Participants of the 2017 Pie Eating Contest at the Wethersfield Farmer Market- Photo credit Claire Lewis Photography based out of Colchester
Last summer we took a detailed look at the fabulous farmers markets in the area. This year there have been a few changes, improvements, and additions to the markets, including the town of Rocky Hill joining the festivities as part of their 175th anniversary. Farmers markets offer the ultimate do-it-yourself farm to table experience and they bring communities together to achieve a common goal, which is to support the local agriculturists and entrepreneurs. Here’s a glance at the 2018 farmers markets schedule.
Cromwell Farmers Market
When: Every Friday through the end of September (4:00 pm -7:00 pm)
Where: 1 River Road, Cromwell
What to Except: Going to the Cromwell Farmers Market is like visiting a coastal village in Italy. The backdrop for the market is a picturesque view of the Connecticut River, including the Arrigoni Bridge, and there is plenty of free parking lining the edge of the water. Every Friday features over 30 vendors filling the grounds of Frisbee Park, offering a variety of products to fulfill any market goer’s needs. Food trucks and edible staples Sweet Madeline’s, Granny’s Pie Company, Pan De Oro Tortilla Chips, and Chet’s Italian Ice will satisfy the taste buds, while other unique booths are selling goods and products made in the Nutmeg State. Several local farmers are regulars, including Phoenix Farm and Littel Acre Farm, selling the freshest produce this side of the Mississippi. Next up is the high-anticipated pickle contest, which will crown the best pickle maker during the second week in August. There will be prizes for the top three finishers and everyone is welcome to sample the entries and cast their vote for the most delicious pickled delight.
North End Farmers Market
When: Every Friday through October (10:00 am – 2:00 pm)
Where: 575 Main Street, Middletown
What to Except: Main Street is booming with business on the weekends and this farmers market kicks off the festivities every Friday morning. Middletown’s market houses the ‘who’s who’ of fresh produce producers in the area. Beckett Farms, Gotta’s Farm, Long Lane Farm, and Rose’s Berry Farm are just a few of the vendors selling everything from heirloom tomatoes to herbs to huckleberry jam. The market is a lively event with fun for the whole family, including a great tutorial for kids to become educated on their local food system. Each week a guest restaurant and a guest vendor are featured, so there is always something new to experience. The spectacular scene on Main Street is something you have to see to believe.
Newington Farmers Market
When: Every Saturday through the end of October (9:00 am – 1:00 pm)
Where: Constitution Square near Market Square- On the Newington Green
What to Expect: What this market lacks in size, it makes up for with charm and quality. Fresh produce and homemade goodies fill the handful of booths that liven up downtown Newington. Seasonal flowers are also sold at this location, giving the market an aroma that will make bees blush. Don’t forget to bring walking shoes because the market is located in the heart of the city and exploring the local establishments is an absolute must. Food trucks also frequent this area, especially during the market’s hours, so bring your appetite too.
Rocky Hill Farmers Market
When: August 22 and September 26 (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm)
Where: Ferry Park- 311 Meadow Road, Rocky Hill
What to Expect: The possibilities are endless. Rocky Hill’s pop-up market is part of the town celebrating their 175th anniversary and is located near the pristine river passage that the historic ferry uses to travel back and forth from Glastonbury. Rocky Hill knows how to throw a celebration so there should be plenty of energy and excitement for the monthly market, which will feature vendors from all around the community, including many local farms, along with food and entertainment. With Rocky Hill’s rich history of farming, this could be the start of something special and could lead to more frequent farmers markets in the future.
Wethersfield Farmers Market
When: Every Thursday (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm)
Where: The Solomon Welles House at 220 Hartford Avenue, Old Wethersfield
What to Expect: Every week is something new and exciting. This year the market is celebrating their 10th anniversary in style with even more vendors and events than ever before. The grounds in historic Old Wethersfield houses more than 30 vendors every week, offering a variety of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, baked good, meats, dairy, honey, and so much more. Earlier in July they held their annual pie eating contest, a summer favorite, and next up is the Meet a Beekeeper & Honey Tasting, which will be held on August 16. It’s a chance to sample the sweetest and tastiest local honeys, which will not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also mellow those pesky summer allergies. It’s a win-win.
