Boston High School: Fitch-Groton

New England Roundup: Connecticut

April, 24, 2013
4/24/13
3:22
PM ET
Last Wednesday was an emotional day for those associated with the Foran High School baseball program, and it had little to do with Foran's 5-0 loss to rival Law.

<img src="http://a.espncdn.com/espncitysites/boston/prod/assets/hs_connect_110.jpg" alt="Connecticut" class="floatright" />Earlier that day Foran named its baseball field after Ken Walker, who served as Foran's baseball coach from 1986 to 2003, and then from 2011 to 2012. He passed away last June at age 60.

Walker won 279 games during his tenure as Foran's baseball coach – all of his teams qualified for the state tournament – but he also guided the Foran football team to the 1994 Class M title.

Walker graduated from Milford High School in 1969 and then played baseball at Central Connecticut State. He was a three-sport athlete in high school (he also played football and basketball) and coached at all three Milford high schools: Milford, Foran and Law.

“I saw, probably, every public school athlete that came through Milford in the last 48 years,” former Milford baseball coach Dick Jeynes told the Connecticut Post. “In my opinion, he's arguably the best all-around. That's my opinion because he was outstanding at all three – football, basketball and baseball.”

Walker's son Garrett replaced is father as Foran's baseball coach.

“I've never thought about it as anybody else's field except his,” Garrett said. “In my eyes, it's finally getting the name I think it deserves.”

DIAMOND GEMS
Ten players to watch during the 2013 CIAC baseball and softball seasons:

Baseball
"Anthony Alicki, P/1B (Foran): Senior has committed to play at Franklin Pierce, one of the top Division II programs in the country.

"Charles Ameer, P/SS (Weston): Has been clocked in the low 90s. Will continue his baseball career at St. John's.

"Matt Blandino, P (Bristol Central): A possible selected in June's MLB draft, Blandino has committed to play at Central Connecticut State.

"Michael Concato, P (Amity): Concato, a senior, posted an 11-2 record with 108 strikeouts and a 0.61 ERA last season. He will play at Brown.

"Manny Cruz, P/INF (Wolcott): Hit .503 with 28 RBIs, and was 6-0 on the mound last season. Has committed to Southern New Hampshire University.

"Kyle Dunster, P/OF (Greenwich): Dunster, a junior, has committed to play at Boston College.

"Griffen Garabedian, OF (Notre Dame-West Haven): Batted .403 and stole 12 bases as a junior last season. Has committed to play at the University of Connecticut.

"Aaron Hill, INF. (Fitch): Hill has also committed to play at the University of Connecticut. He hit .395, scored 21 runs, collected 19 RBIs and stole 11 bases last season.

"Will Rios, P (St. Bernard): Only a sophomore, Rios has already committed to the University of Maryland.

"Ryan Testani, P (Shelton): Helped Shelton win the Class LL state championship last season, when his posted a 9-3 record and a 1.31 ERA. Testani has committed to Seton Hall.

Softball
"Fallon Bevino, OF (Foran): A three-year starter, Bevino hit .450 with 22 RBIs last season as a sophomore.

"Sydney Ferrante, SS (Southington): Batted .453 with 46 RBIs as a junior last season.

"Hannah Ford, C/3B (New Fairfield): Ford, a junior, hit .525 with 25 runs scored and 21 RBIs last season.

"Katelyn Haff, 2B (Waterford): Senior led her team with a .477 average last season, when she collected six triples, four home runs and 33 RBIs.

"Jess Harkness, P (Foran): Posted a 23-2 record with 270 strikeouts in 186 innings last season.

"Kaitlyn Lajoie, P (Rockville): Had a 22-2 record and a 0.76 ERA to help the Rams win the Class L title as a junior.

"Erika Leonard, SS (Rocky Hill): Hit .494 with 40 hits and 19 RBIs for last year's Class M champion.

"Katie Petroski, INF (Seymour): Had a .505 average with 55 RBIs and 45 runs scored last season as a sophomore.

"Jenn Vazquez, C (St. Joseph): Has committed to play at Manhattan College. Hit .468 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs last season.

"Kayla Votto, 2B (Coginchaug): Senior led her team in batting average (.500), triples (12) and RBIs (36) last season.

GREENWICH GIRLS START STRONG
The Greenwich girls' lacrosse program has won the last two Class L championships, and, judging by the early results, this year's team appears capable of extending that streak.

