(Tyler Morgan will be one of the senior leaders for Rocky Hill soccer)
Boys Cross Country:
Middletown welcomes Newington, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield and a host of others for the Blue Dragon Invitation on Friday, Sept 8 (3:45) to officially start the 2017 season. Stefano Mazzeo and Matthew Lecky will pace the host team and Aiden Toth (Newington), Jason Oostendorp (Rocky Hill), and Garrett Tougas (Wethersfield) will also blaze the way during the invitational.
Cromwell hosts their own event on Saturday, Sept 16, welcoming schools to CHS for the CT River Championships. Senior Ben Keithan will lead the Panthers on the trails this season
Girls Cross Country:
Host Middletown, along with Newington, Rocky Hill, and Wethersfield, will all compete in the Blue Dragon Invitational on Friday, Sept 8 (3:30). The home squad has a pair of sophomores in Ariana Monarca and Nicole Nenninger coming off strong freshman campaigns. Isabella Schroeder, Allison Ayers, and Allison Appel head a talented Eagles unit and Lilah Devine, Amber Bayek, and Elizabeth Stockman head an equally impressive Terriers team. Newington’s Angelina Zacharias will also be in the mix.
The Cromwell girls welcome a group of schools to CHS for the CT River Championships on Saturday, Sept 16. Sophomores Georgia Mikan and Allison Arling, along with junior Emma Drzewiecki, will lead the way for the Panthers this season.
Newington is coming off a nine-win season, which earned them a tournament berth in 2016. The Indians lost an abundance of offensive firepower, but Maya Gajowiak and Vanesa Seguro will assume bigger roles this season, which starts with a home game against South Windsor on Friday, Sept 8 (3:45).
Wethersfield started to come together late last fall, winning two of their final three games after losing their first 13 contests. Starters Maya Mulholland, Gabriela Interian, Lexi Munger, and Emma Zaleski are returning for the Eagles, who start the season with four tough road games before returning to WHS for back-to-back home games against Mercy and Windsor on Sept 20 (5:45) and 22 (5:00).
Wethersfield is coming off another deep tourney run in 2016 and have scoring-machine Brendan Barry and fellow all-conference recipient Brendon Mansaku coming back. The Eagles also have goaltenders Enrico Gionfriddo and Mark Accarpio returning after the two split time between the pipes a season ago. The team’s home opener is Tuesday, Sept 12 (6:30) against rival Rocky Hill.
The Terriers graduated ten seniors, but have athlete-extraordinaire James Chasco-Dimauro, Jordan DelMastro, and Tyler Morgan back for their senior seasons. Juniors Riley Donovan Miguel Madera will also help fill the void of the departed seniors. Rocky Hill begins their home schedule on Friday, Sept 8 (6:00) against Newington.
The Indians will follow up the game at Rocky Hill by hosting their first home game is against New Britain on Monday, Sept 11 (6:00). Newington will be leaning on Mike Ganley and Jared Galarza this season and Jack DeGirolamo will be the Indians net protector this fall.
Cromwell is fresh off a quarterfinals appearance a season ago and has Jack Holcomb coming back for his senior season. The Panthers host Coginchaug for their home opener on Monday, Sept 11 (6:00).
Middletown starts their home schedule the next night, Tuesday, Sept 12 (6:00) when they welcome Maloney to MHS. The Blue Dragons will be counting on all-conference recipient Jeff Turro and fellow senior Carson Fitzner this season.
Middletown won a Class LL tourney game after finishing the 2016 regular season 11-3-2 and the team is primed for an even better 2017 with the return of all-conference seniors Amalia Sessoms and Kaitlyn D’Amico. The Blue Dragons open up at home, welcoming Meriden-based Platt to MHS on Friday, Sept 8 (3:45).
Newington reached the quarterfinals in Class LL following a terrific regular season. The Indians graduated a lot of talent, but senior Skylar Couillard, along with juniors Abby Molloy, Emmy Petronio, and Maggie Callahan are back attempting to duplicate last season’s feat. Their home opener is Friday, Sept 8 against Rocky Hill (3:45).
Cromwell also reached the quarters in the Class M tournament after winning 12 games and the Panthers have a strong nucleus returning, led by Olivia Belcourt, Jenna Serrantino, Cara Jordan, and Seraphina McKiernan. Their first game at CHS is Tuesday, Sept 12 against Coginchaug (6:00).
Rocky Hill has all the tools to be very good this season following a tourney win last fall. The Terriers only lost two players to graduation and have all-state selection Grace Moore and fellow all-conference recipients Bella Montalvo and Annie White returning. Goalie Samantha Steinman is also back for her senior season. They take on Wethersfield to kick-off their home schedule, Tuesday, Sept 12 (6:00).
Wethersfield is coming off a nine-loss season in 2016, but the Eagles are hoping to improve on that this fall and will lean on Jane Rumley, Alexis Szymecki, and Chloe Troy. They open the season at WHS, Friday Sept 8 against New Britain (3:30).
Girls Swimming & Diving:
Wethersfield has been the queens of the CCC for the past eight seasons and look to continue that streak this season behind Abigail Francis and Maura Stewart. The Eagles first home meet is a doozy, as they welcome Glastonbury to WHS on Tuesday, Sept 19 (5:00).
Rocky Hill begins the season with three straight home meets, starting with Southington on Tuesday, Sept 12 (3:45). Shelby Cios and Victoria Bower will pace the Terriers in the pool this fall.
Amber Rocheleau is coming off a fantastic season last fall and will again lead Newington, who starts the season hosting Enfield/Somers on Monday, Sept 11 (4:00).
Middletown’s Cassandra More remains the area’s best diver and will be back on the board for the Blue Dragons, who start the season with a home date against Glastonbury on Tuesday, Sept 12 (4:00).
Rocky Hill had several younger players get experience a season ago and still won 11 regular season matches. Seniors Grace Fisher and Nicole Chamberland are back, along with junior Julia O’Connor, who is coming off an all-conference selection as a sophomore. The Terriers host Newington to start the season on Friday, Sept 8 (5:45).
Wethersfield first home game is against Rocky Hill on Monday, Sept 11 (5:00). The Eagles struggled a season ago but have several starters returning, including a star in the making in Cheyenne Smith. Setter Jackie Reategui will again be the heart and soul of the team and Danielle Elliott will be a force in the middle.
Newington missed out on the postseason last fall, but look to rebound this season with an experienced lineup. Meghan Roberts had a monster year as a junior and she enters her senior season with team captain Blayne Wanner-Hyde by her side. Sophomore Benitez Carelys will also make an impact. The Indians first home game is Monday, Sept 11 (5:45) against New Britain.
Cromwell lost a handful of players to graduation after reaching the quarterfinals in Class S, but seniors Dana Coughlin and Amaya Feitel return to fill the voids. The Panthers first home game is Monday, Sept 11 (5:30) against Coginchaug.
*Football preview is next week*
(Rocky Hill's Julia O'Connor is back on the volleyball court after earning all-conference as a sophomore)
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin