November 30, 2022

Barry of Essex Scores Her First Ever Hole-in-One

Hollis Barry, Co-Chairperson Old Lyme Country Club Women’s Golf League, scored a hole-in-one at the club on July 1.

OLD LYME — During Thursday Women’s League Play on July 1, Hollis Barry of Essex, Conn., scored a hole-in-one on the 3rd hole. Barry is co-chairperson of the Old Lyme Country Club Women’s Golf League (OLCC WGA.)

Barry’s drive on the par three hole landed on the green and rolled into the cup.  This was her first hole-in-one.

With a 16.5 handicap, Hollis has been a life-long golfer. As the new co-chairperson, Barry has advocated for making the OLCC WGA a program that fosters friendships and promotes women’s golf as a relaxing and fun activity for all levels of players.  She encourages healthy competition and the learning of all aspects of the game. 

Country School Runners Enjoy Record-Breaking Season

From left to right are Kayla Uzwiak, 8th Grader from Killingworth; Ryan Wei, 8th Grader from East Lyme; and Conor Selfor, 8th Grader from Old Saybrook.

MADISON — While local public high school cross country teams have been building toward their championship races, The Country School’s cross country team has been quietly compiling a season record for the girls of 33 wins and only one loss and 35 wins and four losses for the boys. This is the best record for cross country at the PreSchool-8th Grade Madison independent school since it began offering the sport 20 years ago.

The team competes this Saturday in the Connecticut Middle School State Championships at Wickham Park in East Hartford. Many student-athletes are also looking forward to the Junior Olympics cross country state championship, set to take place on November 12. In years past, dozens of Country School athletes have gone on to qualify for Regional Junior Olympics Championships, with several going on to Nationals, including one, Robbie Cozean of Madison, now a sophomore at Xavier High School, who earned All America status three times and finished 2nd in the United States.

The Country School serves 214 students between the ages of 3 and 14, and with only eight boys and seven girls running cross country, its Middle School teams are typically the smallest teams competing in any race. Head of School John Fixx attributes the success of their athletes to many factors, among them, dedication. The team holds optional practices two or more times a week throughout the year during the off-season, including the summer, while practicing five and even six days a week during the fall cross country season. Inevitably, the entire team shows up, with younger running enthusiasts, and even some parents, opting to join in.

Seen here in action are, from left to right, Christopher Yuh, Madison; Gabriel Goodwin, Old Lyme; Liam Boone, Clinton, and Sam Duffy, Madison.

Another factor is school culture. At The Country School, running is regarded as an activity that is fun, inclusive, and open to all ages. The program begins as early as Kindergarten, when interested runners join a group known as the Flying Owlets, a nod to the school’s mascot, an owl. More than 35 students participate in Flying Owlets, with practices taking place a few times a week. They also have opportunities to compete in road races, Junior Olympics, and other venues. As older students and younger students train alongside each other, more seasoned runners are able to model teamwork and persistence for younger runners. It is not unusual to have a 6-year-old 1st Grader running alongside and listening to a 13-year-old 8th Grader talk about the effort it takes to run repeat 200s or a “ladder” workout on the track.

With a history of strong cross country and excellent academics, the school also has the advantage of attracting strong students who are also strong runners. This year, for example, Conor and Margaux Selfors joined the school, entering 8th and 7th Grades respectively. The siblings, from Old Saybrook, have placed at or near the top in multiple races this fall, adding depth and leadership to the team.

The talent on the team is also homegrown. Eighth Grade co-captain Ryan Wei from East Lyme, a top place finisher in several races this year, has attended The Country School for several years, rising up through the running ladder, and Robbie Cozean, the school’s most successful runner ever, began in PreKindergarten. In addition to his successes at The Country School and at Junior Olympics National, Robbie was named All-Courant Cross Country Runner of the Year as a freshman at Xavier.

In addition to Robbie at Xavier, several Country School runners have gone on to compete at the high school level, making their mark at Choate Rosemary Hall, Pomfret, Westminster, Guilford High School, Daniel Hand, Hamden Hall, St. Paul’s, Cheshire Academy, and Avon Old Farms.

Training so many runners, and working with such a wide age span of athletes, requires many coaches, and The Country School is fortunate to have a team of experienced runners and educators leading the effort. In addition to Head of School Fixx, a former cross country and track captain of Greenwich High School and Wesleyan University who founded the Country School cross country team with Jordan Katz, a former student, 20 years ago, the team benefits from the likes of Laura Morrison. A recent and very fast graduate of SUNY Fredonia who now runs for Southern Connecticut State University, where she is attending graduate school during the evenings, Laura oversees The Country School’s after-school program and also coordinating TEDxTheCountrySchool. Spanish teacher Blair Balchunas, a frequent road racer and half marathoner, is another inspiring member of the coaching staff. Organizational genius and great rapport with runners all ages comes from Beth Coyne, Country School Dean of Student Life and Secondary School Counselor.

Founded in 1955, The Country School is an independent, coeducational day school serving students from across the Shoreline. In addition to a rigorous academic program that seeks to educate the whole child through active, hands-on learning, The Country School is committed to vital offerings in the arts and athletics. Athletic contests are played on the school’s new, state-of-the-art outdoor complex, featuring two full-sized athletic fields, four tennis courts, a basketball court, and the cross country course through the woods that flank the 23-acre campus. The campus is a frequent host for athletic events, including a recent nine-school cross country meet. Although the student body is small in number, The Country School has a long tradition of athletic and academic excellence. This year alone, more than 20 Country School alumni are competing on teams at colleges across the country, including Amherst, Bates, Bryant, College of Charleston, Columbia, Dickinson, Fairfield, Hamilton, Harvard, Kenyon, Middlebury, Northeastern, Northwestern, Princeton, St. Lawrence, Union, the University of Rhode Island, and Villanova. Learn more at

In Tight Contest, Valley-Old Lyme Swim Team Ultimately Falls to H-K

On Sept. 28 at Haddam-Killingworth, the co-op swim team of Lyme-Old Lyme and Valley competed against Haddam-Killingworth. Despite a strong performance by Old Lyme-Valley, Haddam-Killingworth won the meet in the end with a score of 76 to 61.

