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.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hopkins' Paige heading to Stanford

Hopkins' tennis player Nolan Paige will continue his stellar career next year at Stanford University.
Paige, 17, orally committed to the Pac-12 school earlier this month over such prestigious schools like North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, Ohio State, Harvard, Yale and Michigan, all of whom offered partial scholarships, according to Paige, except for Harvard and Yale, which do not offer scholarships.
Paige said he will sign a national letter of intent in November.
"Coach (John) Whitlinger talked to me a lot, more than any other coach," Paige said. "He wants to try to win a national championship and said I can be a big part of it. And I love the California weather."
Paige said he applied to Stanford in July and found out at the end of August that he had been accepted.
The Register's reigning three-time Area MVP, Paige, a Fairfield resident, won his second consecutive USTA New England Sectional 18-under singles title in June over Dan Hirschberg, the reigning Class LL and State Open champion from the CIAC schools.
Paige finished 12-0 in singles at Hopkins, helping the Hilltoppers win the New England Prep School B championship for the second straight year. He is 35-1 in three years at Hopkins.

Thursday's postponements

CCC Division III East
Tolland at Berlin, ppd. to Friday, 7 p.m.
New Milford at Hand, ppd. to Friday, 6:30 p.m.
Watertown at Seymour, ppd. to Friday, 3:30 p.m.
Lyman Hall at Southington, ppd., TBA
St. Joseph at Shelton (Shelton Community Center Pool), ppd., TBA

Boys' hockey: Roche named new coach at North Haven

North Haven High officials have tabbed one of its own to be the new boys’ hockey coach.
Tom Roche, who played hockey at North Haven and graduated in 1973, has been selected as the new Indians’ coach. He played defense for the Indians the first season (1971-72) they played as a varsity program. He also played for the Quinnipiac men’s hockey team from 1975-77.
“When the opportunity to coach at my alma matter became available, I had to apply,” said Roche, 55, who is a project manager at Yale-New Haven Hospital. “The chance to finally come home is a dream come true.
“Coming to North Haven I have been blessed with four very strong captains, a solid senior class and over 30 underclassmen who want to play. I am not used to having such a large feeder group of players. Because of this we will continue to have a full JV (junior varsity) program.”
Roche has been a coach for almost 40 years at all different levels but said he enjoys the high school age players the most. He is vice president of the Greater New Haven Youth Hockey program and also is the program’s Midget (Under-18) director.
Roche coached Shelton from 2008-2010 and last season (2010-2011) was instrumental in getting the team to co-op with Staples-Weston. The co-op move proved to be successful as the team advanced to the CIAC Division III finals. Shelton-Staples-Weston lost 4-0 to Watertown-Pomperaug in the D-III final.
“I am thrilled to be back at North Haven after 40 years and I plan to finish my coaching career where I started,” said Roche. “The goal for us will always be to get to the post season.”

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Soccer division showdowns

The Shelton boys won its third game in the SCC Housatonic Division, winning at Amity 2-1. Shelton is looking every bit the preseason favorite so far.
In the Quinnipiac, Fairfield Prep remained unbeaten with a 3-0 win at home over Hamden in a battle for first place. The game was scoreless at halftime. Then Hamden's Matt Sullo picked up a red card in the early stages of the second half and the Green Dragons had to play a man down for the rest of the game. Their defense held for 10 minutes before the Jesuits finally broke through. Prep was the division favorite here and will be tough to beat. Notre Dame-West Haven won at Xavier to stay in the hunt.
Career/Hillhouse still hasn't lost, but could only manage a scoreless tie against Lyman Hall Tuesday. The co-op team will face Branford on Friday.
And a day after beating Guilford, Bunnell lost again at Pomperaug, this time 3-1. It's the second loss of the season for the Bulldogs, who lost to Pomperaug in the SWC tournament final last year.

In girls' soccer, West Haven dealt Sacred Heart Academy its first loss of the season 3-1 at home. West Haven Hamden and SHA now have one Quinnipiac Division loss apiece. Hamden, the defending champion, beat Mercy Tuesday.
Amity won at Cheshire 1-0 as the three-team race, along with reigning champ Shelton, looks to be one that will continue throughout the season.


Busy day in the SCC Monday

Guilford boys soccer fell to Bunnell. For the game story, click here

Ed Aston is retiring at season's end after 37 years as Cheshire's girls' swim coach.

And Hillhouse's Bria Holmes will play women's basketball at West Virginia.

Football: Completion of turf field at Cheshire delayed

Rainy weather coupled with some cool days we've had the past few weeks have combined to delay the completion of the turf field project at Cheshire High.
Originally scheduled for completion on Oct. 14, the completion date is now termed TBA (to be announced). The Oct. 6 "home" game has already been moved to Falcon Field in Meriden with a 7 p.m. start. The Oct. 14 "home" game with Wilbur Cross on Oct. 14 has now been moved to Sheehan in Wallingford with a 7 p.m. start.
Another wrinkle in the project is the secondary project of resurfacing the track that surrounds the field. R.A.D. Sports company of Rockland, Mass., the construction company handling the project, is doing its best to keep the project moving forward according to Turf Committee chairman Bob Behrer. Behrer said the track resurfacing needs 2-3 weeks of curing before anyone can walk on it.
The hitch is that the curing can't be done unless there is a 7-10 day stretch of warm, dry weather.
"Right now the Oct. 28 home game with Foran (7 p.m. start) is TBA, all depending on the progress of the project," Cheshire High athletic Director Steve Trifone said. "I do not think they want to put the track resurfacing off."
One option is to delay the track resurfacing until next spring. But officials close to the project believe R.A.D. Sports will do everything it can to get the track done this fall.
According to one source, it is more than likely the first home game on the turf field will take place on Thanksgiving Day against Southington at 10 a.m.
However, Behrer said everything will be done to try and get the project done before Thanksgiving.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

FOOTBALL: West Haven clicks on all cylinders in win over Guilford

Click here for a story on West Haven's 40-6 win over Guilford on Saturday.

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Bunnell boys soccer beats Guilford

Zach Zurita scored twice, once in each half, to help Bunnell shut out Guilford 2-0 Monday at Bunnell High in Stratford.

Guilford had its chances in the first half, outshooting the Bulldogs over the opening 40 minutes. But once Zurita scored his second goal 11 minutes into the second half, it was all Bunnell after that.

Guilford-Bunnell soccer showdown today

The non-conference matchup between Guilford from the SCC and Bunnell from the SWC is today at 4 p.m. in Stratford. These are two of the better programs in the state.
The two teams won't meet again because Guilford plays in the Class LL division while Bunnell plays in Class L. The two programs have never played against one another before.

Check out the preview of today's game. Follow me on twitter @nhrjoemorelli for updates and check back here later this evening to see who won.

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RAY CURREN'S INSIDE THE SCC FOOTBALL: Social media has changed the high school football world

The Milford Board of Education has apparently decided that if you can’t beat them, you might as well try to work with them, apparently, as they’ve unveiled a slightly controversial social media policy for the new school year.

Basically, they're encouraging staff and students to use Twitter and Facebook in school, but for educational purposes.


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Friday, September 23, 2011

Girls' swimming: Cheshire streak improves to 280

Jessica Liu won the 200 individual medley in 2:19.59 and the 100 butterfly in 1:04.36 to lead the Cheshire girls' swim team to two wins in a tri-meet at the Cheshire Community Pool today (Friday).
Cheshire defeated West Haven 113-65 and defeated Hand 113-68 to improve to 4-0 this season.
The Rams improved their national record dual meet win streak to 280.

