By: Bryanna Perez
Peyton McNamara, a freshmen at Brien McMahon High School, has definitely earned the respect of the league. Playing since she was three years old had most certainly prepared her for her high school career. Gaining a spot and starting on the Girls Soccer Varsity Team , McNamara will stop at nothing. “Everyone was super welcoming during pre season and captains practice over the summer,” telling Pride Time Sports News, “I went in knowing I had to work hard to earn my spot just like everyone else on the team,” McNamara nailed her tryouts and soon enough was ready to play for the senators. “I felt honored and very excited to have gotten the opportunity to represent for my high school's soccer team.”
McNamara playing on a travel team, CFC United, since she was nine years old decided to hold off this fall season to get the chance to play for the Brien McMahon Girls Soccer Team. “Not for a second did I second guess playing for McMahon. I was so excited for my high school team that in seventh grade all the way up until I got to high school that I watched a lot of their games. “
So what is it that made this young freshmen stand out to the crowd? McNamara, a striker for McMahon, was putting up a lot of points for the senators this season.
The game against Warde on October 17th, McNamara had 3 goals in total, allowing the senators to end off with a victory (5-2) . They needed one more game to win to qualify for states. That one more game was against Trumbull that same week on October 21st. “To prepare for the big game I made sure I ate right and hydrated myself. I focused on the game and thought about what myself and the team needed to do to win.” The senators did in fact beat Trumbull (3-0) as McNamara contributed one goal and an assist to teammate Chloe Ortolano. “It felt amazing to win!” This will be the first time , since 2007 that the Brien McMahon High School girls soccer team qualify for states. McNamara and her teammates are now getting ready for states and focusing on bigger goals.
Matt Saint-Louis, Chandler Greene, and James Snedaker
By Darren Battle
The volleyball team is this years Mcmahon fall team with the most wins, they are 11-1. The ladies have secured a spot in states and are currently ranked third in the FCIAC standings and hold the 3rd seed in the FCIAC playoff race. The senators are also currently ranked 15 in the state.
With the great season the ladies are having, one would question what makes a winner and what do they do to keep it up?
Team chemistry has to be amazing in order to be good, everyone has to contribute. Talking bad about each other is unheard of from this team. In order to have a well rounded team, trust has to be on and off the court. Trust has to be on the court especially as Elizabeth Murphy a junior for the varsity team explained “Volleyball is such a hard sport because it takes trust and communication. You need to trust your team when they call it out, so you don't touch the ball or when someone says got it you have to trust them and then let them get it.” Volleyball is such a fast paced game trust needs to be instilled, if teammates do not trust each other many collisions and mistakes happen. Jennifer Bouzy a senior on the team explained that trust is needed through positions on the court because “we have to trust the libero (the best passer on the team) to give a perfect pass to the setter (sets the ball to hitters) while the setter has to trust the libero in giving the perfect pass and the hitter must trust the setter to give a perfect set.”
In order to continue to win games, if a lost happens it needs to be taken serious. Dedication is what these girls seriously have. A regular season lost put tears in their eyes but it pushed them to have for the better. The girls lost 3-1 to Ridgefield but after that the tough loss they went on to win six straight games. With the first loss that was endured Elizabeth proclaimed “That win sucked. We were all in tears in the locker room because we knew we didn't deserve that loss but we let it happen so we couldn't nope. We decided that would be our turning point and come back with more energy and more drive to win.” That's exactly what happened when five of those six straight wins after the lost were 3-0 sweeps.
By Justin Louis & Dorrran Ladouceur
The football team at McMahon has been on a rough skid this year. Currently their record stands at 0-5 as the team rebuilds their program. This past Saturday our football team faced the #1 team in the state Darien, with the final score being 54-17. Coach Albano knew this game would be a tough one for his young football team. “Playing the #1 team in the state is not easy. I thought the kids played really well in the beginning, but it’s hard to keep up with a team like that and especially when you turn the ball over, they capitalize on your mistakes.” However there was a bright spot to take away from this loss. Jamie Taylor.
Jamie Taylor, a four year player on the McMahon football team, scored his 1st varsity touchdown this past Saturday. Taylor, who has down sydrome, ran to the endzone for 60 yards to score. It was an exciting moment for everyone on the team. Chris Druin (‘18) recalls that moment, “It was definitely special to see Jamie score. Just seeing how happy he was to run the ball down the field, it’s probably one of the best feelings you could get.”
