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December 2013

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Local football squads look back on great seasons Page 10

Ice hockey teams are ready to make a splash in 2013-14 Page 9

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Erika Studer | Staff Windsor Locks’ basketball team looks to return to tournament contention in 2013-14. They recently warmed up at the Valley Sports Center. Above, Jon Oliveira sets a screen for Nate Pierce.

Boys basketball squads reloaded By Tom Powers Staff Writer

Last season was the first time in six seasons that the Windsor Locks Raiders did not qualify for the state tournament. Locks head coach Michael Mascaro expects his team to return to both the NCCC and CIAC tournaments this season. Mascaro, in his 14th season at Windsor Locks (7 varsity/7 junior varsity), will return all of his key players from last season’s 4-16 team that finished 13th in the NCCC. Among those returning players are starting guards Nate Pierce (10 ppg) and

Jon Oliveira (8 ppg) and starting forward Hector Martinez (6 ppg). In addition, the Raiders will return several other players with varsity experience. Although this year’s Raiders team lacks height, the squad is quick and athletic. Expect Windsor Locks to improve from last season and finish somewhere in the middle of the NCCC. A return to the state tournament is definitely possible for the Raiders, but they will have to contend with a tough NCCC schedule. Suffield The Wildcats are looking to improve

upon last season’s 11-12 record. In 2012-2013, Suffield was able to earn a 22 seed in the Class M state tournament but came up just short of upsetting No. 11 Goodwin Tech, losing by a score of 60-58 in double overtime. Dan Gatto, in his sixth season as Suffield’s head coach, has nothing but good things to say about this year’s team. “The team has been fun to coach so far. The guys have great attitudes, positive energy and are working really hard. We have great senior leadership.” Among his returning leaders are forwards Ben Woodhouse and Troy Hastings, guard Sean Sullivan, and center

Melanie Oliveira | photosfromthesidelines.com Windsor Locks’ Nate Pierce blocks a Suffield shot.

Nolan McCoy. Please see ‘BOYS BASKETBALL,’ continued on PAGE 12


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The Sports Department

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few holidays when I haven’t coached, I certainly shared that same opinion as a parent. There’s nothing better than having your kid be able to blow off some energy in a gym or rink or, for that matter, any indoor venue. The kids love it too. There’s nothing better for a basketball junkie than a warm gymnasium on a cold winter night with no alarm set to go off the next morning. The key is making sure everyone is on the same page about the purpose of any

ENFIELD Student Athlete of the Month

Marc Falcone Cross Country, Track

Marc is an honors student and a talented runner for the Raiders. Marc’s proudest accomplishments: I was captain of the cross country team and just recently became captain of the indoor track team. I made states for cross country my sophomore, junior, and senior year. I have two varsity letters. I’ve played on the unified sports volleyball team my sophomore year. Unified Sports is a program that combines equal numbers of individuals with and without intellectual disabilities on the same sports teams for training and competition. Our school came in second place at the championships that year. How Marc prepares for a game: Before I run at a meet, most importantly as cap-

tain I stay hydrated. Then I lead the team in stretches. [Prior] to the meet I go out for runs because I’m a distance runner. I practice on the track and go for long runs. With hard work and motivation my running times improved throughout the season. Why Marc is excited for the winter season: I’m excited to work with my team. I’m excited to compete against other schools and work my very best to make states for the winter season. Marc’s most memorable moment in a Raiders uniform: During my first cross country meet when I stopped 28 yards before the finish line and did the fist pump thinking I was done. Marc’s goals with his winter team: I’m going to work my hardest to be a leader and role model as one of the captains of the indoor track team. I want the team to enjoy themselves, work the best they can and most importantly achieve their personal best times. Samantha’s college plans: I’m looking into being either a police officer or a registered nurse. I plan to do my studies at Palm Beach State for two years and then transfer to Flordia Atlantic University.

happen. As a coach, I always make sure the holiday practices are fun — mostly scrimmaging and their favorite drills — and let the players know that ahead of time, knowing they will then want to attend and will do everything in their power to get there. As a parent, I give my kids the choice to attend optional practices or not that are held over the holiday. After all, it’s their vacation too. Typically, if we are in town, they — like me — are more than happy to get out of the house. Holiday practices can be a wonderful distraction from the hustle and bustle of the season. That is, if they are scheduled with the spirit of the season in mind.

