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Tony Talks Sports

March 27, 2008

Pascarella Merits Statue, Not Boot

By Tony Mentone


Several people have inquired about the selection process for coaches at Hamden High. The job is posted internally. If no qualified candidates apply, the job is posted outside the system.

Interviews are then set up. In the case of assistant coaches, they are usually interviewed by the athletic director and a head coach. Then the interviewers make a recommendation to the Board of Education, which makes the final appointment.

Of course, being Hamden it doesn't work this way all the time. Although it should be consistent, it is not! It depends on the sport, the applicant, when the sun is in the sky and what whim is in effect today.

For the selection of the recent varsity football coach, the process followed the general guidelines but there were some exceptions. No. 1, the interview committee consisted of seven people and only a couple of them had any idea what attributes a football coach should possess.

No. 2, the recommendation was hired before his name went to the Board of Education to be confirmed.


Tiffany DeRosa (HHS '04), a senior at Western New England College, has been named The Commonwealth Coast Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year.

DeRosa, a captain of Western New England women's basketball team, was also named to the Second Team All-Conference. She is a psychology/elementary education major and has a 3.73 GPA. She finished first on her team in assists and steals and was second in scoring.


Two Green Dragon track stars were recently named to the New Haven Register girls indoor track team.

Chelsea Harris (HHS '10) was named in the 600-yard run. Harris is an honor student who broke the school record at CIAC Class LL championships with a time of 1.36.77.

Harris was third in the State Open and second in the SCC championships.

Courtney Dinnan (HHS '08) has made the team for the fourth straight year. Dinnan won the 1600 at the state LL open and the SCC championship. She was runner-up at the SCC and broke the school record at 5.02.

Dinnan is a highest honor student and is looking at Quinnipiac, Maryland or the University of Connecticut.


Jacqueline Mastracchio (HHS '06) has been named the JV softball coach at her alma mater, Hamden High.

Mastracchio is a former Hamden catcher and captain of the team. She was named All- District and given the Team Dedication Award.

She has spent several years coaching in Hamden Fathers’ Softball and attends Gateway Community College.


In last week's Monday morning football massacre, Councilman James Pascarella was relieved of his duties as statistician and volunteer coach. Pascarella, a North Haven grad, has been an inspiration to the Hamden sports community.

Pascarella has worked many hours as a volunteer and has been a generous financial backer. He was one of the founders of the Hamden Education Foundation as well as its first chairman. He was also one of the organizers of the first Sports Hall of Fame dinner and continues serving on this committee.

Instead of pushing him out the door, we should be building a statue in his honor. Only in Hamden.


We now know that a Steinbrenner-esque committee of seven people made the final decision for Hamden's new head football coach. Although I don’t necessarily believe in the process used, new coach Scott Benoit has very good credentials.

Benoit played football under deceased coach Tom Hunt at West Haven High and legendary coach Paul Pasqualoni at Western Connecticut. Pasqualoni went on to become one of the leading coaches in college football at Syracuse University.

Benoit’s résumé includes coaching on six different staffs which went to the CIAC Final Four. While head coach at Guilford High, he took a sub-par program and was starting to turn it around.

On the negative side, I think is better for a coach to be a teacher at the high school at which he is coaching. After the Dragons beat Guilford last year, Benoit told the press his offense "stunk,” without giving some of the reason for the odor to the Hamden defense. Benoit is being given free reign to bring in some of his assistants who should do well for the Hamden program in the future.

Tony Mentone is the former faculty manager and game assistant at Hamden High School. Tony is currently an assigning commissioner for the Greater New Haven Umpires Association and the assistant district administrator of Connecticut District 4 Little League. He also sits on the town's Parks & Recreation Commission. Please send info and announcements about youth sports or Hamden High sports to tonymentone@yahoo.com.

March 13, 2008

Help Cheerleaders Raise $$ for Cancer Center

By Tony Mentone


Alexa Ahrem (HHS ’08) finished fifth overall in the CIAC State Gymnastics Open held at Pomperaug High in Southbury.

