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Covering 15 Towns • Print Editions Mailed To More Than 60,000 Homes


East Edition

Serving South Windsor, Vernon, Ellington & Tolland



November 2013



Area football teams head down the home stretch Pages 5-6

Tolland boys, girls soccer squads make deep tourney runs Pages 7-10

Knight moves

Kevin Hayes | Staff Ellington captain Jon Bassett, (left) and James Costanzo after the Knights’ dramatic last second win in the Class M semifinals. Costanzo scored a goal with 1.7 seconds remaining to propell Ellington, the 14-seed, to the Class M state championship game against top-seeded Suffield. The Knights lost to Suffield 2-0. Read more on Page 6.

Tolland girls win cross country Open title By Evan Macy Sports Editor

MANCHESTER — Tolland’s perfect season keeps getting more perfect. After dominating the competition in the Class M championship, the Eagles unleashed an even more impressive performance in the State Open, finishing almost two full minutes faster than second place Glastonbury on the way to the State Open title. “It’s the dream season,” Tolland head coach Judi Lafontaine said. “I couldn’t ask for more. These girls worked so hard this summer and that’s the key to a good program, girls willing to sacrifice their summer for their teammates.” Three of the top five Tolland finishers crossed the finish line in the top 15, giving the Eagles’ top finisher, Courtney Akerley (19:17, 9th place) some company

Judy Lafontaine The Class M and State Open Champion Tolland girls XC team.

when she heads to New Englands. “It has been amazing,” the junior said. “I can’t de-

scribe the feeling. It is just great. My goal was to get top 10. I wasn’t sure because of the weather and everything, but I went out and had fun and did the best I could do, and I met my goal.” Akerley’s teammates Caitlin Swanson and Megan Steinhilber took 14th and 15th place respectively, helping to put Tolland in contention for the Open crown. “Caitlin’s got a lot in her, and Megan was right behind her,” the coach said. “To have the three of them in that position is tremendous.” Sealing the deal for Tolland were Katherine Deloreto and Hayley Collins, who took 19th and 30th place. Deloreto will also be heading to New Englands. “I have to say, this team is so good there was nothing to be nervous about,” Lafontaine said, looking back at her excitement for the race. “In past years I came in very nervous, but this year I knew that they could do it.” See ‘TOLLAND GIRLS’ Continued on PAGE 11

November 2013 PRINT EDITION


Longtime volunteer and coach remembered The local sports community lost a great friend this month with the passing of Darrell Lotz. Darrell was a longtime supporter of youth and high school sports in Tolland and Ellington. He coached alongside TSD publisher Kevin Hayes for many years in Ellington and last season served as an assistant coach with the Ellington High boys basketball team. The following was written by Kevin Hayesfor Darrell’s memorial service last week. Courage. The dictionary defines it with words. As a society we often define courage through visual images of soldiers returning from duty, a first responder rushing into the uncertainty of a burning building or even an athlete pushing through injury or difficult circumstance. For me, the definition of courage took on new meaning nearly three years ago in the parking lot outside the Harry and Helen Gray Cancer Center at Hartford Hospital. As I reached across the front seat to give my friend our usual fist bump, he flashed a quick, confident smile and said “Don’t worry. I’ll be fine.’’ And then off he went. Brown paper bag in hand - no doubt filled with snacks to get him through what would be a most difficult morning . As he walked through the big sliding doors and into

the uncertainty of his first round of chemotherapy treatments I could not take my eyes off him. Growing up my heroes were figures like Carl Yastrzemski and Larry Bird. But that day, and every day since, my hero has been Darrell Lotz. Darrell finally lost his nearly threeyear battle with brain cancer on Nov 7. But he never lost his will and he never lost his competitive spirit or dignity. Darrell was diagnosed on Dec 7, 2010. In a letter he shared with me a while back, he wrote that the irony of the date was not lost on him. December 7 is Pearl Harbor day and for Darrell the diagnosis was not unlike an unexpected sneak attack. But in his usual way, Darrell also found a bit of humor and resolution that day. You see December 7, as all true Celtics fans know is also Larry Joe Bird’s birthday. To Darrell, Larry Bird always represented the notion that hard work and determination provide the most definitive path to success in any endeavor. And so for Darrell, this was a sign that he better start working hard if he was going to find success in his new fight. So much of what defined Darrell can be tied back to his love of basketball. And the lessons he learned playing competitively his entire life served him so very well in his final three years.

Vernon Parks and Rec

By Amy Locandro Recreation Supervisor

Fall program registration is on-going, to view and register for programs you can come to the P&R office, 120 South Street or on-line at Any questions please contact the office at 860-870-3520. Berkshire East Ski Program This is a 4-wk Friday night ski program held at Berkshire East Ski Resort located in Charlemont, Mass. This program is for skiers of all abilities (beginner to advanced). The program is open to skiers as well as snowboarders. Rentals & lessons are available for an additional fee. Lift ticket, and bus transportation to and from Berkshire East are all included in the cost of the program. Bus departs at 3:30

p.m. and returns at 10:45 p.m. Space is limited and is on a first come, first served basis. NOTE: Adults and non-residents are also eligible to register for this program. Trips on Fridays Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31. Call the Parks & Rec office for more details and prices. Deadline to register is Dec 2. Over the Hill Hoops Have fun and get in shape at this drop-in-basketball program for Vernon residents ages 35+. Full court games organized each week. This program is held on Friday evenings from 7:30- 9pm at the Vernon Center Middle School. Fee is $3 per week or flat rate of $35 for season. To participate all you have to do is show up at the gym on Fri. Nov 1, with identification and payment.

