Monday, September 21, 2020

Sports

2019 Madison Sports Year in Review

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The Madison Little League Majors All-Star baseball team was the best in Connecticut in 2019. Madison claimed district, section, and state titles on its way to making the New England Regional semifinals this summer. Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source

The Madison Little League Majors All-Star baseball team was the best in Connecticut in 2019. Madison claimed district, section, and state titles on its way to making the New England Regional semifinals this summer. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)

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The Hand girls’ tennis team enjoyed an undefeated season that saw the Tigers go 24-0 on their way to winning the SCC and Class M state championships. Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source

The Hand girls’ tennis team enjoyed an undefeated season that saw the Tigers go 24-0 on their way to winning the SCC and Class M state championships. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)

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The Tigers’ cheerleading squad finished first in the Co-ed Division at the SCC Championship during the winter season. Photo courtesy of Licia Ciotti

The Tigers’ cheerleading squad finished first in the Co-ed Division at the SCC Championship during the winter season. (Photo courtesy of Licia Ciotti )

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The Hand boys’ tennis squad won every match that it played and came away with a second-straight conference crown this spring. Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source

The Hand boys’ tennis squad won every match that it played and came away with a second-straight conference crown this spring. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)

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The Hand boys’ golf team was the best in both the SCC and Division III state ranks in 2019. Photo courtesy of Jim Holleran

The Hand boys’ golf team was the best in both the SCC and Division III state ranks in 2019. (Photo courtesy of Jim Holleran )

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The Tigers’ boys’ soccer team made it four state titles in a row by earning a 4-3 double-overtime victory against Wilton in the Class L championship game. Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source

The Tigers’ boys’ soccer team made it four state titles in a row by earning a 4-3 double-overtime victory against Wilton in the Class L championship game. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)

There were a lot of positive headlines to go around in the town of Madison this year. Both of Daniel Hand High School’s tennis teams went undefeated and won SCC titles with the girls’ team also taking home a state title. The Hand boys’ soccer squad claimed its fourth-straight state crown during the fall, while the Madison Little League Majors All-Star baseball team had a summer to remember. Here’s a look at the top stories in Madison from 2019.

Winter

The Hand girls’ basketball team went on a Cinderella run to the championship game of the Class L State Tournament as the No. 19 seed this winter. The Tigers took a 39-34 defeat to Hillhouse in the final to finish at 14-13 overall.

In the SCC Tournament, Hand earned a 47-40 first-round win versus Mercy and lost a 54-45 contest against Wilbur Cross in the quarterfinals. In states, Head Coach Tim Tredwell’s squad defeated RHAM (50-40), North Haven (68-38), Pomperaug (58-46), and Windsor (33-27) to advance to the title game.

Junior Sara Wohlegmuth scored the 1,000th point of her career during Hand’s loss to Cross in SCCs. Junior Summer Adams and freshman Brooke Salutari were also key contributors for the Tigers.

The Hand cheerleading team took the title in the Co-ed Division at the SCC Championship. The Tigers went on to finish in third place at the Co-ed State Championship.

Senior Chloe Scott, junior Izzy Carusone, and junior Gina Ciotti were among Hand’s top performers. Licia Ciotti was the Tigers’ head coach.

The Hand boys’ ice hockey squad set a school record for wins by going 18-5-1 with first-year Head Coach Brian Gonsalves.

The Tigers qualified for the SCC/SWC Division III Tournament, where they took a 2-1 loss to Sheehan in the semifinal round. In the Division III State Tournament, Hand earned wins versus the Norwich Free Academy co-op (7-0) and Newtown (5-0) before dropping an 8-2 contest to Sheehan in the semis.

The Hand gymnastics team finished in second place at the SCC Championship and then placed third in the Class S State Championship.

Senior captain Grace Rogers took first place on the balance beam (8.8) and placed second all-around (35.0) at SCCs. Rogers and Alara Nahar led the Tigers as senior captains. Senior Kelly Levis, junior Carly-Anna Barba, and freshman Paige Dean turned in great performances for Hand throughout the year.

The Tigers’ boys’ swimming and diving squad came in fourth place at the SCC Championship and finished second at the Class M State Championship.

Will Porter took second place in the 200 freestyle (1:46.39) and the 100 freestyle (48.27) at states. Dan Chen finished second for the 200 individual medley (1:59.88) and the 100 backstroke (54.41).

The Hand skiing program had an excellent campaign. The boys’ team went 19-6 in the regular season and then posted a second-place finish at the Class S State Championship. The girls’ team was 15-6 during the regular season and then took third place at the Class S State Championship.

