At Amity we knew Vinny Sienna as a nice guy, and a great baseball player with a passion for the game.
We followed him on Orange Live in 2012 from Amity through the American Legion Post 127 season.
He was the shortstop, #23, and just 18 years old.
He continued to make a name for himself playing ball for UCONN for 3 years.
A month ago, we published a story about the Mets decision to draft him.
And now, we’re proud to say that he’s already making headlines playing for the Class-A Brooklyn Cyclones.
Here’s the LINK to the story Newsday.
Ray Moquet shared this LINK of “the new kid” talking to reporters from YouTube.
Continued Success to you Vinny, make us proud!
Although Amity has not exactly had a stellar Hockey season, the coaches told the boys that they were proud of them after their 6-1 loss to the undefeated Branford Hornets (7-0) at the Northford Ice Pavilion on Saturday.
Asst. Coach Mike Richetelli said, “Yes, we hit a few glitches, but they played hard and they did their jobs out there today. Branford is a good team, they play well. We’ll just keep working on getting better.”
Branford had one standout player in this game, Sophomore Zach Withington who had a hat trick (3 goals). But it was Amity’s Liam Caraciolo that everyone, including many Branford fans, talked about throughout the game.
Since the printed game program did not include Amity’s players numbers, no one knew his name, but the number “17” was heard in conversations around the rink as Caraciolo stayed on top of his man — Branford’s star player Tyler Criscuolo, (#11) who easily scores 3 goals per game — holding him down to just one goal and an assist this time out.
This was Amity’s plan: to shadow Criscuolo, who had 21 goals in the first 6 games of the season, and hold him back.
Play after play spectators could see Criscuolo’s frustration growing until the third period when he finally snapped. With just 3:12 left in the game, Criscuolo butt-ended Caraciolo (using the top of his stick shaft to jab his opponent) for which he received a game misconduct, a major 5 minute penalty and ejection from the game. — He may also be forbidden to play in Branford’s next game.
You can watch CPTV highlights of the game HERE
Play by Play
After a lot of back and forth and and a fierce barrage of unsuccessful shots at Amity’s sophomore goalie Tyler Johnston, well into the first period Criscuolo, assisted by Cooper Bunton, was first to score for the Hornets with just 6:36 remaining.
Just 1:04 later Withington scored his first goal, assisted by Bunton and Aidan Deane.
First Period score 2-0 Branford.
The Hornets came out like a ball of fire in the second period with back to back goals. Scott Klouda, assisted by Criscuolo and Deane stunned Johnston just 16 seconds in, and before the goalie could take a breath, Withington got his second game point one minute later with an assist from Matthew Dow.
The Spartans finally got on the scoreboard with a nice play by Jeremy Cable with an assist from Zach Shelnitz 6:02 into the middle period. Hornet Goalie AJ Brink couldn’t stop that one.
Second Period score 4-1 Branford.
The third period began much like the second, with Deane getting one past Johnston in the first 59 seconds.
Withington earned his hat trick with less than 7 minutes left in the game.
Final score 6-1
Both goalies worked hard, making some amazing ninja moves to keep their opponents down.
Branford outshot Amity 36-20.
The Spartans will play Wilton in West Haven at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 16.
All proceeds from ticket sales went to the Amity Relay for Life in honor of Amity High School security guard Lorie Tamaro who is battling cancer.
The Spartans and Gaels both hit the court determined to win this SCC Housatonic Division game, they kept the score fairly tight flip flopping the lead, often within 2 points of one another.
Everyone played well, with impressive rebounds and hook shots, the first quarter had Amity in the lead 13-11, at the half Shelton edged out Amity 29-28, the third quarter belonged to Amity at 44-43, but in the end, Shelton reigned supreme squashing the Spartans hopes for the win, ending the game at 56-66.
Shelton’s biggest scoring contributions came from juniors Matt Terrasi with a game high 21 points, followed by Casey Belade with 17 points for the Gaels.
Amity’s top player, also a junior, Chris Winkel racked up 15 points, followed by senior captain Brett Southworth with 12 points.
Amity’s season record is now 2-5.
On Monday, the Spartans face the always tough Cheshire team in Woodbridge at 7 p.m.
Amity Hockey Coach Gary Lindgren has a challenge before him in 2015, trying to make a young team into a force to be reckoned with on the ice.
With only 6 seniors on the roster this year, Amity is made up primarily of equal amounts of sophomores and freshmen (7 each) and just 4 juniors to carry over to the next season.
As a spectator at Monday’s game it was disheartening to hear the players from the opposing Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe team leave the ice after the first period laughing and trash talking our Spartans.
