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.”
Ten players to watch during the 2013 CIAC baseball and softball seasons:
•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.
•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.