Memorable Mondays: Heartwarming moments
Welcome to MSGVarsity.com’s Memorable Mondays, a summer-long series that looks back on the top players, games and moments from the past season and gazes ahead to 2012-13. As the summer goes on, we’ll compile all the lists and post them here: www.msgvarsity.com/mondays. New Lists will be posted every Monday at noon.
In Week 5 of Memorable Mondays, we look at five of the most heartwarming moments from the Connecticut Region.
Amity softball completes storybook title run
After coming up just short against powerhouse Foran in the SCC finals, the close-knit Spartans made a pact that they wouldn't lose again.
They didn't, and what a ride to the Class LL championship it was.
With their motto of "Seven years. Seven seniors. Seven innings," fresh in their mind throughout the state tournament, the team with no all-state selections made quite a statement.
En route to their first state crown since 2005, the sixth-seeded Spartans would rally to knock off third-seeded Darien and hold off second-seeded Westhill before an eye-opening 10-6 victory over top-seeded Southington in the Class LL finals.
To put that outburst into perspective, Southington had allowed just 14 runs in the entire regular season.
It wasn't just the seniors who stepped up either. Amity started two sophomores in the infield, relied on a freshman hitter and got standout performances across the board when it counted the most.
"We have played together a really long time," senior pitcher Dana Blydenburg said. "We really just connected. We are really close on and off the field. It has been a legacy at Amity with all the championships. I am so proud to be a part of this and get it back here. This is an amazing feeling."
Bullard Havens baseball captures long-awaited league title
No one in the Tigers program could even remember the last time they won a CSC championship.
Well that all changed in late May when Nick Moreira fired a one-hitter, leading Bullard Havens to a 2-0 victory over Cheney Tech in the league finals.
The Tigers had to dig deep to strike gold as well.
Cheney Tech's Mike Musumeci came into the contest a perfect 9-0, and it took two early manufactured runs, a six-strikeout performance by Moreira and near flawless defense to get the job done.
Throw in the fact that Tigers coach Mark Mooney doubles as the team's bus driver, and you couldn't help but root for this bunch.
"It means the world," Moreira said. "Senior year, and we finally did it."
In final try, Notre Dame-Fairfield football wins first game of season
It was a tough first nine games of the year for the Lancers, who suffered two home losses by five points or less heading into their finale against Immaculate on Thanksgiving morning.
With one more attempt to celebrate in front of their fans at McCarty Stadium, Notre Dame seized the moment -- cruising to a 57-16 victory behind four touchdowns and two interceptions by Daquan Coleman.
Not only was it the first win for Lancers, but also the first with the program for head coach and former Major League Baseball player Rico Brogna.
"It was a good day for our team," Brogna said.
Pascal Medor bests nemesis to win New England title
The Westhill 106-pounder came into the finals of the New England championships with a 41-5 record -- and four of those losses came at the hands of Danbury star Kevin Jack.
But Medor would finally overcome his toughest opponent -- and he did it in front of 2,500 spectators in Providence, R.I. -- with a 6-2 decision over Jack in the fifth and final meeting of the season between the two rivals.
En route to the New England crown, Medor beat the Maine state champion and Massachussetts state champ before finally getting another crack at Jack in the finals. It was an opportunity he would make the most of in his final high school match.
"Being the New England champion is the greatest feeling ever," Medor said. "This is the best reward I've ever had. To have all the hard work pay off is tremendous."
St. Joseph boys basketball repeats as state champ
A comeback victory on St. Patrick's Day at the Mohegan Sun Arena. What a way to put an exclamation point on head coach Vito Montelli's 50th season.
Montelli, who wore a green shamrock pin on his lapel for good luck, guided the Cadets to a gritty 62-54 win over Hillhouse in the Class LL finals for the tradition-rich program's second straight state title and 11th overall.
Motivated after being stunned in the first round of the FCIAC tournament for the second straight year, St. Joe's rallied from a 13-point deficit early in the third quarter.
Showing the heart of a lion, senior point guard James Jennings (game-high 26 points) fueled an 18-0 run, and the Cadets also got a clutch performance from Towson-bound forward Timajh Parker, who went 14 of 15 at the foul line to go along with 11 rebounds.
Along with Jennings, Parker and other seniors like Pat Hopkins, Montelli soaked up the special Saturday night celebration.
"I'm very proud of the kids," Montelli said. "They worked hard all year, so they deserve this."
Join us throughout the summer as “Memorable Mondays” brings you more top 5 lists:
July 30: Top five favorite venues from 2011-12 Aug. 6: Top five coaches from 2011-12 Aug. 13: Top five most memorable games from 2011-12 Aug. 20: Top five teams from 2011-12 Aug. 27: Top five teams to watch in 2012-13
Find them all at www.msgvarsity.com/mondays