Just a reminder: there are two days left, until noon on Friday, to vote for the BlueStreak-Overtime FCIAC Male and Female Winter Athletes of the Year. You can go to the blog post below this one or here to cast your vote.
I also want to take a moment to thank all of you for the tremendous support. Since the voting began at noon on Sunday, there have been somewhere over 4,500 votes cast. We are overwhelmed, humbled and most of all very appreciative by the level of interest.
This is all about recognizing and honoring the many fine student-athletes in the FCIAC.
If you have already voted, thanks. If not, you have 48 hours. Please vote!
After a season of many accomplishments by FCIAC teams and players, it is time to select the two people you think were the most outstanding during the past three months.
In December, with the support of Matt Cole and BlueStreak Sports Training in Stamford, we established the BlueStreak-Overtime FCIAC Player of the Week award. Twenty-seven athletes, from 11 schools in 10 different sports, were honored, and received plaques and T-shirts from BlueStreak.
Now we have decided to honor two players as the BlueStreak-Overtime FCIAC Male and Female Winter Athletes of the Year. And unlike the regular season, when BlueStreak picked the winners, you will be able to vote for the two people you believe are most deserving.
We have picked five male and female finalists based on the many nominations that came in. Each one was selected to an All-FCIAC team and earned other distinctions.
Here are the five male finalists and their accomplishments:
Charlie Costanzo, Danbury. Costanzo, a member of the Hatters’ wrestling team, went 43-1 this year at 119 pounds, winning FCIAC, CIAC Class L, State Open and New England championships. He is a four-time FCIAC champion.
Mark O’Connell, Greenwich. A diver on the Cardinals’ swim team, O’Connell won the FCIAC and CIAC Class LL titles, and finished second in the State Open. A three-time All-American, he broke two school records that had stood, respectively, for 24 and 33 years.
Evan Kelley, Norwalk. Kelley, who played for the Bears’ basketball team, led the FCIAC in scoring with a 25.6 average. His versatility was evidenced by averaging 6.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.4 steals a game.
Will Love, Darien. The goaltender for the Darien hockey team, Love had a 2.98 goals against average and a 92 percent save average. He spearheaded the team’s surprising run to the semifinals of the state tournament and made 42 saves in a season-ending 3-2 loss to Hamden.
Greg Langston, St. Joseph. Langston was the leader of a Cadets basketball team that reached the finals of the FCIAC Tournament and the semifinals of the state tournament. Langston averaged 19.3 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and made 38 percent of his 3-point shots.
Here are the five female finalists and their accomplishments:
Olivia Hompe, New Canaan. A freshman who was the only two-time winner of the Player of the Week award this winter, Hompe had an outstanding freshman season in leading the Rams’ hockey team to league and state titles. Hompe led the state with 32 goals and added 22 assists for a state-best 54 points. She was the MVP of the FCIAC final and scored the game-winning goal in the state final.
Michele Gorman, St. Joseph. Gorman was the most valuable player in leading the Cadets’ basketball team to its first-ever FCIAC title. Gorman averaged 15.2 points and 6 rebounds a game.
Morgan Whitehead, Darien. Whitehead help lead the Blue Wave gymnastics team to the FCIAC and CIAC Class M titles. Whitehead won the vault, floor exercise and was third in the all-around at the FCIAC meet, won the all-around championship with 36.675 points at the state meet and was second place on bars and finished in the top 10 in the all-around at the New England championships.
Joselyn Henry, Staples. Henry, a member of the Wreckers’ track team, won the FCIAC title in the shot put and was second in the long jump. She finished second in the shot put in the CIAC Class LL meet, was third in the shot put and fifth in the long jump at the State Open meet, was 10th in the shot put at the New England championships and was 14th in the shot put at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships. She set the school record in the shot put at 38-4.
Casey Smith, Danbury. Smith had a strong sophomore season for the Hatters’ basketball team, averaging 18.2 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 2 steals.
So there are your 10 candidates. You are allowed to vote for one male and one female candidate. The voting will continue until noon on Friday, when we will announce the winners, who will receive trophies and T-shirts from BlueStreak.
The five male and female finalists for the BlueStreak-Overtime FCIAC Winter Athletes of the Year will be released tomorrow. At that time, readers will be able to vote until Friday at noon to select the winners, who will receive trophies and T-shirts from BlueStreak
Former Darien High School star and Advocate blogger Sam Stevenson scored three goals this afternoon to help the Richmond women’s lacrosse team edge Temple, 15-14, in the Spiders’ opening game in Atlantic 10 play.
Stevenson had the first goal of the game and another during a run of four unanswered goals that helped Richmond take a 13-7 lead and break the game open.
“I’m really happy with how I played,” Stevenson said in a text message after the game. “I feel like I made an impact, which I’ve been trying to do all season. I’m pumped for our game on Sunday.”
Stevenson now has 10 goals in 10 games.
Richmond, which improved to 4-6, hosts the University of Massachusetts on Sunday.
Last call: nominations for the BlueStreak-Overtime FCIAC Male and Female Athlete of the Winter awards will continue until noon on Sunday. Then five male and female finalists will be selected and a vote on this blog held until next Friday to select the winners, who will be given trophies and T-shirts from BlueStreak.
Click on the BlueStreak-Overtime T-Shirt on the right side of this blog to submit a candidate. Please make sure to include all the relevant statistics and any other pertinent information.
Three of Stamford’s best athletes were recently rewarded with postseason honors.
Hockey players Tyler Rich of Westhill, Ryan Boland of Trinity Catholic and Mike Longo of Stamford each received the Hobey Baker High School Character Award, which rewards exemplary character and sportsmanship in high school hockey players.
Two members of the Trinity Catholic girls basketball team also earned distinctions. Cayleigh Griffin was recognized by the referees of Board #9 as the receipient of the Donald Lomme Student Athlete Award. And Eileen Ornousky has been chosen to the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Academic All-State Basketball Team. She will be honored at the All-State Banquet on April 7 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.
Will Love of the Darien High School boys hockey team and Oscar Castillo of the Norwalk/McMahon boys swim team are this week’s winners of the BlueStreak-Overtime FCIAC Player of the Week award.
Love and Castillo will receive plaques and T-shirts from BlueStreak.
This is the final weekly award for the winter season.
Love, a goaltender, made 25 saves in the Blue Wave’s 6-0 quarterfinal win over Tri-Town in the Division I state tournament and made 42 saves in a 3-2 loss to Hamden in the semifinals.
Castillo had a hand in all 78 points Norwalk/McMahon scored in the State Open meet, where the team finished 21st, its highest finish in eight years. Castillo led off both the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay, and both relays set new school records. Individually, Castillo placed 13th in the 200 individual medley and 14th in the 100 backstroke.
Nominations are open now for the BlueStreak-Overtime FCIAC Male and Female Winter Athletes of the Year. To nominate someone, click on the BlueStreak-Overtime T-Shirt on the right side of this blog to submit a candidate. Please make sure to include all the relevant statistics and any other pertinent information.
While coaches and athletic directors have been doing the majority of the nominating, fans and readers can do so as well.
The nominating process will run until the end of this week, then we will select five male and five female finalists, and you will be able to vote for the winner next week.
The winners will receive trophies and T-shirts from BlueStreak.
Westhill soccer players Allie Souza, Dana Johnson and Nicole Pellicano check out their state championship rings.
The Westhill High School girls soccer team became the first Stamford school to win a state title in the sport last November, a remarkable 2-1 upset of Glastonbury in the final on Penny Cote’s goal with 36 seconds left.
The wait for the last official milestone of the Vikings’ accomplishment did not take that long.
The players and coaches received their championship rings this afternoon after school, in a ceremony in the office of Westhill principal Camille Figluizzi, whose daughter, C.C., was an integral member of the team.
The rings were supposed to be distributed last Monday, until school was postponed for the week in the aftermath of the brutal storm that left thousands without power.
“It was totally worth the wait,” said forward Tessa Dunster, the junior who was the team’s leading scorer and made the pass that set up Cote’s clinching goal. “It put in perspective again that we were state champions.”
The rings, which were designed primarily by Cote and Sarah Hartford, one of the Vikings’ captains, have a purple stone in the center, with the words “2009 Class LL State Champions” around it. Each player’s name and uniform number are also on the ring. Inscribed inside is one word: “Family.”
“That is so we will always remember that we think of ourselves as a family,” said Meghan Caldwell, a senior midfielder and co-captain who is currently trying to decide where she plans to attend school next year, and whether she wants to continue her soccer career being part of the process. “We sat down for the first time basically since the end of the season today all together. “It made me feel like it happened again yesterday.”
The Vikings were the paradigm of the Cinderella team, a program on the upswing that arrived much sooner than anyone — including themselves — anticipated. Somehow it was fitting that the team got its prizes in the middle of March Madness.
Many of the Vikings have been playing indoors during the winter and are preparing for the start of the outdoor spring season. Some play on the same teams.
Last fall is never far from their minds.
“We talk about it all the time, especially driving to soccer practice,” Caldwell said. “How it was the best feeling in the world and what we wanted since we all started playing soccer.”
Asked what she remembered most about the season, Dunster said, “It was not just the championship, but the growth we had as a team and the respect that grew. It was not just teams saying we just have a game against Westhill. Teams had to start preparing for us.”
It took eight days, but the Westhill players now have the final keepsake of their accomplishment.
“We texted each other every day all last week waiting,” Caldwell said. “We were so excited to get the rings. It is the final thing to remember the season by. The final piece.”