Ahrem has had higher scores; the judging at the state tournament was much harder than during the regular season.


Final registration for Greater Hamden Baseball Association will be held on Saturday, March 15, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the foyer of Miller Library.

All players aged 6-14 must attend an evaluation on Saturday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at O’Keefe’s Baseball/Softball Academy at 104 Sanford St. For more information, call 230.2402.


Unassisted triple play without a defensive player touching the ball:

 Runners on first and second, no outs. Batter lifts a high popup near the second base bag -- out number one, infield fly rule. The runner on first thinks he got a steal sign, takes off for second and passes the runner on second. Out number two. The runner on second gets confused and comes off the base and the ball comes down and hits him in the shoulder. Out number three

Boy, is that a rally killer!


As I reported last week, the Hamden girls’ hockey team finished the season by getting beaten in the first round of the state playoff with only 11 players. Nobody is talking but obviously there was some kind of "mutiny" by several players. It was a sad end to a team that had such promise.

Since the details are unclear to me, I don't have much to say. I do feel strongly that administrators administrate, coaches coach, players play and parents give support.


“Hamden Lights for Life” will benefit the Hospital of St. Raphael's satellite Cancer Center planned for Whitney Avenue adjacent to the surgery center.

The cheerleaders will be selling luminaries at $5 each and are asking area groups to join them in this effort.

The first planning meeting will be held on Monday, March 24, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Atria Larson Place, Quinnipiac Room, 1450 Whitney Ave. Anyone interested is invited.

For more information, call Chris Wilson at 288.0755 or Henry Candido at 641.2877. The Hamden Lights event will be held on Sunday, Sept. 28, at Meadow Brook Park. Save the date.


There is an old axiom in sports that it is very difficult to beat the same team three times in a season.

The Hamden High Green Dragons boys’ hockey team found this to be very true when they were knocked out of the CIAC LL tournament by Notre Dame of Fairfield, whom they had beaten twice during the year.

Hamden had a magnificent season, holding onto the top spot in the coaches’ poll for several weeks in a row. Pick up your heads and be proud! The Green Dragons had an impressive win against undefeated South Windsor at midseason. At the end of the season, the Dragons tied Mount St. Charles, the No. 1 team in Rhode Island, 2-2.


Congratulations to our neighbors down the road -- the New Haven Career girls’ basketball team, which won the CIAC LL championship. There are at least four players on the team from Hamden and we extend our best to them.


A week or so ago I ran into Assistant Superintendent of Schools Hamlet Hernandez. Mr. Hernandez assured me that there were no restrictions against applicants outside the Hamden system for coaching positions, despite the fact that a few years ago a coach received a labor board award of two years coaching salary for not getting work and was put back into his previous coaching position. Mr. Hernandez tells me the coach was awarded for another reason.

Just three or four years ago, several assistant coaches lost their jobs because people in the system applied for their jobs.

Several years ago I sat on a panel to interview for a head football coach. There were five applicants and I was told by the principal, although we had interviewed all five, only three were eligible because the other two were not in the system.

I guess things have changed because Tuesday the assistant superintendent named Scott Benoit, Guilford High’s head football coach, the new Hamden coach. More about Benoit later but let me clarify something.

I was not on the interview panel for the coach. There is somebody at the high school with a name very similar to mine and it was probably that person who was on the interview committee. I received several calls of recommendation and several people were convinced that I knew who was being selected. I did not.

Benoit certainly has impressive credentials. He has coached at the high school level for more than 20 years. During his college tenure he has been to the CIAC playoffs six times. Three years ago he took over the Guilford program that was floundering and put it back on track.

Benoit played at West Haven High School for Tom Hunt and played college ball at WCSU where he played for Coach Paul Pasqualoni, who went on to have a stellar career coaching at Syracuse University. Benoit has coached at several area schools and knows the SCC very well.

Tony Mentone is the former faculty manager and game assistant at Hamden High School. Tony is currently an assigning commissioner for the Greater New Haven Umpires Association and the assistant district administrator of Connecticut District 4 Little League. He also sits on the town's Parks & Recreation Commission. Please send info and announcements about youth sports or Hamden High sports to tonymentone@yahoo.com.

March 7, 2008

Let's Play Some Ball

By Tony Mentone


All Hamden High spring sports open up on March 17. Spring sports include baseball, boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, boys’ and girls’ track, boys’ and girls’ tennis and softball.


Hamden Fathers’ Baseball/Softball tryouts are slated for Yale's Coxe Cage located adjacent to Yale Bowl on Route 34. Players must be at least 9 to try out.

Below is the schedule for Saturday, March 8, and Sunday, March 9.

8 a.m. -- all 12-year-olds
9 a.m. -- all 11-year-olds
10:30 a.m. – 10-year-olds, last names A-H
12 p.m. -- 10-year-olds, last names I-Z
1 p.m. -- all 9-year-olds

8:30 a.m. --11- to 13-year-olds
11 a.m. -- high school division

8 a.m. -- 13-year-olds, last names A-H
9:30 a.m. -- 13-year-olds, last names 1-Z
11 a.m. -- all 14- and 15-year-olds

The regular monthly meeting will be held on March 11 at 7 p.m. at the Bassett Fieldhouse.


Hamden High’s new varsity lacrosse coach is Frank DeRubeis, who was born in Newton, Mass. He graduated from Quinnipiac College in 1996 with a bachelor’s in occupational therapy. He lives in Beacon Falls with his wife and three children. He plans to move back to Hamden soon.

At QC, DeRubreis played lacrosse for four years and was named to the all-conference team twice. He has coached in various youth programs and was an assistant coach at Amity from 2003-2006.

He says he's very excited about the upcoming season.


A baseball team in the Colorado A ball league got a triple play without a defensive player touching the barrel. How did it happen? Answer next week.


In April 1877, James Tyng became the first player to wear a facemask in a professional game. Fred Thayer designed and patented the mask. The mask was long and narrow but served its purpose.

Claude Berry of the Chicago White Sox was the first professional player to wear a protective cup.

Needless to say, today’s catchers should be thankful that these men came before them to protect their lives and limbs.


Tryouts for the Babe Ruth travel teams will be held at Coxe Cage at Yale Bowl on Saturday, March 8, at 2 p.m., and again on March 29 at noon at Legion Field.


Hamden High boys’ hockey team, under recently selected Connecticut Coaches Hockey Coach of the year Billy Verneris, finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the state.

As I meet my deadline tonight, they are playing Greenwich at the Astorino Rink in the first round of the CIAC state tournament.


The Hamden police and fire departments will sponsor a hockey event on April 4 at the Lou Astorino rink from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Morgan Jamie Roche Scholarship Fund. Morgan is a young lady whose father and uncle both died tragically within a year of each other.

Tickets are $5 each or $15 per family of five or less.


Two weeks ago, the then-ranked No. 2 Hamden hockey team played South Windsor, ranked No. 1. No tickets were sold at the door.

On Wednesday Hamden played in the state tournament and no tickets were sold in advance. They were all sold at the door starting at 5:30 p.m. for a 6 p.m. game.


The Hamden girls’ hockey team lost the championship of the CCGHL in Guilford 4-1.
On Monday night the girls were knocked out of the state tournament by West Hartford 4-1. In the last game, Hamden was down some players. In fact in the state tournament game, there were only 11 players available and some of the leading players were absent.


If you believe as I do that the Hamden High Athletic Department needs more trainers, call your Legislative Council or Board of Ed members now.

In a $70 million-plus budget, we should be able to find money to improve our athletes’ physical condition.