This Friday our football team takes on Trumbull as they look to earn their 1st win. “Better preparation for the teams we have to play against, forget about what’s happened and look forward to who we have,” says Chris Druin as the team looks to take one game at a time..
Show some school spirit and come out to support our Brien McMahon football team this Friday as they play Trumbull at 7:00pm under the lights at Jack Casagrande Field.
Passionate, intelligent, athletic are words that describe 17 year old Brien McMahon varsity soccer captain Afa Reyes. With his new role as captain comes great responsibilities and renewed hope of the success of the success for this season. Afa stated, “So far we started pretty good, we did struggle a little at the beginning but now we picked up the pace and hope the momentum from the last game continues.” When asked about the transition to captain Afa responded, “I now have to set an example to the other players on how they should behave on and off the field”.
Afa feels the team has started well as a whole stating, “The team has been working really hard all summer, the team has good chemistry and are very talented.” Afa is very motivated when on the field playing the game he loves. He says what motivates him the most is the thought of holding a trophy with Mcmahon, but his dream is to go pro one day”
New Brien Mcmahon soccer coach, Rodrigo Guzman, went to Brien McMahon in the 80s and was a key player for the school as well. Afa rates the coach very highly when it comes to having a good season. “Physically, he made us work really hard. Our stamina as a team has improved a lot and mentally he's a great motivational speaker which has helped us a lot. Tactically he has brought a lot to the team and helps us a lot as a whole,” he said.
Halfway through the season the team needs 2 wins to make states and FCIACS and Afa has said that the team won't give up.The season has been both up and down, with a 3-8-2 record but with the team is within reach of both competitions.
Outside of soccer Afa enjoys swimming, and enjoys watching the sport as well as competing. He has a huge in-ground pool at his house and has always loved swimming and competing with friends. “If I was not a soccer player right now I would be a swimmer and for the future if I did not play soccer all my opportunities and friends would be different,” he said.
Afa’s answer after being asked about his best moment playing for McMahon was, “The game vs Trumbull High School in the 15-16 season, our team morale was at an all time low.The team was down 2-0 with 20 minutes left, Our defender Abdullah scored with 10 minutes left. Then I scored twice, one of which was one of the best goals I’ve ever scored. It was from 30 yards and went right over the keeper.” Afa Reyes hopes that more great moments like this will come this season.
By: Bryanna Perez
“ It felt amazing! ” said Tatiana Arias after not only winning the most important game to the Senators but for also being announced MVP. Arias, attending Brien Mcmahon High School, pulled off an amazing performance for the Senators on Friday night on Testa Field as they faced their hometown rival, Norwalk High School.
Arias did attend Brien Mcmahon High school when she was a freshmen , then transferred to Norwalk High School her sophomore year. Entering her Junior year she did come back to Brien Mcmahon but was not able to play the first 8 games for the senators.
“ I was super nervous before the game because I knew I couldn't mess up being goalie, especially against Norwalk High. It was a must win for me because that was my old school.” Nothing got passed Arias on the field, not even the “Bear Pack.” “Mentally I had to get ready for the game. I knew I couldn't let the bear pack effect me or anyone in the stands.” Arias also had a lot of help from her teammates. “They were always supporting me and telling me I was doing a good job. The compliments helped get my confidence up.” The senators won the game with a 3-0 score but the game didn't end there for Arias as she was announced MVP of the Chelsea Cohen award. “I was surprised, I didn't expect to be named MVP but I was happy.” And so were her coaches , “ They told me I did a great job because I did everything they were telling me to do, they were proud.”
Arias celebrated the victory with her teammates and school as they all went onto the field chanting in full pride. “ It's great to be home, I missed it a lot!”
By Bryanna Perez
Transitioning from boys to girls will be a challenge for the new varsity head coach of the Brien Mcmahon girls basketball team, Derek Sellers, as he is willing to point them in the right direction. “I'm not used to coaching girls, but i'm just going to coach them the way I know how to coach” Sellers says as he talks about his new position.
Coaching boys, Sellers does have a lot of experience and it's safe to say he knows what he's doing. “I've coached kids from elementary all the way to college. Iv coached different types of levels, structures, city teams, AAU teams, high school teams, etc, so I do have a lot of experience in coaching basketball.” Sellers even brought one of his older AAU teams, The Norwalk Blue Blazers, to Las Vegas and Coco Beach in Florida to play in some major tournaments, they even won a couple of championships.