WINDSOR LOCKS Student Athlete of the Month

Samantha Killen Basketball, Track

Samantha is more than just a student athlete, she is a fantastic student and a

December 2013

practices held over the holidays. Basically -- is it mandatory or just optional? My suggestion in this regard is to make it completely optional. Undoubtedly you already have a player whose family is flying somewhere and isn’t going to change their holiday plans to attend practice. So before Santa even comes down the chimney, if you make the practice mandatory you’ll have to enforce the missed practice rule for the first game of 2014. Likewise, even if a family isn’t going away the entire week, my guess is there are day trips planned. My family is already scheduled to make two day trips to visit family during that week off. So as much as I’d want to take my kids to a practice, if it falls on either day, it’s just not going to

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All you have to do is step foot in the local mall or drive around the neighborhood to realize the holidays are just around the corner. Kids especially are looking forward to the more than week-long break that stretches from just before Christmas until after the New Year. If your child is currently playing on a youth sports team, no matter how competitive a league it is, the question of whether or not to practice the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is going to be raised. (If the team is participating in a holiday tournament, then practicing over the break is almost necessary.) I’m not suggesting that the team needs to gather Christmas Eve morning or in the late afternoon on New Year’s Eve, but I’ve found through the years as a youth sports coach that my team’s parents are more than happy to have somewhere to take their kids during the break. And during the

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Should teams practice over the break?

gifted member of the varsity track and basketball squads.. How Samantha prepares for a game: Listening to music to get focused on a game. Why Samantha is excited for the winter season: All of the team bonding. This team is already really close and I am excited for the rest of the season with them. Samantha’s most memorable moment in a Raiders uniform: Qualifying for NCCC Championship meet in track in the javelin both years I have been on the team. Samantha’s goals for the winter season with the Raiders: Our goal is to make the state tournament then go as far as we can. Samantha’s favorite pro athlete: I have too many to choose from, so pretty much everyone on the New England Revolution. Samantha’s college plans: I am going to Lasell in Newton, MA.


Youth Sports Team of the Month

To nominate your team for Youth Sports Team of the Month, please email us at storyideas@thesportsdept.com

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December 2013

Enfield Bantam B

Tom Powers | Staff Enfield tied the Whalers A1 0-0 on November 29 before defeating Simsbury B, 8-2 the following day.

Tom Powers | Staff The Whalers B were no match for Enfield, as the Bantam B squad cruised to the championship game, (above), and Enfield’s Jacob Audet tends the goal against the Whalers A1, (right).

When to begin an Professional Strength  &  Conditioning For  Elite  Baseball  Development   www.concasportandfitness.com 170 Elm Street r West Springfield, MA

413-304-2350 ...The attention to detail and expertise of Coach Conca and everyone who works at Conca Sport and Fitness are phenomenal. I felt great going into spring training this year... — Nick Ahmed Arizona Diamondbacks Organization

By Stephen Conca Conca Sports It’s that time of the baseball offseason we hear about blockbuster trades, free agency, and teams strategically putting the pieces together for the upcoming season...only about 16 weeks away. Every year at this time we also have new parents and players contact us with the same question: When should I begin my offseason throwing program? There are a wide array of opinions as to when to start throwing. Some say, January 1, December 15, after Thanksgiving...etc. All too often the offseason throwing program revolves around a limited amount of time to get ready and not your own individual goals, physical development or other personal situations. Not everyone should start the throwing program on the same day. It’s our goal to always individualize every aspect of the throwing program.

In order to help you determine when you should start throwing you need to ask yourself two basic questions: 1. Are you physically ready to start throwing again? 2. What are your goals? Obviously there are many other factors to consider but if you really get to the heart of these two questions you can have a much clearer vision about what you need to do. But first, let’s back up just a bit. One of the most important aspects to the start of the baseball offseason is your time off before throwing again. Throwing a baseball is one of the most unnatural movements the human body can produce in sports. It creates cumulative stress in vulnerable areas such as the shoulder, elbow and hips. Furthermore, there have been numerous studies showing the more you pitch, the greater your chances of injury: (Common sense, yes, but it can put things into perspec-


Photos

December 2013

Youth

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WINTER SPORTS Action from local rinks and gyms takes the stage as the winter sports season begins in North Central Connecticut.

Cameron Gaylor on the ice for Enfield.

Tom Powers | Staff

offseason throwing program tive.) 1. Pitching for greater than 8 months out of the year results in 5x as many injuries (Olsen, American Journal of Sports Medicine, 06) 2. Pitching greater than 100 innings in 1 year results in 3x as many injuries (Fleising American Journal of Sports Medicine, 11) 3. Pitching in showcases and travel leagues significantly correlated to increased injuries (Register-Mahlick, Journal of Athletic Training, 12, Olsen AJSM, 06) Take home message. If you are a pitcher, threw more then 100 innings and pitched deep into summer, you should take the ball out of your hand for at least 4 months. What’s the most important part of your offseason? Taking care of your body and to get it ready to throw again. Many players finish the summer and fall season tight sore and weak. They might not have had an “injury” during

the season, but the underlying micro-trauma is very real. Many guys, with all good intensions, will immediately hit the weight room. While a well thought out strength and conditioning program can have a huge impact, manual therapy, deep tissue work and arm care programs prior to initiating a strength program are even more important. Here’s how your thought process should look: Take care of your body, work on imbalances (ex: restore shoulder and hip internal rotation), address any lingering issues of tightness or soreness >>> then get the body to begin throwing. What Are Your Goals? After you get your body prepared it’s time to analyze your goals for the upcoming season. There’s an obviously big difference in preparation from little league, high school, college and pro ball. For instance minor league camp is

shorter then big league camp, so you better be ready to go on day 1. Their performance could impact a spot on a big league roster. That might mean starting a month earlier then everyone else. The middle and high school athletes may spend part of the winter working with a pitching coach. Late winter work with a pitching is great but just be careful to avoid overuse. High school games come fast up here in the north east with only a few weeks of practice. There’s one common thread to all these different levels of throwing that need to be addressed before you start your mound work. Every throwing program needs to incorporate a long toss component. To continue reading on learning when to begin your off-season throwing program please go to www.ConcaSportAndFitness.com/

Tom Powers | Staff Somers 6th graders scramble for a loose ball in a 52-28 win over Canton, (left), Somers’ Derek Hostetler, (above), and guard Alex Barresi runs the offense, (below).