Greenwich is off to a 5-0 start and has outscored its opponents 84-36. Greenwich's latest victory was a 16-8 triumph over Stamford on Friday. The Cardinals were without leading scorer Emily Johnson (hamstring) for that contest, but senior Emma Christie stepped up and scored a career-high five goals against Stamford.

The Greenwich program has won nine games in a row, dating back to last season.

BOYS OF SUMMER
Players selected in the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame Classic Military Bowl draft for the game that will be played June 29 at Rentschler Field:

Connecticut Marines Team: Quinn Fleeting, Windsor, QB; Cole Ormsby, Windsor, DE; Kevin Dean, Xavier, OL; Jeremy Clarke, Woodland, OL; Sean Merrill, Sheehan, OL; Mike LaSala, Wilton, OL; Ryheime Moore, Windsor, WR; Raeshaun Finney, Ansonia, WR; Teno Simpson, Hillhouse, LB; Rahmi Roundtree, Woodland, WR; Denzel Moscova, St. Joseph, WR; Devonte Dillion, Windsor, RB; Isiah Swain, Middletown, LB; Joe Pacheco, New Fairfield, RB; Andre Gee West Haven, S; Lamont Waites, New London, LB; Brandon Marquis, Farmington, DL; Nick Spitz, Southington, LB; Donery Evans, Hyde, DL; Eddy Williams, West Haven, LB; David Campbell, Bloomfield, RB/CB; Akeino Chamberlain, Middletown, LB; Caleb Camacho, New London, WR; Dennis Flanagan, Amity, OL; Sixto Acosta, Newington, LB; Jesse Adelberg, Greenwich, K; Mike Alexander, Bulkeley, S; Ian Auger, Coginchaug, LB; William Barrett, West Haven, OL; Nathan Bonafonte, Southington; S; Andrew Campbell, Middletown, LB; Brennan Diaz, Oxford, QB; Nygel Gladney, Crosby, LB; Cam Gravina, Hand, OL; Zak Hedberg, Newington, OL; Spencer Hill, Windham, FB; Rakim Jordan, Prince Tech, LB; Jevon Lawrence, Manchester, DL; Brandon Marquis, Manchester, DL; Terrance N'Dabian, Bunnell, CB; Emmett Odegard, Greenwich, LS; Lance Ormsby, Windsor, LB; Christian Outlaw, Middletown, OL; Rashad Ramsey, Windsor, WR; Roy Ricahards, Manchester, RB; Miguel Santos, Xavier, DL; Mike Semacik, Fitch, OL; O'Brien Sinclair, Middletown, WR; Carlton Steer, East Hartford, TE; Shane Steinman, Rocky Hill, RB; David Tanner, East Hartford, RB; Jh'mel Trammell, Ansonia, LB; Chris Traore, Windsor, LB; Jalon White, North Haven, QB; David Wilcox, Waterford, DL; Chuck Wooding, Glastonbury, RB.

Head coach: Rob Fleeting, Windsor. Assistant coaches: John Ferrazzi, Sheehan; Roy Roberts, Newington; Sal Morello, Middletown; Duane Maranda, New London; Harry Bellucci, Hartford Public; Scott Jenkins, Windsor; and Derrick Lewis, Bassick.

