Boston High School: Wethersfield

New England Roundup: Connecticut

January, 11, 2013
1/11/13
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When the game was over, Notre Dame High School boys' basketball coach Gary Palladino had earned another victory – and it was a memorable one.

ConnecticutLast Friday's 66-60 triumph over Berlin was Palladino's 400th win as Notre Dame's head coach.

Berlin erased a 16-point halftime deficit and tied the game midway through the fourth quarter, but Notre Dame made 12 of its 14 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter. The victory improved Palladino's record at Notre Dame to 400-294.

“This isn’t really about me,” Palladino said. “You don’t get to 400 wins at one school without great support from our administration, tremendous assistant coaches, and talented players who work hard and sacrifice for the betterment of our team and program. I have been blessed here at Notre Dame and share this honor with all those that came through the program.”

Earlier this year Palladino announced that this would be his final season as the Green Knights head coach.

Palladino began his career at Notre Dame in 1982. He has guided the Green Knights to 21 winning seasons, and 24 of his teams have qualified for the CIAC state tournament

Palladino has 524 career wins during his high school coaching career, which includes stops at East Hartford High School (7-13) and St. Paul's High School (55-18). He was also 62-69 at the head coach at the University of Hartford.

STAR GAZING
The inaugural Hall of Fame Classic, a high school football all-star game featuring players from Connecticut, will be played June 29, at Rentschler Field (4:30 p.m.).

The game replaces the Governor's Cup – an all-star game between Connecticut and Rhode Island – and the all-star game between Fairfield and New Haven counties. Connecticut won 11 of the 14 meetings with Rhode Island in the Governor's Cup.

The coaches and players for each team will be announced Saturday at the Walter Camp Breakfast of Champions in East Haven.

ONE-TWO PUNCH
An unbeaten record entering Saturday's contest against Fairfield Prep masked the fact that the Notre Dame boys' hockey team hadn't played well in the first period this season, and it was a slow start that cost the Green Knights in a 3-1 loss to the Jesuits.

Fairfield Prep scored three first-period goals and received 33 saves from Mike Beck in a matchup that featured the top two teams in the Hartford Courant's state rankings.

Matt Wikman, Connor Henry and Dean Lockery scored for Fairfield Prep. Darren Capobianco scored Notre Dame's goal at 12:38 of the second period.

“Today we didn't get off the bus,” Notre Dame coach Bill Gerosa told the New Haven Register. “Actually, it was the eighth game this season we didn't get off the bus in the first period. We've played well in our second and third periods, but we keep struggling in the first.”

Fairfield Prep improved its record to 7-0 and was elevated to No. 1 following the victory. Notre Dame, last year's Division I champion, fell to 7-1 and slipped to No. 2.

The teams will meet again on Feb. 16.

HOOP NOTES
Highlighting some top recent performances in boys and girls basketball:

" Weaver's Alyssa Stewart scored 24 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in a 53-31 victory over Wethersfield.

" Simsbury's E.J. Crawford scored 18 points in a 60-51 victory over Newington, and then poured in 20 – including the game-winning shot with six seconds to play – in a 70-69 triumph over Hall.

" Cromwell's Alexa Riley tossed in a game-high 15 points in a 53-50 triumph over Bacon Academy that ended Bacon Academy's 43-game home winning streak.

"Southington's Stephanie O'Keefe scored all of her 15 points on 3-pointers during a 48-41 victory overtime victory against Northwest Catholic.

"Tolland's Taylor Fortin averaged 37.5 points in victories over RHAM and Rockville.

GIRL POWER
Norwich Free Academy's Elisa Formiglio became the first female to play in a Connecticut football state championship game when Xavier defeated NFA 48-14 to win the Class LL championship last month.

Formiglio, a senior who didn't play football until last season, made both of her point-after kicks in the loss. She made 61 of 71 PAT attempts during the season. She also made one of her three field goal attempts – a 24-yard kick – and completed the season as her team's No. 3 scorer.

CONNECTICUT'S FROZEN FOUR
The inaugural Pioneer Valley Girls Winter Classic – the state's first outdoor girls hockey tournament -- was held Jan. 1 at the Simsbury Farms open-air rink.

The event featured four teams: Simsbury, Hall-Conard, Springfield (Mass.) Cathedral and East Catholic-Glastonbury-South Windsor. Simsbury defeated Hall-Conard 3-2 in the title game, and Springfield Cathedral won the consolation game.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader, and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

September, 12, 2012
9/12/12
3:27
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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.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

May, 4, 2011
5/04/11
6:12
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It took Bob DeMayo 53 years to record 799 victories as North Haven High School’s varsity baseball coach. The wait for victory No. 800 may have felt just as long.

ConnecticutAfter DeMayo collected his 799th victory when North Haven beat Wilbur Cross 14-0, DeMayo had to endure one-run losses to Branford (4-3) and Foran (4-3). Foran pulled out its victory by scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Then North Haven made DeMayo wait until the 12th inning of Monday’s game against Xavier before it pulled out a 6-5 win and handed DeMayo victory No. 800.

“I know it’s a milestone and I know I’m close to the end of my career probably, so it’s certainly nice,” DeMayo told the Post-Chronicle. “To see a lot of my former players this week and all the letters I’ve gotten, it’s just been really nice. It does mean something. I’m just surprised it meant so much to other people. That’s the nicest thing.”

North Haven prevailed when Kevin Erbe walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th. Mike Acampora pitched five innings to collect his first varsity victory in the milestone win.

The game was played on North Haven’s home field, which was named in DeMayo’s honor in 2009.

DeMayo began coaching at North Haven in 1959. His teams have won four state championships.

According to the National High School Sports Record Book, Gene Schultz of Kee High School in Lansing, Iowa, has collected more wins than any other high school baseball coach. Schultz began the 2011 season with 1,636 victories.

TARPEY SELECTS WILLIAM & MARY
Fairfield Prep’s Terry Tarpey, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward, gave a verbal commitment to play basketball at William & Mary on Tuesday.

Tarpey, a junior, averaged 17 points per game last season, when Fairfield Prep finished with a 21-7 record following a loss to St. Joseph in the Class LL championship game.

William & Mary competes in the Colonial Athletic Association.

STAPLES GETS SECOND CHANCE
The Westhill softball team defeated Staples 5-3 on April 18, but Staples protested the game and had the protest upheld by the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference.

The game will be replayed from the point of contention May 15.

The controversy occurred with no outs in the first inning and Westhill’s Allie Souza on third base. Staples pitcher Sam Saccomano dropped the ball during her windup and was called for making an illegal pitch.

Souza was allowed to score on the play, which caused Staples coach Mark Giordano to protest the game. He claimed the pitch should have been ruled a ball, and the runner should not have been allowed to advance.

The FCIAC ruled that Giordano’s interpretation of the rule was correct.

PASQUALONI WILL SPEAK AT FOOTBALL DINNER
Connecticut’s northern chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame will hold its scholar-athlete award dinner May 15 (1 p.m.) at the Aqua Turf in Southington.

University of Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni will be the event’s featured speaker, and Kent’s Todd Marble will be honored as the Coach of the Year. The following players will also be recognized: Jason Barnes (Kent), Marcus Biggins (Farmington), Kyle Decker (Simsbury), Joe Dellaquila (Berlin), Nicholas DeNardo (Rocky Hill), Seth DeValve (Manchester), Henry Downes (East Catholic), Jonathan Esposito (Conard), Reid Gustafson (Conard), Josh Helmkamp (Simsbury), Thomas Higgins (Rockville), Steven Hild (Kingswood-Oxford), Alex Kaczmarek (South Windsor), Zachary Lombard (Manchester), Colin Pavano (Avon), Greg Pendergast (South Windsor), Ryan Peloquin (St. Paul), Cody Pudzinski (Torrington), Nick Quattro (Canton), Franco Serrao (Wethersfield) and David Shainess (Glastonbury).

CROSS COUNTRY COACH ON THE MOVE
Xavier cross country coach Dave Kraszewski will leave his current coaching position at the end of the 2011 school year to coach the men’s and women’s cross country teams at Salve Regina, a Division III school in Newport, R.I.

Kraszewski left Portland and began coaching at Xavier in 2009. Xavier won the Class LL and State Open championships that year. Xavier finished fourth in the State Open meet last season.

The Portland girls won 52 consecutive dual meets and three consecutive Class S championships during Kraszewski’s tenure there.

ST. JOSEPH STAYS PERFECT
The St. Joseph baseball team trailed by three runs entering the bottom of the seventh inning, but rallied for a 6-5 victory Tuesday.

Tyler Matakevich scored the game-winning run on an error with one out in the inning. The Cadets raised their record to 12-0 overall and 10-0 in the FCIAC.

DARIEN MAINTAINS POLL POSITION
The Darien boys' lacrosse team, which improved its record to 9-2 by beating Fairfield-Ludlowe 17-4 Tuesday, is ranked No. 14 in the latest LaxPower national rankings.

Roger Brown has covered high school sports in New England since 1992. He currently covers high school and college football in the Northeast for ESPN/Scouts Inc.

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