Little League District 7 Champion Wethersfield: front row L > R: Zach Melillo, Alex Burbank, Christian Morales, Owen Lonski, Justin Bagdasarian, Sean Millen, Aiden Kamay, Cooper Farrelly, Jonathan Cunningham, back row L > R: Zach Pia, Coach Jeremy Hoon, Ethan Meisinger, Manager Tom Righi, Cam Righi, Max Hoon, Coach Tom Pia, Coach John Melillo, Coach Mike Cunningham
For the first time since 2013, Wethersfield’s 10-12 year old team is the Little League District 7 champions.
After finishing round robin play as the top seed with a record of 7 - 1, the boys took care of business in the crossovers and championship, outscoring their opponents 21 - 2. This included a dominant performance in the championship game, defeating Cromwell 13-0 in four innings, in front of a packed house of screaming Wethersfield fans.
The dugout was focused and loud from the first pitch, jumping on Cromwell’s pitching and defensive miscues. Taking a first inning lead, the boys started pressing down on the gas pedal and never looked in the rear-view mirror. They weren't just hitting the ball, they were crushing it, from the top of the order through every player, balls were flying all over the field. Running the bases with aggressive intelligence, unnerved defensive, and a dominating pitching performance made sure the game was never in question.
When the final pitch was thrown, the boys celebrated together in front of the mound the same way they have played together all tournament, as a TEAM. The coaches had a chance to take a deep breath and smile, knowing that the boys saved their best game of the season for this night.
(Information and picture provided by Tom Pia and the Wethersfield Little League Board)
(Left) TGIFidays won the Newington Little League’s Intermediate Championship, defeating Turgeon Jewelers 15-7 on June 8th
(Right) Cromwell baseball won the District 7 Little league Championship in the 50 - 70 Division
(Pictured) Wethersfield's Craig Elliott, Newington's Julian Ortiz, Louis Egbuna, and Abygale Flores, and Rocky Hill's Kamari Grant
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 2019!
“I would say my favorite memory in my sports career at Rocky Hill would be knocking off HK (#1 seed) as we were the #32 seed in last year’s first round of the state tournament. Going into the game we knew as a team that we had the skill and talent to knock off any team in the state. High school baseball in Connecticut, is like no other sport. You don’t really get these huge upsets like you see in baseball, in any other sport. It’s really just about who shows up that day and who is ready to work, and as you can see we were the team that day that wanted it the most,” -Rocky Hill’s Tyler Schiavone on beating top-seeded Haddam-Killingworth in first round of the 2018 Class M tournament (05/29/18)
“My first varsity start ever, sophomore year home against Farmington we were losing a majority of the game and I had a game-winning drive and threw a go-ahead touchdown with around a minute left to win the season opener at home. This felt special doing this so young. Ended up making Fab 15 that week too,” -Wethersfield’s Craig Elliott on a 20-14 come-from-behind win over Farmington (09/09/16)
“I chose this picture to represent my favorite memory because it’s from when I was freshman on the varsity team and this was the first game I got put in. We were playing Rocky Hill and I had a lot of fun playing with my teammates. I remember when there was a couple seconds left in the game and all I could hear is everyone saying shoot the ball. I threw it from half court and got fouled. Coach was worried but I was fine. But it was honestly the most memorable day because I showed I was worthy to play on the varsity team as a freshman,” -Newington’s Abygale Flores on playing Rocky Hill (01/26/2016)
“My favorite moment from this season was coming back from behind and beating Northwest Catholic 21-14. This was a big win in our season opener in front of our home crowd to get a win with a new team after such a big senior class left,” -Rocky Hill’s Kamari Grant recalling win from (09/07/2018)
“When me and Louis officially committed to Nichols for football and volleyball. Louis has been my brother since 5th grade and blood couldn’t make us any closer and it means a lot because we’re both doing what we love by playing our sport at a collegiate level and majoring in sports management,” Newington’s Julian Ortiz on his bond with classmate and teammate Louis Egbuna. Both will be attending and playing sports at Nichols College.
