NORWALK, Conn. —
In search of a new leader for the football program, Brien McMahon athletic director Joe Maddafari looked to the team’s past as alumnus A.J. Albano was named the new head coach of the Senators.
Albano, 26, is a 2001 graduate of BMHS and played football and wrestled for the Senators. He replaces Joe SantaLucia, who coached the football team for five years before resigning in December. SantaLucia remains the varsity wrestling coach at BMHS.
Albano has spent the past five seasons as an assistant for the Darien Blue Wave football team under former McMahon
coach Rob Trifone. Albano was the Wave’s defensive coordinator for the last three seasons, and his defenses allowed fewer than 14 points per game. In 2008, Darien was 11-2 and was the runner-up in the FCIAC and the State Class MM tournament. Last fall, the Wave was 7-3.
A phys. ed. teacher at Middlesex School in Darien, Albano is also the head coach of the Greenwich Cardinals wrestling team. The Senators are coming off back-to-back 3-8 football campaigns.2. Central controls Harding, FCIAC:
With an 80-49 pounding of Harding on Thursday at Harbor Yard, the Bridgeport Central
Hilltoppers left no doubt that they are the team to beat in the FCIAC this winter.
The Hilltoppers began the week on a down note as the CIAC ruled that they had to forfeit their season-opening victory over the Staples Wreckers. The ruling came because Central had used an ineligible player in the waning minutes of a blowout victory. The forfeit is the only blemish on the Toppers’ record, as they are 13-1 overall and 11-1 in the FCIAC.
The win over rival Harding surely made things feel a whole lot better for Central, as they have now beaten every playoff contender in the conference with the exception of defending state champion Stamford, a team they’ll face on Feb. 17.
Harding (12-2 overall, 11-1 FCIAC) had briefly taken over the No. 1 spot in the FCIAC after Central’s forfeit was announced, but the Hilltoppers wrested it back on Thursday. A crowd of nearly 3,000 watched the game, which was part of the Bridgeport Classic at The Arena at Harbor Yard. Central led from start to finish and was up 24-10 after one quarter and 40-27 at halftime.Jerome Parkins
netted a game-high 23 points for Central, which also received a 15-point game from Jerry Washington and a 13-point game from Andrew Victoria. Washington’s points include three dunks. Chris Colon also hit double digits with 10 points. For Harding, Laquan Mendehall scored 18 points and Willie Gray had 13.3. Trumbull gets classic win in OT:
The Bridgeport Classic’s undercard featured the more hotly-contested game, as the Golden Eagles of Trumbull
pulled out a 64-60 overtime win against the Bassick Lions.
The victory gave the Eagles a record of 10-5 and, at 8-5 in the conference, the Eagles moved up to sixth place in the race for an FCIAC tournament berth. Bassick fell to 10-5 overall and 9-4 in the FCIAC and is now in fourth place.
With Trumbull leading 55-54 in regulation, Bassick’s Ja’mill Powell hit a basket and was fouled with 4.2 seconds on the clock. He missed the free throw however, and a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer also missed the mark. The Eagles, who were led by Julian Sanders and Max Coleman, outscored the Lions 9-5 in the extra session. Sanders and Coleman each racked up 19 points for the Eagles, while Rejdi Canaj scored 11. Powell had 18 points to lead Bassick, and Kyle Greer netted 11.4. King’s Joyner heads north: Eric Joyner
became the latest member of the King School football team to chart a course for his collegiate future when he signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of New Hampshire next fall.
Joyner, a wide receiver and cornerback for the Vikings, will join the Wildcats on a full scholarship. King had a remarkable season, going 8-1, winning the Fairchester Athletic Association championship and reaching the finals of the NEPSAC Class C tournament.
Joyner will be joining a New Hampshire team with a recent history of success. The ’Cats are coming off a 10-3 season in which they finished as the runner-up in the Colonial Athletic Conference. They also reached the quarterfinals of the subdivsion playoffs, losing to eventual champ Villanova.5. New Canaan puts Darien on ice:
The New Canaan
Rams made the latest chapter in their rivalry with Darien a one-sided affair as they rolled to a 4-0 win Wednesday at the Darien Ice Rink.
The four goals marked the biggest margin of victory in the boys’ hockey rivalry during the past four years. The Rams’ defense was in charge, as Darien had trouble moving the puck into the offensive zone and had few set shots. New Canaan was hindered by three penalties in the first period, but the penalty kill was strong and the Rams still led 1-0 after one frame. That first goal was scored by Sam Stanton with assists from Jimmy Joe Granito and Kris Nugent with 3:13 remaining.
In the second period, a tripping call against Nick Bruno gave the Rams a power play and they cashed in at the 5:14 mark. Andrew Leslie passed to Nugent, who fired a low shot at the goal. Stanton was there for the tip-in past Darien goalie Will Love to make it 2-0. New Canaan then won the ensuing faceoff, Tim Robustelli fed the puck to Leslie at point-blank range and Leslie scored to give the Rams two goals in 15 seconds and a 3-0 lead with 5:29 on the clock.
The final goal came with 22.8 seconds left in the third period, when Granito scored with an assist from Leslie.
New Canaan, which earned another big victory on Saturday when it beat St. Joseph 6-5 in Shelton, is now 12-3 overall and 7-1 in the FCIAC. The Rams are one point ahead of Greenwich (10-4-1 overall, 6-0-1 FCIAC), although the Cardinals have one game in hand and own the head-to-head tiebreaker. Those two teams are the likely one and two seeds on the playoffs.
Darien, meanwhile, is in a fight to qualify for the States. A 4-1 win over Westhill on Saturday was a big step, as the Blue Wave improved to 6-9 overall and 4-3 in the FCIAC. With five games remaining, Darien needs two wins or four points to qualify for the States.Dave Stewart, the Sports Editor of the New Canaan (Conn.) Advertiser, is a MaxPreps.com writer and photographer. He may be reached at 203-966-9541 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.