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Tolland boys, girls soccer have stellar first halves of 2013 Pages 4, 9

Rockville’s Art Wheelock steps down as Rams skipper Page 16

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October 2013

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Tolland’s Tommy Allen (30) hits a header as several Rockville defenders look to gain control of the ball in an early-season match up. The Eagles are one of the CCC’s top teams, thanks in part to their 6-1 win over the Rams back in September.

Local squads struggle on the gridiron in first half

By Brian Mazzone Staff Writer

South Windsor, Tolland, and Rockville have all combined for a 0-15 record to start the season. The locals have faced some tough competition and will continue to do the same for the rest of the year. Rockville’s high

hopes have been put on hold for the moment, but there is still belief that the program is headed in the right direction. South Windsor faces their always tough challenges in the CCC Division 1, and Tolland continues to struggle through their rebuilding phase. However Ellington-Somers has had a season of both highs and lows dur-

ing an eventful 2-3 start.

Ellington/Somers The Knights aren’t exactly where they planned to be at this point in the season. They stand at 2-3 after five games, their most losses in three years. The Knights are feeling the effects of the restructured Pequot schedule as they faced off against state powers in North Branford and Cromwell, losing in tough battles 146, and 20-8 respectively. In their two wins, they have been given strong efforts from quarterback Joe Leslie, who has 483 yards rushing, and tailback Christian Schneider. So far Ellington’s strength has been defensively as they have been limiting opponents to low yardage totals and have given up 20 twice. See “FOOTBALL,” Continued on PAGE 7

Evan Macy | Staff

Tolland quarterback Chris Janton.

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October 2013

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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 Sports Editor: Evan Macy • Production Manager: Patty Hunter

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Contributing Writers: Jon Buzby • Tom Ainsworth • Steve Smith • Reid L Walmark • Danny Atkinson • Brian Mazzone • Nate Owen • Amy Locandro • Bob Tedford • Brendon Willis • Julie Dutton • Melissa Green-Maltese • Bruce Watt David Wrabel • Amy Saada • Alison Alberghini-Durler • Lori Titus • Bill Engle Photography: Steve Palmer • Andre Dumais • Erika Studer • Alan Bastarache • E.B. Taylor • Andre Garant • Melanie Oliveira


October 2013

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When are they too sick to play? With autumn in full swing and common colds emerging, when should a child play with, or return from, an illness? At some point, most parents have to make the decision about whether or not a child is too sick to go to school. Sometimes the decision is easy, like when he has a fever or is sick to his stomach. Other times it’s more difficult, like when he is congested or has a slight cough. But regardless of the reason he stays home, rarely is it a disappointment to the child thanks to television, iPads and other electronic devices. It’s a little different when it comes to missing practice or a game. Many of us can remember arguing with our parents, “Let me play, I feel OK!” Why should we think our children would be any different? My son is already using that argument: “But you told me you often played in high school when you were sick.” He is right, but when should your child be able to make that decision and when do you have to step in and make it for him? One hockey season, my son had a fever of 102 degrees the day before a big hockey game against the best team in the league with a playoff spot potentially on the line. He went to the doctor and was told he shouldn’t play regardless of

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how he felt the next day. We were told he should be without a fever for 24 hours before exerting himself to the extent necessary to play ice hockey (and to avoid spreading his germs to teammates). The next day, he was running around the house arguing that he felt fine and that his team needed him. His fever was gone, and he was eating like a horse. Medication is amazing. And of course, I wanted him to play as much as he did. My first instinct was to say, “You look fine, you feel fine and you want to play. Let’s get your gear on and go.” Then I thought to myself that the doctor had said no, that there were a lot of germs going around, and that I’d never forgive myself if he became ill again after the game and missed even more school. I had to remove my “former player” and “excited sports parent” hats, and put on my “responsible parent” hat (sometimes, I hate that hat). After all, this was just a game. If he became seriously ill, it could mean missing school and possibly many more games. So I said, “No.” He was disappointed. I was disappointed. His coaches and teammates were disappointed. But it was the right decision. How did I explain it? I told him the truth. “If you play this game and get sick

again, you will probably miss the next game and maybe more. The doctor said, ‘Don’t play,’ and he knows best. When the doctor decides a pro player shouldn’t play, he doesn’t. Your doctor has decided that you shouldn’t play and I agree with him.” In youth sports, children are often too young to make the decision about whether or not they should play when they are sick. Parents often have to make that unpopular decision. You, your child, the coach and the players will all want him to play. If the doctor says no, then your child

should sit out. After all, it’s just a game. (I’m wearing my responsible parent hat again.) Contact Jon Buzby at JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.

Ellington Parks and Rec

Please visit the parks and recreation website, www.ellington-ct.gov. Click on town services and click on parks and recreation. A myriad of activities are available to town residents and preregistration is required. The recreation office phone # is: 860-870-3118. Office hours are: Mondays: 8:30am-6pm; Tues/wed/Thurs: 8:30-4pm; Friday: 8:30am-1:30pm. Family Fall Fest/5k Road Race In conjunction with the Ellington Athletic Booster Club and Ellington Volunteer Fire Department, the parks and recreation department will offer a 5K and 3K road race October 26, 2013. Rain date is October 27. The race route and starting point will begin at Brookside park, with the starter’s GUN slated to go off at 9am. A 5K course and 3K youth run/kid’s run will be offered. The first 250 registrants will receive a 2013Ellington FALL festival race shirt. All times for the 5K and 3K courses will be monitored and recorded by Platt Systems. Registration (pre-registration) will be through the town’s active-net on-line system. Fees: 5K: $20.00: 18 and over; $15: under 18; 3K: $10.00; 5K team of 4: $75.00. Kid’s FUN run is free. Walk for the arts

