Three NVL titles in one year a first at Woodland
BEACON FALLS — Adam Baz, Marc Beaulieu, and Tim Madormo graduated from Woodland on Wednesday after they helped do something in their senior year that no other Hawks had ever done.
The threesome — along with a few others — led their teams to three Naugatuck Valley League championships in three seasons this year, and didn’t lose a single competition to NVL foes in the process.
Baz, Beaulieu, and Madormo helped Woodland boys’ soccer, indoor track, and outdoor track teams to league titles. They, along with senior Joe Laliberte and juniors Nick LaPerriere, Nick Hebert, and Scott Seigle were the only other Hawks on the rosters for all three squads.
That’s never happened before. A handful of athletes won two titles in one year before (see a few of the 2009 volleyball-2010 softball girls, for example), but not three.
“In some years you might have great talent in one sport,” said Beaulieu, one of the Hawks’ goaltenders and a relay specialist. “But for us, we had great talent in every season. Everything just came together for us and we won.”
Of course, the threesome can’t agree on which championship was the best.
Madormo says Woodland’s runaway title in outdoor track was his favorite. He earned All-New England and All-State honors as part of the school’s record-breaking 4-by-400-meter relay team, and finished his last two seasons of hurdles undefeated in the NVL.
“I just busted my butt for four years,” Madormo said. “It all came together for me this season.”
Baz picks the Hawks’ first soccer crown as his top achievement. Woodland staged a second-half comeback to beat Watertown, 2-1, in the NVL final at a packed Municipal Stadium. Baz was an All-NVL defender.
“We had been playing together for a long time,” Baz said. “It all culminated in one year.”
Beaulieu remembers the final seconds of the soccer win, which sealed an 18-0-1 record against NVL opponents.
“I had the ball in the last seconds of play and the Watertown kid laid me out because it was over,” Beaulieu said. “I was just lying on the turf and everyone came running over to me. I was so tired.”
But Beaulieu’s favorite remains the school’s thrilling victory at the NVL indoor track championships. Woodland won the 4-by-400 relay in the final race of the event to overtake Naugatuck for the title.
“I remember I had my head down when it looked like Naugy was going to win,” Beaulieu said. “The winner of that race would win the title. I thought we were done.”
Madormo fondly recalls that title-clinching race, too.
“Naugy was all excited because they thought they had won,” Madormo said. “But then out of nowhere Nick [LaPerriere] came from way behind and won. We were all out on the track and Coach [Jeff] Lownds was yelling at us to get off the track so we wouldn’t get disqualified. I’ll never forget that race.”
But more than a single moment or championship, the group holds on to one memory above all.
“Us being together for all three seasons,” Madormo said. “We all get along really well and we always have fun, no matter what. It was cool winning all three titles with each other.”
It took a stable of Woodland athletes 11 years to pull off the triple-title feat. Beaulieu thinks his group’s achievement might stand alone for at least that much longer.
“I don’t think it’s going to be done for a while,” Beaulieu said. “It can’t just be you. It’s a whole team effort for three seasons. We just had a lot of talent this year.”
Dietz becomes first two-time All-New England athlete
While seven Woodland athletes made history with each other, one more made his own name stand out like none before.
Eric Dietz became the first Hawk not only to become a two-time All-New England athlete, but to earn both honors in the same year.
Dietz broke the school record and led the state with 36 goals in helping Woodland to its first-ever boys soccer championship and a second straight NVL Brass Division title.
In the process, he earned All-New England, All-State, and All-NVL honors, and was named the NVL Top Senior.
After earning All-NVL status during the swimming season, Dietz once again reached the same milestones he earned during soccer season. As part of the 4-by-400-meter relay team that broke Class M and school records, he earned All-New England, All-State, and All-NVL honors.
Dietz went from being the fourth Woodland athlete ever to achieve All-New England status once to becoming the first ever to gain such recognition twice.
“I was actually surprised,” Dietz said. “I thought there was at least one other person to do it. It made me really excited and my parents really excited.”
Dietz, who graduated Wednesday and will attend Keene State College in the fall, said the soccer honors meant a little more to him because he’s been playing since he was 5 years old. But being part of the Class of 2012 — one of the winningest classes in school history — meant just as much.
“Our class is definitely one of the most athletic in the history of the school,” Dietz said. “We put in all our hard work and we proved it by winning all our championships.”