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Jul 232014
 

IMG_9094From Coach Brandon Pepe at the LAX Banquet:

Season recap –   We knew coming in, we had a lot of experienced seniors, and that this had the makings to be a special season, perhaps even one of the best Amity Lacrosse teams in the history of the program.

 

Here’s how we ended up:

 

13-3 Regular season, the best in the history of the program

 

15-5 overall record – most wins since 2003

 

First appearance in SCC tournament since it moved to a 4 team format in 2010

 

First CIAC Tournament win since 2009

 

First Semi-Final appearance in Class L – which is the cream of the crop for HS lacrosse in the COUNTRY!

 

In 20 games we scored 217 goals (4 off the Amity record in a single season), while opponents scored only 121 – both major improvements over last year

 

Goalies had a combined save % of 64.2% which is excellent (like batting .340 in baseball)

 

 

Coach Brandon Pepe addresses the 2014 Amity Lacrosse team.

Coach Brandon Pepe addresses the 2014 Amity Lacrosse team.

Team Goals

Last year we set the bar pretty high – we wanted to go from 6 wins to 10. Ultimately we ended up one game short. This year we didn’t have a number in mind, My personal goal as a coach which was stated at our preseason meeting on March 5th was to beat the tier 1 teams in the SCC, to get a home playoff game, And to win a playoff game. Well (we beat Guilford, Cheshire, Xavier, got the 5th seed in Class L, so we got our home playoff game, we won 2 games in the playoffs, nearly a third). But those were just my personal goals for the program.

 

About half way through the season we went through a tough stretch where we lost 2 close games, and were not playing well. We met as a team in the health room. The coaches left the room and let the players decide what their goals were the rest of the way, and we told them to write them down.

There were about a dozen things written on the board when the coaches returned, some were not exactly quantifiable. But, the day before our semi-final game against Staples we were watching some film, and I had taken a picture of what they wrote down at their player only meeting a month before, and was able to show them how this team had accomplished everything on their list, and had just two remaining goals that were still alive:

1) To play for a championship, and 2) to hang a banner.

While they did not accomplish these goals, as a coach it was such a pleasure to see them play together as a team, and I am so proud of all that they did accomplish, and how they fought to go out as one of the best teams in the history of the Amity Lacrosse Program. Their goals were alive until the very end.

 

AWARDS

 

The 2014 LAX Seniors at the team banquet.

The 2014 LAX Seniors at the team banquet.

With a successful season, many individual players received accolades and awards:

ALL SCC – Joe Choiniere, Midfield     FIRST TEAM

Tyler Burns, Mid – Jake Milner, Attack – Nick Wright, Defense     SECOND TEAM

 

NH Register ALL Area Team – Tyler Burns, Midfield – Joe Choiniere (Most Valuable Player)

 

US Lacrosse Academic All-American – James Chapman (first All-American in the history of our program)

 

ALL State First Team – Joe Choiniere , Midfield – Academic All-State Team

 

COACHES AWARD – Kevin M Donovan – AKA Donny Legend Award – David Buono

 

Team Awards – special awards because they are voted on by the players

 

uscillaMost Improved Player – Brad Uscilla

This player is proof that the program is working the way it is intended to. As a sophomore last season, this player was on the Junior Varsity team. He was brought in to only 2 Varsity games, finishing the season with a whopping 2 goals. He committed himself in the offseason, and once the season began he really seized the opportunity to become a full time starter as a lefty attackman. He went on to lead the team in goals scored with 41 goals (which was 15 more than the next player), and was second on the team in points with 51. This includes a 4 goal performance against a 2X All-American goalie in the first round of the CIAC tournament, and 2 goals in the semifinal game. A great representative of a person who made big strides between his sophomore and junior year, and a great example for the younger guys who may find themselves with an opportunity to do the same with the varsity team next season.

