BMHS PrideTime Reporter
With the FCIAC Tournament just starting, four schools have already been eliminated in the first round of tournament play. Ridgefield, Central, Warde and Stamford had to say goodbye early.
Based on what has been seen so far, these are predictions for the next games. Alongside predictions, it’s important to include insight on who to watch for during the entire rest of the tournament.
Games this week:
Tuesday: Danbury High School VS Trinity Catholic High School at 6:00 p.m in Wilton at Nicholas Zeoli Field House
Norwalk High School VS Trumbull High School at 7:45 p.m. in Wilton at Nicholas Zeoli Field House
Danbury vs Trinity- Danbury 80-78
Trumbull vs Norwalk - Trumbull 69-67
Norwalk High has been in a drought for four years straight not being able to participate in the FCIAC play. With a 12-8 record, the bears have had the opportunity to participate with their second game being on Tuesday night against the Trumbull Eagles.
The bears have already beat the eagles this season in a blowout of 71-45. Although every player is important and has their strengths and weaknesses, one player that everyone should be on the lookout for is Tyrique Langley, the 5’11” senior point guard from Norwalk High. Being really quick, it is difficult to stop him in transition.
The Trumbull Eagles are back for the second year in a row. They moved past Warde after a tough game this past Saturday that resulted in a win. Given that Norwalk High has beaten the eagles before, their game against each other will be very competitive. This game will mean everything so there will definitely be emotion seen between these two teams.
Quentar Taylor (‘19) point guard from Trumbull is one that people should be on the lookout for. He’s aggressive on the court and he’ll drive the ball whenever the coach needs him to. He uses his big body to shield players from taking the ball from him and he’s a smooth finisher at the rim. Taylor's speciality is three-point shots.
Trinity Catholic High School has filled in the missing pieces over the years and now have players that are over 6’3”, making this team hard to stop. Given that those boys are dominant in the post, it is very hard for any team to match up with it. Trinity beat Stamford last Saturday securing their spot in the second round.
It was a fight down to the wire but Trinity got the win. Contavio Dutreil (‘18) has finally reached his 1000th point this season. He is a senior with a impressive mid-range and post game, normally grabbing rebounds for his team.
Dimitry Moise (‘18) is 6’5” and an all-around player. You can catch him in the post or outside the three-point line lighting it up. Just like Dutreil, he also scored his 1000th point this season.
Danbury Hatters is a young team that is built around guard. They have been through it all this year from losing players to not having players for certain games. Despite it all, they still managed to get into the FCIAC tournament. These boys love taking their three-point shots.
Beating Central last Saturday secured their spot in the second round. Given the obstacles, it won’t be surprising if they battle through the next game and end with a win.
Denali Burton, guard, (‘19) is unstoppable and has played a big part in all of the games. Anytime his coach needs him, he will complete the necessary actions to get ahead in the game.
Make sure you are at Wilton High School tonight to see these 4 teams in the second round. It should be a great one!
BMHS PrideTime Editor
Former Brien McMahon head football coach, AJ Albano, resigned from coaching leaving everyone in aw but he didn't give up.
On January 24th, headlines all over twitter read, “Former McMahon head coach AJ Albano has been hired as defensive backs coach at New Canaan.”
Following the reports, a few students started commenting on their beliefs in regards to Albano's decision. There were rumors suggesting that Albano was betraying his team. What many don't understand is, to coach Albano, this wasn't a setup or a stab in the back.
"I did not stop coaching McMahon because I was done coaching football. Unfortunately I didn't feel like I had an answer for why we were not doing very well. A few years back we had a couple of good seasons, we were doing good things, and winning football games. The last couple of seasons we have changed some things like our offense, defense, and practice. We really tried a lot of different methods to try and get better but I just ran out of answers. As a coach, at least for me, if I don't have the answers than I think its time for a change."
This was not the easiest decision Albano has had to make. Not only did he get offers from New Canaan, but other schools around the area as well.
"It was not easy, believe me, it was not easy to leave the kids, I love them. Especially the seniors and upcoming seniors because we have spent so much time together. I love the coaches, they were some of my best friends. After taking some time and speaking to my wife, I just thought it would be a good place for me to go and coach," Albano explained.
