Hand Gymnastics, Boys' Ice Hockey Ready for Title Defenses
Published December 11, 2013. Last updated 10:27 a.m., December 11, 2013
Head Coach Kelly Smith (8th season), assisted by Jessica Hoover (4th year), and the Tigers begin another year in defense of both SCC and state titles.
Hand will be led by senior tri-captains Kendall Goodman, Kendall Jerzyk (All-American Team; First Team All-State; All-SCC Team; SCC floor winner), and Julie Keenan (Academic All-American), while it additionally returns seniors Stefani Taschner (2012-13 Academic All-American; First Team All-State; All-SCC Team; SCC bar champion) and Maria Iennaco (Academic All-American; Second Team All-State; All-SCC Team), sophomores Erin Maxwell (All-American; Second Team All-State; All-SCC Team) and Becca Anderson (All-American; Second Team All-State; All-SCC Team), and junior Abby McGuirk (First Team-All State).
Smith's declares the team's objectives this season are to defend its Pomperaug Invitational, SCC, and state crowns, while aiming to make the New England Championship for the first time since 2006. She also anticipates meets in the Pomperaug Invitational for the campaign's opener, along with a pair of matchups with Glastonbury, which finished ahead of the fourth-place Tigers at the State Open.
Boys' Ice Hockey
First-year Head Coach Ken Mitchell, assisted by Eric Brauman and Dave Sagnella, takes over a squad that captured a SCC Division II championship last winter with an 11-8-3 overall record.
Mitchell eyes big contributions from seniors in forward Danny Brauman (Most Improved Player Award; 15 goals, 20 assists in 35 points for 2012), netminder Chase Briggs (Second Team All-SCC, team MVP; 11 wins, 2.78 goals against average, .934 save percentage in 2012), and defenseman Dan Healy, along with junior forward Ben Solin (18 tallies, 13 helpers in 31 points last season).
Within SCC Division II, Mitchell eyes marquee matchups against Branford in SCC title rematches, Guilford, and Amity.
Head Coach Frank Rossi, in his seventh year and assisted by Steve Ongley, Michael Maratea, and Jack Callaghan, will be captained by seniors Brendan Hughes and Sam Jablonski (team-leading 10 points per game in 2012), plus added components in seniors Phil Crampton and newcomer Andre Fredrick from Detroit, Michigan.
With the Tigers' goals of a winning mark and berths in both the SCC and state tournaments, Rossi highlights matchups against Cross and both clashes with rival Guilford.
Tim Tredwell enters his fifth season on the bench, being assisted by Marypat Maloney and Ashley Burzenski, after a campaign that saw the Tigers reached the quarterfinals of the SCC Tournament and the second round of the state bracket following a 13-7 regular season.
Hand's captains will be three seniors within its backcourt in 2012-13 All-SCC Team guards Sophie Joel (team MVP; team-leading 13 points per game in 2012-13) and Lily Taylor, along with Colette Kraemer at the point.
Tredwell feels his underclass will pay huge dividends this winter with junior forwards of Cassidy Wygonik, Gege Catalano, Lauren Brandau, and Michelle McCloskey, along with guards in juniors Cori Ouellette and Olivia Jackson, plus sophomore guards Gillian Kraemer and Paula Materin.
In Tredwell's analysis of an always-competitive SCC, every matchup will be pivotal for Hand, including a home opener versus Career.
Girls' Ice Hockey
Second-year Head Coach Tad McGwire, assisted by Caitlyn Bernick and Sarah Salatto, will be captained by seniors Mackenzie Hilton, Erin Splain, and Morgan Connors. Junior Sarah Oswald and freshman Ele Schickler are also expected to figure as key players as well.
The Tigers look to diminish the negatives and increase the positives for their team goals, while doing so in key matchups versus Fairfield Warde-Ludlowe and Notre Dame-Fairfield.
The Tigers will turn to a familiar face this season with former Head Coach Michael Docker, who coached the squad from 1998 to 2002, returning to the helm.
Docker will be assisted by John Rogers, Lucas Massella, Anthony Mancini, and TJ Catz to complete his coaching staff. The five command a club that finished second in SCC Division A with an 18-8 mark before finishing fifth in the Class L State Tournament and 12th for the State Open.
Hand will be captained by senior Kevin Mallon and Justin Dwyer. Last season, Dwyer went 24-17 as a 195-pound grappler who finished fourth for his weight class in the state tournament.
Hand has a new leader in Head Coach Rich Fisler, while his squad will be captained by Chloe Broquet and Kathleen Downes with Ha Hyeong Kim and Griffin McShane serving as the boys' counterparts.
Fisler also expects big things from returning seniors in James Distelman, Jayson Tung, Emily Syversten, James Dorfman, and Sarah Price, along with juniors Ben Stopka and Kyle Welch.
Fisler projects big home meets against Morgan, Guilford, East Haddam, and Fairfield.
Todd Williams, being assisted by Bruce Wilson, enters his fourth season with the Tigers, being led by captains Ethan Wilson (2012-13 All-State Team; 22.33 average race time last year), Stefan Pelletier (23.00 average time), Melanie Rennie (2012-13 All-State Team; 24.40), and Hannah Walton (25.27).
Ryan Garb (24.26), Jared Newton (27.14), Michael O'Sullivan (29.53), Anna Baker (27.74), and Abigail Smith (28.92) are additional players that Williams feels will play a big role in the squad's success on the slopes this winter.
Last season the boys' team earned an 18-35 mark (12-14 in division action), while the girls were 9-32 (8-13). Williams maintains that the group goals for the slate are to qualify for the State Open, and on an individual level, to continue All-State Team representation and have success in the New England Open.
Hand will try to achieve these feats throughout a campaign that includes key matchups versus Guilford and Branford, along with Southington and Amity.