 

14Groundball Award – Sean Grenier

Groundballs (loose balls) in our sport are very important. Although it is often an overlooked statistic, many times the team who wins the game, is the team who collected more ground balls than the other. It is a measure of which team is working harder out on the field. The groundball award, similarly, is given to the player who’s teammates feel was the hardest working individual and motivated others to do the same. The player who earned this award was a standout defensive player. Very physical, and pretty instrumental in our game plans during our playoff run. He certainly got better as the season went on. In the semi-final game he started 2 fast breaks that led to goals. He was a big factor on our man down unit, and a competitor every day in practice.

 

burns 9

 

 

Offensive Player of the Year – Tyler Burns

This player was third on the team in points in 2014, and led the team with 33 assists. He is the self-proclaimed “mister assister,”  and also self-proclaimed smartest kid on the team. He was big in our transition game, had 59 ground balls, and top end speed that made it easy for us to get up and down the field with anyone we played this year.  Tyler will make us proud, and will no doubt continue to wear his black and gold while off at Choate over the next 2 years before ultimately playing at a high level in college. He has great talent on the lacrosse field, and was especially good at keeping everyone laughing off the field, and in our team group text.

 

15Defensive Player of the year – Johnny Uscilla

This player was among the most versatile on the team. As a Long Stick Midfielder, he covered the opponents bestmiddie. In addition, he took faceoffs, played on EMO, and played on the man down unit. Led the defense in groundballs, caused turnovers, and had 4 goals in transition capping off an excellent senior season. I think throughout most of the season Johnny was our best player on the field at any position. He was not selected to any all-conference, or all state teams much to my disappointment, but I am glad that his teammates got it right, and he gets to claim some hardware. He will undoubtedly make the team at Merrimack next year, and excel playing division 2 lacrosse if he chooses to.

 

10Team MVP – Joe Choiniere

All- Conference, All-State, All State Academic Team, All- Area MVP. He was awarded the Amity Athlete of the Year for 2013-2014 school year.

 

Joe led the team in scoring with 55 points (25 goals, 30 assists), but his contribution to the team is one that did not always show up in the box score. He is a complete player out there on the lacrosse field, and a very selfless player. He is very physical, co-led the team in ground balls, is great defensively, and was huge in our transition and clearing game.

 

He was a great leader on the field, and in the huddle, but a lot of what he was able to contribute came day in and day out during practice. He really set the tone for practices, as an extension of the coaching staff. He commanded great respect from his teammates because he worked so hard every single day. He made everyone on the team better, because he had the same high expectations for each of his teammates that he does for himself. I used to tell the players that they did not have to worry about me yelling at them if they made a mistake, but they did have to worry about Joe getting mad at them.

 

Joe has made the honor roll in every marking period throughout his high school career. To do that while being a captain of 3 sports is really a testament to what kind of person he is. He is a smart kid, very hard working, and very deserving of any and all accolades that he has received. Sacred Heart University, where he will play lacrosse, is lucky to have him.

 

CLOSING REMARKS

Message for the seniors –

A championship is such a coveted thing because 99% of teams end up losing the last game that they play. Only champions get to walk off the field on the last game of the year with a win.

You seniors will go off to college, hopefully I will see some of you at our games in the future. You did not win a championship, or hang a banner. But you should know that 3, 4 or 5 years down the road, it will be this team, and this great playoff run that gets more kids involved in the youth program, gets your towns more excited about the sport of lacrosse, and allows us to win future championships. You boys did that. Look at what you were able to accomplish. Great run, great season. I want to say that I love you all, and thank you for the great experience. I hope that you had fun, that you made friends, and that this team is one of your fondest memories moving forward. Good luck in what the future brings you. Continue to set high goals for yourselves, so if you don’t quite reach them, youstill achieve many accomplishments  in your pursuit.