Tony Mentone is the former faculty manager and game assistant at Hamden High School. Tony is currently an assigning commissioner for the Greater New Haven Umpires Association and the assistant district administrator of Connecticut District 4 Little League. He also sits on the town's Parks & Recreation Commission. Please send info and announcements about youth sports or Hamden High sports to tonymentone@yahoo.com.

March 1, 2008

No Word on Lacrosse Coach's Background

By Tony Mentone


When will the athletic fields be online at Hamden Middle School? Eli Whitney Technical School is doing construction on its fields that Hamden has used for several years, and the Parks & Rec department needs fields to replace them.

I have called Board of Education Director of Facilities Mark Albanese and never got a return call.


Why are the parents and boosters of lacrosse raising their own money to finance a freshman lacrosse program this year? If we play varsity teams that have a freshman team, and we do not, we are putting our kids at a competitive disadvantage.

We have a $70 million-plus school budget and we can't find $15,000 to support boys’ and girls’ freshman lacrosse?


Interviews for a new Hamden High head football coach begin this week. We should have a new coach by mid to late March.

I have heard several rumors about who the new coach is. But let's just wait and all find out together.


The Hamden High boys’ hockey team retained their No. 1 ranking in the Register’s state poll. Later in the week, Hamden played Rhode Island perennial No. 1 team, Mount St. Charles, to a 2-2 tie in overtime at the Astorino rink.


The Connecticut High School Coaches Association has named Hamden high varsity boys’ ice hockey coach Bill Verneris the outstanding coach of the year.

The 44th annual recognition dinner will be held on Thursday, May 15, at the Aquaturf Club in Southington. For more information, call John Fontana at 860.628.4122.


The answer to last week's trivia question is the batter-runner is out for passing the runner on base.


At the end of last season, Hamden High embattled boys’ lacrosse coach Jeff Gull resigned. The Dragons now have a new coach.

His name is Frank DeRubeis. He lives in Beacon Falls. I talked to him over three weeks ago and tried to get his lacrosse background. He told me he would e-mail it to me. I have sent him several e-mails since and I still haven't received a response.


David Arserio (HHS '01) played football at Hamden High. He attended the University of Rhode Island. He then went to SCSU to study biology.

He currently attends the Massachusetts College of Pharmacology in Worcester, studying to be a pharmacist.


The HDN received a letter from Dr. Jeff G. Konan, Ph.D., ATC, PT, of Tampa, Fla., concerning my comments about more athletic trainers. Dr. Konan is a 1984 graduate of Hamden High.

After a 20-year career traveling the world and working with high school, collegiate, professional and Olympic athletes, Dr. Konan is an advocate for athletic trainers at the high school level.

We have approximately 850 athletes involved in sports at Hamden High. If we spend $100,000 on trainers -- $117.94 per athlete for four years -- we should be able to invest in our future.

Call your Board of Education member and demand an expanded trainer budget.


The Hamden High girls’ basketball team was eliminated by Career Magnet School in the first round of the class LL state tournament. Career, although New Haven-based, has several outstanding Hamden residents on its roster.

Coach John Ceneri’s Dragons got into foul trouble early in the game and was unable to recover.


The Hamden High girls’ hockey team beat West Hartford 3-1 to enter into the finals of the Central Connecticut Girls’ Hockey League. Hamden was led by Jessica Morgillo and Karyn Violano.

Hamden will now meet Guilford today at 12:30 p.m. at Ingalls Rink in New Haven for the CCGHL championship.


I haven't read so many stories since Aesop's fables.

Great job by the HDN and its editor Sharon Bass for uncovering this story.

Tony Mentone is the former faculty manager and game assistant at Hamden High School. Tony is currently an assigning commissioner for the Greater New Haven Umpires Association and the assistant district administrator of Connecticut District 4 Little League. He also sits on the town's Parks & Recreation Commission. Please send info and announcements about youth sports or Hamden High sports to tonymentone@yahoo.com.

