Girls Swimming

Czulewicz Sisters Continue To Excel In The Pool, Now At Central Connecticut

NORWALK — In praising the trajectory of one of her life-long teammate’s swimming career, Stephanie Czulewicz said of her sister Lauren, “She is so much better than everyone else that they move her up. She wanted to follow in my footsteps basically.”

Stephanie’s words were followed with a smile and chuckle, which is almost always the case. But don’t let the delivery mask the sincerity.

For one, Lauren admits to looking up to her sister, older by just one year. More importantly, Stephanie has been blazing a trail of distinctions and Lauren is quite literally following in her footsteps, or rather ripples.


Darien’s Vodola A Master At Great Accomplishments In Understated Manner

DARIEN — While there is no verifiable proof, it is within the realm of safety to say that Kelly Vodola this past spring had one of the least heralded great seasons ever by an FCIAC softball player.

Outside of some league coaches and close followers, how many people even know which school she played for — answer: Darien — or that she likely led the conference in hits and possibly batting average by a regular player?


Key To Stamford Legion’s Success? Winning The Arms Race

When Stamford Senior Legion Coach Kevin Murray previewed his team at the start of the summer, his first and most confident statement was that the team would ride its pitching throughout the whole season, as would any team with that much talent on its roster.

The thing is, there’s just not another team out there with the pitching depth quite like Stamford’s.

There are eight aces on staff and Murray has known exactly when to use them, especially in this state tournament, where Stamford is still alive and unbeaten in the division championship round robin after defeating Cheshire, 7-6, in a 12-inning thriller and Monroe in a 4-0 shutout this past weekend.


Ludlowe Basketball Team’s Support Of Brancato One Example Of CT Challenge Bike Ride’s Spirit

WESTPORT —You could not have asked for a better day for the CT Challenge Bike Ride. Riders, volunteers and supporters filled the field at the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport on Saturday all celebrating one thing: survivorship.

When Jeff Keith and John Ragland co-founded the CT Challenge in 2005, their hope was to focus on supporting those affected by cancer and giving them a place to come after treatment to regain strength in body, mind and spirit.


Stamford Legion — And Horn — Find A Happier Ending To Advance In State Tournament

STAMFORD — One year ago, Stamford Senior Legion tasted defeat in a season-ending state tournament loss at home. In that game, starting pitcher Pete Horn came out in the fifth inning with an injury. This time around, in game two of a best-of-three series with Trumbull, Horn and Stamford didn’t let history repeat itself and ran away with a 7-1 victory over Trumbull at Cubeta Stadium on Thursday.

Stamford advances to the four-team, double-elimination division championship that begins Saturday.

“These guys are warriors, they came out here and they smelled the finish line right away,” Stamford coach Kevin Murray said. “We wanted to definitely come out and win the first game, we wanted to keep it easy for ourselves. Pete Horn pitched a great game. He challenged and he had his ace stuff today.”


Frangiose’s Summer To Remember Continues With Grand Slam To Lift Stamford Legion To Playoff Win Over Trumbull

STAMFORD — Anthony Frangiose has been wearing out pitchers and writers alike all summer. As a 15-year-old playing on Stamford’s Senior Legion baseball team, often against players three years his senior, Frangiose has been raising and re-raising the bar batting cleanup in a star-studded lineup, then exhausting the adjective supply for those of us who make a living trying to describe his actions.

Frangiose reached new heights as afternoon turned to evening on Wednesday at Cubeta Stadium, first sullying a spectacular effort by Trumbull’s Nikko Arganese. In the bottom of the 8th inning, with a full count, two outs, the bases loaded and the score tied at 1-1 in the first game of a best of three playoff series, Frangiose rocketed Arganese’s 142nd and final pitch of the night over the leftfield fence. His first career home run in the historic stadium gave Stamford a 5-1 win and sent us back to the thesauruses again trying to describe the scene.


Strong Defense Has Opened Many Doors For Danbury’s Marin Wiltse

DANBURY — Marin Wiltse built her lacrosse career from the ground up. She started in the 6th grade when her mother introduced the sport to her with the thought that it would be perfect to pair with Wiltse’s aggression.

Once she got to Danbury High School, Wiltse knew she was not yet varsity material. So she practiced. She joined the Yellow Jackets North club team, played every chance she could and worked on her stick skills. She made varsity her sophomore year, but broke out this past season as a defender.

“It was really once I hit my junior year I began to feel comfortable and be able to truly benefit my team,” Wiltse said.


After Long Layoff, Stamford Legion Ready To Pursue Elusive State Title

After a dominant regular season in which it went 24-3 and won its zone by five games, the state tournament continues and Stamford Senior Legion, coming off a long bye, is prepared to take the field for Wednesday’s best-of-three matchup against Trumbull at Cubeta Stadium.

“The team is excited and ready to go,” coach Kevin Murray said. “As of now, we are the healthiest we have been, and with the help of winning the zone it gave us a five-day cool-down period.”

The third-straight zone title came after sweeping Trumbull, which finished in third place in Zone 4. With that bitter ending at the hands of Stamford, it will make for an interesting matchup come Wednesday.


Commentary: Lacrosse Recruiting Process Has Become A Disservice To High School Players

Emily Tropsa graduated from Darien High School three years ago. In terms of the recruiting process as a coveted lacrosse player, it might as well have been three decades.

“When I was a freshman and sophomore in high school I had no idea what I wanted to do,” said Tropsa. “I barely even knew if I wanted to play at the college level let alone which school.”

Tropsa, who eventually decided to continue her career at Gettysburg, where she will be a senior co-captain, is not alone. Only the recruiting process has changed, and not for the better.


For Staples’ Colleen Bannon, A Strong Lacrosse Showcase Turns An Option Into Options

GILL, Mass. — The day before Colleen Bannon headed to The Northern Rise girls lacrosse showcase, her future stars seemed aligned. She already had an offer from a school that interested her, and though she had not yet made a verbal commitment that appeared to be as close as a free position near goal.

“I don’t think anything could sway me,” said Bannon, a junior midfielder at Staples who plays for the CT Grizzlies club team. “We were going through the pros and cons and there really weren’t any cons. The only thing that might change things is scholarship money.”

Now, a week later, Bannon’s mindset has been altered. A visit to a college prior to leaving for The Northern Rise proved a positive experience, and an offer from it that Bannon believes is imminent has her weighing between the two schools, strong northeast colleges among the type that have demonstrated the most interest.