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Bonus factoids, footage and words from the Middletown Press sports desk.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

CIAC releases email on mandatory preseason practices


Just got an email from the CIAC regarding mandatory preseason practices. Essentially, fall teams must have 14 practices before their first game or contest. We'll keep you posted as we find out whether schedules or local teams will be affected.
Here's the text of the email:
CIAC has received numerous calls from member schools and the media questioning  if the requirement to complete 14 days of mandatory practices prior to first day of competition will be waived or altered.
The mandatory practice day requirement has been in existence for over 30 years and CIAC believes these days of practice are necessary to prepare teams for competition.  Consequently, the only adjustment that will be making to the regulation is to allow schools to count practices held on Sundays toward the required 14 days.  Schools may count both both Sunday practices held previously and those to be held from this point forward toward reaching the 14-day requirement. Sunday practices have always been allowed, but could not be counted towards the requirement. As always, the holding of Sunday practices will be at the discretion of the local school district. Any team that has not conducted 14 days of practice prior to its first scheduled game must postpone and reschedule all games until it has satisfied the requirement. Schools are reminded that rescheduling of postponed games are not subject to weekly limitation rules. School districts are encouraged to allow teams to continue to practice when it is safe to do so, even if school is not in session. We will continue to monitor the situation and assist member schools in their effort to meet the requirement.

Monday, August 29, 2011

GOODNIGHT, IRENE: The story of the hurricane

Two semi-cheesy cultural references in one header? Yup.

Got dark fast for a lot of people on Monday night. At last check (about 11:30 p.m. on Monday), 37 percent of Connecticut was without power.

Staggering numbers, but kudos to Connecticut Light & Power for the really comprehensive data on their site (check out the interactive map here).

What does this mean for sports? No practice in a lot of places on Monday, like Cromwell, because the district shut everything down. East Hampton was still 100 percent without power. Get more from staff reports and our friends in New Haven here.

Meanwhile, the hurricane has opened up a pretty interesting discussion on the 24-hour news cycle. Comprehensive or over-the-top? My sister and I had the discussion earlier, and I said that it did exactly what it should have: gave people important and necessary information. She said the relentless coverage sensationalized it all.

I don't necessarily disagree with that, either, though. Hunting down pics of damage and destruction often takes away from the perspective of the coverage. Don't lead with a six-column pic of the one house in town that got  battered by a tree. Tell the whole story.

This story?



Or this story?




Great pic/cover from Worcester's Telegram & Gazette Monday, too.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Capiche? Coach Sal Morello talks to his team following an afternoon session


"At the end of practice, the last couple minutes ... everybody gets up. You gotta practice that way. For the whole two hours out here. Capiche?"

And a pic. Didn't get names because these guys were in practice pinnies, but the running back flying through the air probably doesn't mind.

Someone needs a hug.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FIRST CONTACT! Thursday's cover


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

VIDEO: 'Pep Run' at Middletown's Willie Pep Skate Park



Good, clean skateboarding. Story and some pics right here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

TUESDAY: Airwalkin', Pendergastin' and Marion Bartoli


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Caroline Wozniacki, Li Na and the New Haven Open


Love. Caro and Li Na gave the media some juice yesterday. Also, Schiavone was on the right side of her opener.

Friday, August 19, 2011

AHERN-WHALEN in pictures

The triumphant Hitmen beat the odds and won the crown, but we take a look back at all the teams in this compilation video:












(This was my favorite) --->

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

THEY'RE A HIT! Thursday's cover, featuring the Middletown Hitmen


Monday, August 15, 2011

TUESDAY: Ahern-Whalen, Maya Moore and Mark Sanchez (Not Maya and Mark together, that would be gross)

Maya! Back in Connecticut! As a profesh! How will she do? Awesome, because she's Maya Moore.

Ahern-Whalen Invitational Tournament could be over today ... if Mother Nature allows. And if West Hartford wins the final. If not, we're looking at some Wednesday action. Middletown and RCP fight for a spot in final at 5 p.m.

GQ pulled some glorious quotes out of Mark Sanchez, including that he "wanted to fight" Rex Ryan. Props.

Jorge Posada wants to play another season. Now he just needs a team.

LINK OF THE DAY: The worst plate appearance of ALL TIME (by Baseball Nation) 













Sunday afternoon, Giants reliever Santiago Casilla batted against Marlins reliever Jose Ceda, and they were both really terrible.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

THURSDAY: Goodbye Colonials, Ahern-Whalen and preparing for the PGA Championship

Guess what day tomorrow is.

It's Friday. You are so close. And you can occupy some of your weekend time watching the PGA Championships, where the Americans will try and shake their MAJOR problem (not obesity, that's just the general population). We're talking golf. Full preview here.

Colonials no more! After one year in the UFL, the league cut the Hartford franchise for budgetary reasons. Will they come back? Not impossible, the commish says.

Ahern-Whalen had to deal with same rain and delay issues, but two games were completed Wednesday. Two undefeated teams at this point (remember, double-elimination tourney) are the Middletown Hitmen and the West Hartford Futures. Two games went down Wednesday, get results here.

Andre Drummond. The name will be getting some play in the next few years, so remember it. He's a Middletown kid with height and game, but he's putting off college for one more year. He does, though, announce his short list of colleges here.

Last but not least, the X-Games is over ... but that doesn't mean we can't watch oblivious reporters do stupid things in half-pipes. Just watch:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

WEDNESDAY: Summer superlatives, a UConn schism and and unlucky Logano

Trouble for the Huskies? Maybe, or maybe just some overexcited footballers. But a little scuffle broke out at UConn's Tuesday's practice, and Chip Malafronte reports.

Summer baseball is just about over (still an Ahern-Whalen tourney going on, stay with us for those results), and with that comes Jim Bransfield's look at some summer superlatives. Best team? Best player? Best hot dog? We've got it all.

Joey had a tough day at Pocono. He led 44 laps, and would have gotten the victory if things ended at the rain delay. But they didn't. At least Carl Edwards didn't sign with Joe Gibbs Racing, that would have meant bad things for Logano. But things could be worse, and there's still a fairly bright future for Middletown's racer. Full story here.

Ochocinco is looking for a place to crash, Yao Ming could get an early entry into the Hall of Fame, and Yale football is picked to finish third in the Ivy League in a preseason poll.

OH, and a terribly fake soccer dive. We could probably show one of these every day FOREVER and not run out.

Monday, August 8, 2011

TUESDAY: A-W baseball at Palmer, a Higganum triathlete, and Army-Yale football will return

Baseball at Palmer Field just feels right, doesn't it? Although I've heard super things about football there as well, so excited for that. But we've still got some baseball to get through. This week it's the Ahern-Whalen Invitational Tournament. Game's are at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Palmer Field, and the final will be Saturday (and if necessary, per the double-elimination tourney, Sunday). Keep an eye on three Middletown teams: the Middletown Police Union All-Stars, the Connecticut Outlaws and the Middletown Hitmen.

Great story out of Higganum about a man who never considered himself an athlete. But in his late 30s, he decided to try a triathlon (with some special inspiration from his nephew), and it became a huge part of his life. Read about it here.

The Army is coming! To the Yale Bowl in New Haven (or technically West Haven, I think). Army and Yale signed on for a 2014 matchup, their first since 1996.

AND, our good friend Jim Fuller down at the New Haven Register got some words from Caroline Wozniacki about the upcoming U.S. Open Series (where she'll defend her crown in New Haven). She's ready to go, she says.

Love you, Caroline. Call me.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

MONDAY: Musings, international champs, Steve Smith's Spartans

It's Monday! Hope you had a stunning weekend, and hope the next one comes quick for you all. But we have to make it through a few more weekdays first.

Anyway, let's get a look at today's cover. You probably remember the name Teagan Ferguson, an outstanding keeper in lacrosse and soccer for Haddam-Killingworth. Well, her sis (Tevi) seems to be making a name for HERSELF, as she was part of an international win with a New England soccer team. They won their division of the Gothia Cup, the world's biggest football tournament, in Gothenberg, Sweden. Tevi's position? Keeper, duh! Runs in the family.

Jim's taking some time to see baseball parks around the country, but he's still keeping his eyes on local products. Former Xavier linebacker Graham Stewart could have a starting role with the Florida Gators this season, Jim reports.

Steve Smith (not THE Steve Smith), but the Middletown Spartans' Steve Smith seems to be the leader of this team, according to coach Jim Greco. After missing two games (Middletown lost both without him), he led the Spartans to a decisive win over Whaling City on Saturday. Three TD passes for Smith, including a key fourth-down make.

Tragic news from New Haven. Dave Solomon, an absolutely terrific and unparalleled sports journalist for the New Haven Register, died in a car accident Saturday night. I had a chance to intern with the Register, and worked several times with Solomon. He was a no-bones, intelligent and aggressive journalist. And he was good. Read Sports Editor Sean Barker's remembrance here.

OH. Last thing. You probably don't often get a chance to see what the Middletown Press sports desk looks like. Here it is (as of Sunday evening).

Friday, August 5, 2011

FRIDAY: Last hurrah for Legion ball

HAPPY FRIDAY! As a last hurrah for American Legion baseball, we put together a little wrap for Middletown's Post 75 squad that ran in today's edition. Track it down and give it a look, the digital versions below don't do it justice.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

WEDNESDAY: Ready for some football? Ready for some swimming????

Hump day. Enjoy it.

Media day for the Big East gridiron, and UConn was picked sixth in the annual media preseason poll. Major question mark at QB. And also, our esteemed UConn football correspondent Chip Malafronte put together a media day notebook, check it out.

National champ from Middletown? Yup, one Steven Hostinsky.

Got summer swimming? Middletown sure does. Big meet today at MHS.

And ESPN hopped on a government program that will give some incentive for the massive media company to make more Connecticut jobs.

Speaking of swimming ... you're sports fail video of the day:

Monday, August 1, 2011

TUESDAY: Post 75 in pics, Randy retires, Jim Calhoun's expectations

Well, now that Legion baseball is done we've got more free time on our hands. If you got a summer story idea, let us know!!! But we had a chance to put together some content from the season for Middletown Post 75 in a 'Year in Pictures' video, teased on Tuesday's sports cover. Check it out at the bottom of this post.

Meanwhile, Mr. Randy Moss has retired, and after only 13 seasons. Surprising to many, as he had a chance to break some records if he stuck around another five seasons or so. Oh well, he graced us with some glorious moments (the fake moon, the 23 touchdown catches for New England, the afro, to name a few). Read the full story here.

You might not have known that UConn men's basketball won every non-conference game last year. That'll be quite the task this year (coach Calhoun said flat-out: "We’re not going to go undefeated in non-conference play again.") Get the full piece and schedule here.

David Stern is not happy with the NBA players. Which is not good, because that means we could be locked out for a while. Uh oh.

Alright, here's your Middletown Legion vid. What picture is your favorite?? Leave your answer in the comment section below!