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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 172014
 

Screen shot 2014-07-17 at 10.06.15 PMBoys & Girls Village recently launched a vocational program with Applebee’s of Orange to help students from its Charles F. Hayden School gain real-world job experience. The Hayden School is a comprehensive educational and clinical day school for students in kindergarten through ninth grade, located at Boys and Girls Village’s Milford campus.

One morning per week, a group of three to six ninth grade students travel to Applebee’s and help workers prep the restaurant before it opens. This job-skills training helps students gain a sense of responsibility, accountability and confidence, with the ultimate goal of creating a smooth transition into future employment opportunities. The program concludes on July 23 and will continue next academic school year.

“Our program with Applebee’s is a valuable educational and socialization tool for our older students,” said Jon Oddo, Boys & Girls Village Vice President of Educational and Vocational Services. “Students have the opportunity to engage staff in discussions about job-related skills while also learning skills that can be applied to find a future job of their own.”

In addition to supervision by Hayden faculty, students are managed by an on-site Applebee’s manager who assigns tasks that a typical Applebee’s employees would perform.

“The Hayden School students work alongside my team and perform a variety of job readiness tasks,” said Applebee’s manager Todd Desfosses. “We have been very happy with their hard work and desire to learn and look forward to continuing our partnership with Boys & Girls Village next year.”

In order to become eligible to participate in the Applebee’s vocational program, students must first demonstrate that they are prepared by participating in “Coffee Break,” a weekly coffee shop at Boys & Girls Village managed by students at the Hayden School.  Each week, a group of ninth graders set up Coffee Break and are responsible for the service, sales and clean-up of the shop, which is open to faculty and staff. The program is designed to help teach students about the various aspects of the food service industry, including food sanitation skills, social skills and customer interaction.

“Both programs have been successful in helping prepare students for the workforce,” said Oddo. “We hope the Applebee’s program will expand next year, as more students make the transition over from Coffee Break.”

Students also market Coffee Break by creating fliers to hang up around campus and by encouraging fellow students and staff to stop by. The money earned from sales and tips goes back into the shop or towards fun incentives like pizza parties for participating students.

Next academic year, Boys & Girls Village will also launch a culinary arts program, underwritten in part by the Werth Family Foundation, to help students gain even more experience and prepare for a career in the field.

Jul 172014
 

Michele Aterbury

Denise Arterbery

Following is an announcement from the Orange Board of Education:

On Monday night, July 14, the Orange Board of Education appointed Denise Arterbery Principal of Turkey Hill School.

Arterbery was a sixth-grade teacher at Turkey Hill and the chair of both the PBIS Team and the school Success Team.

She has conducted multiple professional development sessions for staff and school-wide assemblies for students.

Arterbery developed the school’s schedule for the past ice years, including the addition of the intervention or QUEST block.

She was the coördinator of the Words of Wisdom program, which is part of Turkey Hill’s morning announcements and she served as the liaison for to the PTO.

She also piloted two of the Language Arts programs in her classroom, including the Journeys program, which was adopted in June.

She served as a First LEGO League Coach, giving her a strong STEM (Science-Technology-engineering-Math) connection; and over the summer she has served with People-to-People as an Ambassador Leader for student youth groups touring abroad.

Arterbery attended Southern Connecticut State University for her undergraduate and graduate degrees, Currently she is enrolled in their Doctorate program.

Her dissertation will be on “Professional Development sans its impact on Teacher self Efficacy for Educating students with Special Needs.”

Throughout the two interviews, Arterbery impressed the committee with her educational expertise, her extraordinary work ethic and thoughtful and common sense approach to so many of the real-life issues presented.

After the committee’s recommendation and the Board’s appointment, her excitement was obvious. She asked, “When can I start?”

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 082014
 

Boys & Girls Village (BGV) Vice President of Educational & Vocational Services Jon Oddo and Michael E. Duane, Jr., BGV alumnus and graduation guest speaker.