Valley/Lyme-Old Lyme placed first in the following races:
-medley relay (Kim Beradis, Kaeleigh O’Donnell, Lily Cox, and Connie Pan)
-200 yard freestyle (Lily Cox)
-200 yard individual medley (Kaeleigh O’Donnell)
-100 yard freestyle (Connie Pan)
-500 yard freestyle (Lily Cox)
-200 yard freestyle relay (Kim Beradis, Kaeleigh O’Donnell, Lily Cox, and Connie Pan)
-100 yard backstroke (Kim Beradis)
-100 yard breaststroke (Kaeleigh O’Donnell)

Haddam-Killingworth came first in the 50 yard freestyle (Kiera Bragdon).

Valley/Lyme-Old Lyme notched second in the 50 yard freestyle (Connie Pan).

Valley/Lyme-Old Lyme divers Anna Donato and Britney Detuzzi earned Honorable Mentions in the 50 yard freestyle coming in respectively 5th and 6th.

‘Junior Souls Yoga Program’ Starts in Old Saybrook for Youth, Grades 4-8

OLD SAYBROOK — Working with the Old Saybrook Parks and Recreation department, Saybrook Soul Sweat will be running an eight week long after school program, Junior Souls Yoga Program (JSYP), for grades 4 – 8.  The program will be held at the Recreation Center Gym every Monday beginning Sept. 18, from 2:45 to 4 p.m.

A description of the program states, “Yoga is a practice that exercises your body on a physical, emotional, and mental level; the younger we can get kids practicing, the better prepared they will be for the world as they progress. Junior Souls Yoga Program is a weekly, 60-minute practice that is derived from the vinyasa style of yoga, but with a New Age twist.

Instead of teaching students to sit down and meditate, JSYP uses the philosophy that to work into a meditation of the mind, you first must physically work out your body. Combining a youthful, energetic series of postures with fast tempo, upbeat pop music, JSYP gets kids moving and grooving for 45 minutes, followed by a 15-minute meditation.

The junction of physical fitness with positive mindfulness is a great way to teach kids poses, self-empowerment, stress relief, and healthy living.”

Junior Souls Yoga Program is instructed by Courtney Brooks, a 200-hour registered yoga teacher in Vinyasa yoga. Brooks has been practicing yoga for six years and teaching full-time for over one year, with experience teaching yoga to children at Corpus Christi in Wethersfield, CT, and developing a yoga program with the Hartford Police Athletic League throughout various schools in Hartford, CT.

The Saybrook Soul Sweat studio will open for business Oct. 14.

Ready for Some Football? Old Saybrook Conditioning Camp Attracts More Than 40 Youngsters

More than 40 students in Grades 2through 8 participated in the four-day football conditioning camp held at Old Saybrook High School.

OLD SAYBROOK — The coaches from Old Saybrook High School and Old Saybrook Westbrook Youth Football & Cheer (OSW) recently partnered with the Town of Saybrook Parks and Recreation Department to host a four-day football conditioning programming for children from 2nd through 8th grade.

Youth from several towns on the shoreline participated in warm-up exercises and performed drills to learn the fundamentals of football and hone their skills.

Intensity and enthusiasm were evident at all times during the camp.

Coach Ryan Percival founded the program to help shoreline youth learn the fundamentals in a safe and non-competitive environment.

Subsequent to the Old Saybrook High School football coaches and staff joining ranks with the OSW coaches, the program swelled this year to more than 40 participants.

Coach Rob Marone summed up the philosophy of the program, “It’s all about the kids.  We teach skills, but we also emphasize safety, listening, teamwork and respect.”

For more information on the upcoming season or to register for football or cheerleading, visit

Valley/Old Lyme Warriors Take on St. Joe’s Tonight in Class M Championship Semi-final

Warrior football action from the team's victory over H-K. File photo by Laura Matesky.

Warrior football action from the team’s victory over H-K. File photo by Laura Matesky.

Tonight at 6:30 p.m. on their home field at Deep River, the top-seeded Valley/Old Lyme Warriors face Saint Joseph’s in the semi-finals of the CIAC Class M football championship.

Go Warriors!

Valley/Old Lyme Warriors Qualify for Class M Football Playoffs

Coach Tim King didn’t bother to tell his players that a win Saturday would earn the Valley Regional/Old Lyme cooperative program a trip to the CIAC Class M football playoffs.

His first concern was taking care of business against a struggling opponent, winless Canton.

“The kids did exactly what we asked,” King said. “We wanted to get our varsity kids off the field by halftime and we wanted to get our JV group some experience.” … Read the full article by “Day Staff Reports” and published in The Day on Saturday, Nov. 12,  at this link

Local Golfers Play in Nancy Lehr Benefit Tournament, Two of Winners From Essex

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Nancy Lehr Benefit participants

On June 2, the Old Lyme Country Club held the annual Nancy Lehr Benefit Tournament to support Junior Girls Golf in Connecticut through the CWGA/PME Foundation. The tournament raised $500 for this worthwhile organization.

The winners of this year’s tournament were Esther Boyle (Essex), Karen Danielson (Old Saybrook), Carol Gordon (Essex) and Hyla Cohen (Old Lyme).


Chester Resident Adams Signs to Play Baseball at Mitchell College in Fall

Buzz Adams signs his Letter of Intent to play baseball at Mitchell College

Buzz Adams signs his Letter of Intent to play baseball at Mitchell College

CHESTER — Buzz Adams, a senior at Plainville High School, whose family recently moved to Chester, has signed a Letter of Intent to play baseball at Mitchell College in the fall.

