Saturday, October 31, 2015

Wolcott, St. Paul hook up for epic football shootout

Wolcott and St. Paul football hooked up for a Route 69 shootout on Friday night at Joe Monroe Field.
No seriously, defenses couldn't be found in a first half that saw the Eagles claim a 48-44 lead over the visiting Falcons.
Nate Filippone has a monstrous night for Wolcott. Filippone had 231 yards rushing and five touchdowns, plus a receiving score, according to a story from Paul Angilly for The Bristol Press. Filippone had a long touchdown run in the third quarter to give the Eagles the lead for good.
On the other side, there was St. Paul's Ben Pryor. Pryor ran for 344 yards and seven touchdowns in an insane performance. That effort included almost 300 yards and six scores in the first half.
Wolcott led 56-52 after three quarters, but was able to turn up the defense in the fourth quarter to put St. Paul away by an astounding final score of 69-52.
Filippone and Pryor are two of the best running backs in the Naugatuck Valley League, and they both showed why on Friday night in Wolcott.
Wolcott faces a big NVL interdivisional test next Friday when it hosts Seymour at 6:30 p.m. St. Paul faces a tall task when it hits the road for a game against perennial power Ansonia at 7 p.m. at Jarvis Stadium.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Federowicz makes it an even 30 shutouts in his career

It's hard to quantify the career that senior goalkeeper and captain Zach Federowicz has had with St. Paul boys soccer, but try this number on for size.
Thirty. That would be the number of shutouts Federowicz has recorded in his career. Shutout No. 30 came tonight against Wilby, 4-0 at Waterbury's Ray Snyder Sr. Field, located next to Municipal Stadium.
Federowicz has been in the goal for St. Paul since he was a freshman, and he has only gotten better every single match, every single year. The Falcons finish the regular season 10-5-1, thanks to Federowicz and a tough defensive backfield. Federowicz has been a vocal leader from his position in goal. Federowicz, an ALL-NVL and All-State performer next year, is headed to Quinnipiac University this coming fall. 
There is unfinished business for St. Paul, however, and it starts Saturday in the qualifying round of the NVL Tournament.

Bristol Central, Bristol Eastern boys soccer both headed to state tournament

Bristol Central boys soccer coach Bruce Mazzochi was disappointed with how last season played out.
The Rams, whom Mazzochi had high expectations for, put together a rough campaign with just three wins.
Things have certainly changed for Mazzochi and Central in the second year of his tenure. The Rams have doubled their win total to six (6-7-2) and clinched a Class LL state tournament berth by beating Newington Monday on the road. There have been some up and down moments this season, yet Central hasn't let it turn into a tailspin. 
Mazzochi liked what he had coming into this season.
"This year, this bunch of guys, there's a real good team focus here," Mazzochi said during a preseason practice.
In a division that contained tough foes like Wethersfield and Bristol Eastern, Central held its own with a 3-3-1 mark.
The Rams have one match left, next Monday at 5:15 p.m. at Bristol Eastern High School against the rival Lancers.

Bristol Eastern boys
Speaking of the Lancers, they will finish over .500 this season and play in the Class L state tournament, thanks in large part to a four-match winning streak recently.
Eastern started its run with a 2-1 win over Central on a Saturday night at Muzzy Field. The success continued with home wins over Middletown, Newington and New Britain. The Lancers lost by a goal to a tough Maloney squad, then tied tourney-bound Berlin last Thursday. Eastern looks to keep playing well next Monday against its rival Central on Senior Night.

Bristol Eastern girls
The Lancers will play in the Class L state tournament and doing enough during the middle of the season to qualify. Eastern ripped off four wins in five matches to get to 6-6-0, then tied Maloney 0-0 at home on Oct. 19 to qualify for the tournament. The Lancers hope to close out the regular season with a win over the rival Bristol Central Rams next Monday at 7:15 p.m. on Senior Night at Bristol Eastern High School. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Root is CACC Rookie of the Week for a second time

Post University women's volleyball freshman Brianna Root was named Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Rookie of the Week for the second time this season.
In a five-set win over Caldwell, The former Bristol Eastern standout had 58 assists and 12 digs. She followed that up with 29 assists and seven digs in a 3-0 win over Philadelphia.
Post is in first place in the CACC, and Root is a big reason why. She leads the team and the conference in assists and has so far amassed the seventh highest single-season output in that category in program history. Her 947 assists are 106 more than any other player in the conference.
Root went to Post in part because they gave her the chance to continue to be a setter, and she has validated that decision throughout her first season with the Eagles.
The Eagles have six matches left in the regular season, then they play in the CACC Tournament. 

St. Paul recognized as Michaels Achievement Cup Exemplary Program

St. Paul Catholic's athletics program has been chosen as one of 20 Michaels Achievement Cup Exemplary Programs in the state, according to a press release from the CIAC.

The Falcons are recognized for their overall achievements as an athletic program during the 2014-2015 school year. A school is selected based upon these criteria: sportsmanship, participation, athletic scholarship, athletic personnel, equity, chemical free initiatives and athletic achievement.

“These schools deserve every bit of recognition they get for their commitment to interscholastic athletics and for maintaining complete, well-rounded, education-based athletics programs,” CAS-CIAC Executive Director Karissa Niehoff said in the press release. “A lot is expected and required of high school athletics programs in this era so it’s important to honor schools that strive to excel and can serve as a model of success.”
Thirty-six schools qualify for consideration, then the final 20 are chosen by the Michaels Achievement Cup Committee. One of those schools is St. Paul, and it will be honored with the 19 at the CIAC Sportsmanship Conference on Nov. 19 at the AquaTurf in Southington.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

"A trip down 69": Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015

The latest version of "A trip down 69" begins in Bristol with St. Paul boys soccer.