Slated to be held Oct. 26 at brookside park between 12-2pm during the annual FALL FESTIVAL to be sponsored by the recreation department and Rise Above group. Working in conjunction with the ARTS for LEARNING CONNECTICUT, the Walk for the ARTS is designed to bring additional awareness to the cultural opportunities within Ellington as well as support an on-going program for people with all disabilities. Please review the town’s website (parks and recreation) to learn more about how to register and perhaps pledge a small donation. 2013 Holiday (8th grade basketball tournament) The 2013 Holiday boys basketball tournament (8th grade) will be held on December 27 and 28 at the Ellington Middle School. The tournament is being named in honor of Hunter K. Giroux, a former member of the parks and recreation commission, coach, parent and all-around supporter of town athletics for the past 20 plus years!! In addition to a concession stand, a program brochure will be available, and any local business that wishes to place an advertisement in the brochure should contact Bob Tedford (rtedford@ ellington-ct.gov) no later than Dec. 1.


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October 2013

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Tolland, Ellington boys soccer have solid first halves By Danny Atkinson Staff Writer

The Tolland Eagles boys soccer team has built on last season’s state tournament run by emerging as one of the top squads in the CCC. They are 8-2-1 overall and 6-2-1 in the CCC East. Along the way, Tolland has demonstrated that it can win close games. The Eagles have relied on their balance and depth to win four games by one goal. For head coach Jim Leahy, these wins exemplify his team’s defining trait. “Our biggest strength can be summed up in one word: resolve,” he said. “This team just keeps competing and playing its hardest no matter what. Every close win has given the guys a confidence boost and brought them closer together. Because of this, we’re at the point where this team is playing the best soccer I’ve seen around here in a long time.” On offense, Tolland has relied upon the dynamic duo of midfielder Tyson Bridge and forward Alex Weekes. The pair, both seniors, are the Eagles top scorers, and the constant pressure they put on defenders helps open up scoring opportunities for teammates. Junior Zac Parracino has benefited from their presence this season and become a third reliable scoring option. On defense, Tolland has gelled quickly, becoming a unit no team wants to face. The defense has earned four shutouts overall and three in the past five games. Leahy stated that his defense possesses great chemistry. The one area of concern for the Eagles has been their inconsistency on offense. Leahy said that this inconsistency could disappear if Tolland does a better job of maintaining focus and composure near the goal. “We expect to make a run in the Class M playoffs,” Leahy stated. “If we continue to improve, than we can beat anyone. These guys are hungry to prove themselves. We’ve gone on to the quarterfinals three of the past five seasons, and they want to maintain that success.” Ellington Coming into the season, head coach Roy Gurnon was hopeful that his young team could mature quickly and develop chemistry with one another. So far, the Knights have largely fulfilled their coach’s hopes. Ellington is 7-3-1 and in the top half of the NCCC. It won four games in a row, all by shutout, before a 1-1 tie with Stafford on October 11. The Knights defense has slowly but surely evolved into one of the area’s top units, and has allowed just 10 goals. Gurnon stated that he’s impressed by how consistent and focused Ellington’s defense has become. At the same time, the Knights offense, led by junior James Costanzo, has be-

Lifetouch Images

Tolland’s Andrew Clokey controls the ball as Tommy Allen, (left), looks on. come more efficient. “Our offense has been able to generate better scoring opportunities recently”, Gurnon said. “We’ve worked on being more patient near the goal and placing the ball better, and it’s beginning to pay off.” Ellington was firing on all cylinders in its 1-0 victory at Somers on Oct. 8, which Gurnon called its best win of the season. The Knights looked strong defensively, and managed to generate Costanzo’s decisive goal against a formidable Somers defense. As pleased as Gurnon is with the growth his players have displayed, he stated that they still have a lot to learn. “Our players have to understand their roles a lot better,” he said. “They must become a cohesive unit in practice. We can’t be looking for the right combination come game time, especially during the state playoffs.” South Windsor The young Bobcats are 3-7-2 and have won just once since the first week of the season. South Windsor’s offense has frequently struggled and already been shut out five times. Head coach Dave. St. Jean said that his players have done a solid job of setting up scoring opportunities but are failing to capitalize on them. He then stated that he expects the offense to improve as players get more comfortable working with one another. The Bobcats defense has played very well, allowing just 16 goals. St. Jean praised senior defenseman Noah Kennedy for the leadership and intensity he has provided. St. Jean is mostly pleased with his team’s performance so far despite its win-loss record, and is especially happy with the improvement and competitiveness his players have displayed as the season has gone along. He is confident

that South Windsor can still earn a state tournament berth. “The players are gaining a better understanding of strategy and how to execute,” St Jean said. “If we continue our recent level of play and get the offense going a little bit, I don’t think we’ll have too much trouble qualifying for states.” Rockville Coming into the season, the Rams

were hoping to make big strides after last season’s 0-16 campaign and possibly obtain a playoff berth. Even though the victories have not come for 1-11 Rockville, first-year head coach Nick Cody believes his players have improved tremendously from the start of the season. “I’ve been seeing improvements across the board,” said Cody. “We’ve become much better at understanding where to position ourselves on the field on both ends and how to execute strategy. And the competitiveness has been there from the beginning. A lot of our struggles can be chalked up to lack of experience. We’re facing programs who have kids playing year-round, and none of our players do this.” Junior midfielder Shaun Monaghan has led the way on offense. Cody believes that he has a promising crop of midfielders and forwards who will heavily benefit from the experience they are receiving. The Rams improvement can be seen in their performances against Bloomfield. Rockville struggled mightily at Bloomfield on September 13, losing 9-2, but later gave 6-4-1 Bloomfield a tough fight at home on the 7th before losing 4-2. “We played great against Bloomfield and were competitive throughout,” Cody proclaimed. “I was very pleased with our execution and the confidence our guys showed.”

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Ask the ATC

Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC’s) are allied health care providers trained in the prevention, evaluation and rehabilitation of sports injuries. They work under the direction of a physician and they are board certified nationally, and licensed in CT. Visit www.NATA.org for more information. Certified athletic trainers at South Windsor High School are provided by Hartford Hospital Rehabilitation Network (rehab.harthosp.org), formerly Eastern Rehabilitation Network. Hartford Hospital Rehabilitation Network (HHRN) and The Sports Department have partnered to bring readers a monthly column on sports medicine topics. Readers may submit questions related to injuries, training advice, rehabilitation or any other sports medicine topic. Submit questions to:Nicole Fontaine, ATC, (South Windsor High School) – nicole.fontaine@ hhchealth.org, Greg Zimbelman, Physical Therapist, (HHRN South Windsor) – gregory.zimbelman@hhchealth.org.

Why Am I Sore the Day after My Workout or Run?

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Soreness is a very general topic that everyone has experienced. Many complaints of soreness seem to be heard throughout the day, with many people back to school and some training for the Hartford Marathon. Whether it is an athlete or an inexperienced runner you tend to hear, “I can’t believe how sore I am after that workout, I can hardly move.� We all wonder what exactly is going on and how can I prevent or treat this? This can be explained as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS for many years has been attributed as the buildup of lactic acid after an intense workout or exercise. However, this is not the case. Lactic acid within the body does tend to increase with exercise but will return to normal shortly after exercise, anywhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour. DOMS is part of the adaptation process of the body to unaccustomed exercises to help increase stamina

and strength. DOMS is caused from microscopic tearing of the muscle fibers as they are being worked. The severity of DOMS depends on the length and type of activity being performed. However, it will be more severe with eccentric exercises such as running downhill, plyometrics or resistance training. The symptoms of DOMS generally include pain, swelling, decreased range of motion and decreased strength. Even with a lot of research present there hasn’t been a specific answer to how this can be prevented since many believe you need the adaptation to gain more of the strength and stamina. However, there are some ways to help decrease the soreness. Light stretching, foam rolling and ice seem to decrease the main in most cases. When you are suffering from DOMS just know it is normal and there is no direct cure, but you can definitely try to decrease the symptoms with those few simple tasks.

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October 2013

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SOUTH WINDSOR Student Athlete of the Month

Kristen Wnuck, Field Hockey, Tennis

Kristen has played varsity field hockey for three years, starting for two of them and was a member of the CC-All Academic Team all three seasons. In the classroom, she has won the St. Michaels Book Award for Leadership and Service, is in the National Honor Society, is a CAPT scholar, an AP Scholar and has grades that find her on the high honor roll every year. How Kristen prepares before a game: Some days I listen to my own music to motivate myself and think about what I want to focus on for the game. Other days I talk, joke around, and listen to loud music with my team- all the energy gets me really excited and ready to play. How Kristen has improved this off-

season: I worked on conditioning during the offseason to improve my overall fitness and endurance. Towards the end of our season we have a lot of games in a short amount of time, and conditioning definitely pays off. Kristen’s most memorable moment as a Bobcat: My most memorable moment in my high school uniform is our game last year against Glastonbury. Two years ago we lost to them 0-1 after a hardfought game, and we came out last year ready to get the win. It was one of the best games I’ve seen our team play, and it was so amazing to beat them on their field - it was our first victory against them in our program’s history! We were all so pumped up afterwards. Why Kristen is excited for 2013-14: We’re about halfway into our season now, and our record doesn’t really reflect the hard work that we’ve put in or the close games that we’ve had. I’m excited to see our team keep working harder to show everyone how successful we can be, and to see us do well in states. Kristen’s plans after she graduates: My top choices right now are Boston College, UConn, and Colby College. I’m hoping to still play field hockey at some level.

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October 2013

Local football squads struggle early Continued from PAGE 1

Currently they have 15.5 sacks as a team, led by sophomore defensive lineman Kevin Barrett with 2.5 and freshman Tyrik Noel with three. The main problem for the Knights seems to be their inconsistency and turnovers. Ball security has been an issue as in all three games their turnovers have led to scores for the opponents. The bad news for the Knights is the schedule doesn’t get much easier. This weekend the Knights suffered one of their worst losses in team history. They lead Gilbert/Northwestern 14-0 with 7:09 to play before giving up 20 unanswered points to lose in overtime. The Yellowjackets used a double pass, and a deep bomb to tie the game before winning on a tight end screen in overtime. Tolland The Eagles have struggled to begin their season. They face the tough challenge of replacing a strong senior class and they have struggled to get the ball in the end zone so far. Chris Janton has played well from the quarterback position and Alex Suchecki has also played well. Rockville The Rams have not gotten off the start that they had envisioned. Coach Steve

Football Schedule, 2013 Friday, October 18 Tolland at Rockville, 6:30 p.m. South Windsor at Newington, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, October 19 Ellington/Somers at SMSA/University, 12 p.m. Friday, October 25 Tolland at Bloomfield, 7 p.m. Rockville at East Catholic, 7 p.m. Saturday, October 26 Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby at Ellington/Somers, 1 p.m. Simsbury at South Windsor, 1 p.m.

South Windsor The Bobcats are in the same boat as Rockville, Stafford and Tolland—the ball just does not seem to be bouncing their way. This season the Bobcats have put up more points than they had last

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Schortmann saw playoff potential, but the Rams have not been able to play at that level. Their most disappointing loss came against Weaver, when they were beaten 37-0. The Rams had handled the Beavers quite easily in the past. Dan Wheeler and AJ Spencer have been strong contributors thus far.

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Friday, November 8 Rockville at Platt, 6:30 p.m. Tolland at Plainville, 7 p.m. Saturday, November 9 South Windsor at Conard, 1 p.m. Canton at Ellington/Somers, 1 p.m. Friday, November 15 Rocky Hill at Rockville, 6:30 p.m Weaver at Tolland, 6:30 p.m. South Windsor at Southington, 7 p.m.. Saturday, November 23 Avon at Ellington/Somers, 1:30 p.m.

year, but they are still struggling to finish games. James Nyarko has paced both the offense and defense.

Wednesday, November 27 Ellington/Somers at Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton, 7 p.m.


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TheSportsDept.com - Print Edition

October 2013


October 2013

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TheSportsDept.com - Print Edition

Eagles’ girls soccer unbeaten through first half By Brendan Faherty Staff Writer

The Tolland Eagles are sitting pretty at 8-0-2 to begin the 2013 season, and look poised to take home the CCC East title. Thus far, the Eagles have outscored opponents 42-4 on the season. The competition hasn’t been easy, having beaten both RHAM who is 9-1 on the season and E.O. Smith, who sits at 4-5-1. A lot of thanks for the success goes towards goalkeeper, Victoria Richardson. “She’s made some excellent saves. She seems to be making the saves she has to makes. As a sophomore at her age, she reads the angles well. She hasn’t really been beaten on anything. She knows how to distribute the ball. She is ahead of her age,” head coach Boucher said. On the offensive side, it has been Jenny Jacobs who is finding the net most often, with 13 goals on the season. “We knew she was our primary forward. She is a focal point on the offense,” Boucher said. South Windsor After losing its first game of the sea-

son to an always tough RHAM team, the Bobcats won their next three games and now sit at 7-3-1 overall and 7-1-1 in the CCC North, good for second place behind Glastonbury. Glastonbury defeated the Bobcats, 3-1 on September 24. The Bobcats have a chance for payback when they meet at Glastonbury on October 18th. In regards to Glastonbury, coach Ed Duclos said. “They are so skilled and strong. I thought we played extremely well against them in the first matchup.” Duclos mentioned that if a ball that toed the goal line had gone all the way through, it could have been a different game. With Hanna Basile out at goalkeeper due to injury, Kristina Russo has filled the role nicely and then some. She has three shutouts on the season and three games where she has given up just one goal. “It’s amazing. She was in the backup role last season. Kristina has been outstanding as a senior. She has been much more of a leader on the season,” coach Duclos said. He also said she has been managing the clock well, distributing the ball well and not just kicking the ball to the middle of the field.

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what the kid next to me is doing.”

Ellington The Knights rebounded nicely after starting the season out 1-2, losing heartbreakers to the two top teams in the NCCC: Avon, 2-1 and Suffield, 2-0. Since that start, Ellington has not lost a game, defeating, Bolton, 1-0 on September 25th, Enfield, 2-1 on September 27th and Somers, 3-0 on October 9th. Olivia Kosilla and Karlee Alves have stepped up with the absence of recent graduates GiGi Rubino and Kiarra Stone who were two of the top players on the team last season. Kosilla had a goal in the team’s win over Somers. Lifetouch Images

Tolland sophomore Julia Sprout puts some muscle behind a kick. Duclos said the team is coming together, and would like to see the final third grow in the last month. I think we have one of the best midfields in the Greater Hartford area. I believe our back four are starting to come together. I believe we have the right players, just need the right mix. I think the big thing is understanding

Rockville Before the season began Rockville head coach Marek Przybylek acknowledged the team’s youth and that he hopes the team has long term growth together as the team has just two starting seniors. His team has showed its youth at times but also has shown promise of what could be in store in the future as the Rams (1-7-1) lambasted Hartford Public, 10-1 in a game on September 20th. It also fought Fermi to a 1-1 tie as well.


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October 2013

Plenty of reasons why you should skate By Amy Fairchild

With the change of the season, our thoughts turn from sunny days to snow days, from swimming pools to frozen ponds. Soccer, baseball, and lacrosse games are over, and parents start to look for different ways to keep their kids active while also avoiding the dreaded “cabin fever”. One of the most common sports that parents and kids gravitate towards in the winter is skating, whether it be hockey, figure skating, speed skating, or purely recreational. But what most people don’t realize is that skating, in any form, has much more to offer than just being “something to do” during the

long winter months. Some of the most obvious benefits are health-related ones. Skating in general is an excellent way to burn calories and provides a great work out for your legs. Hockey is one of the best cardiovascular games you can play. Figure skating provides increased flexibility and coordination. Speed skating is a great aerobic activity and improves muscle strength and balance. Coming to the rink just a couple times a week can help keep you in shape and improve your overall health. In addition to being great exercise, skating also provides emotional, social and mental benefits, especially for chil-

dren. Skating promotes self-confidence and a positive attitude, teaches sportsmanship, how to win and how to lose gracefully, and how to set and achieve goals. It’s a social network – friendships are made, birthdays are celebrated, wins and losses are shared together. Skaters learn how to be competitors on the ice and friends off of the ice. It also teaches patience and time management skills. As skaters progress to higher levels of performance and competition, they develop a strong work ethic and the ability to concentrate and focus better, important skills that carry over into the academic and professional environment. Skating also has the added benefit of

being available year-round. As the frozen ponds melt in the spring, arenas are able to maintain ice indoors while the temperatures rise outdoors. There’s no need to worry about muddy or soggy conditions, getting sunburned, or whether you’ll be rained out. During the hottest months of the summer, the rink is truly the coolest place to be. Whatever the reason for walking through the doors of an ice arena, whether it be for hockey or figure skating, recreational or Olympic-bound, skating in any form makes getting exercise fun and helps to develop an active lifestyle and healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

