‘Hounds pacing themselves in rebuilding year


Naugatuck High School cross country captains senior Samantha Hilse and sophomore Dan Schumacher lead the team in stretching before practice on Monday. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck boys and girls cross country teams come into this season back at the starting line and looking to find replacements after losing their strengths to graduation.

Last season the boys won the Naugatuck Valley League Copper Division for the second year in a row with a 10-1 record and finished second at both the NVL and Class L championship meets.

The trio of Muad Hrezi (2010 Class L state champion), Nick Moriello and Jake Simons led the Hounds to a 20-2 league record over the past two seasons.

The Naugy girls also won the Copper Division and finished third in the league with a 9-2 mark as they were led by Shannon Hale.

“This is going to be a rebuilding year for Naugatuck cross country,” said coach Bill Hanley, who is 80-4 in seven years with the boys and is set to start his second year as the girls coach. “We will measure our success by how we improve on our times rather than our won/loss record.”

The Naugatuck boys team will be led by senior captain Mike Uva and sophomore captain Dan Schumacher.

“We have a great group of young runners willing to put in the hard work for the boys team,” Hanley said.

The girls will be led by senior captain Samantha Hilse. The Greyhounds also have a strong group of juniors led by long-distance track runner Jordyn Allen, along with Caitlyn Colella and Madison Beasley. Sophomore Lindsey Thorne will also make an impact for the young ‘Hounds.

“Our girls team is predominantly freshman and sophomores,” Hanley said. “They are following senior captain Samantha Hilse’s example.”

The Greyhounds will get a chance to see where they stand Saturday at the Windham Invitational. The Greyhounds open the NVL season at home Tuesday when they host one of the top teams in the league, Wolcott, along with Kennedy and Holy Cross.