Coach Sellers has a lot planned for the 2016-2017 season for the girls at Brien Mcmahon as he wants them to become closer and create a strong bond. “The morale is down from last year and it wasn't really together. So I want to build more of a family oriented type of environment so we can work towards our goals”
Sellers says explaining his plans on coaching the team towards success.
So what made him want to apply? Sellers tells BMHS pridetime blog “A Lot of players showed interest and confidence in me that I could help them become a better team and build a better program, ” mentioning , “I'm here to do anything for the kids.”
“I'm very excited and kind of nervous” Sellers says with a big smile on his face.
Looks like those pre game butterflies are kicking in early.
By Darren Battle
In high school sports, there are never consistent teams with the same players. New player’s arrive while senior’s graduate. This year for McMahon basketball they lost six seniors who last season, propelled the team to an 8-0 start. The they went 13-9 and made it to the state tournament where they were one loss short of an FCIAC playoff berth. They also advanced to the quarterfinals of the state tournament and lost to Danbury 53-44.
As senior leaders go away, there are new leaders that step up.
The attitude going into this year is hard work, mental toughness, and bigger roles. Aaron Mckeithan ('17), a senior basketball player this year, plans to play a role of making sure others work to their potential. “As one of the leaders of the team I'm not letting anyone on this team give up and I'm showing resilience every single game,” states Mckeithan. Coach Dustin the head varsity basketball coach expresses that the goal this year has to be a difference in mental toughness from last year. In other words, every hardship encountered needs to be quickly adjusted.
Adjusting to differences this year starts in the fall basketball league (a league where several returning players play scrimmages against other teams during the fall season). The fall league is an opportunity for players to prepare for the season outside of workouts. Matt Saint Louis ('17), an FCIAC all honorable mention senior, stressed that "the fall league is not about winning anything, it's about seeing the progress of the team and adjusting.” A determined Louis also states, "In our first game, we fought well as a team and made good adjustments to come back and win. So we look to do more of that throughout the year just adjusting to whatever adversity comes our way and sticking together through it”.
Aaron stated the reason of decline of the season was “What went wrong last year I think is that when we went 8-0 we thought we were in the clear and didn't play our hardest after.” Matt discussed the solution’s to last year’s problem is “Last year I feel like we started off really strong and got too comfortable. So this season we really have to work on starting strong and finishing how we started”.
Aaron Mckeithan, Matt Saint Louis, and Coach Dustin all feel like this years team is more than capable of making it to the FCIAC and States tournament. Coach Dustin says the boys have a goof chance of an upper-middle rank in the FCIAC league. According to Dustin, the key to success in a tough league is “-making everyone grow and get better on a daily basis, coaches included; and commit together as teammates.”
Make sure to keep tabs on this upcoming basketball season, as the Senators step up to the plate to reclaim their spot as the most hardworking, focused team in the FCIAC.
Matt Saint-Louis & Chandler Greene
The Girls soccer team had nothing to brag about last year. They were 2-14-1. Everyone doubted them and they didn’t do a thing about it. Emma Hargrove, now a Junior on the team stated, “There was no real leadership [last year], no one really stood out as a leader, it was always just yelling at each other.” Leadership was the main problem for them last year. Nobody had anyone to look up to or to follow.
Things have changed this year.. Olivia Leone, another junior is highly respected and idolized on the team. She is the centerpiece of the Brien McMahon soccer team. Leone not only brings effort, but she brings the energy that the team needs and feeds off of it. Emma said, “ When Liv (Olivia) has high energy, it spreads, everyone starts picking up the pace.” Olivia is the heart of the team. When she’s doing well, everyone’s doing well.
The one thing that the team desperately needed last year was leadership, Olivia stepped up and took on that role. Emma stated that, “She’s [Olivia] 100% a leader, she gives her all, not just games, but at practice too.” Olivia is very vocal on the field, and given her position in the center of the defense, she has to be. Her role is a big part to the team’s success and she’s given everyone proof that they can be a tough team to match-up with.
The girls soccer team is currently 4-7 which is already far better than last years record. Olivia leone stated that, “I think the team has definitely gotten better as a whole. A lot of girls have stepped up to the plate”. Now, the team has a chance to go to states if they get 3 wins and 1 tie.
