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.




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.



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.




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 222014

IMG_6297Members of the American Legion Post 127 were on hand to root for their Orange Baseball team at Brinley Field on Sunday.

Chris Winkel had two extra base hits, helping Orange Post 127 to an 8-3 victory over Naugatuck on Sunday at Brinley.

He doubled in the second and fourth innings.

Nick Fusco held Naugatuck scoreless for eight innings. Fusco allowed six hits, one walk and struck out three.

Jake Russo, Winkel and Matt Ronai helped lead Orange Post 127. They combined for seven hits and five RBIs.

Naugatuck’s Tavarez was charged with the loss. He allowed seven runs in two innings, walked two and struck out one.

Orange Post 127 went up for good in the first, scoring two runs on two singles.

Orange Post 127 tacked on another five runs in the second. A error scored Josh Sabitsky for the inning’s first run. That was followed up by Winkel’s double, plating Sebastian DiMauro, Gerald Farace and Russo.

Jul 212014

Coach Bob Mirto hugs Sebastian "the closer" DiMauro after Monday's win over Meriden in the post season game.

Coach Bob Mirto hugs Sebastian “the closer” DiMauro after Monday’s win over Meriden in the post season game.

Orange Post 127′s Ross Weiner pitched eight strong innings to carry Orange Post 127 to a 2-1 win over ninth-seeded Meriden in the Southern division sectionals at Brinley Field on Monday.

Sebastian DiMauro reached base three times in the game for Orange Post 127. He doubled in the fifth inning and singled in the seventh inning. From the mound he pitched the final three outs with the tying run on base.

Meriden’s Dmitri O’Donnell was charged with the loss. He lasted just eight innings, walked one, struck out seven, and allowed two runs.

Meriden managed to score one run in the first inning on an RBI single by Will Kszywanos.

The lead stayed with Orange Post 127 after the fifth, when it scored one run on an RBI single by Chris Winkel.






Jul 202014

legion dugoutAmerican Legion Post 127 baseball team had an incredible regular season. Their record is 21-7. (although the number of losses depicted on their website is 8)

Many of the boys were on the State Championship Amity team this year, and the Legion’s season started up late because they had to wait until Amity was done playing.

Here is the complete rundown of the games Bob Mirto’s boys played since June 16. (losses are bolded)

June 16 — Orange 5, Hamden 2

June 16 — Orange 6, Hamden 4

June 19 — Orange 0, Branford 6

June 21 — Orange 2, Ansonia 0

June 22 — Orange 13, Ansonia 0

June 23 — Orange 8, New Haven 1

June 28 — Orange 14, Milford 2

June 28 — Orange 3, Milford 2

June 29 — Orange 1, Milford 0

June 30 — Orange 0, Branford 4

July 1    — Orange 2, Branford 3


July 2    — Orange 2, Barnstormers 9

July 3    — Orange 3, Senerchia 4

July 4    — Orange 5, Providence 4

July 6    — Orange 18, East Haven 6

July 6    — Orange 22, East Haven 14

July 7    — Orange 4, East Haven 5

July 8    — Orange 4, North Haven 0

July 9    — Orange 8, North Haven 0

July 10  — Orange 9, North Haven 0

July 11  — Orange 3, Hamden 4

July 12  — Orange 7, Shelton 2

July 12  — Orange 12, Shelton 1

July 13  — Orange 10, Shelton 1

July 14  — Orange 5, New Haven 3

July 16  — Orange 2, Stratford 5

July 17  — Orange 2, Stratford 1

July 17  — Orange 1, Stratford 0


July 20  — Orange 8, Naugatuck 3

Jul 192014

IMG_6168Orange Post 127 came alive at Penders Field in Stratford on Thursday night after losing to Stratford 3-5 on Wednesday night, they were ready to fight to win this double-header.

Orange won the first game at 5:45 p.m. 2-1 and the second game, scheduled for 7:45 didn’t begin until 8 p.m.

The game went into extra innings, but when the last out was recorded Orange Post 127 emerged with a 1-0 victory in the 13th inning.

Matt Ronai helped Orange Post 127 take the lead for good in the thirteenth inning.

With the game scoreless in the thirteenth inning Ronai came to the plate and doubled, bringing home Jake Russo.

Eric Class got the win for Orange Post 127. He tossed three innings of shutout ball. He struck out one, walked one and surrendered two hits.

Stratford’s Russo took the loss for Stratford. He lasted just four innings, walked two, struck out two, and allowed one run.

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Jul 192014


In their second match-up with Stratford, Orange traveled to Stratford’s Penders Field for the first game of a double header on Thursday at 5:45 p.m.

Orange Post 127 didn’t provide Mike Appel with much support in the runs department, but he didn’t need much. A pitched seven strong innings to carry Orange Post 127 to a 2-1 win over Stratford in seven innings.

Devin Belenski pushed Orange Post 127 ahead, in the sixth inning, and the lead lasted until the final out.

Anthony Capozziello singled to get on base in the sixth. He then went from first to second on an error.

Stratford’s Ward ended up on the wrong side of the pitching decision, charged with the loss. He lasted just seven innings, walked one, struck out three, and allowed two runs.

The top of the first saw Orange Post 127 take an early lead, 1-0. Capozziello singled, plating Chris Winkel after a single by Jake Russo got things started.

The lone run of the game for Stratford crossed the plate in the third inning on an RBI single by Ward.


Jul 172014

Mike Appel slides safely into third base at Brinley Field.

Mike Appel slides safely into third base at Brinley Field.

Orange Post 127 lost 5-2 in seven innings at Brinley Field on Wednesday, despite outhitting Stratford 12 to eight.

Orange was led by a flawless day at the dish by Brian Ronai, who went 3-3 against Stratford’s pitching. He singled in the second and fifth innings and doubled in the seventh inning.

R. Koripsky got it done on the bump on the way to a win. He allowed two runs over seven innings. Koripsky struck out none, walked none and gave up 12 hits.

Nick Fusco was the game’s losing pitcher. He lasted just one inning, walked none, struck out two, and allowed one run.

The bottom of the second saw Orange Post 127 take an early lead, 2-0. Orange Post 127 got things going when Mike Appel singled. A double by Devin Belenski then moved Appel  from first to third. Ronai singled, bringing Appel home. More runs came home for Orange Post 127 when Belenski scored on an RBI double by Sebastian DiMauro.

The game was never in doubt after the fifth, as Stratford scored one run on a solo home run by S. Blake. Blake from Fairfield Prep also hit a homer in the third.

Stratford tacked on another two runs in the seventh. A sacrifice fly scored C Belliveau for the inning’s first run.

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Orange faces Stratford again for a double-header tonight at 5:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. at Pender’s Field, 200 Glendale Road, Stratford.

IMG_5918 IMG_5921 IMG_5934 IMG_5943 IMG_5960 IMG_5970 IMG_6000 IMG_6010 IMG_6025 IMG_6028 IMG_6051 IMG_6056

Jul 162014

IMG_2647 copyAfter five lead changes in Monday’s game at West Rock, Orange Post 127 finally pulled out a 5-3 win over New Haven.

Orange Post 127 finally managed to grab the lead after a strong sixth inning. Orange Post 127 went up for good on an RBI triple by Jake Russo off Kyle Bates, plating Sebastian DiMauro.

Russo had two extra-base hits for Orange Post 127.

Zach Chamberlain got the win for Orange Post 127. He allowed three runs over six innings. He struck out none, walked five and surrendered one hit.

New Haven’s pitcher couldn’t get it done on the mound for his team, taking a loss. He lasted just six innings, walked one, struck out four, and allowed five runs.

The top of the first saw Orange Post 127 take an early lead, 1-0. Russo got things going for Orange Post 127 with a double. A single by Mike Appel then moved Russo from second to third.

It didn’t take long for New Haven to respond as it scored three runs of its own in the first. New Haven scored on an RBI single by Josh Negron, a sacrifice fly by R.J. Dewar, and an error.

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With this victory, Orange improved its record to 18-6 for the season.

As the Legion regular season winds down, Orange will play tonight at Brinley and go for a double header Thursday in Stratford.


Jul 152014

IMG_2728 copyA superb effort by Doug Rives hoisted Orange Post 127 to a 10-1 win in seven innings over Shelton in Orange on Sunday at 7 p.m.

Rives struck out 13 hitters en route to the Orange Post 127 win. He allowed one earned run, five hits and no walks over seven innings.

Orange Post 127′s bats came to life in the sixth inning. Orange Post 127′s bats caught fire leading to six runs. Orange Post 127 scored in the sixth on a three-run double by Chris Winkel, a two-run double by Devin Belenski, and an RBI single by Josh Sabitsky.

Winkel racked up four RBIs on four hits for Orange Post 127.

Shelton’s Rizzo ended up on the wrong side of the pitching decision, charged with the loss. He allowed nine runs in 5 1/3 innings, walked four and struck out four.

Orange Post 127 jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Jake Russo singled to ignite Orange Post 127′s offense. A single by Winkel then moved Russo from first to second. Matt Ronai doubled, scoring Russo.

The game was never in doubt after the fifth, as Orange Post 127 scored three runs on an RBI double by Winkel, a groundout by Russo, and an RBI single by Belenski.

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Jul 152014

IMG_2705 copyOrange Post 127 shut the door early on Shelton, capturing a 12-1 victory at Shelton High School on Saturday, July 12 at 12:45 p.m.

The game was decided quickly as Orange Post 127 exerted its will early with nine runs in the first three innings.

An RBI double by Devin Belenski in the first inning and an RBI single by Zach Chamberlain, an RBI single by Sebastian DiMauro, and a wild pitch during the second inning helped Orange Post 127 put some runs on the board early.

Chris Winkel went a perfect 2-2 at the plate for Orange Post 127. He singled in the first and sixth innings.

Ross Weiner picked up the win for Orange Post 127. He allowed one earned run, six hits and one walk while striking out three over six innings of work.

Shelton’s Boles was the game’s losing pitcher. He allowed 12 runs in six innings, walked four and struck out six.

Orange Post 127 built upon its lead with four runs in the third. A single by Gerald Farace ignited the offense, plating Mike Appel.

Orange Post 127 added three more runs in the top of the sixth. A hit into a fielder’s choice scored Winkel  to get Orange Post 127 on the board in the inning.

Orange improved its record to 16-6.

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