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TheSportsDept.com - Print Edition

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October 2013

TheSportsDept.com - Print Edition

ELLINGTON Student Athlete of the Month

Tim Daigle, Cross Country, Track

Tim has a pretty good resume already, both in the classroom and on the field. He was a Rensselaer Medalist, National Merit Scholarship Commended Student, and a Scholar-Athlete. He also is captain of the Knights’ cross country squad

and a varsity member of the indoor and outdoor track teams. How Tim prepares before a race: I usually just try to focus and visualize what might happen during the race and how I’ll react to it. How Tim has improved this off-season: I made sure to get in all of my summer mileage, as well as attending The Running Academy, a weeklong Cross Country camp. Tim’s most memorable moment as a Knight: Breaking five minutes in the mile for the first time. That’s such an important milestone, and I was so excited when I finally did it.. Why Tim is excited for 2013-14: We have a lot of depth, so we’re definitely contenders for the Class M title, which is great, but I think that hanging out and having fun with all of my teammates is the best part of any season. Tim’s favorite pro athlete: Kurt Warner. He played for my favorite football team (the Rams), and I’ve always looked up to him as a role model. Tim’s plans after he graduates: I don’t know where I’m going yet, but I’m hoping to get accepted to Brown, my first choice.

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October 2013

Lightning Safety in Sports: ‘‘When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!’’

By Julie Dutton, ATC, LAT, Director of Athletic Training Services In March 2013, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association published a position statement on Lightning Safety for Athletics and Recreation. The purpose of this article was to provide recommendations for the prevention, education and management of lightning injuries during sports and recreation. Since 2003, lightning has been responsible for approximately 42 deaths annually, and more than ten times as many injuries. Lightning injuries and deaths rose 15% in sports in 2005 and increased by more than 25-30% recreationally. The National Weather Service states that in 2011, 62% of lightning fatalities were attributed to sport. Most cloud-to-ground lightning strikes (90%) occur within the area of rain falling on the ground. The remaining 10% of cloud to ground strikes usually happen as far as 5 to 10 miles away from the edge of the rainfall. Lightning may strike upwards of ten miles from the parent thunderstorm. What we see as lightning is the intense optical radiation from the heated air. It is possible to see lightning without hearing its thunder, however thunder never occurs in the absence of lightning. The typical audible range of thunder is about 10 miles, but can be more or less depending on local conditions. While some regions of the US are more prone to lightning and severe weather, no location is safe from lightning. Lightning is a threat to the physically active because of the

tendency towards afternoon to early evening thunderstorms, when many are outside participating in sports. Each year, approximately 25 million lightning strikes hit the ground in the United States. Supervisors of athletics and recreation should become educated in the prevention and management of lightning-related injuries, and parents and athletes should also do their best to protect themselves. Sports and activities should be suspended at the first sign of thunder or lightning in the area. Play can resume thirty minutes after the last lightning strike or sound of thunder is heard. The NATA suggests an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), which includes the following components: Promote lightning-safety slogans supported by the National Weather Service. ‘‘No Place Outside Is Safe When Thunderstorms Are In The Area!’’ ‘‘When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!’’ ‘‘Half An Hour Since Thunder Roars, Now It’s Safe To Go Outdoors!’’ Establish a chain of command that identifies a specific person (or role) who is to make the decision to remove individuals from the field or activity. This person must have recognized and unchallengeable authority to suspend activity. Use a reliable means of monitoring the local weather. Before the event, identify a specific person (a weather watcher) who is responsible for actively looking for threatening weather and is charged with notifying the chain of command. Identify safe locations from the lightning hazard in advance of the event for each venue. Identify specific criteria for suspending and resuming activity in the EAP. For more information on Lightning Safety, visit the NATA website at www.nata.org.

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14

October 2013

Rockville’s Wheelock steps down as skipper By Evan Macy Sports Editor

VERNON — After three trips to the state championship, over 400 victories and 36 seasons at the helm at Rockville High School, legendary and accomplished baseball skipper Arthur Wheelock is calling it a career. Though his passion for the game never wavered, and remains as strong as it ever has, time seems to have caught up with the CCC coaching staple after more than three decades. “It’s been building,” Wheelock said. “I physically cannot be as active as I like to be in practice. It just started to wear on me and I felt like I was cheating myself and the kids.” For all but the most recent three years of his career, Wheelock routinely pitched during every batting practice. But being unable to be as active as he prefers drove him crazy. Thankfully for Vernon baseball, it won’t be a clean break. “I’ll be around for consultation if need be,” Wheelock said, “but what I will probably end up doing, is that since my son coaches the legion team in town I might help him to stay in contact with the same kids.” Wheelock has turned hundreds of baseball players into varsity athletes, and

me.” Wheelock also led the Rams to the state finals back in 1981. Knowing baseball is a team game, Wheelock is quick to share the credit for his, and the baseball program’s success during his tenure as head coach. “Vernon and Rockville has always

been very strong in baseball at all levels,” he said. “I’d like to say I was at least able to maintain that. The kids buy into what I ask them to buy into over the years and that’s important and we’ve had pretty good chemistry.” Wheelock retires with a career coaching record of 433-327.

