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The Sports Department Vernon Edition

Serving • Ellington • South Windsor • Tolland • Vernon Also Serving • East Windsor • Enfield • Somers • Stafford

March 15-28, 2011

These Cats Are Hot! South Windsor’s Troy Kremidas tries to deny TriTown’s forechecker Cullen Roberts as goaltender Christian Marchi covers his post. South Windsor continued its winning ways against Tri-Town with a 5-3 win in the first round of the Division I playoffs. Photo by Steve Palmer, The Sports Department, www. stevepalmerphotograpy.com

Inside The Sports Department Rockville native a pillar in the community. See Community MVP, page 5.

Check out all of the high school action as state tournaments get underway. Coverage starts on page 8.

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Take Me Out to the Outfield By Jon Buzby The Sports Department Even if you aren’t a sports fan you’ve still probably heard the stereotype that lesser-skilled players get stuck in the outfield in youth baseball or softball. Or on defense in soccer, hockey or lacrosse. Ask any parent, and if they are honest, they’ll tell you if it was up to them their child would be playing in the infield. Or trying to score, not defend. And ask any kid and he will tell you the same thing. As a coach I can tell you my best players were the infielders and scorers. That doesn’t mean it was right, just the way it seemed to be. Sometimes I put my lesserskilled players in the outfield or on defense for safety. But other times, I have to admit, it was because I wanted my best fielders where the majority of the balls would be hit, and my best shooters in position to

score. However, I’ve discovered a reason, as a parent, to be glad that my son played some outfield last season for the first time in his life. And now, as a coach, I’ve pledged to be sure to give all of my players, regardless of skill level, some playing time in the outfield. Even my son admits he was lucky to get the experience, even if it meant putting his ego aside and accepting he wasn’t as good as the infielders playing ahead of him at the time. Why was my son lucky? I’m convinced the reason he made the high school baseball team this season is because of his experience in the outfield last season when, due to an influx of infielders, he was forced to play several innings in all three outfield positions. It was something completely foreign See “PLAYING”, Page 3


The Sports Department

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TSD Pickup Locations Sign up for a FREE subscription to The Sports Department at www.thesportsdept.com • 25 Park Street, Rockville • 20 Hyde Avenue, Rockville • 6 Pitkin Road, Vernon • 6 FieldStone Commons #A, Tolland • 12 Main Street, Ellington • 1645 Ellington Road, South Windsor • 869 Sullivan Ave, South Windsor • 231 Hazard Ave, Enfield • 612 Main Street, Somers

• 243 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon • 175 West Road, Ellington • 2 North Road, East Windsor • 965 Sullivan Ave, South Windsor

• Big Y Pharmacy – 36 East Main Street, Rockville • Big Y Supermarket – 152 Merrow Road, Tolland • Big Y Supermarket Route 83, Ellington • Big Y Supermarket – 67 Prospect Hill Road, East Windsor • Big Y Supermarket – 65 Palomba Ave, Enfield • Big Y Supermarket – 87 West Stafford Road, Stafford • 38 Windsor Avenue, Vernon • 520 Talcottville Road, Vernon • 448 Hartford Turnpike,

Vernon • 65 Merrow Road, Tolland • 855 Sullivan Ave, South Windsor • 263 Pleasant Valley Road, South Windsor • 1 Thompson Road, East Windsor • 172 Bridge Street, East Windsor • 17 North Road, East Windsor • 122 Prospect Hill Road, East Windsor • 89 Elm Street, Enfield • 562 Enfield Street, Enfield • 155 Hazard Ave, Enfield • 12 South Road, Somers • 22 West Stafford Road, Stafford • 35 Windsor Ave, Vernon

• 100 Bridge Street, East Windsor • 95 South Road, Somers Subway Sandwich Shops • 520 Talcottville Road • 70 Merrow Road, Tolland • 175 West Road, Ellington • 90 Buckland Road, South Windsor • 1006 Sullivan Ave, South Windsor • 69 Prospect Hill Road, East Windsor • 323 Hazard Ave, Enfield • 169 Elm Street, Enfield • 786 Enfield Street, Enfield • 12 South Road, Somers • 88 West Stafford Road

March 15-28, 2011

The Sports Department P.O. Box 746, Ellington, CT 06029 860-872-0TSD (0873) • 860-614-5866 thesportsdept.com

Publisher: Kevin Hayes • kevin@thesportsdept.com Editor: Brendan Faherty Production Manager: Brenda Donovan Contributing Writers: Tom Ainsworth • Steve Smith • Reid L. Walmark • David Donner • Nate Owen • Jon Buzby • David Heuschkel • Amy Locandro • Tim Larew • Robert Tedford • Brendon Willis • Katy Sprout • Katie Powers • Dan Schofer • Ryan Kane • Bruce Watt • Brooke de Lench • Chris Corkum Photography: Steve Palmer • Andre Dumais • Bernie Sheridan The Sports Department is published monthly, and is available free of charge, at display stands in approved private and public establishments, and through authorized distributors only. No part of this paper may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The Sports Department is not responsible for any editorial comment (other than its own), typographical errors from advertisements submitted as camera ready or any reproductions of advertisements submitted as camera ready. If an advertisement does not meet our standards of acceptance, we may revise or cancel it at any time, whether or not it has been already acknowledged and/ or previously published. The advertiser assumes sole responsibility for all statements contained in submitted copy and will protect and indemnify The Sports Department, it owners, publishers, and employees against

any and all liability, loss or expense arising out of claims for libel, unfair trade names, patents, copyrights and propriety rights, and all violations of the right of privacy or other violations resulting from the publication by this newspaper of advertising copy. Publisher shall be under no liability for failure, for any reason, to insert an advertisement. Publisher shall not be liable by reason of error, omission and/or failure to insert any part of an advertisement. Publisher will not be liable for delay or failure in performance in publication and/or distribution if all or any portion of an issue is delayed or suspended for any reason. The publisher will exercise reasonable judgment in these instances and will make adjustments for the advertiser where and when appropriate. The Sports Department assumes no responsibility for unsolicated material or reproductions made by advertisers.

This is only a partial listing of pickup spots. To see all 250+ locations, please go to www.thesportsdept.com The Sports Department is published on the first and third Wednesday of each month and is available at more than 250 locations across eight towns in North Central Connecticut. More than 50,000 readers currently enjoy The Sports Department’s comprehensive coverage of the local sports scene. If you know of an establishment that would like to carry The Sports Department, please call our office at 860-872-0873 or email our publisher, Kevin Hayes at kevin@thesportsdept.com.