“My favorite game was the championship game for volleyball. It was my last game and we got the 3peat. (Also) the game that I found out that I got all-state,” Newington’s Louis Egbuna on championship victory over Cheshire (06/06/2019).
Newington's Reagan Pelton
Cromwell: Tyler Baldwin, Nick Polizonis
Middletown: Ryan Conklin, Kobe Watanabe, Logan Wenzel
Newington: Ethan Errera, Gunnar Johnson, Jack Kelly, Jon Pyne
Rocky Hill: Justin Fraleigh, Tyler Schiavone
Wethersfield: Mark Bagdasarian, Matt Bagdasarian, Brandon Bukowski, Hunter Dombal, Roan Moran, Derek Tenney
Wethersfield: Anthony Milluzzo
Middletown: Logan Frame
Newington: Maddie Massaro-Cook
Rocky Hill: Anna Montalto, Margaret Montalto
Wethersfield: Leah Ayers, Taylor Ayers, Sydney Bowers, Emily McKenna
Cromwell: Zac Cyr, Ethan Ranger, Tanner Slifer
Newington: Jordan Alexander, Matt Bradley, Dan Pestrichello
Rocky Hill: Andrew Albano, John Blair, Josh Cavallo, Chris Conlan, Hunter Poliquin, Benji Smith, Liam Sullivan
Newington: Hannah Drew, Maya Gajowiak, Reagan Pelton
Boys Outdoor Track & Field
Cromwell: Dudley Salmon, JJ Tracy, Anthony Caracogla, Ethan Wilson
Middletown: Cameron Barrett, Collin Chlebowski, Trevor Drescher, DaJaun Lomotey, Jeremiah Leary, Matt Lecky, Anthony Pappa, Brendon Parker, Osbourne Richards, Jaymin Torres, Tyler Wenzel, Eddie Williams
Newington: Michael Bohlke, Robert Stabert, Aiden Toth
Wethersfield: Mike Bobin, Riley Carlson, Mike Dunn, Owen Gaagne, Dan Parker
Girls Outdoor Track & Field
Cromwell: Eliza Weston, Caitlin DellaRatta, Cara Jordan, Andraya Yearwood, Taylor Santos
Middletown: Kaylee Allegretti, Nyasia Dailey, Natalie Sosnovich, Madelyn Vianney, Jeralyn WigginsLudko, Ebelyn Rodriguez, Sydni Spencer
Rocky Hill: Elizabeth Stockman, Maria Corcoran, Lilah Devine, Angelika Ptak,
Wethersfield: Kayla Condon, Meghan Gregorski, Clarissa Nock, Caitlin Nardella, Sienna Brodeur, Katelyn Glendon
Cromwell: Jenna Masiello, Madison Tessmer, Monica Dewey, Jaime Anderson
Middletown: Janelle Franklin, Carley Gessarro, Dominique Highsmith
Newington: Madelyn Ellis, Cy Gonzalez, Danielle Pantano, Rachel Thureson
Rocky Hill: Nicole Desroches, Jazzy Edmunds, Erin Slavin
Wethersfield: Molly Bowers, Emma Capuano, Erica Christie, Maddy Johnson
Cromwell: Cedrik Cudmore, Sammy Jacinto, Ewan McNeil
Middletown: Spencer Asal, Mike Flynn, Mike Katz
Newingto: Sean Davis, Sam Johnson,Videep Soni, Matt Utter
Rocky Hill: Pavan Adapa, Pulkit Nagpal, Ayush Patel, Ishan Sheth
Wethersfield: Liam Harrington, Alex Jones, Michael Manousos, Jacob Schlapfer
Middletown: Madison Dube, Belle Galle, Kelly Simpson
Newington: Kelly Iskra, Mara Klin, Julia Mazur, Samantha Miller, Emily Petornio, Olivia Rozio, Lindsay Weaver
Rocky Hill: Julia DiBattista, Rekha Dunn, Nikki Lukens, Suhani Sheth
Wethersfield: Isabella Bonvisuto, Paige Contenta, Sofia Giarratana, Tia Hema, Kerianne O’Brien, Shelly Pettingill, Haley Whechel
Newington: Leonel Caceres, Louis Egbuna, Mason Romano
Wethersfield: Riley Grenier, Conor Senk
(Left) Cromwell's Lauren Wolak was the named the Rare Reminder Cheerleader of the Year, pictured with coach Beth Sarnacki - (Right) Wethersfield's Derek Tenney was named Rare Reminder's Baseball Player of the Year. Pictured with his parents, Daniel and Isabel, during his University of Hartford signing
Boys Cross Country: Samuel Geisler (Newington): Geisler burst onto the scene with a strong sophomore season, finishing sixth overall with a time of 16:33 at the Class L championships. The blossoming underclassman also had a solid showing at the conference championships and State Open and will continue blazing the trails near Newington for the next two years.