 

 

LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT YEAR…

I can’t stop thinking about how great it was to have the opportunity to make a playoff run, and be in the mix for a championship. Next year, if we don’t abandon what got us here, which was hard work, dedication, and the commitment to getting better every day…We will have that same opportunity. Underclassman, next season is your time to step up and fill the gaps left behind by this graduating class. Much like our Most Improved Player this year, Brad Uscilla was able to do. There is a lot of talent coming back next year, and I am excited for where this program is headed.

 

Leading the team as Captains Next Year

Matt Attolino – Evan Campbell – Jake Milner

 

 

Jul 142014
 

Girls Volleyball The following coaching positions are open in Amity Regional School District #5:

• Asst. Varsity Girls’ Volleyball

• Asst. Varsity Girls’ Indoor Track

• Asst. Varsity Ski Racing

• Varsity Girls’ Track

For more information and an application packet contact Athletic Director Ernest Goodwin at 203-397-4839.

Jul 102014
 

Screen shot 2014-07-10 at 8.07.17 AMAt the July 9 Board of Selectmen’s meeting, the following items ere discussed and/or approved.

• Police Chief Robert Gagne requested the board’s approval for bonding of a HVAC upgrade project for $395,057, not to exceed $411,000 (including engineering fees)

Controlled Air of Branford, was the low bidder to do the job, which was approved by the bond oversight committee.

The work would include exhaust fans and heat in the shooting range.

The police department hopes to have the work done in the fall when the temperature is more pleasant.

— The board unanimously approved the project.

Screen shot 2014-07-10 at 8.09.07 AM• Waive the medical benefits of a new employee

— unanimously approved

• This month’s tax refunds for certain residents

— approved

• The Rotary Club requested permission to hang a banner for their annual Lobster Fest on Aug 9

— the board approved hanging a banner over Orange Center Road from Aug. 4 to Aug. 9 and on the fence the week prior.

FYI:

• Roofing projects for Turkey Hill and Race Brook Schools will be voted on at a special meeting Thursday, July 10, after the Bond Committee makes a recommendation.

• Work at High Plains Community Center will take a while to begin,  but it is still scheduled to be done. 

•The Town of Orange sold $8 million + in bonds at a very good rate, which had previously been approved by taxpayers. 

Jul 022014
 

Amity Principal Charles Britton, Award recipient Mikaila Schmitt and Athletic Director Paul Mengold at the Block A Dinner in June.

Amity Principal Charles Britton, Award recipient Mikaila Schmitt and Athletic Director Paul Mengold at the Block A Dinner in June.

The 58th annual Block A Dinner, Athletic Award Presentations sponsored by the Amity Athletics Booster Club took place at Grassy Hill Country Club on June 8.

See all the photos HERE.

Beth Young, the Booster Club President opened the event before a room full of the best-of-the-best in Amity sports, their coaches and parents.

One-by-one the various Amity coaches came forward to present the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award to the one player who contributed amazing things to their  particular sport during the past school year.

The MVPs are:

