Overtime with Kyle Brennan


Round of Applause


For the final time this season, we must extend our congratulations to the Woodland boys tennis team, which had a perfect, 19-0 regular season and earned three medals at the Naugatuck Valley League tournament. The Hawks’ season ended last week at the Class M tournament after several players won matches in the opening and first rounds. Before this season, the Woodland boys tennis program had struggled to break .500 for a season, but third-year coach Jim Amato put all the pieces together for the team’s first championship. Special credit must go to NVL singles champion Mike Krakowski, who won the first singles gold in school history, and NVL doubles runners-up Kyle Beynor and Pat Dietz. Perhaps the best thing for this team is that only two players are graduating, so the league has nothing good to look forward to for at least the next year or two.

Kyle Brennan

Another set of congratulations is owed to the local state track champions, including Woodland’s Scott Lang (javelin) and Naugatuck’s Muad Hrezi (1,600 meters) and Amanze Williams (long, triple jumps). Williams also won the long jump at the State Open and finished third in the Open triple jump. Many more athletes qualified and performed very well at the state championship, as it seems athletes from Woodland and Naugatuck always do.


Summer baseball is about to get underway (and has for some teams). The American Legion baseball seasons start this weekend with the Naugatuck Post 17 and Prospect Beacon Falls Posts 194-25 beginning play. The Legion season is a busy one, usually with five games each week until the middle of July, so there’s plenty of baseball to go watch. In addition, local Little Leagues will be winding down their regular seasons and heading into all-star play, while local amateur teams including the Naugatuck Dogs and the Prospect Hearts of the Tri-State League are already two weeks into their seasons. We’ll have plenty of coverage of all of the local teams throughout the summer with our award-winning staff, so you know where to go for your baseball fix.

For those of you wondering, Rhode Island has been great to me so far. I’m writing this Overtime from the picnic table in my grandparents’ backyard, which is probably my favorite place that I’ve penned this weekly column. The weather couldn’t have been much better so far and I’ve been working with the Newport Gulls, helping to prepare for our season opener on Friday at Cardines Field. If you’ve never been up to watch a game, I’d highly recommend that you do so this summer. We’ve got 22 home games at one of the best places to watch a game that you could imagine (provided you don’t mind paying the toll at the Pell Bridge). I’ll be broadcasting most of our home games, too, so you’re more than welcome to check out our website at newportgulls.com for our schedule and links to live broadcasts.

Congratulations to the inaugural class of the Woodland Regional High School Hall of Fame, which will be (or has been, depending on when you’re reading this) inducted on Thursday night at Woodland. The induction ceremony is the end of what’s been almost a year of planning since I came up with the idea to start the Hall of Fame for the school’s 10th anniversary celebration last summer. Congrats to principal Dr. Arnold Frank, former assistant principal Maureen Carroll, former football coach Chris Anderson, alumni Gina DellaRose and Pat Krakowski, the 2004 Woodland football team, and the Region 16 High School Parents Cooperative for being elected to the first class of the WRHS Hall of Fame.

Chorus of Boos

What’s there to jeer about when I’m spending the summer in Rhode Island? Probably nothing much, but I’m sure I’ll find something for next week.

Lips to CN’s Ear

“I believe the best of Woodland tennis is yet to come. With the return of most starters, I see possibilities of more NVL championships and gold medals. The one thing I hope my team takes from me is that you must never expect anything. You must earn the right to play on that court day in and day out.”

Woodland senior tennis player Mike Krakowski on the future of the Woodland boys tennis program. Krakowski, a three-year top singles player, put together the most successful career in program history, capping it off with the school’s first-ever Naugatuck Valley League singles gold medal. Krakowski will be graduating this month, but the majority of the team will be returning, including NVL doubles runners-up Kyle Beynor and Pat Dietz.

Stat Chat

1 Week until the spring football games for Woodland and Naugatuck; the Hawks will scrimmage on June 17 at 7 p.m. while the ‘Hounds will play on June 18 at 10 a.m.

6 p.m. Start of the annual Beacon Hose Co. No. 1 Firemen’s Parade on North Main Street in Beacon Falls this Saturday

8 Years of the Woodland Classic 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament which I return to help run every year

19 Number of matches played and won during the regular season for the Woodland boys tennis team

23 feet, 7 inches Length of Amanze Williams’ winning long jump at the State Open on Monday, beating Cheshire’s Jake Scinto by two inches

95 Days from Friday until the 2011 football season starts for our local teams; yeah, the countdown’s on already