Girls Cross Country: Elizabeth Stockman (Rocky Hill): Stockman added to her long list of accomplishments by winning the CCC championship and the Class M championship. The junior earned all-state honors for her efforts of endurance and will seek the three-peat in the class championship next fall.
Field Hockey: Zoe Kleeblatt (Wethersfield): Kleeblatt was the heart and soul of an Eagles team that won nine games and made the state tournament. The junior earned all-state honors and all-conference recognition for her work on the field this fall and was also a force on the softball diamond in the spring.
Football: Bryce Karstetter (Cromwell): Karstetter set a new standard at Cromwell, putting up video game numbers and helping guide the Panthers to nine wins and a berth in the postseason. The senior was the unquestioned leader on the offensive side of the football, totaling 33 touchdowns and nearly 3000 yards during his all-state season.
Boys Soccer: JJ Tracy (Cromwell): Tracy was an offensive assassin this fall, scoring goals in bunches and setting the tone for a Panthers squad that advanced to the quarterfinals in the state tourney. The senior’s production earned him all-state for the second straight season, and he also excelled on the basketball court and the track during his tenure at CHS.
Girls Soccer: Megan Keleher (Wethersfield): Keleher was a brick wall in goal for Wethersfield and a major reason the Eagles advanced to the quarterfinals in the state tourney, blanking Barlow in the second round. The senior was honored with an all-state recognition and will continue goaltending collegiately at Central Connecticut State University.
Girls Swimming & Diving: Abby Francis (Wethersfield): Francis wrapped up an incredible career at Wethersfield by winning the 200 IM and 100 Breaststroke and was part of the first-place 200 Freestyle Relay at the Class L championships. Following multiple all-state selections, the graduating senior is set to test the waters at Davidson College in North Carolina.
Girls Volleyball: Sadie Budzik (Cromwell): Budzik owed the courts in Cromwell this year, winning a state title as the floor general for the basketball team and earning all-state honors for her brilliant work on the volleyball courts. The junior was an uber-productive and versatile star for the Panthers, leading the team in kills, aces, and digs.
Boys Basketball: Gabe Charleston (Cromwell): Charleston took his game to another level this year, dominating the middle for a Panthers team that finished the regular season with a perfect 20-0 mark. The well-rounded junior earned all-state after averaging 13 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals per game, the appetizer for what should be a sensational senior season next winter.
Girls Basketball: Nikki Lukens (Rocky Hill): Lukens closed out an illustrious high school career at Rocky Hill by becoming the program’s all-time leading scorer while helping lead the young Terriers to the tournament. The senior was selected all-state for the second straight season and earned a third straight all-conference honor.
Gymnastics: Madison Bradbury (Wethersfield): Bradbury was an all-state recipient following a strong performance at Class M finals. The senior also competed at the State Open and is leaving WHS as one of the school’s most accomplished gymnasts.
Ice Hockey: Ethan Ranger (Newington/Cromwell Coop): Ranger helped elevate the Indians hockey team to another level this season, shining on a team that won 15 regular season games and came within inches of playing in a state title game. The senior earned all-state following a 39-point / 21-goal season, both team highs.
Boys Swimming & Diving: Hadden Gaunt (Wethersfield): Gaunt stole the show on an extremely balanced and strong group of swimmers and divers at WHS, winning both the conference championship and the Class M championships in diving. The sophomore has two more years to further showcase his abilities at Wethersfield.
Wrestling: Elijah Cyr (Middletown): Cyr proved once again to be the best in his weight class, winning both the Class L championship and the State Open in the 113-pound division. Along with being named all-state, the senior grappler was also a Fargo Greco All-American and an NHSCA All-American.
Cheerleading: Lauren Wolak (Cromwell): Wolak became a leader for a young Panthers squad that competed valiantly at the state tournament. The sophomore earned all-state recognition for her efforts and is a perennial honor roll student in the classroom.
Baseball: Derek Tenney (Wethersfield): Tenney followed up last season’s championship campaign with another monster year on the diamond, earning all-state and being named all-conference for a second straight season. The graduating senior was superb from both the plate and in the field and is now prepping to play college ball at the University of Hartford.
Boys Golf: Anthony Milluzzo (Wethersfield): Milluzzo led a good group of Eagles golfer, often finishing as the medalist during the regular season. The senior also earned an All-CCC selection following solid showings at the conference championships and the state finals.
Girls Golf: Emily McKenna (Wethersfield): McKenna was the leader of an Eagles squad that finished the regular season undefeated and won the CCC championship. The senior shot a course-best at the conference championship and then had another solid showing at the State Open, resulting in her fourth straight all-conference selection.
Boys Lacrosse: Chris Conlan (Rocky Hill): Conlan was a three-sport star at Rocky Hill, ending his tenure with an all-state selection in lacrosse. The senior midfielder helped lead a talented group of Terriers that won nine regular season games and a dramatic tournament game.
Girls Lacrosse: Maya Gajowiak (Newington): Gajowiak wrapped up an incredible high school career with an all-state recognition following a team-high 103-point / 63-goal season. The graduating senior was a four-year starter, making all-conference in each of her four seasons, and is now off to Marist College in New York.
Softball: Dominique Highsmith (Middletown): Highsmith closed out her high school career with a second straight all-state selection following another highly productive season. The graduating senior, who also starred on the basketball court, was also named all-conference for a third straight season and will now showcase her softball skills at CCSU.
Boys Tennis: Ishan Sheth (Rocky Hill): Sheth was splendid this spring as the #1 player for the Terriers and entered the Class S tournament as the #12-ranked player overall. The junior advanced to third round, defeating two opponents in tourney, and returns as one of the state’s top contenders next spring.
Girls Tennis: Suhani Sheth (Rocky Hill): Sheth wasted little time getting comfortable with high school tennis, taking over as Rocky Hill’s #1 singles player and winning a majority of matches this spring. The freshman phenom’s momentum carried over into the postseason where she won her opening round match in the State Open.
Boys Track & Field: Matthew Lecky (Middletown): Lecky won both the 1600M and 3200M at the outdoor conference championships, crushing the competition. The senior followed it with a third-place finish in the 1600M at the class championships and is graduating Middletown with a long list of accomplishments on both the track and the cross country trails.
Girls Track & Field: Elizabeth Stockman (Rocky Hill): Stockman continued to stockpile wins, winning the 1600M at the class championships and finishing second in 3200M at the same event. The soon-to-be-senior is setting a new standard on running excellence in Rocky Hill.
Boys Volleyball: Leonel Caceres (Newington): Caceres proved to be the state’s most adaptable volleyball player, switching positions this season and becoming the voice and heartbeat of Newington’s latest title. As a junior in 2018 he was a dominant outside hitter, leading the team in kills, and this past season he was one of the state’s best setters, racking up 795 assists (nearly nine per set) as the Indians won a third consecutive state title.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin