BEACON FALLS — For Woodland coach Tim Shea and some of his football players, there is little time to relax after the season ends on the gridiron. Instead, it’s time to get started on a new year of indoor track.
Shea, along with cross country coach Jeff Lownds and a number of athletes from various fall sports, recently began training for one of the unsung seasons that begins this week with the first developmental meet at Wesleyan University.
“The last two weeks of one sport and the first two weeks of another of sport are tough,” Shea said. “I really don’t have too much time to dwell on one sport to get on to the other. It’s something I’ve always done, so it’s something I do. I’m not afforded a lot of time but we do it.”
Shea (boys) and Lownds (girls) are joined by assistant coaches Adam Schultz, Brian Maglione.
“On paper, we’re the head coaches,” Lownds said. “But we all coach our own areas. Adam works with hurdlers and jumpers, Brian works with sprinters and relays, and Marc is our volunteer pole vault coach. It’s a nice mix.”
Both the boys and girls placed in the top five at last year’s Naugatuck Valley League championships. The boys were third behind champion Watertown and runner-up Naugatuck while the girls placed fifth.
The boys, led by captains Adam Baz, Marc Beaulieu, Matt Moutinho, and Mike Torselli, return a number of athletes who were competitive during last year’s indoor season.
Anthony Scirpo and Nick LaPerriere are expected to be two of the Hawks’ top sprinters while Baz, Beaulieu, and Andy Hale should be strong contributors to the mid-distance events. Brett Fowler was a finalist in last year’s 55-meter hurdles.
Moutinho, Nick Hebert, Joe Reynolds, Ian Chamenko and return after strong long-distance efforts last season, while Tim Madormo, the league outdoor champion in the 110-meter hurdles, looks for more gold in his senior year.
Mike Lang (jumps), Torselli (pole vault), sprinters Scott Seigle, Jon Alaron, Connor Chura, and Daemion Powell as well as throwers Andrew Duncan, Dave Lachance, and Levi Fancher should also be competitive.
Shea said it’s tough to know how the individuals will stack up against this year’s competition until they see other athletes in action.
“Until we go out and see the other competition, we can’t really tell,” Shea said. “I think a few weeks after Christmas we’ll be able to make a better judgment.”
Shea also pointed to the boys relay teams, which are historically among the top units in the league. The 4-by-200, 4-by-400, and 1600 sprint medley relay squads all won league championships during last indoor season and have several components returning.
“We’ve done pretty well in the relays in the last few years,” Shea said. “The boys take pride in them. We hope to continue that into this year. They changed the 4-by-200 to the beginning of the meet, so hopefully that will benefit us.”
A number of talented athletes also return on the girls side. Sprinters Jiye Park, Steph Dumond, and Ashley Riley all return after top-eight finishes in last year’s 55-meter dash. Park and Riley will also compete in jumping events. Riley, the team’s captain, is the defending champion in the long jump.
Tayler Boncal was one of the top mid-distance runners in the league last season for both the indoor and outdoor squads. She returns for her junior year.
“Tayler is very, very talented,” Lownds said. “This is her second year of indoor and she really made a name for herself in both indoor and outdoor last year.”
A pair of sisters should also help the Hawks. Long-distance runners Melissa and Steph Kiley as well as throwers Nikole and Erika Tyrrell should be point contenders for the girls.
Also expected to contribute are Sydney Corneau (mid-distance), Alaina Neddermann (hurdles), Miranda Moffat (long-distance), Claire Burke (pole vault), Audra Blewitt (relays), and Kim Thrasher (jumps/pole vault).
“It’s not a great big squad but I think it’s a squad that potentially has a lot of talent and can do quite well,” Lownds said. “The goal is to compete for medals at the league and state meets.”