Student Athlete of the Month

December 2013 6

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FERMI

Kaley Kennedy Soccer

Kaley has been a consistent member of the Fermi High School high honor roll, and has earned team MVP honors as the goalie for the varsity soccer squad. How Kaley prepares for a game: Before a game, I like to talk strategy with my teammates, It’s important as a team that we talk about what needs to be done. I also like to take the time to mentally prepare myself for the game. I like to push all thoughts to the side, listen to some music and put all my attention and focus on the game, always putting all my effort into warm-ups. Doing this helps me become ready for any team we

face. Why Kaley is excited for the winter season: During the winter season I can’t wait to step on the field with my teammates and be able to play against new teams that give us extra competition. Kaley’s most memorable moment in a Falcons uniform: My most memorable moment would be my senior night game against Rockville that would qualify us for states if we won. After 80 minutes of playing we had moved to overtime, at a 1-1 tie. Just minutes into overtime we had scored placing us 2-1 over Rockville, our defense kept strong and offense never stopped pressuring. That night we earned our spot in the state tournament for the first time in three years. Kaley’s plan for the winter season: I hope to accomplish a sense of relaxation and recognition on the field. With such a strong team like the Fermi girls soccer team, there is no other option than to strive higher as a team. Kaley’s favorite pro athlete: My favorite pro player would be Hope Solo; she is the goal keeper for the US Women’s National Soccer Team. Kaley’s college plans: After high school I plan on attending a four year college to study psychology, and I plan on playing soccer while in college.

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Talented grapplers are prepped for new season By Brian Mazzone Staff Writer

The winter sports season is in full gear. Most wrestling teams hit the mats for the first time on the Monday after Thanksgiving, and they will all be in action this week. The area boasts some strong wrestlers to return this year, highlighted by all-state wrestler Jimmy Murphy from Avon. Somers, is always tough and is coming off an excellent season from last year. Fermi Jeff Beiler’s team should contend for the CCC East title this season, but there is another milestone that the pro-

gram is closing in on. Currently they have 494 wins as a program, and they will be gunning for their 500th early in the season. “It’s a tremendous milestone,” Beiler said. “We should reach it this season.” Beiler has been the head coach for 19 years, and involved even longer. With the school closing soon, this is something that will be celebrated by the wrestling program. This season a cast of seniors and sophomores will help pace the Falcons. “I have twelve seniors with experience coming back,” Beiler said. Seniors Kevin Lampro, Matt Dw-

Lifetouch Studios The Raiders return several great wrestlers, including Jarret Maloney who won was an NCCC champion.

SUFFIELD Student Athlete of the Month

Reilly Williams Soccer

Reilly has gotten the Suffield Academic Athletic award three times and has been on the school’s honor roll for four years. On the pitch, she was a four-time varsity starter, a varsity soccer captain, a mem-

ber of the All-State team, All-Conference three times, and perhaps most importantly has helped lead the Wildcats to multiple state championship games. How Reilly prepares for a game: I get to the field an hour early with my team and we go into the pump house and listen to music. Then we go out and coach Sullivan talks to us then we go and do our warm ups and prepare to play. Reilly’s most memorable moment in a Wildcats uniform: My most memorable moment in my high school uniform is my Championship game my freshman year when we were tied with under a minute left and Steph Guminiak scored off of a free kick right out of the box with 3 seconds left and we won the State Championships. Reilly’s favorite pro athlete: Christiano Ronaldo. Reilly’s college plans: I am committed to play Division I soccer at University of New Hampshire

yer, Tristan Dixon, Alex Purdue, and Brandon Keeler will lead the way. He will also look for sophomores Charles Fields, Chris Pantasas, and Chase LaRusso to build off of their strong freshman seasons. Suffield/Windsor Locks/East Granby Last year the tri-op squad had some fantastic individual performances, and head coach Chris Potter returns many of the same standouts from last season. Khamri Thomas will continue to lead the squad at 182 lbs. Last season he was a Class S State Champion at 160, and he finished 6th at New England’s. Potter will also lean on all conference seniors Matt Guilmette, at 126 pounds, and Will Szozda, who had 32 wins last season. Potter looks at his team as a contender, but notes that, “Avon is always the team to beat.” Somers Coach Scott Zachary will have a strong squad once again. Last year the squad finished 17-6, and they return the core of the team. Senior Hunter Frasca, juniors Adam Patsun and Christian Andrade, as well

as sophomore Jacob Berry should lead the way. Enfield The Raiders return some strong wrestlers to this season’s squad in seniors Bryan Murphy, Jarret Maloney, RJ Wages, and junior Jason Davis. Maloney only lost two matches all last season, and Murphy had 18 wins. Maloney was an NCCC champ as a sophomore and all league last season. He also had a strong showing at the Farifield Ludlowe Tournament, placing second. Murphy also took home medals at the Bobcat Classic and the Fairfield Tournament. East Windsor The Panthers will be going through a rebuilding project this year. They only have four total wrestlers with any wrestling experience at any level. Coach Jason Flynn is optimistic that they will fill all weight classes, and hopes that if things go well early, more players will come out. ”Brandon Davis, Kevin Kehoe, Brian Meyers and Jack Pelley should be the wrestlers to watch this year. Jacob Reilly has shown a lot of promise and has a lot of potential that he could reach this year,” Flynn said.


Fermi/Enfield/East Granby/Stafford Though their All-State goaltender from a year ago, Aaron Lickwar, is now playing hockey with the Boston Junior Rangers, the Falcons ice hockey squad returns many pieces from a successful squad last year, hungry for a big 2013-14. Led by a quartet of dynamic key returning players, tough, hard-nosed hockey will be the mantra for the Falcons in the new season. “I expect this team to be a bit of a lunch pail crew who can grind it out every game,” head coach Frank Genovese said. “Our goal is to be a tough team to play against.” Leading the charge for the Falcons will be smooth skating Matt Boulette, whose big size will be an asset for the front three offensively. Last year he had six goals and six assists. Another key offensive weapon is Brian Riley, a junior who Genovese describes as having “quick hands and a great scoring touch.” That touch netted him 22 points last season. On defense, Ryan Gothers and Ernie Bouthiette will lead the charge, with the junior, Gothers, returning after a +5 rating last season. “A strong kid, skates and passes well,” Genovese said of Gothers. Bouthiette is a senior and a great skater who works hard in the corners and will take on a larger roll this year in a tough defense. “We return six solid defensemen, many of whom had a regular shift last year,” the coach said. “That will be our strength. Most can play in any situation as well. Given that, hopefully we are difficult to score on. While we have some talented forwards, we would need some secondary scoring from players who are unproven at this level. Tri-Town (East Windsor/Somers/Ellington) After just one win last season, the Tri-

Tom Powers | Staff Fermi/Enfield/East Granby/Stafford’s Troy Marin.

Town hockey team expects a pretty big increase in wins after a down year in 2012-13. Three captains, one per school, look to lead the way as Somers’ Connor Wylie will take the reigns as locker room leader with assistants Nick Violette, from Ellington and Rudy O’konis, from East Windsor. The three forwards will lead a team that is in great shape for the new campaign ahead. “Our strength is conditioning and discipline in all aspects of the game,” head coach Jesse Peters said prior to his first team as the head coach, “including teamwork, game plan and penalties.” Peters has volunteered with the program since 2001, was a full time Assistant in 2003 leaving for two seasons 0910 and 10-11. He also was also a player on the inaugural Tri-town team in 1990. Paul Dowe was the coach last year, and Peters hopes to continue the legacy of sportsmanship and tough play with Tri-Town. Peters helped guide WindsorAvon-East Granby to a 17-6 record and a Division III semis in 2010-11. “Our success will depend on our ability to get production from all three lines on a nightly basis,” the coach said. “We need to be unselfish and score the less

December 2013

When it’s cold outside, that means it’s cold inside too. At least when it comes to ice hockey rinks across the state, as the 2013-14 season begins for teams in North-Central Connecticut.

glamorous goals in front of the net.” Tri-Town is young, and will need to replace 10 departed players from last year. “We have lost double digit players the past two plus seasons to graduation, private schools and Junior Hockey,” he said. “Our team is young so we will be relying heavily on our experienced players.” Some other key returnees include forward Ryan Gaidos, goalie, Alex Bliesner, defenseman, Tom Burgess, forward Jay Skorulski and forward Ryan Sherba. Suffield/Granby/Windsor Locks The Wildcats were a below .500 squad last season, but this season should see them contend more with consistency and experience returning in 2013-14 after an 8-11-1 campaign a year ago. All-State junior forward Jake King returns after 21 goals and 15 assists last season. Head coach Nick Boorman describes King, a captain, as a “positive leader, hard worker, great ice vision and playmaker.”

He has 43 points in his two seasons with the Wildcats, the first as a defenseman. Two more key offensive weapons returning are Max Marson, a speedster who netted four goals and 11 assists last year, and Colin MacDouglad, who had two goals and nine assists as a freshman. Boorman says the teams strengths are “team defense, team speed, teamwork, work ethic, perseverance, and puck movement.” Much of that defense and puck movement is provided by a pair of talented netminders in Shane Kertanis and Cam Clark. Kertanis is a junior and allowed 2.7 goals per game last year. “He is dedicated to success,” Boorman said. The other keeper, Cam Clark, will be a senior and looks to improve his 2.9 goals against average. “He lives and breathes Wildcats Hockey,” Boorman said. “He is dedicated to success.”

