Round of Applause
Woodland and Naugatuck boys tennis is where it’s at in the Naugatuck Valley League. The Hawks haven’t lost in the league in almost three full seasons, and they’re the only ones to have beaten the Greyhounds this season. Not only are the teams better than everyone else, but the teams’ No. 1 players, Kyle Beynor and Julian Milek, could end up playing for the NVL singles crown later this month. They’ve handed each other their only losses of the season and should they meet in a rubber match for the NVL title, it could be a thrilling afternoon.
The Indiana Pacers are back firmly as my favorite NBA team. Over the last decade, my interest in the NBA has waned significantly for a number of reasons. Pretty simply, it’s not the same as it was when I got into it at the end of the ‘90s and early 2000s. But when I was into it, the Pacers were my favorite team because Reggie Miller was the man. Now the Pacers are playing just like they were way back when and it’s a much better alternative than the prima donnas on just about every other NBA team. Either way, the Stanley Cup playoffs are so much better than what’s going on in basketball arenas, but at least I can tolerate the Pacers games. Bring back Reggie!
Word from the Woods
After putting together a streak in which they won four of five games, the Hawks (6-9) have suffered a pair of close losses to Naugatuck Valley League Brass Division foes. Woodland lost to St. Paul, 7-3, last Friday before falling to Watertown, 5-2, on Monday. Against the Indians, Anthony Scirpo knocked three hits, including a double, and Mike Kenney also added a double. Woodland is still alive for NVL and state tournament berths; the Hawks need two victories in their last five games to make states and need to finish inside the league’s top eight to make that tourney. Rain postponed the Hawks match with Seymour on Wednesday. Woodland managed to get a game in through the raindrops Thursday against Derby at home, but fell to the visiting team, 12-5. The Hawks will play their final three regular-season games in four days next week.
Woodland remained perfect in the NVL by cruising to victories over Wilby and Naugatuck last week. The Hawks swept the Wildcats and won 7-2 over Naugy, although No. 1 seed Kyle Beynor lost his first-ever NVL match against the Greyhounds’ Julian Milek. Winners against Naugy included Steve Pec, Matt Murphy, Pat Dietz, Nick Rioux, Chris Zmuda, Jack Walsh and Mike Roulanaitis. On Tuesday, Woodland exacted revenge on Lewis Mills in a 4-1 win after the Hawks fell to the Spartans last year. Beynor earned a 7-5, 7-6 win over Trevor Robinson in the No. 1 singles match while Murphy gained a 6-4, 6-7 (9-7 tiebreaker) win over Bill Bentley in the No. 3 singles match. Dietz and Rioux won, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 1 doubles and Zmuda and Ventimiglia took the No. 2 doubles match, 6-1, 6-3. Woodland will have three road matches in a row before finishing the regular season May 17 against Wolcott. The Hawks hold their destiny to win both the NVL Brass and NVL titles.
The Hawks (12-1) dropped their first match of the season on Monday in a 4-3 decision to Watertown, but rallied Tuesday in a 7-0 sweep of Wolcott to clinch the NVL Brass Division title. In the sweep of the Eagles, Julia Lawton, Rachel Mariano, Lauren Tompkins, Salma Shitia, Liz Martin, Hope Gavigan, Emily Rioux, Ayah Galal, Jesse Erickson and Erica Boccuzzi all earned victories. Rain postponed the Hawks match against Seymour on Thursday. Woodland will play at home against Sacred Heart on Monday before NVL tournament play begins the following week.
Track and Field
The Woodland boys clinched their second straight NVL title by completing a perfect regular season Tuesday against Torrington and Holy Cross. Event winners for the Hawks included the 4-by-800-meter relay team (Ian Chamenko, Jack Pinho, Nick Hebert, Andy Hale), Brett Fowler (110 and 300 hurdles), Pinho (1,600), LaPerriere (400), Chamenko (3,200), the 4-by-400 relay team (Hale, Daemion Powell, Pinho, LaPerriere), Mike Lang (high jump, long jump and triple jump), Dave LaChance (discus) and Shane Classey (pole vault). The Woodland girls also stayed unbeaten with a sweep to set up a duel with Watertown for the NVL title later this month. Event winners for the Hawks included the 4-by-800 relay team (Miranda Moffat, Ava Capuano, Emma Poryanda, Clara Drozdowski), the 4-by-100 relay team (Jazmyn Menzies, Steph Dumond, Ashley Michie, Tayler Boncal), Michie (100 and 200), Mary Sardinskas (1,600, 3,200), Sydney Corneau (300 hurdles), the 4-by-400 relay team (Boncal, Capuano, Michie, Menzies), Menzies (high jump), Jess Rodrigues (long jump), Abbey Rosato (discus) and Megan Lynch (pole vault). The Hawks will face Platt Tech and O’Brien Tech on Tuesday before preparing for the NVL championships at Woodland on May 21.
The Greyhounds are mired in a four-game losing streak to fall to 5-9 on the season. Naugy lost a tough game Monday to Holy Cross, 3-2, in eight innings. The ‘Hounds only racked up four hits on the day, including a double by Spencer Dreher. During the four-game losing skid, Naugy has scored only three runs, but the Greyhounds are still alive for berths in both the NVL and state tournaments. They need three wins in their last six games to make the state tourney and will play four city schools over the next week including a game against Sacred Heart on Friday.
Naugatuck dropped its second match of the season last Thursday against Woodland, 7-2, but remained perfect against teams other than the Hawks. No. 1 singles player Julian Milek did manage to knock off Woodland No. 1 Kyle Beynor last Thursday. Naugy also defeated Watertown, 8-1, on Monday, with Mike Popescu, Tyler Posser, Jake Morrissey, Yun Chao Chen, Jeff Hansley, Nate Lindsly, Fernando Branco and Jake Gingold all contributing to victories. The Greyhounds will host Kennedy on Friday and will have their senior day Monday against Wilby.
Naugy split a pair of matches over the last week, sweeping Wilby last Thursday before falling to Holy Cross on Monday. In a 5-2 defeat to the Crusaders, Mikaela Santo and Sara Cook both earned wins in the singles ranks to get the Greyhounds on the board. Naugatuck has two regular-season matches left. The match against Kennedy scheduled for Thursday was postponed and is planned to be played Tuesday. Naugatuck will face Sacred Heart on Wednesday, before NVL tournament play begins the following week.