Winter Sports Recap 2021-22

Rylie Walker, Sports Editor

As the winter sports season has come to an end, it is time for our Black Knight student-athletes to be recognized for their accomplishments. Of course there were uncertainties, but all of the teams pushed through and took tremendous strides of improvement throughout the 2021-22 winter season.

The boys basketball team had an exceptional season this year, their overall record was 10-10. During the CIAC Playoffs they beat Stratford in the first round, but fell to Crosby during the second round. This season was a huge step for the program.

Senior Lukas Sotell stated “I had a great senior season. It was really fun to play and travel with my teammates. I was able to create a lot of great relationships with the guys. I wish it wasn’t over, it’s hard to believe. This was probably my favorite season out of my four years being here and I couldn’t appreciate everyone involved in the program enough.”

They also said farewell to Coach JJ as he retired after countless years at Stamford High School, the entire SHS community will miss him. Davion Pinn was placed on the ALL-FCIAC third team, and for the competition cheer team, Kayla Scanlon, Rebecca Gordon and Brooke Ligi were named to the ALL-FCIAC team.

Our girls basketball team were considered the ‘underdogs’ in the FCIAC, but they upset many teams as they showed Connecticut what this program truly is. They finished with an overall record of 12-8 as they placed second in the FCIAC championship, but during the second round of CIAC playoffs they fell to Middletown.

Senior Captain Charlie Karukas said, “This season our team felt like a family and the coaches made the environment a fun place to be. Our run in the FCIAC championship and upsetting two teams in a row was a good way to end my senior season.”

They also had a few standout student-athletes, Chloe Sotell (ALL-FCIAC first Team), Madison Lockery (ALL-FCIAC third Team), Breanna Jacobs and Isabella Edwards (Honorable Mentions).

The Stamford/Westhill co-op boys ice hockey team ended their season with a 11-6 overall record. During the first round of FCIAC vs Fairfield they had a tough game that ended in a loss. Their season ended after they fell to Daniel Hand in the Division II CIAC playoffs. Senior captain, Jordan Grabine, was placed on the ALL-FCIAC Division II/III first team.

Stamford/Westhill/Staples combined girls hockey team had their best season yet. Overall, their record was 17-2-1 as they were placed fourth in the state. During the FCIAC finals they took a hard loss to New Cannan but that didn’t stop them. They went straight to CIAC and their season ended with a loss against East Catholic in the second round of playoffs.

Piper Fine, a senior captain, shared, “I have never been on a team that clicked so fast. We went farther than any past year and had the best season in our program’s history. No one had expected us to come from last in the state to fourth, including placing second in the FCIAC. I couldn’t have asked for a better senior season, I hope our team only goes up from here.”

This year they dominated the ALL-FCIAC team with the first team having Meadow Gilchrest (WHS) and Kate Tortorells (Staples). The second team had Paige Tuccinardi (Stamford), Maya Sherman (Staples), Piper Fine (Stamford), Sydney Butler (AITE) and, as an honorable mention, Annie Forker (Stamford).

Our wrestling team had a secret weapon and her name is Samantha Yap. The program is underlooked by many but this junior shattered records. She placed first in the 106 weight category during the CIAC Championship as well as making ALL-State. Yap is now a two-time state champion and has one more year to continue to break records. Both Samantha Yap and Max Beldotti were honorable mentions in FCIAC.

Girls gymnastics is an underrated sport. Senior Lauren Heller made the ALL-FCIAC and ALL-State team after placing third on the uneven bars.

Heller said, “This was a great season for me! I am really glad that I qualified and competed at State Opens and New Englands since both have been called due to COVID in previous years. It was a great way to end my high school gymnastics career, I’m going to miss my team and coaches so much!”

This program is just starting to grow and the future is promising.

The indoor track team had a memorable year. Qualifying for CIAC, they had athletes with season bests, best times and personal records.

According to Senior Alana Goldhaber, “This past season was my last year in indoor track but it was definitely the best. We have improved so much in four years and were able to have a group of athletes including myself make it to states. It is a young team that has so much room to grow”

Westhill-Stamford boys swim and dive had a lot of returning athletes along with a bunch of newcomers. They all contributed to their astounding season. Aswell, they had three student-athletes on the ALL-FCIAC team: Hudson Jang (WHS), Peter Christian (SHS), Peter Mottolese (AITE), John Frankowski (WHS).

Last but certainly not least, our unified sports team. This basketball season, Stamford High had the opportunity to create a unified sports team. This allows students to pair with a teammate and compete in an organized game of basketball. It attracted a huge crowd compared to years in the past, as the bleachers were packed with teachers, students and parents all cheering on the student-athletes. After the game against Westhill, freshman Jaidon Najaro was named MVP for his outstanding efforts. The games were very exciting and packed with memorable moments.

All in all, it’s been an incredible winter season for SHS student-athletes and next year they will do even greater things.