Blogs > High School Sports

Welcome to the New Haven Register high school sports blog where our talented staff of Chris Hunn, Joe Morelli, Dan Nowak and Mike Pucci will keep you up to date on everything to do with high school sports in Connecticut. Mike Pucci's Gridiron Glory blog for high school football remains. We hope you enjoy and feel free to join in the conversation.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Why Thanksgiving football matters ...

This all took place at one game, but similar scenes no doubt took place all over the state, and that's why Thansgiving football matters ...

-- The disappointment of Ansonia fans parking in the Stop & Shop parking lot above Naugatuck High School upon learning the path that led from the store to the field that they've taken for more than two decades was blockaded.

-- Those same fans walking close to the mile loop back down Rubber Avenue and into the stadium.

-- A slew of shiny white jerseys taking a muddy field midway through the second half. An acknowledgement of a job well done, and a look into the future.

-- Longtime Ansonia assistant John Sponheimer running along the sideline pumping his fist in celebration ... of hearing Notre Dame-West Haven had beaten Hamden to earn a berth in the state playoffs.

-- Impromptu reunions in lines for the restrooms that go 30-40 deep, stretching past the concession stands.

-- Members of the coaching staff walking over to congratulate Alex Thomas on his performance at the Yale-Harvard game.

-- Bob Sobin having his picture taken on the sideline with two of his grandsons in the fourth quarter, Christian, who scored two touchdowns, and Julian, who recovered a fumble.

-- John "Bucky" Glenn, Ansonia's statistician walking the sideline of this game for the 67th time.

-- About a dozen ball boys and water boys, from age 3-12, each wearing Ansonia caps and wool hats, jerseys, and sweatshirts, walking the sideline, dreaming of one day being on the field for this game.

-- A high school student in a dunk tank wearing a Naugatuck jersey, laughing and taunting for a fundraiser.

-- Naugatuck players, shortly after the conclusion of their 111th meeting with Ansonia, a 36-point loss, telling members of the Chargers, "You've got one heck of a football team. Good luck in states." Many had tears in their eyes, the realization this would be the last time they play competitive football becoming reality.

-- Players trying to be interviewed as teammates ready for a joyous ride home yell out the window of the team bus.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Three Local Players Headed to Play Baseball at Bryant

Sheehan's Ryan Moore, Guilford's Craig Schlitter and Shelton's Dan St. George have all signed national letters of intent to play baseball at Bryant University in 2011.
Moore, a right-handed pitcher went 7-4 with a 1.50 ERA and 66 strikeouts for the Titans last season. Schlitter, another right-handed pitcher, went 4-2 with 42 strikeouts as a junior. St. George, a utility player and pitcher, was an All-SCC selection for the Gaels last season.
Norwalk pitcher Jon Cohen will also join the Bulldogs.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, November 20, 2009

Keniry Headed to Wake Forest, Doran to Play at Stanford

Notre Dame-West Haven senior shortstop Conor Keniry has signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at Wake Forest.
Keniry chose Wake Forest over UConn, Boston College, St. John's and Quinnipiac.
Keniry, a Register All-Area selection last season, hit .405 last season for the Green Knights, to go along with 19 RBIs and seven stolen bases.
Also, Law senior second baseman Brett Michael Doran has secured a spot on the Stanford baseball team for the 2010-11 season, according to Lawmen coach Dennis Sweeney.
Sweeney said Doran was one of 10 players selected during a process that started with 1,700 players.
Doran gave up a scholarship from Sacred Heart to play at Stanford, a perennial college powerhouse.
Doran, a Register All-Area selection as a junior, hit .356 with 23 RBIs and six home runs last season, while leading the Law to an Southern Connecticut Conference title.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SCC out of CIAC soccer tournaments

