Pickens' Perspective: Winter sports season has been great so far
If you're a fan of a winter sports team in town, the odds are that you had a pretty good season.
Maybe this season wasn't kind to the Ludlowe basketball teams, and it was a struggle for the co-op boys ice hockey as well, but it seemed like every time you turned around a local team was doing something unprecedented.
These teams are still performing as the regular season becomes states. But the individual sports have already had their state playoffs. Warde was the FCIAC and Class L state champion in wrestling, its boys basketball team reached the state playoffs for the first time since it re-opened.The girls basketball team at Warde, despite an up and down year, qualified for states, but met the beast that is CSWA's No. 2 state team Pomperaug.
Three teams from Notre Dame qualified for the state playoffs, with ND's girls falling to CSWA No. 6 Wethersfield. ND's boys team will travel to Northwest Catholic on Monday. Notre Dame's boys ice hockey will play Immaculate tomorrow for the SWC title and then will play a state playoff game Monday as well.
The folks at Fairfield Prep had a successful winter as well. Two wrestlers qualified for the State Open, in Jason Rojas and Joseph Roberts. The basketball team qualified for states and will play Sacred Heart on Tuesday in Waterbury in the Class LL state tournament, and its hockey team will likely be either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the Division I state tournament.
Despite the tough year for the ice hockey team, co-op squads had successful years. The co-op fencing team is hosting the state championship, tomorrow at 9 a.m. at Warde. The boys ski team entered yesterday's state championship undefeated and the girls ski team was 12-4.
Meg Ryan was uber-successful in indoor track, but other runners, such as Heather Moriarity of Ludlowe had a fine year, finishing sixth at the State Open in the 3,200 meter race. Warde's Alyson Leppela took sixth at the shot put, throwing the shot a remarkable 34 feet and senior Jana Dodson went out by qualifying for the State Open in the high jump. Dodson jumped a 4-10 in the Open and finished in a tie for 11th.
Both Leppela and Moriarity will have the opportunity to improve upon their standings next year as well.
The fact that individuals stand out despite team shortcomings, is the sign of a great sports town. Andrew Kimberly for Ludlowe basketball probably played his way into a partial scholarship for basketball. Ludlowe wrestler Mike Sheehan made it all the way to the Open, and was the only wrestler for the Falcons that did so. Sam Hickey had a real nice breakout season for the Falcons' girls team too.
The winter season is long and it is cold and the games are late at night, but there has been a lot of successes to chronicle. We've only just begun to hit the point that matters most, the playoff season.
So stay tuned, because you have to see the end of this season to see if it goes from "pretty good" to "classic."