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, March 29, 2013

Start of the spring season

The previews for the spring sports debut in Saturday's editions.

Could the CIAC golf season move to the fall? The state golf pros would like to see that. It may not be easy. Pictured above is Notre Dame-West Haven golfer Eric Austin.

On Sunday, check out Mary Albl's track story on phenoms Precious Holmes and Henry Wynne of Staples.

Lacrosse debuts on Monday, softball on Tuesday and baseball Wednesday, the day the spring season officially opens.

If you have a story idea for the spring season, email high school sports editor Joe Morelli at

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Luis named Cheshire girls' soccer coach

James Luis has been named the new Cheshire girls' soccer coach. He had been a former assistant at the high school and was the head coach at Cheshire Academy.
He replaces Andy Ashworth who resigned after two seasons. Ashworth was the Register's Area Coach of the year in 2011.

Labels: ,

CIAC Bowling Championships Saturday

The second CIAC Bowling Championship at AMF Circle Lanes in East Haven on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m..

Thirty teams will be participating in the event with combined boys and girls teams competing for the championship. The teams with a maximum of 10 competitors will face off in a 10-game Baker format in which each bowler participates in two frames to accumulate a team score. Teams will be made up of all boys, all girls, or a combination, and liberal substitution rules will be allowed during the competition.

Admission to the event is free The first Bowling Championship was held last year at Bradley Bowl in Windsor Locks with Windsor Locks earning the title over Enfield. Nearly 140 students took part in that event.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

CIAC DIVISION I BOYS' HOCKEY FINAL: Familiar teams Prep, ND expected to wow the crowd

While the common denominator is familiarity between Southern Connecticut Conference boys’ hockey rivals Fairfield Prep and Notre Dame-West Haven, three and four are the numbers for the No. 1 seeded Jesuits to build on and the No. 2 Green Knights to overcome in the CIAC Division I championship game at Ingalls Rink tonight at 7.
This will be the fourth matchup between the teams this season and the Jesuits have won the three previous games, including the SCC Division I tournament championship by a 6-2 score. The teams are also meeting for the fourth time in the Division I championship game and the Jesuits won the three previous titles.
Online ticket sales for the event are sold out and only 1,250 on-site tickets are available for the game.
Entering the tournament this reporter predicted the teams would get to the final and produce an exciting three-overtime finish to the high school hockey season.
Both teams expect to provide the Connecticut hockey community with a memorable game that won’t soon be forgotten.
"I expect a very exciting game," Fairfield Prep coach Matt Sather said. "You have two balanced teams, we know each other very well and I expect it to be a test of wills."

Thursday, March 14, 2013

CIAC BOYS' HOCKEY D-I, II, III TOURNAMENTS: Podcast breakdown of each game, ticket info and officials honored

SOUTHINGTON - The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference held its pre-tournament press luncheon on Thursday for the Division I, II and III boys’ hockey championships at the Aqua Turf with players and coaches recognized for advancing to their respective championship games.
Notre Dame-West Haven will face Fairfield Prep in the Division I final on Tuesday at Ingalls Rink at 7 p.m., East Catholic will face Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe in the Division II final on Monday at Ingalls Rink at 7 p.m. and Newington/Berlin/Manchester will face Rockville/Bolton/Coventry/Lyman Memorial  in the D-III final on Saturday at Ingalls Rink at 1:30 p.m.
There was a CIAC podcast round table discussion of the three hockey finals with the press at the luncheon with yours truly and Don Boyle of participating. You can hear our breakdown of each final on the podcast at
In addition to players and coaches from all the teams being recognized at the press luncheon, CIAC officials announced CIAC distinguished honors and updated pre-sale ticket information.
George “The Coach” DeMaio has been named the CIAC boys hockey distinguished person and will be honored in a pre-game ceremony prior to the Division I game on Tuesday.
CIAC associate executive director Paul Hoey will receive the CIAC boys and girls basketball dedication award. In addition, West Haven athletic director Jon Capone, officials Robert Bernier and Lou Filippetti, Danbury girls basketball coach Jackie DiNardo and Wamogo boys’ basketball coach Gregg Hunt will receive 2013 Merit Awards.
Hoey and the other five award winners will be honored at a dedication ceremony prior to the first basketball final on Friday at 4 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center in Uncasville.
Spectators for the three hockey championships can buy tickets the day of the events for $10 per person. But you can buy tickets in advance for each game at a reduced sale price of $8 per person. It should be noted that 1,250 tickets for each game will be available the day of the game at Ingalls Rink, which has a seating capacity of 3,500.
Online ticket sales for the Division I hockey final can be found at