For the third straight year, the Southern Connecticut Conference will not have a state soccer champion.
The Guilford boys was the last team to fall, 4-2 to New Milford in the Class LL semifinals Tuesday night. No other boys' or girls' team from the league even got past the quarterfinals. The only area team left is Bunnell, which plays New Canaan today in the Class L semifinals at 7:30 p.m. at Norwalk High.
In field hockey, the SCC is out of that tournament, too. Hand fell to top-seeded Darien 3-1 in the Class M semifinals. There are no area field hockey teams left as both North Branford and Haddam-Killingworth lost in the Class S semifinals.
The SCC is pinning its hopes to three girls' volleyball teams: Foran in Class L, Law and Sacred Heart Academy in Class M. Foran is a heavy, heavy underdog against perennial state champion Darien on Thursday. But Sacred Heart and Law could both get through to meet one another on Saturday at Berlin High.
Cheshire tried to dethrone Greenwich later today in the Class LL swim championships. If not, the Rams get another shot at Saturday's State Open.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SCC basketball tournaments moving to Quinnipiac

The Southern Connecticut Conference boys' and girls' basketball tournament semifinals and finals will be played at Quinnipiac University's TD Bank Sports Center in 2010.
The girls' tournament will be held Feb. 22 and 23 while the boys will be held March 1 and 2. The quarterfinals will be held at West Haven and East haven high schools, respectively.

One boys' hockey game featuring defending Division I champion Hamden against Fairfield Prep will be held at Quinnipiac on Jan. 5 at 6 p.m. A girls' hockey game between Hamden and Guilford will be held on Jan. 3.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Volleyball All-Star Game Slated for Monday

The 19th annual Senior All-Star Volleyball Game will take place Monday at Berlin High School at 7 p.m. Cost is $5 at the door.
Rosters are as follows: Pink Team: Colby Billhardt, Darien; Lexie Broytman, Southington; Katie Byrnes, Southington; Michelle Carilli, Coventry; Katie Centofanti, Greenwich; Jennifer Escobido, Norwich Free Academy; Kastine Evans, Norwich Free Academy; Sarah Gorski, Darien; Maddy Kalb, Staples; Brianna King Sacred Heart Academy; Erynn Miller, Bunnell; Courtney O’Hara, Fitch; Lauren Ostafin, Avon.
Black Team: Sarah Beres, Ellington; Megan Casey, Newtown; Casey Dulin, Law; Jessica Frankowski, Farmington; Dianne Gan, Conard; Ali Krikau, Fairfield Ludlowe; Ellie Linden, RHAM; Krystie Luczynski, Berlin; Carli Matrisian, Foran; Mariah Roussel, Newington; Tessa Smolinski, RHAM; Caity Van Camp, Barlow; Kelsey Welling, RHAM.
Sacred Heart Academy’s Dave Alexandro and Torrington’s Janet Giampaolo will coach the Pink Team. Foran’s Julie Johnson and Conard’s Kerry Roller will coach the Black Team.


Friday, November 13, 2009

New England Cross Country Championships

The New England Cross Country Championships will take place Saturday at Wickham Park in Manchester, with the girls' race at 11:30 a.m. and the boys' race at 12:30 p.m.
Here is a look at the expected weather

Here is a look at some area runners and teams to keep an eye on in the boys' race...

Sean Mueller, Cheshire: Coming off a third-place finish at the State Open.
Ryan Laemel, Amity: Led the Spartans to a third-place finish at the State Open.
Chris FitzSimons, Hamden: First year running cross country and seems to be getting better with every race.
Connor Rog, Fairfield Prep: Was sick at State Open, but finished 13th. Look for him to bounce back. Won title at the Class LL meet.
Xavier: Falcons have been unstoppable. Won SCC, Class LL and State Open title. Should finish in top three at the regional meet.
Hamden: Clinched program's first New England berth.

And on the girls' side...

Lauren Sara, Bunnell: A competitor. Endurance is her strength, not speed. Weather may favor her.
Kellie Davis, Career: Should cap her impressive freshman season with a solid performance.
Rosa Moriello, Naugatuck: Placed fifth at the State Open.
Guilford: Winning the State Open was a surprise. How will the Indians follow up?