Although Albano is sad about leaving his family at McMahon he is very excited to start coaching and experiencing different things at New Canaan.
"Before I came to McMahon I was a defensive coordinator so I was pretty much all defense. At New Canaan, I will be coaching all defense as well. I will be coaching the defensive backs and help out as much as possible."
Albano maintains a very strict relationship between him and the football players at McMahon.
"I will continue to root for them and cheer them on but I am not going to maintain a football relationship with them anymore. I'm going to maintain a professional relationship where I am the teacher and they're the students. I don't want them coming to me talking about the things going on in the locker room."
One of the main reasons Albano chose New Canaan was because of the fact that they do not play McMahon in the FCIACS.
"I wanted to make sure I didn't play against McMahon because I couldn't do that to the boys."
One thing Albano wants people to understand is that 'change is not always a bad thing,' as he will continue to bleed red, white, and blue.
"Once a senator always a senator really means a lot to me. Again, it was a very difficult decision for me to resign. I could have stayed if I wanted too, I had a talk with not only Mr. Madaffari but Mr. Hurwitz as well and they both supported me. When I told the team about my decision at our end of the season football banquet, I made sure to tell them I would be their biggest fan. McMahon still has a special place in my heart but like I said change is not always bad."
BMHS PrideTime Reporter Elizabeth Kelly
On Saturday, February 17th at 2:00 pm, the Norwalk-McMahon hockey team traveled to Terry Conners Rink in Stamford, Connecticut where the boys clenched their 7th win of the season during Stamford-Westhill’s senior night.
This year, Stamford/Westhill has been one of the most competitive and challenging teams to beat with a record of 7-8-2. Three days before playing Norwalk-Mcmahon, Stamford-Westhill beat Trumbull 5-3 and planned to continue their winning streak.
Going into it, nobody thought that Norwalk-McMahon would come out on top. “We always have hope that we’ll come on top but it’s always hard to tell with good competition,” says Fin Bean (BMHS ‘20).
In the first period, Jason Marchese and Cooper Healy both scored for Stamford-Westhill giving them the lead 0-2. As second period rolled around, the score remained 0-2 leaving Norwalk-McMahon still down with only one period remaining. The clock was running out, but the boys kept fighting until the last minute.
It wasn’t until 3rd period when senior Kevin Remson scored 2 goals to tie the game. Going into overtime, both teams were anxious and anticipating the outcome, but Norwalk/McMahon was determined to give it their all.
Kevin Remson scored the winning goal with 4:26 left in the eight-minute overtime leading Norwalk/McMahon to victory. Not only was Kevin Remson the hero of the night, Sophomore goalie Max Vitucci, saved 49 of Stamford-Westhill’s shots.
“It was our goal from the beginning of the year to beat them and we came out with confidence even though we went down 2-0 and came back and came out with the win in the end.” Says Kevin Remson (NHS ‘18).
The teams win against Stamford-Westhill help them reach the No.10 for the Division III State tournament.
BMHS PrideTime Reporter
The Brien McMahon Cheerleaders are back and more fierce than ever. It’s competition week and our girls are killing it. With many seniors graduating this year, the girls are still pulling it off and making us proud.
On February 3rd, our girls had their second cheer competition of the year held at Wilton High School. Kira Diaz (‘21) says, “My mentality going into the competition wasn't cocky, just confident that i would hit everything and coming off the mat, I was very satisfied with how I performed.”
The girls performed very well, making 5th place in the whole competition. In a cheer competition, you get points for every move you make. But there are many rules to follow. You need to have so many ‘tucks’, flips, etc. to make it to the top. Danbury won first place overall for that day, which the girls say was very well deserved.
On Saturday, February 24th, the girls will go to BEST in Danbury. BEST is the competition that every team goes to before they finally go to States, which is the last competition of the season.
Co-Captain, Zanayia DeJesus (‘19) says, “After the first competition, I knew what I had to fix and clean up. So I was in grind mode every practice. As a team we knew what had to be done, we just needed to put in the effort.”
At the first competition of the season and with 19 teams in total, the team placed 13th but knew it was time to come back stronger. They eventually did, coming in 5th place in the second competition.
By: Brendan Duddy
In Brien McMahon’s fall to Norwalk High in the annual rivalry basketball game on February 6th, fans from both schools were given a glimpse into the future of sports at McMahon as junior center/forward, Saikwon Williams posted an impressive stat line of 27 points to pair with pulling down 20 rebounds.
McMahon, at this point, has had a disappointing season after disappointing season of teams performing poorly. While there are some exceptions to this, for the majority of teams at McMahon, students have become upset with the lack of performance and stop showing up to support their peers which leads to the belief that Senator pride is lost.
“Yeah, I stopped going to the football games, for the most part, I didn’t have much faith we’d win and I for sure didn’t want to sit in the freezing cold just to see us get blown out like we did on most nights,” Marcus Blair (‘19) said.
What many don't know is what the future for Mcmahon sports has to come. Many of McMahon’s junior varsity teams have found themselves with not only a winning record but also a record better than their varsity. Some of the more underachieving teams found themselves with young, talented players that are only expected to become better.
“Teams like girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, and football are full of juniors and sophomores. Those teams can only grow and become better and stronger,” Frankie Greco (‘19) said.
Even some of McMahon’s most accomplished teams this year are relatively young. The girl's soccer team, who were able to make both the state and FCIAC tournaments, consist of 28% freshmen and about 67% of their players will be returning to play next year.
The boy's basketball team was projected to easily make the state tournament after winning four of their first six games but then fell off a bit and now have an overall record of 7-11. Yet the real expectations aren’t until next year when Williams is a senior and the rest of the ten returning players has had a season to become accustomed to the new coaching staff and their expectations.
According to Greco, “Basketball for sure will be expected to improve next year for sure. Now that the players have gotten used to the new coaching staff, they will definitely improve greatly with coming back to a familiar system. Also, next year's varsity team will hopefully be seeing many of this seasons JV players because they have been playing outstandingly. Currently winning 12 of their (15) games so far this season, I can’t wait to see how we do next year.”
Taylor N. Morton
On February 10th, screams from spectators filled the Floyd Little Athletic Complex as the 4x200m relay commenced the start of the 2018 CIAC Class LL Indoor Track State Open at Hillhouse High School in New Haven and the Brien McMahon girls eclipsed a .01 second victory in the 4x200 relay.
Jazmin Bien-Aime (‘18), Savannah Bromley (‘19) and Chloe Ortolano(‘19) had run the first three legs of the race and were situated in 4th place.That is until Peyton McNamara (‘20) saw an opportunity and ran with it, literally.
As McNamara turned the first curve of her leg of the race, the runner from West Haven tripped and fell causing the runner from Stamford to fumble as well. The fall resulted in McMahon gliding into 2nd place.
With only Greenwich ahead of her, Peyton gave it everything she had in her to catch up. As both teams edged towards the finish line Peyton pulled ahead of Greenwich. It was a close call but McMahon walked away with the win.
On running the race McNamara says “When I saw the girls fall I felt determined. I just ran as fast as I could.”
McMahon finished with a time of 1:48.38. Beating out Greenwich by one hundredth of a second. “It was really exciting” said Bromley, “especially because it was the first time in a long time the 4x200 has come in first place at states.”
“When I saw those two girls fall I knew Peyton could catch up and that it would put us in a better position” said Bien-Aime.
The girls coach, Rudy Matute, also had faith in the relays ability to finish the race and come out on top. “I knew Peyton would catch up. She's got the speed.The girls got off to kind of a rough start but they got it.”
The girls Track Team finished 5th among 26.
The relay team will head to State Opens to compete once again on February 17th. Ortolano says in order to get ready for the meet the team will work on hand-offs but other than that they feel well prepared.
Pridetime Reporter: Jack Keller
To most, Akeim Murphy is a level-headed, reserved 16-year old boy. He can be seen during the day roaming the halls with his headphones and rasta-colored jewelry on, keeping to himself. But, for those who stay at McMahon past 2:15, he cannot be missed.
Akeim Murphy is considered by many close to the track team as one of the team’s hardest workers. He runs all three seasons of track, and treats the time in between the three seasons simply as an extension of the off-season. He doesn’t take time off from improving himself.
A typical day for Akeim goes as follows: he wakes up, makes himself breakfast (usually eggs), begins his long commute from Bridgeport to McMahon at around 6:20, goes through the school day, goes for his run/running workout, goes to the weight room to get a lifting workout in, makes his way back home, showers, eats dinner, works out again at home, does his homework, and unwinds by hitting up his Snapchat Streaks and plays Need for Speed (not the new one, he hates the new one) on Xbox.
Akeim’s remarkable productivity and motivation comes from within. Most high school students wouldn’t hesitate to complain or look for corners to cut if they lived Akeim’s lifestyle. When asked about what motivates him to continue pushing the way he does, Akeim paused and looked around Mr. Bradley’s classroom, glancing over the various track memorabilia on display. He then smiled, and humbly responded “I just want to be better than I was, I guess.”
Akeim’s humble and calm candor, in addition to his craving for success on the track, all contribute to the one quality that comes to mind when people get to know Akeim: confidence. Akeim rarely doubts himself, but he’d never tell you that.
Recently, at the Class LL State Championship meet, Akeim was in the second-fastest heat for the 600m run. For the first 400m, Akeim was in fifth out of six runners, with the gap increasing. His time to make a move was running out, but that didn’t stop Akeim from pushing himself to an all-out sprint on the final 200m of the race, advancing to second place, and nearly catching the leader. His time of 1:26.98 was fast enough to claim him a spot in this weekend’s State Open Meet, asserting himself as one of Connecticut’s top middle distance runners. When asked if he was panicking or nervous during the race, before he made his move to claim second place, Akeim said “I was calm. I knew I had a lot left.”
Akeim Murphy is not only a rapidly rising star of McMahon Athletics; he’s also a great kid. He inspires others around him to work harder, and makes friends with almost anyone he briefly meets. An athlete who not only excels at their own craft, but also excels in sportsmanship seems to be a rare find in today’s day and age, and that’s exactly what makes Akeim so special. According to Patrick Bradley, the Boy’s Track Coach, Akeim is the “Pride of McMahon.” But according to almost everyone else, he’s simply Akeim the Dream.
Pridetime Reporter: Christopher Clemens
Last season the McMahon varsity baseball team was exceptionally young, carrying ten underclassmen and three of them were starters.
“I really enjoy having a young team. They come to the field every day eager to play and learn, they bring a certain energy to the team,” said John Cross, head baseball coach.
Although the team finished 7-14 last season, the season was not a complete loss. They only missed states by a game and there were many bright spots. Such as Sophomore, Now Junior James Stefanowicz performing at a high-level game in and game out, ultimately earning Second Team All-FCIAC, an honor that is very rare for underclassmen.
This, however, is not the first time the Senators have had great talent at a young age. Bryan Daniello, Former 2012 Gatorade player of the year, was on varsity all four years of his high school career leading his Sophomore and junior year team to a combined record of 30-16.Daniello won multiple awards including, Gatorade player of the year, back to back FCIAC player of the year, and back to back all-state honors.Another past player is former Senator, Edwin Owolo, who played four years of varsity baseball and ended up playing baseball at Harvard.
Having a young team can be hard though and last year’s record shows that. The team was shutout three times and scored less than four runs eleven times last year, There is no doubt that lack of experience definitely played a part in that.
However, if next year’s struggles come, Senior, Ethan Blattman, hopes he can provide a helping hand, “I definitely have a bigger role on the team...What I do is when the young players struggle during the season, I remind them just how good they are and never let them get too down on themselves.”
There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Due to those who saw playing time last year, The team will have even more experience and can ultimately take what they learned from last season and apply it to this years season.
This year’s sophomore class is not without their successes. Jack Fitzpatrick, a freshman last year, Hit a homerun at the varsity level last season, one of two Senators to do so last year. Kory Morton, a Freshman last year, also pushed the Senators to a huge win over the Trumbull Golden Eagles last year with the game-winning double. Brian Ehlers and Cooper Grilo also started a few games last year along the way so there's no doubting that this young core has shown flashes of greatness early on in their young careers.
The youthful senators will look to open their season on a strong note, against the Norwalk Bears at Mcmahon on Saturday, March 31st.
BMHS PrideTime Reporter
“Unfortunately you have a chronic rotator cuff injury. This is common when it comes to athletes. However, surgery would be the only way to truly fix the tear. You don’t have to decide now, but in the meantime you can perform these exercises to help your shoulder strength.” These are the words Aija Andrews' (‘19) doctor told her. At this point, everything else went blank, all Andrews was thinking about was her basketball career.
The Brien McMahon’s girls basketball team have accomplished six wins so far. However, one player in particular, Andrews is a huge source for the team. Since her freshman year, Andrews has participated on the team making varsity and joining other sports like volleyball and track.
“When I was little I played in NAA, GBA, GBA travel, AAU, and high school,” says Andrews. Basketball has been Andrews’ main sport starting when she was about four years old, and has found it amazing to play.
The amount of blocks and points this 5’10” player puts up has given her the attention and made her an important player for the team.
However during her sophomore year, Andrews began to notice shoulder pain. She received shocking news about a tear in her rotator cuff, coming to the conclusion that surgery is needed. But with the surgery, Andrews was told that there are risks. She may not be able to continue any physical activity or else it will cause more damage.
“I’m supposed to do exercises, like doorway stretches and more that involve weights, and I’m supposed to get surgery but I never feel like doing the exercises, and I'm not getting surgery because I can’t play at all if I do so I'm not risking that,” says Andrews.
For the love of the game, Andrews wants to continue playing basketball in college because it is her “only way out.” Her goal is to win a scholarship and play at any school that offers more money.“Like I don’t get good grades so getting a scholarship is my only way I might get into college,” says Andrews
The player wants to get surgery after college, but her mother and loved ones believe that she should get surgery soon before it gets worse.
Andrew’s decision between her health and her team have not come easy, she wants to do both but knows that one day she won’t. “It be hurting a lot, but I’m the type to take pain so when it hurts, I just shake it off and keep on playing.”
BMHS PrideTime Reporter
Norwalk High vs Brien McMahon, a rivalry that started in 1961, is still persistent 57 years later.
Their games are seen as the biggest and most competitive in town, and in a way, end all the smack talk and determine who’s best. Boys basketball always gets the biggest crowd. It’s a very exciting game to be at and it’s a fun experience. These boys play hard because they know how much this game means to their teammates.
During these games, the gym is very loud which makes it a little hard for the players to focus. Coaches even use hand signals for plays since the players can barely hear. But how do you stay composed with that kind of pressure on you?
“It’s just a mental thing,” says Jahmir Lee (‘19). “I’ve been getting ready for games the same way every time, and that’s just me listening to music and focusing on what I have to do for my team to be successful.”
Jahmir believes that music is the way to go when you need to get your head in the game especially for a game like this.
Eric Miller (‘20), point guard, takes on a different approach when it comes to staying relaxed. He believes that staying focused on yourself is the most helpful technique in controlling nerves. “The thing that keeps me calm during big games is focusing on myself and what I have to do. I can’t think about who’s watching and how big the crowd is, or I’ll psych myself out.”
During these games, it’s difficult to ignore your peers in the stands, cheering you on when you score and getting disappointed when you miss. However, ignoring the prospect of judgement and trash talk is an important skill that players usually obtained through experience. For many, what keeps them from letting their nerves get the best of them is focusing on themselves. Others, on the other hand, prefer to shift their focus to different things.
Shamar Miller (‘20), shooting guard, tends to focus on just enjoying the game. “For me, if I get too serious or think too much, I’ll get nervous and start messing up. I’ve been playing basketball since I was little, and I always saw it as a fun thing and not a stressful thing. And if I keep that mindset, then I’ll stay calm and be able to play my best.”
Each player has his own method of controlling themselves. Whether it be music, focusing on yourself, or just enjoying the game, they always find ways of doing so. A lot of it comes from reinforcement from their teammates as well. If their teammates keep encouraging them, then a lot of stress will go away by itself. It also helps to see their school peers in the stands cheering them on and encouraging them.
The boys’ basketball team’s next game is on Monday, February 12th, against St. Joes. Come and support the team!
BMHS PrideTime Reporter Jescie Holmes
On February 2nd, 2018, the Brien McMahon girls basketball team beat New Canaan by a score of 38-31. Prior to this game, they beat Trinity Catholic girls basketball team 41-29. With the win both against Trinity and New Canaan, collecting their 3rd and 4th win of the season, the lady Senators have accomplished the highest season win total since 2010.
After winning the New Canaan game, many of the girls and people in the stands were excited, especially the seniors. “I’m just so glad we reached our first goal. I know the girls and I can continue playing well and coming out with the win,” says Kassandra Scott (‘18). Most of the players on the team were so excited, but definitely were ready to go above and beyond.
The Seniors on the team were overwhelmed about making history, especially because it was their senior year so they felt it made a huge difference by improving the girls basketball program overall.
“I feel like it’s an accomplishment and a success for us on the team. Everyone doesn’t pay much attention to girls basketball so for us to know that we accomplished something makes us proud even if the others don’t notice. We had a goal and this year we worked hard to get where we are right now. The season isn’t over so there will be more wins and goals ahead of us,” says Tiffany Scott (18’).
The Lady Senators just took big loss against hometown rivalry Norwalk High, but they are currently still focusing on working towards their goals.
Upcoming Games: Harding 2/8 ( 1-16) , Westhill 2/9 ( 1-15)
A lot of the girls on the basketball team all agree that they can exceed over just four wins and with just five games left, the girls are confident that they can really make history and proceed to states. “I think it’s sad that all we have to do to make history is have 4 wins. But it’s great to be apart of the team that has accomplished that. What is even better is that we still have 5 more games left in the season and I know we can keep improving to make even more history for McMahon girls basketball,” said Stephane Skidmore (‘20).
Hearing from one of the captains, Tatiana Arias (‘18), “I think it's a great step towards the future of the program. McMahon basketball can only improve from here and it started with us.” There is a whole lot of hope within this team and should be seeing many great things to come within the games ahead.
BMHS PrideTime Reporter
February 7, 2018 marks the first day of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Here, the best athletes from all across the world compete in sports specific to the winter season. The first Winter Olympics occurred in 1924 and it has remained an honorable tradition of the countries competing for nearly a century. It is a popular event broadcasted worldwide, and at Brien McMahon High School, the excitement is not dulled. Many students are excited to watch their favorite winter sports and root for the USA team.
Here are the three sports the McMahon student body is most excited to watch at the 2018 Winter Olympics:
1. Ice Hockey
In years past, the USA Men’s Olympic Hockey team has been famous for its underdog win against Russia in the Lake Placid Olympics in 1980. The game was called “a miracle on ice” and remains the most historical game of hockey played in the Olympics since the creation of the games.
This year, the team needs to win eight games for the gold medal. In the Sochi Olympics in 2014, the men’s team for USA made it to the semi-finals and won the bronze medal. Women made it to the finals but lost to Canada in overtime. This year, players in the NHL are not allowed to play in the Olympics, so a lot of the pressure is put on the women to win. A player to watch out for on the team is Brianna Decker. She is the top scorer and hungry for gold. Approximately 29% of the McMahon student body is most excited to see this team attempt for gold and beat Canada.
2. Figure Skating
Figure skating is a sport based on precision and grace, with each athlete competing to have the best technique and form. The nature of the sport, however, is not so graceful. The competition is fierce and both male and female skaters are looking to impress the harsh judges. This year, the U.S. team is looking to Nathan Chen as a favorite to win gold. He just won the ISU Grand Prix in Japan and is looking for the same success is Korea.
Whether it’s the flashy costumes or the impressive tricks, figure skating earns the number two spot on this list with 24% of McMahon students looking forward to this event the most.
3. Alpine Skiing12% of McMahon students vote alpine skiing as their favorite for the Olympics next week. The USA ski team in recent Olympics have been famous for athletes such as Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn, dominating the slopes nationally and globally. This Olympics, the American team is looking to reigning champions Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin to bring home the gold once again. A sport all about strength and speed, alpine skiing brings together seventy four nations in a thrilling race for international dominance.
The first day of competition is this Wednesday and will end on Sunday, February, 25. The games will be playing on NBC and the opening ceremonies will start at 6am on Feb. 9.