Connecticut National Guard Team: Tim Boyle, Xavier; QB; Nick Gaynor, Northwest Catholic, DB/RB; Zack Creeron, Xavier, OL/DL; Je'Vaughn Moore , Hillhouse, QB/DB;; Max Schumann, Xavier, OL/DL; Justin Potts, Platt, RB/DBback; Max Tylki, Xavier, LB; Terrell Huff, Windsor, DB; Chris Luster, Xavier, WR/DB; Jonah Dorsey, Xavier, OL/DL; Kyle Wilson, Ledyard, OL; Terrell Fairweather, Hillhouse, LB; Kadialy Toure, West Haven, LB; Marc Wildman, Housatonic, DL; Brandon Robertson , Montville, TE; Daequane Clark, New Britain, WR; Ed Croft, Shelton, K; Sam Miranda, New London, WR; Alex Borkowski, Branford, LB; Mick Pernell, Naugatuck, WR; Derek Villard, Cromwell, RB; Dan Herbert, Newtown, WR; Jelani Roman, Notre Dame-Fairfield, LB; Jake Pelletier, St. Joseph, WR; John Shannon, Bullard Havens, RB; Mike Nichol, Wolcott, QB; Saffwan Davis, Fitch, RB; Austin Kingsbury, Windsor Locks, FB; Antonine Byrd, Capital Prep/Classical Magnet, WR; Dillon McMahon, Derby, WR; Hector Rodriguez, Berlin, OL; Ryan Murtha, Montville, OL; Justin Pelazza, Branford, OL; Robert Roehrich, St. Joseph, OL; Mitch Blanchette, Berlin, OL; Ben Morales, Ledyard, OL; Bobby Bozym, Ledyard, OL; Abdullah Dukalay, Hartford Public, DB; Kevin Main, Berlin, DB; Justin Develis, Newtown, DB; Mustaphe Noibi, Fitch, DB; Christian Clark, Windham, DG; Cal Karpi, Ledyard, DB; Mike Pulaski, St. Joseph, LB; Chris Golger, Fairfield Prep, LB; Devin Stewart, Northwest Catholic, LB; Alex Kyprianou, New Milford, LB; Patrick Kirkwood, Fitch, LB; Miles Pompeii-Grove, Holy Cross, LB; Al Harris, Windsor, DL; Andrew Klarman, Branford, DL; Eric Collodel, Woodland, DL; Bryan Monaco, Masuk, DL; Lester Smith, Fitch, DL; Colton Schilling, Guilford, DL.

Head coach: Jim Buonocore, Ledyard. Assistant coaches: Sean Marinan, Xavier; Jemal Davis, Norwich Free Academy; Tim Shea, Woodland; Duncan Dellavolpe, Warde; Tanner Grove, Montville; John Marinelli, New Canaan; Andy Guyon, Xavier; Chris Silvestri, New Canaan; and Chris Eckert, Cromwell.

FITCH PICKS PANUCCI
Jodan Panucci, 26, was named Fitch's varsity football coach last Tuesday.

Panucci has spent the last five years as an assistant coach with the program. He was an offensive lineman at Fitch and a team captain in his senior season.

Panucci replaces Mike Emery, who stepped down last year after 17 seasons as Fitch's head coach.

FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE SELECTS DAILEY
John Dailey has been named the varsity boys basketball coach at Fairfield Ludlowe. He replaces Brian Silvestro, who retired following the 2012-13 season.

Dailey has been with the Fairfield Ludlowe program as a freshman coach, a junior varsity coach and a varsity assistant coach for the last six seasons. He coached the varsity team for four games last season while Silvestro dealt with a medical issue.

Roger Brown is a staff writer with 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

September, 29, 2010
9/29/10
4:24
PM ET
John Acquavita called it The Scholarship Run.

Connecticut“It was absolutely …” the Wilbur Cross football coach started before trailing off about James Ward’s 33-yard misdirection-, broken tackle-filled touchdown run against Shelton on Sept. 17. “The film won’t do it justice.”

Perhaps it’s already growing in lore. Ward may not be too far behind.

In the midst of Ward’s 245-all-purpose-yard performance in Cross’s 32-21 season-opening victory was one of the best plays Acquavita’s ever seen.

Taking a handoff from quarterback Dontay Long, Ward stiff-armed a defender behind the line of scrimmage. Over the course of the next few moments, the running back broke three tackles, Acquavita said (one newspaper account put it at five total) and made “six or seven different directional cuts,” with said newspaper totaling three cutbacks. He finished it with a 20-yard sprint to the end zone that left everyone, Acquavita included, wondering if Ward just did what he or she thought he did.

“I don’t even know how I did it, to be honest with you,” Ward said. “If you see it, it looks impossible.”

It’s been that kind of start to the season for Ward.

Through his first two games, he has done everything but wash the Governors’ (2-0) uniforms. He’s scored nine touchdowns: Four on the ground, three through the air and two on kick returns. Among his accomplishments is an 85-yard scoring run and a 71-yard touchdown return. In a 49-27 victory over Law last weekend, he had more receiving yards (150) than rushing (140). If it wasn’t enough against Shelton, he also made an interception. This week, he’ll lift a car over his head.

With apologies to Ansonia running back Montrell Dobbs (594 rushing yards, eight touchdowns), no player in Connecticut may be playing better than Ward, who at 5-foot-8, 175 pounds is out to prove he belongs with a Division I football team next fall.

“Last year, my mindset was different,” Ward said. “I would basically take what I could get and go down. But as far as this year, I have a lot to prove to myself and coaches, so I’m trying to be the best I can and help my team get to the state championship and play on Rentschler Field (the site of this year’s title games).”