February 21, 2008

Salvatore “Red” Verderame Dies, An Era Ends

By Tony Mentone


Leah Gabriele Hall was a Hamden resident killed by a drunk driver on Nov. 11, 1995. Since that time her friends and family yearly raise money for MADD’s (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) education program by “Skating for Leah.”

This year the event will be held at the Louis Astorino Rink on Saturday, March 29, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information, call 234.6521.


The Hamden High girls’ basketball team qualified for both the SCC tournament and the state CIAC LL tournament.

In the first round of the SCC tournament, ninth-ranked Hamden played eighth-ranked Amity. Although Hamden was in the game most of the way, they just didn't seem to gel and lost in overtime.

The Lady Dragons (10-10) are getting ready for the state CIAC tournament next Tuesday against an opponent not yet determined.

Hamden has been led all year by its senior leadership. Coach John Ceneri said the dedication and hard play this trio exhibited was inspiring. Seniors were Karissa Berube, Samantha Joiner and Page Sparks.


In a hotly contested Little League game there was a runner on first base with two out. The batter lifted a high-fly ball to right field, which the fielder just missed as the ball went over his glove. When the play ended there were runners on second and third.

The coach of the defensive team came out to see the umpire. The coach said that he was confused because the batter was on third and the runner on first base was on second. What was the umpire’s call? See next week for the answer.


As I told you during the state high school football playoffs, a new cable station called Connecticut Sports Television will debut on Saturday, March 8.

Its inaugural broadcast will run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The girls’ basketball championship will air on Sunday, March 9. The games will be rebroadcast beginning at 6 a.m. The boys’ championship will be shown on March 15. See your local directory for times.

WFSB and CPTV have joined together to create Connecticut Sports Network. They hope they will be able to air Connecticut high school and college games to those who are interested.


Astorino Rink public skating is on Feb. 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


Jack Smith (HHS ’05), former football and baseball player, injured his knee his first year out of high school playing football at Hofstra University.

He is now majoring in business finance at UConn and playing rugby.


With the passing of 81-year-old Red Verderame last Saturday another sports era has ended.

His first coaching job was actually at Quinnipiac College in Hamden from 1951-1953. From 1953 to 1965, he coached at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven. He was an innovator and had 254 wins and only 35 losses. He won five consecutive District League championships, four Connecticut State championships and two New England Tournament championships.

Verderame was hired by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service agent. He traveled to Africa and the Mideast giving clinics.

"Big Time," as his friends called him, was a member of the international Special Olympics Committee and was inducted into several Halls of Fame.

He was both a principal and vice principal in New Haven, where he established the International Ambassador program, whereby students could travel the world.


Hamden girls’ hockey goalie Kaitlynn Smith, a junior, was named Connecticut Girls CCGHL goalie of the week. She had nine saves in a 3-2 Central Connecticut Girls Hockey League win over Hand High School.


The Hamden boys’ hockey team defeated perennial rival West Haven 3-1 last Saturday. With two games left in the regular season, Hamden has a 14-3 record. At press time, Hamden was getting ready to play Mount St. Charles, a Rhode Island powerhouse for many years. This Saturday, they finish the season against Notre Dame of Fairfield, ranked number 10 in the state. They will play this game at the Milford Ice Pavilion at 1:15 p.m.

Tony Mentone is the former faculty manager and game assistant at Hamden High School. Tony is currently an assigning commissioner for the Greater New Haven Umpires Association and the assistant district administrator of Connecticut District 4 Little League. He also sits on the town's Parks & Recreation Commission. Please send info and announcements about youth sports or Hamden High sports to tonymentone@yahoo.com.

February 14, 2008

Cough it Up for Trainers

By Tony Mentone


At the approximate halfway point of the season, the Hamden Middle School basketball team is 7-0.

The team has defeated Polson of Madison and Derby; Carrigan of West Haven and Shelton; and Jackie Robinson of New Haven, Branford and Guilford.