Congratulations, Buzz!

‘Warrior’ Giaconia Signs with UConn

Jack Giaconia, who has signed a Letter of Intent to play football with UConn, was a four-year starter on the Valley/Old Lyme co-op football team. Photo by Laura Matesky,

Jack Giaconia, who has signed a Letter of Intent to play football with UConn, was a four-year starter on the Valley/Old Lyme co-op ‘Warriors’ football team. Photo by Laura Matesky,

Lyme-Old Lyme High School senior Jack Giaconia, who was a starter on the Valley Regional/Lyme-Old Lyme ‘Warriors’ co-op football team throughout his high school career, has signed a Letter of Intent to be a preferred walk-on with the UConn Huskies.

A delighted Giaconia, who lives in Lyme, Conn., told, “For me signing with UConn is a dream come true. I’ve been watching them play on TV since I was like seven years old.”

He explained that prior to signing with UConn, he had quite a number of college options on the table including Endicott, University of New Haven, and also Central, Southern and Western Connecticut State Universities. He noted, “I was also considering going to prep school since I wasn’t getting very much interest from big time Division One schools,” but, “When [Warriors head] coach [Tim] King told me that UConn was interested, I was very excited.”

Now, after a short break following his high school graduation in early June, Giaconia is looking forward to starting his training with the UConn team at the end of June. He explains, “That’s when I start lifting and training with the team.”

Asked if there was anyone he wished to acknowledge in terms of having helped him reach his goal, Giaconia, who stands 6 ft. 4 in. and weighs 330 lb, graciously offered quite a list, saying first, “I want to thank coach King and all the coaching staff for being the best group of coaches a player could ask for.” He then added, “I also want to thank both the Valley and Lyme-Old Lyme school districts because without the co-op being created, I wouldn’t have been able to play for my hometown.”

Giaconia quickly followed up saying, “I also want to thank the Roche family for being so supportive and helpful throughout the recruiting process. And last but not least, I want to thank my family for being my biggest fans and for getting me to this point in my life.”

Congratulations, Jack — we’ll be following your career with great interest!

Valley-Old Lyme Warrior Football Alumnus Fairfield-Sonn Named All-American

All American Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn stands with his proud parents, Lynn and Jim Fairfield-Sonn of Old Lyme. All-American footballer Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn stands with his proud parents, Lynn and Jim Fairfield-Sonn of Old Lyme.

Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn, who graduated from Lyme-Old Lyme High School in 2012 and now attends Amherst College where he is a senior safety on the College’s football team, was named to the 2015 All-America team, and earned recognition on the Third Team Defense. Fairfield-Sonn played a key role on the Valley-Old Lyme Co-op football team while attending high school in Old Lyme.

Fairfield-Sonn became the fifth member of the Amherst football team to garner All-America praise from In addition to his most recent accolade, Fairfield-Sonn was also named to the All-East Region First Team Defense, the New England Writers Division II/III All-New England Team and the NESCAC All-Conference First Team Defense.

Fairfield-Sonn also picked up two yearly awards and was named the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year, while also claiming the Joseph P. Zabilski award – which is announced by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston and recognizes New England’s top offensive and defensive players for Division II and III.

Congratulations, Jimmy!

Click here to read the full article on which this article is based. The original article was first published on the Athletics section of the Amherst College website.

OSW Youth Football, Cheerleading Buys Safety Equipment Thanks to Major Sponsors, Westbrook Foundation

Safety Coach Jeff Miller ensures a proper fit of the top-rated Xenith helmet on an 8th grade OSW player. Photo by Michael Yermenson.

Safety Coach Jeff Miller ensures a proper fit of the top-rated Xenith helmet on an 8th grade OSW player. Photo by Michael Yermenson.

OLD SAYBROOK/WESTBROOK — Old Saybrook Westbrook Youth Football and Cheerleading (OSW) has received a special boost to the start of their new season thanks to financial support from their major sponsors for the season coupled with a grant from the Westbrook Foundation.  Funds from these sources have enabled OSW to purchase state-of-the-art safety equipment for the 3rd, 6th and 8th grade football teams.

With the support of Yale New Haven Hospital’s Old Saybrook Medical Clinic, Bridgepoint Mortgage, and a generous grant from The Westbrook Foundation, this year OSW adds Kerr collars and Gyro caps to improve player safety.  The Kerr Collar is a functional transfer energy system worn by the player, which has a demonstrated track record of reducing impact to the neck and head during a collision. Gyro Kevlar supplemental pads further reduce impact severity.

Westbrook personal trainer Jeff Miller has served as the OSW Safety Coach for the past seven years.  He attends coaching clinics across the country to support and implement OSW’s commitment to safety including those held at the University of Alabama, UCONN, FBU (Football University) and USA Football.

Indianapolis-based USA Football is the sport’s national governing body, leading the game’s development for youth, high school and other amateur players. The independent nonprofit partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and sport to establish important standards rooted in education.

The purpose of OSW is to teach the fundamentals of football and cheerleading emphasizing a commitment to players and their families to put safety first by ensuring that participants are outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment that has been properly certified, inspected and maintained. All coaches and assistant coaches are Heads Up trained and certified.

In addition to safety, OSW supports an all-inclusive philosophy by not excluding participants based upon athletic ability or financial circumstance.  The Westbrook Foundation grant enables OSW to offer scholarships to those in the community who wish to participate but have limited resources.

Old Saybrook Westbrook Youth Football and Cheerleading promotes good sportsmanship, teamwork, the highest moral and physical standards, as well as the importance of scholarship and academic achievement.

For more information on the 2015 football and cheerleading programs, visit

Old Saybrook HS Senior Nochera Partners with OSW & OS Park & Rec to Benefit Vista

spring camp_kids_playing

OLD SAYBROOK — More than two dozen boys and their families met in Clark Park this past Sunday to get ready for the 2015 football season.  The Old Saybrook-Westbrook (OSW) Youth Football Clinic is an annual event, but this year’s clinic was much more than spring training.
spring camp 1-1
Old Saybrook High School (OSHS) senior Sam Nochera chose the OSW clinic as his senior project and has directed all the proceeds to benefit the Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center where Nochera has been a volunteer since 2011.  Nochera was joined by several OSW coaches and a few of his OSW football buddies – Connor Eastman, a senior at Eastern Connecticut State University, Brendan McElhone, a junior at Western Connecticut State University, and Ethan Casberg, a fellow OSHS senior heading to the University of Connecticut in the fall.
The boys had a chance to train and try out the new tackling dummy while parents had the opportunity to talk to coaches and board members as wellas see the equipment and level of commitment to player safety.
Nochera chose the project to benefit the program he credits with teaching him dedication and perseverance.  “I want the kids to take away from my project that with hard work and perseverance they will be able to accomplish their goals whether on the football field or another facet of life. And that helping and giving back to something you truly support is always a good move.”
spring camp_group_pic
This coming fall Nochera starts his freshman year with a double major in International Relations and Business at Tulane University, La.
A second clinic will take place on Sunday, June 7, from 9 to 11 a.m.
For more information or to register, visit
To donate, make checks payable to Vista with the notation Ed Gallant Financial Aid Fund.
To register for the 2015 OSW Football & Cheer season, visit

Old Lyme Country Club Kicks Off 2015 Season with Get-Acquainted Scramble, Essex Ladies are Winners

The members of the WGA gather for a photo at their annual meeting.

The members of the WGA gather for a photo at their annual meeting. Photo courtesy of the Old Lyme Country Club.

The Old Lyme Country Club Women’s Golf Association (WGA) held it first event of the season on Thursday, April 23. The WGA ladies participated in the 9-hole Get Acquainted Scramble under unseasonably cool conditions.

The 1st place winners with a score of 27 were: Helene Nichols (Essex), Paula Bingham (Lyme), Carolyn Daddona (Essex), and MJ Bertolini (Old Lyme).

The 2nd place winners, also with a score of 27, were: Harley Manning (Essex), Bev Windatt (Essex), Kate Bollo (Essex), and Louise Ferrebee (Old Lyme).

The 3rd place winners with a score of 31 were: Mardee Moore (Guilford), Carol Gordon (Essex), and Martha Norcia (Old Saybrook).

Champions! Valley/Old Lyme Football Defy Odds to Win State Class S-Large

CIAC Class S-Large Champs!

CIAC Class S-Large Champs!  Photo by W. Visgilio.

Congratulations to coach Tim King and his Warriors on an incredible win!

New Britain – Quarterback Chris Jean-Pierre’s four-yard touchdown run with 22 seconds remaining rallied top-seeded Valley Regional/Old Lyme to a 21-20 victory over No. 2 Ansonia in their Class S-Large state championship football game at Willow Brook Park on Saturday morning. Click here to read the remainder of this full initial report of the game by Ned Griffin, which was published in The Day yesterday

And here’s another link to great article about the game.

And, finally, here’s Tim Devlin’s video of all Saturday’s state game highlights.

Local Swimmers Give Stellar Performances in State Championships

Valley Shore YMCA Age Group Qualifiers include Liam Leavy, Jessica Lee, Peter Fuchs, Nick Husted in the back row, and Anna Lang, Maddy Henderson, Kayla Mendonca, Kyle Wisialowski and Kaeleigh O’Donnell in the front row.

Valley Shore YMCA Age Group Qualifiers include Liam Leavy, Jessica Lee, Peter Fuchs, Nick Husted in the back row, and Anna Lang, Maddy Henderson, Kayla Mendonca, Kyle Wisialowski and Kaeleigh O’Donnell in the front row.

Throughout the weekend of March 8-10, 11 athletes training at Valley Shore YMCA (VSYMCA) in Westbrook competed at Connecticut Swimming’s Age Group Championships.  This event is the state championship for age group swimming.

In the 10 and under age group, four girls (Kaeleigh O’Donnell of Essex, Kayla Mendonca, Anna Lang and Maddy Henderson- all from Madison) competed in individual events as well as teaming up for the medley relay where they finished fifth.  Kayla Mendonca of Madison set two team records in distance freestyle events; the 200 yard freestyle and the 500 yard freestyle.  Kayla also reset her own team record in the 100 butterfly.

In the highest finish of the meet, Kayla finished 3rd in the 500 freestyle, qualifying her to continue on to represent her state in Eastern Zone competition.  In her first year on the swim team, Anna Lang was proud to qualify for this prestigious event and swam the 50 free.  Kaeleigh O’Donnell swam the 100 yard breast stroke finishing 30th.  Maddy Henderson qualified in two backstroke events (50 yard and 100 yard) finishing 11th and 23rd.  Maddy also swam the 50 butterfly finishing 23rd.

The 10 and under girls were joined by two 10 and under boys, Daniel Chen of Madison and Kyle Wisialowski of Old Saybrook.  Dan, not having chosen his favorite stroke yet,  competed in every stroke excluding freestyle, and also both the 100 and 200 medley.  Dan’s 7th place finish in the 50 backstroke was among the best finishes on the team.  This was Kyle’s first appearance at Age Group Championships (in the 50 yard butterfly) after a winning performance at Regional Championships.

In the 12 and under age group, Liam Leavy (Ivoryton) was the only VSYMCA swimmer, but proud to boast his first age group qualification in the 50 backstroke.

The under 14 age group category boasted Mike Healey (Madison).  Mike swam the signature sprint event in swimming; the 50 freestyle as well as the 50 backstroke.  Mike also excels at the individual medley and swam both the 200 medley, and the 400 medley, widely thought to be swimming’s most grueling event.

In the 15 and up age group, the team fielded three senior members; freestylers Nick Husted (Westbrook) and Jessica Lee, as well as breaststroker Peter Fuchs both of Old Lyme.  Jessica had a top finish in the 50 freestyle, finishing in fifth place. Jessica also made the evening final in the 100 yard freestyle, finishing in 15th place.  This bodes well for Jessica’s next competition at the Y National Championships on April 3 in Greensboro, N.C.  Peter Fuchs set the team record in the 200 yard breaststroke.

Those interested in joining the swim team are encouraged to obtain more information about the Long Course season by visiting or calling the Valley Shore YMCA at 860 399-9622. Tryouts will be held in mid-April for the season which runs through to Long Course Age Group Championships in late July.

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Valley Regional High School Field Hockey Team Run to Support Local Scholarship Fund

The Valley Regional High School Field Hockey Team will run en masse in support of Old Saybrook High School and Westbrook High School Scholarship Fund at the 2nd Annual Saybrook Point 5K Road Race on Saturday August 27, 2011- 7:30am – 10:30 am.

This road race is the first in a series of awareness and fundraising events to benefit the community and the Valley Regional High School Field Hockey team.

For more details contact Stella Beaudoin at 860-304-7081  or email her at

Local Swimmers Place Well in Long Course Regional Championships

Liam Leavy placed in the top 10 in all 6 of his events in the 2011 Long Course Regional Championships. (Photo courtesy of Carol Himsel Daly)

The Valley-Shore Y Marlins competed in the 2011 Long Course Regional Championships July 9-11 at pools in Middletown and East Hartford.

Fifteen swimmers in the 12 and under age group swam at Odessa pool in East Hartford.

Local swimmers placing among the top finishers were:

  • Kim Berardis of Deep River (7th place female 10/under, 50 meter butterfly, 48.27, and 10th place 50 meter backstroke, 47.68)
  • Liam Leavy of Ivoryton (2nd place in the male 200 meter individual medley, 4:00.86, 7th place in the 10/under 50 meter freestyle, 41.46, 8th place in both the 10/under 100 meter freestyle, 1:32.40, and 200 meter freestyle, 3:18.56, and 9th place in the 10/under 50 meter backstroke, 50.37)
  • Erin-Katherine Daly of Ivoryton (8th place female 15-18, 200 meter backstroke, 2:48.77)
  • Amelia Haney of Essex (6th place female 15-15, 100 meter butterfly, 1:16.67)

Other local swimmers also among the top 10 finishers were Sam Fuchs of Old Lyme (3rd place in 3 events: male 10/under 50 meter breaststroke, 53.07, 10/under, 100 meter backstroke, 1:42.07, 10/under 50 meter backstroke, 48.64, 6th place in the 10/under 200 meter freestyle, 3:15.74, and 7th place in the 10/under 100 meter freestyle, 1:32.08), Daniel Chen of Madison (1st place male 10/under 100 meter butterfly, 1:49.18, 10/under 50meter butterfly, 53.09, 10th place 10/under 200 meter freestyle, 3:27.09),  Daniel Griffith of Old Saybrook (10th place in the male 10/under 50 meter butterfly, 1:02.90), , Kayla Mendonca of Madison, (1st place female 10/under 100 meter butterfly, 1:37.01, 3rd place in both the 10/under 200 meter freestyle, 3:05.15, and 200 meter individual medley, 3:30.74 and 8th place in the 10/under 100 meter breaststroke, 1:58.98) Hannah Smyth of Madison (9th place in the female 12/under 200 meter freestyle, 2:45.78).

Also competing were Guilford brothers Robert and Bill May, Gabriella Wira of Madison, Liam Ber and Christine Gallagher from Westbrook, and Anna Daly of Ivoryton.

Daniel Chen’s and Kayla Mendonca’s performances in their 100 meter butterfly qualified them to swim in the Connecticut Long Course Age Group Championships later this month. Kayla, age 8, now holds the team record in the 10/under girls 100 meter butterfly .

Thirteen swimmers in the 13-18 age group swam at the Freeman Athletic Center at Wesleyan University. Among those placing in the top ten was Peter Fuchs of Old Lyme (8th place, male 14/under, 100 meter backstroke, 1:18.08, and 9th place 14/under, 200 meter individual medley, 2:46.43).

Other top ten finishers were:

Alexis Henry of Old Saybrook (8th place female 15-18, 100 meter freestyle, 1:07.25), and Nick Husted also of Old Saybrook (1st place male 13-14, 800 meter freestyle, 10:21.00, 3rd place 14/under, 200 meter freestyle. 2:19.25 and 8th place, 14/under, 100 meter freestyle, 1:06.71).

Jessica Lee of Old Lyme also competed at Wesleyan.  Other local swimmers also competing were Kerry Brock and Danielle LaMay of Old Saybrook; Stephanie Gallagher of Westbrook;  and Davide Mendonca, Alexis Valentin and Callie Weiler, all of Madison.

Swimming in the male 15-18, 100 meter backstroke, high school sophomore Michael Iranpour of Guilford achieved a best time of 1:14.97, and now holds the team record for this event.

The Marlins are ending their summer long course season this month with swimmers qualified for both the Long Course Connecticut Senior Championships July 15-18 and the Age Group Championships on July 23-25. Both meets will be swum at Wesleyan.

TTYS Offers New Britain Rockcats Tickets

Tri-Town Youth Services is inviting local families to enjoy family entertainment at the New Britain Rock Cats’ 7:05 p.m. game on July 18.  The proceeds from the sale of tickets will benefit Connecticut Youth Services Association.

If you are interested in purchasing tickets for this game, please call the Tri-Town office: 860-526-3600.  Tickets are $8; a limited number of tickets are available.

Local Swimmers Make Major Contribution to YMCA Marlins Championship Success

Taking a well-earned moment of rest are Marlins coach Patrick Callahan (standing) with his four senior swimmers (clockwise from front), Caius Mergy, Jessica Lee, Peter Fuchs and Michael Iranpour.

The Valley Shore YMCA Marlins swim team qualified six athletes ranging from age 9 to 15 to compete in the USS Age Group Championships held in Middletown this past weekend.

Representing the 9-10 age group, Taylor Gray of Old Lyme competed in the 100 yard individual medley (IM), the 50 yard breaststroke and the 100 yard breaststroke.  She set new personal best times in the two breaststroke events.

In the 11-12 age group, Michael Healey of Madison qualified for the championship event in six events; two IMs, two freestyle events , the 50Y butterfly and the 50Y breaststroke.  He set personal records in the 200 yard freestyle, the 50 yard butterfly and the 100 yard IM.  By placing 12th in the 200 yard freestyle and 16th in the 50 yard butterfly, Healey advanced to the consolation finals in both events.

Three athletes competed in the 13-14 age group — Michael Iranpour of Madison,  Jessica Lee of Old Lyme, and Peter Fuchs, also of Old Lyme.

Iranpour set personal records and advanced to the finals in all four events that he swam (50Y freestyle, 100Y freestyle, 100Y backstroke and 200Y backstroke). 

Jessica Lee started the weekend with the highest place finish of the team: 4th in the 50 freestyle and she participated in the championship final.  This performance was a personal record, a team record, and 0.17 seconds shy of qualification for YMCA National Championships.

Peter Fuchs swam personal records in both the breaststroke events, and set a new team record in the 200 breaststroke.

Finally, Caius Mergy, of Old Lyme filled out the 15-18 age group, swimming in the 100Y and 200Y breaststroke.  He broke his own team record when he swam a personal record in the 200 breaststroke.

With three team records broken this weekend, the Marlins are swimming faster than ever.  Eighteen Marlins athletes will compete in Cambridge on March 26-27 at the Y – New England Championships. 

The Marlins are currently accepting new team members to join the Long Course season.  Call the Valley-Shore YMCA at 860 399-9622 for more information, or contact head coach Pat Callahan at

Valley Regional HS Boys Basketball Win Class S State Championship

Mitch King had 13 points and 7 rebounds

Valley Regional High School boys basketball team won the Class S State Chamiopnship at Mohegan Sun Arena yesterday by 70-46 against Classical Magnet.

Rioux scored 18 points and had 10 rebounds and King scored 13 points and 7 rebounds.  VRHS were the #1 seeds in the tournament with only two losses in the season

Summer Camp at Essex Park & Recreation Dept.

Correction: Please note that this program will be run by the Essex Park & Rec. Dept., not the Essex Elementary School as previously announced.

Essex Park & Recreation Dept. will be running a Summer Day Camp & new Summer Squirts Camp this year. The Summer Day Camp will be open to ages 6-12 (only campers entering 1st to 7th grade in the fall are eligible to attend). However the Summer Squirts Camp program will be available for those campers entering kindergarten.

Both camps will be held at Essex Park & Rec. and are planned to run for 8 sessions: June 27-Aug. 19. Early Care will be available from 8 a.m.-9 a.m. In addition, Extended Care will be available from 3 p.m.-4 p.m.  for full day campers.

Kindergarten campers will meet Monday—Friday 9 a.m.-12 noon. There is no early drop off/late pickup available for this program.

Mail in registrations from residents will be accepted starting April 1.   Non –Resident registration will begin May 1. Space is limited so please register early.  Please note online registration is not available  for Summer Camps at EES.

Full Day Cost: $115.00 per session (Resident), $125.00 per session (Non-Resident).  Field tripsare  included in the session fees for Full Day Only Camp.

Early Care: $15.00 per session– Extended Care:$15.00 per session. Summer Squirts are not eligible for Early/After Care.

Squirts Summer Camp Cost: $75.00 per session;  85.00 (Non-Resident).  Summer Squirts will not attend field trips & are not eligible for before or after care.

Please visit their web site  and then click on the Summer Camp link on the left.  Weekly Theme, registration forms and general information can be found there.

In addition to the Traditional Day Camp they have many specialty camps available this summer, including:

  • Slamma Jamma – Basetball
  • Between the Lines-Baseball
  • Tennis
  • Running Rams Track & Field
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Sport Squirts-(specifically for pre-schoolers)

Information in also available online along with online registration.

Editor’s Note:  Please note that this program will be run by the Essex Park & Recreation Dept., not Essex Elementary School as previously stated.

Valley Basketball Team Upset by Old Lyme in Shoreline Finals

Photo by Chase Smith. To see more photos and to purchase photos, visit Chase's website at

In a thrilling Shoreline Conference tournament final on Friday night, the top-seeded Valley Regional High School basketball team were beaten 63-61 in overtime by the #6 seeded Old Lyme High School team.

After trailing by 17 points in the first half  and down 11 points at half time, Old Lyme came out in the 3rd  quarter and put on a spirited display of skill and determination to pull back to within a point at the start of the 4th quarter.

Sophomore George Logan scored a 3 pointer with 15 seconds left in regulation time and Old Lyme tied the score at 56-56 forcing overtime.   Logan scored a game-high 28 points, Nick Carlson 15 and Colin Devlin 12.

Old Lyme, who two weeks ago looked like they would not qualify for the Shoreline Tournament, had to beat Hyde (#3 seed) and Cromwell (#2 seed) before facing Valley.  “It’s been an extraordinary run” said Old Lyme coach, Kirk Kaczor.

Prior to this defeat, Valley were unbeaten in conference games.

Read full match report by Jimmy Zanor courtesy of the Shoreline Times

See more pictures at

Try the Y for Free Jan 10 – 16

The Valley-Shore Y is initiating a fall membership campaign, Try the Y Free Week from Jan. 10-16. During this free week-long trial, guests can take advantage of full-privilege YMCA member benefits.

Come for one day or for the whole week. Try out an exercise class, work out in the Brady Wellness Center, shoot hoops in our newly renovated gymnasium, or swim in one of our two 25 yard swimming pools. During Try The Y Free Week you will quickly discover how easy it is to take the first step toward a healthy lifestyle for you or your whole family.

On top of their “Try the Y Free Week” Valley-Shore is currently holding registration for winter programs. Session 1 will run from Jan. 3 – Feb. 13 and Session 2 from Feb. 14 – March 27. The following is a listing of Youth and Family Programming:

Youth Sports: Archery, Biddy Basketball, Floor Hockey, Gymnastics, Indoor Soccer League, Instructional Soccer, Youth Basketball, Karate, Kids Rock climbing.

Arts: Acrobatics, Ballet, Hip-Hop Dance, Irish Step Dancing, Piano and Guitar lessons. Private Piano, Guitar, Drums, Voice and Music Theatre is also available! Little Chefs

Teens: Routeen “Music, Dance, Movement”, Saturday Night Y (1/29 Ski Trip, 2/12 Dance, 3/14-18 March Madness Basketball Tournament), College Tours (Fairfield, Sacred Heart, UConn, ECSU, U of New Haven, SCSU, Quinnipiac, Yale.), Teen Leaders Club

For more information classes, times and dates please contact Chris at 860-399-9622 ext. 19 or visit their website for a free copy of their Winter Program Brochure.

The YMCA offers a variety of programs for all ages and abilities that fit everyone’s schedule.
No one is turned away from a YMCA program or membership for the inability to pay. Membership at the YMCA is available to all regardless of race, creed, sex or ability to pay. Financial assistance is funded by our annual Strong Kids campaign.

Visit the Valley-Shore Y and see what you are missing. For more information contact the Valley-Shore Y at 860-399-9622 or visit us on the web at

Essex Park & Recreation Winter 2011 Brochure Published

The Essex Park and Recreation department are please to announce their New Program Brochure for Winter 2011 (download from link below) and also to provide a preview to their upcoming Spring Programs. 

New Programs include Girls and Boys Lacrosse Conditioning Clinics starting in Feb. and Early March and 2 new Music Programs, made available thanks to the cooperation of the Fisher Music School of Centerbrook, will be add to their list of EES After Hours Programs.

Returning favorites also include coed volleyball, mad science, computer explorers and karate.

Essex Park and Recreation knows how much everyone likes a Parade…so they are pleased to announce the 1st Annual “Essex go Bragh” Parade and Irish Festival to be held on Saturday March 19. 

Please take a look for all the details & see how you can get involved. It’s sure to be a fun day for everyone!!!!


Essex Park & Rec. Program Details and Sign Up Dates Announced

Essex Park & Rec. Department have announced details for their forthcoming programs for Babysitter Training , and Boys and Girls High School Lacrosse.


Participants will learn how to become safe and responsible babysitters.  This American Red Cross class covers topics such as Basic Child Care, First Aid for breathing and bleeding emergencies, and injury prevention as well as covering other important topics to prepare young adults for babysitting. This is an excellent opportunity to help students build self-confidence as well as job leadership and decision-making skills.

Fee includes a Red Cross Babysitting manual & certificate.

Who: Students ages 11 – 15

Meets: Wednesdays

Time: 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. (Last class may extend until 9 p.m.)

Session: Jan. 12, 19, 26 and Feb. 2 (Class is 4 weeks)

Limit: Minimum 6, Maximum15

Location: EES Room #TBA

Fee: $70.00

Instructor: Jennifer Crown


These informal gym sessions will be run by parent volunteers. The general idea is to give the players a local indoor location to work on their stick skills and prepare for the upcoming season. The specific format will depend on participant numbers each week, but will loosely encompass the following: Warm up/stretch, passing drills, stick handling drills, shooting drills, conditioning, cool down/stretch. All stick handling drills and defensive drills will be comprised of 1v1, 2v2 or 3v3 scrimmages. Indoor balls will be provided by the Booster Club, but all other necessary equipment (sticks, helmets, pads) must be provided by the participants

Who: Boys Grades 9-12

When: Tuesdays Jan. 11, 25, Feb. 1, 8, 15, March 1, 8, 15 (8 week Session)

Time: 8 p.m. -9:30 p.m.  Location: Essex Elementary School Gym

Cost: $30

Limit: Max. 20

Instructor: Park and Recreation Parent Volunteers.


These informal gym sessions will be run by parent volunteers. The general idea is to give the players a local indoor location to work on their stick skills and prepare for the upcoming season. The specific format will depend on participant numbers each week, but will loosely encompass the following: Warm up/stretch, passing drills, stick handling drills, shooting drills, conditioning, cool down/stretch. All stick handling drills and defensive drills will be comprised of 1v1, 2v2 or 3v3 scrimmages. Indoor balls will be provided by the Booster Club, but all other necessary equipment (sticks, helmets, pads) must be provided by the participants

Who: Girls Grades 9-12

When: Saturdays Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12, 19 (7 week Session)

Time: 1:30 p.m.-  3.00 p.m.

Location: Essex Elementary School Gym

Cost: $40 *** includes additional custodial fees

Limit: Max. 20

Instructor: Park and Recreation Parent Volunteers.

To Register, please either complete a program waiver form and return it to: Essex Park and Recreation 29 West Avenue Essex, CT 06442,  or register on line at Registration Deadline: Jan. 4, 2011.

Local Fire Departments to participate in Congratulatory Parade for Valley Regional Football Team

On Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 at 1:00 p.m., the Deep River, Essex, Chester and Old Lyme Fire Departments will be holding a Congratulatory Parade in honor of the Valley Regional High School Football Team. The team made it to the Division S State Finals for the first time in the history of the school.
The parade will start at the corner of River and High Street in Deep River and proceed through the center of Town to Church Street. Following the parade there will be a brief presentation and refreshments by the Valley Touchdown Club at the Firehouse. Rain date will be Sunday Dec. 19.

Valley RHS Football Team Finish Great Season with Disappoinment

After going 11-0 through an outstanding season and making it to the CIAC Class S seminfinals on Saturday in Waterbury, the Valley Regional High School/Old Lyme football team eventually met their match against St. Joseph.

The Warriors went into an early lead when star quaterback Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn threw a 19 yard touchdown pass to Mitchell King.  However, St. Joseph pulled back and ended the half with a 14-7 lead.

In the second half St. Joseph continued to dominate and the game ended 44-7 to St. Joseph.  Fairfield-Sonn finished with 94 yards rushing and 9 of 25 passes for 111 yards.

St. Joseph will now face Ansonia in the Class S championship game next weekend.

Valley RHS Football Team Defeat Waterbury in State Quarterfinal

#51 Ben Roche

Valley RHS football defeated Sacred Heart of Waterbury 37-24 last night at Valley Regional High School in the quarterfinal of the state Class S tournament in the first playoff win in program history.

Junior quarterback Fairfield-Sonn scored three touchdowns and rushed for 116 yards, and was one of three Valley players to rush for over 100 yards.

The Warriors will now face last years Class SS Champions, fourth-seeded St. Joseph of Trumbull in the semifinal Saturday to be played at a time and location yet to be announced.

Valley-Shore YMCA Swim Team Produces State Champion

State Champion Peter Fuchs

For the second consecutive year, the Valley-Shore YMCA Marlins Swim team has produced a state champion. A credit to coach Pat Callahan and the coaching staff, twelve members of the Marlins Swim Team qualified to represent the team in 32 events at Age Group Championships held at the Wesleyan University pool in Middletown July 30 – August 1.   Age Group Championships serve as the Connecticut state championship for those athletes under the age of 19 competing in events segregated by age group.

Peter Fuchs won the state championship in the 50 meter breaststroke event for the 11-12 age group in a time of 37.14 seconds. Peter also finished second the 200 meter breaststroke and third in the 100 meter breaststroke.  Peter’s performances qualified him to go on to the Eastern Zone Championships held in Rockville, Maryland. Eastern Zone Championships brings together the top athletes from states on the east coast from Maine to Virginia. In Rockville, Peter improved his 50 meter breaststroke again, swimming a time of 36.42 seconds, and ranking 9th in the zone. Peter also enjoyed joining other top Connecticut swimmers in a relay which finished 5th in the zone.

The Marlins are currently welcoming new swimmers to join the team for the short course season. Tryouts will be held September 13 or 14 at 5:30-6:30pm, and practices start on September 16.

Marlins registration forms and further information about this team are available on Otherwise, please contact Aquatic Director Heather Husted at 860-399-9622, ext 14.

A Brand New Day: The Valley-Shore YMCA Unveils New Brand Strategy to Further Community Impact

For the first time in 43 years, YMCA of the USA has unveiled a new brand strategy to increase understanding of the impact that YMCAs make in communities across the country.  The YMCA has the unique capacity to address many of the challenges facing the nation today.  Through its new brand strategy and framework, the nonprofit will extend its reach into communities to nurture the potential of youth and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to support neighbors. 

The new brand strategy – the result of more than two years of analysis and research – was introduced today at a National Press Club event that included leaders from the philanthropic and nonprofit communities.  As part of the event, the YMCA unveiled a new, more forward-looking logo that reflects the vibrancy and diversity of the organization, and a framework that focuses resources on three core areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  In another major change, the nonprofit will be called “the Y” to align with how people most commonly refer to the organization. 

“The Valley-Shore YMCA is truly excited about the new brand strategy and the opportunity to engage more people in the areas of healthy living, social responsibility and youth development,” said Paul Mohabir CEO, Valley-Shore YMCA. “There are many exciting changes taking place at the Y’ where we are building momentum, and this strategy is getting everyone from our volunteers to our members and donors very excited.”

The community can expect from the VSY’ a newly renovated gymnasium coming this August in perfect timing to compliment their new branding and newly renovated facility.  Ys across the country will fully transition to the new brand within five years.

“This is a very important, exciting time for the Y,” said Neil Nicoll, president and CEO of YMCA of the USA.  “For 160 years, we’ve focused on changing lives for the better.  Our commitment to building greater awareness for the important work we do will enable us to expand our efforts and further strengthen communities across the country.”

Today, across the United States, Ys are making a difference in three key areas of focus: 

  • Youth Development: Nurturing the potential of every child and teen
  • Healthy Living: Improving the nation’s health and well-being
  • Social Responsibility: Giving back and providing support to our neighbors

The Y’s former logo had been in place since 1967 and was the organization’s sixth since its inception. The refreshed logo, with its multiple color options and new, contemporary look, better reflects the vibrancy of the Y and the diversity of the communities it serves.  The new logo’s bold, active and welcoming shape symbolizes the Y’s commitment to personal and social progress. 

The Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,687 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. For more information contact the Y at 860-399-9622 or visit us on the web at

Lyme-Old Lyme Win 10-11 Year Old District Championship!


The Lyme-Old Lyme 10-11 All-Stars proudly hold the championship banner

Despite finding themselves 6-0 down, the Lyme-Old Lyme Little League 10-11 All-Stars bounced back yesterday afternoon to defeat Waterford South 12-7 and win the District championship. 

The team dedicated their game to their classmate, 12-year-old Caroline O’Brien of Old Lyme, who is battling a rare form of brain cancer.