Did you know?
The last time Wickham Park held the State Open was 2004. Runners competed on a snow-covered course.

Labels: ,

early postponements...and a forfeit

The Xavier-West Haven and Hand-Shelton football games, along with Masuk-Bunnell out of the SWC, have been postponed until Saturday at 7 p.m. due to inclement weather.

Also, the Fairfield Prep boys' soccer team was forced to forfeit its second-round Class LL state tournament win over Southington on Thursday due to using an ineligible player. Southington now advances to the quarterfinals Saturday to take on top-seeded Glastonbury.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Foot Locker Regional Championships Moved

After hosting the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships Northeast Regional for 30 years, Van Corlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y., will not host the event due to construction.
The event will take place at Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park, N.Y., on Nov. 28.

Labels: ,

Girls' Volleyball State Tournament

The girls’ volleyball state tournament starts today. Here is a look at what lies ahead for some area teams.
Class LL
If No. 16 Cheshire can get by No. 17 Danbury today, the Rams will have to face top-seeded Southington in the second round. Shelton, seeded No. 4, gets a bye in the first round and then will have to face the winner of No. 13 South Windsor and No. 20 Stamford. No. 21 Wilbur Cross drew No. 12 Fitch in the first round and if the Governors can win that match, they will have to face No. 5 Norwich Free Academy. A hot No. 19 West Haven team can upset No. 14 Newington in the first round, but then will have to face No. 3 Greenwich.
Class L
Coming off a South-West Conference title, No. 9 Bunnell gets a first-round bye and then will have to face No. 8 Naugatuck, who also gets a bye, in the second round. No. 4 Foran will try to avenge itself after being upset in the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament. The Lions also earn a bye and will face the winner of No. 13 Platt and No. 20 E.O. Smith. No. 18 Branford opens up today against No. 15 Torrington. The winner will take on No. 2 Kennedy. A pair of SCC teams will square off in the second round after receiving first-round byes. No. 6 Guilford will host No. 11 East Haven Thursday.
Class M
Coming off a SCC title, No 4 Law will face the winner of No. 13 Ellington and No. 20 Nonnewaug in the second round. No. 5 Woodland will take on No. 12 Berlin or No. 21 New Fairfield in the second round. No. 2 Sacred Heart Academy, which was bounced early from the SCC tournament, will take on either No. 15 Griswold or No. 18 Bethel in the second round. No. 3 Seymour also earns a bye and will face No. 14 St. Joseph or No. 19 Rocky Hill Tuesday. No. 27 Lauralton Hall will look to upset No. 6 Avon tonight in the opening round.
Class S
After a bye in the opening round, top-seeded Morgan will face either No. 16 Classical Magnet or No. 17 Abbott Tech in round two. No. 21 O’Brien Tech will play No. 12 SMSA in the first round. If the Condors win, they will take on No. 5 Terryville next. Following first-round byes, No. 7 Coginchaug will face Shoreline Conference foe No. 10 Haddam-Killingworth. No. 19 Valley Regional will face No. 14 Hale Ray tonight, with the winner squaring off against No. 3 East Hampton in the second round.
For a complete look at the brackets click here.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

CIAC soccer tournament preview

The CIAC soccer tournaments begin Monday. Her is the cliff-notes version of what some of the area teams face:
Guilford is the No. 2 seed and hosts Xavier on Tuesday. Xavier is the only team to beat the Indians this season. Amity is the No. 4 seed and if it wins Tuesday, could host No. 13 Hamden on Thursday afternoon.
No. 17 Cheshire and No. 19 Shelton have road games Tuesday against Masuk and Hall, respectively.
Platt Tech is still seeking its first state tournament win in school history. The top-seeded Panthers gets the winner of Fairfield Ludlowe and East Haven at home Thursday. No. 6 Hand looks to do damage on the bottom half of the bracket. No. 14 Bunnell hosts No. 19 Lyman Hall in the opening round.
North Branford hosts Seymour in a first-round game Tuesday. The winner gets a long road trip to top-seeded Tolland on Thursday.
No. 2 seed Valley Regional hosts the winner of St. Bernard and Canton in Thursday's second round while Morgan faces Shoreline rival East Hampton in East Hampton on Tuesday.