The baby Dragons are led by Kyle Holmes, Tim Dube, Wesley Johnson, Malabe Johnson and Andre (Grandpa) Anderson. The team also has a strong bench with everyone contributing.


The Cincinnati Reds baseball team was officially changed to the Cincinnati Redlegs during the anti-Communist movement.


Open skating at Lou Astorino Rink on Feb. 17 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Feb. 18 from noon to 2 p.m.

Family swim at the community pool is on Friday, Feb. 15, from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 16, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.


On Feb. 6, the varsity boys’ hockey team played Conard of West Hartford at the Astorino rink while the girls’ basketball team played Shelton -- freshman, JV and varsity games -- at the high school gym.

Who do you think got the one trainer available? Hockey, of course. I will admit that hockey is the more violent sport, but girls’ basketball can also result in injuries. Enough should be budgeted to have trainers at both sports. We should not be jeopardizing our kids over a few bucks.

Urge your Board of Ed members when preparing the budget that more money for trainers should be available.


On the all-time basketball team, several people have brought to my attention that I missed Barry James. They are right. James was a great player.

I think I missed him because I always thought of him as a football player, which he also excelled at.


The Hamden girls’ basketball team has qualified for the SCC tournament which starts tonight. The ninth-seeded Green Dragons play eighth-seeded Amity at Amity at 7 p.m.

The winner of this game will play the No. 1 ranked Mercy at West Haven High on Saturday at noon. The semifinals will also be played at West Haven on Tuesday and Thursday.


Desse Chesson (HHS '99) played football and basketball. Some say he was the hardest-hitting linebacker Hamden ever had.

Chesson was recruited by University of New Haven coach Tony Sparano who was recently named head coach of the Miami Dolphins. When Sparano left, Chesson transferred to Kean University in Union, N.J. Chesson spent some time at Kean and returned home to take courses at SCSU.

He lives in Arlington, Va., and works for Brazos Logistics.


The Hamden girls’ freshman basketball team, coached by Jill Feldman, has compiled a 15-1 record. They suffered their only defeat against Wilbur Cross, a team they had beaten earlier in the year.

The Dragons are led by Nicole Lee with 17.5 ppg, Takerra Williams with 12.1 ppg and Trinity Barnes with 8 ppg. Also participating are Shannon Knox, Shannon Schultz, Kevona Spann, Crystal Campbell, Katherine Napolitano and Anostha Campbell.


The second-ranked Hamden High boys’ hockey team played undefeated No. 1 South Windsor last Saturday. Hamden dominated and came away with a 6-1 win.

The game is not without some controversy. Some parents of players who wish to remain anonymous were upset with the ticket distribution.

It was announced a week before the game that no tickets would be sold at the door. If for some reason not all the tickets were sold, what would happen? I have no problem with shutting down the rink for safety purposes. But it shouldn't have been done until after the tickets were actually sold out.

Which brings us to another point. What is the capacity of the rink? It was always more than 1,000 with standing room, and now it has been reduced to around 800.

The visiting team was giving approximately half the tickets available. This literally made the game a neutral site as far as fan support is concerned. First choice should have been given to the Hamden coaches and players. After all, they are the show.


Registration for the Hamden Fathers’ Baseball/Softball Association will continue at the Parks & Rec office in Government Center for girls 3-18 and boys 3-15.

There is a $10 late fee; payment by check or money order only.

Boys 9-12, call Bill Rhone at 287.8571. Boys 13-15, call Steve Pacelli 287.9290.

Tony Mentone is the former faculty manager and game assistant at Hamden High School. Tony is currently an assigning commissioner for the Greater New Haven Umpires Association and the assistant district administrator of Connecticut District 4 Little League. He also sits on the town's Parks & Recreation Commission. Please send info and announcements about youth sports or Hamden High sports to tonymentone@yahoo.com.

