Boston High School: Waterford

New England Roundup: Connecticut

September, 12, 2012
9/12/12
3:27
PM ET
The high school football season starts later in Connecticut than it does in the five other New England states, but the wait is almost over.

ConnecticutThings kick off this week, and here are 10 teams to keep an eye on as the 2012 season unfolds (2011 record in parenthesis):

XAVIER (13-0 ): Quarterback Pat D'Amato is among the 19 seniors who graduated from last year's team, which won its second consecutive Class LL championship The Falcons, who own a 26-game winning streak, will build around Boston College-bound quarterback Tim Boyle and are considered by many to be the best team in the state. Opener: at Notre Dame-West Haven on Friday.

STAPLES (11-1): There's plenty of star power here. The defending FCIAC champion returns quarterback Jack Massie (1,617 yards passing and 14 TDs last season), running back Joey Zelkowitz (1,019 yards rushing) and linebacker Kevin Kearney, who averaged a team-high 13.1 tackles per game last season. Opener: St. Joseph-Trumbull on Friday.

HAND (13-0): The Tigers, last year's Class L champion, lost some key pieces, but should be stingy on defense with linebacker Matt Walsh and defensive end Peter Gerson. Walsh will play fullback at Connecticut, and Gerson is headed to Yale. Opener: Amity-Woodbridge on Friday.

ANSONIA (14-0): The Chargers, who won the Class M championship last season, are competing in Class S this year. Junior Arkeel Newsome set the state's single-season rushing record (3,763 yards) in 2011, when he scored 58 touchdowns. Opener: at Torrington on Friday.

WINDSOR (11-1): May be the team to beat in the Central Connecticut Conference. Quarterback Quinn Fleeting passed for 2,802 yards and 30 TDs last season, and added 522 yards and four TDs on the ground. He'll have a good target in Ryheime Moore, who had 911 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 2011. Opener: at Wethersfield on Friday.

GREENWICH (8-2): The Cardinals, who lost to Staples in the FCIAC final last year, have 37 seniors on their roster and will be attempting to make the Class LL playoffs for the first time since 2007. Liam O'Neil is among the top quarterbacks in the FCIAC. Opener: at Ridgefield on Friday.

HILLHOUSE (7-3): The Academics are loaded at the skill positions. Junior running back Harold Cooper averaged 13.6 yards per carry last season, when he gained 1,835 yards on 134 attempts. He's complemented by quarterback Je'Vaughn Moore, who is expected to continue his career at the college level. Opener: at Foran-Milford Thursday.

LEDYARD (11-2): Size on the defensive line is a concern, but the Colonels appear to be fine everywhere else. Thirteen starters return, including quarterback John Rainey. Opener: Waterford on Thursday.

HOLY CROSS (12-1): Won the Class S title last year, and figures to battle Ansonia for the top spot in the NVL this season. Adrian Brown, who ran for 1,013 yards in 2011, and Isaiah Wright, last year's top receiver, are back. Opener: Watertown on Friday.

BERLIN (10-2): The Redcoats lost to Ansonia in the Class M semifinals last season, and the majority of that team is back. The offensive line, which features guard Chris Meucci (6-0, 240 pounds) and tackle Mitch Blanchette (6-3, 285), looks like the team's strength. Opener: at East Catholic-Manchester on Saturday.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.
This morning, ESPNHS and Gatorade announced the Gatorade Players of the Year for baseball across each of the 50 states and District of Columbia. Milford's Shannon Smith took the honors in Massachusetts; below are the winners for the five other New England states.

CONNECTICUT: KELLI CONNORS, WATERFORD
The 5-foot-9 senior right-handed pitcher led the Lancers to a 24-1 record entering the Class M state semifinals, scheduled for June 5. A two-time returning Class M All-State selection as named by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association, Connors owned a 20-1 record in the circle with a 0.87 ERA and 151 strikeouts in 137 innings-pitched entering the state final four. Also the returning All-Area Player of the Year, she batted .379 with one home run and 19 RBI through 25 games. A member of Waterford’s 2009 and 2010 Class M state championship teams, she entered the state tournament with a 67-4 career pitching record.

Also a volleyball standout, Connors has maintained a 3.04 GPA in the classroom. In addition to donating her time as a youth softball instructor, she has volunteered as a physical education teacher’s assistant at The Friendship School and on behalf of The Colby Sousa Scholarship Fund.

“She’s a hard-working kid,” said Kate Peruzzotti, head coach at rival Fitch High. “What I admire most about her is how well she’s done over the past four years—just the growth has been amazing, how she’s dominated in the circle over her entire high school career. It says a lot about her. She’s been remarkable.”

Connors has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at Florida Southern College this fall.

MAINE: JULIA GEAUMONT, THORNTON ACADEMY
The 5-foot-6 senior right-handed pitcher led the Trojans to a 14-2 record entering the Class A state quarterfinals, scheduled for June 7. Geaumont posted a 14-2 record in the circle along with a 0.84 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 96 innings-pitched. A two-time First Team All-State selection, she is batting .679 with 10 home runs and a 1.509 slugging percentage through 16 games.

Geaumont has maintained a 4.09 GPA in the classroom. The vice president of her school’s chapter of the National Honor Society, she has volunteered locally as a student tutor, a youth softball coach and on behalf of fundraiser walks to benefit cancer research.

“Student athletes like Julia Geaumont are the reason we go into the coaching profession,” said Thornton Academy head coach John Provost. “After just two years in our program, she was voted team captain because of her ability to lead, her dedication to the program and her outstanding contributions during game play and at practice.”

Geaumont has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on an athletic scholarship at Bowdoin College this fall.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: TAYLOR CARBONE, ALVIRNE
The 5-foot-10 senior right-handed pitcher and first baseman led the Broncos (16-4) to the Division I semifinals, scheduled for June 5. Carbone posted a 13-2 record in the circle along with a 1.02 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 96 innings-pitched through 20 games. Also the 2010-11 Gatorade New Hampshire Softball Player of the Year, Carbone owned a .581 batting average with three home runs, 28 RBI and a .951 slugging percentage entering the state final four.

Carbone has maintained a 3.35 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation and has donated her time collecting baseball equipment for needy youth players in Nicaragua.

“Taylor Carbone is one of the most complete players that we have faced,” said Jimmy Clavette, head coach at Timberlane High. “She is a consistent hitter, a solid pitcher and plays multiple positions very well.”

Carbone has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst this fall.

RHODE ISLAND: LINDSAY MAYER, LINCOLN
The 5-foot-4 junior pitcher and shortstop led the Lions to a 19-0 record and a berth in the Division I winner’s bracket semifinals, scheduled for June 4. At the time of her selection, Mayer owned a 16-0 record and a 0.67 ERA with 163 strikeouts in 104 innings-pitched. At the plate, the 2011 First Team All-State honoree hit .467 with three home runs, 23 runs scored, 24 RBI, a .657 on-base percentage and a .911 slugging percentage through 19 games.

Mayer has maintained a 3.72 GPA in the classroom. An accomplished piano player, she has volunteered locally as a youth softball coach and mentor.

“Lindsay Mayer is the best all-around player in the state,” said Chris Luppe, head coach of rival Westerly High. “She is as close to a dominant pitcher as there is in the state. She is also a very good defensive shortstop as well as an excellent hitter.”

Mayer has made a verbal commitment to attend the University of Virginia on an athletic scholarship beginning in the fall of 2013.

VERMONT: ALEXIS PERRY, ESSEX
The 5-foot-8 senior right-handed pitcher led the Hornets to a 17-0 record entering the Division I semifinals against Missisquoi, scheduled for June 6. Perry owned a 14-0 record and a 0.43 ERA in the circle, and a .511 batting average with 21 RBI at the plate through 17 games. A two-time First Team All-Metro selection, she recorded 173 strikeouts against just 15 walks in 98 innings pitched.

Perry has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of youth softball programs.

“Perry has just been lights out,” said Leslie Dunn, head coach at North Country High. “She’s using different pitches, hitting her spots more often and her pitches are moving more. I feel like she’s even more dominant than she was in the past.”

Perry has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at Merrimack College this fall.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
2:55
PM ET
Recappping last weekend's CIAC state championship games in boys and girls basketball:

ConnecticutCLASS LL BOYS: Top-seeded St. Joseph used an 18-0 run in the second half to knock off second-seeded Hillhouse 62-54.

St. Joseph (27-1) received a game-high 26 points from James Jennings, and 18 from Timajh Parker. Parker made 14 of his 15 free throw attempts.

St. Joseph didn't make a field goal in the second quarter, and Hillhouse (24-2) led by 13 in the third. It was the 11th state title for St. Joseph coach Vito Montelli, who has won a state-record 880 games (all at St. Joseph). Montelli guided St. Joseph to victory over Fairfield Prep in last year's Class LL championship game.

CLASS LL GIRLS: A Jessica Lynch layup with 21 seconds to play gave ninth-seeded Newtown the lead for good in its 44-42 triumph over 10-seeded Mercy.

Mercy (21-6) overcame a 13-point deficit in the third quarter to take a 42-41 lead with 29 seconds to play, but Lynch's basket came on the ensuing possession. Riley Wurtz tossed in a team-high 18 points for Newtown (22-4).

Mercy has lost the Class LL championship game in each of the last three seasons.

CLASS L BOYS: Treyvon Moore scored a game-high 25 points to help second-seeded Career, Magnet defeat top-seeded Northwest Catholic 51-49.

The victory handed Career Magnet (27-2) the program's first state title.

Northwest Catholic (23-4) missed 17 of its 20 field goal attempts in the first half and trailed 29-13 entering the third. Kuran Iverson scored 20 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked four shots in the loss.

CLASS L GIRLS: A strong finish handed third-seeded Bacon Academy a 38-34 victory over top-seeded E.O. Smith.

Bacon (22-3) closed the game with a 12-0 run. E.O. Smith (25-2) failed to score in the final 5:49 and made one field goal in the fourth quarter.

Taylor McLaughlin led Bacon Academy with 13 points.

CLASS M BOYS: Senior Nolan Long, a 6-foot-9 center, scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as second-seeded Waterford collected the program's first state championship by beating fourth-seeded Watertown 71-57.

Senior guard Geary McLeon added 18 points, seven assists and five steals for the Lancers (25-2). It was the fourth loss for Watertown (24-4).

CLASS M GIRLS: Guard Fifi Walcott scored 16 points as top-seeded Weaver won its first state championship with a 55-47 triumph over second-seeded Tolland.

The Beavers (25-2) set a school record for victories en route to the title.

Kristin Schatzlein, Connecticut's Gatorade Player of the Year, scored a game-high 32 points in the loss. Tolland (24-4) committed 32 turnovers.

CLASS S BOYS: Vitor Melo collected 14 points and 13 rebounds to help top-seeded Immaculate defeat third-seeded Capital Prep 67-53.

Capital Prep (23-4) entered the game averaging 85.9 points per game, but was held to its lowest point total of the season. Immaculate (26-1) outrebounded Capital Prep, 49-30.

CLASS S GIRLS: Three players scored in double figures for top-seeded Coginchaug, which won its first state championship by beating second-seeded Capital Prep 58-48.

Lauren Esposito scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Coginchaug (25-2). Audrey Biesak scored 11 and Jessica Solomon added 10 for Coginchaug.

DeJane James tossed in 19 for Capital Prep (23-4).

HOCKEY: VIZZO PROPELS NOTRE DAME-WEST HAVEN

Billy Vizzo scored three goals as second-seeded Notre Dame-West Haven (20-3-1) defeated fourth-seeded Glastonbury (20-5-0) 5-0 in the Division I championship game.

It was the only time Glastonbury has been shut out this season.

In last weekend's other championship games, fifth-seeded Trumbull scored five third-period goals during a 5-3 triumph over seventh-seeded Branford in the Division II championship game; and Drew O'Leary made 18 saves to help top-seeded Newington/Berlin beat third-seeded Northwest Catholic 2-1 in the Division III championship game.

Sophomore Brendan Strobel scored twice for Trumbull (17-9-0). His second goal gave Trumbull a 4-3 lead with 1:35 to play.

Brandon Ralph and Brendon Richard scored in Newington/Berlin's victory.

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

New England Roundup: Connecticut

November, 28, 2011
11/28/11
2:21
PM ET
Until this year, the Glastonbury High School girls' soccer program had always lacked a finishing kick.

ConnecticutGlastonbury had reached the Class LL championship game six times since 1983, and came away second best each time. That all changed when top-seeded Glastonbury defeated 18th-seeded Trumbull 2-1 Friday to win this year's Class LL title.

“I was doing this for all the [Glastonbury] girls who have been here before us,” Glastonbury senior midfielder Liz Otto said. “I'm just so excited we finally got it done.”

Otto gave Glastonbury a 1-0 lead when she headed Kayla Orozco's corner kick into the Trumbull goal with 19:45 to play. The Tomahawks doubled their lead when junior Kristen Dragotta scored with 2:41 left.

Trumbull made things interesting by scoring with 2:23 to play, but the Tomahawks hung on to finish the season with a 17-0-2 record.

In last weekend's other girls soccer championship games No. 2 Avon defeated No. 8 Farmington 2-1 to win the Class L title; No. 1 Northwest Catholic beat No. 2 Granby Memorial 4-0 in the Class M championship game; and No. 5 Immaculate defeated No. 7 Litchfield 3-0 to win the Class S title.

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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.”

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New England Roundup: Connecticut

April, 6, 2011
4/06/11
2:55
PM ET
Although the school has not extended a verbal scholarship offer, it appears that the University of Connecticut may be a likely landing spot for Masuk quarterback Casey Cochran.

ConnecticutCochran, a 6-foot, 210-pound junior, took his second unofficial visit to Connecticut on Saturday, when he attended spring practice. He also attended a junior day in February.

"I wanted to get a look at the new offense," Cochran said. "It was up-tempo, and a lot of pro-style, which fits me.

"I don't think I'll get an offer until they see me in person at one of their summer camps. It would be an honor to play for my home state."

Cochran, the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year last season, has an offer from Boston College and said he will attend BC practice this weekend. He made an unofficial visit to Vanderbilt in March, and is scheduled to visit Rutgers, Harvard, Virginia, Duke, Penn State and Notre Dame this month.

Cochran is on pace to graduate in January. He led Masuk to a 13-0 record and the Class L state championship last season, when he completed 200 of 295 pass attempts for 3,345 yards and 40 touchdowns. He led New London to the Class SS championship during his freshman season, and then transferred to Masuk.

Cochran said Vanderbilt, Connecticut, Rutgers and Boston College are the schools he hears from most frequently.

"Hopefully I'll get more offers in the spring,” Cochran said. “I'm in no rush, but I'd like to have it done before my senior season to get the distractions out of the way. If it takes longer, it takes longer."

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