2013 Hand Winter Sports Year in Review
Published December 31, 2013. Last updated 04:32 p.m., December 30, 2013
Gymnastics Captures SCC and State Crowns
The winter season at Hand kept Madison very warm as multiple teams earned SCC and state tournament berths, including a gymnastics squad that took home both SCC and Class M crowns.
Following a 14-1 regular season, with their lone blemish being a two-point loss to Class L runner-up Glastonbury on Feb. 1, the Tigers won their fifth straight SCC crown on Feb. 18 at Law. Yet the grand achievement came when Hand won the Class M state crown on Feb. 23 at Pomperaug, the Tigers' 13th state title in the sport of gymnastics-the most by any program in the history of Hand athletics.
Hand earned the suit of being the Tigers with the most state titles with captains in junior Kendall Jerzyk and lone senior Amanda Rubano.
Boys' Ice Hockey
Following a season in which Hand lost the SCC Division II championship game to Branford, the Tigers used late-season victories over SCC DII foes Milford, Amity, and Sheehan to claim the regular season crown before gaining revenge versus the Hornets in this year's title clash by a score of 4-2 on Feb. 27. The SCC DII winner's season ended in a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss to Northwest Catholic for the state tournament opener on March 5.
On the road to both regular and postseason SCC DII titles, the Tigers were led by senior captain Matt Oman. Oman was joined alongside fellow seniors in Ryan Bell, Brendan Kelly, and Will Lavin.
Girls' Ice Hockey
Coach Tad McGwire and his Tigers finished 6-12-1 with wins over Branford (twice), West Haven, Lauralton Hall (twice), and Notre Dame-Fairfield.
They were led to the ice by seniors Elizabeth Banasiak, Anna Beatty, Emma DePierro, MacKenzie Hoctor, Nicole Pandolfini, Kaitlun Perlman, Alexandra Rider, and Lindsay Wargo.
Following a 7-4 start, the Tigers lost seven out of their final nine regular season contests for a 9-11 mark to reach the Class L State Tournament for the fifth time in six years, losing to SCC foe Career 53-31 in the first round on March 5.
The Tigers' return trip to the Class L bracket was led by a trio of senior captains in Brendan Bilcheck and Marcel Barnaby, along with Kyle Anderson, who were joined by fellow classmates Ryan Wallack and Matt Wallack with Chris Teeling.
Finishing the regular season campaign 13-7, the Tigers lost their SCC quarterfinal matchup to Sacred Heart Academy on Feb. 16 before defeating first-round Class L foe Kennedy on Feb. 25, Hand's second consecutive year with a home game in the state tournament. The season would conclude in the next round versus second-ranked Pomperaug on Feb. 28.
The Tigers led with senior captains in guard Graceann Kraemer and forward Gianna Amplo, along with fellow seniors in guards Maggie Fitzgerald and Hannah Johnson.
After an 18-8 regular season and a second-place SCC Division A finish, Coach Erik Delehanty's group lost a chance to compete for an SCC title as the championship was cancelled due to Winter Storm Nemo. But it did not slow Hand down come state tournament time as it finished fifth in Class L and 12th at the State Open a week later, highlighted by L champs in Matt Elias at 106 and sophomore Ben Onofrio at 160, both of whom competed in the New England Championship.
Hand certainly had the championship experience, holding 11 seniors with the captains of Elias, Kevin Wivell at 182, Connor Carroll at 170, and Jonah Lewis at 113, along with Andrew Kennally, Doug Levine, Jason Wai, Luke Edwards, Carter Chatillon, Erick Syvertsen, and Dan Lyons.
Boys' Swimming and Diving
Head Coach Jen Lyman's squad finished ninth with 400 points in the SCC Championship meet before coming in 10th for the Class M State Championship.
Hand was led by seniors in Joseph Natarelli, Matthew Allen, Ben Cone, Max Enright, Schuyler Enright, Tricia Hurst, and Cameron Thompson.
Boys' Indoor Track
The Tigers finished fifth with 34 points at the SCC Championships before coming in 10th with 15.5 points in the Class L State Championship.
Head Coach Tim Geary was led by seniors of Daniel Acabbo, William Chupp, Benjamin Citrin, John Clarke, Sean Condrin, Jacob Gardner, Zachary Gardner, Constantine Loucopoulos, Gavin Reeves, Jason Wai, Hugh Whelan, and Lloyd Williams.
Girls' Indoor Track
Hand finished fourth (36 points) for the SCC Championships prior to a 16th-place finish for the Class L Championship.
Head Coach Steve Swift's squad has senior contributions from Sarah Montgomery, Erin Hennessey, Jennifer Hahne, Christine Donat, Bridget Bunda, and Megan Brink.
In addition to senior Spencer Sabo, Head Coach Sarah Lam's team was led by four captains of seniors John Morgan, Amy Salerno, Eileen Creaser, along with junior Griffin McShane.