Monday, October 30, 2017

Wolcott girls volleyball downed in NVL tourney semifinal

Wolcott's Carolyn Osvald tips the ball at the net during Monday's NVL
Tournament semifinal against Seymour at Kennedy High School.
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69)
The Wolcott girls volleyball team reached Monday's NVL Tournament semifinal with a spirited 3-1 win over Holy Cross that included a crazy 33-31 fourth set.
The Eagles couldn't duplicate the effort against top-seeded Seymour, and the Wildcats won the match 3-0. The set scores were 25-5, 25-13, 25-19. Seymour plays Torrington, a winner over Woodland, in the final on Thursday.
Wolcott turns its focus to the Class M state tournament. Tournament pairings will be released on Friday. Seymour, Torrington, Oxford, Woodland and Ansonia are all in Class M as well.
The Eagles made mistakes in the first set Monday, and the Wildcats jumped all over them. Seymour grabbed the first five points and never looked back. Wolcott was a little better in the second set, but found itself down 2-0 to the defending Class M state champions.
The Eagles battled the Wildcats in the third set and even had the lead. Seymour All-NVL player Molly Kennedy made sure the match wouldn't be extended with some stellar finishes.
Carolyn Osvald had eight blocks and four kills while Regan Richard added 21 digs and two kills.
For a full story, check out Rick Wilson's article here on The Zone.

PHOTOS: Click here to see images from Monday's match.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

WEEK 8 FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Holy Cross returns two interceptions for scores in win

Vincent Graziano (15) had one of two Holy Cross interception returns
for touchdown in Saturday's 49-14 win over Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech.
There were a total of three in the game. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)
One interception returned for a touchdown is a lot in a single game.
Two is a lot.
Three? Wow.
That's what happened in a 49-14 Holy Cross win over Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field. The final tally was two for the Crusaders and one for the Hearts.
SH/KT's Josue Salazar returned a Corey Fappiano pass 75 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first quarter. The pick-six pulled the Hearts to within 14-6, but that was as close as they got.
Fappiano threw a 32-yard touchdown strike to Deandre Wallace for a 20-6 lead, then the Crusaders got pick-six happy.
DeAndre Wallace (1) had touchdown catches of 32, 31 and 48 yards.
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69)
Qaron Brown started the frenzy with a 24-yard interception return for a touchdown. Wallace made a terrific catch over three defenders in the back corner of the end zone for the two-point conversion, which prompted this comment from an official.
"That's not's even fair, you're 10-feet tall," the official said about Wallace.
For the record, Wallace is listed at six-foot-four.
Vincent Graziano added a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown of his own later in the second quarter, and his extra point gave Holy Cross a 35-6 lead it would keep into halftime.
Wallace had a monster day on offense, hauling in touchdown passes of 32, 31 and 48 yards from Fappiano. The win moved the Crusaders to 4-3.

PHOTOS: Click here to see images from Saturday's game.

Wolcott was certainly glad to have Anthony Ligi back against Oxford.
The dynamic junior running back accounted for 217 total yards of offense, two touchdowns, and a pair of two-point conversion runs in his return, a 58-34 Eagle victory over the Wolverines at Joe Monroe Field.
Mike Polzella was 13 of 21 passing for 258 yards and three touchdowns. Two went to Ligi (48 and 15 yards), and the other was a 26-yard strike to Santino Ciarlo. 
Polzella ran 22 times for 127 yards and three touchdowns. Jake Sforza carried 11 times for 51 yards and a score, and Matt Olmstead added a 26-yard touchdown run.

Two 100-yard rushing efforts helped Bristol Central knock off Capital Prep/Achievement 35-28 at home.
Justus Fitzpatrick ran the ball nine times for 131 yards and a touchdown while teammate Darrell Payton rushed 16 times for 137 yards. Dathan Hickey ran for three scores, including the game-winner from 11 yards out in the fourth quarter.
Central improved to 4-3 with the win.

Waterbury Career Academy lost 30-22 to Derby on the road, but Jaden Battle did his best to keep the Spartans in the contest.
Battle returned an interception 104 yards for a touchdown on defense and ran 12 yards for a score on offense.

It was a tough day for St. Paul, which lost 15-8 at home to Woodland on Saturday. The Falcons held a late lead, but the Hawks forced a fumble and drove for the game-winning score. St. Paul had trouble sustaining drives, and mistakes hurt. The Falcons dropped to 5-2 and have another home game this Friday, but that's one against Seymour. St. Paul will have to have a much better day on offense.

Big plays hurt Bristol Eastern in a 24-14 road loss to Hartford Public on Saturday.

Andres Urena hauled in a 34-yard touchdown pass from Alexandre Gonzalez in Wilby's 40-6 loss to Watertown at Ray Snyder Sr. Field on Friday night.

Kennedy lost 28-22 on the road at Torrington on Friday night. Crosby had a rough night and lost 61-14 to undefeated Naugatuck.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Cross country class meets on Saturday for local runners

Local runners will see what they can do against the rest of the state on Saturday at the CIAC cross country class championships at Manchester's Wickham Park.
There is a local competitor in eight of the 12 races scheduled, and the day begins with the Class M girls at 9:15 a.m. Wolcott competes in that meet, led by dynamic sophomore Kathryn Rodrigues, who was second in the NVL's varsity championship meet.
The Waterbury Career Academy and Wolcott boys compete in Class M at 9:50. Sophomore Harrison Foley leads the Spartans while freshman Nick Bendsten paces the Eagles. Bendsten had the best finish overall of any freshmen in the NVL varsity meet, taking 12th.
The WCA and Wilby girls take off in Class MM around 10:20. Senior Salma Gudaf is the top Spartan while junior Alana Daunis claims that spot for the Wildcats.
The Class MM boys meet goes off at 10:55 with no locals. That's followed by the Class L girls at 11:25, which features Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern. Junior Alex Sirko led the Rams at the CCC title meet, and freshman Avery Braccia was tops for the Lancers.
The Class L boys, scheduled for noon, will have Bristol Central, Bristol Eastern, Crosby, Kennedy and Wilby. The Rams are led by sophomore Matt Petrosky, the Lancers by junior Ben Wadowski, the Bulldogs by junior Elijah Lewis, the Eagles by senior Kyle Hotchkiss, and the Wildcats by senior Bryan Oliveira.
There are no local runners in the Class LL girls or boys meets, which are slated for 1 p.m. and 1:35 p.m. Class S girls, which starts at 2:05, has Holy Cross, Sacred Heart and St. Paul. The Crusaders are led by junior Galvin Brayton, the Hearts by junior Jenna French, and the Falcons by sophomore Kailyn Bielecki.
The Class S boys get their start at 2:40, and Sacred Heart is the lone team in the meet. The Hearts are paced by senior Jonathan Warren.
There are no local girls in the Class SS race, which takes off at 3:10. At 3:45, the Class SS boys go in the final race of the day. Holy Cross and St. Paul will run in that meet. Sophomore Jack Paulin leads the Crusaders while sophomore Aidan Reilly does the same for the Falcons.

Bristol Eastern girls volleyball rallies past Bristol Central

The Bristol Central girls volleyball program hasn't tasted victory at the varsity level against rival Bristol Eastern since 1993.
Bill Clinton was President of the United States,Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" was the top song on Billboard's end of the year chart, and the Toronto Blue Jays earned a second straight World Series championship.
The streak nearly ended on Thursday at Bristol Central High School.
Central won sets one and three by scores of 25-21 and 25-22 to take a 2-1 lead over Eastern, which claimed the second set 25-22. The Rams were a set away from making history, but the Lancers would have none of it.
Eastern won the fourth set 25-20, then claimed the fifth 15-10 to steal the match by a score of 3-2. The Lancers were able to overcome an inspired effort from the host Rams and keep their streak alive.
Eastern finished the regular season with a record of 12-7 (12-6 CCC) while Central (12-5 CCC) ended at 13-7. Both await their seeding in the upcoming CCC Tournament.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

St. Paul girls volleyball must win regular season finale to reach state tournament

St. Paul girls volleyball has a chance to make the state tournament.
To do so, the 7-12 Falcons must get past the 11-4 Lewis Mills Spartans. St. Paul will have to wait until Wednesday, Nov. 1, to play that penultimate match. The Falcons will host the match at St. Paul at 6 p.m.
To reach the postseason, a volleyball team must win 40 percent of its matches against "member schools, out-of-state schools and the American School of the Deaf," according to the CIAC tournament packet.
St. Paul hasn't faced Lewis Mills this season. The Spartans are from the Berkshire League, but they have played three opponents that the Falcons faced, and those are Housatonic, Kennedy and Naugatuck. Both teams beat Housatonic, Lewis Mills won against Kennedy, and both squads lost to Naugatuck.
If St. Paul can snap its three-match losing streak, it will make the state tournament.

Several local boys teams still in hunt for state tourney bid

We're down to the final matches of the regular season for area soccer teams, and a few of them are in still in the running for a berth in the state tournament.
Teams must win 40 percent of their matches. To get that 40%, the CIAC takes two points for each win, one for each tie and divides it by twice the number of matches played.
Three NVL boys teams are in the hunt. Wolcott is 5-8-2, and if the season ended now, it would be in. Alas, the Eagles still have another match to play and must secure at least a tie to qualify.
St. Paul is 4-7-3 and needs a win or two ties in its two remaining matches to reach the state tournament. 
Wilby is 5-9-1 and also needs a tie, with one match remaining, to qualify for the state postseason.
Here's the schedule for Wolcott, St. Paul and Wilby:
WOLCOTT -- vs. St. Paul (4-7-3) on Nov. 1 at 6 p.m.
ST. PAUL -- at Haddam-Killingworth (11-2-2) on Saturday at 3 p.m.; at Wolcott (5-8-2) on Nov. 1 at 6 p.m.
WILBY -- vs. Kaynor Tech (3-11-1) on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Municipal Stadium

Bristol Eastern, at 4-6-3, is also in the hunt for the state tournament. The Lancers need a tie in one of their last three matches to qualify.
Here's the schedule for Eastern:
EASTERN -- vs. Plainville (7-5-2) on Friday at 5:30 p.m.; vs. Bristol Central (8-6-1) on Monday at 5 p.m.; at Maloney (8-5-0) on Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. at Falcon Field

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

HIGH 5 OF THE WEEK: Jackson Hines' first collegiate goal a winner for Suffolk

Hines (Suffolk athletics)
Former St. Paul standout Jackson Hines picked a terrific time to come up with the first goal of his college career.
Hines, a sophomore defender for Suffolk University, was brought forward on offense for a cornier kick in the waning seconds of regulation of an Oct. 17 match at Lasell. Christian Restrepo put the corner kick into the box, and Hines headed it home with eight seconds left to give the Rams a 3-2 victory. 
The goal was the first of Hines' career. The win locked up a Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament berth for Suffolk.
The Rams are the No. 8 seed and will face top-seeded Saint Joseph's of Maine on Sunday at 1 p.m. Saint Joseph's is the defending GNAC champion.