Surrounding towns New Britain (Wednesday 11-2), Glastonbury (Wednesday 4-7), and Berlin (Saturday 9-12:30) offer famers markets as well. Every market offers something unique and individual to the town, and many have live music throughout the summer. It’s a great way to support the local communities because buying local is always a good idea, it not only feels good but it tastes good too.
The Mariners were the 2018 Majors Champions in Rocky Hill Little League / Newington's U12 Softball All-Stars defeated Rocky Hill 15-0 in the finals in Glastonbury to win the All Star District 7 Championship
The summertime is prime time for little leagues and this past month the local fields have been swarming with future baseball and softball stars. Champions have been crowned and memories have been made, including in Wethersfield where the town championship went into extra innings. Details of the event have been provided by Steve Kelly.
Wethersfield: The Century 21-Clemens Realty baseball team won the 2018 Wethersfield Town Championship in an exciting 9-8 extra inning game over Gravers at Mill Woods Stadium. The Realtors arrived at the title game riding the arm of ace pitcher Jack Lagosh to wins over McMahon Law and DicCioccio Brothers.
Led by manager Mike Lemos and assisted by Coaches Mike Ehrlich and Steve Yanosy, Century 21 jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on three straight hits by pitcher, with Ethan Lemos, shortstop Jackson Kelly and 1st baseman Jack Lagosh all scoring. Lemos would score again in the third while holding the Lumberjacks scoreless until the fourth inning when Ben Caulfield and Louie Montalvo both scored to make it 5-2 after speedy Joey Bellabuono scored for the Realtors.
Gravers came alive in the fifth inning with five more runs, with Lemos giving way to Kelly on the mound, to take a 7-5 lead as Century 21 failed to score. Gravers went scoreless in the top of the sixth but Topher Sifnakis was driven in by a booming triple by Joe Samse, who in turn was driven in by Joe Camilleri to tie the score.
Eric Velez and Caulfield led off for Gravers with walks. With one out, Montalvo hit a double to left driving in Velez. The speedy Caulfield was waved in but a tremendous throw by left fielder Joey Bellabuono cut off by Kelly and thrown to catcher Owen Thulien resulted in the second out. The next batter hit a Texas Leaguer pop fly corralled by 2nd baseman Jacob Yanosy with a great over the shoulder catch to hold Gravers to a one-run lead.
The bottom of the seventh saw Kelly lead off with his third hit of the game followed by Lagosh's second hit moving Kelly to third where he scored the tying run on a Michael Ehrlich sac fly to center field with Lagosh moving to second base. Yanosy then hit a line drive down the left field line to score Lagosh with the winning run.
It was a total team effort by Century 21 whose hitters only struck out twice in the game, managing to move runners into scoring position. Lemos recorded eight strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings while Kelly recorded 4 strikeouts in 2 1/3. The outfield of Charley Bellabuono, his brother Joey, Samse, Camilleri and Sifnakis played errorless ball.
Visit your local little league website by typing your town’s name followed by littleleague.com for a complete list of results, upcoming schedules, and photos. The websites also include links to register for upcoming baseball and softball camps and volunteer opportunities.
Several graduating seniors were asked to recall their favorite sports memories from high school. Here are the responses from some of the area’s best athletes. Congratulations and best of luck to the entire Class of 2018!
