Boys Basketball: Wissink’s Block Secures Spartans Victory And A Trip To The Sun

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Mar 152018

The Amity Spartans were on the road in Shelton for the CIAC D II Semifinal game against Newtown on Wednesday, March 14.

The lower than average score in the first and second quarters meant that the defense was working overtime on both sides.

Tyler Thomas was the game’s high scoring player with 18 points, his brother Tanner followed with 11 for Amity.

Newtown’s Nick Weiland and Robert DiSibio each made 14 points.

First Quarter

Newtown had a 3-point lead over Amity, ending the first quarter at 10-7.

Second Quarter

The Spartans pulled ahead with 13 points over the Nighthawk’s 7. Second quarter score 20-17 Amity

Third Quarter

This was a big quarter for the Spartans, who added 18 points to Newtown’s 11. Third Quarter score  38 – 28 Amity.

Fourth Quarter

Even with a solid 10 point lead the Spartans knew that the Nighthawk’s were in the semifinals with them for a reason, and so far, they had given them quite a run. So every move, every pass, everything that happened in the next few minutes would lead to a victory or devastation.

Both teams quickly pushed forward with Amity keeping a lead as the minutes ticked away 45 – 36; 47 – 36; 47 – 38 with 39 seconds remaining; 48 – 40 at the 31-second mark; 48 – 42 and just 15.2 seconds left, and down to the wire at 6.3 seconds 48 – 45.

After Tanner Thomas sunk a foul shot for Amity, Newtown’s Riley Ward took the ball to their end of the court and passed it to Ryan Escoda, who threw it for a 3-pointer, which would have tied the game. But, Amity’s 6′-1″ freshman, Cole Wissink lept into the air and blocked the shot, sending the ball into the bleachers.

And all of their hard work paid off, the Amity Spartans (20-6) are going to their first state final game against #2 Immaculate at Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

Score by quarter

AMITY          7  13  18  10 – 48

NEWTOWN  10   7  11  17 – 45


AMITY (20-6) Tyler Thomas 7 2-5 18 (includes three 3-pointers); Tanner Thomas 4 3-6 11; Chris Bierezowiec 4 2-3 10; Cole Wissink 2 0-0 4 (one 3-point field goal);  Joe Benedetti 1 0-0 3; John Nolan 1 0-0 2;  . Totals: 19 7-14 48.

NEWTOWN (14-11) Nick Weiland 7 0-1 14, Robert DiSibio 5 1-2 14, Todd Peterson 5 0-3 11, Ryan Escoda 1 0-0 3, Riley Ward 1 0-0 2, Shea Talbot 0 1-3 1. Totals: 19 2-9 45.


Mar 142018

I have been on earth for more than half a century and I can remember all of the shootings and massacres in the United States that sent shockwaves across the nation. Columbine is the one in recent history of which most Americans are familiar, but the one that sticks with me the most is Sandy Hook. For my coverage, I relayed information from a fellow journalist who was on scene and a personal friend of Principal Dawn Hochsprung, who died during the rampage.

Nothing has been done about gun control in the five years since, and the incidents keep coming.

And now, my RANT

The list of school shootings and violence is endless, dating back to 1764 in Greencastle, PA when 10 were killed in the Enoch Brown School Massacre. Do your research, and you will see hundreds of incidents where 1 or 2 people died in senseless acts of violence and know that that ONE person had a family and friends and is sorely missed, and left an impact on many. One Life is TOO MUCH.

Since the president and our lawmakers in Washington are unwilling to take on the NRA, it is up to the youth in our nation to find a way to put an end to gun violence. The pleas of parents of the slain Sandy Hook children and teachers have fallen on deaf ears, so perhaps hearing from the well-spoken survivors of the most recent Florida school shooting.

I believe that people have the right to bear arms. Hunters can own and use hunting rifles for that purpose – Hunting if they have a license. Handguns in the possession or responsible people also is not an issue in my mind. Although I do not like the idea of parents having guns in the house where children have access to them, as there are too many accidental shooting deaths across the nation every year. Lock them up and don’t let the children know where you keep the key.

I used to own a .357 Magnum – the BIG “Dirty Harry” type, and I enjoyed using it for target practice, but I never dreamed of using it for any other purpose. It’s been gone for more than 30 years since I had my children.

Teenagers should not own guns because it’s just too easy to impulsively grab one and do some damage.

The AR-15 is NOT a weapon that anyone should have in his or her home to protect their family from intruders. It does NOT belong in the hands of a depressed teenager who has enough money to purchase one online as a means of getting payback, or a mentally unstable adult like the Las Vegas shooter whose excuse I’m not sure I ever heard.