Brianna Root, Post University volleyball
Root (Post athletics)
The former Bristol Eastern star continues to help the Eagle offense hum with her great passing ability.
Root has dished out 849 assists in 23 matches. That averages out to 9.33 assists per set. Root also has 263 digs, 24 service aces and 42 kills to her credit.
Root, a junior, had 58 assists and 15 digs in a 3-2 Post victory over Wilmington on Saturday. The set scores were 25-23, 21-25, 26-28, 25-18 and 15-12. Root's 15 digs were part of a season-high 106 for Post.
Saturday marked the second straight time Root had gone over 50 assists in a match, and the third time of the season. She had 51 in a 3-2 loss to Nyack on Oct. 17 and 54 in a 3-2 win over that same Nyack team on Sept. 13.
Root had a season-high 20 digs in a 3-1 win over Holy Family on Oct. 3. Her best effort in aces was four, which she has done twice.

Joe Kalosky, Endicott College football
Kalosky (Endicott athletics)

Holy Cross' former signal-caller had a solid game for the Gulls in what was otherwise a tough day Saturday at Salve Regina.
Kalosky completed 27 of 42 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown in a 41-14 loss that dropped Endicott to 1-6. He also rushed three times for seven yards. Kalosky's lone touchdown of the day went for seven yards to Riley Shanley in the second quarter. The touchdown got Endicott on the board, and the visiting Gulls trailed 21-7.
Kalosky completed passes to eight different receivers. Zach DeNike led the way in receptions with eight, Brett Sherman had the most yards with 70, and Shanley pulled in the lone touchdown.
For the season, Kalosky has completed 142 of 255 passes (55.7 percent) for 1,635 yards, eight touchdowns and six interceptions. Kalosky averages 233.6 yards per game through the air.
Kalosky has 49 rushing attempts for 118 yards and two touchdowns.

Jermaine Coggins, Castleton University football
Coggins (Castleton athletics)
A former Crosby standout, the sophomore is one of the leading receivers for the Spartans.
Coggins is second on the team in catches with 15 and yards with 222. He leads the team in touchdown catches with two. His longest gain of the season went for 33 yards.
Coggins had a season-high 62 yards on three receptions in Saturday's 17-14 win over Dean. He had receptions of 33 and 17 yards to help push the ball into the end zone for the Spartans. Moe Harris scored from two yards out to put Castleton ahead 7-0, where it remained at halftime. Coggins overcame a holding call from earlier in the game with those two big plays on the scoring drive.
Coggins' season-high for catches is four against Norwich, a 28-14 victory on Sept. 16.
Castleton has struggled on offense this season (262.3 yards per game), but Coggins has done his part to try to help the Spartans move the ball. Despite the offensive issues, Castleton is 3-1 in Eastern Collegiate Football Conference play.
If the Spartans can get the offense going, it will make them that much more dangerous. Coggins, who was a solid receiver at Crosby, could play a key role in any increased success.

Hannah Lemek, University of Saint Joseph volleyball
Lemek (USJ athletics)

It has been a tough season for the Blue Jays, but the senior from Bristol Central has done her part to help her team.
Lemek is second in kills with 118 and second in total blocks with 40. She is fourth in digs with 98 and tied for fifth in service aces with 14.
Lemek had a pair of big kill totals in matches against Fitchburg State on Sept. 23 and Becker on Sept. 28. Lemek recorded 15 kills in a 3-0 win over Fitchburg, then upped the ante with 23 in a 3-2 loss to Becker. She reached double digits in kills for a third time with 12 in a 3-1 loss to Anna Maria on Oct. 7.
Lemek has played in all 22 matches and taken part in 75 of 78 sets.

Statistics and information compiled from the team website of each athlete.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Dan Mulrooney gets first head coaching win, with plenty of Brass City influence

Mulrooney (Anna Maria athletics)
It's been a long, tough season for the Anna Maria College football team.
That season is the first in the head coaching career of Dan Mulrooney.
Six games worth of frustration turned to one game of elation on Saturday at AMCAT Field in Paxton, Mass., against Alfred State.
When Anna Maria recovered a fumble at the 1:06 mark of the fourth quarter, it clinched a 36-34 victory. The win is the first for Mulrooney, the former Holy Cross standout, as head coach of the AMCATS.
It has been an insane couple of weeks for Mulrooney, who began his coaching career at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. On Oct. 13, Mulrooney saved the life of his neighbor Patricia Mills, who was choking on a piece of meatloaf. His actions were reported extensively, and he was described as a hero. Mulrooney had canceled practice, which meant he was home and in the right place at the right time.
Weaver (Anna Maria athletics)
On Oct. 21, Mulrooney finally got to taste success as a head coach. It nearly didn't happen as Alfred State rallied from a 30-7 deficit to get to within 36-34. When the onside kick was recovered, however, Mulrooney and his staff could breathe a sigh of relief.
A fun aspect of the win is two former Waterbury players contributed to it.
Trai Weaver, a senior from Holy Cross who has gone through the battles with Mulrooney this season, had a huge game at wide receiver. He caught four passes for 2010 yards and two touchdowns. The first of those touchdowns went for 99 -- you read that right, 99 -- yards. Weaver later hauled in a 72-yard touchdown from Emmanuel Leake. He averaged an astounding 52.5 yards per catch.
For the season, Weaver has 39 catches for 771 yards (19.8 average/catch) and eight touchdowns.
Sampson (Anna Maria athletics)
Freshman Jude Sampson, a former Kennedy High standout, made an impact in the Anna Maria win on defense. The defensive lineman led the AMCATS in tackles with 11. He had half a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. Sampson had back-to-back tackles on one first quarter drive. On a third quarter drive, Sampson made or assisted on tackles on three plays in a four-play sequence.
For the season, Sampson has 28 tackles, 3.5 for loss.
Mulrooney got his first win on Saturday, and he was able to celebrate with not only former Waterbury players, but ex-Brass City coaches. Offensive Coordinator/QBs Coach Steve Croce was a coach at Holy Cross, and he also spent time at Post University with the sprint football team. Outside Linebackers Coach Charles McIntosh is another former Holy Cross player.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

WEEK 7 FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Wolcott goes all out in 64-45 win over Woodland

Wolcott combined with Woodland Friday night for the state's highest scoring
game of the season to date. The Eagles beat the Hawks 64-45 in Wolcott.
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69, 2017 file
Wolcott and Woodland nearly put out the Joe Monroe Field scoreboard with all of their points on Friday night.
The teams combined for 109 points in a 64-45 Eagle victory over the Hawks. The point total is the highest combined in the state this season. Two games in state history before 2017 had a total of 109 points. Those were North Branford-Old Saybrook/Westbrook in 2012 (70-39) and Seymour-Branford in 1969 (75-34).
Of course, the all-time record is 142, set last year in Waterbury Career Academy's 72-70 win over Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech on Oct. 13, 2016.
Nonetheless, Friday's Wolcott-Woodland game had plenty of offensive firepower. 

St. Paul's undefeated run ends at powerful Ansonia
The Falcons and Chargers both entered Friday night's game at Nolan Field, but only the home team came off the field at 6-0.
St. Paul held the ball for nearly the first nine minutes of the game with its ball-control wishbone offense. The Falcons turned the ball over on downs, and two plays later, Charger star running back Markell Dobbs turned on the afterburners on a 61-yard touchdown run.
Unfortunately for St. Paul, it got much worse. Ansonia didn't attempt a pass, and Dobbs compiled 289 yards and four touchdowns on just eight carries in the 50-0 win.
Damien Rabis led the Falcons with 40 yards while Connor Bogdanski had 36. St. Paul didn't complete a pass in two attempts.
St. Paul (5-1) gets a chance at redemption next Saturday at home against Woodland (2-4).

Bristol Central wins tight one at home
The Rams knocked off Jason Pace's Newington Indians 20-17 at Bristol Central High School, thanks to two fourth quarter touchdown runs and a stingy defense near the end zone.
Newington (2-4) led 10-6 after one quarter, and that margin extended all the way to the fourth quarter. Central's Dathan Hickey scored two touchdowns to put the home team ahead 20-10, but Newington rallied to 20-17 and had the ball at the Ram 5 late. A combination of Indian mistakes and Ram resolve led to Central's victory. The Rams improved to 3-3.
Hickey ran for 130 yards and all three Central touchdowns.

Holy Cross unleashes offensive outburst
The Crusaders trailed the Raiders 22-6 in Torrington, but the deficit didn't last long.
Holy Cross erupted for 34 unanswered points to claim a 40-22 lead. Torrington did score twice more to get the score to 40-36, but the Crusaders held on for the win. Holy Cross improved to 3-3 while Torrington dropped to 1-5.

Bulldogs get in high gear in win over Wildcats
Crosby had its offense humming in a 50-14 win over Wilby at Jimmy Lee Stadium.
The Bulldogs led 14-0 after one quarter, then erupted for 28 points in the second quarter to lead 42-6. Crosby improved to 4-2 on the season while Wilby fell to 0-6.

Bristol Eastern offense erupts in loss
When was the last time the Lancers put up 39 points in a game?
To be more to the point, Eastern had scored just 42 points in the first five games of this season going into Friday's game against Platt at Meriden's Falcon Field. The Lancers dropped 39 on the Panthers, but couldn't get enough stops in a 52-39 loss. Eastern saw its winning streak snapped at two, its record dropped to 2-4.
On the positive side, the Lancers saw Justin Marshall throw for over 300 yards and Jaden Laprise catch over 200 yards of passes. Marshall has shown he can throw the football well, and Laprise can definitely catch it. That can only mean good things for Eastern down the road.
And by the way, the last time Eastern put up at least 39 points was a 40-34 win over Newington on Oct. 23, 2015. The Lancers lost 35-28 to Platt later that season on Nov. 6.

Torres leads Spartans to win
Matt Torres had two big touchdown passes for Waterbury Career Academy in what turned into a tight 16-14 win over Sacred Heart/Kyanor Tech.
Torres threw touchdowns of 37 yards to Jadan Battle and 26 yards to Justen Rudel in the first quarter. Torres also converted a pair of two-point conversions, one with a pass to Jessah Doctor and another on a run. WCA improved to 3-3.
Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, but fell to 0-6.

Tough loss for Kennedy
Elijah Nelson scored from two yards out to put Kennedy down 21-6 to Seymour on Thursday afternoon at Ray Snyder Sr. Field.
The Eagles were in business again after their defense forced a Wildcat fumble. Kennedy couldn't capitalize, however, and Seymour scored again before halftime for a 28-6 lead. By the time Eagle Jake Desjardins ran for a one-yard score and Anthony Ferriaolo scampered for the two-point conversion, the Wildcats had run away with the game. Seymour won 49-14.
PHOTOS: Click here to see images from Thursday's game.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: Wolcott boasts best record in the area

Wolcott girls volleyball has the best record of any area team at 12-4.
The Eagles have won five of their last six contests, including back-to-back 3-0 victories over Ansonia and Watertown. Wolcott would love to improve its NVL and state tournament seedings in its final three matches, but tough tests await against Naugatuck, Torrington and Woodland.
Wolcott is 2-1 against those three opponents so far this season. The Eagles beat Naugatuck and Woodland by scores of 3-2, and they lost to Torrington by that same 3-2 margin.

Rams having a fine season
Another local having a good year is Bristol Central at 11-5.
The Rams have won two in a row and five of their last six. Central can improve its state tournament seeding, but will have to do so with a pair of difficult matches to end the season. After facing Plainville (3-0 win in first meeting), Central closes against Torrington and city rival Bristol Eastern.

Crusaders on winning streak
Holy Cross has followed up two straight losses with three consecutive wins.
The Crusaders are 10-6 entering their final four matches of the season. Holy Cross has a good chance to improve its NVL and state tournament seedings. The Crusaders face Housatonic, Wilby, Woodland and WCA.

Lancers look to finish strong
Bristol Eastern is 8-6 and looking to go into the postseason on a positive note.
The Lancers face a challenging schedule with matches against Woodstock Academy (12-3), Glastonbury (11-3) and Bristol Central (11-5). Eastern also plays Platt and Plainville.

Falcons, Eagles, Spartans chasing bids
St. Paul (6-9), WCA (6-10) and Kennedy (6-10) are all within striking distance of the postseason.
A team needs to win 40 percent of its regular season matches. The Falcons have done that to this point, but there's still five more to be played. St. Paul faces Goodwin Tech, Seymour, Ansonia, Northwest Catholic and Lewis Mills.
WCA closes the regular season against Oxford, Kennedy, Holy Cross and O'Brien Tech. Besides the aforementioned matchup with the Spartans, the Eagles take on Nonnewaug, Crosby and Plainville.

BOYS SOCCER: Sacred Heart battles to win over Ansonia

Sacred Heart picked up a nice win Tuesday over Ansonia at Waterville Park.
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69, 2017 file photo)
Sacred Heart boys soccer picked up a hard-fought 4-3 win over Ansonia on Tuesday at Waterville Park.
The Hearts improved to 8-5 with the victory while sending the Chargers to 7-4-2. Head coach Gianni Perugini lauded the efforts of Klediol Kaso and Evan Laferriere in particular.
"Both players gave all heart during today's game," Perugini said, according to a tweet on the Sacred Heart athletics account. "They displayed passion, intensity, hard work, and a desire to be successful. Evan defensively locked it up, and Kledi gave our offense positive reinforcing in the middle third."

Bristol Central in state tournament
The Rams have won two of their last three matches and have a 7-4-1 record on the season. Central will try to improve its state tournament seeding in its last four matches, which are against Middletown, Manchester, Plainville and Bristol Eastern.

Eagles, Crusaders face off in big match Thursday
Kennedy (5-5-2) and Holy Cross (4-6-3) have work to do to qualify for the state tournament.
One side could take care of business against the other on Thursday when the teams meet at 6:30 p.m. at Ray Snyder Sr. Field. Holy Cross is the home team for the match. It's the only match of the season between the two sides.

Wolcott trying to reach state tournament
The Eagles had a setback Tuesday when they lost on the road to Seymour.
The defeat dropped Wolcott to 4-6-2, still within state tournament range. The Eagles have matches remaining against Aerospace, Watertown, Ansonia and St. Paul.

Bristol Eastern needs to win
The Lancers, like the Wolcott Eagles, are 4-6-2 with four matches left. Eastern needs wins to get into the state tournament, and its last four matches are against RHAM, Plainville, Bristol Central and Maloney.

Bulldogs, Wildcats, Falcons still hanging around
Crosby (3-6-4), Wilby (4-7-1) and St. Paul (3-7-2) are still alive for state tournament qualification, but they all need to help themselves. Here's who each team faces the rest of the way:
CROSBY -- Sacred Heart, Wilby, Woodland
WILBY -- St. Paul, Crosby, Torrington, Kaynor Tech
ST. PAUL -- Wilby, Torrington, Wolcott, Haddam-Killingworth

GIRLS SOCCER: Holy Cross hands Woodland second loss, Minicucci scores four times for Hearts

Erin Goggin had the assist, and Alana Snow scored the goal for Holy Cross
in a nice 1-0 win over Woodland at Ray Snyder Sr. Field on Tuesday.
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69, 2017 file photo)
Woodland girls soccer has been a strong team all season.
Holy Cross put a little dent in the armor of the Hawks on Tuesday, however, with a 1-0 victory at Ray Snyder Sr. Field. Freshman Alana Snow scored the lone goal in the first half off an assist from senior Erin Goggin. 
Sophomore keeper Tori Schaffner and the Crusader defense made sure the lead held up from there in a big win for the home team. Holy Cross improved to 8-2-3. For Woodland, it was only the second loss of the season (10-2). The Hawks had won nine straight matches before Tuesday's defeat.

Minicucci finds net four times in win
It's been an up and down year for Sacred Heart.
The Hearts are just 4-9, but there have been some bright spots. Sophomore Emma Minicucci provided one of her own on Tuesday at Ansonia. She scored four goals in a 7-2 Hearts victory over the Chargers.

Lancers within striking distance of state tourney berth
Speaking of up and down seasons, Bristol Eastern has had one of its own.
Still, the Lancers are within range of a state tournament berth, thanks to a 2-1 road win over Maloney on Monday. Eastern moved to 6-6 with the victory.
The Lancers are at Middletown today, and wouldn't they love to get even with the Blue Dragons after a tough loss last week. It would be a fitting way to make the postseason, but Eastern will have to earn it.

Eagles get a big win
Wolcott kept pace with a tight NVL race by winning 3-1 at home over Seymour on Tuesday.
The Eagles improved to 8-3-2, and they can still move up in the standings and secure a better NVL Tournament seed.

Kendall Davis becomes St. Paul record-holder
The career goals record for the Falcons was owned by Helena Pereira.
On Monday, Kendall Davis pushed past the former St. Paul star with four goals in an 11-0 win at Derby. The fourth and final goal of the day gave Davis 63, one more than Pereira's previous record of 62.
The Falcons are a solid 7-2-3 on the season.

Rams need more points for postseason
Bristol Central is 5-7 with four matches remaining in the regular season.
The Rams play Maloney, Enfield, Plainville and Bristol Eastern in those four contests. Central beat Maloney 2-1 in overtime the first time around, but it needs another win over the Spartans, along with a turnaround against either Plainville or Eastern. The Rams lost to both sides the first time this season. Enfield is having a stellar season with a current record of 11-0-1.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

HIGH 5 OF THE WEEK: Ray Snyder IV begins his coaching career

Like father, like son for Ray Snyder IV.
Snyder IV (Alfred athletics)

The former Sacred Heart swimming and diving standout is ready to focus his efforts on leading athletes from the pool deck as a coach. Snyder IV is a graduate assistant on the men's swimming and diving team at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y. 
Snyder IV was already thinking about coaching while attending Sacred Heart and swimming under his father, Ray Snyder III.
"At Sacred Heart High School, being a student-athlete allowed me to develop leadership skills and instilled in me a passion for success!" Snyder IV said in a testimonial posted on the school website. "Balancing a rigorous academic workload with an equally demanding sport was made possible because of the support from caring teachers and dedicated coaches. Because of this great education I received, I know I will succeed as a collegiate coach."
Snyder IV brings a solid pedigree with him to Alfred University. He was a star swimmer with the Hearts, then became a multi-time champion in the Northeast-10 Conference while attending Southern Connecticut State University. Snyder IV was a captain and record holder while with the Owls. He earned a Bachelor's in Exercise Science with a concentration on Human Performance from SCSU.
Snyder IV is pursuing his Master's in College Student Development at Alfred.

Parks (SCSU athletics)
Eli Parks, Southern Connecticut State University football
The junior back from St. Paul made the Northeast-10 Conference football honor roll after a strong effort in his team's 52-35 loss to LIU-Post.
Parks carried the ball only 12 times, but made the most of it with 143 yards rushing. He had a touchdown and averaged 11.9 yards per carry. Parks also had an 18-yard reception. 
Parks pulled SCSU even at 7-7 -- after a Jose Conde extra point -- with a 25-yard touchdown run at the 7:43 mark of the first quarter. He also had a rush of 21 yards later in the first half.
In the third quarter, Parks erupted for a 73-yard run down to the LIU-Post 2. SCSU scored two plays later and cut its deficit to 35-21. The Owls got to within 35-28 after three quarters, but the Pioneers pulled away in the final 15 minutes.

Emily McAllister, University of Saint Joseph tennis
McAllister (USJ athletics)

A week after earning top rookie honors in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, the Bristol Central graduate made the honor roll.
McAllister didn't lose a single set -- in fact, she dropped one game -- in four matches (two singles, two doubles). Her 6-0, 6-0 win in singles was part of a team victory that USJ used to clinch a GNAC postseason berth of the fifth straight year. She also teamed with Domonique Carnot for a 9-0 win in doubles in the same match.
In the second match of the week, McAllister was again victorious in singles and doubles. She won 6-0, 6-0 again in singles. In doubles, McAllister combined with Carnot for an 8-1 doubles victory. That match was the regular season finale.
McAllister went 7-4 in singles in the regular season. In doubles, she was 7-3 with Carnot and 1-2 with Alivia Castle for a total record of 8-5.

Kochin (CCSU athletics)
Lexi Kochin, Central Connecticut State University soccer
The former Bristol Central standout couldn't have picked a better time to score her first goal of the season.
Kochin scored off a Danielle Pearse assisted following a free kick at the 87:33 mark of the match to put CCSU ahead 1-0 against Robert Morris on Sunday. The Blue Devils were able to hold onto the lead in the final minutes and claim victory.
Kochin was hunting for a goal all match. At the 35:42 mark, she blasted a shot off of the crossbar. She was second on the team with three shots in the match.
Kochin's goal accumulated her first two points of the season. She has played in 13 of CCSU's 14 matches, coming off the bench in each contest.

Sullivan (SCSU athletics)
Alizabeth Sullivan, Southern Connecticut State University 
swimming and diving
The sophomore from Sacred Heart got her season off to a good start in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Sullivan helped her relay -- which also included Avery Fornaciari, Emily Waehler and Shannon Blakeslee -- finish third with a time of 4:06.80. 
At Sacred Heart, Sullivan served as a captain in her senior season. She was part of a very successful Hearts swimming program under head coach Butch Savage.
Sullivan plans to major in elementary education and special education, according to her bio on the team's website.

Statistics and information compiled from the team website of each athlete.

Bristol Central senior wrestler Trelli already earning national recognition

Bristol Central senior captain Chris Trelli finds himself in the national rankings
at 106 pounds in two different publications. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69, 2017 file)
The start of the high school wrestling regular season is nearly two months away, yet Bristol Central senior Chris Trelli is already earning accolades.
Wrestling USA Magazine has rated Trelli the top wrestler in the country at 106 pounds. WIN Magazine (Wrestling Insider News) puts Trelli at No. 10 on its list of 106-pound grapplers.
"Captain Chris Trelli pulling in the preseason national rankings!" read a tweet from the Bristol Central wrestling account @BCRamsWrestling.
In July, Trelli was the runner-up at 106 in the Junior National freestyle tournament held in Fargo, N.D. During that great run, the Central captain took down three returning place-winners on his way to the final.
Central opens the season at home against Farmington on Dec. 13 at 6 p.m.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Bristol Central outlasts Bristol Eastern in spirited city girls swim meet

Bristol Central girls swimming and diving saw its undefeated season end Friday in a close 92-88 loss to Windsor at the Dennis Malone Aquatic Center.
On Saturday night, it looked like city rival Bristol Eastern was going to deliver another defeat. For the second time in a week, however, the Ram 400-yard freestyle relay teams came up big.
"BC Girls Swim are City Champs 52-50!" head coach Adrienne Bentley tweeted. "Both of our 400 free relays turned on and pulled out the win!"
Central avoided Eastern's upset bid in a spirited city meet at the Malone Center that also included St. Paul. The Rams have two meets remaining, and both are in Bristol. Central hosts Middletown on Tuesday at 4, then takes on Eastern again on Oct. 24. at 3:45. The Rams are the road team in the meet against the Lancers.
Eastern still has four meets left in the regular season. The Lancers are at Maloney/Platt on Tuesday and swim Sacred Heart Academy at Albertus Magnus College on Thursday. Eastern hits the road again Friday against Farmington, then hosts Central on Oct. 24.
St. Paul ends its regular season on the road with meets against Watertown on Tuesday and Seymour on Friday.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Marchi, Wright and Temple lose tough game to UConn