“The game that I feel is special to me this past year was when our football team played Valley Regional in the state playoff game at home. As a team and individually I believe we truly played great that night and it was an amazing feeling being able to win a playoff game for our last one at home. Specifically in that game, I will always remember one of my first carries on the night and my first of two touchdowns that game, was a 40 yarder and that moment was one of the best, if not the best moment of my entire football career.” -Joseph Ferreira, Rocky Hill
“My favorite memory would have to be stepping out on the field game one this year and even though we lost it was special because it showed all my hard work from my ACL injury paid off and I was able to play with all of my close friends and finish my senior year playing with Newington. If it was a game moment it would have to be hitting a homer in the first inning of the Amity game in state tournament because it changed the momentum and even though we didn’t come out on top it showed that we had no fear and earned the respect from a team that has been a powerhouse for years in LL.” -Cooper Johnson, Newington
“My favorite memory from high school sports was winning the Shoreline Championship my senior year. It was so special to me because it was an all-around team effort and we had to work hard the whole game to win! We ended up winning by a few points in overtime!” –Jenna Serrantino, Cromwell
“My favorite memory/game I had during soccer season this fall was the Newington game at Wethersfield. I knew going into that game that we had to win to have a shot at winning the conference. Our coach likes to make us aware that [Newington] was her alma mater in practices leading up to the game, which always made us want to win that much more. It was also one of favorite memories because the stadium/ seating around Cottone Field was almost filled. I love playing with a large crowd watching and it made that game even more special because Newington has been one of Wethersfield’s longtime rivals. Being captain this year I put a lot of pressure on myself during this game to do my part to lead my team to victory on such a special night. Funny story about that game was that I had been playing outside mid all season and during that game I felt like it wasn’t clicking for me there so I told my coach at halftime that I should switch to outside right back in order to use my speed and shutdown Newy’s left forward and outside mid. After I switched positions I scored two goals from around the 30 yard line into the upper left corners to tie the game up and bring us into overtime. I also had a corner kick assist that I placed above one of my best friends and longtime teammate Chloe Troy, who headed it in perfectly. We have done that corner kick all the time in practice or just going to the field messing around and it finally mattered in a huge game like that. After that we were still tied and in the second half of OT I took a free kick from the 30/35 yard line and hit it far post to Sierra Judson who eventually toed it in after some deflections. For me I will always remember this game because my entire team did not give up whether we were down, tied or up we kept playing until the last whistle and always kept our heads up. I was able to make my coach proud and perform to the best I could to help my teammates and also to beat a longtime rival like Newington at my home field with hundreds of people watching was a feeling like no other.” -Kendall Cathcart, Wethersfield
“My senior memory would be beating Northwest on Senior Night and me and Owen Freeman scoring 5 goals each.” -Connor Brennan, Newington
“My favorite season of high school swimming was my freshman year when we came in second at states but the team was so welcoming and it was the best way to start high school because I had something to look forward to everyday and always knew the team would be there for me.” -Maura Stewart, Wethersfield
“State playoffs, quarterfinals vs. St. Bernard’s. Most exciting game I’ve ever been a part of in my life. Down 13 going into the 4th quarter nobody would have expected us come back, but once the 4th quarter began us being down really put less pressure on us. Yeah, we had to be smart and play almost perfect, but at the same time we weren’t even sure if we could do it as we were held against the ropes on the road in one of the loudest gyms I’ve ever played in. Everyone on the team put their best foot forward and stepped up in any type of way. Coming back from down 13 and keeping our season alive was amazing in the moment, but just watching our team and the fans stick together through it all was the best part about it. I will always love that team, and the heart and togetherness we had. #RoadDawgsForever” -Ryan Robinson, Rocky Hill
“When looking back on my high school career, I'd have to say my favorite memory was our historic playoff run. Making the state championship game as a #26 seed was undoubtedly one of the most memorable journeys of my life. From my dunk against Amistad to our legendary comeback against St. Bernard, it was truly an honor to shock the state and represent our town the way we did. Although we weren't able to seal the deal at Mohegan, me and my brothers gave it all we had, and because of that I've never been more proud to be a Rocky Hill Terrier. I'll never forgot that moment when I stepped on the Mohegan Sun court, with all the cameras flashing and looking into the crowd to see all my friends and family, it was like I was part of something greater than myself. It was a surreal moment that I'll cherish for the rest of my life.” -Andrew Dimatteo, Rocky Hill
“My favorite memory from being a part of the Wethersfield Lady Eagle Swim and Dive team was our loaded week of meets this year, when we beat both Glastonbury and Hall with only two days between meets. It really showed how our team was able to come together after a huge win against Glastonbury and buckle down for two days in practice to get back on track and beat Hall just a couple of days later. It was really exciting and showed just how hardworking my team was!” -Caroline Logan, Wethersfield
“My favorite memory has to be the ‘16-‘17 game vs Middletown. Everyone figured we’d get blown out by 30 because they were #8 and we were down 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. All of a sudden things started clicking for us and we were able to pull off a back and forth comeback to win it 27-24. One play that will always stay with me from that game is after a big stop Middletown had on us towards the end of the game which forced us to punt. On that punt, Luke [Pappalardo] and I were able to force a fumble after their returner tried to make a play giving us the ball back resulting in the game winning field goal.” -Carlum Caldwell, Newington
"This is one of my favorites from when we won the girl's Shoreline Championship my senior year. It shows our excitement the moment the buzzer went off." -Dana Coughlin, Cromwell
Boys Cross Country: Matthew Lecky (Middletown): The junior trailblazer took his running to another level this year, placing fifth at the Class L finals with a pace of 5:33 and following it up with another solid showing at the State Open. Lecky has one more season with a Middletown cross country program that is making great strides every season.