Natalie McCarthy finished fifth in the girls’ saber tournament at the Individual State Championships on behalf of the Hand girls’ fencing team. Michael Hilmer took sixth place in the foil competition for the Tigers’ boys’ fencing team.

The Hand boys’ outdoor track squad finished second at the SCC East Sectional Championship, fourth in the SCC Championship, and eighth at the Class L State Championship. Hand’s 4x200 relay of Ameen Parks, Braeden Kosiewicz, Josh Stewart, and Carson Hines claimed first place (1:34.12) at the SCC meet.

The Tigers’ girls’ outdoor track squad saw Chloe Thompson earn runner-up honors in the 1,000 at the SCC Championship with a time of 3:09.25.

Senior Kyle Davern reached the championship bout of the 120-pound division for the Hand wrestling team at the SCC Championship. Fellow senior Alec Dube took home the title in the 195-pound weight class at the Class L State Championship by pinning New Canaan’s Sergiy Babenkov at the 3:12 mark of the final. Hand finished fifth as a team at SCCs and came in ninth place at states.

Spring

The Hand girls’ tennis team put together a perfect season that saw the Tigers to 24-0 while bringing SCC and state titles back to Madison this spring.

On the heels of a 17-0 regular season, Hand won its third-straight conference crown by defeating Foran (7-0) Lauralton Hall (6-1), and Amity (5-2) in the SCC Tournament. Head Coach Kitty Palmer’s club started off the Class M State Tournament by claiming wins versus RHAM (7-0), Avon (6-1), and St. Joseph (7-0) to advance to the championship, where the Tigers defeated Lauralton Hall 6-1 to secure the state crown.

Catherine Aranow served as Hand’s senior captain. Junior Sam Riordan and sophomore Lindsay Riordan played great at No. 1 and 2 singles, respectively, for the Tigers. Hand’s No. 1 doubles team of junior Anna Lange and freshman Claire Langille put together a stellar season, and the same could be said of the No. 2 duo of sophomore Paige Van Ostenbridge and freshman Bella Vejar.

The Tigers’ boys’ tennis squad went undefeated while defending its SCC title this year. Hand posted an overall record of 22-0 and finished the campaign with a 58-match win streak intact.

After going 19-0 in the regular season, Head Coach Dawn Fagerquist’s club defeated North Haven (7-0) and Guilford (6-1) to reach the SCC final, where the Tigers netted a 7-0 sweep versus Amity to capture their second-straight conference crown. Hand followed that up by finishing in third place at the Class L State Championship.

Seniors Noah Gulla and Nick Chieppo led the Tigers as their senior captains. Sophomore Josh Israel had a huge season as Hand’s No. 1 singles player. The No. 1 doubles team of junior Darby Rogers and sophomore Reilly Vejar also saw tremendous success.

The Hand boys’ golf team had an amazing year that saw team finish first at both the SCC Championship and the Division II State Championship.

After going 14-3 for regular-season play, the Tigers took top honors the SCC Championship by a record margin with their team score of 311. Hand then scored a 308 to come in first place at the Division II State Championship.

Chris Bader and Michael McKeon led the way for Hand as its senior captains. McKeon, senior Jake Bennett, sophomore Matt Doyle, sophomore Conner Quinn, and junior Aidan Stuart scored the points at both championship meets for Head Coach Jim Holleran’s club.

The Hand boys’ volleyball squad posted a record of 11-9 and advanced to the SCC Tournament final.

The Tigers earned a 3-1 victory over Shelton in the SCC semis, after which they took a 3-1 loss against Cheshire in the championship match. In the Class M State Tournament, Hand lost a 3-0 contest to South Windsor in the first round.

The Tigers’ senior captains were Matt McSweeney and Jeremy Long.

The Hand baseball team finished with a record of 18-7 while advancing to the SCC Tournament semifinals and the Class L State Tournament quarterfinals.

During the regular season, the Tigers went 15-5 overall with a mark of 8-0 in the SCC Oronoque Division to win the division title. In the SCC tourney, Hand earned a 4-3, 11-inning victory over Guilford in the quarterfinals before taking a 7-6 loss against Amity in the semis. The Tigers notched wins versus E.O. Smith (12-2) and Guilford (8-5) in the first two rounds of states, after which they lost a 7-3 contest to Notre Dame-Dame-West Haven in the quarterfinal round.

Julian Banerji and Jake Crawford served as Hand’s senior captains. Junior Phoenix Billings, junior Liam Wallace, and sophomore Anthony DePino also had big seasons for the Tigers.