Boys Sports                                                                       

Baseball – Sebastian DiMauro

Basketball – Dave Ryan

Cross Country – Michael Yuan

Football – Joe Choiniere

Golf – Brent Marieb

Ice Hockey – Adam Shea

Indoor Track – Aaron Rattley

Ski Racing – Scott —

Lacrosse – Joe Choiniere

Swimming AJ Pite

Soccer – (goalie) Griffin Volta

Track and Field – Ben Feola

Tennis – (16-1 record) Jason Seidman

Volleyball – (196 kills) Tyler Barwise

Wrestling – Jesse Cala

Girls Sports

Basketball – Chloe Brinton

Dance – Rosie Richetelli

Cross Country – Emily Criscuolo

Field Hockey – Lauren Kelly

Ice Hockey – Sarah Wydra

Ski Racing – Rebecca Lettick

Indoor Track – Allison Denny

Softball – Jill DeMaio

Lacrosse -

Tennis – Claire Foster

Soccer – Chloe Brinton

Track and Field – Zoey Reed

Swimming – Dana Chung

Volleyball – (290 kills) Allison Denny

Individual Awards – Boys

Mark E. Greco Memorial Hockey Award – Keating Seymour

Jeremy Saxe Memorial Award – Evan Donahue

James Dunleavy Memorial Hockey Award – Brett McNeil

Steven J. Zeider Memorial Swimming Award – Charlie Pite

Thomas J. Ross Memorial Manager Award – __________________

Thomas G. Laugeni Memorial Award – Brent Marieb

Albert L. Seymour Memorial Award – Keating Seymour

Versatility Award – Ben Feola

Booster Club Scholar-Athlete Award – Michael Yuan

Sportsmanship Award – Dan Horton

Athlete of the Year Award – Joe Choiniere

Individual Awards – Girls

Thomas J. Ross Memorial Award – Isabella Bierezowiec

Thomas G. Laugeni Memorial Award – Ashley Woo

Albert J. Seymour Memorial Award – ________________

Versatility Award – Claire Foster

Booster Club Scholar-Athlete Award – Kathleen Feng

Sportsmanship Award –  _____________________

Athletic Department Recognition Award – Dakota ___________________

Amity Coaches Association Awards:

Outstanding Service: Todd Glodowski

Coach of the Year: Michael “Scooter” Richetelli

Asst. Coach of the Year: Bill McNeil

Paul Mengold Leadership Award

With the retirement of longtime Athletic Director Paul Mengold, a new award was created to honor a student who demonstrates exemplary leadership skills.

This year’s recipient of the Paul Mengold Leadership Award was Mikaila Schmitt.

During the ceremony, it was mentioned that Boy’s Cross Country Coach Bob Orgovan, who’s been guiding Amity Athletes for 32 years, was in the running for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year award.

In June, Orgovan attended the convention at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Well worth the trip. Orgovan won the honor. Congratulations to you coach!

NOTE: The Blank spaces are for names that Orange Live did not catch during the ceremony.

Jul 022014
 

Help WantedThe Amity Regional School System is now hiring paraprofessionals for the following positions:

Paraprofessional – Special Education – Resource Room

(1) Amity Regional High School

(1) Amity Middle School – Orange campus

REQUIREMENT(S)/RESPONSIBILITIES:  Ability to work well with students with diverse learning needs, staff and parents.

Dependable. Flexible. Computer skill a plus.

(2) Paraprofessionals – Transition Program at Amity Regional High School – Woodbridge

REQUIREMENT(S):  Two (2) years of college or Associates Degree preferred.

RESPONSIBILITIES:  Ability to work well with staff, and with students with diverse learning needs in mainstream academic and elective classes and in self-contained classroom and on job sites and community sites. Facilitate positive relationships between special educational students and typical peers.  Record data on given data collection charts.  Follow behavior plans for given students. Dependable. Flexible. Computer skills a plus.

SALARY:                          In accordance with Paraprofessional Contract

APPLY TO:                Mr. Charles Dumais, Supt. of Schools

Amity Regional School District No. 5

ATTENTION: Personnel – Para-Amity

25 Newton Road

Woodbridge, CT 06525

 

DEADLINE:   Open until filled

If responding via email, please send via: [email protected]

 

Jun 272014
 

Screen shot 2014-06-27 at 7.28.47 PMSummer enrichment classes are due to begin on Monday, July 7, at Amity Regional High School.  There’s still time to enroll your child in a number of fun courses being offered, including; Team Sports & Recreational Games, Boot Camp, Track & Field, Crafts, Golf, Tennis Clinic, Soccer, Volleyball Skills Camp, Introduction to Dance, Babysitting Basics and lots more.

There is still space available in both Amity’s Summer Musical Theater Camp and Amity’s Performing Arts Instrumental Camp.

Academic enrichment courses include; Algebra I, Algebra II, Business Math, Calculus, Physics, Pre-Calculus, Career Exploration & Planning, College Application Essay Workshop, Creative Writing Workshop, Geometry, High School Chemistry Made Easy, Computer and Math Fun, Personal Finance, Preparing for Algebra, SAT Mathematics Boot Camp, Reading Comprehension, Study Skills and more.