Girls Cross Country: Elizabeth Stockman (Rocky Hill): Stockman’s sophomore season was nothing short of spectacular. She started in the fall by winning the Class M championship with a 6:23 place and then placed top-ten overall at the State Open. The crazy thing is that we’ve only seen a glimpse of what could be over the next two years.
Field Hockey: Maya Mulholland (Wethersfield): The steady senior earned all-state and all-conference honors while helping lead the Eagles to the first tournament appearance since 2009. Mulholland was an integral part of an unforgettable group of seniors that have helped transform the field hockey program at WHS into a serious contender.
Football: Stone Belzo (Middletown): Belzo proved to be dominant and adaptable during his time in Middletown. As a junior he led the team in tackles on defense and then added quarterbacking to his list of responsibilities as a senior this fall, totaling 22 touchdowns and guiding the Blue Dragons to an undefeated regular season. The two-way talent will continue with gridiron career at Springfield College.
Boys Soccer: Brendan Berry (Wethersfield): The senior stud earned all-state honors for the second consecutive season, helping guide the Eagles to a 10-win regular season and another victory in the tournament. Barry was also a three-time All-CCC selection during his time at WHS and is headed to score more goals at Middlebury College in Vermont.
Girls Soccer: Grace Moore (Rocky Hill): Moore was the senior captain on a team that won 13 regular season games and advanced to the quarterfinal round in the tournament. The 3x All-CCC’er earned all-state honors for her work on defense and was also selected to the High School All-American game in Orlando. Northeastern University in Massachusetts is the next stop for the local soccer star.
Girls Swimming & Diving: Abigail Francis (Wethersfield): Wethersfield swimming won all ten regular season meets and Francis was a driving force behind the undefeated season. The junior won the 200 freestyle and placed third in the 500 meters at the Class L finals. She went on to place fourth in the 200 at the State Open and has one more season remaining at WHS to make even more waves.
Girls Volleyball: Amaya Feitel (Cromwell): Feitel was the heartbeat of the Panthers volleyball team, earning all-state honors following a sensational senior season. The floor general was a team captain and starting setter, leading the Panthers in assists, aces (over one per set), and was second on the team in digs. She starred on both the court and in the classroom, regularly making the honor roll at CHS.
Boys Basketball: Reese Reyes (Cromwell): Reyes style of play defined Cromwell basketball, sacrificing for the team and doing all the little things for a Panthers squad that won a state title this winter. The senior earned first-team all-state honors after averaging 10 points, six rebounds, and two steals per game. Next stop, the courts of Western Connecticut State University.
Girls Basketball: Nikki Lukens (Rocky Hill): Lukens has already surpassed the 1000-point plateau and she still has her senior year to go. As a junior she earned all-state honors after leading the Terriers in scoring while helping guide the team to a semifinal appearance. There’s no telling what she has in store as an encore next winter.
Gymnastics: Madison Bradbury (Wethersfield): Wethersfield has built a rock solid gymnastics program and Bradbury is the latest high-flying superstar. The junior earned first-team all-state as a junior after terrific performances in the Class M and State Open finals.