Acquavita doesn’t want to say he’s a genius for seeing this coming — “because I’m not,” he said — but following last season, coach and player formed a plan to put Ward in this position.

Among the steps was keeping on track academically. Ward is taking Advanced Placement and honors classes for the second straight year and has already qualified under NCAA standards, Acquavita said.

The next included getting noticed. Ward attended more than a dozen camps and combines this past year, enough to draw interest, he said, from Villanova, Akron and Temple, among many others.

He also joined an offseason passing league with Team Connecticut, which played teams around the state and region, and featured other state stars such as Masuk quarterback Casey Cochran, Shelton wide receiver Mike Georgalas and Southington wide out Tyler Dube.

“The guy who was running it called me and said, ‘Do you have anyone?’” Acquavita said. “I said, ‘I have a kid who’s a running back. I know it’s a passing league but I’m trying to turn him into an inside receiver. He’s a talented kid.’ ‘We’ll take him.’

“I didn’t really know if the kid could catch the ball. Two or three games into it, the coach who was running it called and said, ‘Not only can he catch, he’s one of the best receivers on the team.’ I went, ‘Huh?’”

Ward also needed to add size. He now squats 455 pounds, benches 235 and, Acquavita believes, has the capability to pack on weight beyond the 10 pounds he’s added since January.

Ward’s goals remain clear: He wants to lead Cross to a state title, which would be first in more than two decades, and reach 2,000 all-purpose yards. A few more Scholarship Runs should help. Acquavita called it the second best play he’s ever seen, trailing only a kick-off return in the 2000 state championship one of his players executed while he coached Hyde Leadership.

“It was just mind-boggling,” Acquavita said of Ward’s run. “And to hear other people on our sideline, administrators and things, talking about it Monday in school, it was good because I needed to have it said to me that it actually happened like that. It was just unbelievable.”

GROVE BACK IN SADDLE
While Montville stamped its place as a state title contender with a 21-19 season-opening win over New London, its coach, Tanner Grove, was alone, devoid of any type of coverage of the game outside of a few texts or phone calls with updates.

If the previous four weeks weren’t difficult enough, this was almost unbearable.

“I spent some time by myself,” Grove said, declining to say where or how he spent those two hours. “Maybe when I retire I’ll tell everyone where I was.”

Grove then flashed a smile, a rarity over the last month he spent exiled from coaches he considers his best friends and the players that are the closest things he has to kids of his own.

Charged Aug. 13 with driving under the influence, Grove spent the days following his arrest in limbo while Montville superintendent Pam Aubin decided his fate. Ultimately suspended through the Indians’ first game, or essentially the first four weeks of the season, Grove spent “the most difficult time of (his) life” reflecting, changing and appreciating what he has. He was back at practice Sept. 20 and was victorious in his return to the sidelines, a 48-14 rout of Killingly on Sept. 24 that vaulted the Indians to No. 9 in the New Haven Register state top 10 poll.

Getting to that point took what probably felt like years.

“For so many years, football has made all the decisions in my private life, in my personal life, so I took the time to really reflect on what is I do every day and the decisions I make off the field,” said Grove, who added that several of the charges stemming from his arrest have been dropped, though he was scheduled to attend an alcohol education course.

“That’s really what it was most days. Toward the end of the suspension, I got a little itchy to get back in the mix.”

Grove, who teaches freshman social studies at Montville, did everything to avoid football during his suspension. He’d see players in the hallways and exchange pleasantries. But, every day, he’d teach his classes and head home, leaving no temptation of lingering and perhaps violating his school-imposed suspension.

When the team returned from its game against New London that Saturday morning, Grove was there, awaiting them at Montville High. On his first day back to work, he finished practice by sprinting against one of his captains, Tyler Girard-Floyd, while the senior finished a drill.

Finally, Grove said, he felt “normal.”

“It’s like everything coming together,” said senior Skyler McNair, who was part of Montville teams that lost to New London four times in the previous three years. “We finally beat New London, we get our head coach back. I think our whole season got a jump start with a win and coach coming back at the same time.”

Now Montville (2-0), a Class SS finalist in 2009, can turn its focus back to pursuing the elusive state title. It plays at Fitch-Groton (2-0) on Friday, expected to be its biggest test before facing Ledyard on Nov. 5.