St. Paul boys soccer continues successful run
The St. Paul boys soccer team has had a successful run under coach Tony Leone.
The Falcons will be in the state tournament for the fourth straight year, the third under Leone's watch. St. Paul is 9-4-1 entering tomorrow's Senior Night contest against Wolcott (6 p.m.). The Falcons are led by senior keeper Zach Federowicz and a strong back line that includes seniors Jackson Hines and Brian Rackliffe. Those three are part of a larger senior core that has established a great run of success at St. Paul.
This group of seniors -- which also includes Paul Wiecki, Michael Dombrowski, Robert Eagan, Tyler Greene, Nathan Rinheart, Nick Wright, Julien Roberge and Jarred Kilmer -- has two matches left in its final regular season. After that, it's the NVL and Class S state tournaments for the Falcons.

Round 2 of Bristol Eastern-Bristol Central girls volleyball tomorrow
It's Senior Night and Dig Pink Night for the Lancers, but the Rams are coming in hoping to spoil the party. It will be a tall task for Central. Eastern is 14-1 with its only loss coming against defending Class L state champion Farmington (3-2 on Oct. 15). The Lancers have already wrapped up another division title and are looking to finish off another undefeated run against division foes. Eastern is also looking to stay near the top of the Class L state tournament standings. 
Central (9-8) is trying to end a four-match losing streak and get back on the winning track before state tournament play. There's always plenty of emotion when these city rivals meet, and that will be the case again tomorrow.

Wolcott girls soccer looks to keep winning
The Wolcott girls soccer team has won two straight matches and carries a 9-3-2 record into the final week of the regular season.
The Eagles sat at 4-2 after six matches, but have gone 5-1-2 since. Included in that stretch is a tie against NVL leader Woodland and a win over Naugatuck, which has been a league power. One year after not making the postseason, Wolcott will be in the NVL and Class M state tournaments. It's been a great turnaround for the Eagles, who look to send their five seniors out with a bang over the final weeks.

Holy Cross girls soccer on fire
Nobody can stop the Crusaders lately. After starting the season 1-2-2, Holy Cross has won NINE straight matches. Only Woodland has a better record in the NVL, and they haven't lost yet this season. The Crusaders have scored 41 goals over the nine-match winning streak, including 10 goals in a single contest twice. Holy Cross has put itself in fourth place in the Class S state tournament standings and could move up further with two matches left to play this week.
The Crusaders travel to Oxford tomorrow, then host Wolcott on Wednesday at Municipal Stadium in the regular season finale

As always, send ideas for future roundups to on on Twitter @sportsonct69

Saturday, October 24, 2015

College football roundup: K.J. Smith has good day in CCSU win

Several former high school standouts are playing at the next level. Here's a look at what they did Saturday:

K.J. Smith among team leaders in catches, yards at CCSU
Former Bristol Eastern standout K.J. Smith put together a nice day for Central Connecticut State University football in its 26-10 road win over in-state rival Sacred Heart University on Saturday.
Smith, a freshman, hauled in two passes for 89 yards, including a 58-yard gain.
Smith is tied for second on the Blue Devils in receptions with 13. He leads the team in receiving yards with 273 and averages 21 yards per catch. His 58-yard gain Saturday is tied for the second longest reception on the season for CCSU.
Nicol goes over 100 again on the ground for WCSU
Former Wolcott High School star Mike Nicol went over 100 yards on the ground again for Western Connecticut State University in its 44-41 loss at Worcester State on Saturday.
Nicol, a junior, ran 32 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Nicol caught five passes for 27 yards, and he also handled the punting duties for the Colonials.
Sophomore Bryan Ballenilla, who played for Wilby High School, had four tackles and a sack. Former Bristol Eastern player Nick Crowley, a sophomore at WCSU, had two tackles and a forced fumble. Kyle Porter, another former Eastern player, had two tackles for the Colonials. Porter is a freshman. Tucker Bachand, a junior from St. Paul, also played for WCSU in the game.
Mahan has a good game for Post
The Post University sprint football team didn't have a particularly good day in a 27-0 loss at Mansfield University (Pennsylvania) on Saturday.
One player who turned in a solid effort was senior captain Jay'Len Mahan, who played for Wilby High School. Mahan had five catches for 80 yards in the loss. Mahan leads the team with 26 catches for 459 yards. He has one of Post's two receiving touchdowns in what has been a trying year (0-6).
Mahan and his fellow seniors play in their final game on Halloween against Cornell University at LaMoy Field in Waterbury. The game is scheduled for a noon kickoff.
On defense, freshman defensive lineman Tyler Johnson (Wolcott) had three tackles and a sack.

Bristol Eastern football gets its first win

Bristol Eastern football picked up its first win of the season on Friday night by defeating Newington 40-34 at Bristol Eastern High School.
The Lancers have had their struggles, but they were able to come out on top on a night where the newly completed press box was opened up. Josh Sampson had a huge night and accounted for three of Eastern's scores. Sampson ran for two scores and threw for another, according to results reported to the Hartford Courant. Edgar Hernandez had a touchdown run and touchdown catch while Ben Ferraro added a receiving score from Darieyn Tate.
The Lancers trailed by a point after one quarter, then outscored the visiting Indians 16-7 to take a 22-14 halftime lead. In the fourth quarter, Sampson's last score of the night put Eastern ahead 40-27. The Lancers were able to hold off the Indians from there and take the victory.
Zac Thompson and Jaden Laprise put together strong efforts for Eastern, which improved to 1-5 with the win.
The Lancers look to make it two wins in a row this coming Friday at home against South Windsor. The kickoff for that game is set for 7 p.m. It's the last game of the season for Eastern at Bristol Eastern High School. The Lancers are the home team on Thanksgiving morning in the Battle for the Bell against Bristol Central, but that game is at Muzzy Field.