But, realistically, the Fairfield kids played hard and kept Amity’s goalie, Freshman Tyler Cole on his toes all three periods, while for Fairfield’s goalie, sophomore Mike Grace, it was pretty much a stress-free game.
Lindgren could throw in his hat at this point and just say, “there’s always next year.” but he simply states, “We didn’t play well, we didn’t do as good as we could, but with each game they learn from their mistakes and they’ll get better as time goes by.”
In the first period, Fairfield’s Jake Fuss got an unassisted goal by Cole at 5:17.
Soon after the start of the second period, Fairfield scored again with a goal by PJ O’Reilly, assisted by Wade Petro and Fuss at 1:22.
Then, with just 46 seconds left in the period Fairfield senior Matthew Roberts, assisted by Kevin Boldrighini and Zach Weinstein brought the score to 3-0.
With their confidence in overdrive, Fairfield came out in the final period with a vengeance and just :25 seconds in, Fuss made his second goal of the night, this time assisted by O’Reilly and Trevor Demitt.
Thanks to a nice move by Amity captain Zach Shelnitz who made an unassisted goal at 3:23 in the third period, the Spartans did not suffer a shut out.
The final score was 4-1 Fairfield.
Lindgren clearly was not happy with his team’s performance in this game, but did take a moment to comment on the freshman goalie who made 33 saves during the game. (Fairfield’s Grace made 13 saves). “Tyler worked real hard in this game. He had some nice saves,” Lindgren said.
The Spartans will play Milford at the Milford Ice Pavillion Saturday, Jan. 3 at 1 p.m.
The Amity Spartans Hockey Team is starting to get itself together. After playing hard against the powerful Cheshire team on Saturday and holding their own until the third period when Cheshire pulled ahead, they were denied a tie in the last 2 minutes.
On Tuesday, Dec. 23, with “the other Tyler” Sophomore Tyler Johnston (#31) in the net, Amity took on Guilford.
As in past games the opponent was first to score with Guilford’s Ryan Brand getting a goal, assisted by Jack Petrick and Chris Cafiero, just 2:27 into the first period.
Not to be outdone, Amity answered less than 2 minutes later, tying things up with Adam Moscato’s goal, assisted by Captain Kevin Ryan.
At 4:51 Ryan assisted Co-Capt. Zach Shelnitz in the tie breaking goal.
With Amity ahead by one, the Spartans came out for the second period meaning business.
Moscato scored an unassisted goal at 10:34, pulling the Spartans up further 3-1
Guilford’s Kevin Gaudio, assisted by Joe Neleber, got one past Johnston at 13:25.
The Spartans would have none of that, and less than 30 seconds later, Shelnitz, assisted by Ryan and Charlie Csejka scored his second goal of the game, bringing the score to 4-2.
In the third period, the Spartans dominated the ice, bringing in three goals: Ryan, unassisted at 5:55; Anthony Uscilla, assisted by Liam Caraciolo at 7:28; and Graham Hughes, assisted by Nick Gallucci at 8:15 – wrapping up the victory at 7-2
Amity outshot Guilford 27-26
Johnston made 24 saves while Guilford’s Kyle Dwyer had 20.
Records: Amity 1-1-1; Guilford 0-3
Coach Gary Lindgren is back this year after taking a break last season due to illness, but he is enjoying working with this young team and watching them grow with each passing game.
So far we’ve seen two goalies, Freshman, Tyler Cole (#30) and Sophomore Tyler Johnston (#31) in the net.
Lindgren said both are young and are gaining experience this year with the coaches flip-flopping them between games.
He said Cole did a great job against Cheshire on Saturday, Dec. 20. “They’re a tough team, they’re really good and we battled hard with them.”
Of Johnston’s performance against Guilford, Lindgren said, “Tyler played extremely well, he made some big stops.”
Of the team as a whole, Lindgren said, “Our schedule is tough, we have to come ready to play. Today (Tuesday Dec. 23) I don’t think we played our best. It was good in spots, but we struggled for the first couple of periods, It’s a good thing we were ahead 4-2 after the first 2 periods. We need to play better. Guilford battled, they have some good players, their goalie is a little inexperienced and we took advantage of that but, I thought it was a pretty even game even though we won 7-2.”
The Amity Math Team competed Thursday, Jan. 16, at Hamden High School in the Greater New Haven Mathematic League tournament.
The Amity Math Team finished in 2nd place in the tournament and 2nd place in the league.
The Amity Spartans narrowly lost out to Choate Rosemary Hall.
The team was first among public schools and earned an invitation to the state competition in March.
