We’re almost closer to next school year than last, but CN is still in retrospective mode as we hit the middle of July. This week, we conclude our remembrance of the best that the Hawks and ‘Hounds had to offer during the last sporting year.
In the last of a three-part series, we’ll take a look back at the top 10 local athletes from the class of 2011. There wouldn’t be any memorable sports moments or games without the fantastic athletes who excelled on the field, court, track, and pool. We’ve picked 10 of the best from this graduating class, listed alphabetically.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the last three weeks of looking back at the top sports stories, games, and athletes Naugatuck and Woodland gave us over the last year. Here’s to another exciting year beginning in just a couple of months.
Top 10 Senior Athletes
Lindsay Boland (Woodland volleyball, diving, softball): One of few athletes who excelled in three, different varsity sports, Lindsay Boland was a standout for the Hawks in every season. She helped lead the volleyball team to a return trip to the NVL championship game, broke the boys school diving record, and was one of the top hitting and fielding outfielders in the state.
Jack DeBiase (Woodland football, baseball): The Jack of all trades was a starter on the Hawks’ varsity football and baseball teams since his sophomore year and did it all in his last year. Jack DeBiase set the school’s career rushing and tackles records while earning all-state first team honors and put himself near the top of several baseball career stats, also being named all-state.
Aaron Echevarria (Naugatuck football): The signature game of Aaron Echevarria’s career game on Thanksgiving against Ansonia when he recorded five sacks and helped the Greyhounds’ defense hold Montrell Dobbs to under 150 yards rushing, a season low. Echevarria earned all-NVL and all-state first team honors as he helped lead Naugy to its first NVL title since 2001.
Heather Framski (Woodland volleyball, basketball): Gumby wrapped up an amazing two-sport career with an incredible year. Heather Framski was an all-NVL volleyball player with abilities all over the court, but she’ll be most remembered for her basketball career. She became the only two-time all-state player in school history and set the school scoring record with 1,261 points.
Jamaal Gee (Naugatuck football, track): Not only was Jamaal Gee a contributor to Naugatuck’s first league football title in 10 years, he was an outstanding sprinter who cemented himself as one of the best athletes in the Valley. He swept the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the NVL outdoor championships and earned two second-place finishes at the Class L championships.
Tiago Martins (Naugatuck soccer): Perhaps the most talented soccer player in the state, Tiago Martins had a phenomenal career at Naugatuck. A part of three NVL championship teams, Martins was a multi-time all-NVL, all-state, and all-New England selection and an All-American his junior year. He led the ‘Hounds back to another NVL title game this season.
Jessica Patrizi (Woodland volleyball): CN chose Jessica Patrizi as Woodland’s volleyball player of the decade after her junior season and she lived up to that honor during her senior season. Patrizi led the Hawks to another NVL title game appearance, again earned a spot on the all-NVL team, was the league’s top senior, and became the first player in team history to go all-state.
Yahmad Rountree (Woodland basketball): An extremely versatile player, Yahmad Rountree was a threat to score every time on offense and grab a rebound every time on defense. Rountree became the first player in program history to earn all-NVL honors after he set the team’s single-season scoring record and led the Hawks to their first postseason win since 2005.
Stephanie Santos (Naugatuck soccer): The Naugatuck girls soccer team had plenty of solid players over the last few years, but none was better than Stephanie Santos. The extremely talented Greyhound earned several all-NVL and all-state honors while helping Naugy return to the NVL championship game and had the utmost respect of every coach in the area.
Amanze Williams (Naugatuck track): The most decorated local track athlete in years, Amanze Williams won nearly everything that there was to be won in 2011. He swept the three jumping events at the NVL outdoor championships before winning the long and triple jumps at the Class L meet. He was the State Open long jump champ and won both jumps at the New England meet.