Round of Applause
Divisional playin Naugatuck Valley League football is such a great idea. We had Small and Large divisions for years, but those were always sort of obscure and didn’t hold much weight. Since 2007, though, the Brass and Copper divisions have added a new, extremely exciting element to each season. This year’s Copper Division football race might be the most exciting one in the five-year history of the alignment. Naugatuck, Woodland, Holy Cross, and Torrington are all very capable of winning the division. It’s not completely out of the question that we’ll end up with a three-way tie at 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the division, or maybe even four 4-2 records in the division. Thank goodness we’ve straightened out the tiebreaker rules. Oh wait, we’ve never tried out the three- or four-team tiebreaking procedures. Oh boy.
Twitter will be the focus of this week’s shameless plug and advertisement. If you haven’t already done so, you really should follow us on Twitter for live scoring updates of your favorite teams and all sorts of other tidbits. My personal account is @kylebrennan1, where you’ll find all sorts of awesomeness, including live and final scoring updates from local sports, other bits of information, my random thoughts, and details to generally make your life better. Of course, if you want the substance without the flair, you can follow us at @mycitizensnews, where you’ll get local scoring and news updates from both the sports world and the news world. How does it get any better?
Chorus of Boos
The Red Sox locker room situation over the last month of the season was ridiculous. We’re finally getting to know a little more about what was going on internally during the team’s historic September collapse, which was the biggest downfall over the final month of the season in baseball history. Reports say some players—particularly starting pitchers who had the day off—were playing video games, drinking beer, and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse while a game was going on. Not supporting teammates is a pet peeve of mine and I’m sure of many others, and I’m not sure there’s any more blatant example of such a violation as this. This certainly does some explaining as to why the Red Sox’ starting pitching was as awful as it was during September, which was the biggest reason the team failed to make the playoffs. It’s too bad that these guys who didn’t take their jobs seriously spoiled the party for the hard-working guys on the team like Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz, and others. Oh well.
Mother Nature has once again earned her obligatory chastising from me and a spot in the Chorus of Boos with her ridiculous choice of weather over the last few weeks. So far this fall season, I’ve watched a football game on an 80-degree-and-humid-as-heck day, a 40-degree-and-crisp night, and a downpour like none I’ve ever stood in. I’ve sweated, shivered, and shriveled so far, and I’m pretty sick of it. All I’m asking is that I’m able to wear my fancy camouflage hoodie and a nice winter cap with my jeans and work boots to a game and be comfortable. I’m practically asking to put more clothes on. I’m so tired of sweating this year. No more, please.
Word from the Woods
The Woodland volleyball team remained the only perfect squad in the Naugatuck Valley League with two, close victories last week. Last Thursday, the Hawks beat Holy Cross, 3-2, before they dismissed Naugatuck, 3-1, last Friday. Against the Crusaders, Woodland rallied from a 2-0 deficit to stay unbeaten. Holy Cross won the first two games (25-21, 25-11) before the Hawks stormed back to win the final three (25-18, 25-16, 15-13). Adriana Ambari paced Woodland with 19 kills, four aces, and three blocks while Tayler Boncal had 12 digs and 10 kills. Emily Wirsing tallied 33 assists, 21 digs, and three aces, Erin Wester had five kills, and Nicole Fowler made 19 digs and four aces. The victory over Naugatuck improved Woodland to 11-0 on the season. The Hawks were set to travel to Torrington on Wednesday night before a pair of home matches against Watertown on Friday and Seymour on Tuesday.
Both the Woodland boys and girls cross country teams enjoyed a week off to prepare for their meets at Seymour High against the Wildcats and Holy Cross, which was set for Wednesday afternoon. That meet is the final regular-season contest for the Hawks before they compete at the NVL championships on Oct. 19 at Veteran’s Park in Watertown.
Naugatuck’s final regular-season cross country meet was set for Wednesday afternoon in a five-team meet at Veteran’s Park in Watertown. The Greyhounds will square off with Watertown, Wilby, Wolcott, and Sacred Heart in their final meet before the NVL championships. That meet will be run on Oct. 19 at Veteran’s Park.
CN Athletes of the Week
Kenny Mo’s pick
The Naugatuck volleyball team came into this season having to replace its entire starting rotation. Counting on some of the new players to step up the Greyhounds came out and knocked off Holy Cross and Torrington early to gain a little attention. Last week, the ‘Hounds ripped off another pair of wins, shutting out Watertown and sweeping Crosby, to even their record at 5-5 on the season. That effort was helped by Naugatuck’s Jess Buckley.
With 10 games to play qualifying for the state tournament is well within the Greyhounds’ grasp. Buckley has emerged as a stabilizing influence among the young Greyhounds. Against Watertown, Buckley had 13 service points, 18 assists and four aces to pace the team to victory. She showed just how dominating she can be against Crosby, putting up 25 service points and 26 assists to earn my athlete of the week honor.
While there are three teams at Woodland which have yet to lose a contest, only one of those squads is completely perfect—the Hawks’ volleyball team. Despite losing two all-NVL players—one of which was all-state setter Jess Patrizi—Woodland has maintained its winning ways thanks to a few veterans spread throughout the floor. One of those returners has made plenty of noise this season—Woodland’s Adriana Ambari.
Ambari has been fantastic at net for the Brass Division leader. Her abilities to spike kills, rise high for blocks, serve consistently, and toss in the occasional pass or dig have been crucial for helping the Hawks pull out three five-game victories. In a comeback victory against Holy Cross last Thursday, Ambari tallied 19 kills, four aces, and three blocks to help the Hawks squeak out another victory. Her silent star power earns her my athlete of the week award.