“My expectations haven’t changed since the day I was hired,” said Grove, who's in his fifth season. “What I want to do here is be a state championship or state playoff perennial power. When people talk about being in the state playoffs every year, I want Montville in that sentence.”

REST FOR THE BETTER?
It’s not as if Chad Johnson has never held members of the Norwich Free Academy boys' cross country team out of races for the purpose of resting them.

“This year,” he said, “I’m just taking it a little more to the extreme.”

In an uncommon but not altogether novel move, Johnson chose to hold his top five runners out of the first two weeks of competition. It left the Wildcats thin at the Windham Invitational and cost them a divisional win against rival East Lyme. But, Johnson hopes, it will keep the likes of Dan Cardin, Vos Hunter and NFA’s other pacesetters fresh for when they run for a state title.

The catch: In the process, it may cost the defending Eastern Connecticut Conference champs a chance to defend that title.

“Last year, we petered out at the end, but our primary goal was to win ECCs,” said Johnson, whose team later finished 14th in Class LL. “I knew I had a team that they were going to be lucky even if they made it to the State Open, and they didn’t make it. And now we got everybody back, and it’s not that we don’t wanna win ECCs but it’s not our primary goal.

“Our primary goal is to finish it the top six in the State Open and make that trip to New Englands. We haven’t been here since the time I started coaching, and we want to get back.”

Johnson has created a buzz in some circles with his decision. The Day of New London ran a column discussing his move, and East Lyme head coach Sam Harfenist told the Norwich Bulletin the move indicated a lack of respect for the Vikings in their dual meet.

“Conversations were had,” he said of his team.

While a risk in some sense, Johnson seems confident it will pay off. His full team ran for the first time Saturday at the Ocean State Invitational, where the Wildcats’ finished 10th as a team in the championship race and fourth among Connecticut schools. Among those was Xavier-Middletown, ranked No. 1 in the state and Amity, ranked No. 4.

“It’s no new big thing,” Johnson said. “Danbury is probably going to be the No. 1 team in the state when the coaches poll comes out (it was No. 2), and they lost on (Sept. 14), too, a one-point loss to Fairfield-Warde. Why? Because they didn’t run their top six.”

HIGH-FIVES:
1. Football Game to Watch: Xavier-Middletown at Cheshire, Friday, 7 p.m.

Need to know: Xavier, the consensus No. 1 team in the state, boasts a defense that’s been scary good. In its 37-0 whipping of Foran last weekend, it held the Lions to 13 yards of total offense. Meanwhile, the punishing hits it left on Notre Dame-West Haven the week prior may still be ringing out in southern Connecticut.

“We take a lot of pride in being a very physical football team,” coach Sean Marinan said Wednesday. “We’ve got pretty good speed on the defensive side of the football … but it’s more about being in the right place. If you do that, you can contain the other team.”

Cheshire, No. 5 in all three major state polls, is the defending Class LL champion and is led by athletic quarterback Max Slade, who’s also a dangerous punt returner.

2. Football Game to Watch No. 2: Windsor at Southington, Friday, 7 p.m.
Need to know: Windsor is hoping to cement itself as the team to beat in the CCC, evidenced by its No. 9 ranking in The Day state coaches poll. Southington, under new coach D.J. Hernandez, is 2-0 as well and would love to boast the same claim.

Both teams love to throw the ball, Windsor behind Alton Smith and Southington behind Connor Butkiewicz.

3. Football Game to Watch No. 3: Staples-Wesport at Ridgefield, Friday, 7 p.m.
Need to know: Meanwhile in the FCIAC, Staples gets it first test of the season against Ridgefield, another team that hasn’t been tested in a dominant 2-0 start. Staples has won this regular-season meeting in four of the last five years, twice giving Ridgefield its only loss of the year (2009, ’05).

4. Old news for New Canaan
Need to know: A year after posting 18 shutouts and outscoring its postseason opponents, 19-1, en route to a state title, the New Canaan girls soccer team has outscored CIAC teams, 14-0, in compiling a 4-0 record entering Wednesday’s game against Fairfield-Warde. The Rams are ranked No. 1 in the Hartford Courant state coaches poll.

5. The high road
Need to know: The E.O. Smith boys soccer team played just one of its first five games at home this season, but it hardly seems bothered. The Panthers are 5-0 and went from being unranked to No. 3 in the state coaches poll this past week. The reward: They play their next four at home in Storrs.

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