Ice Hockey: David Mix (Newington Co-Op): Mix was an all-state selection and was a major reason for the turnaround of the Newington co-op team, which won 13 regular season games and another tourney game. The senior goalie won nine of his starts between the pipes, including a shutout, and sent back 287 shots.
Boys Indoor Track: George Stoughton (Wethersfield): Wethersfield’s jump man polished off his high school indoor track and field career by winning both the high and long jumps at the Class L finals. Stoughton followed it up with a runner-up finish in the long jump at the State Open.
Girls Indoor Track: Elizabeth Stockman (Rocky Hill): Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, winning is what Stockman does. She won the 3200 meters at the State Open and Class M finals, and also took home first place in the 1600 at the class finals.
Boys Swimming & Diving: Blake Fulton (Wethersfield): Fulton won the Class M state championship in the 100 freestyle and took home second place in the 100 backstroke. The senior all-state swimmer was also part of the Eagles 200 medley relay team, which finished as the runner-up.
Wrestling: Elijah Cyr (Middletown): Cyr is proof that dynamite does come in small packages. The junior took the 106-lb division by storm, winning 31 of 34 matches in the regular season and then placing fifth in both the Class L and State Open.
Cheerleading: Megan Pare & Abigail Lee (Cromwell): Normally an individual wins these awards but cheerleading is the ultimate team sport and Pare and Lee are the ultimate teammates. The two seniors each made all-state while helping lead the Panthers to a top-ten finish at states.
Baseball: Jimmy Sullivan (Wethersfield): Sullivan earned his second all-state recognition following another highly productive season. The senior saved his best performance for his final in an Eagles uniform, blasting a pair of homeruns and two triples in a championship triumph. The diamonds at the University of Virginia await the local baseball prodigy.
Boys Golf: Ismael Garcia (Wethersfield): Garcia was one of the team leaders on a talent group of golfers at WHS. The senior shot a team-best 82 at the CCC finals and then shot an 81 at the Division II state finals.
Girls Golf: Emily McKenna (Wethersfield): McKenna placed third individually at the conference finals as the Eagles took home first place in the CCC. The junior followed it up with a solid performance at the State Open and next year will be a senior leader on a group that has a chance to win the whole enchilada.
Boys Lacrosse: Connor Brennan (Newington): Brennan was a force on the football field and equally impressive on the lacrosse field, helping guide the Indians to a 10-win regular season. The senior captain was a point-producing machine on the offensive end, scoring 36 goals and dishing out 28 assists. His lacrosse journey will continue at St. Michael’s College in Vermont.
Girls Lacrosse: Maya Gajowiak (Newington): Gajowiak has played high school lacrosse for three years and has earned all-conference honors in all three seasons. As a junior, she assumed a bulk of the scoring load and will head a talented, young group coming back next spring.
Boys Outdoor Track: DeAaron Lawrence (Middletown): Lawrence is one of the best athletes to ever walk the halls at MHS. The senior was a star football and basketball player before taking home two state titles in his final season on the track, winning the high and triple jumps at the Class L finals. Stonefield College is getting a special talent.
Girls Outdoor Track: Elizabeth Stockman (Rocky Hill): By the time outdoor season rolled around Stockman had already displayed her greatness as a distance runner. She kept adding to her list of accomplishments in the spring, winning the 1600 and 3200 meters at the class finals and then placed first and third in those events at the State Open. What. A. Year.
Softball: Dominique Highsmith (Middletown): Highsmith is also an accomplished basketball player, but softball is where she rose above the competition. The senior capped her high school career with an all-state selection and will now play collegiately at Central Connecticut State University. Forks Up.
Boys Tennis: Arian Gokhale (Rocky Hill): Gokhale wrapped up an incredible four years at Rocky Hill with a quarterfinals finish at the Class S finals. The graduate is headed to Northeastern University as a Finance Major.
Girls Tennis: Reva Shah (Rocky Hill): Shah earned her third straight all-conference selection and made her second straight appearance in the State Open following an awesome senior season. Her talents and optimistic attitude will be missed at The Hill.