Cheshire, last year's finalist, opens at home against Hamden on Monday. Two wins likely gets the Rams a date at top-seeded Glastonbury in the quarterfinals. Shelton hosts the winner of Newtown and three-time defending champion Trumbull on Wednesday.
Wilbur Cross could host either Mercy or Fairfield Ludlowe in Wednesday's second round while West Haven opens tournament play at Norwich Free Academy.
Hand drew the No. 3 seed and could see Guilford in the second round. Guilford is the only team to tie unbeaten Hand this season. Sacred Heart Academy hosts Bethel in the first round while North Haven travels to Wethersfield.
Lauralton Hall is the No. 2 seed and faces Windham in Monday's opening round. Morgan hosts East Catholic while Shoreline Conference mate North Branford travels to Watertown. The winner there gets a long road trip to top-seeded Suffield on Wednesday.
Old Lyme gets the top seed here, hosting the winner of Platt Tech and Wilcox Tech on Wednesday.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Law Wins SCC Title

The No. 3 Law girls' volleyball team edged No. 8 Cheshire 3-2 (25-18, 21-25, 25-13, 16-25, 15-11) Saturday to win the SCC championship.
It was the Eagles first conference title since 2006, when, coincidentally, they beat the Rams.
Casey Dulin earned tournament MVP honors. She finished with 17 kills, 16 digs and five assists. Dulin, along with Caitlin Stapleton and Meaghan Abbott may be the best trio in the Class M field and is the reason why Law may win the Class M title this year.
As for Cheshire, once again, the Rams fell in another five-game match. Of Cheshire's seven losses, six have come in five-game matches. Cheshire seemed to have an edge after winning the fourth game and forcing the decisive fifth game. But that wasn't the case. Cheshire coach Sue Bavone said the Rams problem is tentativeness and the fact they lack a big hitter. That's something they've had in the past.
On a positive note for the Rams, they did reach eighth straight SCC title game, despite being the final team to get into the tournament.

Labels: , ,

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cross Country State Open

The Guilford girls' cross country team even surprised itself, winning its first State Open title since 2002. Coach Jim Ford said the Indians were hoping to get in the top six, so they can qualify for next Saturday's New England Championships. Ford said some of his girls ran 1 minute better than they did all season. This was a team that was affected by the swine flu outbreak that hit Guilford high school last month and saw its streak of five straight SCC titles come to an end.
Junior Val Williams led the Indians Friday with a mark of 19 minutes, 32 seconds. That was good for 16th place. Now the question is how will the Indians fare at the regional meet?
Other notable performances from Friday...
-Xavier won its first State Open title since 1999.
-Sean Mueller of Cheshire was the top area finisher, placing third in the boys' race with a time 16:00.
-The Amity boys' team earned a New England Championship berth.
-As did Hamden, its first in school history. The Green Dragons gave the SCC three teams in the regional meet. Only six qualify.
-Bunnell senior Lauren Sara was the top area girls' finisher, finishing fourth (18:29).
-SCC champion Sarah Cotton didn't make the cut. She finished 32nd. Only the top 25 individual runners qualify. Cotton was sick all week, leading up to the race.

For a complete look at the boys' race results click here
For a complete look at the girls' race results click here

Labels: ,


The Naugatuck Valley League Girls Swimming Championships will be held Saturday (Nov. 7) at 5 p.m. at Kennedy High and Seymour has several girls in top heats.
Swimmers to watch are senior Rhiannon Urciouli in the 200 and 500 freestyles, juniors Maggie Crocamo and Lauren Almonte in the 100 butterfly and Michelle Pleban in the 100 freestyle.
All three of Seymour's relays are seeded No. 1 - the 200 medley relay (Maggie Crocamo, Lauren Almonte, Amber Bjerke and Michelle Pleban), 200 freestyle relay (Maggie Crocamo, Amber Bjerke, Rhiannon Urciuoli and Anna Pleaban) and 400 freestyle relay (Lauren Almonte, Rhiannon Urciouli, Anna Pleban and Michelle Pleban).
Seymour coach Missy Orosz hopes to finish in the top three in the team standings.

SCC girls' soccer co-champions rings hollow

By now, I'm sure you are all well aware of the decision the powers-that-be made Thursday night to declare Cheshire and Hand co-champions of the Southern Connecticut Conference girls' soccer tournament.
After both teams played to a scoreless draw after 100 minutes, lightning postponed the start of penalty kicks for one half-hour, by high school federation rule. Before that half-hour was up, the heavens opened and with the SCC boys final still to follow, the SCC commissioner, chairperson and both school's athletic directors thought it best to declare co-champions.
With everyone already sitting in their cars (the field and stands must be cleared during a lightning delay) and likely wet, it seemed like the safest, correct conclusion. There probably didn't deserve to be a loser. But once the boys game was postponed, maybe in hindsight officials should have waited to make a decision on the girls game.
This is a classic second-guess hours after the fact - whereas officials had less than a half-hour to make a decision. They don't have the luxury I have here.
But with all parties amendable to postponing the boys game to Friday, maybe they could have waited out the lightning, which did flash again several times after the decision had been rendered.
I agree to bring both teams back the next day just for penalty kicks would be wrong. But SCC commissioner Al Carbone did say that if the lightning and rain had come in between overtime periods, the teams would have had to come back to play the final 10 minutes - and then penalty kicks if need be.
So with the boys teams already going home, and all of the players and parents for the girls game still in East Haven's parking lot, would it have been worthwhile to wait until 9-9:30 to determine an outright champion? Maybe, maybe not.
But after 100 minutes of action, to have no true champion does ring hollow. No medal ceremony. The players found out sitting on their respective buses. That's no way to determine a championship on any level.
The CIAC chooses incorrectly to continue to have co-champions for its soccer finals. The SCC wisely instituted penalty kicks to determine its champions if necessary.
No one can predict Mother Nature, but maybe in hindsight, waiting it out for at least a little while longer might have been worth it.
Please feel free to add your thoughts on the decision.

SCC boys soccer final set for today

Ligthning and heavy rain postponed the Southern Connecticut Conference boys' soccer final until today at 2 p.m. at East Haven High School.
No. 1 seed Guilford faces No. 3 Fairfield Prep.

The football game between North Haven and East Haven will still be played at 7 p.m.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Law to Face Cheshire for Girls' Volleyball Championship

No. 8 Cheshire will look to cap its Cinderella run with an SCC championship Saturday night, when the Rams face No. 3 Law at North Haven.
The Rams knocked off No. 5 Guilford 3-1 Tonight. Kelly Gunneson had seven kills and six blocks for Cheshire. Taylor Dorsey added 19 assists and Gina Gongaware chipped in with 20 digs. Law beat No. 7 Mercy 3-1 tonight. For Law, Jackie Kochiss had five aces, 11 digs and 40 assists. Casey Dulin added 19 kills and 19 digs, and Caitlin Stapleton had 15 kills, 14 digs and eight blocks.

Some quick notes

-Law beat Cheshire twice this season, 3-0 and 3-2.
-Law beat Cheshire to win the 2006 SCC title.
-This is Cheshire’s eighth straight title game appearance and the Rams won the title last season.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SCC Volleyball Semfinals Set for Thursday

No. 8 Cheshire at No. 5 Guilford, 6 p.m.: The Rams knocked off top seed Sacred Heart Academy 3-1 Tuesday. Cheshire coach Sue Bavone had previously been concerned with the Rams mental toughness and their ability to pull out close matches. They finally proved they can Tuesday and will likely have another test against the Indians.
Meanwhile, Guilford has won 10 of its last 11. The Indians knocked off No. 4 Foran 3-0 Monday. For Guilford, it all starts with setter Annie Goodrich and outside hitter Annie Snedegar. Goodrich had 27 assists, while Snedegar had 13 kills against the Lions. This is Guilford’s first trip to the SCC tournament since 2001.
No. 7 Mercy at No. 3 Law, 6 p.m.: The Tigers upset No. 2 Shelton 3-2 Tuesday behind Amber Bepko’s 26 kills. Bepko has been critical for the Tigers with 193 kills this season. Mercy hasn’t reached the SCC semifinals since 1999.
Mercy dug itself out of a 2-0 hole against Shelton, but that will be much tougher against Law. Talent-wise, the Eagles may be the top team in the conference. Law coasted past No. 6 East Haven 3-0 Tuesday. Caitlin Stapleton, Casey Dulin and Meaghan Abbott lead the Eagles.

Labels: , , , ,

SCC soccer finals set

Top-seeded Guilford reached the Southern Connecticut Conference boys' soccer finals as expected, shutting out No. 4 Branford 3-0. The Indians did not get the rematch they probably hoped for against Amity, though.
The defending champion Spartans were knocked off by Fairfield 3-0 in penalty kicks. Prep's freshman goalkeeper, Will Steiner, not onlyt came up big in PKs, but also stopped Amity forward Kevin Howard on two one-on-one attempts.
This should be an interesting final, but Guilford is the favorite and is likely to prevail. Game time is Thursday at 7:30 at East Haven High.

In the girls' semis, Cheshire eliminated Wilbur Cross 2-1. Not only did the Governors lose, but one of their top scorers, Andreana Thomas, went down with what looked like a serious leg injury. She was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital. Her soccer season is likely over and depending upon how serious the injury is, so could the start of the basketball season. She is the starting point guard at Hillhouse and as a sophomore, helped lead the Academics to the Class L state championship.
In the other semi, Hand eliminated Mercy in penalty kicks to remain unbeaten at 16-0-1.
Hand beat Cheshire in both regular-season matchups. You can bet Cheshire is itching to get a measure of revenge on the defending champions. Can Cheshire get an early lead. then rely on its defense. This game is likely headed to overtime - and maybe to penalty kicks.
Game time is Thursday at 5:30 at East Haven.

See you all there...

Monday, November 2, 2009


The Southern Connecticut Conference regular-season field hockey title is up for grabs tonight (Nov. 2) as Hand (12-1-1, 9-0) plays host to Branford (13-1, 9-0) at 7:15 p.m. The Hornets are ranked No. 5 in the state and the Tigers are No. 8.
In an earlier game this season that did not count toward the league record, Branford defeated visiting Hand 3-1.
Branford is led by scoring phenom Cheyenne Carden who leads the SCC with 39 points (19 goals, one assist) and Kristina Ruotolo who has 26 points (11 goals, four assists).
Forward Sally Adua leads the Hand attack with nine goals and eight assists and midfielder Emily Jablonski is a key player on defense, offense and the transition game.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The SCC tournament schedule

Here is the schedule for the Southern Connecticut Conference tournaments this week:

No. 3 Fairfield Prep at No. 2 Amity, 2 p.m.
No. 4 Branford vs. No. 1 Guilford at Bittner Park, 7 p.m.

at East Haven, 7:30 p.m.

No. 4 Mercy at No. 1 Hand, 6:30 p.m.
No. 3 Cheshire vs. No. 2 Wilbur Cross at Yale Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium, 6 p.m.

at East Haven, 5:30 p.m.

No. 5 Guilford at No. 4 Foran, 4 p.m.
No. 8 Cheshire at No. 1 Sacred Heart Ac., 5 p.m.
No. 7 Mercy at No. 2 Shelton, 6 p.m.
No. 6 East Haven at No. 3 Law, 6 p.m.
Thursday, at higher seeds

Saturday, at North Haven, 6 p.m.