Memorable spring season for Fairfield high school sports
At the rate Tess Stapleton is going, pretty soon she’ll need her own banner hanging inside the Fairfield Ludlowe gymnasium to list all her accomplishments. The sophomore continued to pile up track and field accomplishments during the spring scholastic season after doing the same during the winter indoor season.
Stapleton won the 100 meter hurdles and the long jump at the State Open on June 3 in New Britain. Stapleton also won the 100 hurdles at the Class LL meet.
“I’ve always considered the long jump my favorite event. So earning my first state title in the event is a huge weight off my back,” Stapleton told Hearst Connecticut Media Group at the State Open. “I knew I had it in me.”
Stapleton finished second in the 100 meter hurdles and 11th in the long jump at the New England meet.
Ludlowe teammate Maya Mocarski placed fourth in the 100 meters at the Class LL meet.
On the boys track side, Fairfield Prep sophomore Azaan Dawson finished first in the 800 meters at the Class LL meet.
Success for Fairfield high school athletes this spring extended beyond the track.
In golf, Fairfield Prep’s Will Mallek shot a 75 to earn medalist honors at the SCC Championship at the Racebrook Country Club in Orange. Mallek, who will play at Santa Clara, shot a 76 at the Division I CIAC tournament on June 3 at the Timberlin Club to finish tied for ninth.
Fairfield Warde’s Christian Homa shot a 75 to tie for eighth at the Division I event. It helped the Mustangs to a seventh place finish in their first appearance in the state tournament in over five seasons.
The Warde girls golfers were even better, finishing third at the CIAC girls championship behind Bethany Fell’s 79 and Jessica Nuzzaci’s 86. The Ludlowe girls finished fifth.
Fell also finished with a day to remember at the State Open. Her 88 tied Fell for 18th overall and was the lowest score of any female golfer at the Black Hall Club in Old Lyme.
In team sports, the baseball teams from Fairfield Ludlowe and Fairfield Warde saw a lot of each other, playing three times including the FCIAC Quarterfinals and Class LL first round. The Mustangs took the first game, 8-0, behind a three-hit shutout from Brett Lauterbach on May 16. The Falcons got their revenge the next two times, winning in walk-off fashion in the FCIACs and posting a 7-1 win on May 29 at Kiwanis Field in the Class LL.
Ludlowe, which spent much of the season in the GameTimeCT Poll Top 10, saw its season end in the Class LL quarterfinals to eventual runner-up Southington — which coincidentally lost to Staples in the final.
The Wreckers edged the Falcons in walk-off fashion, rallying with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to defeat Ludlowe 2-1 in the FCIAC championship in May at Stamford's Cubeta Stadium.
“That’s the breaks. They got down to the last out and they battled,” Ludlowe coach Mike Francese told Hearst’s Scott Ericson after the FCIAC championship. “A guy comes off the bench to gets a big hit to tie the game and then another guy gets the winning hit. There is nothing I can say to my guys to make them feel better. They played a great game and had a great FCIAC season.”
The Falcons baseball team finished 20-6.
In softball, Ludlowe and Warde also met in the FCIAC quarterfinals with the Mustangs coming out on top, 4-3. Each school's season ended in the Class LL second round.
The Notre Dame-Fairfield softball team put together an impressive spring that saw the Lancers finish runner’s up to No. 1 Masuk in the SWC tournament. The Lancers also helped coach Jeff Bevino earn his 200th career victory when they defeated Berlin in the Class M quarterfinals.
The Lancers finished the season with an almost-absurd 48 home runs — 19 from sophomore MacQuarrie Stone-Folmar.
In boys lacrosse, Fairfield Prep won its fourth straight SCC championship, beating Guilford 13-7 in the final behind an MVP performance from Mason Reale. The Jesuits saw their hopes of winning a Class LL title dashed by Wilton in the semifinals, losing 7-6. Reale didn’t play due to a knee injury suffered in the quarterfinals.
“I know Mason didn’t play today, but Mason, Ethan (Grandolfo), Peter Kavanaugh and Connor Boyle, if they’re not the four best, they’re four of the best players in Connecticut,” Prep coach Graham Niemi told Hearst’s Michael Fornabaio. “I’m so proud of those kids and all our seniors for all the effort they put in this year.”
Finally, it was a very memorable June for Fairfield’s Stephen Paolini. The former Fairfield Warde player helped St. Joseph win a Class M baseball title and was drafted fifth round by the Atlanta Braves as the 157th player taken overall and first Connecticut native.