At today’s Thanksgiving Day Football Game you may notice one player, Amity co-captain Eric Laugeni #70 step away from his teammates after the National Anthem, take a knee on the field and bow his head for a few moments.
This has been a ritual for the Senior, who turned 17 on Tuesday. He is not praying for a win, but thanking God for giving him the opportunity to play the game that he’s loved since he was little.
The road to high school football was filled with uncertainty, beginning with one life changing moment on August 1, 2008, when Eric, then a sixth grader, was just 11 years old. It was opening day of the Amity Pop Warner Football Season and Eric was helping his father pick up safety cones. He was standing behind his father’s truck, when the cable on a fork lift that was being loaded onto a truck behind him, snapped, sending the 15,000 lb. forklift careening down and pinning the boy against the truck, crushing him from the chest down, making an indentation in the back of the truck.
Eric’s left leg was severed and his right leg was broken and dislocated.
His father rushed to his side and laid him down on the pavement and stayed with him, making sure he remained conscious until the paramedics arrived. In the ambulance, one of the EMTs said they would have to amputate the leg, which aggravated his father to no end, Eric was crying, his future uncertain.
Once at Yale-New Haven Hospital, the Laugenis were told that he would have to have surgery within 6 hours because of the risk of infection with the sand and dirt inside his open leg.
After 8 hours of surgery, the doctors said, “He’s alive. We saved the leg, but he will never run again and he’ll always have a terrible limp.”
Eric spent 8 days in the hospital with his left leg fully casted from the hip down. The broken right leg was braced, but no surgery was done on it.
On August 9, the Laugeni’s living room became a makeshift hospital room for Eric with a hospital bed and visiting physical therapists.
He couldn’t use either leg, and had to use a wheelchair to get around.
A couple of additional surgeries were done and then regular therapy at Rehab Associates.
Prior to the accident, Eric had been trying to get into shape, lost 20 lbs. and was training for the Woodbridge Roadrace. He was determined to compete in the 5k, but how could he do that without the use of his legs?
Longtime Amity residents will recall the victorious photo that I ran in the Amity Observer newspaper of several friends pushing Eric in a wheelchair in the pouring rain as they approached the finish line.
During physical therapy, even as he began to walk by himself, Eric’s mom was a driving force behind his recovery. She would not let him slack off and pushed him to try as hard as he could to regain the full use of his legs (without a limp).
Some doctors suggested he take up swimming because he would never be able to do anything else. His mother was disgusted. “How can you even think of telling an 11-year-old that?”
Eric was a member of a travel basketball team at the time of the accident and his coach, Scott Hurwitz figured out a way for him to play. He spoke with the team and all opposing teams and arranged it so Eric would shoot all the foul shots for his team, therefore being an active team member, even if he couldn’t run the court.
Still, Eric wanted to play football. He worked hard to recover, sat out one season then the following year, he was back on the field again.
As a 7th grader at Amity Middle School, Eric was fully casted and had tutors for 3 months and therapy.
Eric is thankful for all that he is able to do. The doctor who said he should never play football again, just inspired him to work hard and prove the doc wrong.
Dr. Jim Ronai, who works on many difficult cases, knew Eric had a long battle ahead, but never discouraged him from living his dream. For this Eric is grateful.
Daily Pain and More Surgery
The accident shattered a growth plate in his left leg, so it did not grow normally afterward. His leg is 3/4-inch “off.” He goes to New York to the Hospital For Special Surgery where Dr. S. Robert Rozbruch is prepared to lengthen Eric’s femur whenever he is ready to take time off for the surgery and rehab. This could be during his college years or after, but it is better done while he is young.
Eric has chronic back and knee pain, and often it takes a while to climb out of bed. But football is his life and today, when he takes a knee after the National Anthem, take a moment to join Eric in his prayer giving thanks for the second chance on life he’s been given.
The Amity Spartans Boys Soccer Team ran over Wilbur Cross in Woodbridge Thursday 4-1.
Amity Captain Justyn Broderick (4), assisted by Jeremy Conn (5) quickly scored the first goal of the game at 1:07 in the first half.
Wilbur Cross’s Chris Crespo tied the score at 28:22.
The second half saw a lot of action with Amity taking the lead and never letting go of it.
Scoring for Amity were: Broderick, assisted by captain Dean Schwartz (10); then Schwartz bringing in an unassisted goal; and Conn, with an assist by Broderick.
Amity outshot Wilbur Cross 14-7.
Wilbur Cross goalie Chris Casas made 8 saves to Amity’s Griffin Volta’s 7.
Records: Amity 2-0, Wilbur Cross 0-1-1