Marchi (Temple athletics)
It was a tough afternoon for Connecticut natives Logan Marchi and Isaiah Wright, and their Temple teammates, on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Owls lost 28-24 to the home-state UConn Huskies. Marchi had his UConn application rescinded less than a week before National Signing Day and ended up at Temple. Wright had offers from several schools, including UConn, and wound up with the Owls after originally committing to Rutgers.
Marchi had a day reminiscent of the St. Paul "Air Raid" offense. The redshirt sophomore attempted 54 passes and completed 33 of them for 356 yards, one touchdown and one critical interception. Wright, a sophomore who started his high school career at Holy Cross before transferring to West Hartford's Kingswood Oxford, caught six passes for 50 yards, including a nine-yard strike from Marchi. Wright had the second-most catches on the team.
Marchi's last pass of the game, to the front corner of the end zone, was batted down.
Wright (Temple athletics)
Marchi and Wright hooked up for the nine-yard touchdown pass with 7:54 left in the third quarter. Aaron Boumerhi's extra point cut the Temple deficit to 21-14.
Marchi's next pass went to the wrong side, and Windsor native Tyler Coyle returned the interception 34 yards for a UConn touchdown. A Mike Tarbutt extra point put the Huskies ahead 28-14.
Temple responded with 10 straight points and got a final chance when Tarbutt missed a 36-yard field goal with 55 seconds left. The field goal would have put the Huskies up 31-24. 
Instead, the Owls had a chance to steal the game. Marchi completed passes of 11 and 25 yards to get the ball to the UConn 44. After a Marchi spike stopped the clock, an incompletion made it 3rd and 10. Marchi completed a two-yard pass, but his last attempt to the end zone was knocked down by Coyle.
The frustrating loss made Temple 3-4 on the season. The Owls play against Army in their next game.
Speaking of the NVL, UConn's Arkeel Newsome -- former star at Ansonia -- had 18 rushes for 56 yards and three catches for minus four yards, though one went for a touchdown.

St. Paul football in best playoff position at midway point of season

St. Paul is 5-0 and ranked sixth in the Class S playoff standings. The Falcons
face Class S No. 4 Ansonia (5-0) this coming Friday at 7 in Ansonia.
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69, 2017 file)
All area football teams had a bye in Week 6, and they are all halfway through their 10-game regular season schedules.
Of all the area teams, St. Paul has the best playoff position. For one, the Falcons are the only local team in the Top 8 (Top 8 in each class make the playoffs). St. Paul is ranked sixth in Class S, two spots behind Week 7 foe Ansonia. Both teams are 5-0 on the season.
Crosby is 3-2 and ranked 11th in the Class L playoff standings.
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69, 2017 file)
The top three teams in Class S are all from the Connecticut Technical Conference, but that won't last. No. 1 Bullard Havens Tech (5-0), No. 2 O'Brien Tech and No. 3 Prince Tech all have games left against each other. O'Brien and Prince have only played four games (both are 4-0), so both have six games left.
The Top 10 teams in Class S are unbeaten are either 5-0 or 4-0.
For St. Paul and Ansonia, something has to give this coming Friday when the two teams meet at Nolan Field at 7 p.m. One of the two teams will walk off that field with their first loss. St. Paul also has a game against Seymour in early November.

Here's who the Falcons play the rest of this season

Oct. 20 at Ansonia (5-0); Oct. 28 vs. Woodland (2-3); Nov. 3 vs. Seymour (3-1); Nov. 9 at Wilby (0-5); Nov. 22 vs. Oxford (2-3)

And here's where the other locals rank in their respective classes:

CLASS S (38 teams): 22. Waterbury Career Academy (2-3); 26. Holy Cross (2-3)
CLASS M (35): 16. Wolcott (2-3)
CLASS L (34): 11. Crosby (3-2); 20. Bristol Eastern (2-3); 21. Kennedy (2-3); 23. Bristol Central (2-3); 30. Wilby (0-5); 32. Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech (0-5)

WATERBURY CITY CHAMPIONSHIP: Hotchkiss has record finish, leads Kennedy boys to victory

Kennedy's Kyle Hotchkiss had a course record, a first place finish, and he
helped his team to a title in Friday's Waterbury City Championship.
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69)
Kennedy senior Kyle Hotchkiss has become familiar with the top spot in the boys race at the Waterbury City Championship.
Hotchkiss won the race for the third straight year, and he made his final mark on the meet with a Montoe Park course record of 16:15.7. Chase's Ethan Puc (16:41) and Kennedy's Alex Brites (16:54) also ran the course in under 17 minutes. 
Sacred Heart's Jenna French finished the girls race in first place
at Montoe Park on Friday. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)
Hotchkiss also helped lead Kennedy to the team title. The Eagles had a score of 32, or 33 better than second place Holy Cross' 65. Crosby took third with a score of 75. Kennedy's Ivan Meraz (sixth), Andry Evangelista (7th) and Sergio Guevara (15th) all finished in the Top 15. The Top 15 runners make All-City.
The race for fifth place between Crosby's Elijah Lewis and Kennedy's Meraz was exciting at the end. Lewis crossed the finish line in 17:31.3, just ahead of Meraz's 17:31.5.
In the girls race, Sacred Heart's Jenna French paced the field with a first place time of 21:48.3. For the second year in a row, however, the team title belonged to Holy Cross. The Crusaders tallied a score of 43, 13 better than second place Waterbury Career Academy's 56. Kennedy was third with 70.
Holy Cross had the second and third place finishers -- Julia Mecca and Galvin Brayton -- and put two more runners (Aizlyn Zupkus and Alyssa Sorraco) in the Top 15.

Here's the Top 15 for both the boys and the girls:

BOYS -- 1. Hotchkiss (Kennedy) 16:15.7; 2. Puc (Chase) 16:41; 3. Brites (Kennedy) 16:54; 4. Bryan Oliveira (Wilby) 17:20; 5. Lewis (Crosby) 17:31.3; 6. Meraz (Kennedy) 17:31.5; 7. Evangelista (Kennedy); 8. Jack Poulin (Holy Cross) 17:51; 9. Jon Dwyer Grimes (Chase) 17:53; 10. Lucas Racevicius (Holy Cross) 17:57; 11. Johnny Warren (Sacred Heart) 18:05; 12. Harrison Foley (WCA) 18:08; 13. Sam Henderlite (Holy Cross) 18:11; 14. Ben Bowler (Holy Cross) 18:13; 15. Guevara (Kennedy) 18:31.

GIRLS -- 1. French (Sacred Heart) 21:48.3; 2. Mecca (Holy Cross) 22:32; 3. Brayton (Holy Cross) 22:33; 4. Layne Carter (Chase) 23:04; 5. Hennessey Vasquez (WCA) 23:22; 6. Salma Gudaf (WCA); 7. Silvia Pomaquiza (Kennedy) 23:42; 8. Melany Boivin (Sacred Heart) 23:47; 9. Melanie Sanchez (Kaynor Tech) 24:08; 10. Journey Singleton (Chase) 24:13; 11. Brianna Pittman (Kaynor Tech) 24:23; 12. Zupkus (Holy Cross) 24:31; 13. Herta Sufka (Kennedy) 24:37; 14. Fuka Reale (Kennedy) 24:51; 15. Alyssa Sorraco (Holy Cross) 24:59.

And here are the final team standings:

BOYS -- 1. Kennedy 32; 2. Holy Cross 65; 3. Crosby 75; 4. Chase 97; 5. Sacred Heart 114; 6. WCA 150; 7. Wilby 200; 8. Kaynor Tech 218.

GIRLS -- 1. Holy Cross 43; 2. WCA 56; 3. Kennedy 70; 4. Sacred Heart 96; 5. Kaynor Tech 99; 6. Wilby 170.

PHOTOS: Click here to see images from Friday's city meet.

Friday, October 13, 2017

BRISTOL CITY CHAMPIONSHIPS: Central sweeps girls and boys meets again

Bristol Central boys cross country swept the Top 10 spots in the City Championships
on Thursday at Rockwell Park. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)
The Bristol Central, Bristol Eastern and St. Paul cross country teams met Thursday at Rockwell Park for the Bristol City Championships, and a familiar result materialized.
Bristol Eastern freshman Avery Braccia took first in the girls race.
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69)
The Rams swept both the girls and boys meets, with the latter happening in dominating fashion. The Top 10 boys finishers were all Central runners, led by Mark Petrosky in first place and Matt Roy in second place. They were followed by Devin Flores, Pacifico Flores, Nate Deangelo, Ben Stafford, Jose Ramirez, Eric Knox, Ian Kreciglowa and Leo Kavanaugh. Eastern's Ben Wadowski was his team's first finisher in 11th while St. Paul's Aidan Reilly crossed in 12th.
The top spot in the girls race belonged to a freshman, Eastern's Avery Braccia. She finished ahead of the Central duo of Alex Sirko and Paige Hinton. The team score between Central and Eastern was close, but the Rams took a 25-31 victory and won the city meet for the ninth straight time. Central topped St. Paul 17-43, and Eastern won 21-34 over the Falcons.
The boys took the city meet for the 14th consecutive time. Central beat both Eastern and St. Paul by the score of 15-50. The Lancers defeated the Falcons 25-32.
The three schools turn their focus to their league championship meets next week.

PHOTOS: Click here to see images from Thursday's city meet.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Marchi ready to play first game against UConn

Marchi (Temple athletics)
Former St. Paul star Logan Marchi will be playing in a UConn football game on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
The thing is, Marchi will do so wearing the uniform of the Temple Owls, starting at quarterback against the school he originally committed to. On Saturday, Marchi has a chance to show UConn what he can do.
Marchi told the Philadelphia Inquirer's Marc Narducci that playing UConn isn't providing extra juice for this weekend.
"I always wanted to play for my hometown school, but here I am and I love the school and bleed cherry and white," Marchi said in the article, which was posted on the Inquirer website.
There's also no revenge factor.
"You can't let personal stuff get into the way and you have to go prepare and go 1-0 this week and give the team the best chance to win," Marchi said.
Wright (Temple athletics)
Marchi threw for a career-high 321 yards in a 34-10 victory last weekend at East Carolina. 
It was also a career game for former Holy Cross and Kingswood-Oxford standout Isaiah Wright. Wright caught six passes for 91 yards and a touchdown.
Wright, who was born in Waterbury, is another Connecticut player who left the Nutmeg State. He started his high school career at Holy Cross before moving on to Kingswood-Oxford, where former Crosby head coach Jason Martinez is the top guy.
Wright originally committed to Rutgers before switching to Temple. UConn had also offered Wright.
Marchi was a UConn commitment until his application was rejected less than a week before National Signing Day. Well, that was the official story. According to the New Haven Register's Jim Fuller, sources said Marchi's family was not contacted by the admissions department at the schoolBob Diaco had become head coach after Paul Pasqualoni was let go. Pasqualoni was head coach when Marchi was recruited. 
Now Marchi runs the offense at Temple. This will be the first time Marchi has played against the Huskies. The game is at noon on ESPNews.