With summer vacation underway in Naugatuck and about to start in Region 16, we’d like to take a moment to look back at some of the top sports stories out of Naugatuck High and Woodland with a focus on after the calendar turned to 2017. We picked our top 10 and listed them in no particular order.
Bojka reaches a milestone: Woodland senior Morina Bojka became the fourth girls basketball player for the Hawks to break the 1,000-point scoring mark. Bojka converted the 1,000th point on a foul shot in a 55-47 win over Waterbury Career Academy on Jan. 20. She scored 488 career points in two years with Chase Collegiate and 574 points in her junior and senior years with the Hawks.
Seeger’s record-breaking performance: Naugatuck junior Aren Seeger broke the NVL record in the 300 hurdles at the NVL indoor track and field championship in January. Seeger finished well ahead of the field with a record-breaking time of 36.47.
Bruno resigns as head football coach: Naugatuck head football coach Craig Bruno resigned in January after four seasons with the Greyhounds. The controversial coach, with his bold offensive strategies, compiled a 30-12 record and led the Greyhounds to a 2014 semifinal appearance in the Class L playoffs.
Sollazzo named Naugatuck’s football coach: It took the Naugatuck Board of Education about two months to find the Greyhounds’ new football coach. The board hired David Sollazzo as the new coach in March. Sollazzo comes to the Greyhounds with a wealth of experience having coached at the college ranks, including an appearance in the 2002 Orange Bowl and victories in the 2002 Peach Bowl and the 2004 Gator Bowl while an assistant coach at Maryland.
Clark dives to NVL title: Woodland sophomore Riley Clark won the 1 meter diving championship at the NVL meet with a score of 394.45 in 11 dives. He outscored Ben Gomes of Sacred Heart (393.40) by 1.05 points.
Woodland girls win 6th straight indoor title: Woodland girls track head coach Jeff Lownds has been there since the school in Beacon Falls opened its doors. Along the way, Lownds has built a dynasty when it comes to girls track. This past winter, the Hawks captured their sixth straight NVL indoor track title.
Hawks win 5th outdoor title in a row: The Woodland girls dynasty on the track kept right on rolling into the spring. Different teams every year are closing in on the Woodland girls outdoor track team, but in the end they can’t track down the Hawks. The girls won their fifth straight NVL championship in May.
Dean pitching around the world: Former Naugatuck Greyhound pitcher Pat Dean continued his amazing journey through professional baseball. After a stellar career for Boston College and a seven-year hitch with the Minnesota Twins organization that saw him make his Major League debut in 2016, Dean signed to pitch for the Kia Tigers in the Korean Baseball League in South Korea. In just his third start Dean threw a complete game, allowing seven hits, two runs and striking out nine.
Mayne goes out in style: Woodland senior Ally Mayne has been trying to win the NVL singles championship in girls tennis for the past three years. Mayne reached the semifinals in her sophomore season and fell in the championship match as a junior. After getting shutout 6-0 in the first set in this year’s final against St. Paul’s Natasha Kempes, Mayne stormed back to win the next two sets 6-1, 6-1 to claim the title on her home court in May.
Schofield ends career as state champion: Naugatuck senior Erin Schofield has made some big throws in her career for the Greyhounds, but none was bigger than the 114 feet, 2 inches she threw to win the Class L state championship in the javelin in late May.