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Friday's postponments

For Friday's football postponements, click here

Foran at Platt Tech, ppd. to Oct. 13, 4 p.m.
Seymour at Wilby, ppd. to Saturday, 1 p.m.
Amity at Lyman Hall, ppd. to Monday, 3:45 p.m.
Fairfield Prep at Notre Dame-West Haven, ppd. to Saturday, 11:30 a.m.
Xavier at Hand, Saturday, 5 p.m.
Hamden at West Haven, ppd. to Saturday, 7 p.m.
Morgan at Haddam-Killingworth, ppd., TBA
Watertown at Derby, ppd. to Monday, 3:30 p.m.
Cheshire at Sheehan, ppd. to Oct. 8, 11 a.m.
Lyman Hall at Amity, ppd. to Monday, 3:45 p.m.
West Haven at Mercy, ppd. to Saturday, 3 p.m.
Guilford at Hamden, ppd. to Saturday, 3:45 p.m.
Foran at Sacred Heart Academy, ppd. to Monday, 3:45 p.m.
North Branford at Old Lyme, ppd., TBA
Westbrook at Cromwell, ppd. to Oct. 20, 5 p.m.
Morgan at Haddam-Killingworth, ppd., TBA
Hand at North Haven, ppd. to Wednesday, 3:45 p.m.
Hamden at Sheehan, ppd. to Wednesday, 3:45 p.m.
Cheshire at Mercy, ppd. to Oct. 5, 3:45 p.m.
Branford at Sacred Heart Academy, ppd., TBA
Guilford at Westbrook, ppd. to Oct. 7, 3:45 p.m.
Lyman Hall at Southington, ppd. to Thursday, 3:45 p.m.
Valley Regional at North Branford, ppd. to Monday, 3:45 p.m.
Foran, Lyman Hall at Platt Tech (Eisenhower Park), cancelled
Foran, Lyman Hall at Platt Tech (Eisenhower Park), cancelled

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

BOYS' SOCCER: Hamden beats Xavier, improves to 4-0

Senior Alex Zapata scored on two direct kicks to lead Hamden to a 2-1 victory over Xavier Wednesday afternoon in Middletown. The Green Dragons improved to 4-0 with the win.


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Monday, September 19, 2011

RAY CURREN'S INSIDE THE SCC FOOTBALL: The beat goes on for Hamden

By Ray Curren
Elm City Sports Columnist

After perhaps perennial favorites “Why is my team ranked so low?” and “Why does my kid not get more press?”, the question I’ve fielded most in the last two seasons is “What the heck happened to Hamden?”.

You understand why the question is asked, the numbers make you do a double-take.


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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Vote for the Team of the Week!

The New Haven Register has returned its high school Team of the Week to our website.

But no need to look any further than here to vote until Tuesday at 6 p.m. for your favorite team. Check out this feature throughout the school year!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

FOOTBALL: Philips, Westies run past Amity in season opener

West Haven's Ervin Philips ran for 162 yards on 19 carries and scored two touchdowns to lead the Westies to a 28-14 victory over Amity in Friday night's season opener.


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Friday, September 16, 2011

FOOTBALL: Lyman Hall answers questions in season-opening win over Wilby

The Lyman Hall football team entered the season with several questions and the Trojans answered some of them in Thursday night's 28-22 last-minute win over Wilby.



SCC finals rematch

It's not just about football this evening - there happens to be a very big rematch in girls' soccer.
Defending champion Shelton hosts Hamden at 7:30 p.m. Shelton not only won the SCC for the first time last year, but also its first Class LL state championship. Shelton won its season opener 4-0 at Hand on Wednesday and features Angie Ferro and Megan Manzo, along with Mary Hunter.
Hamden returns Rachel Ugolik, the reigning Register Area MVP. The Green Dragons edged Wilbur Cross 3-2 in its opener on Tuesday.

If you are looking for an alternative to football, head out to Shelton for this prime-time matchup.
One piece of advice - dress warmly!

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Boys' hockey: Sundquist named new coach at Cheshire

Karl Sundquist of Prospect is pumped up.
Sundquist, who coached boys’ hockey at Avon for 14 years, has been named the new boys’ hockey coach at Cheshire High. He replaces Jim Riccitelli who retired recently for personal reasons.
Cheshire athletic director Steve Trifone made the official announcement early this afternoon.
“I’ve been out of hockey for a year and I miss it,” Sundquist said. “I also live nearby in Prospect and the locale of the program drew me to it too. Cheshire has a winning tradition and Jim had a lot of success the short time he was there. Hopefully we will continue that success.”
Sundquist will also have to deal with some challenges as the Rams enter the 2011-12 season.
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference moved Cheshire from Division II to Division I for the 2011-12 season. The Rams will compete on the Division I level in the post season for the first time since 1978. Also, key players from last season’s championship team have opted to move to prep school instead of staying at Cheshire – Owen Powers (Choate), Mike Muzyka (Salisbury) and Jack Cunningham (Pomfret).
“Moving to Division I will be a big challenge,” said Sundquist, who knows something about challenges. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in early 2009 and it was caught early enough where surgery successfully removed the cancer the same year. “I know some talented kids moved on to prep school and that will be a challenge as well.
“But the magic number in high school seems to be 35. If we can get more than 35 kids to try out for the hockey team, we can be competitive.”
Riccitelli coached six seasons at Cheshire and won a CIAC Division III championship in 2006 and Division II titles in 2009 and 2011.
Follow Dan Nowak at To receive breaking news first – simply text the word “nhsports” to 22700. Standard msg+data rates may apply.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hamden's Steven Teague named to the Northeast-10 Conference weekly honor roll

Former Hamden High football player Steven Teague was named to the NE-10 Conference's weekly honor roll.


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Monday, September 12, 2011


Previews are always a crapshoot, and despite us doing our best to figure out where everyone is going to finish, usually preparation for the preseason predictions consists of me asking people on the inside, “What do you think of (insert team here)?”

Then comes the hard part.



Sunday, September 11, 2011

Can Hackett lead the way?

Senior goalkeeper Tucker Hackett of Hand is one of the state's best at his position. But with three returning starters, and Guilford returning most of its core back, Hand repeating as SCC Hammonasset Division champion, let alone SCC champ, will not be easy.

Still it should be an interesting division race between the two titans. To read more about Hackett, please click here

Thursday, September 8, 2011

High school previews

Friday's paper starts our daily high school previews leading up to the start of the season next Tuesday.

We open with cross country, profiling Hand's Sarah Cotton.

Saturday will be our girls' swimming preview, followed by soccer, girls volleyball and field hockey.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL: The 12th Annual Dream Dozen

After being delayed a week by Hurricane Irene, the 12th Annual Dream Dozen (Elm City Newspapers' American Legion Zone II All-Star team) has just been released. Click here to see who made this year's team.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Ray Curren's Inside the SCC: Division II Preview is up over at

Check it out here.

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Inside the CIAC

The Register is in the midst of a six-part series on the CIAC.

Where does the money go?

What does the future hold?

SCC commissioner Al Carbone has his own ideas on the future

On Monday, we lookat CIAC executive director Karissa Niehoff.

On Tuesday, we look at similar governing bodies in other states.

Friday, September 2, 2011

CIAC amends practice policy

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has amended its policy on 14 days of mandatory preseason practice and has left it up to each member schools to determine how many practices are necessary.
According to a CIAC survey conducted Thursday and Friday, a number of schools would have difficulty fulfilling the 14 days of preseason practice needed before the regular season begins Sept. 13. There are still thousands of power outages throughout the state as the result of Tropical Storm Irene last weekend. A number of schools won't open until Tuesday.
"The only schools asked to reply were the ones who could not meet the 14 days," said Matt Fischer, director of information services for the CIAC. "Some schools may not have gotten the email because they don't have enough power, but we heard from enough schools. So we left it in the hands of the schools because of the unique situation."
Fischer said that while some schools would meet the requirement for football because it is held outdoors, that wouldn't be the case for girls' volleyball or girls' swimming because it is indoors at schools that didn't have power for all or most of this week. The surveys also indicated schools would be able to get double-digit practices in, but not 14, according to Fischer.
Schools can postpone however many games necessary if additional practice days are needed.