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Former Rockville baseball head coach Arthur Wheelock. has prepared them for college, and a life beyond. In addition to all the lives he has touched, the coach is proud of the accomplishments of the 1999 and 2000 teams. In 1999, the Rams fell in the final, but a year later they returned, and triumphed, “A lot of people go through their career and never reach a state final,” the coach said. “I was fortunate enough to be in three of them and win one. I got to live my dream, which to me was important. My son was coaching at the time, my daughter was a manager and my wife was in the stands and it made it really special for

Amy Eitelman, Volleyball, Golf

Amy is more than just a co-captain of her varsity volleyball team and the recipient of the coaches award .for golf. She also maintains a 95 GPA, is a member of the National Honor Society and has gotten honors every quarter. How Amy prepares before a game: I

hang out with my teammates, we try to joke around and create a positive atmosphere before the game. How Amy has improved this off-season: I play in a travel league, practice with fellow teammates, and practice with my family. Amy’s most memorable moment as a Ram: In a game I did a pancake, which is a very hard volleyball move (not the one you eat), and the refs did not count it. The other team received the point. . Why Amy is excited for 2013-14: I am hoping that this year the volleyball team will qualify to make into the state tournament. Amy’s favorite athlete: Misty May Treanor Amy’s plans after she graduates: I plan on going into corporate accounting and playing intramural volleyball in college.

Edwards excited as hoops season approaches in Tolland By Evan Macy Sports Editor

Sometimes things just work out. And for the Tolland boys basketball team and their new coach Dean Edwards, it’s a good thing they did. “I received my coaching certification during the spring and the first position that I noticed that was open was the Tolland position,” Edwards, who will coach for the first time in Connecticut, said. “After doing some research about the Tolland School System, the Athletic’s Program and the community I felt Tolland had a lot to offer me, and vice versa, so I applied for the position. The rest, I guess, is history.” Edwards played his college ball at Butler University and continued in college basketball as an assistant coach at several stops including Rutgers and Trinity College. The new era in Tolland hoops will not be an overnight change. But through hard work and a slow change of the culture and philosophy in the gym,

Edwards hopes to turn Tolland into an annual competitor. “ M y teams will play tough, hard nosed defense and will be prepared for each and every game,” Edwards said. “Hopefully by doing this and taking a blue collar approach to things we can be competitive in a very tough division.” The CCC is one of the toughest basketball conferences in the state, and Edwards hopes his athletes will be tough competitors and well-rounded in the classroom. “My general philosophy and/or approproach to coaching and building a program is to develop high character student-athletes who are held to high standards and are held accountable for their actions.”


October 2013

TheSportsDept.com - Print Edition

15

Local middle schoolers run for somethig better By Evan Macy Sports Editor

EAST HARTFORD — Middle school students from across the state assembled just outside of Rentschler Field Tuesday morning to join together to run 1.1 miles and to support putting an end to childhood obesity. The final trek, sponsored by ING, is the last part of a month long marathon students have run in their schools, a mile at a time, to train for the Run For Something Better finale. “They’ve been working out for the last two weeks,” Douglas McCrory, assistant principal at Public Safety Academy in Enfield, said. “Every day our kids ran one mile to get ready for this race they got excited, about six of them beat me I cant believe it.” Local schools Vernon Center Middle School, Timothy Edwards School (South Winsdor), Winsdor Locks Middle School and Public Safety Academy (Enfield) participated in the event. “It’s a beautiful day,” Timothy Edwards phys-ed teacher Jennifer Hall said. “ING really put on an amazing event to accommodate all these kids. The kids love it, it is motivating for then, and the timing is such that our fitness test is next week.” More than 186,000 students nationwide have participated in Run For

Something Better, and the program has logged over 5.5 million miles. “Physical fitness is a very important subject in our country right now,” McCrory said. “Unfortunately too many of kids are not in shape. This was a great opportunity for kids to show off their talents, stay fit, and meet a whole lot of kids from around the state all working to do the same thing.” After some dance music to help the kids warm and loosen up, students from Timothy Edwards sang the national anthem, and the schools began to run the final 1.1 miles. After the run was completed, giveaways and even more athletic activity took place, as kids took turns shooting into soccer goals and used other sports equipment. “It’s a life experience, to be able to come here and run and train for something,” Hall said. “Hopefully these kids will pick up the joy of running and do a race when they are older.”

Evan Macy | Staff

Students from the Timothy Edwards School (South Windsor) sing the National Anthem before the race begins, (bottom left), runners from Public Saftey Academy start their mile, (top) as to runners from Vernon Middle School (bottom).


16

TheSportsDept.com - Print Edition

October 2013

Youth football saftey has blurred lines By Evan Macy Sports Editor

Safety first. Everyone says it. Everyone’s heard it. The simple mantra that governs how parents let their children play competitive sports. And when it comes to football, safety is even more of a prerequisite. But is safety really that simple? Chris Weitz is the president of Ellington youth football and like countless other coaches and youth football administrators, takes the safety of his players as a No. 1 priority. So it is no surprise that when Weitz discovered the Guardian Cap, he did extensive research. “I called company to ask for a sample and I showed it to the board to see what their thoughts were,” Weitz said. “I did research and got articles together, after two board meetings we made decision to outfit all four squads. We bought 120 of them for more than $5,700.” According to Guardian, the soft-shell helmet cover reduces impacts up to 33%. It is lightweight, waterproof, insulates in hot and cold weather and has been approved for high school practice and games by the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS). In a letter written by Jim Tenopir, the