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March 15-28, 2011

The Sports Department

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Playing Outfield Allows Player To Stand Out Continued from Page 1 to him because like many of his talented peers, he had spent all of his youth baseball games playing the infield and pitching. The only problem was that at the high school tryouts, so had the other 40 kids trying to make the team. Fortunately, when he arrived at the tryouts and looked around he was smart enough to realize that his best chance to make the team was to compete against players in the outfield who had never played there before, rather than vying for infield positions with all-star infielders. At the end of the first tryout he told me that everyone was asked to shag fly balls and he was one of only a few play-

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ers who correctly judged them and had the awareness to throw to the correct base depending on the situation. Most of the other kids trying out for outfield “had no clue” what they were doing. If you have ever tried to shag a fly ball in any situation, you know it’s not easy. Imagine doing it for the first time under stressful tryout conditions. My guess is there were several players cut from the team who, with some outfield experience, might have made it. Fortunately, my son had that experience. So remember, the next time your child is given the option to play the outfield (or defense), he or she might want to think twice about saying no. And you might even want to encourage it. I would have been the first parent to tell my son to say no and stick to the infield. But if he had, he might not be playing this season. Someday, opting to play the “worst” position on the field might just turn out to be the best decision you ever made. Reach Jon Buzby at jonbuzby@hotmail. com and visit his website at jonbuzby.


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The Sports Department

March 15-28, 2011

Ten Signs of a Good Youth Sports Program By Brooke de Lench

Syndicated Columnist

Parents and coaches and young athletes are excited about the start of a new sports season. There is a clean slate waiting to develop “the best season ever.” Unfortunately, many of us who have been through dozens of youth sports seasons know all too well that a promising season can turn sour. Some of us more seasoned coaches and parents also know that the outstanding seasons are the ones that truly make a difference in our lives. Over the past two decades, I have cris-crossed the nation numerous times talking with sports parents in groups as small as twenty-five and as large as two thousand as a keynote speaker at National Youth Sports Conventions. I provide a simple survey and have researched the qualities that make up the very best sports programs I see around the country; the programs that keep our children physically and sexually safe and emotionally happy and thriving. I have been fortunate to have experienced many wonderful seasons and I write this month’s column in the hopes that your child ends up with a program that has adopted these ten points. Successful programs are ones that have a high turnout and low dropout rate. When kids are safe and happy, they want to continue to play and parents want to continue to enroll them. Here is my recipe of the ten most important ingredients for creating a strong program: 1. Implementing comprehensive risk-man-

agement and child protection programs. A good youth sports program recognizes that it owes every child who participates a duty of care, has identified best practices, and implemented a child protection program, that includes background checks of all adult volunteer and non volunteer- working with children, implemented a First aid, Concussion, CPR and AED training program, to reduce the number of out-of-control parents, abusive coaches, team bullies, spectators and volunteers and to reduce the number of catastrophic injury and deaths. 2. Is child-centered. The emphasis on winning in today’s youth sports is because adults want to win. Studies repeatedly show that the vast majority of boys and girls, when asked what they would like to see changed about youth sports, say they would like to see less emphasis on winning. A good high school and youth sports pr ogram is listening to what our children tell us they want; it emphasizes having fun, skill development and fair play and keeps winning, losing and competition in proper perspective. 3. Does not exclude (i.e. cut) children before grade seven or eight. The goal in childhood should be to prepare children for adulthood by giving them a chance to develop coping skills and the self-confidence to succeed in the adult world in a safe and nurturing environment. Many of my colleagues agree that cutting children from athletic programs foster an environment that hurts, rather than fosters, selfesteem. A survey in one New York City suburb found that eight out of ten parents

overall and three out of four parents involved in tryout-based programs believed that there should be no tryouts and cutting before fifth grade. Evaluations and inclusion are critical components. 4. Before Eighth grade its teams are comprised of kids of same age, from same neighborhoods, and of mixed abilities. There is no proof that forcing “better” players to play with those who appear at an early age to be less skilled somehow keeps them from developing their “talent” or that they somehow deserve to play with similarly “gifted” players. Every child deserves a chance to play, receive the best coaching, and play on the best fields. A recent study shows that 1 out of 4 “super stars” at ages 10, 11 and 12 will only make it to the high school varsity. This is due to “early” and late blooming. 5. Uses independent evaluators, not parent coaches, to select its teams. Parents in one Boston suburb who responded to a youth sports survey were nearly unanimous that tryouts run by parent coaches are unacceptable because of concerns about fairness, politics and behavior associated with such a selection process. Many programs are starting to “exchange” the evaluators for the day to eliminate a conflict of interest. 6. Implementing equal playing time (before sixth grade) and significant playing time (sixth grade and above) rules, which are strictly enforced. Following an equal playing time/significant playing time rule creates a win-win situation for the players (who play together more as a team, are See “TEN”, Page 18

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The Sports Department

March 15-28, 2011

5

Community MVP (Most Valuable Person)

By Reid L. Walmark The Sports Department The entry into youth sports for Hans Petersen was no out-of-the-ordinary, amazing tale of grand sacrifice or uplifting enrichment. No epiphanies. No Disney movie on his career is being planned. Petersen got involved in the early 1980s in the way most typical of parents wanting to share a bonding experience with a child. Petersen wanted to coach his son, Michael, and he did in Little League and recreation soccer. But when Michael moved on, Hans stayed put, deciding to stay involved as a coach and an administrator in the Rockville Little League and Vernon Youth Soccer Association. No one has invited him to shuffle off. It is Petersen’s exit from the Vernon youth sports scene that is no run-of-themill story – it’s actually incomplete for he remains involved. He’s had a baseball diamond named after him, at Henry Park, which is only fitting for a local icon. Petersen just left his post this winter as president of the Rockville Little League, after overseeing the league’s 60th anniversary celebration last June, yet he remains on the board in his ex-officio

The Rock Of Rockville

capacity. He is in his 31st year with the league. For his years of service in these sports, along with a two-year flirtation in basketball, and for touching the lives of well over a thousand youngsters in the past three decades, Petersen PETERSEN has been named Community MVP for March by The Sports Department. “It gets to be fun,” said Petersen, 67, a 1961 graduate of Ellington High School and a Vernon resident for 45 years. “It’s a lot of fun watching the kids grow. It was always my intent for the kids to have fun, to do the best they can and to learn to play the game better.” There are plenty of warm, fuzzy stories he can recount. But few moments of earth-shaking clarity and inspiration. One of his best comes from the 1990s when his Little League team was up against it

Do you know someone that should be recognized as an MVP in your community? Send us your nomination today!! You may submit nominations online at www.thesportsdept.com. Be sure to include a few sentences as to what makes the person a Community MVP and remember; an MVP can be anyone who has helped to make a difference by working with young athletes in our community.

