Those three warm days last week were such a tease …
Round of Applause
Amanze Williams and Muad Hrezi both earn rounds of applause for the second week in a row thanks to a pair of superb performances at Saturday’s State Open indoor track meet. Williams became the Open champion in the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 11.75 inches, just better than Windham’s Evan Rouse and Cheshire’s Jake Scinto. He also placed fifth in the high jump with a mark of 6-02, which was more than 8 inches short of Jamie Tobias’ Open-record leap of 6-10.25. Williams earned 11.50 of Naugatuck’s 15.50 points, which placed the Hounds in ninth place. The Greyhounds’ other four points were contributed by Muad Hrezi, who shaved nearly 30 seconds off his qualifying time in the 3,200-meter run to finish fourth in 9:33.69, about eight seconds behind the winner, Connor Rog. Jamaal Gee also competed in the in the 55-meter dash while Naugatuck’s 4-by-200 and Woodland’s sprint medley relay teams placed 10th and 11th, respectively.
Heather Framski became Woodland’s all-time leading scorer in the Hawks’ 54-52 win over Seymour in Saturday’s Naugatuck Valley League tournament quarterfinals at Holy Cross High. Framski scored 16, including the game-winning jumper with less than a minute to play, to give her 1,171 career points. She passed Jen Valente’s previous mark of 1,157, which the all-stater set in three seasons from 2003-06. Framski added 22 in the loss to Torrington, bumping her total to 1,193 points. She’ll have at least one more game to add to her record total when Woodland hosts a state tournament game on Tuesday. All postseason point totals count toward her career total, so it’s likely that she becomes the first player in school history to hit the 1,200-point mark. Congratulations to Framski, her parents, Jackie and Mark, and her brother, Erik, on the achievement.
Ken Griffey Jr. isn’t staying too far away from baseball after retiring midway through last season. Last week, he was hired as a consultant for the Seattle Mariners, the team with which he became a legend in the 1990s, which should hopefully encourage the Mariners to improve back to the level Griffey had them at in the mid-‘90s (and it’s still baffling to me how that team never won a World Series with the talent on its roster). Not only is Griffey going to stay involved with the Mariners, he’s also still going to promote his iconic Swingman gear, recently appearing in a new round of commercials for Dick’s Sporting Goods. Junior is far and away my favorite player of all-time and I’ll always stick behind two assertions: that if he hadn’t been plagued with injuries he would be the all-time leader in home runs, and that he is one of the three best five-tool players of all-time. I can’t wait until he heads to Cooperstown.
Chorus of Boos
Mud is going to be on the horizon now that snow and ice are starting to melt (even though we’ve had another cold spell this week). But how long is this going to take? Last brought a mixture of the same cold we’ve been dealing with for months but also a look into what will hopefully be a soon-coming spring. This week, we’ve been back to the teens and 20s. The groundhog said we’d have spring here sooner than later—who believed him?—and hopefully that’s the case. Of course, when all of this stuff does melt, there will be baseball and softball fields underneath somewhere. While I’m really looking forward to getting on the diamond as soon as possible, I’m not all that excited about the mud that’s bound to come with it.
Tony’s back after a brief hiatus (celebrating the Packers’ Super Bowl win, of course) to deliver some of his finest takes in quite some time. And here they are…
1. Jim Calhoun shouldn’t be suspended for the first three Big East games next season due to recruiting violations, like the NCAA announced Tuesday.
2. Shout out to our Beacon Falls Subway employees. They make the greatest sandwiches on a consistent basis.
3. For those people who always heckle officials and referees, your opinion doesn’t count. The calls are not going to be changed because you think you’re right.
Lips to CN’s Ear
“We were lazy. I told the girls, ‘What hurts more, getting smacked in the face or getting punched in the face? If you get punched in the face, it hurts a lot more.’ … It looked like maybe we were a little intimidated or nervous. I don’t know.”
– GAIL CHENEY
Woodland girls basketball coach after the Hawks lost to Torrington, 72-48, in Monday’s Naugatuck Valley League tournament semifinals. Woodland’s defense allowed a season-high 72 points and three Red Raiders—Taylor Christiano, Sarah Royals, and Alyssa Otis—scored at least 17 points. Only three Hawks—Heather Framski, Lindsay Feducia, and Kate Tuckey—made more than one basket in the game. Woodland will host a state tournament game Tuesday night.