Matt Saint-Louis & Chandler Greene
Since Pete Georgiou took over the reigns as head coach in 2013, the McMahon program has done a full 360. Before taking over in 2013, McMahon struggled to win more than 5 games in a season and haven’t seen an FCIAC playoff appearance since 1986.
Before coaching at McMahon, Georgiou was a long term substitute for the school and when Athletic director Joe Madaffari took a chance on Pete he didn’t disappoint. Before accepting the job in 2013,( ) he was the girls head coach at St. Luke’s, where he coached for 3 seasons. As well as coaching McMahon girls volleyball, he is coaching boys volleyball in the spring at Greenwich High. There’s a significant difference in boys and girls volleyball, however, it is something that Georgiou has shown he can handle. “The difference between coaching boys and girls is that boys are more power while the girls are more basic, fundamentally, sound,” says Georgiou.
Since taking over at McMahon, the team has not seen an early ending season. In 2013 and 2014, McMahon was able to notch 8 wins and qualify for the LL State tournament. In 2015, Georgiou was able to coach the team to their first FCIAC playoff berth in 29 years. McMahon posted a 16-4 mark and was regarded highly in the state. However, Pete feels this year’s team has something that last year didn’t. Something special that could lead them to accomplish even more than they did last season.
“These last two years at McMahon have been both power volleyball and fundamental transitions and fundamentally sound volleyball, giving the team a good balance.” Coach also says that the depth of this year’s team is much deeper than last season. Coach and the team hope that these factors can allow them to achieve more than they did last season and they have the whole school behind them.
So far, McMahon has notched a 10-1 record in regular season play, 7-1 in FCIAC play. They suffered one loss this season to Ridgefield, but put that behind them, going on to win 4 straight, beating Weston, Bridgeport Central, Trinity Catholic, and Kolbe Cathedral. They have been recognized for their success and were recently ranked 14th in the state according to Maxpreps and 10th in the state according to Connecticut Coaches Poll. They look to continue this streak this week as they take on Staples on Thursday the 14th, and St. Joe’s Friday the 15th.
McMahon, with the help of Pete Georgiou, took the program and turned it around completely. McMahon Volleyball was a program in the dirt for years. But now, with the whole school supported behind them, Pete and the team have a chance to do even better than last year, and fulfill their championship aspirations.
Eric Day II
"The Marquis take over"
Marquis Modeste isn’t your average athlete.
Starting off at the wide receiver and then switched back to running wasn't a tough transition for him. He knows no matter what happens he has to lead his team to a 10 week battle. Starting in the spring of 15' coming off a 2-7 season with only starting one game and now becoming the superstar of a young Brien McMahon football team. Marquis may have not been a captain or major leader since the beginning of the season but due to current events and injuries, his time has come and now his freshman year dream has came true. In his first game since #24 has been gone, he had his first and second touchdown falling to Stamford (18-20), but Marquis stated "might have lost but he's not stopping here the battle just began"
Marquis is not just a one sport athlete. He's also the track anchor, using his speed in 2 different ways on the turf and on the track. Being a major part of the #2 track team in the state is says a lot about his work ethic and will to win. Marquis runs the 100m, 4by1, and the 200m sprint. Going into his final track season he's "excited and ready to go".
Justin Louis & Dorrran Ladouceur
“Why Not Us?” is the slogan for the Brien McMahon Boy’s soccer team who recently hit the halfway point in their season. Currently their record stands at 2-5-1, but Afa Reyes (‘17) thinks the team can turn it around in order to make states, “We need to win three more games to make states and we have some keys schools that we know we have a good chance to beat. There’s St. Joe’s, Wilton, and Norwalk High.”
There’s tough competition in the FCIAC as the season winds down towards the postseason. The boys soccer team beat St.Joe's with the final score being 3-1, however they lost to Danbury with the final score being 4-1. Now their record stands at 3-7-1.
Griffin Root knows that McMahon’s chances of making states is now in jeopardy. “We are going to need 2 big wins, and there’s tough competition in the FCIAC. Norwalk & Wilton are now two huge games for us to get into States, both games are home under the lights at 7:00.”
Come out to support and watch our boys soccer team on 10/13 (Norwalk) and 10/18 (Wilton) as they look to make states in these last few critical games.