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in the sixth inning of the championship game. The winning run was on base with two outs when a line drive was sent screeching into the outfield. There waited an “average at best” leftfielder. The title could have slipped away. But it didn’t. “He made a great catch. He had to reach up over his head to catch the line drive. It might have been his only catch of the season,” said Petersen, conveniently skipping the hero’s name to avoid potential embarrassment all these years later. “We won the championship. It was his moment to shine.” And that’s special. Bruce Dinnie, the Vernon Parks and Recreation Department director, says Petersen is amazing, citing his work in renovating fields and building concession areas, dugouts, batting cages and irrigation systems as well as installing scoreboards and maintenance of the fields. Petersen has now turned his attention toward the construction of a pavilion. “He is constantly finding ways to improve the fields. He has coordinated many projects with the Vernon Parks and Recreation Department and is always a pleasure to work with,” Dinnie said. Stephen Krajewski, Dinnie’s long-time assistant, says Petersen is a problemsolver and is most impressed by Petersen’s willingness to offer scholarships to participate in Little League for players from needy families as well as step-

Rockville Bank is proud to sponsor this month’s Community MVP

ping forward with equipment for those athletes. “I’ve had the pleasure to work with Hans regarding the day-to-day operations of the Rockville Little League,” Krajewski said. “We’ve worked on the schedule of games, All-Star games, field maintenance, make-up dates and the use of town facilities for tryouts and evaluations. One of the major renovations was the improvement of the infield at Gil Field. Not only did he help design the job, but he was right there helping with the project.” Chris Holt, who has succeeded Petersen as Little League president, said the naming of Hans Petersen Field at Henry Park, in 2001, was a deserving honor. Petersen, who retired from Stop & Shop seven years ago, has helped Holt move into the president’s role. “He has a lot of operating knowledge,” Holt said. “He’s been a good mentor for that transition.”

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The Sports Department

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Three Words: Practice, Practice, Practice By Chris Corkum Special to The Sports Department The key to a successful season is a long string of great practices. These practices must reflect your yearly team objectives and areas of team and individual play that need both long range improvement and most always, once your season starts, immediate improvement. We want no practice activity that goes on without achievement. In other words we want a direct carry over from our practice activities to our game play. Below are some suggestions to follow. • Develop your personal coaching mission statement. (Why are you coaching and what do you want to accomplish?) • Develop 1 to 3 major program objectives for the season (One example could be, defensively we always go for the sure out.) • Develop and communicate 3 to 4 basic team rules. (You may start with: be on time, listen and hustle.) • Construct a basic practice plan. (Make sure to write it down. Remember if you fail to plan you plan to fail) Components of a Successful Practice

• Start on time • Share your practice objectives with the team. • Allow for a proper warm-up. (When in doubt light jogging is a good choice then start activities lightly before you go full intensity. • Use the first 20 minutes for new teaching. • Create small group skill work stations with many repetitions. • Play a game. As in all other sports we need to replicate real game situations whenever possible. Drills are not enough. • At the conclusion of practice recap and review the practice activities. • End with a positive message. Fun and informative practices will keep your players interested in the game. For youth league teams it is extremely important to continue to practice at least once a week during the season. Players need the repetition and the touches of the ball they receive in practice. If at any time you need assistance with practice/fundamental issues feel free to call me at 860-623-1027 or contact me by email at corkumsbaseball@cox.net.

March 15-28, 2011

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The Sports Vernon Department

March 15-28, 2011

Rockville

Student Athlete of the Month Nickname: I actually come to love the nickname of the Energizer Bunny because I always seem to keep on going, going and going. (no pun intended) Accomplishments: Lettered 7 times from the combined sports from football and wrestling, I made honor roll since 6th grade. Received a coaches award and a hammer award from football, took third in the eagle classic. Placed 2nd in the conference tournament. Proud member of the Spanish Honor Society. GPA: 94 average Other sports: Football How do you prepare for a game: I walk around with a visualization in my head to get myself pumped for the match, and I always try to get my body warm and sweaty before I wrestle, it does you no good to go out there cold, believe me. Thoughts on the season: It started with about 17 kids on the team, but it slowly whittled down to only 6 active. I was kind of disappointed that people quit and some wrestlers that were there last year didn’t even come out this year, but wrestling I guess is not for everyone, because it is a hard sport. For the people that were there from day one this year that stuck it out, it was a very good year bonding wise. I am even proud to call them brothers, from the days that we went sledding, to even the toughest times in wrestling. I believe that these guys will get better as they have this year. We may have won only one match as a team, but we had only six to seven people wrestling and all of us won, that’s saying something. Toughest team to play against: I would say that its tied with South Windsor and Weaver/HPHS, they are both well coached teams and they both have good teams. Favorite sports memory: From my rec leagues days when I was with the Ellington Roadrunners football team. I was recognized for being its best blocker and the hardest hitter on its team during its banquet. From high school would have to be when I was wrestling last year in the Class M’s and I came back from behind to pin my senior opponent who was ranked higher. I was so happy that day. But my most favorite memories would be the friends that I made when I played these sports. I will never forget them. Favorite memory of high school: When I dressed up as the Joker on Halloween. Role model or inspirational person in your life: My parents, especially my dad because he got me to get involved with sports when I was 10 and my mom and dad made me the way that I am today, I am so happy to be called their

Chris Castonguay Wrestling son. Most embarrassing moment: Nothing is really coming to mind. Toughest challenge I’ve overcome: Believe it or not I was in special needs class for my reading and my writing, but I overcame it and now I’m a successful student and I have plenty of people to thank for that. Favorite athlete: Teddy Bruschi from the New England Patriots, he is an excellent linebacker and a great man. I want to be like him if I ever get into the NFL. Most famous (or near famous) person I ever met: I haven’t really met anybody that was famous. Person I’d like most to meet: I would love to meet John Cena someday because I almost live by his motto, “Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect.” Favorite way to relax: I like to kick back on the couch and either watch TV or play video games. Favorite class: It’s a tie for Spanish and Creative Writing Favorite snack food: Cinnamon buns, that stuff is delicious. Favorite band: Ever since I saw their concert, Nickelback all the way. Favorite restaurant: Plaza Azteca Red Sox or Yankees: Hardcore Red Sox fan, my whole family is. Favorite movie: Avatar was my favorite movie because I believe it had everything that a movie should and tells a great story. It even gives possibilities to what other life forms could exist different from ours. Favorite television show: SpongeBob Squarepants. That show is very funny. Plans after high school: I plan on going to college, not sure where yet, and I want to either play football or wrestle when I do get in and have plans on becoming either an athletic trainer or a PE teacher. I might want to go into the WWE also.

Beginning in 2011, The Trophy Shop in Vernon will provide commemorative plaques for The Sports Department’s Student Athletes of The Month. The Trophy Shop is located at 214 Hartford Turnpike in Vernon CT.

7

Vernon Parks and Recreation

It’s Never To Early To Let The Little Ones Chase Their Dreams By Amy Locandro The Sports Department If your 3-5-year-old child believes he/ she is the next NBA Superstar or Baseball All Star, here is your opportunity to release some of that energy and enjoy their first sports experience. The Sports Nutz instructional, coed program, teaches the fundamentals of four different sports (Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, Track & Field) to young players using a variety of fun drills and activities designed to develop athletic skills and a love for the game. Program focuses on the most basic fundamentals of sport. All participants receive a T-shirt. Class size is limited to 20 participants. • Saturdays, Mar 26-Apr 16, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. • Vernon Teen Center Gym (375 Hartford Tpke) • Fee: $33 Resident; $38 Non-Resident

16, 6 p.m.-7 p.m. • Rockville High School Track • Fee: Residents $45; Non-Residents $50.00

Vernon Track Club The Vernon Parks and Recreation Department and TicketNetwork will be sponsoring a track program for boys and girls in grades K-8. This program has track meets with neighboring towns, which requires you to transport your child to and from those towns. NOTE: Meets may run on a different day of the week. Participants are required to come at least one day, two is preferred • Tuesdays & Thursdays; April 26-June

Vernon Adult Softball The Vernon Parks and Recreation Department has openings in the various Men’s, Women’s and Coed leagues. Each league plays on a set night. For more information please call or e-mail Steve Krajewski at 860-870-3520 or Skrajewski@vernon-ct. gov

Pilates Pilates is an exercise option for everyone. Designed to develop a strong core (stomach, back and glutes) while maintaining loose, limber limbs. The exercises provide multiple variations to meet the needs of different body types. It strengthens the body while keeping all the joints mobile and flexible. While it’s not cardiovascular exercise, you’ll feel your muscles working and probably break a sweat. Bring a mat, comfortable clothes, and water. This is a mixedlevel class so all are welcome to attend. • Mondays, Mar 7-Apr 11; 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. • Vernon Teen Center Big Room • Fee: $53 Residents; $58 Non-Residents

To register for any program you can come to the P&R office, 120 South Street or register at www.vernon-ct.gov

nly ts O by s den Stu lasse New start c 011 2 t Mus April 1,


The Sports Vernon Department

8

March 15-28, 2011

RHS United Hockey Does A 180

By Reid L. Walmark The Sports Department The Rockville-Manchester-Stafford United co-op used a six-game winning streak to qualify for the CIAC Division III tournament. The United beat Fitch-Groton, East Catholic, E.O. Smith/Tolland/Windham co-op, Sheehan-Wallingford and Bolton twice between Feb. 10 and Feb. 25 to improve to 12-6 then finished the regular season at 12-8 with two losses. The United was seeded ninth in the state tournament and lost to No. 8 Northwest Catholic 6-5 in overtime. Rockville-Manchester-Stafford finished 5-14-1 in 2009-10, so this season was marked by progress. “Our most memorable win was a backand-forth thriller against arch rival East Catholic,” said coach Christian Stevenson. “Our graduating seniors can take that victory and proudly march away from high school hockey.” Boys Basketball For the second straight year, the Rams finished 3-17 overall. They were 3-13 in the CCC East in 2010-11. Senior MJ Faniel was the leading scorer at 13.1 points per game. He also led in rebounds at 9 per game. Junior Tyler Green was the No. 2 scorer at 8.0 ppg. The season ended with a 61-51 win over Fermi. “The kids were clutch in the fourth quarter when they made 14 of 18 free throws,” coach Peter McCann said. “MJ had a terrific senior season. It was the first time in his career where he was able to practice right from the start and it showed.

He was aggressive both offensively and defensively.” “Next year we will be returning our starting backcourt and I am looking forward to progress made by our two sophomore big men, Kurt Annelli and Raekwan Barber, to give us an inside presence. Freshman Sean O’Gara began playing varsity late in the season.”

Girls Basketball The Rams ended at 0-20, a slight dropoff from 2009-10’s record of 2-18, yet coach Craig Archambault is optimistic about next year with seven of his top eight players coming back. He noted how the offense became more productive toward the end of the year. “We got better throughout the year and that’s all I asked for,” Archambault told The Sports Department last month. “In our last game, we had players diving on the floor for loose balls. They’re a close group. I wanted to see them come together.” Archambault said the team will need to replace the senior leadership of Melissa McCann. She was the Rams leading scorer and handled the point-guard responsibilities. Wrestling Rockville wrestlers failed to have dominant performances at the CIAC Class M championship on Feb. 18 at Windham High School. Two Rams did well, coach Tim Gardiner said. Senior captain Chris Castonguay finished sixth at 160 pounds, winning three of five matches. His final record was

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21-11. Senior captain Sean Hayden went 3-2 in the class meet at 189 pounds. The season began with 16 wrestlers and finished with six, with some dropping off the team once practices became harder. “The younger guys got a lot of experience and I think they’ll be the rock for us next year to keep it going,” said Gardiner, who finished his first year. Gardiner plans to work with the Parks and Recreation department to get open mat time for wrestlers in the off season to drum-up interest in the sport.

the roofs. Kelly never once lost her confidence and practiced hard on the days she could.” The rest of the team, McCarthy said, consisted of 14 girls who despite working hard fell short of qualifying for post-season competition.

Girls Indoor Track Junior co-captain Kelly Walker was the only girl to earn a varsity letter by finishing ninth in the 55-meter hurdles in the CIAC Class L championship meet on Feb. 12. “Kelly had the tough job of practicing on her own for the last three weeks of the season as she prepared for the conference meet and state championships,” said Rams assistant coach Lauren McCarthy. “Kelly also had to miss many days of practice since the school was closed the week prior to the state championship due to snow on

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March 15-28, 2011

The Sports Vernon Department

The RockvilleManchesterStafford United hockey team finished its season 12-8 before losing in the first round of the Division III tournament. Photo by Andre Dumais, The Sports Department, www.imagingbyandre. com Left - Jori Dumais takes a look at his shot as it leaves his hands during a game against Bloomfield. Photo by Andre Dumais, The Sports Department, www.imagingbyandre. com

Below - The Rockville cheerleaders show off some school spirit during a break in the boys basketball game. Photo by Andre Dumais, The Sports Department, www.imagingbyandre. com

Left - Tyler Green has his shot blocked during a game against RHAM. Photo by Andre Dumais, The Sports Department, www. imagingbyandre.com

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The Sports Department Tolland

