Football: Amity Keeps North Haven On Its Toes Til The Bitter End — Best Spartans Team In A Decade

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Nov 222018

Back on October 13, I wrote the following:

“The Amity Spartans football team hasn’t gotten, nor earned much credit for several years, but now, under the leadership of new Head Coach Craig Bruno and Asst. Coach John Johnson, the boys are more than impressive this year.”

Throughout the season, I reminded readers not to underestimate the Spartans Football Team, as they were working on the best season in more than a decade.

Amity went onto Vanacore Field at North Haven High School for the traditional Thanksgiving Day rivalry game with a 5-4 record against the Indians with its 7-2 record.

Even though North Haven has crushed many of its opponents this season, I had a feeling that the 2018 Spartans would give them a run for their money. And although I can’t write a decent sports story, or define a particular play, I was right about this year’s team.

Amity showed its true spirit just minutes into the game when Michael Young ran 77-yards weaving and dodging the Indians best defensive players to make the first touchdown of the game, certainly stunning North Haven fans and players. Joe Digello’s 2-point rush gave the Spartans an 8-0 lead.

North Haven struck right back with Devan Brockamer’s 32-yard run TD, extra point failed 8-6, Amity.

At the end of the first quarter, the Indians held a 4 point lead 12-8.

In the second quarter, North Haven’s Shamus Meehan scored a touchdown and Brockamer’s rush added 2 extra points as well, bringing their lead to 20-8.

Then, with no time on the clock, Michael Young scored another touchdown, but the extra point was no good, bringing the halftime score to 20-14 – North Haven.

There was a lot of back and forth in the third quarter, but both teams’ defense was doing their jobs until the end of the quarter when North Haven added another 8 points, credited to Brockamer pushing their lead to 28-14.

Amity’s Nico Semmonella made a 14-yard touchdown, but the rush failed, bringing the score to 20-28 with 7:20 left

With just 3:29 remaining, Semmonella scored a 16-yard touchdown, again the rush failed- bringing the score to a nail-biting 28-26.

Amity had a first and goal at the 7-yard line with 1:30 to go in the game. The Spartans had a couple of opportunities to tie or win the game but, it wasn’t meant to be.



 AMITY                    8  6  0  12  –  26

NORTH HAVEN  12  8  8   0  –  28

I am so proud of the Spartans and grateful to their coaches for leading them this far. We had a great time watching you boys play and admire your integrity and the respect you showed other players on the field throughout the season.

To this year’s 10 seniors: Michael Young, Jacob Lettick, Daniel Beckwith, Gabriel Lipsitz, Andrew Kimball, Brendan Messina, Brenna Dimauro, Ryan Biagetti, Justin Griffin, and James Van Hise, thank you for all you’ve done this year to put the Spartans on the map.

To the fans, remember, next year, we will still have a lot of talent out there on the field when this year’s juniors are next year’s 12th graders leading the team. Among them are: Joseph Digello, James Laubstein, Nico Semmonella, Abyan Nawaz, Andrew Gnidula, Jake Forchetti, Daniel Cavanagh, Aedan Loynsky. With these players and 10 other juniors, along with the 15 remaining underclassmen and any other talent that may be recruited, I think we’ll be in good hands for quite a while.





A Look Back: The Spartans – Indians Thanksgiving Rivalry Over The Years

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Nov 222018


The Spartans-Indians Thanksgiving rivalry began in 1996.

Amity has won 8 times, while North Haven has won 13 times, including the past 10 consecutive years.

Not since 2009, when the final score was 21-19, has Amity come “this close” to a Thanksgiving Day victory.

On Wednesday, Nov. 21, the highly skilled 2018 Spartans fought their way all the way through the game in North Haven, nearly breaking the Indian’s decade-long run, only to lose by 2 points at 28-26.

Screen shot 2013-11-27 at 3.19.09 PM 

Amity 37         1996                   North Haven   7

Amity           1997                   North Haven   0

Amity   7         1998                   North Haven  18

Amity   7         1999                   North Haven  32

Amity 15         2000                  North Haven   14

Amity 27        2001                  North Haven   27

Amity 27        2002                   North Haven   0

Amity 47       2003                  North Haven   21

Amity 33       2004                   North Haven   7

Amity 45       2005                   North Haven  13

Amity 14        2006                   North Haven 20

Amity 36        2007                   North Haven 24

Amity 20       2008                   North Haven   7

Amity 19        2009                   North Haven   21

Amity 24        2010                   North Haven  40

Amity 10         2011                   North Haven   27

 Amity   7         2012                   North Haven   32

Amity   14       2013                   North Haven   41

Amity  20       2014                  North Haven  40

Amity 30       2015                  North Haven  62

Amity 14        2016                  North Haven  49

Amity  7         2017                  North Haven  46

Amity 26       2018                  North Haven 28

     Series to Date

    Amity: 9 wins

       North Haven: 13 wins

 Ties: 1

Football: Amity Holds Its Own Against Notre Dame For Three Quarters

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Oct 202018

Amity was on the road in West Haven for a matchup against Notre Dame on Friday, Oct. 19.

Notre Dame has had a couple of big losses this year, and a couple of big victories as well. Their win against Amity 21-14 was the closest game yet.

The Spartans are warriors this year, and they played hard, and they certainly held their own against the Green Knights.

Here’s how the game played out:

Notre Dame’s Junior Quarterback Jackson Zalinsky scored the first touchdown of the game with 6:04 remaining in the first quarter.

The second quarter had a lot of back and forth, and then, with just 48 seconds on the clock, Amity Junior Joey Digello scored for the Spartans, and Abyan Nawaz’s kick was good, putting Amity ahead 7-6.

The Spartans retained their lead throughout the third quarter. Amity Junior Quarterback James Laubstein made his way across the goal line with 2:41 remaining.

Both teams battled for the next 2.5 minutes, but the Spartans retained their 14-6 lead.

The fourth quarter was a nail-biter, with the Green Knights scoring another touchdown within the first three minutes. At one point behind the Spartans, they needed to make a smart strategic move, so, they went for, and succeeded in executing a two-point conversion, tying the game at 14-14.

The Notre Dame band played through the final quarter, and both teams took turns attempting to break that tie.

Then the Green Knights Senior Warren Murphy made his breakaway move. With Amity Senior Runningback Daniel Beckwith hot on his tail, Murphy lept over fallen players and just made a beeline for the goal line. Beckwith made one last-ditch effort to tackle him, but Murphy sprinted on.

He ran past the goal line and straight over to fans lining the fence. He high-fived several of them and then, the extra point was good.

Notre Dame took the lead, 21-14, with 3:14 left on the clock.

Amity’s Michael Young made a valiant effort to tie things up again, but the clock ran out and the Spartans had to take the loss.

Other notable Amity players in this game were Sophomore Anthony Olenechuk (54), Junior Nico Semmonella (81), Junior Andrew Gnidula (13) and Senior Jake Lettick (10). Everyone played to win.

NOTE: This was the closest game Notre Dame has had so far.

Records: Both Amity and Notre Dame are 4-2 for the 2018 Season.

Next Up for the Spartans: a HOME game against Branford (4-2) at 7 p.m.

Rounding out the season, the final three games are ARGH, the undefeated Shelton Gaels at HOME on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.

Then, and AWAY game at Hamden (not having the best season at 2-4) on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.

And Finally the BIG Thanksgiving Rivalry Game against North Haven (5-1) at Vanacore Field on Nov. 22 at 10:30 a.m.

I’ve said it before, do NOT underestimate the 2018 Amity Spartans, they’re strong, they’re talented and they’re determined. They can do this!

Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.
— Tom Landry