeMayo collected his 799th victory when North Haven beat Wilbur Cross 14-0, DeMayo had to endure one-run losses to Branford (4-3) and Foran (4-3). Foran pulled out its victory by scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Then North Haven made DeMayo wait until the 12th inning of Monday’s game against Xavier before it pulled out a 6-5 win and handed DeMayo victory No. 800.

“I know it’s a milestone and I know I’m close to the end of my career probably, so it’s certainly nice,” DeMayo told the Post-Chronicle. “To see a lot of my former players this week and all the letters I’ve gotten, it’s just been really nice. It does mean something. I’m just surprised it meant so much to other people. That’s the nicest thing.”

North Haven prevailed when Kevin Erbe walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th. Mike Acampora pitched five innings to collect his first varsity victory in the milestone win.

The game was played on North Haven’s home field, which was named in DeMayo’s honor in 2009.

DeMayo began coaching at North Haven in 1959. His teams have won four state championships.

According to the National High School Sports Record Book, Gene Schultz of Kee High School in Lansing, Iowa, has collected more wins than any other high school baseball coach. Schultz began the 2011 season with 1,636 victories.

TARPEY SELECTS WILLIAM & MARY
Fairfield Prep’s Terry Tarpey, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward, gave a verbal commitment to play basketball at William & Mary on Tuesday.

Tarpey, a junior, averaged 17 points per game last season, when Fairfield Prep finished with a 21-7 record following a loss to St. Joseph in the Class LL championship game.

William & Mary competes in the Colonial Athletic Association.

STAPLES GETS SECOND CHANCE
The Westhill softball team defeated Staples 5-3 on April 18, but Staples protested the game and had the protest upheld by the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference.

The game will be replayed from the point of contention May 15.

The controversy occurred with no outs in the first inning and Westhill’s Allie Souza on third base. Staples pitcher Sam Saccomano dropped the ball during her windup and was called for making an illegal pitch.

Souza was allowed to score on the play, which caused Staples coach Mark Giordano to protest the game. He claimed the pitch should have been ruled a ball, and the runner should not have been allowed to advance.

The FCIAC ruled that Giordano’s interpretation of the rule was correct.

PASQUALONI WILL SPEAK AT FOOTBALL DINNER
Connecticut’s northern chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame will hold its scholar-athlete award dinner May 15 (1 p.m.) at the Aqua Turf in Southington.

University of Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni will be the event’s featured speaker, and Kent’s Todd Marble will be honored as the Coach of the Year. The following players will also be recognized: Jason Barnes (Kent), Marcus Biggins (Farmington), Kyle Decker (Simsbury), Joe Dellaquila (Berlin), Nicholas DeNardo (Rocky Hill), Seth DeValve (Manchester), Henry Downes (East Catholic), Jonathan Esposito (Conard), Reid Gustafson (Conard), Josh Helmkamp (Simsbury), Thomas Higgins (Rockville), Steven Hild (Kingswood-Oxford), Alex Kaczmarek (South Windsor), Zachary Lombard (Manchester), Colin Pavano (Avon), Greg Pendergast (South Windsor), Ryan Peloquin (St. Paul), Cody Pudzinski (Torrington), Nick Quattro (Canton), Franco Serrao (Wethersfield) and David Shainess (Glastonbury).

CROSS COUNTRY COACH ON THE MOVE
Xavier cross country coach Dave Kraszewski will leave his current coaching position at the end of the 2011 school year to coach the men’s and women’s cross country teams at Salve Regina, a Division III school in Newport, R.I.

Kraszewski left Portland and began coaching at Xavier in 2009. Xavier won the Class LL and State Open championships that year. Xavier finished fourth in the State Open meet last season.

The Portland girls won 52 consecutive dual meets and three consecutive Class S championships during Kraszewski’s tenure there.

ST. JOSEPH STAYS PERFECT
The St. Joseph baseball team trailed by three runs entering the bottom of the seventh inning, but rallied for a 6-5 victory Tuesday.

Tyler Matakevich scored the game-winning run on an error with one out in the inning. The Cadets raised their record to 12-0 overall and 10-0 in the FCIAC.

DARIEN MAINTAINS POLL POSITION
The Darien boys' lacrosse team, which improved its record to 9-2 by beating Fairfield-Ludlowe 17-4 Tuesday, is ranked No. 14 in the latest LaxPower national rankings.

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.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

October, 27, 2010
10/27/10
8:56
AM ET
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.

(Read full post)

Weekend roundup: Connecticut

September, 26, 2010
9/26/10
6:44
PM ET
Don’t feel bad for Notre Dame-West Haven. Branford certainly doesn’t.

Notre Dame bounced back in a big way following last week’s loss to Xavier-Middletown, slamming the Hornets, 52-20, Friday. The Green Knights led, 52-7, in the fourth quarter thanks to touchdowns by Tirell Young-Williams, one through the air and another on a punt return.

Notre Dame -- the No. 3 team in the ESPNBoston.com New England top 10 poll and preseason No. 1 team in the New Haven Register’s state top 10 poll -- plummeted to No. 7 in both rankings following its 22-15, season-opening loss to Xavier. It responded against Branford, which is now 0-2 after having hopes of being one of the SCC’s top teams this season.

In other games:

-- Max Slade threw for a touchdown, rushed for a touchdown and returned a punt for a score to lead Cheshire past Hillhouse, 29-6, on Friday. The Rams will be part of the game to watch Friday when they host Xavier (No. 3 in the ESPNBoston.com New England poll), which scored all its points in the first half in cruising by Foran, 37-0, Friday.

-- No. 6 Masuk-Monroe avenged its loss to Pomperaug in last year’s SWC championship game by thumping the Panthers, 42-0. Junior quarterback Casey Cochran, who has a scholarship offer from Boston College, threw for 292 yards and five touchdowns, and connected with seven different receivers.

-- Quarterback Alton Smith and receiver Aaron Berardino hooked up for three touchdowns in Windsor’s 33-0 rout of New Britain, continuing the Warriors’ emergence as one of the state’s top teams. Windsor largely flew under the radar entering this year despite sneaking into the last spot of The (New London) Day’s first state coaches’ poll. Smith and Berardino, both juniors, are gaining their share of attention now.

-- Southington made former UConn star D.J. Hernandez 2-0 as a high school football coach after rallying past CCC power Glastonbury, 33-14, on Friday. Joe Pesce had three rushing touchdowns.

-- A week after completing just one pass, Norwich Free Academy quarterback Erik Washburn threw for two touchdowns and 205 yards on all of five completions in the Wildcats’ 34-20 victory over Ledyard, easily the upset of the week in Eastern Connecticut. Washburn also rushed for two scores for NFA, one of the state’s largest schools but also one that hasn’t been to the state playoffs since 2002.

-- As for the biggest upset around the state, Wilton surprised defending Class SS champ St. Joseph, 27-14. St. Joseph again played without running back Tyler Matakevich (out indefinitely, foot), but was done in mostly by an array of mistakes and turnovers, two of which led directly to Wilton scores.

-- Jonathan Esposito became Conard High’s all-time leading rusher with 133 yards in a 36-0 victory over Farmington on Saturday. The senior now has 3,024 yards, according to the Hartford Courant.

SPONSORED HEADLINES