NFHS Rules Review Committee Chair: “After review of the documents provided, the Committee has determined that summary disposition of this matter is appropriate; the permissive use of the Guardian Cap Product is not a violation of NFHS Football Rules.” Since this body also governs youth football across America, Weitz went ahead and gave Ellington coaches and parents the green light to use the Guardian Caps in practice, and if they wanted to, during a game. “One of the kids on the B team wore it,” Weitz said. “I checked it with the ref and he said no problem. A week later I get emails saying that the NFHS says they are no longer allowing them to be

used in play because the NOCSAE, the certification organization for helmets said the use of third party add-ons results in decertification of the helmet. And for the NFHS you must wear a certified helmet during the game.” The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, (NOCSAE) released a statement in July, stating that any addition of after-market items to a helmet, such as the Guardian Cap even if it is temporary, voids the certification of complience with NOCSAE standards. So using the Guardian Cap, in other words, makes the use of the helmet illegal. NOCSAE also says helmet manufacturers have the right to declare its own certification void, and can change or add requirements for a helmet to be certified as it pleases. So why would the powers that be make it illegal for young football players to use a product that is proven to make the game more safe? “We are losing, ”Matt Simonds, National Sales Coordinator for Guardian Cap, said. “We are the new guy and are doing something pretty radically different.” According to Simonds and Guardian Cap, the issue is corporate liability. “In the off chance, in the numbers game, where one kid a year may go down with a catastrophic neck injury, they could get sued over it,” Simonds said. “But with statements made before the fact they can cover their backs and pass liability to Guardian.” And passing liability, at least today, includes banning the use of the product on the playing field for high school and youth football games. “Ultimately I had to tell them we had to go with the rules,” Weitz said. “I sent a

memo out saying we would continue to use them in our practices since they don’t govern our practices. Whether or not that opens our league up to liability or not I am not clear, but until someone says to me you cannot wear these, we’re going to continue to wear them at practice.” The situation is frustrating, but ultimately, change can be painfully slow when it comes to the deeply rooted organizational systems for scholastic athletics. “We hear from them too, they’re frustrated and mad,” Simonds said. “They spend good hard money on this. The biggest avenue is to talk to the people making decisions. Whether it’s an official or a board member. It’s more of a corporate liability thing whether than a question of whether this product is safe to use in the field. I don’t think that is even a question. Even the helmet manufacturers don’t question whether it’s a safe product.” With or without the Guardian Cap, coaches need to make sure that proper tackling is preached repeatedly in each and every practice. “Some people say it could train kids to hit with their head since they have more protection,” he said. “We try to train kids not to do that anyway, that is our training to teach them not to hit with their heads. As a youth program we teach how to tackle correctly.” The National Athletic Trainers Association says that nearly 67,000 concussions are diagnosed each year to high school football players. Does your youth football team practice with these helmet covers? Should the NFHS and NOCSAE reconsider its policies? Tell us what you think. Visit thesportsdept.com, or email us at storyideas@thesportsdept.com.


17

October 2013

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October 2013

Tolland hosts Cider Mill 5k

Vernon hoop tryouts

TOLLAND — On Saturday October 5, runners from across Connecticut assembled in Tolland for the Cider Mill 5k. The fastest male runner was Hartford’s Jonas Hampton, who clocked in a time of 15:39.47. The fastest woman was Melissa Stellato from Windsor. She had a time of 18:26.68. The second fastest woman was a tolland runner, 29year old Jule Jakobski, who ran the 5k in 21:16.69. Other local runners also posted impressive finishes, including Tolland’s Brett Stoeffler, who got fourth with a time of 17:26.73. A bevy of Tolland runners took eighth through 15th places with the exception of 12th place, which was snatched by Glastonbury’s Joseph Hallisey. John Collins, Peter Lafontaine, Michael Angers, Gavin Rublewski, Todd Bryden, Stephen Sutten and Nathan

5th & 6th Grade Girls Tuesday October 15 at Rockville High (large gym) from 6:00 to 7:15 Thursday October 17 at Rockville High (large gym) from 6:00 to 7:15 Monday October 21 at Rockville High (small gym) from 7:15 to 8:30

Staff Report

Paolangeli were all Tolland runners rounding out the top 15. The Cider Mill 5K & Family Fun Run is organized by a committee partnered by the Tolland Elementary PTO, Tolland Middle School PTO, Tolland High School Booster Club and the Tolland Recreation Department. All proceeds benefit these organizations and their efforts to promote physical fitness within the Tolland community.

Tryouts for the Travel Basketball teams for boys and girls in grades 5th through 8th will be taking place during the week of October 14th. Players interested can register the first day of the tryouts. Flyers were sent home through the school system. For more information please contact Steve Krajewski at skrajewski@vernon-ct.gov or 860-870-3520.

7th & 8th Grade Girls Tuesday October 15 at Rockville High (large gym) from 7:20 to 8:30 Thursday October 17 at Rockville High (large gym) from 7:20 to 8:30 Monday October 21 at Rockville High (large gym) from 7:20 to 8:30 6th Grade Boys October 21 at Vernon Center Middle from 6:00 to 7:20 Friday October 25 at Rockville High (small) from 7:20 to 8:30 Monday October 28 at Vernon Center Middle from 7:15 to 8:15 7th Grade Boys Wednesday October 16 at Vernon Center Middle from 6:00 to 7:20 Friday October 18 at Vernon Center Middle from 6:00 to 7:20 Wednesday October 23 at Vernon Center Middle from 6:00-7:20 Friday October 25 at Rockville High (large gym) from 6:00 to 7:20 8th Grade Boys Wednesday October 16 at Vernon Center Middle from 7:30-8:45 Friday October 18 at Vernon Center Middle from 7:30 to 8:45 Wednesday October 23 at Vernon Center Middle from 7:30 to 8:45 Friday October 25 at Rockville High (large gym) from 7:30 to 8:45

Kevin Hayes | Staff

Runners bust through the starting line at the Cider Mill 5k In tolland, and three cross the finish (top).

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October 2013

Youth

Photos

Erika Studer | Staff

Vernon defenders swarm to the ball to make a key tackle in the A squad’s loss to Glastonbury, (left), and the C squad huddles up before kickoff of their game.