The Hand softball team made SCCs and states while finishing at 11-11 overall.

The Tigers took a 2-0 loss to Cheshire in the quarterfinals of the SCC Tournament. Hand lost a 4-3 decision against East Haven in the first round of the Class L State Tournament.

Hand’s senior captains were Catherine Patrick and Grace Kuck. Junior pitcher Christina Coric, fellow junior Gina Ciotti, and sophomore Grace Hartmann were some of the club’s top players.

The Tigers’ boys’ lacrosse team reached the SCC semifinals and the Class M state quarterfinals en route to a record of 12-8.

Hand won a 13-6 decision against Notre Dame-West Haven in the semifinals of the SCC Tournament and then took a 14-5 defeat to Fairfield Prep in the semis. For the state draw, the Tigers posted a 24-0 rout over E.O. Smith before taking an 18-5 loss to New Fairfield in the quarters.

The Hand girls’ lacrosse squad went 10-10 and made it to the SCC and Class M State tournaments.

Hand dropped a 19-7 decision to Cheshire in the SCC semifinals. In the Class M bracket, the Tigers beat Branford 16-6 in the qualifying round and then took a 13-10 defeat to Guilford in a first-round contest.

Russell Powell took first place in the high jump at the SCC East Sectional Championship (6 feet-0 inches) and the Class MM State Championship (6-4) while representing the Hand boys’ outdoor track team. John Genther finished second in the shot put (45-7.5) at the SCC Championship.

Chloe Thompson claimed first place in the 800 with a time of 2:24.19 for the Tigers’ girls’ outdoor track team at the SCC East Sectional Championship. Thompson later finished second in the 800 (2:22.10) in the SCC Championship.

Summer

The Madison Little League Majors All-Star baseball squad made everyone in town proud by going on a remarkable run this summer. Madison claimed the first state title in program history by earning a 6-0 victory against Max Sinoway of North Haven in the championship game of the State Tournament. Madison advanced to the New England Regionals, where the team notched two victories to reach the semifinal round.

Featuring a roster of players aged 10 to 12, Madison had to win the District 9 Tournament and the Section 3 Tournament in order to advance to the State Tournament. In the District 9 tourney, Madison earned wins versus Westbrook (12-0), Guilford (3-2), Clinton (13-1), East Haddam (11-0), and Coginchaug (10-0) in the round-robin portion of the bracket. Madison then defeated East Hampton (24-4) and Killingworth (7-4) to reach the final, after which the team notched a 5-3 victory over Killingworth to win the title.

In the Section 3 Tournament, Madison dropped a 4-0 decision to Mystic in its opener, but came back to win elimination games versus Wethersfield (2-1) and Mystic (6-3), clinching the title with the Mystic victory.

Madison started off the State Tournament by notching a 5-3 win against Brooklyn-Pomfret and followed that with a 6-2 win over Simsbury to move on to the final. Madison lost a 6-4 decision against Max Sinoway in the first game of the championship, but defeated Sinoway by a 6-0 score in a winner-take-all game the next day to claim the state crown.

Madison started off the New England Regional by taking a 6-3 defeat to Vermont. With its back against the wall, Madison earned a 4-1 victory versus Massachusetts and a 6-1 win against Maine to make the semifinals. Madison saw its run come to an end when the squad took a 6-1 loss to Rhode Island in the semis.

The athletes on Madison’s roster were Paul Calandrelli, Trevor Cash, Aidan Doyle, Gavin Doyle, Chase Geremia, Christian Kells, Nick Maynard, Alex Modica, Shailen Pathy, Will Patla, Johnny Reh, Morris Selmani, and Rocco Zagami. Head Coach James Maynard was assisted by coaches Bryan Geremia and John Reh.

The Madison Junior Legion baseball team went 22-10 and made it to the quarterfinals of the State Tournament.

During the regular season, Post 79 finished with a record of 19-8 to come in third place in the Zone 2 standings. In states, Madison took a 3-0 loss to Westport in its first game of the Southern Division Sectional part of the bracket. Facing elimination, Post 79 defeated Stamford (5-2) and then earned two victories versus Westport (6-2 and 5-1) to advance to the Bethel Regional portion of states. Madison was eliminated when the team took 10-2 defeat against Hamden in the quarterfinal round.

Fall

The Hand boys’ soccer team captured its fourth-straight state title by winning the Class L State Tournament with a 4-3 double-overtime victory against Wilton in the final. The Tigers, who also made the SCC Tournament final, finished their season with an overall record of 17-2-4.