Darrell played on Ellington High’s 1982 NCCC championship team and actually returned to his alma mater last season as an assistant coach with the boys JV and varsity teams. He did not make it through the entire season as his condition worsened and he had to leave the team in early January. But those couple of months he spent back in the EHS gym, bouncing a ball and working with the young players had an enormous impact. Coaching he said, gave him two hours a day where he did not have to think about the unthinkable. The day after Darrell passed away I received a note from Darlene Russell, whose son Troy was a two-sport athlete at Ellington High and was paralyzed in a swimming accident last year. Despite all that he was going through this past year, Darrell took the time to write a letter to Troy Russell. In the letter Darrell thanked Troy for being such an inspiration to him and to others for the way that he fought through the hours of grueling rehabilitation. Darrell said that on those rare days when thoughts of giving up crept into his head, he would watch You Tube videos of Troy at rehab and be

Darrell Lotz, December 14 1964-November 7 2013

motivated all over again. One of Darrell’s other inspirations was former North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano whose “Never Give Up” speech at the 1993 ESPY Awards is now legend. In that speech Valvano – dying of cancer himself – said there are three things we should all do every day; laugh, spend some time in thought and have your emotions move you to tears. If you do those things every day Valvano said, “That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.’’ These past few years have indeed been very special. Farewell coach and may you rest in peace.

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have bad colds, and while each parent certainly needs to make an individual decision, I don’t think having a cold always warrants missing youth sports (or school). As a result, there will be germs at youth sports practices and games, and it’s up to everyone involved to help fight them. Kids should never share water bottles, which is the biggest germ-spreader of them all. I always make sure to have extra bottles of water in my trunk in case a player forgets his or hers. It’s still important to drink water, just not out of a teammate’s bottle. You hear all the time people spread



and learn how to “fake” being sick or not. It’s important to teach early in the season that it’s a long one, and trying to play through an illness not only hurts the team at the time when a player can’t give 100 percent, but it could also affect the team in the long term if that same player gets a more serious illness. Hopefully by involving all three parties — coaches, parents and players — strategies can be implemented to prevent germs from spreading. It will make for a healthier, happier winter season.

The Sports Department

P.O. Box 746, Ellington, CT 06029 860-872-0TSD (0873) • 860-614-5866 • Publisher: Kevin Hayes • Editor: Evan Macy • Production Manager: Patty Hunter Contributing Writers: Jon Buzby • Tom Powers • Reid L Walmark • Danny Atkinson • Brian Mazzone • Nate Owen • Amy Locandro • Bob Tedford • Julie Dutton • Evan Macy • Kevin Hayes • Photography: Evan Macy • Tom Powers • Kevin Hayes • Erika Studer • Alan Bastarache • Steve Smith • Andre Garant • Melanie Oliveira



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November 2013

germs the easiest by shaking hands or through any skin-to-skin contact, and yet in youth sports, the most popular way to congratulate a teammate is with a high five. Just picture the germs that are passed along every time a goal is scored. Try to encourage teammates to invent another way to celebrate, one that is still not taunting but also not a passageway for germs. And lastly, sometimes the responsibility has to fall directly on the players’ shoulders, especially as they get older


Of all the youth sports seasons, winter is naturally when the majority of kids on a team get sick at one point or another. And this just isn’t because it’s cold and flu season, but also a result of parents, players and coaches not always taking appropriate steps to prevent germs from spreading once they join the team. Parents need to make smart decisions when sending their child to practices or games. I always use the rule of thumb that if you wouldn’t send your child to school in his or her condition, he or she certainly does not need to go play a sport — regardless of what he or she wants to do. I also have the rule that if a child is sick enough to stay home from school, whatever the extra-curricular activity is on the schedule that night is not important enough to attend. It’s not always a popular decision, but I believe it’s the correct one. But not every child will keep his or her germs benched at home. There will be times when players on your team just


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November 2013 PRINT EDITION


Local football teams prepare for By Brian Mazzone Staff Writer

As is tradition across the gridiron, Thanksgiving day means both football and turkey for local football fans. Here is a look at the slate of games prior to this year’s feast. South Windsor Bobcats vs. Rockville Rams All Time Series: South Windsor Leads 22-18-1 Last Year: South Windsor 42-14 This is the oldest rivalry in our area. Enfield and Fermi used to matchup in the oldest rivalry until that game ended in 2009. There is no love loss here, and both teams are always hungry for each other. This year the game has an added level of importance. The winner will go home with their lone win of the season. Both teams come in 0-10 and their turkey will taste a lot better if they leave with a W. This past weekend Rockville

Tom Powers | Staff The Rockville defense lines up against Plainville. They seek their first win of 2013 against SW.

was beaten by Rocky Hill 49-6 and South Windsor fell to Southington 450. Going into the season South Windsor’s Mike Bullock said he expected his team to suffer growing pains, but that


he hoped to compete. “We have not won a game yet in the

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tough CCC division 1, but have competed in every game and have had our chances but have not been able to make the big plays when needed,” said Bullock. “James Nyarko on pace to have 2000 yards rushing but was injured in week 6 and has not played since. I am proud of the perseverance this team has shown and though our record may not show it this team has improved throughout the year.” Nyarko had 876 yards rushing on 9 TD’s through week 7, he may be back to play on Thanksgiving. Bullock noted that 70% of the offense ran through him. In Nyarko’s absence QB Ryan McDonald, DE Eric Walz, RB Cody Zitkus, and G/MLB Mike Kelly have picked up the slack for South Windsor. Rockville has struggled all season behind first year head coach Steve

Manane Adoyi, Soccer

Manane is not only an honor roll student with a 3.7 GPA, he has also be furious offensively for the Rams soccer team, scoring 18 goals this season. How Manane prepares before a game: Before a game I usually listen to music and just get focused on the game ahead. How Manane has improved on the soccer pitch: My speed on

the ball was my most improved skill this season. Manane’s most memerable moment as a Ram: Most memorable moment in my high school uniform so far is scoring 4 goals against Fermi. Manane’s favorite moment from the 2013 season: Our most impressive accomplishment is beating Fermi 7-3 after losing to them 4-2 earlier in the season. Manane’s favorite pro athlete: My favorite pro player is Sergio aguero who is a forward and plays for Manchester city. I admire the way he plays and would like to play like him someday. Manane’s plans for college: I plan to go to college and hopefully play soccer in college too. I’m not sure What college I want to go yet.

Ellington/Somers Knights vs. Coventry/Windham Tech/ Bolton Patriots Series: Ellington/Somers Leads 6-0 Last Year: Ellington/Somers 38-14 This is the first time since this rivalry has been renewed (2009) that there are not playoff implications on the line. Each year the playoffs have been on the line for Coventry. In each of the last two years both teams had the playoffs on the line, and in 2011 it was a battle of undefeated for the conference championship. This is never a dull event, but this year it will be played on Wednesday evening. This is the first time that the two teams have squared off at night.

“We must protect the football and cause turnovers,” Byrne said. “A win will give us the Pequot North title and that is pretty important to us.”

Tolland Eagles vs. E.O. Smith Panthers Series: Tolland 3-1 Last Year: Tolland 28-7 The Bourquin Bowl is in its fifth year, a series that Tolland has handled early on. Coach Andy Bourquin started

the program at E.O. Smith in the late 1990’s and he gets the chance to see his old team every year on Thanksgiving’s Eve. This year should be a battle as usual. In the past some high scoring affairs and late heroics have saved the day. Of late, Tolland has struggled. They played a strong game against East Catholic in a one point loss, and this week they fell to Weaver 45-42. They come into the game with a 1-9 record.


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November 2013

This season, the division title will also be on the line. Ellington can claim the Pequot North with a victory, or they will have to settle for possibly a four way tie—Coventry would be one of the teams in position to grab a piece of the title. Ellington will rely heavily on the right arm and legs of QB/S Joe Leslie and RB/LB Christian Schneider. Ellington’s first year head coach Sean Byrne notes that the team relies heavily on a strong group of seniors as well as a cast of freshman who see varsity time. Aside from Leslie and Schneider, Byrne has received strong contributions from lineman Ben Bahler, Sean McKillop, and Trevor Printy, as well as skill players Mike Casciano, Andrew Pearce and Kyle Ross. Ellington will need to limit Coventry’s potent offense which has been called the best triple option in the state of Connecticut by some of the league’s coaches.


Schortmann. At the beginning of the season they had high hopes, Schortmann even thought the playoffs could be a possibility. However, their defense has been unable to stop the run and the offense has struggled to find the end zone.

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November 2013 PRINT EDITION


Ellington Cinderella story ends at doorstep of Class M championship By Evan Macy Sports Editor

MERIDEN — The simple fact that Ellington was even there was remarkable. Given a No. 14 seed in the Class M state tournament, Ellington defied the odds time after time, and before they knew it they had a date with the backto-back champs, the Suffield Wildcats. And though the Knights would fall 2-0 in a physical and hard faught game, the State Championship runners up trophy was an unexpected addition to the Ellington trophy case. Suffield wasted little time working towards state title No. 6 for the boys soccer program. “It’s awesome when guys just decide to work hard for each other,” Ellington head coach Roy Gurnon said. “Collectively we started moving the ball a little bit better, James [Costanzo] had some terrific goals during the tournament. I think we used the ball better as the tournament started. I thought our defense was really solid with Baily and the four backs as well. “If you have to lose the last game and you’re in the state finals, against a team like that, what can you say?” The Knights entered the tournament asa very low seed and played every game away from home. And they quickly pieced together a cinderella story defeating higher seeds in Lewis Mills and Montville en route to their title bout against Suffield, who had already beaten Ellington twice during the NCC regular season. Accumulating six shots on goal in the first half to Ellington's two, the Wildcats struck on a Derek Zarzycki goal off a Jack Moriarty assist. "It was a great service by Jack Moriarty and Derek was there on the far post," Suffield head coach Mark Beigel said. "I tell all our guys make sure you get there. Every day on this team we are deep, a different guy getting it done." The second half was more of the same, as the Wildcats pounded out nine shots on goal and broke through for a second score off the foot of Brett

Erika Studer | Staff The 2013 Class M runners up Ellington Kights pose for a photo after their battle with Suffield.

Baskin. Ellington played Suffield tough, and thanks to 12 solid saves from goaltender Bailey Bassett, the Knights were able to keep themselves in the game. “He had a great tournament," Gurnon said. "We went through a little thing in the middle of the year when we pulled Bailey from the goal but he has come back really strong. He made some great decisions. For a sophomore in this kind of situation, that’s pretty impressive." Suffield was dominant not only offensively but also on defense, as proven by the game's eventual MVP, sweeper Colin McFarlane. "It was who I would have picked actually,"Beigel said. "I think in the first half he showed his poise. He calms everyone down. As good as our offense is, we are able to have that because we are able to possess the ball. It was well deserved and it’s a guy who doesn't get a lot of recognition." McFarlane set the tone early as a field general, leading by example and by making smart decisions with the ball. He also helped keep the ball in the offensive zone for most of both halves. “I would definitely say we had a solid defense this year," the senior said. "I wasn’t happy that I had to play sweeper because they wouldn’t be pressuring me at all. I kept my cool back there and tried to move it up the field as good as I could."


By Tom Powers Staff Writer

Few expected the Tolland Eagles to finish second in the CCC and qualify for the first ever CCC Boy’s Soccer Tournament, but they were able to do just that with a win and a Rocky Hill loss at the end of the regular season. The Eagles (12-5-0) were able to secure a seven seed in the Class M State Tournament, but were upset in the first round by a very strong Granby team in a thrilling 3-2 loss. Tyson Bridge (13 goals) and Alex Weekes (9 goals, 7 assists) powered the offense while Bryan Gilbert and Ryan Wallert anchored the defense. Joe Giangregorio had a fantastic season for the Eagles and proved to be the team’s most versatile player. Tolland will lose ten seniors, six of whom were starters, but will return twelve players with significant varsity

Erika Studer | Staff Ellington’s Saif Kalboneh controls the ball.

For McFarlane and eight other departing seniors, the victory is validation of their legacy, and will surely help to fuel the Wildcats soccer program for years to come. "Suffield soccer is a deep soccer tradition," Beigel said. "This is a really talented class, a talented junior class a deep program, and they are in there with the rest of them. Everyone believes in the tradition and the torch keeps getting passed from graduating class to graduating class. Every class leaves a bit of its legacy." With so many great memories to choose from, McFarlane says this final dance, as a senior captain was the best. “This one was better," McFarlane

Lifetouch Studios Rockville had a dissapointing season in 2013.

said. "Definitely more special for me. My senior year. I have been apart of it since my sophomore year and a bigger role my junior year but to be a captain with Sean [Sullivan] and Ben [Woodhouse], this one was the best."

South Windsor The South Windsor Bobcats finished this year’s campaign with a record of 5-92, coming up just shy of a State Tournament berth. The Bobcats lost six games by one goal this year, and needed a win and at least a tie in their final two games to qualify for the tournament. South Windsor earned the win in a great game against Windsor, and led for seventy-minutes in their final game against East Hartford. With seven minutes left in their final game, the Bobcats gave up a goal to East Hartford that cost them the game and left them one goal and one point short of qualifying for the tournament. “The team always worked hard, always stuck together, and never gave less than

November 2013

dy, and Curtis Bolduc.

Rockville Last season, the Rams were 0-16. This season Rockville started the year 1-8, but was able to go 3-4 in their final seven games to finish with a record of 4-12-0. In his first year as head coach of the Rams, Nick Cody saw much improvement in his inexperienced team. Despite a lack of depth, the Rams demonstrated a strong competitive spirit throughout the season. A bright spot for Rockville this season was the play of junior midfielder Shaun Monaghan who led the way offensively for the Rams. Monaghan will return next season along with a promising crop of midfielders and forwards. Rockville’s wins this season came against Hartford Public (twice), Fermi, and a forfeit victory over Bloomfield. Rockville finished in the bottom third of the CCC, but looks to make further strides next year.


experience and could have another productive year. “We are looking for great things in 2014,” Eagles head coach Jim Leahy said of next year’s expectations.


boys soccer exceeds expectations

Erika Studer | Staff Tolland’s Austin Enman looks to gain control of the ball in the CCC quartefinas against Glastonbury.

their best effort for 16 games and over 40 practices,” head coach Dave St. Jean said of his team’s effort this season.

South Windsor will return six starters and most of their bench, but will lose standouts Mike Tarascio, Noah Kenne-

November 2013 PRINT EDITION


Area girls soccer teams show strong,

By Tom Powers Staff Writer

The South WIndsor Bobcats girls soccer team came very close to getting over the hump and advancing deep into the Class LL tournament, but South Windsor lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to No. 2 seed, Glastonbury in the quarterfinals of the Class LL tournament after losing 6-4 in penalty kicks. It was the second straight year the Bobcats (11-4-1) bowed out in the quarterfinals. Last season, they lost to eventual champion Newtown. Kat Comeau scored the lone goal for South Windsor. Coach Ed Duclos described the feeling the team had after the loss. “It was heartbreaking. You play with them for 100 minutes. They scored at the 45 minute mark. Take them to PK, tied up in the first wave. It was as close as you can get. In our hearts we knew it was the year [we could get past Glastonbury].”

matchup, No. 26 Greenwich took the Bobcats to overtime, but Danielle Karpiej scored with 4:42 left in the first overtime, putting the Bobcats in the quarterfinals. As with every successful season, teams lose valuable senior leadership each year. In this case, the Bobcats will lose the likes of Auna Harvey, Comeau and Rebecca Karlins. “Our seniors have been amazing,” Duclos said. “So much of our success is tied to them. As a group they will be difficult to replace. The future looks very bright. It is one thing you learned. You know those players aren’t going to be back. You never know who will step up in 2014.”

Tom Powers | Staff South Windsor’s Samantha Faust boots the ball downfield during the Class LL tournament quarters.

