Round of Applause
College hockey is back in full swing around these parts, as evidenced by the craziness of last weekend’s 3-3 tie between No. 5-ranked Quinnipiac and No. 9 Yale. Both teams are going to be right in the thick of the national conversation all season long, so I implore you to do yourselves a favor and check them out at some point this winter. I was amazed by how many people came up to me throughout last winter and sporadically up until now asking about Quinnipiac hockey, so it’s really becoming a big thing around here. And for those sports fans who say they can never get into hockey, it’s probably because you’ve never watched high-level hockey at a rink as gorgeous as the one at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden. (Ingalls Rink in New Haven has a different feel, but is also pretty neat.) There’s a long winter to go, so hopefully you find your way down to a rink. I’ll be there.
Thanksgiving football is coming up, and we’re bound for our best duo of games in — well, probably ever. Since the Woodland-Seymour rivalry started in 2003, we’ve had three really great games in that series (2004, 2005, 2007) and only one in the Ansonia-Naugatuck rivalry (2010). But this year, Woodland and Seymour appear to be fairly evenly matched (especially after the Wildcats nearly upset Ansonia last week) and Naugatuck has all sorts of momentum entering Craig Bruno’s first game against the Chargers, who may be a little shaken after the Seymour debacle. The Ansonia-Naugatuck game should be quite an event, as it’s the first Thanksgiving game played on turf and hopefully many of you out there take a trip out to see your awfully good football team as it tries to pull the upset. Attendance has been pretty good around here this year (not great, but much better than in the last few years) and hopefully we get a nice climax in two weeks.
Chorus of Boos
The American League Manager of the Year Award was among the first postseason baseball awards to be given out this week, and your winner is … Terry Francona? What? Was John Farrell ineligible? No? What? I mean, come on, guys. Tito did a tremendous job in Cleveland with what should have been a pretty bad team, and in most other years he would have deserved the award. But John Farrell extinguished a dumpster fire in Boston and led the Red Sox to one of the biggest turnarounds in the history of the sport. Even if it’s a regular-season award only, Farrell still did the best job in baseball. These baseball writers have really jumped the shark, between terrible Hall of Fame voting and now screwing up these awards. Common sense is too much for some people.
On the Air, On the Web
Woodland football vs. Derby will be broadcast live on CPTV Sports on Friday at 6:30 p.m., and it will be rebroadcast Saturday at 9 a.m. The Hawks can clinch their second straight Naugatuck Valley League Copper Division championship with a victory, along with either a Naugatuck win or a Holy Cross loss. Should Woodland earn the title, it would face Ansonia next Thursday at Municipal Stadium (in a game that will be broadcast on 1320 WATR). This game also marks the first-ever meeting between Woodland and Derby, the alma mater of the Hawks’ first coach, Chris Anderson. Also on CPTV Sports, the rebroadcast of Naugatuck’s 56-20 win over Holy Cross will air Sunday at 10 a.m. and Tuesday at 9 p.m.
Naugatuck football vs. Kennedy will be broadcast live on 1320 WATR and watr.com on Friday at 6:50 p.m. Join Steve Gesseck, Bob Sagendorf and me as the Greyhounds look to win their sixth game in a row and take one step closer to making the Class L playoffs in Craig Bruno’s first season. Naugy also has a chance to win the NVL Copper Division title with a victory and a loss by Woodland.
Word from the Woods
The Hawks came in 19th with 76 points at the Class S state championship meet Wednesday at Wesleyan University in Middletown. Woodland qualified for five events, including all three relays, Brianna Christiano in the 100-yard butterfly and Maria Carranza in the 100 breaststroke. Full results are available on the CIAC’s website here. A full recap of the meet and the season will be featured in next week’s Citizen’s News.
The Naugatuck girls competed in the Class L state championship meet Tuesday at Wesleyan University, and the Greyhounds finished 18th of 21 squads with 69 points. All three relay teams and Cara Rotatori qualified for Tuesday’s finals. Naugy’s best finish came in the 400 freestyle relay as the squad of Elizabeth Walsh, Tattiana Serrano, Rotatori and Barbara Martins finished in 4 minutes, 11.27 seconds to take 14th. The ‘Hounds foursome of Alexandra Silva, Madison Wilson, Erica Spino and Rachel Fox took 15th in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:53.78, and the 200 medley relay group of Rotatori, Martins, Wilson and Serrano claimed 17th in 2:06.74. Rotatori also finished 24th in the 100 backstroke in a time of 1:07.60. Full results are available on the CIAC’s website here. A full season recap will be featured in next week’s Citizen’s News.