Round of Applause
Rentschler Field is a really, really nice facility. I had the pleasure of covering last week’s state football championships from the press box at The Rent, and it really is a gorgeous place to watch and play a football game. I wasn’t the biggest fan of having teams from so far away ship all the way up to East Hartford to play state championship games, but being there myself and seeing how the players reacted to competing on such a fancy stage changed my mind. Plus, it was the nicest place I’ve ever covered a football game. The press box gives a great view of the entire field and is very accommodating (by the way, thanks for the free Subway!). Plus, I had the trip from the press box to the field down to about a four-minute walk/elevator ride/jog. Now, the only thing that would make it better someday is to have one of our teams up there…
The Naugatuck Valley League would be incredibly wise to partner up with the South-West Conference for the next two football seasons. A major knock on the NVL (and recently, the SWC) is that there is only very limited quality competition and therefore its best teams do not stack up very well against teams from the Southern Connecticut Conference or the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference. This partnership would be an absolutely fantastic idea. The top halves of both leagues are usually pretty strong, and matchups we could see are very intriguing. How about Ansonia-Masuk, Holy Cross-Pomperaug, Naugatuck-Newtown, and Woodland-Bunnell games? Not only would those games be extremely exciting, but it would help to boost the reputations of both leagues. I have been calling for this on the area football blogs for some time now (I wish I could take credit for this hopefully becoming reality, but I don’t think I’m quite that important) and it would just be totally awesome to see it happen in 2012 and 2013.
Christmas is somehow just over a week away, and I still have no idea how that is the case. I’ve been so incredibly busy with fall sports coverage and end-of-semester schoolwork that I’m just now realizing what time of year we’re in. In my younger days (I seem to be saying that a lot), I used to have the Christmas lights and mini tree up in my room the day after Thanksgiving. Needless to say, I do not have such decorations up (partly because my room looks like a war zone, but that’s for another day). I mean, it would really help get me in the spirit if we could get some snow! We had it in October, why can’t we have it in December? Sigh…
Chorus of Boos
The Cincinnati-Xavier fight was a total disgrace. If you didn’t catch it, it was nothing less than a full-scale brawl just before the end of the cross-town rivalry game last week. Xavier player Tu Holloway (whose skill had been challenged by a Cincinnati player leading up to the game) taunted the Bearcats’ bench with about 10 seconds to play, initiating a string of punches and kicks. The most jarring shot was fired by Cincinnati’s Yancy Gates, who sucker-punched Xavier’s Kenny Frease and cut open a wide gash near his eye. Another Cincy player kicked Frease as he tried to get up.
Word from the Woods
The new-look Woodland boys got their season underway at St. Paul on Wednesday and will play their home opener on Friday night against Watertown. Next week, the Hawks travel to Seymour on Tuesday night before their final game prior to Christmas against Derby on Dec. 22 in Beacon Falls. In fact, Woodland opens the season with five-straight games in the NVL Brass Division, a division in which several teams could be possible contenders.
The Hawks, playing their first game under interim head coach Jess Moffo, fell to Wolcott last Wednesday, 45-28. Woodland led, 10-7, after the first quarter and trailed, 20-16, at the half, but the Hawks were outscored, 25-12, in the second half. Andrea Piccolo led Woodland with eight points while Shannon Meany and Alma Rizvani each scored six. Carli Mariotti added four. After a week off, the Hawks hosted St. Paul on Wednesday night and will hit the road to Watertown on Friday. Woodland will host Seymour on Tuesday before visiting Derby in the final game before Christmas on Dec. 22.
Woodland began its season on Wednesday with a home meet against Sacred Heart. The Hawks have two nonleague dual meets before Christmas when they host Haddam-Killingworth on Tuesday and travel to Pomperaug on Dec. 22. Woodland then enjoys three weeks off before resuming dual-meet competition on Jan. 10 against Naugatuck.
Two developmental meets are already under the Hawks’ belts as they have made two trips to Wesleyan University so far this month. Woodland will make its first visit to Glastonbury High on Thursday before the Wilton Invitational on Saturday. The Hawks’ final meet of the calendar year will be Dec. 27 at Newtown before they take nearly a month off from competition.
The promising Greyhounds began their season on Wednesday at Wolcott before their first home game of the season against league favorite Holy Cross on Friday. Naugy will travel to Sacred Heart on Tuesday before their final game prior to Christmas on Dec. 23 against Kennedy. The ‘Hounds will compete in the tough NVL Copper Division but return most key contributors from last season.
Naugatuck’s first dual meet of the season is set for Friday at home against Glastonbury, traditionally one of the state’s stronger swimming programs. That is the only dual meet of the calendar year for the Greyhounds, which will also host their annual alumni meet on Dec. 23. Naugy picks up its schedule in 2012 with its first meet on Jan. 3 against Seymour.