Boys & Girls Village (BGV) Vice President of Educational & Vocational Services Jon Oddo and Michael E. Duane, Jr., BGV alumnus and graduation guest speaker.

Boys & Girls Village (BGV) recently honored the achievements of its graduating students at a ceremony at its Milford Campus on June 20. The celebration recognized students who will be advancing to new programs and higher grade levels, as well as students whose progress has led to them continuing their studies at schools in their communities.

There were 57 students participating in this year’s graduation along with family members and friends. Jon Oddo, BGV’s Vice President of Educational & Vocational Services, welcomed all in attendance with an opening address. Following his welcome, Willie, a student from West Haven, led the audience in the pledge of allegiance, and students from Ms. Steele’s music class performed for the audience.

“We are proud of the academic growth that our students have achieved this year,” said BGV President and CEO Dr. Steven M. Kant. “They have made great progress in strengthening their social skills, working together and becoming contributing members of our community.”

“All of the staff and faculty at Boys & Girls Village couldn’t be more proud, and we wish each of our students the very best for the future,” added Kant.

Michael E. Duane, Jr., a former resident of Boys & Girls Village, served as keynote speaker at the graduation. Michael is now a principal/partner of a Wallingford architectural firm and is completing his architectural license requirements. Michael recalled the friendships and memories made while he was at the Milford Campus, and talked about the tools that Boys & Girls Village gave him to succeed.

“Work hard and don’t ever give up,” said Duane. “You will fail. I have and that’s okay. But, don’t ever give up.”

To bring the ceremony to a close, 60 awards and special recognitions were presented to students who excelled in subject areas. Following the conclusion of the graduation ceremony, members of the staff, faculty and Board of Directors hosted and served an outdoor barbeque for students and their families.

Jul 082014
 

hamden hallHamden Hall Country Day School announced the following Orange students as having earned placement on the school’s Honor Roll for the 2013-2014 school year:  

Seniors: Kevin C. Butler, Zizhe Hong, Christian J. Montano

Juniors: Diana C. Nunez, Doria L. Weiss

Freshmen: Connor B. Mislow

Eighth Grade: Clayton D. Coassin.

Jul 072014
 

State Rep Paul Davis was among the guests to try the Macarena.

State Rep Paul Davis was among the guests to try the Macarena.

On Monday, May 12, sixth grade students from Peck Place School left their comfortable digs at the Yale Campus in Orange to attend their annual Senior Prom at High Plains Community Center.

The students, all dressed in their Sunday Best, greeted dozens of Orange Senior residents for the special occasion.

The children and adults were treated to food and fun DJ music and danced the afternoon away.

Each year the students learn some great moves from their older counterparts, a few who were pros in their younger years.

Some children, like State Rep. Paul Davis’s granddaughter, enjoyed spending time with their grandparents and doing the Macarena together.

The class of 2015 will host the occasion at their newly renovated Peck Place School, where it traditionally had taken place.

The Senior Prom is one of the events that got lost in a sea of news stories and was never posted. 

Jul 022014
 

Beardsley ZooSeveral Years ago, I accompanied an Orange Family on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Beardsley Zoo. I’ve since visited the zoo many times with my granddaughter, which has been fun and memorable, but I will never forget the behind-the-scenes tour.

The Zoo is offering a great program called the Zoo Patrol, which I believe will be a wonderful opportunity for your children.

Most summer sessions already are full, but the  July 28 – August 1; session for 12 to 14 year olds
 is still open, but to get in, you must register as soon as possible

This session of Zoo Patrol offers children ages 12-14 the opportunity to participate in keeper talks, behind-the-scenes tours, animal related games, and crafts.
Hands-on lab activities and nature studies may also be a part of the program.
Sessions run on Zoo grounds Monday through Friday.
Each week is $140/child for Zoo members and $165/child for non-members. Advance registration is required.
For more information and to register, please call 203-394-6563.

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]

 

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