9

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December 2013 PRINT EDITION

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Football season ends for local squads By Brian Mazzone Staff Writers

It’s a shame that it has become Thanksgiving Week games and not Thanksgiving Day games in the North Central section of Connecticut. The traditional Thursday morning games were a tradition that alumni all over loved. However, with the installing of lights, field turf, and the enjoyment that many get from being home on Thanksgiving morning, it is turned into an all week event. Ellington/Somers won the Pequot North. Avon finished 8-3, and Windsor Locks and Canton both had strong seasons, finishing at 7-4 respectively. Here’s a recap of how teams in our circulation fared: Enfield The Raiders finished by winning a nail biter versus SMSA/University, 1312. The Raiders jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but then fell behind 12-7 going into the fourth quarter. The Raiders were down a quarterback with starter Jason Davis out, and Chris Lapointe filled in admirably. There were wet conditions for the game—it was actually moved up an hour early to beat the storm. In the fourth quarter, Enfield’s offense took over and ran the ball behind senior Bryan Murphy. Murphy helped lead a clock eating drive as the Raiders played keep away from SMSA and they ran out the clock. The win moved Enfield to 5-6 in an up and down season. Davis starred most of the year as did running back Tom Watson. The Raiders were young up front and return a strong core, including Davis and wide receiver Tyrik Henry. The Raiders have not had a winning season since 2011. Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby—Stafford/East Windsor The Raiders had one of the biggest turnarounds in the area, as they benefited from the Pequot realignments by going 7-4 on the season. Although their record was the best in the Pequot North, they only finished 3-3 in division. They ended the season strong by crushing Stafford/East Windsor 26-6.

Evan Macy | Staff Enfield quarterback Jason Davis throws a pass during a game against Canton this season.

Jarvis Miller, Jeremy Wilson, and Khmari Thomas were a three headed monster on offense in their double wing attack as they tormented defenses in the league. The Raiders were 1-9 last year, and the running backs, and quarterback Ago Jimenez all had strong seasons to lead the way for the co-op. The Bulldogs finished 2-9—they picked up a win via forfeit on Thanksgiving’s Eve by Old Saybrook playing an ineligible player earlier in the year. Kyle Mathieu had a strong season at quarterback, but the team struggled both offensively and defensively during the season. Fermi The Falcons dropped their final contest 40-0 against Bloomfield on the Friday before Thanksgiving. The Falcons showed improvement this season, but they had many of the same problems that they’ve had in the past. They had a small squad, many injuries, and were often outmatched going into the game. Fermi finished the season 0-11 and they are in the midst of a 33 game losing streak. Coach Joe Tata plans to return and is hoping that his first win will come early in the season. The coach was pleased with performances by Charles Fields a sophomore running back, and Bailey Raymond, a junior

wide receiver. Ellington/Somers The season didn’t go as planned as the Knights missed the playoffs for the

first time in three years, but it ended with a championship banner. Ellington won all the right games on their schedule. They only finished the season at 6-5, but they were 5-1 in the revamped Pequot North and ended as the champions after a dominating 40-12 victory over Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton. Going into the game the Knights knew they needed a win to win the title outright. A loss would have created a three way tie at the top of the league. Senior running back Christian Schneider had 16 carries for 188 yards on the way to the victory. Mark Hickman, a sophomore running back, scored three touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 receiving) in the win. Ellington jumped out to a 33-0 lead in the third quarter and corner back Danny Hayes intercepted a Dan Lawrence pass for a touchdown to seal the deal. After that, Coventry put in two late touchdowns. The Knights were not 9-1 like last season, but they did something they couldn’t last year, win the league.

Bolles Motors Has Expanded


are done in one plane of motion? Even though sprinting may be done moving straight ahead, your body from foot to hip is moving in multiple planes. Since this is the case, why wouldn't we warm up to meet the demands of multi-plane motion required in all activities? Tradition is the answer. For years it was accepted that static stretching was the best because that is what everyone did prior to an activity. However recent research has begun to challenge these beliefs. We now know that active movements are the best when getting ready for sports participation. These dynamic warm-ups are sport-specific to the activity, thus mimicking postures and positions that the person will be engaging in during their sport and/or activity. Conversely, the traditional static stretching approach might actually decrease power output and ultimately performance. Additionally, injuries may result from pre-activity static stretching routines due to an alteration in the muscle firing patterns. These alterations can result in a delay in specific muscle contractions that are needed to execute the activity correctly and efficiently. If a better warm-up and increased flexibility are the goals, think of the elastic band. Will the band stretch better when it's cold before exercise, or when it's warm immediately following exercise? Think about an activity specific dynamic warm-up prior to engaging in your next sport or recreational event. Matthew Leeds is an Athletic Trainer at Integrated Rehabilitation Services clinic in Ellington and is the Athletic Trainer for Ellington High School. For any further questions, you can contact Matt at the Ellington Clinic (860.872.7500) or mleeds@integrehab.com