The ONLY ones who should have an AR-15 ASSAULT RIFLE are members of POLICE SWAT or SOLDIERS who are fighting for our country overseas.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH Thanks to the bravery of the students in Parkland, Florida, and all of the students who’ve followed their lead, maybe lawmakers will finally listen and DO SOMETHING. Do not sit with the kids with a note in your hand stating “I hear you” if you aren’t going to listen or do anything.

Let our kids go to school to learn. No more fear. No more anonymous threats that interfere with their education. NO MORE.

The time is NOW, Stand Up and Do Something. #ENOUGH!

When I first posted this online attached to the Walkout story, I received a Facebook Comment from “Aimee” stating: “Instead of looking OUTWARD to blame others, look INWARD to be part of the solution!”

I am looking OUTWARD at our lawmakers to make a decision like they did in Australia in 1996 after 36 people were killed during the Port Arthur massacre. It’s time to make some real changes in the gun laws now.

I have watched our lawmakers dodge the issue for years, I’ve written letters with my concerns, I wrote this “rant” and put myself out there for the public to agree or disagree with.

So I ask you, Aimee, what are you doing to be part of the solution?

Please go to our Facebook Page for some lively feedback from readers. Pay close attention to Jamie Vincent’s comments.

Amity Students Participate In National Walkout Day With Teachers’ Blessing

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Mar 142018

Shared photo

Amity High School students were met with an unexpected gathering outside the school grounds when they arrived this morning (Wednesday, March 14, 2018).

On a day when they were planning to participate in the National Walkout Day to show solidarity for the 17 killed in the Valentine’s Day attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The students received support from their teachers, who lined the walking path along the main driveway at Amity holding signs with messages, such as “Our Students Deserve Safe Schools,” and “I Am Proud Of My Students.”

About 30% of the Amity student body left their classrooms at 10 a.m. and gathered on the baseball fields to reflect on the lives lost, share ideas on how to stop the madness and hope that they are never put in the same situation.

Shared photo

One teacher said the students returned to the classrooms around 10:30 “respectfully and with grace.”

The handwritten signs included the hashtag ENOUGH, which has become the universal outcry for gun control after so many senseless school shootings — Columbine, 15 killed in 1999; Red Lake, 7 killed at senior high school (3 others in another location) in 2005; Virginia Tech, 33 killed, 2007; Sandy Hook Elementary – perhaps the most heinous, 28 murdered in 2012; Marysville Pilchuck High School  Washington, 5 killed, 2014; Umpqua Community College, Oregon, 10 killed, 2015; and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 17 killed, 2018.

The RANT is now a separate posting (as it took away from this story)

Time And Place Announced For CIAC Boys Basketball D II Semifinal Game (Get Your Tickets Now)

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Mar 132018

As we watch our Amity Spartans Boys Basketball team dribble and dunk their way to the state championship we know there will be some traveling involved.

Luckily, the Semifinal between the Spartans and the Newtown Night Hawks will take place fairly close at Shelton High School Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

Get your tickets in advance at gofan.co/app/events/23876

Mar 132018

Stay in Bed kids, there’s no school in the Amity district or Orange Elementary.

Try and have some fun, but also get out there and help your parents by cleaning up the snow.

Don’t leave your pets out too long in the snow, as they can get frostbite, just like you and I.

The way things are going you may be going to school until July!

Half of the flights out of CT have been canceled, trains are on a shortened schedule, call before you go.

Boys Basketball: CIAC Division II, Amity Advances to Semifinal on Wednesday

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Mar 132018

Amity hosted the CIAC Division !! Basketball Quarterfinals on Monday, March 12.

The Amity Spartans were matched up with the Stamford Black Knights for this round of the tournament.

The Amity Army (student fans) was out in force filling a quarter of the bleachers to cheer on the Spartans.

First Quarter

The Spartans came on strong with Tyler Thomas, Jack Nolan and Tanner Thomas sinking most of the 26 points. Stamford’s Tevin St. John singlehandedly scored all of the Black Knight’s 8 points.

Second Quarter

The Thomas brothers scored all 11 points for the Spartans, while St. John and Josh Thervil added 21 points for the Black Knights. Second quarter score 37-29, Amity.

Third Quarter

Amity’s Tyler Thomas and Chris Bierezowiec contributed to the third quarter score along with Cole Wissink’s 3-pointer.  Thervil and Jelani Jackson were credited with Stamford’s 5 points. Third quarter score 54-34, Amity.

