Round of Applause
Academic all-stars were unveiled in last week’s Republican-American, and a number of local athletes earned the well-deserved honors. Hawks and Greyhounds who earned academic all-star status included Kathryn Bottinick (Naugatuck girls soccer), Kaitlin Carter (Naugatuck girls soccer), Michael Martins (Naugatuck boys soccer), Seth Stevens (Woodland boys soccer), Lauren Andreoli (Naugatuck volleyball), Brian Reis (Woodland football), Anthony Scirpo (Woodland football), and Ian Chamenko (Woodland boys cross country). Congratulations to all the athletes who were honored as academic all-stars and to all those who were nominated.
Kyle Brennan was the only Citizen’s News writer who picked the Giants to win the Super Bowl. I win.
Madonna’s halftime show was actually pretty good, I thought. Before Sunday, I had never heard a full Madonna song, much less seen her perform. Perhaps I am reverse-dating myself? I’ve never really understood that phrase. Every person has to explain that they’re not in a relationship with oneself the first time one uses that phrase on unlearned ears. But anyway, I thought the halftime show was really good. It was very visually entertaining with a really cool stage and light show. There was that crazy man bouncing and flipping on the tightrope that appeared out of nowhere. Madonna almost fell down once, but that’s to be expected from a woman of her advanced age (apologies to folks 53 and older for that choice of words). I didn’t mind that most of her singing was probably lip synched, because I just want to hear something pleasing to my ear instead of somebody screeching to get somewhere around the notes. I know for sure that the performance was way better than whatever the Black Eyed Peas did last year and whatever Mick Jagger did a few years ago. Oh, and the halftime show was way better than another entertainment aspect of the Super Bowl.
Chorus of Boos
The Super Bowl commercials were very possibly the worst that I can ever remember. I know I’m not the only person out there who expects the commercials to make me laugh (while this year’s football game made me cry). This year’s commercials elicited no such laughter. I don’t know if many of you remember, but FedEx had an advertisement a few years ago about the 10 ways to make a hilariously effective Super Bowl commercial. Here’s what FedEx came up with: 1) a celebrity; 2) an animal; 3) a dancing animal; 4) a cute kid; 5) a groin kick; 6) a talking animal; 7) attractive females; 8 ) product message; 9) famous pop song; 10) bonus ending. No other commercial came up with more than three of these items this year. I think most of us can agree that the groin kick is among the most important of these items, and there were no groin shots this year. How disappointing. However, I will say that I liked the Chevrolet apocalypse commercial featuring Twinkies, the M&Ms dancing ad, and three of the commercials featuring dogs. Better luck next year, companies willing to spend $3 million and produce garbage.
Word from the Woods
The Woodland boys lost their only dual meet of last week in an 86-79 defeat to Holy Cross last Friday. Event winners for the Hawks included Pat O’Dell (200 IM, 100 backstroke), Eric Dietz (50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke), Michael Christiano (diving), Andy O’Dell (100 free), and the 400 free relay team of the O’Dell brothers, Aidan Music, and Alan Katrenya. Woodland was also set to host Northwestern after press time on Wednesday. The Hawks hit the road for two meets this week, at Wilby on Friday and at Oxford on Tuesday, before wrapping up the regular season at home against Kennedy on Feb. 17.
Following their dual Naugatuck Valley League championship victories, the Woodland indoor track squads will compete for state championships this weekend at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. The girls will compete in Friday’s Class S championships before the boys compete in Saturday’s Class M meet. Individual qualifiers for the boys meet include Jonathan Alarcon (55m), Adam Baz (600m), Marc Beaulieu (600m), Levi Fancher (shot put), Nick Hebert (1600m), Dave Lachance (shot put), Mike Lang (long jump, high jump), Tim Madormo (55 hurdles, 300m), Nick LaPerriere (300m), and Anthony Scirpo (55m, 300m). Individual qualifiers for the girls meet include Tayler Boncal (55m, 300m), Steph Dumond (55m, 300m), Jiye Park (55m), and Ashley Riley (55 hurdles, long jump). Both teams’ relay groups, which carried the Hawks to the NVL championships, will also compete.
The Naugatuck boys split a pair of games last week to move to 9-7 as they enter the home stretch of the regular season. Last Friday, the Greyhounds fell Holy Cross 76-52 in Waterbury. Naugy was led by Gabe Pulliam (17 points) and Husani Foote (12 points), who were the only two ‘Hounds in double figures. Brandon Kuczenski, Mick Pernell, and Adam Neveski each contributed five points while Pernell, Neveski, Jason Bradley, and Charles McClain all hit shots from downtown. On Tuesday, Naugatuck rebounded to defeat Sacred Heart, 75-63. Kuczenski had perhaps the best game of his career with 35 points and 17 rebounds, while Pernell scored 16 and Pulliam had six points and 13 assists. Naugy will hit the road for its next two games, at Kennedy on Friday and at Wilby on Monday, before returning home for senior night on Feb. 17 against Crosby. The Greyhounds currently are in good position to qualify for the Naugatuck Valley League tournament.
After a pair of runner-up performances at last week’s NVL championships, the Naugatuck indoor track teams will compete at Saturday’s Class L state championship meet at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. Individual qualifiers for the boys meet include Nathaniel Buie (long jump), Matt Harris (600m), Muad Hrezi (1000m, 1600m, 3200m), Nick Moriello (600m, 1000m, 1600m, 3200m), Collin Reilly (300m, 600m), Jake Simons (300m, 600m), Kevin Ugalde (shot put), and Colton Wagner (pole vault). Individual qualifiers for the girls meet include Jordyn Allen (1000m, 1600m, 3200m), Shannon Hale (55 hurdles, 300m), Georgette Nixon (300m), Brianna Ritter (shot put), and Alexis Simmons (high jump).