Evening courses will begin on Wednesday, July 9, and include classes in Art, Finance, Digital Photography, CPR, First Aid, Computer, Fitness, Dance, Health, Mah Jong, Tai Chi and Yoga, to name a few

View the complete course catalog, and register online at www.AmityAdultEd.MyProgramPlus.com or call Karen Wade at 203-392-2005.

 

Jun 262014
 

IMG_3361With the help of my amazing Web guy, Doug, Orange Live now offers the candid photos of your children after they received their diplomas at Amity on Friday, June 20.

They are uploaded in order of last name, there are some doubles of students who did something different after they left the “official photographer” staging area.

At one point, I had a little camera trouble and missed up to 4 students. To those kids and parents I apologize.

Visit this LINK for the photos.

[I posted this 4 days ago, but for some reason it wasn't published]

 

Jun 252014
 

IMG_9949Amity’s Joe Choiniere, Allison Denny and  are up for the New Haven Register Athlete of the Year.

Click HERE and vote for Joe / Allison / Jason as a thank you for all their contributions to Amity Sports.

 

UPDATE: Voting ended on Thursday night at 8 p.m. Choiniere had the majority of the votes at 26.05%; Denny came in second with 

 

 

Jun 242014
 

Coach Bob Mirto surrounded by his team before the June 23 game.

Coach Bob Mirto surrounded by his team before the June 23 game.

The 2014  Orange Legion Post 127 Baseball Team shows a lot of promise.

Their season was delayed due to the length of the Amity Varsity Baseball Season and its success in winning the CIAC State Championship Title.

Due to the delay the team has a tight, grueling schedule ahead this summer.

Many of the names on this team may sound familiar, mainly because they played for Amity.

On this year’s team (with their uniform numbers) are:  Nick Fusco (1); Pat Winkel (3 ?); Jack Demerjian (3); Gerald Farace (4); Brian Ronai (6); Jake Russo (7); Josh Sabitsky (8); Chris Winkel (9); Doug Rives (10 ?); Anthony Capozziello (10); Zach Chamberlain (13); Mike Appel (15); Ross Weiner (18); Devin Belenski (21); Mike Tavolacci (23); Matt Ronai (25); Sebastian DiMauro (26); Eric Class (45).

Just one week in, the boys are 6-1 for the season, which includes 3 shut-out wins.

RECAP: 

June 16 double header vs Hamden, 2 wins 5-2 and 6-4.

June 19 vs Branford (last year’s #1 team) Loss 6-0

June 21 double header vs Ansonia, 2 wins 2-0 and 3-0.

June 22 away at Nolan Field vs Ansonia win 13-0.

June 23 vs New Haven, win 8-1.

Seasoned Coach

Bob Mirto has been involved in Legion Baseball for nearly two decades.

About 16-17 years ago he was assistant manager to David Ryan and took over when Ryan left the coaching position.

Mirto is dedicated to the boys and the game of baseball.

“I love baseball at that level, it gives me a chance to interact with good players and help them move their careers along both academically and on the field,” Mirto said. “I like seeing where they go to school (college or university) and be discovered.”

Mirto is proud of his players and in the past decade and a half seven have been drafted into the pros. the last one being Connor Kenary, who went to Lake Forest and was drafted by the Washington Nationals.

“This (2014) team has a lot of talent, many of them recovering from a longer High School season,” he said. “We will start playing like we can and we have a run at the zone title and go to the tournament where we can do some damage.”

Post 127 is in Zone 2 with 11 teams in the New Haven/surrounding town area.

“We have some very good kids, they are being pushed into a compacted season where they will play just about every day.”

Mirto’s confidence in his team must have rubbed off on the boys — they played well that night, (June 23) defeating New Haven 8-1.

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