February 7, 2008

Qualified Coach Needed

By Tony Mentone


A flapjack breakfast will be held at Applebee's Neighborhood Bar and Grille to benefit the Hamden High cheerleaders on Saturday, March 15, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Tickets are $5; the proceeds will benefit the cheerleaders’ camp fund. The Easter Bunny will be available for pictures.

Tickets can be obtained from any of the cheerleaders.


Ron Kittredge (HHS '87) was a catcher for three years on the Hamden High baseball team. After leaving Hamden High, he was in the U.S. Navy for four years.

He is a maintenance work for the Hamden Board of Education. He lives in Guilford with his wife, daughter and two sons. His mother lives in Hamden’s 6th District and is a longtime Yale University employee.


Lou Astorino Rink -- Open skating this Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and on Sunday, Feb. 10, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Community pool -- Family swim will take place this Friday from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Hamden Fathers’ Baseball/Softball -- The monthly meeting will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. at the Bassett Field house.


The first baseball player to be named Rookie of the Year was Jackie Robinson in 1947.

The silhouette on the Major League baseball logo is Harmon Killebrew.


After falling ill at the state finals last year, Courtney Dinnan (HHS '08) has returned as strong as ever. She recently won the mile run (5:07) at the Southern Connecticut Conference Coaches Invitational.

Dinnan captured first place in the 1000-m run and the 3200-m run at the SCC Quinnipiac Division meet.

Last Friday, Dinnan won the 1000 and 3200 at the SCC Championships.


I recently read an announcement for a new football coach to be hired at Hamden High. The ad says that the selection would not be limited to internal candidates.

Unless the teachers’ contract has been completely revised recently, this is not true. The language of the contract says a teacher in the system who is "qualified" for the job would be given priority. The question has always been what does "qualified" mean.

It's been rumored that if Geno Auriemma of UConn applied for a head coaching job and a staff member had coached a middle school team, the teacher would get the job over Auriemma.

However, remember we are Hamden. They often adjust to what they want. There is no consistency when hiring coaches. Let's just hope they come up with the right person.


Tiffany DeRosa (HHS '04) was named female athlete of the week at Western New England College. DeRosa scored a season-high 17 points, three rebounds and one assist in a 71-60 win at Salve Regina in Rhode Island.

DeRosa, an educational psychology major, dished out six assists (including the 300th of her career) in a victory over Wentworth College.


This year's Super Bowl was one of the most exciting in its 42-year history. The pass and catch from Manning to Tyree was the most clutch play in Super Bowl history.

Many of my gambling friends took the Giants with the points but they never really expected the Giants to win on the field.

However, Jane Glynn, head secretary at Hamden High and longtime Giants fan, said she “wasn't surprised at all." Last time Glynn was seen, she was heading down I-95 to the Victory Park party and parade in New York.


“Playing for Pizza” by John Grisham: If you like football, this is an enjoyable, light read that is perfect for a rainy or snowy day.

The book traces the career of a washed-up American quarterback as he joins an Italian "Americano" football team in Italy. Remember in Italy, American football is called soccer.

Each team is allowed three American football players. The rest of the team is comprised of Italians, who play for the love of the game.

The book follows their season. Beyond football, it delves into the team’s travels along the Italian countryside and the culture shock the Americans are experiencing.


Despite losing a 4-1 contest to Fairfield Prep, the Hamden Green Dragons beat Simsbury 4-2 and retained their number two state ranking.

This Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Astorino Rink, Hamden will play undefeated and No. 1 ranked South Windsor. No tickets will be sold at the door. For ticket information, call the Hamden High Athletic Department at 407.2040, ext. 3001.

Tony Mentone is the former faculty manager and game assistant at Hamden High School. Tony is currently an assigning commissioner for the Greater New Haven Umpires Association and the assistant district administrator of Connecticut District 4 Little League. He also sits on the town's Parks & Recreation Commission. Please send info and announcements about youth sports or Hamden High sports to tonymentone@yahoo.com.


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