Fourth Quarter

Tyler Thomas, Bierezowiec, Joe Benedetti, and John Nolan, each contributed to this 19-point quarter. and Thervil, Jackson and St. John each added to the final 14 points in the game. Score 73-49 Amity

After the game, the fans stormed the court to congratulate the Spartans on their victory

Score By Quarter

AMITY         26  11 17 19 – 73

STAMFORD    8  21  5  14 – 49

Game Notes:

AMITY (18-5)
Tyler Thomas 9 6-7 27 (includes three 3-pointers); John Nolan 5 4-6 14; Tanner Thomas 5 3-6 13;Chris Bierezowiec 5 0-0 10;  Joe Benedetti 2 0-0 4; Cole Wissink 1 0-0 3 (one 3-point field goal); Sebastian Formica 1 0-0 2. Totals: 28 13-19 73

Tevin St. John 10 5-7 25; Josh Thervil 4 1-2 12; Jelani Jackson 1 2-2 4; Tyheim Burgess 2 0-0 4;  Jaden Bell 1 0-0 2;  Tyler Landsiedel 0 1-2 1; Totals: 18 9-15 49


March 14

No. 9 Amity (18-5) vs. No. 21 Newtown (14-9) at Site TBA, Wednesday, March 14, Time TBA;

Boys Hockey: Cole Gives His All, Conn Prevents Shut Out In Final Game Of 2018

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Mar 122018

On Friday, March 9, the (#7) Amity Spartans Ice Hockey team went up against (#2) Watertown-Pomperaug in Milford for the D II CIAC Quarterfinals.

Just two weeks prior, on Senior night, Watertown defeated Amity 6-1, so with that and all of their moves fresh on the Spartans’ minds, it was time for the ultimate revenge match.

The State championship is something the Spartans had been striving for all season long and now, they could taste it. Watertown is fast, aggressive and skilled at playing keep-away with the puck, but, Amity is more than capable of working the ice, and that’s what they did.

First Period

Amity played hard, racing across the ice, keeping up with every strategic move Watertown put forth. The challengers fired shot after shot at Spartans goalie Tyler Cole, and he deflected every one with the speed and agility of a ninja.

For 15 minutes Amity held Watertown off and with Cole’s help ended the first period 0-0.

Second Period

After returning to the ice, both teams played fast and hard. There was fairly equal possession out there and things were looking good for our Spartans until Watertown’s Eli Rosen sneaked one in past Cole in the first 6 minutes of play, assisted by Nick LaBella.

Later, with just 2:28 remaining, Patsy Harris scored for Watertown on an assist from Hunter Shay.

Score 2-0 Watertown

Third Period

During the final period, it was do-or-die for both teams as Watertown continued to hammer Cole with shots, and Amity’s defense was working overtime, keeping the challengers from scoring. But Watertown was performing admirably as well. Then, with just 22 seconds remaining, Spartans’ Jordan Conn successfully prevented a shutout by getting a goal off an assist by Jake Silliman.

Sadly, this was the end of the road in 2018 for Mike Richetelli’s Spartans. Everyone, players, coaches, fans, family members and this reporter felt the devastation. Even so, we are so proud of the way our Boys have grown over the years, this year, in particular, was really impressive. Tyler Cole gave it everything he had and more and the entire team was there to back him up.

New head coach Richetelli’s goal was to get them into the CIAC tournament, which he did, Even though it ended too soon, there is nothing to be ashamed of. The 2017-18 Spartans had a Phenomenal season and we thank them for taking all of us along for the ride.


Boys Basketball: Amity Defeats Manchester, Advances To Division II Quarterfinal

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Mar 112018

From what you see here, it will be obvious that I did not attend the D II second-round boys basketball game on Friday night. I searched but found no other coverage from which to draw information except the tweets sent out by Amity’s Athletic Director.

From the numbers, it appears to have been a very exciting, tight, neck-in-neck game, but I can’t tell you much more.

At the end of the first quarter, Manchester was ahead 15 – 12.

The Spartans rallied, and by halftime, the game was tied at 31.

Manchester pulled ahead again and had a 7-point lead, 49-42, at the end of the third quarter

But the nailbiting excitement came in the final quarter.

With just 4:22 remaining Amity had tied things up again at 49-49.

Yet with 2:12 left, Manchester had a 54-51 lead.

Less than a minute later, Amity tied them at 54, and 18 seconds after that they gained a 2 point lead of 56-54.

But, it didn’t last for long, Manchester tied them with 50.6 remaining.