Twice is nice for Kaynor Tech girls cross country

The Kaynor Tech girls cross country team repeated as Constitution State Conference champions on Tuesday in the league meet at Wickham Park in Manchester. The Panthers outpaced second place Wolcott Tech by 10 team points, 37-47. Freshman Hannah Stoveken led the charge for Kaynor Tech with a third place finish overall. Junior Jillian Ducham was seventh overall while junior Cassie Couture and senior Lauren Duggan followed in 13th and 14th place. Freshman Melanie Sanchez was the fifth overall runner for the Panthers, and she took 21st overall.
On the boys side, Kaynor Tech (142 points) took fourth place behind Wilcox Tech (75), University High School (87) and Platt Tech (139). Senior Jack Petrucci took 10th place overall to lead the Panthers. Freshman Tyler Roger was 15th in his first CSC championship meet. Roger was followed by sophomore Terrell Patterson (24th), junior John Martin (45th) and Steven Ayres (49th).
Next up for Kaynor Tech cross country is the state championship meets. The girls will compete in Class SS while the boys will take on the best that Class M has to offer. The races are on Halloween at Wickham Park. The girls SS race is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. while the boys M race is set to start at 2:40 p.m.

Look @KT_Athletes on Twitter to see photos and video from the CSC meet.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

"A trip down 69": Sunday, Oct. 18

Here's the latest edition of "A trip down 69". We'll start this one in Bristol.

St. Paul football gets to 4-2
The Falcons beat the Crosby Bulldogs 36-6 on Saturday afternoon at home to win their third straight game.
Ben Pryor had four rushing touchdowns for St. Paul, which used its wishbone offense to attack Crosby's defense. Pryor has been a key cog in the Falcon offense, but the large offensive line is a big reason why Pryor has open lanes to run. Kyle DeForge has handled the quarterback position well in his first varsity season at the position. 
St. Paul's defense has also been more consistent, thanks in part to the longer drives brought on by the wishbone offense. The Falcons have allowed 12 or less points four times this season, including two of the past three games.
St. Paul has a bye in the coming week, then it hits the road on Oct. 30 to play a 6:30 p.m. game at Wolcott.

Doubly good day for St. Paul soccer
On Tuesday, the Falcon boys and girls soccer teams played against Seymour. 
The St. Paul boys won 1-0 at home and the girls took a 2-1 victory on the road. Both teams clinched a Class S state tournament berth with their wins. The boys beat Sacred Heart on Thursday to improve to 8-3-0 on the season. The girls upped their record to 7-3-1 with a win over Sacred Heart on Thursday.

Bristol Central football back over .500
The Rams improved to 3-2 on the season with a 47-14 rout of the Bulkeley/HMTCA/Weaver tri-op on Friday night at Muzzy Field.
Quarterback Noah Cruz ran for five touchdowns while Kryzystof Nizielski returned a fumble for a score. Luis Medina had the other rushing touchdown for Central, which led 47-2 at one point.

Bristol Eastern swimming and diving rules the city
The Lancers defeated the St. Paul Falcons and Bristol Central Rams on Saturday night at the Dennis Malone Aquatic Center to take the city meet.
Eastern got off to a great start when the 200-yard medley relay team of Jaime Mitchell, Brianna Ogonowski, Georgia Ogonowski and Olivia Bart set a school record in the race. The Lancers continued their momentum from there and enjoyed a solid night.

First loss for Lancer volleyball
Bristol Eastern and Farmington went toe to toe in a girls volleyball match Thursday evening at Bristol Eastern High School.
The Lancers held a 2-1 lead, yet the defending Class L state champion Indians came back and won 3-2. Eastern dropped to 11-1 on the season while Farmington improved to 12-2.
The Lancers look to get past their first loss tomorrow evening at home against Maloney (6 p.m. start).

Wolcott football also handed first loss
The Eagles saw a third quarter lead disappear in a tough road loss to the Torrington Red Raiders in Friday night's NVL Iron Division showdown.
Wolcott dropped to 5-1 (3-1 division) while Torrington improved to 6-0 (3-0). The Eagles have a week off to correct what went wrong. Wolcott's next game is at home on Oct. 30 against St. Paul.

Eagle girls soccer ties NVL's top team
It's not often that a coach would be satisfied about a tie.
Don't tell Wolcott coach Chris Riviezzo that. The Eagles earned a 0-0 deadlock against the Woodland Hawks, the top team in the NVL. Woodland's record didn't have a dent in it (10-0) entering Tuesday's match. Wolcott put an end to that winning streak and held Woodland without a goal. The Hawks had outscored their opponents 43-6 in their first 10 matches.
Wolcott hopes to ride the momentum of Tuesday's result into this Tuesday's road match against Sacred Heart at Bucks Hill Park (3:45 p.m.)

Sacred Heart strong in cross country
The Sacred Heart girls cross country team won the city championship on Friday at Bucks Hill Park. The Hearts are also the Brass Division champions this fall. Sacred Heart has the NVL championship coming up on Wednesday.

Stoveken leads as a Kaynor freshman
The Kaynor Tech girls and boys cross country teams each finished third in Friday's city meet at Bucks Hill Park, but it was freshman Hannah Stoveken who stole the show. Stoveken won the city race, the first freshman to do so since 2003.

That's it for this week. If you have a suggestion for next Sunday's post, please feel free to send it to me at or Tweet it at me @sportsonct69.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wolcott faces Torrington in huge football showdown

It's a battle of the unbeatens on Friday night when Wolcott visits the Robert H. Frost Complex at Torrington High School to play Torrington. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. for one of the biggest NVL games of the season.

Wolcott worked hard during the preseason,
and that work has paid off so far with a 5-0 record.
Both teams enter the game with 5-0 records, and both are unbeaten in the NVL's Iron Division. This is the last division game for the Eagles, who are 3-0. The Red Raiders (2-0) still have to play Watertown on Thanksgiving morning. Wolcott can sew up the Iron Division title with a win on Friday night. Torrington can give itself sole possession of the division lead with a victory. For this week, it doesn't get bigger than this for these two teams.

Here are the leading offensive players for Wolcott, according to stats from (Torrington has only updated statistics through a portion of its games):

RUSHING: Nate Filippone 38 carries, 496 yards (99.2 per game), 6 TDs; Raymond Iorio 30 carries, 188 yards, 3 TD; Chris Giuggio 22 carries, 130 yards, 2 TD; Mike Pastore 17 carries, 160 yards, 4 TD; Colin Pawlak 12 carries, 93 yards, 1 TD
PASSING: Rocky Griffin 35-for-61, 524 yards, 10 TDs, 0 INT
RECEIVING: Jake Ramos 8 catches, 56 yards, 1 TD; Filippone 5 catches, 156 yards, 2 TD; Justin Fernandes 5 catches, 74 yards, 2 TD; Pastore 5 catches, 32 yards, TD; Chris Maisto 4 catches, 89 yards, TD; Steve Urbanski 4 catches, 83 yards, 2 TD; Damon Stefko 4 catches, 45 yards, 2 TD 
KICKING: Anthony Mennillo 23-for-29 PATs

GET FILIPPONE GOING: Filippone, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior captain, has been the main cog in the running game for the Eagles. Filippone averages just under 100 yards per contest, and Wolcott needs to get him going to have success moving the ball and keeping it away from Torrington. The junior Iorio (5-foot-9, 185 pounds) can also run the ball effectively.
HAVE SOME SUCCESS IN THE PASSING GAME: Griffin, a 6-foot-1, 150-pound senior, isn't the main point of the offense, but he certainly is a key. Griffin was extremely efficient in the passing game in wins over Naugatuck and Kennedy, and he can take pressure off the Eagle ground attack with the pass.
SLOW DOWN TORRINGTON: Easier said than done, but the Eagles will need to find a way to short-circuit a Red Raider team that averages 47.8 points per game. Senior Tyler Marens (5-foot-6, 145 pounds) is a fast, elusive running back, and senior quarterback Connor Finn (5-foot-10, 150 pounds) has been very efficient throwing the ball. Torrington has shown the ability to be explosive (see their 50-point SECOND HALF against Naugatuck), and Wolcott must find a way to at least slow them down. The Eagle defense has certainly been up to the challenge this season with just 49 points allowed in five games (second in NVL to Ansonia's 26 in four games), and they need to be again on Friday.

Friday night will be cold but partly cloudy, according to the National Weather Service's website. If you want to see a good high school football game Friday, look no further than the Robert H. Frost Complex at Torrington High School. This game has the potential to be a classic. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mallory, Bozzuto ready for SCSU's Midnight Madness

It's a big night for the Southern Connecticut State University men's and women's basketball teams.
Midnight Madness begins at Moore Field House at 10:30 p.m., according to the team's website. It's the first chance for Owl fans to see their teams, and there will be contests throughout the night, including a slam dunk competition.
There's a local connection to the SCSU men's team, coached by former UConn standout and NBA player Scott Burrell. Burrell first made his name as a standout athlete at Hamden High a School and is in his first season as head coach of the Owls.
Junior guard Mike Mallory, who played for Holy Cross High School, is one of nine returning players on the squad. Mallory played in all 32 games last season and made 18 starts. He averaged 29.8 minutes per game. Mallory was second on the team in scoring at 18.3 points per game and led the team in 3-pointers with 90. He was second on the team in steals with 55.
Also back for the Owls is junior guard Mike Bozzuto, who played for Wolcott High School. Bozzuto played in 15 games off the bench last season. Bozzuto shot 30 percent from the field and 25 percent on 3-pointers in limited playing time.
The SCSU men are ranked 13th nationally by the Division II Bulletin. The Owls open the season on Nov. 14 against Dominican in Bridgeport.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

"A trip down 69": Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015

We'll start this edition of "A trip down 69" in Wolcott:

Wolcott football remains undefeated
The Eagles trounced the Kennedy Eagles 41-0 on Friday afternoon at Ray Snyder Sr. Field in Waterbury to improve to 5-0 on the season.
Senior quarterback Rocky Griffin threw four touchdown passes for Wolcott in the win. When you add those four TD tosses to Griffin's total over the first four games, it gives him 10 against ZERO interceptions. Nate Filippone and Chris Giuggio each ran for a score for the Eagles. Filippone now has six touchdown runs on the season.
The Wolcott defense has surrendered just eight points in the last two games after giving up 41 in the first three contests. The Eagles face a big NVL Iron Division test on Friday night when they travel to Torrington to take on the Raiders, who are also 5-0. Torrington is averaging nearly 48 points per game, so it will provide a major test for Wolcott's defense. The Eagles are looking for their first 6-0 start since 2012, when they began the season with seven straight wins.

Sacred Heart girls soccer gets its first win
The Hearts were 0-9 entering Saturday's match against Derby at Witek Park in Derby. Sacred Heart had scored just five goals in its first nine matches.
The Hearts found their offense in a big way on Saturday in a 6-0 win over the Lady Raiders, who were 0-7-1 entering the match. Junior Brianna Cyr and sophomore Rachel Stack had two goals apiece. Sophomore Nellie Drewry and senior Nicole White each had one goal in the victory.
It's the first win for Sacred Heart since it won two straight matches over Derby and Wolcott on Oct. 13 and 14, 2014.

Sacred Heart-Kaynor Tech freshman quarterback has a big day
It may have been a lopsided loss for the Hearts against Seymour Saturday at Ray Snyder Sr. Field (55-26), but freshman Trey Dawson had a big day.
Dawson completed 23 of 44 passes for 371 yards and three touchdowns. He threw touchdowns of 55 and 10 yards to Jurrel Racine, along with a 35-yard scoring pass to Tyler Gendron. The other touchdown came via a 20-yard run by Xavier Reyes.
Sacred Heart-Kaynor Tech (0-4) plays at Oxford (1-3) this Friday at 7 p.m.

Kaynor Tech girls volleyball improving
The Panthers may have lost to Abbott Tech (Danbury) on Friday, but they have been playing much better volleyball of late.
Kaynor Tech had won three straight matches by 3-0 scores (Platt Tech, O'Brien Tech, Bassick) entering Friday's match. The win over Bassick improved the Panther record to 5-6. Kaynor Tech had started the season 0-4.

Kennedy sophomore finishes in Top 20 at Wickham Invitational
Eagle cross country runner Kyle Hotchkiss ran in the unseeded race at the Wickham Invitational at Wickham Park in Manchester. Hotchkiss put together a solid performance and finished 18th out of 73 runners.

Bristol Eastern sweeps soccer doubleheader at Muzzy Field
The Lancers beat the city rival Bristol Central Rams twice on Saturday.
In the girls match, the first one of the evening, Mikayla Lewandoski, Cierra Carrillo and Myah Croze scored in a 3-0 win. Hannah Grabowski, Megan Perry, Sara Tyminski and Meredith Forman provided the defense while keeper Karly Martin recorded the shutout.
In the boys match, Jeremy Mosieur had the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory for Eastern. Shane Caggiano also scored in the victory. On defense, it was Darin Mar, Greg Lozier, Gian Costantiello leading the way. Tom Tefoe was again solid in goal for the Lancers.

St. Paul football gets over .500
The Falcons improved to 3-2 with a tight 26-24 win over the Watertown Indians on Friday night at Watertown High School.
Ben Pryor's proved to be too quick and elusive for Watertown tacklers on several big runs out of St. Paul's wishbone offense. Quarterback Kyle DeForge made good decisions with the ball, keeping it on some option plays while pitching it on others. Dominic Aiello proved to be a pain for the Indians on the offensive and defensive lines. Aiello disrupted running plays and also got pressure on Watertown's quarterback.
St. Paul looks to make it three wins in a row on Saturday when it hosts Crosby at 1 p.m.

St. Paul girls soccer playing well
The Falcons may have lost 3-0 to a tough Woodland team at home on Friday, but they have been playing well.
St. Paul won four straight matches (Wolcott, Derby, Sacred Heart, Watertown) to improve its record to 5-2-1 entering Friday's match against Woodland. The Falcons hit the road on Tuesday for a 3:45 p.m. match at Seymour.

Nicol scores game-winning TD for WCSU

Former Wolcott High School football standout Mike Nicol scored the game-winning touchdown for Western Connecticut State University in their 46-39 victory over Massachusetts Maritime Academy Saturday afternoon.

WCSU trailed 39-38 with 1:02 left to play when it started its final possession. Quarterback Will Arndt completed an eight-yard toss to Nicol to begin the drive, then hit on passes of 28 and 20 yards to move the ball to the MMA 7-yard line. After a four-yard keeper by Arndt on 1st and goal, Nicol took the ball into the end zone from three yards out for a 44-39 lead with just nine ticks left on the clock. The Colonials added the two-point conversion for the final margin of victory.

Nicol, a workhorse junior running back, carried the ball 37 times for 166 yards and two touchdowns. His first score came with 13:11 left in the third quarter and gave WCSU a 28-23 lead.

Nicol has a team-leading nine touchdowns on the season.

NOTEWORTHY: Several local players took the field for WCSU in Saturday's win.
St. Paul's Tucker Bachand, Bristol Eastern's Nick Crowley, Holy Cross' CJ McIntosh, Wilby's Bryan Ballenilla and Bristol Eastern's Kyle Porter all played in the win, according to the team's participation chart. Ballenilla and Porter started on the defensive line for the Colonials.
Ballenilla had five tackles while Crowley added two tackles. Nicol and Porter each had one tackle.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Bristol Central-Bristol Eastern soccer rivalry resumes this evening

This evening brings the first of two Muzzy Field soccer doubleheaders between city rivals Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern. The girls soccer match is scheduled for 5:15 p.m., with the boys match slated to follow at about 7:15 p.m.
Bristol Central girls soccer head coach Scott Redman (maroon shirt)
has seen the city rivalry as a player and a coach.  Redman played
soccer at Bristol Eastern, but now coaches the sport at Central.
Bristol Central girls soccer head coach Scott Redman has been on both sides of the rivalry.
"There's no rivalry better in the state in my mind," Redman said before Thursday's home match against Manchester. "Throw the records out the window. It's always a competitive game."
From 1998 to 2001, Redman played soccer for long-time Bristol Eastern head coach Bill Sweet. Redman graduated from Eastern in 2002. After being an assistant coach at Bristol Central, Redman is in his fifth season as head coach of the Rams.
"I've seen all facets of it," Redman said of the rivalry.
That's an understatement. In the spring, Redman heads down the hill to Eastern to coach the Lancer softball team.
Here's a little more on this evening's CCC South Region, Blue Division (there's a mouthful for you) matchups. Central is the home team in both matches.

Bristol Central vs. Bristol Eastern girls, 5:15 p.m.
The Rams enter the match with a record of 2-6-1 and are coming off of a hard-fought 4-4 tie against Manchester on Thursday. Central hopes to keep the momentum going in its second contest of the season's second half.
The Lancers are 3-5 and are coming off of a 2-0 home win over Wethersfield on Wednesday. It was a team effort for Eastern in the victory. Freshman Myah Croze and junior Mikayla Lewandoski scored the goals while sophomore Karly Martin picked up the shutout in goal.
The Rams and Lancers split their meetings last season. Central won 3-1 on Sept. 30, then Eastern took the rematch 2-1 on Oct. 27.

Bristol Central vs. Bristol Eastern boys, @ 7:15 p.m.
After starting the season 0-4, the Rams are 4-0-1 in their last five matches. Central took one-goal victories over Newington (2-1), Middletown (1-0) and Rocky Hill (3-2) during that stretch. The Rams defeated the Terriers yesterday in a match played at the Bristol Soccer Club. Central is in second place in the Blue Division (2-1) of the CCC South Region behind Wethersfield (3-0-1).
The Lancers look to turn it around after losing their last two matches at South Windsor and Wethersfield. Eastern enters the match at 3-4-2 and is looking for its first victory since beating Plainville 2-0 on Sept. 28 at the Farmington Sports Arena. The Lancers are also looking for their first Blue Division win of the season (0-2-2).
Eastern and Central split their meetings last season. The Lancers won 3-1 on Sept. 30, then the Rams took the rematch 2-1 on Oct. 27.

QUICK LOOK: Bristol Central girls soccer

Bristol Central girls soccer got off to a rough start Thursday when Manchester fleet-footed forward Morgan Smith scored a goal less than three minutes into the first half. The Rams fell behind 2-0 on another Smith goal with 11:08 to play.
Bristol Central junior Brianna Hamel kicks the ball downfield.
Later in the half, Central drew a foul against Manchester and had a free kick near midfield.
Junior Brianna Hamel put a perfect ball into the box, which sophomore Ashley Macdonald redirected in for a goal. 
It was a spectacular play on both ends, and it gave the home side some much-needed momentum (see video of the goal below).
The Rams and Indians went back and forth throughout the match. Central, which started four sophomores and a freshman, came back twice and was able to salvage a hard-earned 4-4 draw when Hamel scored in the 80th minute.
Rams head coach Scott Redman has been looking for better effort from his team, and he got it Thursday against Manchester. Central is back on the pitch this evening at Muzzy Field against city rival Bristol Eastern. The match is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m.

Bristol Central-Manchester girls soccer - 10-8-15

Here are photos I took at Thursday's girls soccer match between Bristol Central and Manchester at Bristol Central High School. The Rams fought their way back into the match and salvaged a 4-4 draw, earning a key point.

Bristol Central head coach Scott Redman runs
through pre-match work with his team.

Redman works with junior Brianna Hamel, left, before the match.

Bristol Central huddles before the match.

Bristol Central sophomore Ashley Macdonald with the challenge.

Bristol Central sophomore Nicole Breault with the throw-in.

Bristol Central freshman Adalia Malick looks to control the ball.

Breault and junior Olivia Savino (4) provide tough defense.

Hamel keeps her eyes downfield.

Hamel boots the ball away.

Savino positions herself for a throw-in.

Macdonald follows through on a pass.

Savino gets the ball out of traffic.

Breault keeps the ball inbounds.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bristol Central girls volleyball playing well

Bristol Central girls volleyball is on a two-match losing streak, but don't think that means the Rams haven't been playing well.
Central lost 3-0 last Friday to city rival Bristol Eastern, a team that has yet to taste defeat this season (9-0). 
"My girls played hard and I thought very well defensively," Rams head coach Jen Broderick said. "Unfortunately we failed to capitalize on opportunities to give our offense the chance to shine when the chance was there."
Broderick told her Central players that one match won't define them this season, despite the frustration of another loss to Eastern.
On Monday, the Rams came back and battled perennial power Southington (11-2) before dropping a 3-0 decision. After the Lady Knights rolled to a 25-13 win in the first set, the Rams made them earn victories in the next two sets, 27-25 and 26-24.
Central is 7-3 entering this evening's home match against Wethersfield (6 p.m. start).
"I am proud of the way my team has been playing and how hard they work to better themselves on and off the court," Broderick said following the Eastern loss. "We look forward to the competition that lies ahead."
The Rams have solid leadership, which has helped them get off to the good start.
"Allie Martel and Cydney Martin have been four-year varsity starters for me and are part of a tri-captainship with senior Alexa Caron this season," Broderick said. "All three have stepped up as leaders and play with intensity in every game."
Martel is someone Central can count on to come up with a big point when needed. Above all, Martel, Martin and Caron are supportive of their teammates and provide good leadership.
"It is and has been an absolute pleasure to watch them develop and play into the persevering student-athletes they have become," Broderick said.
Central looks to get back into the win column this evening against Wethersfield. The Rams beat the Eagles 3-0 on Sept. 18 at Wethersfield High School.
On Friday, Central travels to New Britain for a 5:30 p.m. against the Golden Hurricanes. The Rams won the first matchup 3-1 on Sept. 22 at Bristol Central High School.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bristol Eastern volleyball off to another great start

In case you didn't already know it, Bristol Eastern is really good at girls volleyball.
The Lancers improved to 9-0 on the season with a 3-0 victory over the Wethersfield Eagles on Monday evening at Bristol Eastern High School. Included in that impressive 9-0 burst was a big 3-0 win over city rival Bristol Central last Friday at Bristol Central High School.
"The game went well," Eastern head coach Stacy Rivoira said. "The girls did a solid job controlling the game. Central had some great defensive rallies and made us work for our points."
The Lancers have built a winning tradition under Rivoira and former head coach Gail Ericson before her. This year, Eastern has a strong group leading it.
"Lots of senior leadership out on the court," Rivoira said. "Megan Gettings, Angela Daley, Bailey Wyrebek, Chyna Barrett and Paisley Tucker are giving us a strong core."
Junior Jessica Kenney has been solid at the setter position, no small task given she was taking over for former standout Brianna Root. Root is now at Post University in Waterbury.
"Jessica Kenney is setting and has worked hard to bring the team together," Rivoira said.
Eastern has lost only four sets (27-4), two each to Glastonbury and Platt.
"We had great competition against Platt and Glastonbury," Rivoira said. "The girls came out on the winning end of those battles."
The competition isn't over for the Lancers, however, with matches still to come against Farmington (Oct. 15) and RHAM (Oct. 28) later this month. Eastern will also play at the Springfield Invitational in Springfield, Mass.
Then there's the new CCC South Region. Eastern is in the Blue Division with Newington, Wethersfield and New Britain, all new editions.
The competition will be there, but so will the Lancers. Eastern is having another great season in girls volleyball, and that comes as no surprise.

Photos from Holy Cross-Kaynor Tech boys soccer

Here are photos I took at Monday afternoon's boys soccer match between Holy Cross and Kaynor Tech at Holy Cross High School. The host Crusaders beat the Panthers 4-1.

Holy Cross' Alexander Matos makes a pass
as Kaynor Tech's Matheus Silva defends.

Kaynor Tech keeper Pierce Blom gets ready to throw the ball.

Kaynor Tech's John Monteiro (22) pushes the pace.

Holy Cross' Diogo Taveira (11) makes a move.

Holy Cross' Alexander Matos shields the ball
from Kaynor Tech's Matheus Silva.

Matos looks downfield.

Kaynor Tech's Ervin Lara possesses the ball.

Kaynor Tech's Steven Murillo
and Holy Cross' Leandro Mongelluzzo battle for the ball.

Kaynor Tech's Ruben Martinez controls the ball
as Holy Cross' Charles Fogle defends.

Martinez and Fogle go after the ball.

Blom boots the ball away for Kaynor Tech.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Holy Cross-Kaynor Tech boys soccer

I went and checked out Holy Cross-Kaynor Tech boys soccer on Monday afternoon at Holy Cross High School. It was a sluggish match much of the time, but the Crusaders got late second half goals from Sean Harnish and Diogo Taveira to pull away. Holy Cross improved to 3-4 while Kaynor Tech dropped to 4-5. A little more on each team:

Holy Cross
The match was ugly at times Monday, yet the Crusaders hung in.
"The kids responded well today, got the goals when we needed them," McDonald said.
Taveira was taken down in the box with Holy Cross nursing a 2-1 lead. Harnish stepped up and buried the PK for a 3-1 advantage. Not long after that, Taveira broke free and scored for the icing on the cake. Drew DaSilva had both goals in the first half as the Crusaders took a 2-0 lead into the break. Holy Cross has won two straight matches.
"It's a building process this year, " McDonald said. "We're bringing it together at this point, the kids are playing well, and we're looking forward to a good second half of the year."

Kaynor Tech
The Panthers topped another NVL foe when they beat Sacred Heart earlier this season, but it wasn't meant to be against the Crusaders. Kaynor fell behind 2-0 quickly and had to play catchup the rest of the way. John Monteiro scored off an Ervin Lara assist to pull the Panthers to 2-1, but a penalty kick and a breakaway goal deflated the comeback hopes.
"We've been winning the games we're supposed to win," head coach Mike Dorchinsky said.
Dorchinsky doesn't consider a loss against a non-tech team to be a bad thing. There's some tough tests in the CSC as well.
"Our league has actually got a little more difficult," Dorchinsky said. "We added Baasick and Harding."
Kaynor is a senior-laden bunch which is trying to mix in some younger players as well. The Panthers also have two girls, junior Megan Fried and sophomore Vanessa Cardenas (no girls team at Kaynor).
Dorchinsky has been away from the team for the birth of his child. Ted Panasci was solid as coach in his absence. Kaynor has lost three straight, but Dorchinsky believes they can turn it around.
"The season's going how I thought it would go," Dorchinsky said. "We should be able to win enough games to qualify for states, which was one of my goals. It's my first year as head coach."

Look for photos and videos on this match in the near future. That's it for now.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

"A trip down 69": Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015

Here's the second installment of "A trip down 69". We'll start in Bristol:

Eastern beats Central in girls volleyball showdown
The Lancers and Rams met for the first time this season at Bristol Central High School in a matchup of two of the CCC's hottest teams. Eastern continued its mastery of its city rival, however, with a 3-0 win over Central. The game scores were 25-18, 25-16 and 25-14. The Lancers improved to 8-0 while the Rams dropped to 7-2.
For Eastern, senior Megan Gettings had 15 kills while fellow senior Paisley Tucker added eight kills. Senior Bailey Wyrebek had 27 digs while fellow senior Angela Daley tallied 13. Junior Jessica Kenney dished out 32 assists for the Lancers, who haven't lost to the Rams since the 1990s.
Eastern looks to keep its great start going tomorrow evening at home against Wethersfield (6 p.m. start). Central hosts perennial CCC and state contender Southington at 6 p.m. tomorrow.

St. Paul spikers get over .500
The Falcons crept over .500 on Friday with a 3-0 win over Wilby in Waterbury. St. Paul is 5-4 under second-year head coach Holly Willette. The Falcons have won four straight matches (Holy Cross, Terryville, Crosby and Wilby) since losing 3-0 at Seymour on Sept. 22. St. Paul plays again Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. against Kennedy in Waterbury.

Falcon boys soccer continues to roll
St. Paul has recovered well since Naugatuck handed it the first and only loss of the season to date. The Falcons beat Derby 2-0 at home last Thursday to get to 6-1 on the season. It's a busy week for St. Paul with tough road matches at Watertown (6-0-2) on Wednesday and Woodland (4-3) on Friday.

Central boys soccer turns it around
Don't look now, but here come the Rams. Central, which started the season 0-4, has won its last three matches (Newington, Middletown, New Britain). The Rams have outscored their opponents 7-2 during that stretch, including last Friday's 4-1 home win over New Britain. Central takes on East Catholic tomorrow at 3:45 p.m. in Manchester.

Eastern boys over .500
The Lancers got to 3-2-1 on the season with a 2-0 win over Plainville last Monday at the Farmington Sports Arena (Plainville is without its home field while synthetic turf is put in). Eastern tied Newington 0-0 on Friday, its second 0-0 tie of the season. The Lancers are 3-2-2 entering tomorrow's 3:45 p.m. match at South Windsor.

Wolcott football gets to 4-0
The Eagles dominated the Naugatuck Greyhounds 34-8 on a rainy Friday night in Naugatuck to get to 4-0 for the fourth time in the past six seasons. Wolcott tries to get to 5-0 this Friday when they play Kennedy at 7 p.m. at Ray Snyder Sr. Field (Municipal Stadium complex) in Waterbury. The Eagles need to take care of business against their opponent -- also the Eagles -- on Friday, but if they do, a major showdown looms on Oct. 16. Wolcott travels to Torrington to play a huge NVL Iron Division game against Torrington. Both teams could enter that game with undefeated records.

Wolcott girls soccer bounces back
After starting out a perfect 3-0, the Eagles lost two of their next three matches to drop to 4-2. Wolcott responded well to the losses, however, with back-to-back wins last Thursday and Friday over Seymour and Sacred Heart. The Eagles outscored their opponents 9-2 in those two matches and improved to 6-2. Wolcott plays a non-league home match tomorrow at 6 p.m. against Prince Tech.

Crosby football earns first win of season
The Bulldogs outlasted city foe Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech 27-21 last Thursday at Ray Snyder Sr. Field. The win was a great way for Crosby to head into a break that will last over two weeks. The Bulldogs don't play again until Oct. 17, when they take on St. Paul Catholic in Bristol.

Holy Cross football gets over .500
The Crusaders smoked the Wilby Wildcats 46-20 last Friday at Ray Snyder Sr. Field to improve to 2-1 on the season. It was a good bounce-back win for Holy Cross, which got hammered 36-6 by Naugatuck the week before. The Crusaders try to make it two straight wins on Friday against Woodland.

Sacred Heart boys soccer gets first win
The Hearts fought off the Wilby Wildcats 3-2 last Friday at a sloppy Waterville Park for their first win of the season. Sacred Heart finally tasted victory after walking off the pitch with a loss in the first seven matches of the season. Legend Johnson, Andrew Szmajlo and Klediol Kaso scored goals in the win. Kaso's goal was the game-winner. Kaso also had an assist, as did Noah Knappe and Marco Sanchez. Evan Laferriere, playing his first match in goal, turned in a good performance. Sacred Heart hosts Crosby on Wednesday at 3:45 p.m. at Waterville Park.

Good news for Kaynor Tech athletics
The Panther girls reached 4-0 on the season with a win over Bullard Havens Tech last Tuesday. The boys improved to 2-2 with a win over the same opponent.
The Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech junior varsity co-op picked up its first win of the season, 18-0 over Crosby. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

No more Ouellettes for Bristol Eastern football

This is a year of change for Bristol Eastern football.
Paul Philippon took over as head coach for Mike Archangelo, who resigned after six seasons as the top guy for the Lancers. Philippon was head coach at Eastern from 2004-2008.
Also different for Eastern football is the lack of a familiar name in the program. For the first time since 2006, the name Ouellette is missing from the Lancer ledger.
From 2007-2011, Dylon Ouellette attended Eastern. Dylon was a 1,000-yard running back and all-state linebacker as a senior during the 2010 season. Dylon was a Division III All-CCC team performer in 2010.
Middle brother Tyler Ouellette was at Eastern from 2008-2012. Ouellette was a running back, kick returner and defensive back.
Finally, there was the youngest, Gerry Ouellette III. Gerry attended Eastern from 2011-2015 and had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons as a junior and senior, including a high of 1,523 in 2014 as senior. Gerry was a two-time All-CCC Division II-West performer.
The Ouellettes never experienced a loss to rival Bristol Central in the annual Battle for the Bell. Eastern hasn't lost in the game since 2005, and the 2006 game ended in a 14-14 tie.
Both Dylon and Gerry cemented their names in the Bell record book by being named Eastern's Offensive Player of the Game. Dylon earned the honor in 2010 by rushing 18 times for 208 yards in a 35-0 Lancer victory. Gerry was offensive MVP twice, in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, Gerry ran 26 times for 2011 yards in a 21-18 win. In 2014, Gerry took the ball 27 times for 144 yards in a 20-18 victory.
Gerry is listed as a freshman running back on the roster of Western Connecticut State University's football team.