During the regular season, Hand netted a record of 11-1-4 that included a mark of 6-0-2 in the SCC Housatonic Division to win the division title. In the SCC Tournament, the Tigers claimed a 4-2 win against Amity in the quarterfinals and a 1-0 overtime win verus Shelton in the semis to reach the final, where Hand took a 1-0 loss to Guilford.

Head Coach Greg Cumpstone’s squad started the state tourney by posting wins over Rockville (4-0) and Pomperaug (3-1). Hand notched a 2-1 (4-3 on penalty kicks) victory against Guilford in the semifinals prior to facing Wilton in the title bout. Senior Jack Green scored the go-ahead goal for the Tigers in the second overtime and was named the Most Valuable Player of the Class L final.

Juniors Chris Porte, Scott Testori, and Jason Wallack were among the other players who guided the Tigers to the Class L four-peat. Sophomore Tim Perez was the starting goalie for Hand.

The Hand football team put together another outstanding campaign that saw the Tigers go undefeated during the regular season and then advance to the Class L state final for the third-straight year. The Tigers finished with an overall record of 12-1 after taking a defeat to St. Joseph in the Class L championship game.

Hand posted an overall mark of 10-0 for the regular season, including a record of 4-0 in SCC Tier 1 to finish in first place. Hand notched a 52-0 win against Newington in the quarterfinals of the Class L State Playoffs, followed by a 42-0 victory versus Maloney in the semifinal round. In a battle of unbeaten teams, the Tigers took a 17-13 loss to St. Joseph in the title game to bring Hand’s 36-game unbeaten streak to an end.

Seniors Phoenix Billings, Ben Corniello, and Isaiah McNeilly served as Hand’s senior captains. As the quarterback, Billings led an offense that received huge contributions from senior Colin McCabe on the ground and fellow senior Ethan Haberman in the passing attack. Junior Tom Bambrick anchored the Tigers’ stout offensive line, while Corniello and fellow senior Shane Reiner were stalwarts on an exceptional defense. McNeilly made contributions all over the field and had a great year as Hand’s kicker.

One of the most notable moments of the season occurred on Nov. 1, when Head Coach Dave Mastroianni returned to the Tigers when they played at West Haven after he had missed the previous few games. Mastroianni had been diagnosed with cancer of the appendix earlier in the season. Hand welcomed back Coach Mastroianni by recording a 37-0 shutout against West Haven.

The Hand field hockey squad went on a nice run to the final of the Class M State Tournament. The Tigers took a 3-2 loss to Guilford in the state final and finished at 14-8 overall.

Hand also qualified for the SCC Tournament, where the Tigers earned a 3-2 victory (6-4 on penalty strokes) against Cheshire in the quarterfinals before taking a 2-1 loss to Guilford in the semis. In the state bracket, Hand notched wins versus Sacred Heart Academy (2-1), Wethersfield (1-0), and Bethel (1-0 in overtime) to advance to the championship.

Seniors Jacqui Sandor, Maeve Connors, and Tessie Sheehan, and junior Grace Hartmann all had big seasons for Head Coach Sue Leckey’s club.

The Hand girls’ swimming and diving team recorded a mark of 8-3 during the regular season, came in fourth place at the SCC Championship, and took second at the Class M State Championship.

Senior Kayla Mendonca finished second in the 100 backstroke for the fourth-straight year at SCCs by swimming a time of 57.39. She went on to win the event at states with a 56.83. Sophomore Abbi Chemacki won the 500 freestyle (5:10.63) at the Class M meet. The Tigers’ 400 freestyle relay of senior Ruby Redlich, Erin Reilly, junior Ava Keane, and Mendonca finished first at 3:37.40.

The Tigers’ girls’ soccer squad qualified for the SCC and Class L State tournaments, winning its opening game in the state draw.

Hand took a 1-0 loss to Cheshire in the SCC quarterfinals. In states, Hand earned a 3-2 victory over Masuk after winning by a 5-4 score on penalty kicks in a first-round game. The Tigers went on to take a 2-0 loss to Barlow in the second round to finish at 7-9-3.

The Hand girls’ volleyball team netted a record of 17-7 while earning berths in SCCs and states.

The Tigers defeated Sheehan 3-1 in the first round of the SCC Tournament, after which they dropped a 3-0 decision to Law in the quarterfinals. Hand posted a 3-0 win versus Pomperaug in its Class L State Tournament opener and then lost a 3-0 decision versus Guilford in a second-round match.






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