Round of Applause
The Guinness World Record kickball gamewas insanely incredible, and this is my first chance to give the participants the kudos they deserve. Congratulations must go to everyone who was involved in the game two weeks ago in Naugatuck. I am proud to say that I watched a solid six or seven hours of the 54-hour, 345-inning game at Linden Park with a few friends, and it was a blast. The whole event was great, and if you didn’t stop by for at least a little while, you really missed out. The only disappointment of the event was that nobody was able to kick one over the fence (unless it happened during the last few hours), because I was ready to retrieve that ball like a champion and do my part to keep the game going.
Bubba Watson is perhaps my most favorite Masters champion ever. He’s never received any training or any lessons — much less studied his swing on video. He just goes out there and lets it rip. Watching him play the last few holes on Sunday was immensely enjoyable (those who dismiss watching golf as boring are sorely mistaken when it comes to weekends of major tournaments), and nothing was better than watching his crazy 40-yard hook from 150 yards out in the woods. You all know how much I enjoy rooting for Americans when it comes to international sporting events, and Watson may have just established himself as my new favorite guy to root for.
The Woodland Regional High School Hall of Fame is still seeking nominations for its second induction class. Visit the WRHS Hall of Fame’s website at halloffame.wrhsonline.net to read the criteria and nominate a candidate. Retired teachers and staff, former coaches, and athletes and alumni from the class of 2006 and prior are all eligible for this round of nominations. Last year, the WRHS Hall of Fame inducted six members into its initial class. The Committee (which includes me) really, really needs your nominations so make sure to take a few minutes out of your day and head to the website to nominate a deserving candidate. The deadline is April 20.
Chorus of Boos
The wind has been absolutely brutal lately. We knew we were all spoiled when the temperature hit 80 degrees midway through last month, but I think we could all settle for the mid-50s and low 60s — if it weren’t so windy. It has been constantly windy for three weeks straight. It takes effort to watch a baseball game in the wind. The wind just ruins everything. If it were a breeze, it would be tolerable. But it’s not breezy. It’s windy. Please, stop. Please.
Word from the Woods
The Hawks are off to an 0-3 start after losses to St. Paul, Watertown, and Seymour in the first week of the season. Last Wednesday, Woodland fell to the Falcons, 15-9, in Bristol. Despite 13 hits — including multiple-hit performances by Anthony Scirpo, Tanner Kingsley, Brian Langdon, Joe Fancher, and Dave Uhl — the Hawks couldn’t overcome four defensive errors and 11 unearned runs allowed. Woodland’s bats went silent last Thursday in a 5-1 loss to Watertown. Scirpo, Kingsley, and Anthony Ross registered the only hits for the Hawks, who squandered a strong pitching effort by Langdon due to six more errors. Woodland fell to 0-3 on Monday in a nine-inning loss to Seymour. The Hawks led, 2-0, and 4-1, but the Wildcats rallied in the late innings to tie it in the seventh and force extras. Seymour won with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on an error. Woodland pounded 10 hits in the game — including seven total by Langdon, Steve Baeder, and Ross — but four errors allowed the Wildcats back into the game. The Hawks were set to begin a three-game homestand on Wednesday starting with Derby, before games against Ansonia on Friday and Wolcott on Monday.
Woodland’s defense of its Naugatuck Valley League championship is off to a perfect start as the Hawks are 4-0 through the first week of the season. Woodland routed Watertown (8-1), Crosby (9-0), and Torrington (8-1), while taking a closer, 6-3 victory over Sacred Heart. The Hawks’ top players — Kyle Beynor, Jimmy Tompkins, Matt Murphy, and Steve Pec — are all undefeated while Pat Dietz, Nick Rioux, Chris Zmuda, Mike Patsiarikas, Pat Mulholland, Mike Ventimiglia, Joahn Haile, Kevin Kozera, and Vigan Mulahu have all posted wins in singles, doubles, or both. Beynor improved his career record to 24-0 with the four opening victories. This week, the Hawks will host Holy Cross on Thursday and Wolcott on Monday before visiting Crosby next Wednesday.
Track and Field
Both the Woodland boys and girls are off to perfect, 5-0 starts — including 4-0 in the NVL — after sweeping a pair of meets in the first week of the season. After routing Wilby and Bullard Havens Tech last Wednesday, the Hawks swept Wolcott, Kennedy, and St. Paul on Tuesday. Boys event winners included the 4-by-100-meter relay team of Mike Lang, Tim Madormo, Jon Alarcon, and Nick LaPerriere; Madormo in the 110 and 300 hurdles; Eric Dietz in the 400; Alarcon in the 200; the 4-by-400 relay team of LaPerriere, Marc Beaulieu, Madormo, and Dietz; Mike Torselli in the pole vault; Levi Fancher in the shot put; Dave LaChance in the discus; Scott Lang in the javelin; and Mike Lang in the long and triple jumps. Girls event winners included the 4-by-100 relay team of Jiye Park, Steph Dumond, Ashley Michie, and Tayler Boncal; Michie in the 100; Boncal in the 200 and 400; Alaina Neddermann in the 800; the 4-by-400 relay team of Dumond, Jazmyn Menzies, Sydney Corneau, and Neddermann; Claire Burke in the pole vault; Erika Tyrrell in the discus; Ashley Riley in the long jump; and Park in the triple jump. The Woodland boys will travel to Naugatuck on Tuesday for a meet against the Greyhounds and Crosby, while the girls will have the same meet on Wednesday.
The Naugatuck girls are off to a 2-1 start to the season after wins over Holy Cross and Sacred Heart. Last Wednesday, the Greyhounds squandered a four-run first inning and fell to Wolcott, 7-6. Sarah Chandler and Nina Kosciuszek each had two RBI for the ‘Hounds while Alexa Marucci struck out 10. Last Thursday, Naugy used a three-run sixth inning to pull away with a 6-1 win over Holy Cross. Marucci allowed just three hits while striking out six. Sydney Cotto had two hits and three runs, Kara Klimaszeski added two hits and an RBI, Erica Bohuski chipped in two RBI, and Shannon Searles contributed two hits. In Monday’s 5-0 win over Sacred Heart, Marucci tossed a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts. Gillian Fortier had two hits and a run, while Searles added two hits and an RBI while Chandler scored a pair of runs and drove in another. After a game at Kennedy on Wednesday, Naugy will visit Wilby on Friday before hosting Crosby on Monday. The ‘Hounds have a key divisional game at Torrington next Wednesday.
Both Naugy tennis squads are off to 3-1 starts through the first week of the season. The boys routed Holy Cross (7-2), Torrington (9-0), and Sacred Heart (7-2) after suffering a 5-4 loss at Wolcott to open the season. Jake Morrissey, the Greyhounds’ No. 1, is undefeated, as are fellow singles players Lain Burger and Mike Popescu. Jake Burrell, Nick Hernandez, Randy Kostka, Tyler Pesser, Marcos Velasco, Yun Chao Chen, Yun Yue Chen, Jeff Hensley, Jake Gingold, Nate Lindsley, and Namgyal Rakagme have all picked up victories in the first week. The girls have also cruised in their three wins over Wolcott (6-1), Holy Cross (6-1), and Sacred Heart (7-0), while losing a close, 4-3 contest to Torrington. Kaitlin Carter and Andrea Jimenez are both undefeated in singles play while Katie Bottinick, Miranda Jang, Hannah Kim, Kayla Rotatori, Alexa Ramos, Lani Chucta, Martina Niebrzydowski, Kayla Gallant, and Mikaela Santo have all recorded victories. The boys will host Kennedy on Thursday and Wilby on Friday before visiting Crosby on Monday, while the girls were set to visit Kennedy on Wednesday and Wilby on Friday before hosting Crosby on Monday.
Track and Field
The Naugatuck boys and girls are both off to 2-1 starts after their first meets of the season last week. Both the boys and girls beat Seymour and Derby but fell to defending league champion Watertown. Event winners for the boys included the 4-by-100 relay team of Colin Reilly, Mick Pernell, Patrick Alves, and Nathaniel Buie, and Reilly in the 800. Event winners for the girls included the 4-by-800 relay team of Lindsey Thoren, Jordyn Allen, Carla Soares, and Katarina Gullotta, and Allen in the 800, 1,600, and 3,200. The boys will host Woodland and Crosby on Tuesday before the girls host the same meet on Wednesday.