Amity Football: Not A Bad Start To The Season

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News, Sports  Comments Off on Amity Football: Not A Bad Start To The Season
Sep 092017

The Amity Spartans Varsity Football Team played against the Harding Presidents in Woodbridge under the Friday night lights and the glow of the waning Gibbous moon with a full crowd in the stands. The Amity Army en masse, Dance Team looking sharp in new uniforms and our brand new cheerleading squad offering just the right amount of enthusiasm.

Coach Ted Czepiga must have been practicing the 2017 team hard. They came on strong, scoring the first (and second) touchdowns of the game, and holding onto their lead never letting Harding get too close.

A few standout Amity players were seniors Chris Butler, Luke Smith, Ryan Sabo, Matt Weidenfeller and kicker Jordan Conn.

The Spartans won this game 24-14. Let’s hope the season continues like this.

Here are your 2017 Amity Spartans:

3 Dan Beckwith OLB, RB Junior

4 Jake Forchetti WR, DB  Sophomore

5 Chris Butler  WR  Senior

7 Quinton Tilghman  QB, OLB Sophomore

9 Andy Gnidula TE, DB Sophomore

10 Luke Smith WR, DB Senior

11 Jamie Genovese  RB, LB  Sophomore

12 James Laubstein QB Sophomore

13 Paul Buda WR, DB Senior

14 Rayshon Jacobs RB, DB Sophomore

15 Ryan Sabo (Captain) OLB, RB Senior

20 Jack Figuly WR, CB Sophomore

21 AJ Pocwierz WR, CB Sophomore

22 Matt Weidenfeller CB, WR Senior

23 Alex Ablozhey WR, LB  Sophomore

24 Clayton Fischman WR, LB Senior

25 Sam Sachs  RB, LB Sophomore

27 Jordan Conn, K, PK  Senior

28 Mike Allen TE, DL Senior

35 Bryce Feltman TE, DL  Senior

50 Daniel Cavanagh  OL, DL Sophomore

52 Gabe Lipsitz OL, LB junior

54 Brendan Dizenzo OL, DL Senior

55 Elis Feola (captain) OL, DL Senior

58 Joe Digello OL, DL Sophomore

60 Bryant Esparo  OL, DL  Senior

61 Sam Papelo  OL, DL Freshman

64 John Healey OL, DL  Sophomore

66 John Benanto  OL, DL  Senior

68 Jeremiah Schmidtke OL, DL  Sophomore

72 Ryan Biagetti OL, DL  Junior

73 Janek Olofsson  OL, DL  Sophomore

76 Mekhl Ellis  OL, DL  Sophomore

78 Justin Griffin  OL, DL  Junior

81 Nico Semmonella TE, DL Sophomore

84 Quentin Pitter WR, DB Senior

86 Ricky Fagan WR, DB Senior

87 Adam Boyle Junior

89 Mike Dimatteo Senior

Amity’s First Football (scrimmage) Game Today On A Warm, Humid Day

 Amity High School, Around Town, Latest News, School News, Sports, Today's Events  Comments Off on Amity’s First Football (scrimmage) Game Today On A Warm, Humid Day
Aug 272014


Jack Damirjian, Sean Grenier and Tyler Burns (screen shot from video) at last year's foodball awards dinner. Matt Attolino was on crutches and did not make it up to the front of the room for the shot.

Jack Damirjian, Sean Grenier and Tyler Burns (Who left Amity to attend Choat this year) at last year’s foodball awards dinner. Matt Attolino was on crutches and did not make it up to the front of the room for the shot.

The Amity Varsity Football team will take the William Johnson Football Field at Amity today in a scrimmage game vs Bunnell at 4:30 p.m. (although it is hot and humid and not quite “football weather”)

Coach Bert Mozealous lost a lot of good players to graduation after last season, but many remain. Quarterback Tyler Burns left Amity to attend Choat this year. 

The 2014 team has 3 captains: Matt Attolino, Sean Grenier, and Jack Damirjian. 

We wish Coach Mozealous, his coaching staff, and the team the best of luck for a tremendous season.

Amity Football Player Has Something To Be Thankful For on This Holiday And Every Day

 Amity High School, Around Town, Latest News, Sports  Comments Off on Amity Football Player Has Something To Be Thankful For on This Holiday And Every Day
Nov 282013

Eric Laugeni takes a moment before the game

Eric Laugeni takes a moment before the game


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.

Five years ago, Eric was told he would never run again.

Five years ago, Eric was told he would never run again.

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.

 Mission Accomplished, with a little help from his friends.

Mission Accomplished, with a little help from his friends.

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.


Never Ever Quit!

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.


Amity Varsity Football: If Scrimmage Game is Any Indication, We’re In For A Winning Season

 Amity High School, Latest News, Sports  Comments Off on Amity Varsity Football: If Scrimmage Game is Any Indication, We’re In For A Winning Season
Sep 072013

Tyler Burns scores a touchdown in Friday's scrimmage game against Oxford.

Tyler Burns scores a touchdown in Friday’s scrimmage game against Oxford.

The Amity Spartans Varsity Football team won an exhibition game against Oxford at the Wolverines field, 21-15, on Friday, Sept. 6.

Amity still has a grass field, whereas the Wolverines play on artificial turf.

The Amity tri-town referendum to approve (or deny) an artificial turf field at the high school will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 24 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Orange residents will vote only at the High Plains Community Center. Absentee Ballots are now available at the Town Clerk’s office until the day before the referendum (Monday, Sept. 23).

For those who think the change from grass to turf is an expensive, unnecessary luxury item, see what 2013-14 Varsity Co-Captain Joey Choiniere (10) had to say.

“It will help as far as practice goes,” he said. “We won’t have to cancel practice because the field is muddy, and we won’t have to worry about the field being torn up.”

With the feel of Oxford’s turf still fresh on his mind, Choiniere said it was a lot easier playing on the turf than it is playing on the grass.

More photos will be posted on our Orange Live Facebook Page tonight.

Phil’s Preview: Amity Varsity Football

 Amity High School, Sports  Comments Off on Phil’s Preview: Amity Varsity Football
Sep 112012


Orange Live Sports Writer

Sponsored by Ed Choiniere, Stop & Go Transmissions

When the Amity football team opens its season Friday night at Strong Field in Madison to take on hosting Hand High, the defending Class L state champs, 2 major questions will loom in the mind of the Spartans’ third-year Coach Bert Mozealous. First, graduation took veteran quarterback Tyler Vallee and his more than 2100 yards of total offense. In his place will be senior Co-Captain James Sammonella (6-feet 1-inch, 195 pounds). While an experienced running back, Sammonella has never been under center before. While not the passer Vallee was, he is not being asked to be. Instead of the pass-oriented spread offense, Sammonella will operated out of a more ground oriented option offense, that stresses power more than passing.

According to Mozealous, “James isn’t a thrower like Tyler was, but he can put the ball into the air when we want him to do that. If he comes along and develops as our quarterback, we have a chance to be competitive. The offensive line is the other big question mark looking in Mozealous’ mind.

Senior Co-Captains Greg Purcell (6-0, 260 guard) and Dennis Flanagan (6-2, 235 guard) returns as do seniors Mike Vitale (6-4, 270 tackle) and Zack Toro (6-4, 235) are all veterans of the 2011 campaign. Joining them along the front wall will be senior center Nick Tudino (5-11, 255).

Mozealous added, “As our experienced offensive line goes, we go. Having 4 veterans up front gives us a chance to be decent.”

In addition to Sammonella and the offensive line, the remainder  of the Amity offensive unit includes: Senior tight end Anthony DeMatteo (6-0, 195), wide receiver Nick Bottone (6-4, 165 senior) or Ben Feola (6-0, 180 senior.), Wing back Cory Ricks (5-7, 155 junior) wing back Joe Choiniere 

(5-9, 160 junior) and senior Co-Captain/fullback Dave Addolino (5-10, 185).

Junior Lyle Luth (5-7, 165 junior) will be handling all of the team’s kicking chores. He was good on 5 of 7 field goal attempts in 2011.

Sophomore Tyler Burns (5-7, 140) will serve as a reserve QB/wide receiver/ defensive safety.

“We have to be able to throw the ball when we want to,” Mozealous said. “If we run the ball well, we should be in every game.”

Defensively, the Black and Gold will operate out of a 4-3-4 alignment. Defensive ends Toro and Flanagan will flank tackles Vitale, Purcell, or

Frank Cavanuagh (5-10, 230 senior). The Amity linebackers will be seniors Jordan Laugeni, Casey Grenier,  Nic Walker (6-0, 175) and Connor Myatt (6-0, 215),as well as Dave Buono (5-10, 165 junior).

Mozealous added, “If Jordan stays healthy, he could lead our defense, which could be much better than it was last year, when it surrendered 292 points per game (while scoring 270).

Rick and Matt Attolino (5-7, 150 sophomore) will be at the corners. Feola 

Choiniere and Burns will be rotated at the safeties slots. Junior Anthony Sanchez (5-9, 155) is a back-up wide receiver and defensive back.

Burns may also see action as a QB and as a wide receiver. Senior Zack Demirgian (5-10, 180 senior) is a reserve lineman/linebacker as is Joe Capela (5-9, 190 junior).

“Our defensive secondary must come of age,” Mozealous said.

In addition to its lid-lifer at Hand, Amity must also face traditional Southern Connecticut Conference Division 1 and 2-time Class LL champs Xavier. Shelton also appears to be very formidable Division I opponent. Fairfield Prep and West Haven are rated as “much improved”. Add on traditional Class M power North Haven , and it is obvious that Amity will have to work very hard to improve upon last year’s 4-6 mark.