Boston High School: Hakeem Martin

New England Roundup: Connecticut

April, 6, 2012
4/06/12
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Case Matheis looked like himself Wednesday afternoon.

Connecticut“He was back playing in January,” Darien coach Jeff Brameier told the Stamford Advocate. “He could have done stuff in the fall, but he played it safe. He's good to go.”

ESPNHS has Matheis, a senior attacker, ranked as the No. 1 player in the country. He has committed to play college lacrosse at Duke.

Matheis entered the year with 120 goals and 94 assists during his first three varsity seasons.

Darien was without Matheis when it dropped an 11-3 decision to Wilton in last year's Class M tournament. The loss ended Darien's 16-game playoff winning streak. The Blue Wave had won the last six state titles.

Although Wednesday was technically the first game Matheis has played in since the injury, he also participated in a scrimmage against John Jay (Lewisboro, N.Y.) during the preseason.

“I think I got stronger and more explosive [after rehabilitating the injury],” Matheis said. “It's my senior season and I think it's gonna be a pretty special year.”

BACCARO STEPS DOWN
Bill Baccaro resigned from his position as football coach at East Catholic High School in Manchester earlier this week.

Baccaro had a 94-66-1 record during his 15-year coaching career, which included stints as the head coach at East Catholic, Cheney Tech-Manchester and for the East Catholic-Cheney Tech co-op team. He guided the co-op team to a 63-47 record from 1996 to 2006. When that team was dissolved, his Cheney Tech teams went 18-3 over a two-year span before he moved to East Catholic in 2009.

"East Catholic is very thankful and grateful to Coach Baccaro for his leadership and guidance of the football team during his tenure here at East Catholic,” East Catholic athletic director Tom Malin said. “The entire East Catholic community wishes the best to Coach Baccaro as he has had a tremendous positive effect on student-athletes. East Catholic will begin a search for the next varsity football coach immediately."

QUARTERBACK OPTIONS
The Connecticut team that will face Rhode Island in this summer's Governor's Cup All-Star football game was announced Thursday, and the team's deepest position may be quarterback.

Xavier-Middletown's Pat D'Amato, Hand-Madison's Henry Foye and Cromwell's Anthony Morales are the QBs who were selected. D'Amato and Foye each led their team to a state championship last season. Morales took Cromwell to the Class S championship game.

Morales led the state in passing yardage in 2011, when he averaged 283.7 yards per game and threw 43 touchdown passes. Foye ranked sixth in passing yardage with an average of 193.2 yards per game (29 TD passes). D'Amato is the best runner of the three. He threw for 15 TDs and gained 628 yards on the ground.

The Connecticut All-Stars will face Rhode Island on June 30 (4:30 p.m.) at Rentschler Field.

Connecticut extended its winning streak to nine games by beating Rhode Island 37-6 last year and has a 10-3 edge in the series.

The complete Connecticut roster:

Mike Antonio, Cromwell, WR; Aaron Berardino, Windsor, WR; Brandon Birdsell, Bethel, LB; Shaun Bowman, Cheshire, OL; Jawad Chisholm, Bunnell, S; Nicholas Colasate, Glastonbury, OL; Ben Compton, Windsor, LB; Matt Corcoran, Stamford, LB; Pat D'Amato, Xavier, QB; Brett Director, Cromwell, WR; Ian Dugger, Hall, WR; Matt Duignan, Masuk, LB; Jevan Elmore, New London, CB; Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn, Valley Regional/Old Lyme, CB; Timothy Farina, East Lyme, OL; Jose Forestier, Bulkeley, DL; Evan Foster, Bunnell, OL; Chandler Foster, Stamford, S; Henry Foye, Hand, QB; Vance Giarratana, Hand, S; Leaon Gordon, Brookfield, RB; Wesley Hopkins, Northwest Catholic, DL; Jamar Johnson, Bloomfield, DL; Emir Kuljancic, Wethersfield, DL; Sebastian Little, Cheshire, WR; Ryan Lumpkin, Windsor, WR; Brandon Lytton, Torrington, RB; Sean Marinan Jr., Xavier, DL; Brandon Martin, Notre Dame-West Haven, CB; Hakeem Martin, Ansonia, OL; Kyle McKinnon, New London, RB; Anthony Morales, Cromwell, QB; Genois Nelson, Maloney, DL; Devon O'Reilly, Glastonbury, CB; Daniel Palmer, Hartford Public, LB; Matt Paola, Pomperaug, K; AJ Pascuzzo, Sheehan, WR; Jason Piontkowski, Masuk, WR; Khamil Rangolam, Hillhouse, OL; Ludovic Richardson, Notre Dame-West Haven, DL; Maleek Riley, Northwest Catholic, OL; Robert Rose, Shelton, LB; Ardian Sahinovic, New Fairfield, K; Jovan Santos-Knox, Xavier, LB; Dallas Smith, Ledyard, LB; Isaiah Thomasson, Maloney, LB; Tommy Undercuffler, Berlin, S; Dylan Vano, Ansonia, OL; Giovanni Viven, New Britain, LB; Zach Voytek, Trumbull, OL; Jonathan Ware, RHAM, LB; Billy Wayrauch, Cheshire, LB; Austin Wezenski, Xavier, DL; Brandon Williams, Bassick, DL; Tyler Wood, Ansonia, LB.

BASEBALL IS BACK
The CIAC championship baseball games will return to Palmer Field in Middletown this year after being held at Muzzy Field in Bristol last spring.

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

New England Roundup: Connecticut

October, 13, 2010
10/13/10
12:30
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To those outside the Ansonia football program, the six new faces crouching on its offensive line meant lowered expectations.

For the man running behind them, it meant old times.

Wouldn’t you know it, it’s turned out the same way for the Chargers.

ConnecticutIn a season that could have marked a downturn for one of the state’s perennial state title contenders, Ansonia is rolling toward another league title and playoff berth, thanks in part to its young offensive line and bulked up senior running back Montrell Dobbs.

Some probably didn’t expect them to. The six juniors who make up the Chargers’ line — Matt Hall, Arek Kaszuba, Hakeem Martin, Dylan Vano, Tyler Williams and tight end Jake LaRovera — are all first-time starters. In fact, the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Dobbs is the only returning senior starter the Chargers have.

No matter. At 4-0, Ansonia has already trounced defending Naugatuck Valley League champion, Holy Cross, 31-0, and is coming off a 46-6 victory over Wilby in which a banged-up Dobbs didn’t even play.

He still has 787 yards and eight touchdowns this season, carrying the ball a career-high 43 times for 387 yards and five touchdowns three weeks ago against Crosby.

“I’ve played with most of these guys [on the line] since I played Pop Warner,” Dobbs said. “They worked so hard in the offseason, and it’s paying off.”

Yet, that’s the culture around Ansonia, the king of sustained success in Connecticut high school football. The Chargers own 16 state titles (the last coming in 2007), have played for a state championship a record 22 times and have missed the playoffs just once (2005) in the last 13 seasons.

Expectations don’t change. Only the faces do. And the one that didn’t may be the biggest reason why.

(Read full post)

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