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By Matthew Leeds MS, ATC, LAT We have all seen the weekend warriors warm-up. Prior to a pick-up basketball game, people can been seen stretching their calves against a wall or grabbing their ankle and pulling their leg back to stretch their thighs a couple of times. Is that enough? Has that person properly performed a warm-up to prevent injury? The short answer to that question is “no”. Think of your muscles as an elastic band. If they are warmed up, they will have more elasticity causing them to stretch and bend easier. If you put an elastic band in the freezer it will become stiff, resulting in less elasticity. When stiff, the band is more prone to snapping if moved or stretched too far. In terms of your muscles, this can equate to a muscle strain. The goal of this article is to show you the benefits of a dynamic warm-up versus the traditional static stretching program in preparing for an athletic event. Over the past few years, numerous studies have shown that prior to exercise and competition, an extensive dynamic warm-up is more beneficial for sports participation and injury prevention than the traditional static stretching approach. A dynamic warm-up mimics the movements done in sports. These movements activate your nervous system and muscles, preparing them to fire more efficiently. This improves sports performance along with the readiness to meet the demands of each individual sport. Static stretching is generally done in one plane of motion like straight ahead or side to side. Conversely a dynamic warm-up is done using active movements in multiple planes of motion. Are there any sports you can think of that

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Boys basketball teams look to make noise in 2013-14 season Continued from PAGE 1

The Wildcats did lose some key players from last year, but Gatto still expects his team to be competitive in every single game. Expect Suffield to be competitive again this year if their returning players can step up this season. Somers The Spartans will be a team fighting to get into the state tournament, but head coach John Hostetler believes this is a realistic goal for his Somers team. “We have a great group of kids and a really solid back court,” Hostetler said. “I am excited to get the season started.” Not only can the Spartans handle the ball, they can hit three’s. Senior Adam Donovan averaged 7 ppg last season and hit 34 three pointers. Junior guards Jack Hostetler and Brian Hollister averaged 5 ppg with 17 three’s and 6 ppg with 16 three’s respectively. Senior Billy McCloskey will also play an important role for Somers. With a lack of size, the Spartans will rely again on guard play and outside shooting. Last year Somers was 9-14, reaching the Class S state tournament but fell to Kolbe Cathedral in the first round. If the Spartans play hard on every single possession expect them to surprise some teams in the NCCC the season. Enfield The Raiders lose four starters from a team that reached the Class M state tournament semifinals last year. In 2012-2013, Enfield went 13-3 in the NCCC, good enough for a third place finish, and ended the season with an overall record of 21-5. As a seven seed in the Class M tournament the Raiders knocked off Wilcox Tech, Goodwin Tech, and Berlin before losing to 23 Weston in the semifinals. The only returning starter for this young Enfield team will be junior guard

Ra Preston. Last year as a sophomore Preston averaged 10 ppg and 7 rpg. Enfield’s new head coach Kevin Zalucki spent the last four years as the Raiders JV coach and is very familiar with this team and expects Preston and fellow guard Alex Gould and forward Boomer Romano to lead the way for Enfield. This young Raiders team will need to rely on its defense to anchor its offense, and Zalucki is hoping sophomore forward Joe Roberts will be able to rejoin the team this season after undergoing knee surgery in October. East Windsor Expectations are high for the East Windsor Panthers once again. The Panthers return all of the key pieces from last season’s 10-12 team that won seven games in the NCCC and earned a 19 seed in the Class S state tournament. In the tournament, East Windsor lost in the opening round to 14 East Hampton by a score of 51-47. The Panthers won their only state championship in 2007. Head coach John Cessario in his seventh season at East Windsor expects his team to contend for the NCCC title this season. Kevin Mocadlo will lead the way offensively for East Windsor and is expected to hit the 1,000-point mark for his career this season. Teammates Dajon Farley, Adam Fisher, Frank Wadsworth, and Chris Desousa will support Mocadlo this season for the Panthers. If this East Windsor team stays healthy they have the experience and offense needed to be a competitor in the NCCC. Fermi Fermi High School has only a couple of seasons left before the school merges with Enfield High School. The Falcons Boys basketball team hopes they can get some wins for their school before the program shuts down for good. Fermi had a disappointing 0-20 sea-

son in 2012-2013, and only won three games the year before. Fermi graduated twelve seniors from last year’s team so experience will be a problem for rebuilding Fermi. Head coach Robert Evans believes that his young and inexperienced team is willing to play hard and hopes that his team will be competitive in some games this season. Among the few players returning for the Falcons are senior guard Alex Sagan, senior forward Jimmy Callaghan, and junior guard/forward Greg Kraucunas.

Melanie Oliveira | photosfromthesidelines.com Windsor Locks’ Johnathan Oliveira (24).

SOMERS Student Athlete of the Month

Adam Donovan Soccer, Basketball

Adam’s accolades on the field and in the gym include being selected as the NCCC pitcher of the week last May. He has played varsity basketball for four years and varsity baseball for three, and also boasts a 9.3 GPA. How Adam prepares for a game: Listening to music Why Adam is excited for the winter season: We have a great group of guys and we have very good chemistry. We’re

going to make teams work on every possession. Adam’s most memorable moment in a Spartan uniform: Last season’s win at Canton in double overtime. With two seconds left, Nick Elia received a full court pass from Brendan Coverdill and he made the lay-up to force overtime. Just being a key part of that game was a great experience. What Adam will miss most about being a Spartan: Our home games against Stafford. The student section is packed and it’s the loudest game of the season. The toughest challenge Adam has overcome: Coming in relief to close out a tournament game vs. Wamogo last season and walking the first three guys of the inning, then giving up a grand slam to tie the game. After that, I retired the next 6 guys I faced and we won in the bottom of the eighth to advance. Adam’s favorite pro athlete: Kobe Bryant.


His mantra for his girls this year will be, “Don’t talk about how good you want to be, show it with every action and thought on the court.” The Panthers will have their work cut out for them competing in an NCCC that had 10 teams qualify for the state tournament a year ago. Fermi After five years at Stafford, Erin Clark will look to turn around Fermi from last year’s 2-18 record in her first year as the Falcons’ head coach. Fermi only loses two seniors from last season, and only one starter, but Clark will still have a lot of work on her hands. This is definitely a rebuilding season for Fermi, but they will return starters, Nicole St. Amand, Abby Shaughnessy, Sarah Tremblay, and Jill Lapponese, all of whom are aggressive and hard working. “Our team is looking to be a high-energy and aggressive defensive team this season,” Clark said. The Falcons will look to senior point guard St. Amand 1and sophomore, Tori ad_christmas.ai 12/12/2013 2:18:11 PM Weatherwax for scoring. Tremblay, Lap-

December 2013

The Enfield Raiders are looking to continue rebuilding this season, but will return a lot of experience after graduating only one senior from last year’s team. First year head coach Jay Gaucher inherits an Enfield program that was 6-14 last year, coming up short of a CIAC tournament berth. Gaucher’s squad will be anchored by four year starter Maggie Richards, a guard, and junior Hannah Lempitsky, a forward whom Gaucher said has improved her moves in the post. The Raiders expect big offensive production from junior guard Olivia Caronna who averaged 9.5 ppg last year. Though Enfield lacks experience in the tournament or winning big games, they are a tough team. The Raiders are rich in varsity experience and can build off of last year’s season to make a bid for the state tournament this year. Suffield Returning starters pace an experienced Suffield team in 2013-14. Merideth Ouellette returns from a breakout 2012-13 season where she led the team in scoring and was named an All-NCCC selection. Seniors and defensive leaders Tashua Sotil and Katie Carson round out a very experienced backcourt for the Wildcats. Ouellete, Sotil, and Carson are all captains this season. Suffield also returns Arianna Flagg as a starting forward. The Wildcats finished 8-12 last season, but were bounced from the state tournament in the first round by Haddam-Killingworth. Suffield also qualified for the NCCC tournament last season with a 7-9 league record, but were eliminated by Canton. First year coach Stacy Troiano says other players to watch for this season will be senior guard Taylor Gleason, juniors Katelyn Corr and Kat Rizzuto, and freshman guard McKenzie Rusczyk. Somers The Spartans lost seven key players from last year’s team that finished 16-7, tied for fourth in the NCCC, but still hope to be competitive this year. Somers reached the second round of the state tournament last season, but six seniors graduated and Diandra DaRosa transferred.

However, Hailee Stetson, Kathryn LaVallee, Rebecca Novak, and Lauren Buettner are all seniors with varsity experience. Expect Stetson, a four-year starter averaging 7.4 ppg, 6 rpg, and 2 steal per game and LaVallee, a three-year starter averaging 5.3 ppg, 4 rpg, and 2 steals per game to lead Somers. Head coach Alan Walker, in his fourteenth season with the Spartans, says he needs his young players to provide athleticism, scoring, and defense for his Somers team to be successful. Windsor Locks A new season brings about a new division for the Windsor Locks Raiders. Traditionally a Class S team, this will be the first year Locks plays in the Class M division. Sixth year coach Doug Knowe remains optimistic despite losing nine seniors from last year’s 11-13 team, which lost to East Windsor in the second round of the state tournament. “We have a good nucleus returning and a group that is excited to get started.” Senior Amber Curran (6ppg, 10.3rpg) leads a very motivated and highly focused, though young, Windsor Locks team. Junior forward Dominique Boyd (9.2ppg, 11rpg) is one of the area’s best juniors and a proven scorer. She will contribute to a potentially strong rotation featuring sophomores Nicole Johnson, a promising scorer, Shayla Cruz, a lockdown defender and tremendous playmaker, and Ashley Nastalczyk. Freshman Raelynn Voislow will help fill out the backcourt. East Windsor The Panthers lost three starters from last season’s 17-10 team that fell in the semifinals of the Class S Tournament to Thomaston. Although depth and varsity experience is a concern, head coach Robert Lengyal is optimistic. “Our girls have a terrific work ethic and strong desire to excel.” Among the returning players is 20122013 All-NCCC senior point guard Melissa Wabble. Fellow seniors Madison and Makinsey Carolus and Sierra Valerio will join Wabble on this year’s team. Junior Danielle Sassi will play center for East Windsor. Lengyal, in his sixth season with the Panthers, believes defense will be the key to East Windsor’s success this year.

13

By Tom Powers Staff Writer

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Local teams look to rebuild, contend in new season

Melanie Oliveira | Photosfromthesidelines Windsor Locks’ Dominique Boyd gets a rebound.

ponese, and Shaughnessy will contribute defensively and as strong rebounders. Despite a lack of size and scoring, look for

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East Windsor Park and Rec

By Lori Titus East Windsor Park and Rec

Winter Yoga: Classes will be held at the East Windsor High School in room D-4 from 6:15 pm to 7:30 pm. Monday classes will be held January 6th to March 10th with no class on January 20th and February 17th. Wednesday classes will be held January 8th to February 26th. The cost of this program is: Residents $25 one time fee, one day a week; $40 one time fee, two days a week; Non-Residents $30 one time fee, one day a week; $45 one time fee, two days a week. Registration is through the Parks and Recreation Office or online with our Webster Bank Payment link. Please call 860-627-6662 with any questions. Fall Zumba: Classes are being held at the Town Hall Annex from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday Classes will be held from January 6th to March 10th with no class on January 20th and February 17th. Wednesday Classes will be

held from January 8th to February 26th. Registration is through the Parks and Recreation Office, or online with our Webster Bank Payment link. Please call 860-627-6662 with questions. The cost of this program is: Residents $35 one time fee, one day a week; $60 one time fee, 2 days a week; Non-Residents $40 one time fee, one day a week; $65 one time fee, 2 days a week; daily walk-ins are $5. Broad Brook Fire Department Carol Sing: The East Windsor Parks and Recreation Department will team up with the Broad Brook Fire Department to bring you the annual Carol Sing. This event is held at the Broad Brook Fire House, 125 Main Street in Broad Brook on Saturday, December 21st. Torch Light parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. Kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities will start at 6:15 p.m. Hayrides, refreshments, and crafts, as well as a visit from Santa himself, will take place. Please call 860-627-6662 with questions. Fee: Donation of Non-perishable food items for local food pantry.


Connecticut native Bobby Valentine takes the mic.

the Los Angeles Dodgers, his career has been impressive. He also played for the Angels, Padres, and retired at 29 with the Seattle Mariners. Bobby’s managerial career included stints with the Texas Rangers, Norfolk Tides, New York Mets, and the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan. His broadcast career included “Sunday Night Baseball”, and “ Baseball Tonight”, for ESPN as an analyst in 2009 and 2010.

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Barile said that the true measure of a good manager is the difficult decisions he has to make. “Last December, Bobby was hired by the Red Sox to restore order to a team and clubhouse that had discipline issues, and had faltered during the stretch run that year,” he recalled. “Never one to forsake a challenge, Bobby made some tough decisions that eventually led to a major trade with the LA Dodgers. That trade freed up millions of dollars in salary, and allowed GM Ben Charrington to sign several free agents during the offseason. Those signings had a direct input into the 2013 World Championship club. Managing at the major league level for the Red Sox, (and facing the Red Sox nation) has high expectations. Society tends to judge people by how they see us in those type of roles. So feelings are developed, based on those roles. Unfortunately, they really don’t know the person.” The guests attending the banquet had the opportunity to meet Bobby the man, not the manager. Bobby V. wears his heart on his sleeve, and his charisma,and

insight, was felt by all in attendance. Barile said that everyone in attendance appreciated the fact that Valentine took time off from his new job to speak to the group’s membership. “His clinics every year in January at the Coaches Clinic at Mohegan Sun, always drew large crowds,” he noted. “His few short emails to me from Japan, when coach Farr and I managed backto-back state championships in 2005 and 2006 at Windsor Locks meant the world. As I said, he is a class act. I remember that horrific day of 9-11 in New York, and seeing Bobby and Met representatives at ground zero. (Bobby was later awarded the 2002 Branch Rickey Award for his uplifting efforts, donations, and contributions during a very difficult time in Americas history.) On behalf of our membership, and our board president, Barry Chasen, we want to thank Bobby Valentine for making our event very special. Bobby, whenever you are “up North”, in Connecticut, stop by at a High School or Legion ball game and say hello. You are always welcome.”

15

By John Karas Courtesy of The Windsor Locks Journal On Friday, November 1st, the Hartford Chapter of Approved Baseball Umpires had a special guest speaker at their end of year banquet that was held at Maneeley’s in South Windsor:Connecticut’s own Bobby Valentine. Former WLHS Baseball coach, and current Hartford board umpire Mike Barile, made the arrangements for Bobby’s visit. “I first met Bobby in the mid 70’s when I was playing All- Army baseball for Uncle Sam,” Barile said, “and at the time he was playing for the San Diego Padres AAA affiliate, the Hawaii Islanders. He is a class act. I always remember the few minutes in 1976 that two ball players from Connecticut spent talking baseball from second base at Aloha Stadium. To a then, 19 year old infantry soldier - that meant the world to me.” Bobby captivated equally the 125 plus umpires and guests in attendance on November 1st. A former first round draft pick out of the University of Southern California by

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Hartford umpires host Bobby Valentine


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