The loss didn’t diminish a successful season as the Bobcats finished 11-4-1 overall and 11-2-1 in the division. In the


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first round they defeated No. 23 West Haven, 3-0. Comeau scored two goals in that game. In their second round

Tolland The Tolland girls soccer team had another impressive run in the Class M tournament before bowing out in the semifinals as the No. 2 seed in a 2-1 loss to No. 3 Waterford in MIddletown. Melissa Azinheira scored early on in

Ellington The Knights finished fourth in a loaded NCCC this season, which was good enough for a No. 7 seed in the CIAC Class M tournament. Ellington looked poised to at least get back to the quarterfinals again, especially after a 3-0 win over No. 26 Wolcott in the first round of the tournament. In that game Olivia Kosilla, Samantha Anthony and Emma Johnson each scored for the Knights. The second round proved to be a tougher match than anticipated as Lyman Memorial stunned the Knights in Ellington on Nov. 7th after giving up two second half goals to Jordyn Guerra



the match to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead early on, but were unable to muster anything else after that. Melina Spanos scored Waterford’s two goals in the match. All was not lost on the season as the Eagles finished in second place in the CCC East behind RHAM with a 12-2-2 overall record and a 11-2-1 in the division. The Eagles received a first round bye in the tournament before defeating No. 15 Granby, 3-1 in the second round. In the quarterfinals Tolland faced a tough Lyman Memorial, who was seeded 10th. The game was scoreless through regulation, but Bailey Elliot scored four minutes into overtime to give the Eagles the 1-0 win. The team does return a bunch of players next season, such as Elliot, so another deep run in the tournament isn’t out of the question

November 2013

make tourney runs

Lifetouch Studios Rockville’s Alexis Pariseau dribbles the ball.

and Annie Devito. Rockville A young Rams team was able to put together two wins during Marek Przybylek’s first season as head coach. Both wins for the Rams came against Hartford Public: a 10-1 win on September 20th, and a 5-0 win on October 15th. The team finished 2-13 on the season, but is sure to do much better next season with a year under the young team’s belt.

November 2013 PRINT EDITION




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Robert Mayer | Staff

South Windsor sophomore Kaitlin Bakas, with coach Clint Bowman.

10th, Katie Baker 12th, Laura Sweeney 15th and Erin Kost 25th Ellington finished fourth led by the pack of Leah Cawthorn, Anna Chamberland, Katherine Lee, Jenni Giacalone and Erin Magnuson. In Class LL, Glastonbury repeated as champion and with a very young team doesn’t look to be willing to let go of that title.

but I’m really happy with my finish. I’m only a sophomore so I hope to keep improving each race.” The top boys teams from the area were Ellington and Suffield, coming in second and third in Class MM and South Windsor, who finished third in Class L. Canton and Somers also added third and fourth place finishes in their divisions. Ellington ran a solid race but could not catch champion Brookfield. Jordan Dixon was third, Spencer Lebel eighth while David Clavet was 18th, Drew Brennan 24th and Jonathan Wing 34th. Tolland came in seventh led by the pack of Connor Lafontaine, Josh Bedard, Jared Bedard, Mike Johnson and Alex Medina. South Windsor finished third in Class L led by Michael Stoker, who finished 12th. Ethan Gasta was 20th, Cooper Goslin was 29th followed by Ken Erikson in 30th and Garrett Brown in 40th. With their time, the Bobcats earned a wildcard berth into the State Open Friday right back at Wickham.

Tolland girls finish 4th in New Englands Continued from PAGE 1

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But even with the confidence and perhaps the most talent in the entire state, Akerley and her teammates were nervous. “It was so intimidating,” she said of the race, and the electric atmosphere. “We were halfway in the pack and I am not used to so many people running. It was a little nerve-racking, seeing all these great runners near me.” The Eagles were strong in Manchester, New Hampshire as well, capturing fourth place in the New England Championship. Akerley once again led the way for the Eagles, the junior clocked in at a time of 18:30.6, good for a respectable 21st place. Just three seconds behind Akerley was teammate Caitlin Swanson.

November 2013

MANCHESTER — The CIAC Boys and Girls Division cross country meets held Saturday, October 26 at Wickham Park had some surprises but also showed some things never seem to change, as Glastonbury and Tolland took the Class LL and M girls titles respectively. In Class M, Tolland put on an almost perfect performance as Eagle runners finished fist through fourth with its fifth runner coming in seventh for an insane score of 17. That total beat runner-up Suffield by 53 points. The Eagles of course would continue their dominance in the State Open a week later. Courtney Akerley was the individual champion followed by teammates Caitlin Swanson, Megan Steinhilber, Katherine Deloreto and Hayley Collins in second through fourth and seventh. Suffield was led by Monique Labarre in eighth place while Nina Begley was

The Tomahawks had a tightly grouped bunch which performed well enough to beat runner-up Ridgefield. Allison McCardle was sixth followed by Gaelyn Kattman in seventh, Kaitlyn Hebert in ninth, Kristen Arborio in 13th and Kaylee Stebbins in 16th. “We have a good team and they love to run,” Glastonbury coach Brian Collins said. “We knew this would be a tough meet and it seems like every year we have to battle Ridgefield, Simsbury and Conard so it’s never easy. “A lot of our success come from the girls hearing about our tradition and wanted to carry that on. That may not always mean we are going to win but we will work hard and give our best effort. Today we had sophomore, freshman, junior, senior, sophomore so this is a very young team.” South Windsor finished 10th in Class L but got a surprise to-12 from sophomore Kaitlin Bakas. “I’m so happy,” Bakas said. “It was very windy and tough going up the hills


By Robert Mayer Staff Writer


Tolland girls cross country wins Class M title

Evan Macy | Staff Tolland’s Courtney Ackerly finishes in the Open.

November 2013





Erika Studer | Staff

Erika Studer | Staff

Ellington’s A-team cheerleading squad roots on the Roadrunners.

FOOTBALL FOOTHOLDS Images from a recent battle between Ellington and Suffield and from Tolland as it faced Colchester. Each team looked to finish the regular season strong.

Erika Studer | Staff

Ellington’s Kevin Redler drops back to pass in an A-squad contest.

Ellington quarterback Kolin Desrocher sets up the flee-flicker to C-squad teammate Tyler Valenti in a 22-0 victory against Suffield, (above), Tolland’s Cain Van Scor tries to break loose from a Colchester block, (left), and the Tolland Eagles huddle up before their regular season finale against the Colchester Cougars at home.

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South Windsor Squirt B forward David Placentini controls the puck just inside the blue line in a game against Avon in October, (left), Wyatt Cole awaits a pass after a South Windsor faceoff win, (below), and Jacob Gallasso looks to create of offensive chance, (bottom).

November 2013 14


TOLLAND Student Athlete of the Month

Alyssa Thompson, Volleyball, Track

Alyssa is a high honor roll student and has been named to the All-Academic team in the CCC Conference. In the gym, Alyssa helped last year’s Eagles squad reach the Class M semis, and on the field, she took sixth in the discus in the Class M meet. How Alyssa prepares before a game: Before away games my team sings along to music (sometimes Christmas carols) on the bus. Before home games I listen to music, look at the other team’s stats, and mentally picture myself and my team doing well. How Alyssa and the Eagles have improved: My team has had several 3-2 wins. This has helped me believe that anything is possible and to never give up. I think that new state of mind has definitely helped my passing because I will go for everything. Each time I pass a ball I have no doubt in myself, and with that mindset, most times it works out in my favor. Walking off the court covered in bruises is my way of reassuring myself that I did the best job I

could’ve done. Alyssa’s most memerable moment as an Eagle: Last season we beat EO Smith in our last regular season game, which also happened to be their senior night. They had beaten us at home previously that season so my team was not going to go down without a fight. We battled hard and ended up beating them 3-1. After the victory our coach, Mike Lewis, turned to us and yelled, “Who wants to go to Froyo World??!!!” I will never forget that moment. Alyssa’s take on the 2013 season: This season was kind of rough for my team. We lost a couple of good players and a great coach. It took us awhile to mesh as a team. This year we went into the quarterfinals against the 1 seed, Woodland. We knew it was going to be a tough game, and even though we didn’t come out on top, I think that game was spectacular. We won the 4th set 30-28. I think it’s extremely impressive that we took them to 5 sets. I was so proud of everyone that night. We played our hearts out and showed that we wouldn’t go down without a fight. Alyssa’s favorite pro athlete: Hands down, Kerri Walsh Jennings. Alyssa’s plans for college: My top choices right now are the University of Tampa, Uconn, the University of New Hampshire, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. I plan on playing club volleyball at whichever school I attend.

Tolland hoop star Domian signs with Assumption Staff Report

TOLLAND — Chelsea Domian signed her letter of intent to attend Assumption College on a full basketball scholarship at Tolland High in a small ceremony Thursday, November 14. “Chelsea has been a terrific ambassador to Tolland High School over the course of her career as a star basketball and volleyball player,” Tolland athletic director Patrick Cox said. “She has represented everything we could possibly ask for in terms of commitment, preparation, competitiveness, attention to academics, and overall character. We wish her well in her college career, but look forward to getting to watch her play one more basketball season as a Tolland Eagle.” With her commitment behind her,

Tolland’s Chelsea Domian signs her letter of intent.

she will be able to focus on helping the Tolland girls have another successful season.

Nov 30 at Ellington High School (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) Trophies for Champions In Each Division Raffle - DJ Music Onsite

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All proceeds from this tournament will benefit Ellington High School senior and two-sport athlete Troy Russell who broke two vertebrae in a swimming accident. Russell is working to regain use of his upper and lower extremities and is undergoing intensive daily rehabilitation.

Hodge then took his game to the college level, playing four years at Central Connecticut State University before beginning his coaching career as an assistant at Central. South Windsor is not the first community David Hodge has positively impacted. A teacher in Hartford for twenty-one years, Hodge was an assistant coach at Hartford Public for three years before becoming the head coach at Weaver. In five seasons as Weaver’s head coach, Hodge led his team to two State Championships, in 1996 and 1997. In his role as Athletic Director at Sports Sciences, Hodge was the founder of the school’s football program. In 2000, David Hodge left coaching. “My family is my first priority,” Hodge said, “When my youngest son was born

president of South Windsor Youth Football, Hodge gives credit to all the other volunteers who make the program possible. “It’s hard to get anything done by yourself,” Hodge said, specifically thanking Steve Harz, Jeff Jones, Kevin Ryan, Mark Davis, and Rich Mabey, the men who have coached with him for the last six years. “I couldn’t do this without them.” Hodge’s commitment to his community is not limited to football. Hodge has also coached travel soccer, recreational basketball, and baseball in South Windsor. “The most rewarding part of coaching is seeing the kids grow,” Hodge said. “You hope the skills you teach them will help them on and off the field.” As for his future in South Windsor Football, Hodge says he will continue to coach even after his sons are done playing.

Congratulations to the ELLINGTON KNIGHTS BOYS SOCCER TEAM for making the State Championship



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Football season is the busiest time of year for South Windsor’s David Hodge, and it’s no surprise either. Hodge is the President of South Windsor’s Youth football program, coaches the eighth grade A-team, and is the offensive coordinator for the South Windsor High School football team. “During the season I spend about thirty hours a week on the field,” Hodge said of his commitment to South Windsor football. That of course doesn’t include the many hours he logs off the field in his role as President of South Windsor Youth Football, an outstanding commitment from a man with a full-time job and a family of his own. Hodge, a resident of South Windsor for the last seventeen years, has been involved with football his whole life. In his hometown of Newton, Connecticut, Hodge played five years of midget football before moving onto Montville High School, where he played all four years.

I stopped coaching. It’s hard to coach and raise kids.” Fortunately for South Windsor football, Hodge’s coaching hiatus would be short lived. When Hodge’s youngest son, Dylan, was six, Hodge joined to board of South Windsor Youth Football, becoming the president the following year and resuming his coaching career once again. “I got involved because I love football and my son wanted to play.” Football has certainly become a family affair for David Hodge. Hodge’s oldest son, David, is currently the JV Quarterback at South Windsor High School and Hodge hopes to have the opportunity to coach him in the near future. Hodge’s younger son, Dylan, is on the eighth grade A-team. Hodge has coached Dylan and his teammates for six years now. “I’m proud of this group of eighth graders. Last year we had two A-teams that both made the playoffs. My team is looking to win another championship,” Hodge said of the group he has coached since 2008. Now in his sixth year as a coach and


By Tom Powers Staff Writer

November 2013

SW’s Hodge powers youth football

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Erin Schirra, Soccer, Track

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Erin is both an honor roll student and a scholar athlete, combining great work in the classroom with varsity athletics seamlessly. How Erin prepares before a game: I try and find things to do during the school day to keep my mind preoccupied, just so that I don’t over think by the time I get to the game. I like to stay to myself and keep a clear head until team warm up, when I get amped up with the rest of the girls and get my pent up energy out into my saves. How Erin has improved on the soccer pitch: During the fall season, my greatest improvement was my confidence in goal. I never used to believe in myself when I played soccer, and it was my biggest setback in my performance. After really pushing myself to trust in my instinct and hands, I felt like I was finally a solid keeper and that my team could rely on me to protect our goal. Erin’s most memerable moment as a Knight: My most memorable

moment in my high school uniform has to be our second win against Granby during this season. Granby is such a strong team and we were excited to be pushed against that caliber of soccer to see our team growth. There was so much energy and excitement running through our team with it being under the lights, on turf, during their homecoming weekend. My first ever varsity game was in Granby my freshman year, and I took away a broken finger along with a team loss. Playing that game really turned around my soccer memory in that town, and I couldn’t have been more proud of how our team left everything on the field, playing with each other, communicating, and working our hardest until the clock ran out. Erin’s take on the 2013 soccer season: Our team has grown so greatly intellectually and physically around the game of soccer, and I think one of our biggest accomplishments was holding Suffield scoreless for an entire half. Suffield has a whole lot of talent, but so did we, and we really showed our team strength and composure during that game. It felt really great to know that we could take a fairly new defensive formation to the field and successfully pressure them out of their element. Everyone gave their all during that game, and I was really proud of our efforts. Erin’s favorite pro athlete: Hope Solo. Manane’s plans for college: I hope to complete a Physician’s Assistant program or become a nurse and specialize in pediatric oncology.

pretty good,” Steed said. “And then after we scored, I thought ‘all we have to do is play defense and get the ball out,’ but soccer is a funny game. We both played hard today and both teams deserve with they got.” Not minutes later, Danielle Paparian lined up a penalty kick at the other end of the pitch and missed it off the crossbar. Remarkably, she got her own rebound, fired another shot on net, and wound up tying the game at two as seconds ticked away in the second overtime. When the extra time had ended, the teams agreed to be co-champions. “It was a wild finish,” Steed said. “Giving up that PK with 30 seconds left, that hurts.” In the early going, Vernon’s Haley Barfield scored at the 14:58 mark to put the Eagles on the board.


ELLINGTON — It was a battle between two border towns. It was a championship bout between two of the best middle school girls soccer teams in the state. And after Wednesday’s 2-2 tie in the Connecticut River Valley League title match, neither Vernon Center nor Ellington proved less worthy of being a champion. “Both teams were really great,” Ellington head coach Katie Sokolowski said. “We both worked really hard we both wanted it. It turned out as a tie, I know the girls wanted to win. But it was a great game. It was great to see them try as hard as they could.” “It’s very fitting actually,” Vernon head coach Amy Steed said. “Our girls had a big goal, and the goal was to win a championship this year. I couldn’t be more

proud.” After a 3-1 Ellington win, and 2-2 tie during the regular season, Vernon Center and Ellington needed two excitement-filled extra sessions to determine they were both deserving of being titlists. “We played them twice, a lot of the girls play on travel teams,” Sokolowski said. “They all know each other. Both times we played them in the regular season, we tied them once and then we beat them in the second one.” Tied at one goal apiece after 70 minutes of play, each team failed to score a goal during the first of two five-minute overtime periods. When the second began, the floodgates seemed to open. First, Vernon struck and took its second lead of the game, with an Emma Barden goal set up by a missed shot and rebound off a Hannah Sullivan assist. “Going into the overtime I was feeling

Kevin Hayes | Staff

That’s using your head! Vernon’s Lindsey Montminy (12) is ahead of Ellington defenders.


By Evan Macy Sports Editor

November 2013

Ellington, Vernon Center share girls middle school soccer title

After leading 1-0 at halftime, Ellington’s Parparian responded with a game tying goal midway through the second. “We have a lot of talent on this team and our goal this year was to just get it all together. We have nine eighth graders. We are going to lose a lot of talent next year.”

Kevin Hayes | Staff

Vernon Center Middle School’s 2013 girls soccer team, (above), and Ellington Middle School’s team after each earning a share of the championship.

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Staff Report

BERLIN â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Glastonbury completed a perfect 11-0 season on Sunday by defeating South Windsor in the A-Team championship game in Berlin. The South Windsor Panthers fin-

ished the season 9-2, with itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only two loses coming against the Glastonbury Tomahawks. Last year, as B-teams, this Glastonbury team lost its only two games to the Panthers, who were the undefeated championship squad a year ago.

The Tomahawks turned the tables Sunday with a 40-22 win over the Panthers. Glastonbury was led by quarterback Ben Tauber and Running Back Ryan Kapur.



South Windsor Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fall in youth title game

Tom Powers | Staff

South Windsor Running Back Matt Smith (21) tries to break free in the championship game loss to the Tomahawks, (top), and South Windsorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Randy Holmes (27) out in space, (right).




November 2013 PRINT EDITION




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Preventing skin infections By Julie Dutton ATC, LAT, Director of Athletic Training

Infections of the skin are common in high school and college athletics because of environmental conditions, close physical contact and trauma associated with sports. Athletes need to be aware of the potential to contact bacteria, virus and fungi on a regular basis. The National Athletic Trainersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Association has published a Position Statement on Skin Diseases in athletics, which addresses hygiene and cleanliness. Athletes must follow good overall hygiene practices. Good personal hygiene decreases the colonization of bacteria and can be a first line of defense against transmission of infectious agents (Luke, A. Prevention of Infectious Disease in Athletes. Clin Sports Med. 2007.) . Good hygiene practices include: l Showering after every practice with antimicrobial soap and water over the entire body. Athletes should also be discouraged from cosmetic body shaving (other than face and legs), as this has been shown to

exponentially increase the risk of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). l Clothing worn for practice and games, including undergarments, outwear and uniforms, should be laundered daily. l Equipment, including knee sleeves, braces and pads, should be disinfected as directed by the manufacturer on a daily basis. l Athletes should not share towels, athletic gear, disposable razors or water bottles. l Athletes must report all abrasions, cuts and skin lesions to their athletic trainer for proper cleansing, treatment and dressing. If no ATC is available, athletes should see their doctor for any suspicious lesions. Return to play guidelines following skin infection should be clearly stated and understood. A clean environment must be maintained in locker rooms, athletic training rooms, weight rooms and all athletic facilities. Parents and coaches must demand that athletes be responsible for good hygiene to minimize the risk of skin infections and outbreaks, and consult with medical professionals immediately if and when they occur to minimize worsening or spreading to others.

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November 2013 PRINT EDITION

SOUTH WINSOR Student Athlete of the Month


Sabrina Skenyon, Volleyball, Tennis

Sabrina boasts a long list of accomplishments on the court and in the classroom. She is a honor student and a member of the National Honor Society. She also was an academic All-Conference choice in 2012 for volleyball. She is the captain of both the volleyball and tennis teams, was All-Conference on the tennis court in 2012 and AllState in 2013. How Sabrina prepares before a game: I try to eat right and get enough rest the night before, then if we have played our opponent previously, I try to think about what worked and what didn’t work during that match. I also try to make the most of the warm-up time that is available so I am ready to

play when the match starts. How Sabrina has improved on the volleyball court: I hope I have become a better all-around player. As a setter, I think my mobility on the court has improved. It was also often necessary for me to play defense so I had the opportunity to improve my serve receive and digging. I even got to hit a few times which was fun. Sabrina’s most memerable moment as a Bobcat: As a sophomore, our team went undefeated at 18-0. Seeing how excited and proud our coach was after our last game was something I will always remember. Sabrina’s favorite moment from the 2013 season: This season against Rocky Hill, we fell behind 0-2. Battling back and ultimately winning the match 3-2 was exhilarating. We are also very proud to have hosted our annual Dig Pink fundraiser for the Side-Out Foundation that supports cancer research and we significantly exceeded our goal. Sabrina’s favorite pro athlete: For volleyball, I enjoy watching Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings.



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Staff Report

Check out all four of our editions at TSD North TSD South TSD The Valley

l Suffield boys soccer wins the Class M title over Ellington

l The boys soccer

team shares the LL title with Ridgefield

l The Suffield girls fall l GHS Football preps in Class LL

for Simsbury

l Farmington wins

Class L boys soccer title

l Girls volleyball falls

in dramatic 5-game Class L Championship game

SOUTH WINDSOR — This year, Willow Brook Golf Course raised funds for Jo-Ann Caron of South Windsor and Midwives for Haiti through our 2013 Charity Classic. The Charity Classic is a yearly golf tournament which raises funds for those in our community with causes close to their hearts. This fun event benefitted Jo-Ann Caron and Midwives for Haiti. This organization provides pre-natal care to pregnant women and educates Haitian women to be midwives and birth attendants. Jo-Ann is a Labor and Delivery nurse whose goal is to provide nursing care in third world countries. On August 24th she headed to Hinche, Haiti, which is located about 3 hours north of Port-au-Prince, to volunteer for 8 days with Midwives for Haiti. Volunteer agencies rely exclusively on donations for survival so they cannot use those precious funds to pay for volunteer expenses. Jo-Ann’s trip of 8 days will cost her more than $1800.00 for airfare, living expenses, volunteer fee, translator cost, educational mate-

rials and vaccines. Our fundraiser will help cover the costs for her trip in August, another planned for November 2013 and others in the future. “Humanitarian efforts like Midwives for Haiti need ongoing support,” said Jeffrey Beyer, Head Professional at Willow Brook. “It gives us great pleasure to host this event and help Jo-Ann with this cause. Thanks to the support from our community we raised over $2600.” Willow Brook began their Charity Classic in 2011 to give a helping hand to those in need. The day included an 18-hole golf tournament, lunch with prize presentation and a huge raffle. All monies collected went to charity. Willow Brook Golf Course opened in 2002. Besides offering an 18-Hole, Par 60 layout, the facility also features a natural grass driving range, practice sand bunker and two practice greens. In addition, the South Windsor course contains an award winning fully stocked PGA golf shop and a cafe. For further information about Willow Brook Golf Course and its Junior Golf Program, visit or call 860.648.2061.

November 2013 PRINT EDITION

Willow Brook Charity Classic gives back


One down, three to go...

November 2013



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TSD East November 2013