Boys Volleyball: Leonel Caceres (Newington): Newington volleyball produces some of the best players in the state and Caceres is as talented as any player that has come through the program. As a junior he led the team in kills (361) and aces (45), and was a vocal leader for an Indians team that won their fourth title in five seasons. The volleyball dynamo and his mates will be back and better than ever next spring.
Wethersfield's Tim Blaisdell (left) and Jimmy Sullivan (right) / Newington pitching ace Joey Zawizsa
Middletown - Ryan Conklin, Jake Radziewicz, Noah Valeriano
Newington - Ethan Errera, Gunnar Johnson, Jack Kelley, Joey Zawisza
Rocky Hill - Matt Rados
Wethersfield - Mark Bagdasarian, Tim Blaisdell, Tyler Fote, Jimmy Sullivan, Derek Tenney
Wethersfield - Mike Donnelly, Ismael Garcia
Middletown - Logan Frame
Newington - Chloe Bilodeau, Jessica Pierzchalski, Taylor Kelly
Rocky Hill - Anna Montalto, Margaret Montalto
Wethersfield - Leah Ayers, Emily McKenna, Lilly Moreau
Newington - Matt Barron, Connor Brennan
Rocky Hill - Andrew Albano, Andrew Barber, Chris Conlan, Ryan Pirre
Newington- Maya Gajowiak, Alexandra Houldcroft
Rocky Hill - Katarzyna Drozdzal
Boys Track & Field
Middletown - DeShaun Bradshaw, Ben Carlson, Nico Cavaliere, Garrett Dandridge, Konstantin Ditc, Dylan Drescher, Tim Johnson, DaJaun Lomotey, DeAaron Lawrence, Matt Lecky, Anthony Pappa, Osbourne Richards, Jaymin Torres, Eddie Williams
Newington - Aiden Toth
Rocky Hill - Ethan Arcata, Tommy DiMatteo
Wethersfield - Garrett Tougas, Mike Dunn, Owen Gagne, Alec Arnold, Austin Harnish, Cameron Corazzo
Girls Track & Field
Middletown - Nasharie Davis, MacKenzie Dunn, Samantha Gagnon, Veronica Meyer, Ariana Monarca
Rocky Hill - Lilah Devine, Elizabeth Stockman, Megan Creevy, Nichole Detushev, Victoria Bower, Audrey Nelson-Mbiah, Lordina Orleans-Onyina
Wethersfield - Julia Chrostowski, Isabella Schroeder, Jacqueline Samse, Caitlin Nardella, Katelyn Glendon, Kayla Condon, Kylie Judson,Bella Samse, Erin Bankowski
Middletown - Janelle Franklin, Carly Gessaro, Dominique Highsmith
Newington - Mckenna Delcuca, Cyan Gonzalez, Rachel Thureson
Rocky Hill - Sophie Kurdziel, Rachel Roncaioli, Maddi Santo, Mel Tejeda
Wethersfield - Zoe Kleeblatt, Emma Zaleski
Middletown -Mike Flynn, Mason Moua
Newington - Ben Arora Sean Davis David Magsayo Matt Utter
Rocky Hill - Luke Brennan, Arian Gokhale, Pulkit Nagpal
Wethersfield - Grant Anderson, Liam Harrington, Luke Johnson, Mike Manousos, Sam Reichelt
Middletown - Madison Dube, Isabelle Galle, Jessica Hart, Mariah Monroe
Newington - Mara Klin, Olivia Rozio
Rocky Hill - Rachel Calcagni, Nicole Chamberland, Aly Fishberg, Katrina Granovskiy, Melanie Holmes, Jen Kimball, Nicole Lukens, Reva Shah
Wethersfield - Kendall Cathcart, Paige Contenta, Tea Hima, Heather Mayo, Shelly Pettingill, Emma Rouchelau, Chloe Troy, Haley Whelchel
Newington - Leonel Caceres, Dan Cloutier, Louis Egbuna
Wethersfield - Matt Amoddio, Kevin Rascius, Conor Senk
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin