Boston High School: Tucker Ecke

New England Roundup: Connecticut

June, 2, 2012
6/02/12
1:19
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Bryan Daniello said he felt less pressure this spring than he did a year ago – and it showed on the field.

ConnecticutDaniello, a pitcher/shortstop for Norwalk's Brien McMahon High School, was selected as the state's Gatorade Player of Year earlier this week. Daniello, a senior, has signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Connecticut.

“I was more relaxed this season,” Daniello said. “I had already committed to UConn so I could just go out and play my game and have fun. There wasn't as much pressure as there was a year ago.”

Daniello raised his record to 8-1 Tuesday, when he picked up the win in Brien McMahon's 11-1 triumph over New Milford in the Class LL tournament's first round. He also hit an inside-the-park home run (his seventh home run of the season) and a double in the victory.

He entered the tournament's second round with a .407 batting average and a 1.22 ERA.

“Daniello is fast, he plays a great shortstop and he has tremendous power,” Fairfield Warde coach Mark Caron said. “I think he's the best player we've seen all year.”

GRIDIRON MOVES
Mark Ecke resigned as Cheshire High School's football coach on May 21 after he was suspended by the Cheshire Board of Education on May 9 following an incident at his son's junior varsity lacrosse game.

Ecke, a spectator at a contest between Cheshire and Glastonbury, was ejected after confronting an official after his son, Tucker, was hit by a Glastonbury player.

Ecke, a sergeant in the Cheshire Police Department, had been Cheshire's coach since 1995. The Rams won the Class L title in 1995, and earned the Class LL title in 1996 and 1997.

“I am passionate about our program and our players, and I am most passionate about my family,” Ecke said.

Offensive coordinator Don Drust has been named the school's interim head coach. Drust has been with the Cheshire program since 2007.

"Prince Tech-Hartford football coach Robert McNamara will leave his current position to teach at Abbott Tech-Danbury after the current school year. It's uncertain if McNamara will be part of the Abbott Tech coaching staff.

Prince Tech had a 24-28 record during McNamara's six-year tenure.

"East Catholic-Manchester has hired Steven Calande to replace Bill Baccaro as its football coach. Calande coached at Old Town (Maine) last season. Baccaro resigned as East Catholic's head coach in April.

IN THE CARDS
The Greenwich golf team punctuated an 18-0 regular season by winning the FCIAC championship at Fairfield Wheeler Golf Club on Thursday.

The Cardinals won the event by posting a 290 team score. Staples finished second (311) and Fairfield Warde was third (316).

Junior Danny Guise, the FCIAC Player of the Year, led the way by shooting a 2-under-par 69. J.P. Rafferty (72), Paul Pastore (73) and Chris Pavelic (76) also scored for the Cardinals, who finished as the FCIAC runner-up in each of the last two seasons.

LAX POWERS
Darien and New Canaan were the two Connecticut teams ranked in the latest ESPNHS FAB 50 boys lacrosse rankings.

Darien dropped 11 spots to No. 22 following a loss to Ridgefield. New Canaan entered the poll at No. 48 after it defeated Ridgefield in the FCIAC tournament's championship game.

Darien and New Canaan could meet in the Class M state tournament.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader, and publishes the New Hampshire Football Report (www.nhfootballreport.com). He has reported on high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

May, 16, 2012
5/16/12
1:21
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Has Mark Ecke's tenure as Cheshire High School's varsity football coach come to an end?

ConnecticutRight now that's a question Ecke can't answer.

Ecke was suspended following an incident during a junior varsity lacrosse game between Cheshire and Glastonbury on May 3. According to published reports, Ecke berated officials after his son Tucker, a freshman who plays for Cheshire, was hit by a Glastonbury player. Ecke apparently felt the hit was illegal and was upset that no penalty was called.

“Whatever happen with my future as a coach at Cheshire High, it doesn't matter,” Ecke told the Connecticut Post. “For me, my family is first priority. This was about my son and I'm very protective of him. That's what this was about.”

Ecke was reportedly escorted from the field by three police officers. According to the incident report, police were summoned to deal with “unruly behavior.”

Ecke, who is employed as a Cheshire police officer, is awaiting a personnel hearing with the Cheshire Board of Education. He was reportedly asked to resign, but refused.

“It was among one of the worst hits I've ever seen in lacrosse,” Ecke told the Post. “I've been involved in lacrosse for 15 years. I've been a player. I've been a coach. I've taken officiating courses. The official didn't call a blatant illegal hit.

“That's what got me. That's what brought this all about. And as a father, watching this happen, I got upset. I probably yelled more than I should have and I regret that it went down the way it did.”

Ecke has guided Cheshire to four state titles in his 17 years as the program's head coach. He coached under current Temple coach Steve Addazio on the Cheshire staff, and was promoted to head coach after the 1994 season.

Cheshire had a 49-game winning streak, which ended in 1996.

Ecke's overall record is 118-64-3.

SOFTBALL STREAK ENDS
When the St. Joseph softball team defeated Westhill 10-6 on May 7 it ended the Vikings' 54-game winning streak in FCIAC games.

Westhill grabbed a two-run lead by scoring three runs in the sixth, but the Cadets responded with a six-run seventh. Taryn Figmic collected the game's big hit, a three-run double with two outs in the seventh and the score tied, 6-6. Figmic had two hits and five RBIs in the victory.

It was Westhill's first regular-season FCIAC loss since a 3-2 setback against Darien in 2009. The program's only other conference loss since then came against Fairfield Ludlowe in the opening round of last year's playoffs.

RALLY KILLER
The Simsbury baseball team was in position to hand Northwest Catholic-West Hartford its first loss of the season. Trailing 7-5, Simsbury loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh, but Northwest Catholic-West Hartford erased the threat by turning a game-ending triple play.

Second baseman Ryan Coursey fielded a soft liner for the first out. The runners were moving on the pitch, so Coursey stepped on second for the second out and then threw to to first for the game's final out.

KINGS OF THE HILL
The first victory of Noah Hahn's varsity pitching career was a memorable one. Hahn, a sophomore, pitched a no-hitter to lead the Avon baseball team to a 12-0 victory over Windsor on April 30.

Hahn, who plays shortstop when he's not pitching, struck out 12 and walked three.

Three other no-hitters have been thrown since that contest. Bristol Central's Matt Blandino didn't allow a hit during a 7-0 triumph over Maloney on May 7, Hamden Hall's T.J. Linta tossed a no-hitter in a 4-0 victory over Greens Farms Academy on May 8 and John Amoroso tossed a no-hitter to help St. Joseph defeat McMahon on May 12.

Blandino struck out 16 and walked one. Linta, a sophomore, struck out six. Amoroso struck out seven and walked two, but wasn't in position to collect the win until Mark Hirschbeck singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh.

LAX POWERS
Henry West and Peter Lindley each scored four goals and Case Matheis collected five assists as the Darien boys lacrosse team defeated Ridgefield 14-11 on May 8 in a matchup between teams that entered the contest undefeated in the FCIAC.

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

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