And the 56-56 game went into overtime.


From the tweets that were sent out, you can see that both teams battled hard for a victory:

57-56 Amity 3 min

61-60. 34 sec. Amity on the line

62-60. 34 sec. Manchester ball. Timeout

5.9 sec. 62-60 Amity. Amity on the line

63-60. 5.9 sec. Manchester ball timeout

Amity wins! 63-60

The Spartans (17-5) advance to the Division II Quarters against Stamford (15-7) at Amity, on Monday, March 12 at 7 p.m.

Boys Hockey: Spartans Defeat Rams, Advance to CIAC Quarterfinal On Friday

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Mar 082018

On Tuesday, March 6, the Amity Spartans hosted the Cheshire Rams in West Haven for the first round CIAC Boys Ice Hockey Tournament game.

First Period

Amity took the lead just 5:57 into the first period with a goal by sophomore Connor Bath, assisted by Jake Silliman and Joey Schittina.

Second Period

The Spartans didn’t waste any time scoring after returning to the ice. Jason Csejka got one in at just 32 seconds, assisted by Jamie Blum.

Third Period

Now 2 points behind, the Rams wanted nothing more than to get on the scoreboard and just 1:17 into the period Benjamin O’Connor took a shot from a blindside and made it past Amity Goalie Tyler Cole, who’d played an excellent game all afternoon.

As the game wound down Jamie Blum made two unassisted goals for the Spartans, the first at with 3:63 left on the clock and again with just 54 seconds remaining.

Amity wins, 4-1 and advances to the quarterfinals on Friday, March 9 at the Milford Ice Pavilion at 6 p.m.

#7 Amity (13-7-1) goes up against #2 Watertown-Pomperaug (17-3-1).

The last time these two teams met was just two weeks ago on Feb. 24, which was Amity’s “Senior Day” Game. Watertown won 6-1, and with that fresh on their minds, the Spartans will be ready for battle and hungry for a victory as they edge their way to the championship title.

NOTE: Ever since their first scrimmage, I’ve been telling Coach Mike Richetelli that these boys were going to the Championship game. Come on Amity, do what I KNOW you can do. stay focused and play hard. and remember DEFENSE! Best of Luck Boys.

Boys Basketball First Round Division II States: Thomas Leads Amity To Victory

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Mar 082018

On Tuesday night the #9 Amity Spartans Boys Basketball team hosted #24 Hartford Public for the First Round of the CIAC Division II State Tournament.

Amity’s Tyler Thomas was the game’s high scoring player with 30 points.

All of the Spartans towered over Hartford’s three high scoring players —  Jaquan Kins, Josh Colon, and Ferguson Louis — but that didn’t keep these scrappy players from continuously surprising Amity with their often Globetrotter-like moves.

Amity took an 8-point lead in the first quarter and seemed to be well on their way. Hartford had a better second quarter with twice as many points as Amity, narrowing the Spartans’ lead to just 2 points.

The Spartans crushed the third quarter, adding 26 points, enjoying a healthy 16-point lead.

In the fourth-quarter, Hartford came on strong and at one point made 8 points in quick succession. But in the end, Amity was victorious at 72-55. The Spartans advance to the second round.


Points Per Quarter                                             

AMITY                     22   6 26 18—72

HARTFORD PUBLIC 14 12 12 17—55



AMITY                     22  28  54  72

HARTFORD PUBLIC  14  26  38  55

Tyler Thomas 11 6-6 30 (including two 3-pointers, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists), Tanner Thomas 4 1-4 9 (7 rebounds),  Jack Nolan 3 1-1 7 (7 rebounds), Joe Benedetti 3 0-0 6 (9 rebounds), Chris Bierezowiec 3 0-2 6, Cole Wissink 1 2-2 4, James Van Hise 4 2-3. Totals 29 12-19 72.

Hartford Public

Jaquan Kins 6 2-4 16 (two 3-pointers), Josh Colon 5 0-0 12 (two 3-pointers),  Ferguson Louis 3 2-2 8, Mark Fenty 4 0-0 8, Armani Gonzalez 2 0-0 4, Zarques Rodriguez 1 0-0 3 (one 3-pointer), Ismael Moore 1 0-1 2,  Damon Hill 0 2-2 2. Totals 22 6-9 55.


3-Point Field Goals: Hartford Public 5; Amity 2

The Spartans (16-5) are on the road Friday night to face off with Manchester (16-5) in the CIAC second round at 7 p.m.

Let’s Go Spartans, You’ve got this!