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March 15-28, 2011

Tolland Girls Make Another Deep Run In Class M 4th place. The girls track and field team placed 4th at the CCC meet and at the Class M championship. The 4x800 team of Kristin Carr, Amber Morrone, Emily Howard and Erin Connelly placed first at the CCC championship. Heather Kittredge placed 7th in shotput with a personal best of 30 feet, 2 inches. At the state championship Connelly, Howard, Carr, and Rachel Gedansky ran their best time,lacing second, just .35 seconds behind Hillhouse. Kristen Tetreault placed 7th in pole vault, and Carr placed 3rd in the 600M. The sprint medely relay team of Howard, Audrey Corbin, Brenda Kittredge and Katy Sprout placed 3rd. The 4x400 team of Corbin, Carr, Howard and Sprout came in 2nd by .09

seconds as well. Boys Hockey The boy’s hockey team had a good season with a final record of 6-12-2. The team’s goals at the beginning of the season were to qualify for the state tournament, win the games within their conference, and improve their abilities as a team. While the team did not qualified for the state tournament, their abilities to maximize their opportunities and capitalize on their strengths got them through the tougher games against Newington/Berlin and Avon/Windsor. Doing well this year are seniors Bryan Dunham and Austin Nelson, as well as sophomore James Allanach.

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By Katy Sprout Sun Saturday March 19th. The Sports Department Tolland played its semifinal matchup The Tolland girls basketball team has against Windham after this edition of The had an excellent season, and is continuSports Department had gone to press. ing to show their talent into the Class M For the full game story, please go to state tournament. With a www.thesportsdept.com regular season record an Built up motivation impressive 15-5, they are from the season Boys Basketball looking very promising in The Tolland boys the state tournament with adding to the basketball team finished a 59-33 win against Ansoan 8-13 record, but talent of all the with nia, a 58-47 win against fell short in the Class M Suffield and a 57-40 win girls could help the qualifying round against against Plainfield. The Joel Barlow 58-56. The starting 5, Sara Anischik, team find them- team had an eventful seaKristin Schatzlein, Jenna with Andrew Roussey selves at the cham- son Lovett, Jess Olson, and scoring his 1,000th point Alli Gallo have been playpionship game at against Fermi on Februing together for a long ary 25th. Taylor Fortin time so chemistry on the Mohegan Sun also chipped in with an court is a distinct strength average of 8 points and 4 on this team. Anischik, a senior say she assists per game, as did Corey Keane with definitely thinks the team can make it to an 8 points per game average and Kris the championships this year. They were Strobel with a 6 point per game average. only one point away last year when the Eagles lost to Brookfield, 47-46. That Track and Field game, in addition to this years experiencThe boys track and field team performed es are a huge motivator for the girls. Anis- very well at the state and league chamchik said the team starting the season pionships in February. The 4x800 relay with a three point loss to New Britain was team consisting of Bryan Fowler, Trevor the best thing that could have happened LaFontaine, Matt Mensher, and Ryan for the team, as they went on to a ten Possardt placed first in both the CCC meet game winning streak. Later in the season and the Class M state meet. The following they took hard losses to E.O Smith, 50week they placed 6th at the State Open. 46, then 51-50. Built up motivation from Individually, Bryan Fowler placed first in the season adding to the talent of all the the 3200 at Class M’s, and Trevor Lafongirls could help the team find themselves taine and Matt Mensher placed 3rd and at the championship game at Mohegan 4th respectively. Overall the boys came in


The Sports Department Tolland

March 15-28, 2011 Left - Bret Smith has perfect form as he launches a three pointer from deep. Photo by Sherrene Wells, The Sports Department, www.wellsphotogallery. com

Right - Sam Olson takes control of the ball as teammate Kristen Schatzlein looks on during Tolland’s second round Class M matchup against Suffield. Photo by Steve Palmer, The Sports Department, www.stevepalmerphotography.com

Right - Corey Keane tries to find an open man while being hounded by the E.O. Smith defender. Photo by Sherrene Wells, The Sports Department, www. wellsphotogallery. com

Above - Kristen Schatzlein shoots from two feet beyond the arc during Tolland’s Class M second round game. Photo by Steve Palmer, The Sports Department, www.stevepalmerphotography.com

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Left - Jenna Lovett goes up for the easy deuce against Ansonia in the Eagles first round Class M state tournament game. Photo by Sherrene Wells, The Sports Department, www.wellsphotogallery. com


The Sports Department Ellington

12

March 15-28, 2011

Ellington’s Julie Gage goes around the Nonnewaug defender for a layup in the Class M tournament. Photo by Steve Palmer, The Sports Department, www. stevepalmerphotography.com

No, he’s not break dancing, but Ellington’s Brannen Wesley sure looks like it as he tries to break his fall. Photo by Steve Palmer, The Sports Department, www.stevepalmerphotography.com

The Tri-Town hockey team celebrates its NHC title. Photo by Steve Palmer, The Sports Department, www.stevepalmerphotography.com

The joy of victory and agony of defeat is all on display here as TriTown defeated North Branford in the NHC finals. Photo by Steve Palmer, The Sports Department, www.stevepalmerphotography.com

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March 15-28, 2011

The Sports Department Ellington

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Girls Basketball Falls In Quarterfinals Of Class M By Dan Schofer The Sports Department After wining the NCCC title behind 1,000 point scorer Kelly Conley, the fourth seeded girls basketball made a run to the third round of the Class M State tournament before falling to Weaver, 69-55. In that game, Julie Gage finished with 20 points in her final time in a Knights jersey. Conley finished with 14 points. In its first round game, Ellington defeated Ledyard, 68-42 as they jumped out to a 17 point lead by halftime. Conley scored 20 points and Gage had a phenomenal double-double, pulling down 21 rebounds and adding 11 points. Claudia Perez scored 14 and Karlee Alves had 11 points.

In its second round game against 13th seeded Nonnewaug, Gage again pulled down 21 rebounds to go along with 13 points and five blocks. Conley chipped in with 12 points and Perez, 10. Hockey The Tri-Town hockey team’s goal of winning the Division I title was stopped short by the hands of the No. 3 seed South Windsor, as the Bobcats won, 5-3 at South Windsor Arena on March 9. All was not lost on the season as the team won the NHC conference title in overtime over North Branford after Justin Locke scored the game winning goal in overtime with only six seconds left. NHC Conference MVP Mike Hanna finished as the team’s

leading scorer. Boys Basketball Ellington’s boys basketball (12-10) team finished its season with a tough 53-47 loss to Weaver in the second round of the state tournament, after upsetting defending state champion Hyde Leadership in the first round of the Class M tournament, 69-62 in overtime. Aaron Daly scored 15 for the Knights and Dan Schofer lead the team with 21 points. Coach Don Flint said his team was, “Very hard working and one of the best defensive teams in the conference.”

top runners, others like Neil Hulstein, Alec Weiner and Andrew Parker really stepped up to complement their top runners and give them the boost they needed to finish so well. They won four out of fifteen events at the conference championship and look good for next season.

The boys indoor track squad had a surprisingly Girls Indoor Track This year’s girls indoor good finish to track team had a very strong season and finished their season by first in a very close conference championship. Led placing second in by Claiborne Jones who placed 7th in the state in the NCCCs. the 55m race, the girls

Boys Indoor Track The boys indoor track squad had a surprisingly good finish to their season by placing second in the NCCCs. Even though they had graduated some of its

won an impressive seven out of the fifteen events in the conference finals. Their season went very well and coach Aaron Flamino says, “The girls set some high goals for their season and really came through.” He also believes they came together as a team and are looking great for next season.


The Sports Department

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March 15-28, 2011

Ellington Girls Lacrosse Keeps Growing By Tom Stauffer Special to The Sports Department “Dirty Knuckles, dirty knuckles!” says John Burgess, a former coach for Ellington Girls lacrosse, as he teaches the girls how to pick up a ground ball. “Once you try the game, you are hooked.”, Burgess said. Ellington girls and boys in K-3 are invited to try lacrosse in an instructional setting on Saturday mornings, May 7, 14, 21 and 28. Fundamentals and fun are the emphasis for the new players. Lacrosse sticks are provided if you do not have one. Girls are required to wear eye protection. Ellington Girls High School players will serve as “Big Sisters/lacrosse buddy” in this introductory program that will provide lots of one on one instruction for the new players. Leigh Scordato, Class of 2006, was the first girl from Ellington High School to secure a scholarship to play college lacrosse, at the University of Vermont. Unfortunately, a knee injury slowed her ability to slash and cut, but her skill set, and knowledge of the game, will help girls from Ellington learn lacrosse. Leigh’s father, Paul Scordato, is a long time lacrosse player, and now coaches the Ellington senior boys team. Leigh is joining the coaching ranks in the Spring 2011, and is the new coach of the girl’s Senior team,

along with her good friend, Dory Manfre, Leigh and Dory played on the first girls varsity lacrosse team at Ellington High School in 2004. Prior to 2005, girls from Ellington could play lacrosse in Somers. In 2006, with the help of Ellington Parks and Recreation Director Bob Tedford, Coaches Burgess, and Tom Stauffer, the first recreation teams for juniors (Grades 5 and 6) and seniors (Grades 7 and 8) were formed. The team joined as a provisional member of the CT Valley Girls’ Youth Lacrosse League (CVGYL), and girls lacrosse was up and running in Ellington. The program grew from 23 girls in 2006, to 55 girls in 2010. Attempts were made in 2009 and 2010 to start a bantam team (Grades 3 and 4), but more girls are needed to roster a full team. A decision was made to try to cultivate and develop girls in Kindergarten - Grade 2, and the CBGYL will hopefully field a Bantam team in 2012. Registration is available online, http://activenet4.active. com/ellingtonrec/ And search for activity # InstLax.2011. For questions, call the Ellington Parks and Recreation Department at (860) 8703118 , or contact Lacrosse Instructional Program Coordinator Tom Stauffer at tpstauffer@aol.com.

Prior to 2005, girls from Ellington could play lacrosse in Somers.

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March 15-28, 2011

The South SportsWindsor Department

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Bobcats Hockey Looking For D-I Crown By Reid L. Walmark The Sports Department The South Windsor High hockey team, seeded third, met No. 2 Fairfield Prep in a CIAC Division I semifinal on March 16 in New Haven. South Windsor (19-4) beat No. 14 Tri-Town 5-3 in a first-round game on March 9 then defeated Xavier-Middletown 1-0 on March 12. They were trying to reach the finals for the first time since 1996-97 when they beat East Haven for the Division II championship. South Windsor finished the regular season at 17-3 and met Glastonbury in an attempt to defend its CCC North championship from 2009-10 but the Tomahawks won 2-1. The Bobcats had won 11 in a row before losing to Hamden 4-1 on Feb. 12, then wrapping up the regular season with four straight wins. “We don’t put the emphasis on the CCC North game,” coach Neil Rodman said. “To me, I’d like us to make some noise in the state tournament.” Boys Swimming & Diving South Windsor was runner-up to Glastonbury in the CCC North meet on March 4, defeating East Catholic, East Hartford, Manchester and Windsor. “This was a huge win as a first-time team,” said coach Heather Vendetto. “Our divers were huge contributors, placing sixth and 10th overall.” Victoria Russo was seeded 17th in the CIAC Class L diving trials and finished 14th in the qualifying meet on March 9 at Hamden. At the swimming trials on March

12 in East Hartford, the 400-yard freestyle relay (Tim Savidge, Patrick Savidge, Derek McLean, Nick Purrington) placed second and qualified for the championship meet March 15 at Wesleyan, along with the 4 x 200 medley relay (Purrington, Connor Riley, Tim Savidge and Tyler VanderVos), which placed fourth. Among other qualifiers for the L championships, Purrington was the No. 1 seed in two events by having won the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke; Patrick Savidge was second in the 500 freestyle and fourth in the 200 individual medley. Wrestling Coach Jude Knapp, in his 14th year, said the Bobcats finished the best-three year stretch of his tenure on March 5 when the season ended with the New England Championships. Three wrestlers went 2-2 in the two-day competition in New Haven – senior Brandon Lopez at 125 pounds, senior Jake Odell at 152 and sophomore Casey Mitchell at 152. “We had a very good regular season,” Knapp said. “We probably underachieved a bit at the end of the season.” South Windsor went 6-0 to win the CCC North regular-season title, then won the postseason match. The Bobcats compiled a 17-0 dual-meet record. They were third in the CIAC Class LL championships on Feb. 1819 and placed fourth at the State Open on Feb. 25-26. Five Bobcats were finalists in Class LL and freshman Conor Caffrey placed sixth at 103 pounds. Odell won at 152 pounds

and senior Paul Sullivan at 285 pounds (heavyweight). Sophomore Sam Odell, at 119 pounds, Lopez (125) and Mitchell (140) were runners-up. In the Open, Mitchell won at 140 pounds and Jake Odell won at 152 and Lopez placed third at 125 pounds. In the CCC North meet, seven Bobcats won weight-class titles with two runners-up. Girls Basketball “Having no off nights gets us prepared for post-season play,” South Windsor coach Don Leclerc said about playing in the toughest division in the state, the CCC North. After a 2-18 record in 2009-10, No. 7 South Windsor brought a 9-11 mark into its Class LL first-round game at No. 7 Newtown (22-3), the champions of the South-West Conference, on March 4. The Bobcats lost 54-28, falling behind by 14 in the first before battling back to within 4. Junior forward Savanna Gray, a transfer from Loomis Chaffee, made an impression, as did freshman center Maxine Offiaeli, which will give the Bobcats “one of the toughest one-two tandems in the conference to stop inside next year,” Leclerc said.