Division II pre-sale tickets can be purchased online at

Division III presale tickets can be purchased at

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

LIVE BLOG: CIAC Division I boys' hockey semifinals

Follow Dan Nowak’s and Mary Albl’s live posts and Tweets from the CIAC Division I boys’ hockey semifinals at Ingalls Rink today starting at 4:30 p.m. First game at 5:30 p.m. is No. 1 Fairfield Prep vs. No. 5 Ridgefield and second game at 7:30 p.m. is No. 2 Notre Dame-West Haven vs. No. 3 Darien

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

West Haven AD Jon Capone among CIAC award recipients

West Haven athletic director Jon Capone will receive a merit award from the CIAC at its annual dedication ceremony Friday at the Convention Center at the Mohegan Sun Casino at 4 p.m.
Capone has been the athletic director at West Haven since 1999. The school has hosted numerous
CIAC events at its various facilities. Capone was previously a recipient of the CIAC Unified Sports Service Award.
Paul Hoey, the assistant executive director of the CIAC, is receiving the Dedication Award for over 35 years of service as a school administrator and contributor to high school athletics.
Other merit award winners include: officials Lou Filippetti and Robert Bernier, who have 50 and 37 years of service to the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO), respectively, and girls basketball coaches Jackie DiNardo (over 400 career wins) and Gregg Hunt (over 340 wins).

Labels: ,

Monday, March 11, 2013

CIAC DIVISION II BOYS' HOCKEY SEMIFINALS: North Branford vs. Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe

North Branford vs. Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe in the CIAC Division II semifinals tonight at Ingalls Rink with a 5:30 p.m. start.

Friday, March 8, 2013

BOYS' HOCKEY: CIAC scraps 12-team Division I proposal, maintains current division setup

In January, due to a reduced number of boys’ hockey teams from 67 to 57 since 2006, the CIAC Ice Hockey Committee decided to make some adjustments to its hockey division format. The proposal included going to an elite 12-team Division I format with the remaining teams split between Division II and III and initiating a new best-of-three series for the D-I championship round.
On Thursday, the Ice Hockey Committee submitted a revised proposal to the CIAC Board of Control who approved it. When it was all said and done, the only major change to the divisions was guaranteeing a minimum 16 teams for each postseason tournament.
Through this season, only teams with a winning percentage of 40 percent or better could qualify for the tournament, which is why only nine teams qualified for the current Division III tournament. Starting next season, for tournament qualification all teams with a winning percentage of 40 percent or better will qualify for the tournaments. But in a division where fewer than 16 teams meet the 40 percent qualifying standard, a full bracket of 16 teams will be achieved by qualifying teams with the next highest winning percentages.
When the proposal to go to a 12-team D-I format with a best-of-three series final was first proposed, there was mixed reaction among coaches. A meeting with the coaches and the Ice Hockey Committee on Feb. 3 to discuss the proposal and get input from coaches made an impact with the Ice Hockey Committee’s proposal.
“It is true that the original proposal we shared with our coaches on Super Bowl Sunday morning (Feb. 3) offered a 12-team Division I and larger Divisions II and III,” said Tom Neagle, chairman of the CIAC Ice Hockey Committee. “This proposal reflected a willingness on the CIAC's part to allow sports committees to have "unbalanced" divisions, something we had been directed not to do in the past.
“The original proposal served a very important role. It generated thought and discussion among the (Ice Hockey) Committee members, our coaches and our officials. Our Committee listened carefully to what our coaches said and they said keep the 16-team Division I bracket intact and keep three divisions. As an educator, I was pleased to see all of us in the "hockey fraternity" express our opinions in an articulate and respectful fashion.”
Neagle said the Ice Hockey Committee heard from first-year coaches and those who have been on the bench for decades.
“If anything, the discussion that took place that Sunday morning at the CIAC was one of the proudest moments during my tenure,” Neagle said. “The math is pretty simple. With 57 teams, we are unlikely to qualify 48 teams (three divisions of 16) for our tournament unless we dip below the 40 percent standard. The Board of Control's approval of our proposal (on a two-year trial basis) represents a significant shift in thinking that will be carefully observed by other sports committees.”
For Milford boys’ hockey coach Sal Follo, who also serves as the coaches’ CIAC liaison as a member of the Ice Hockey Committee, the important thing was to maintain a three-division format. There was also concern that a best-of-three series in D-I would make players want to transfer to D-I teams to get the exposure those extra games would provide.
“There will be no best 2-out-of- 3 championship series and we will keep the three divisions,” Follo said. “I believe that at the CIAC hockey committee meeting with the coaches the committee listened to the coaches who were loud and clear when they said they more or less wanted to keep everything the same with no changes. So the committee put a proposal together with the input of the coaches and passed it on to the board of control for approval. The coaches voices were heard, which is a good thing and I am happy for that.”
It should also be noted that the division distribution for the next two seasons will be formulated by considering the regular season results and tournament success over the previous two seasons.

Labels: , ,

Friday's CIAC postponements

The CIAC has postponed all athletic events for Friday due to the snowstorm. Here is the updated list:

All games Saturday

Boys basketball

Class LL quarterfinals
No.9 Ridgefield at No. 1 Fairfield Prep, 7 p.m.
No. 13 Westhill at No. 5 East Hartford, 7 p.m.
No. 10 Bridgeport Central vs. No. 2 Hillhouse at Wilbur Cross, 3 p.m.
No. 19 Xavier at No. 6 Windsor, 6 p.m.

Class L second round
No. 16 E.O. Smith at No. 1 Trinity Catholic, 4 p.m.
No. 12 Watertown at No. 5 Wilby, 3 p.m.
No. 15 Middletown at No. 2 Woodstock Academy, 1 p.m.
No. 10 Wilton at No. 7 Maloney, 5 p.m.
No. 14 Waterford at No. 3 Bunnell, 1 p.m.
No. 27 Farmington vs. No. 11 RHAM at Bulkeley, 8 p.m.

Class M quarterfinals
No. 9 Bloomfield at No. 1 Northwestern, 5 p.m.
No. 5 Valley Regional at No. 4 Ledyard, 4 p.m.
No. 23 Weston at No. 2 Kaynor Tech, time TBA
No. 19 Berlin at No. 6 Enfield, 7 p.m.

Class S second round
No. 25 Weaver at No. 9 Woodland, time TBA
No. 13 Haddam-Killingworth at No. 4 Terryville, 7 p.m.
No. 12 Nonnewaug at No. 5 Old Lyme, 3 p.m.
No. 15 St. Paul at No. 2 Classical Magnet, 7 p.m.
No.10 Wamogo at No. 7 Kolbe Cathedral, 7 p.m.
No.14 East Hampton at No. 3 Granby, 6 p.m.

Girls' basketball

Class LL quarterfinals
No. 9 E.O. Smith at No. 1 Mercy, 3:45 p.m.

Class L semifinals at Bulkeley
No. 12 Tolland vs. No. 1 Bacon Academy, 4 p.m.
No. 6 RHAM vs. No. 10 Farmington, 6 p.m.

Class M quarterfinals
No. 7 Montville at No. 2 Notre Dame-Fairfield, 4 p.m.


Division II quarterfinals
No. 17 Newtown vs. No.9 North Branford at Milford Ice Pavilion, 7:30 p.m.
No. 13 Fairfield Warde vs. No. 5 Branford at Bennett Rink, West Haven, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Northwest Catholic vs/ No. 2 East Catholic at Trinity, 2 p.m.
No. 6 Guilford vs. No. 3 Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury, at Bennett Rink, West Haven, 4:30 p.m.

Division III quarterfinals
No. 8 New Fairfield-Immaculate vs. No. 1 Newington-Berlin-Manchester at Wonderland of Ice, 4:30 p.m.
No. 5 Masuk vs. No. 4 Hall-Southington at Northford Ice Pavilion, 8 p.m.
No. 7 Sheehan vs. No. 2 NFA-St. Bernard-Bacon Academy at Trinity, 7 p.m.
No. 6 E.O. Smith-Tolland-Windham vs. No. 3 Rockville-Bolton-Coventry-Lyman Memorial at Trinity, 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

CIAC state tournament postponements for Thursday

Several CIAC state tournament games were postponed Thursday to Friday due to inclement weather.
In boys' basketball, the Class L division game between No. 16 E.O. Smith at No. 1 Trinity Catholic will be at 6 p.m. while another L game, No. 15 Middletown at No. 2 Woodstock Academy, will be at 7 p.m. In Class S, No. 25 Weaver at No. 9 Woodland will be at 6 p.m. Friday while No. 13 Haddam-Killingworth at No. 4 Terryville and No. 14 East Hampton at No. 3 Granby are at 7.
The Class S second-round game featuring No. 10 Wamogo and No. 7 Kolbe Cathedral will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Shehan Center in Bridgeport.
All other games tonight are still on as scheduled except for the Class S game between No. 12 Nonnewaug and No. 5 Old Lyme, which has been moved up to 5 p.m.
Friday's Class LL game featuring No. 10 Bridgeport Central and No. 2 Hillhouse will be held at Wilbur Cross due to the CIAC cheerleading state finals being held Friday and Saturday at the Floyd Little Athletic Center. Friday's game time is still to be determined.
In girls' basketball, today's Class LL quarterfinal between Danbury and Lauralton Hall has been moved up to 5 p.m., as has No. 11 Ansonia at No. 3 Haddam-Killingworth in Class S. All other Class LL and M games are still on for 7 p.m. as scheduled.
In boys' hockey, the CIAC Division III game between No. 1 Newington-Berlin-Manchester and No. 8 New Fairfield-Immaculate is now Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport. Also, No. 4 Hall-Southington vs. No. 5 Masuk is now Friday at 7:15 p.m. at the Northford Ice Pavilion.
The Class LL and S diving championships have been postponed. Class S will now be Friday at East Lyme while Class LL will be Monday at Middletown. Start time for both meets is 5:30 p.m.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Unified Basketball Tournament March 14

Bunnell High School will host a CIAC Unified Basketball Tournament on Thursday, March 14, from 2:30-6 p.m. in the Bunnell gym.  
The event is open to the public and no admission is charged.  Unified Sports, which is a branch of Special Olympics and is sponsored by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, partners students with various abilities in Olympic festival style sports tournaments.  
Each team will play at least three games in the round-robin affair.  Nearly 300 athletes competed in last year’s event at Bunnell.  The Fairfield County (IAABO Board 9) basketball officials donate their services to referee and high school students volunteer at the event.  All athletes will be awarded medals after the tournament.
For additional information, contact Bunnell High School Athletic Director Dave Johnson at 203-385-4260 or

CIAC DIVISION II BOYS' HOCKEY TOURNAMENT: Nowak predictions take a hit

What a rough night on Tuesday with my predictions in the first round for the CIAC Division II boys’ hockey tournament.
Three of my final four predictions –Amity, Hand and Milford - were eliminated.
Fortunately the team I picked to win the championship, Branford, is still alive and kicking. The Hornets ended up with a 4-0 win over Fermi/Enfield/East Granby/Stafford.
The biggest surprise was top seed Amity losing 2-1 to No. 17 Newtown. This win by Newtown certainly gives all lower seeds hope in all three divisions, showing us all that anything can happen, especially when you face a hot goalie.
It was a tough finish to the season overall for the Spartans who ended up 2-5 in their last seven games including the regular season. Scoring was an issue for the Spartans with three of the losses by one goal.
No. 10 Hand, with goalie Chase Briggs carrying the team on his back with over 40 saves in the game, looked like it was going to hold on to a slight 1-0 lead against a strong No. 7 Northwest Catholic in the first round . But a third period goal and another in OT gave Northwest Catholic a 2-1 win.
I’m not so surprised about No. 6 Guilford defeating No. 11 Milford 5-3. That was one game I figured could go either way. But I did predict that whoever won that game would at least advance to the D-II semifinals.
Lastly, apologies to North Branford who I failed to mention in my hockey predictions. Any time you have an outstanding, speedy scorer like Dylan Podbielski on your team you are always going to be competitive. The Thunderbirds actually have a lot more than that going for them with talent front to back.
I predicted the SCC would dominate Division II and I’m sticking to that prediction. My adjusted Final Four now has Branford, North Branford and Guilford with No. 2 East Catholic in the Final Four. I still think Branford has the motivation and talent to win the title.
Here is a link to my original tournament predictions -

Here are links to my other pre-tournament hockey stories/predictions/Top 10 Poll:

Labels: , , ,

Monday, March 4, 2013


Fourteen student-athletes from seven high schools have been named The SportsCenter of Connecticut/Southern Connecticut Conference Scholar Athletes of the Month for January.

Student athletes who are selected must be a varsity letterwinner and have a 3.0/B average while demonstrating leadership qualities such as: being a positive role model; helping teammates overcome adversity; showing a commitment to self-improvement; or putting the needs of the team before themselves.

The scholar-athletes are: Hunter Carden of Branford (field hockey, indoor track, outdoor track), Andrew Klarman of Branford (football and basketball), Kelsey Gibbons of Career (basketball), Lawrence McGill of Career (basketball), Lou Crisci of East Haven (hockey). Alissa Korwek of East Haven (basketball), Erin Aspinwall of Foran (soccer, indoor track, outdoor track), Wasim Khan of Foran (wrestling), Maria Weselyj of Mercy (basketball), Katherine Saia of Mercy (soccer, indoor track, outdoor track), Paul Sliwinski from Notre Dame-West Haven (ice hockey, lacrosse), Ryan Morgis from Notre Dame (basketball), Tim Maloney of Shelton (swimming) and Lauren Shearer of Shelton(cheerleading, lacrosse).


BOYS' HOCKEY: CIAC changes schedule for D-I, II and III finals

Due to a conflict with the ECAC men’s hockey tournament, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which regulates high school sports, has announced that the schedule for the 2013 CIAC boys’ hockey finals at Ingalls Rink in New Haven is being changed.
Yale’s win over Cornell on Saturday night clinched a first round bye and a host spot for the Bulldogs in an ECAC quarterfinal series March 15-17.
The new schedule for the CIAC boys’ hockey finals at Ingalls Rink will be as follows: Division III on March 16 at 1:30 p.m., Division II on March 18 at 7 p.m. and Division I on March 19 at 7 p.m.

Friday, March 1, 2013

BOYS HOCKEY: St. Joseph vs. Ridgefield in FCIAC final Saturday, shown live by MSG Varsity

St. Joseph and Ridgefield take center stage in boys' hockey on Saturday in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference tournament championship at Terry Connors Rink in Stamford at 6 p.m. as MSG Varsity will show the game live online and later next week on tape delay.
The game will be streamlined live on and will be broadcast on MSG Varsity, Channel 14 on Optimum, on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
The Cadets, seeded No. 2 in the tournament and ranked No. 5 in the New Haven Register Top 10 Hockey Poll this week, defeated No. 3 seed New Canaan 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday in the semifinals. New Canaan is No. 8 in the Register Top 10 Poll. The Tigers defeated No. 1 seed Darien 2-1 in overtime in the other semifinal. Darien is No. 3 in the Register poll.
Here's a link to this week's Register Top 10 Boys' Hockey Poll -
The Cadets are led by forwards Christian "CK" Keator, Ryan Corcoran and Colin Powell, defensemen Andrew Gore and Dean Smith and goalie Mark Van Etten who had 34 saves in the semis against the Rams.
The Tigers are led by Vin Rella, Chris Morrow and Cam McGuire, senior Ian Ball leads the defensemen and goalie Dusty Rausa had 24 saves in the semifinal win over the Blue Wave.

Labels: , , , , ,