Midseason form Images from the Vernon’s A and C youth football team’s on Sunday, September 22, and South Windsor Youth Soccer action from September 21. Erika Studer | Staff

Vernon C squad’s Deshaun Perry kicks off to start their game against Glastonbury.

Erika Studer | Staff

Cheerleaders rally the fans together as the Vernon C team fights.

Erika Studer | Staff

South Windsor 10 and under travel’s Samantha Van Horn gets ready to fire a shot, (left), and teammate Maria Galley works to control the ball against Berlin.

Erika Studer | Staff

Left to right, Lexie Wheeler (goalie), Samantha Van Horn, Maria Galley and Rhianna O’Mearalook to defend their goal against Berlin on September 21.


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October 2013

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October 2013

21


22

October 2013

2013 Charles Huggins One down, three to go... Memorial Tennis Tournament Champs

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

From left to right, Kevin Nick, Men’s Doubles Finalist, Jess Maitland, Girls Singles Finalist, Cam Nick, Men’s Doubles Finalist, Brennan Nick, Boys Singles Champion, Candace Settle, Girls Singles Champion, Micah Fox, Men’s Singles Champion, Doug Fox, Men’s Doubles Champion and Mixed Doubles Champion, Min Xu, Men’s Doubles Champion and Men’s Singles Finalist

l Suffield boys, girls

l Glastonbury

l Suffield legend

l Girls and boys

soccer is dominant in NCCC during season’s first half Robert Cecchini still contributes to community

l Windsor Locks

High School Hall of Fame to induct seven

football on a roll after dropping opener, contends for playoff spot

l Farmington football undefeated in season’s first half

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23

October 2013

Top 5 baseball off-season must dos, no excuses By Steve Conca Conca Sport and Fitness With the World Series just around the corner, October marks the sprint to the finish from a long and grueling season of professional baseball...and for many of our high school and middle school players, the season was a long one as well. October also marks the start of our busiest time of the year as an influx of regional middle and high school baseball players, as well as our professional players, begin to arrive for their offseason strength and conditioning training. There are many considerations that need to be addressed after a long season but for the scope of this article we will cover the Top 5. r Set up the schedule: If you fail to plan you are planning to fail. Every player comes to the offseason with their own individual skill set and past playing history. Some minor league guys are in the Fall instructional leagues until mid October. We have high school pitchers who complied over 130 innings. Some guys will stay around until big league camps begin in February while other minor league players will stick around until March. Area high school (and some middle school ) players will want to spend all winter with “pitching lessons,” while other athletes will play a winter sport with limited time to devote to an offseason baseball program. Every player has an individual time table

with which to work. Individualized program design becomes paramount. Players, parents and coaches need to collaborate on all aspects of development and dedicate adequate time to see progress. r Regain Cuff strength / stability: During a long season it’s very challenging to maintain rotator cuff strength. The biggest struggle I see is for the middle and high school players who are playing more and more innings (and throwing more pitches with less rest than many pro players) but lack the formal training to stay healthy. Many pro players will take 2-4 months off from throwing so this window becomes critical for regaining cuff strength with the right mix of proper training volumes, sound nutrition, rest and recovery. I recommend the same for our middle and high school players. r Regain Dynamic Stabilization of the Scapula: The eccentric (deceleration) stress placed on the body during throwing can dramatically effect the performance of the scapula. Many players will spend time focusing on rotator cuff strength, but neglect the muscles that stabilize the scapula. These muscles will generally fatigue before the cuff does. The result is faulty throwing mechanics. The rotator cuff needs a sound and stable base from which to generate force, power and speed, so a complete shoulder program will spend adequate time on both the rota-

tor cuff and the scapular stabilizers. r Limit The Plyos And Get Strong: The bread and butter for any ball player is their arm health, but with that being said make no mistake that the global focus of any player should be to GET STRONG in the off season. Yes it’s important to address all the areas of weakness in and around the shoulder, but overall power and speed comes from getting stronger. Pitchers want more velocity on the fastball and position players want the arm strength as well as speed and power in the swing. Many coaches are anxious to hit the weights and start throwing medicine balls around. The “buzz” is now plyometircs or reactive training to achieve performance. Let me be clear. Controlling volume and intensity within a traditional strength program involving variations of upper and lower body pushing, pulling and core work will be the critical component to performance gains in the off season. We tend to hold off on aggressive sprinting, jumping and rotational med ball work until the players have a few weeks of global strength under their belts. After a long season with players pushing the limits with excessive trunk rotation, we tend to focus on anti-rotation components of the core and frontal plane strength work. There is a time and place for “plyos” and reactive work but it is not the focus of our offseason program design.

r Normalizing Food and Feet: Let’s start with nutrition. The goal for any athlete is to maintain a healthy diet of whole foods. This is can be a tough task for minor league guys on the road as well as for high school players in a summer league (working all day and playing at night). Traveling and fast food can sap the body of nutrients, add on fat weight and contribute to a depletion of lean body mass. All of our guys begin the offseason training program by completing a 3 day diet log. Upon reviewing their documentation it allows us to make recommendations with food selection, meal frequency and if there are any gaps, discuss supplementation options. With a long season spent standing in spikes that limit foot and ankle mobility our goal is to get them is a minimalist cross training shoe such as the New Balance Minimus. Better foot and ankle mobility can do wonders when it comes to taking excess stress off the the knees, hips and back in the weight room. As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, there are many considerations to be addressed when planning an off season strength training program, we just touched on five of those. For an in-depth consultation on how we can help you plan a productive off season please contact Steve Conca at Steve@concaSportandFintess.com (413)-304-2350. of visit www.ConcaSportAndFitness.com

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24

October 2013

Tsd east edition, october  
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