The South Windsor boys swimming team celebrates its Runner-Up Finish in the CCC North meet. the year,” McClay said. South Windsor executed its offense better at the end and was able to beat defensive pressure as well. Senior John Pelkey, an undersized center, battled hard all year and impressed McClay. Juniors Trevor Mirek, a guard, and Robbie Linnell, a forward, stepped up in the final few games of the year. Sophomore forward Shaq Smith was the Bobcats’ second-leading scorer at near 9.0 points per game.

Boys Basketball The Bobcats went 2-18 in coach Brendan McClay’s first year as coach. “Each game we seemed to get better as a team,” he said. Progress was measured by losing to a team by 30 to 40 points the first time South Windsor played them to a second-meeting loss by 20 to 30 points. “We were giving up 20 to 30 offensive rebounds a game then that went down by 10 to 15 at the end of

Gymnastics After placing eighth as a team in 2009-10 in the Class L meet, South Windsor failed to qualify for the state championship meet this season. Indoor Track Senior Preethi Vaidyanathan placed 12th in the State Open Feb. 19 in New Haven in the girls high jump. No Bobcats boys athletes qualified for the Open.

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The South SportsWindsor Department Shaq Smith gets past the East Catholic defense on his way to the rack. Photo by Steve Palmer, The Sports Department, www.stevepalmerphotography.com

Robbie Linnell takes a jump shot for the Bobcats. Photo by Steve Palmer, The Sports Department, www.stevepalmerphotography.com

South Windsor’s Kyle Benson checks an Xavier player hard into the boards. Photo by Steve Palmer, The Sports Department, www. stevepalmerphotography.com South Windsor’s John Labonte tries to pin Ricky Martins of Providence. Photo by Steve Palmer, The Sports Department, www. stevepalmerphotography. com

South Windsor’s Kyle Benson scores against Tri-Town’s Mitch Diresta. Photo by Steve Palmer, The Sports Department, www.stevepalmerphotography.com

March 15-28, 2011


The Sports Department

March 15-28, 2011

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Local Digest SW Golf Tournament

Lion’s Leap Mayor’s Cup

Ellington Community Scholarship Association Phone-A-Thon

Tolland’s Hyde Looking To Qualify

The South Windsor Bobcats youth lacrosse team is putting on its first annual golf outing on May 13th at The Tradition Golf Course in Windsor. It will be a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start and the format will be a scramble. The tournament fee of $125, which covers golf, cart, lunch and dinner as well as a tournament gift. There will also be a raffle and auction prizes as well. The goal is to use the proceeds from the tournament to build a lacrosse wall at Rye St Park. Tee sponsorships available at $100 per hole and cart sponsors at $250. An 18x24 sign will display with the company’s name on each hole. If you have any questions, please contact Darren Demartino at ddemartino@4atc.com.

In addition to wining the NCCC Championships and starting their quest for a State Championship Title the Ellington High School Girls Basketball Team is also busy providing valuable community service. Members of the squad will be working the phone during this year’s Ellington Community Scholarship Association’s Annual Phone-a-Thon. The Ellington Community Scholarship Association will be conducting its 29th Annual Phone-a-thon on March 21st, 28th and 29th from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Gathered at the Ellington High School guidance department or the Board of Education offices, dozens of students and adults will be calling residents seeking tax-deductible contributions to help high school seniors in Ellington continue their education. Anyone not contacted during the phone-a-thon but who wishes to contribute can send a donation to ESCA, P.O. Box 54, Ellington, CT 06029.

On March 19, Lake Street School will host the monthly Town of Vernon Mayor’s Cup Fitness Challenge event. The Mayor’s Cup Fitness Challenge is a program implemented by the Vernon School District’s Wellness Committee and the Vernon Parks and Recreation Department. Children and families from the town’s schools are invited to participate n the Lake Street School’s Lion’s Leap, a 1.0 or 2.0 (2 loops) mile jog/walk beginning in front of the school and continuing through the neighborhood adjacent to the school. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The event will begin at 1:00 p.m., so please arrive by 10:40 a.m. to register.

Tolland’s Jared Hyde is a member of the Keene State College 200 freestyle relay team that is currently ranked ninth on the qualifying list for the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships, which take place March 23-26 at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. “It would be amazing if I could qualify for nationals in the first year,” said Hyde, a former standout swimmer at Tolland High School. “I think I just scratched the surface as far as my potential in the sport.” The Owls relay posted their qualifying time (1:22.88) with a first-place finish at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) championships in White River. If the relay team makes the cut, Hyde will also be able to compete in the 200 I.M.

Successful Freshman Year For Rockville Graduate

Vernon resident and Rockville High School 2010 graduate Elise Chase was the lone freshman and starter on Manchester Community College’s basketball team this past season, averaging 7.5 points and 4.9 rebounds for the 23-2 Cougars. Chase played in all 25 games, averaging 25.4 minutes. The Cougars lost to Roxbury CC in the 2011 Region 21 championship game on February 27 at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.

ECHO Mite A wins Campbell Division Connecticut State Tournament

At the Campbell Division tournament held in Bolton, the ECHO Mite A team swept all five opponents. Volunteer coaches, Scott Segar (Head Coach), and assistant coaches, Tim Olson, Nancy Thomas, and JC Zwick, brought both the art of hockey and sportsmanship to the ice. The results of their games (all wins): 3-0 vs. South Windsor Knights, 10-4 vs. North East Ice Dogs, 9-6 vs. Greenwich Blues, 10-2 vs. Central CT and 4-3 vs. Greenwich Blues L to R: Alex Tonioni, Doyle Coughlin, Jacob Budnick, Joseph Cafro, Rowan Masse, Zach Thomas, Matthew Nicolo, Matt Calderoni, Aiden Borruso, James Hanville, Russ Olson, Austin Zwick, Matt Abery, Nathan Segar, Andrew Fogarty. Not Shown Tony Nicolo To Submit a note or photograph for the Local Digest, please email us at: storyideas@thesportsdept.com

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18

The Sports Department

March 15-28, 2011

Local Teams Take Home Travel Basketball League Championships Right - Ellington’s 6th grade team got to take home some hardware defeating Tolland 59-39 in the championship game.

Left - South Windsor’s 6th grade boys travel team defeated Torrington 48-44 to win the Connecticut Travel Basketball League Small City title. For more photos and info on Travel Basketball Championships, please see our website at www.thesportsdept.com

The Vernon Girls 7/8B travel team won it’s championship on March 6th. Playoff victories included wins over Somers 35-29 and Simsbury 33-19. Pictured are first row: Haley Mistretta, Ally Witham, Sarah Kline, Rachel Fitzpatrick and Brenna Baran. Standing: Coach Taryn Rea, Winona Scheff, Kelsey Fisher, Corinne McPadden, Vivian Ufongene, Alana Covert, Kylie Kearney and Coach Chris McPadden. The team is sponsored by Surroundings Custom Interiors, Inc. and Dr Gange and Dr Griffin, Orthodontics for Children and Adults.

Ten Signs of a Good Program Continued from Page 4 less selfish, and feel less pressure to excel in order to earn more playing time), parents (who, knowing that their child will be getting the same or significant playing time as every other player, are likely to put less pressure on their child to perform), and the coach (the rule eliminates two of a coach’s major headaches: complaints from players and their parents about playing time). 7. Is accountable to parents and solicits their input. A good youth sports program provides for input from parents, makes its mission statement, bylaws, and names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of board members and other administrators publicly available, provides for term limits for directors, holds open board meetings, and engages in benchmarking. 8. Requires that coaches receive training and be evaluated after every season. Coaches receive training not only in the sport they are coaching but in child development; evaluations are used to identify those who should no longer be coaching because they are abusive, violate equal playing time rules or over-

emphasize winning at the expense of fun and skill development. 9. Makes parent training mandatory. Parents who have been trained in the sport they are coaching are better able to handle the stress of watching their child compete without losing their cool. 10. Sets sensible limits on the number of practices and games per week. The program understands that nearly half of the injuries children suffer each year playing sports are There will be exceptions to the list, and every program will have certain budgets and restrictions, but overall this is the formula that works best if the program desires to be athlete-centric and one that thrives. The mother of sports active triplet sons, a past coach and elite level athlete, Brooke is a youth sports parenting expert and the author of HOME TEAM ADVANTAGE: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports (Harper Collins) and the Founder/ Editor-in-Chief of MomsTeam.com: The Trusted Source for Youth Sports Parents.

© 2011 Brooke de Lench

Score a Great Smile with Team Daniels Dr. Daniels is an American Board Certified Orthodontist and a member of the American Association of Orthodontics. He specializes in expert orthodontic care for the entire family, including clear braces and Invisalign- the invisible way to straighten your teeth.

860-872-8361

219 Talcottville Road-Vernon CT Would you like to learn more about Dr. Daniels and his Team? Visit us at

www.ctvalleyortho.com


March 15-28, 2011

The Sports Health & Department Wellness

19

Get Ballistic: Improving Throwing Performance in Baseball and Softball Mike Bidwell ATC, LAT, CSCS The Sports Department If you want to throw harder, then start now so you’re in shape for your first baseball or softball game. While mechanics play a significant role in how hard or far an athlete can throw the ball, recent research shows that the how you train can also greatly influence the ball’s velocity. In fact, pitchers, catchers, and position players all rely on some type of strengthening program to prepare their arms for the repetitive motion associated with throwing. Traditionally, the Thrower’s Ten, Red Sox Seven, and T’s, Y’s and I’s are commonly used programs to strengthen and condition the throwing arm. All of these training programs emphasize the development of the shoulder muscles to throw more efficiently to realize greater results. A recent study added to the research with the discovery that athletes who strengthen their upper body and improve their eccentric strength will realize an astonishing two miles per hour increase in the speed of their fast balls after eight weeks of training compared to those who used traditional strength training programs. This new training strategy known as

the Ballistic Six found that when athletes perform the recommended six exercises in a ballistic (quick) manner using a reverse throwing type of motion to elicit powerful stretch reflexes, they will ultimately throw the ball harder and reach new peak velocities. Whether you are a high level pitcher or backup softball outfielder, this type of training can help you maximize your potential as a player. Because the Ballistic Six exercises require a high level of intensity, however, athletes must be cautious when starting this strength and conditioning program. Proper warm up and stretching are vital to maximize your performance and decrease the stress on your joints, so use these three tips as a guide. Warm up tips to ensure safe training: 1. Start with 10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (e.g., biking, jogging) 2. Add dynamic stretching up for the upper and lower body (e.g., walking lunge, soldier walks, high knees, butt kicks) 3. Finish with targeted stretching for the shoulder capsule,(e.g., sleeper stretch March Sports Dept “PT Corner “) Once you’ve warmed up, you can begin the Ballistic Six training program. All you need to get started is elastic tubing and two medicine balls – one weighing two pounds and one weighing six pounds. Both balls should be small enough to grip

with one hand, but they don’t have to be the same size as the ball used in your sport. And, you should ask you local athletic trainer, physical therapist, or strength coach to work with you as you begin these exercises to master the proper technique and avoid injury: As with any new exercise program be sure to start and progress slowly. Begin with one set of twenty repetitions performed no more than twice weekly and add one set per week. This program should be integrated in your regular weight training regimen and your return to throwing program. Ballistic Six exercises: 1. External rotation at side (tubing) – with your elbow locked at your side, use a quick and controlled motion to rotate the arm outward. 2. External rotation in t hrowing position – with your arm in a “cocked position,” use a quick and controlled motion to rotate the arm backward. 3. External rotation throws in throwing position– using a 2lb medicine ball, hold your arm in the “cocked position,” quickly throw the ball backward to a partner. 4. External rotation throws in slightly closed position – using a 2lb medicine ball, from the ending position in #3, move the arm slightly forward (close

your stance Ѕ way), then quickly throw the ball backward to a partner 5. Overhead soccer throw – Using a 6lb medicine ball, stand two feet away from a wall, and quickly throw the ball against the wall. 6. Overhand throw – Using a 2lb medicine ball, stand in a split stance and throw the ball to a partner or rebounder without taking a step. Avoid overuse injuries Throwing athletes are prone to overuse injuries so be sure to follow the soreness guidelines when beginning this exercise program: 1. If you are sore more than one day after training, take two days off from throwing or upper body weight training. (run, bike, lower body strength training instead) 2. Upon return to training or throwing, begin with warm up exercises and stretching for your arm. If no soreness after warm up progress with throwing or ballistic training. 3. If soreness lasts more than fifteen minutes into your warm up session, stop the exercises and seek the medical advice of an ATC, PT, or MD Mike Bidwell is a Certified Athletic Trainer at Integrated Rehabilitation Services and can be reached at (860) 645-3810 or by email at mbidwell@integrehab.com


Opening this Month in:


March 15 Vernon Edition of The Sports Department