Stafford High School winter sports wrap up

By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Wed., Mar. 14, 2012
Stafford wretling finished 15th overall at the Class S Wrestling Championships on Feb. 17-18 at Haddam-Killingworth High School.
Stafford wretling finished 15th overall at the Class S Wrestling Championships on Feb. 17-18 at Haddam-Killingworth High School.

At the start of the 2012 winter sports season, Stafford High School’s boys’ basketball coach Mike Morhardt instituted “The Bulldog Way”: a core team philosophy implementing the characteristics humility, passion, unity, service and thankfulness. Coupled with disciplined practice and controlled shooting, the Bulldogs reached the CIAC Class S tournament, ultimately falling to Terryville in the first round, 60-48. “Our guys came in each day trying to get better and trying to learn,” Morhardt said. “I was proud to be able to work with them each day.”

On the girls’ bench, coach Erin Clark relied heavily on seniors Dani Clark and Lauren Shaw for leadership on the court and in the locker room, defining the duo as the “heart and soul of the team.” Despite a disappointing 1-19 finish, new talent emerged in the form of freshmen Anna Smith, Brook Zelz and Heidi Richards. Six juniors - Anna Januz, Jaime Sierra, Isabella Randazzo, Kelsey Heavener, Hayley Richards and Brenna Roy - return to lead Stafford in 2013.

Dashing by the competition, coach Brian Dunn and the boys’ and girls’ indoor track team wrapped up at the Class S state meet hosted at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven on Feb. 10. The girls’ team finished 17th overall, with several athletes placing well for the Bulldogs. In the 55-meter hurdles, junior Jen Bourque placed 31st with a time of 10.67. Junior Amanda Jacobsen finished second in the pole vault, soaring to a height of 9 feet, securing 8 points for Stafford. On the boys’ team, junior Evan Cummins locked up 13th place in the 55-meter hurdles.

Leading sideline spirit, senior cheerleaders Courtney DeNunzio, Morgan Middleton, Ashley Gaudenzi, Brooke Learned, Linzey Young and Paige Oulette led Stafford’s halftime routines. Under the direction of coaches Kathy Middleton and Tammy Albert, the team participated in the Windsor High School Warrior Challenge and the Knights Duel at Ellington High School.

On the ice, coach Christian Stevenson and the combined Stafford/Manchester/Rockville United hockey team ended at 8-11. John Sellew, Sean Sellew, Mat Roy and Mark Richards represented the Bulldogs.

In the Class S wrestling championships on Feb. 17-18 at Haddam-Killingworth High School, coach Shirzad Ahmadi led Stafford to a 15th place finish. Ethan Pace qualified for the 160 weight class championship match, and Shane McCuen took home the title in the 285 class.


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