By Hal Levy, Shore Line Newspapers
Special to MaxPreps.com
There will be a tribute to Rob Szymaszek Thursday, March 1 at the AquaTurf in Southington.
Szymaszek, a long-time football coach and guidance counselor at Maloney High in Meriden, has suffered recurring brain tumors. He was on the field last fall as an assistant to Bob Zito and the Spartans made it to the CIAC semi-finals. One of the CIAC football MVP awards is named in his honor.
The tribute will include a two-hour open bar, hors d'oeuvres and pasta stations.
Contribution is $30 and the reservation deadline is Feb. 16. Checks should be made to the Smaz Testimonial and can be sent to Dan Hatch at 290 Parker Avenue, Meriden, 06450.
Szymaszek is one of the all-time good guys in coaching and has been active on behalf of coaches and with the Connecticut High School Coaches Association for many years. This should be a night not just about football but to celebrate the life of a tremendous individual and hopefully, a lot the people Szymaszek has touched over the years will be on hand.
Pat Llodra, formerly the principal at Northwestern Regional-Winsted, has joined the CIAC staff as an assistant executive director. She will assume some of the duties formerly assigned to Tony Mosa, who retired in December.
She will oversee 14 CIAC sports committees and serve as a liaison to the Eligibility Committee.
Llodra has been involved with the girls' tennis and basketball committees and is a decorated administrator who most recently served as the interim principal at Newtown High.
In response to the way insurance companies work, the CIAC has amended its pre-participation physical assessment policy. Previously, an assessment was good for 12 months, but because many insurance companies will pay for a physical only once a year, the new ones are to be good for 13 months.
The rule will be in place through the end of the school year and will be subject to review during the CIAC's annual meeting in May.
The Southern Connecticut Conference has set its winter playoff schedule.
The league divisional track meets already have been conducted and the overall championship will be Friday (Feb. 2) at the New Haven Athletic Center at
The league's gymnastics championship will be Thursday, Feb. 8, at Jonathan Law in Milford at and there is a very good chance there will be a new league champ.
Daniel Hand-Madison has won every single year since the conference was formed, but an injury to top gymnast Alyssa Strickland has rendered the Tigers vulnerable. Hand lost to Foran last week and is probably a notch behind host Law as well.
Saturday, Feb. 10, will be the wrestling tournament at Law, beginning at with the Lawmen and Amity as the favorites (Hand is a dark-horse as well).
The girls' basketball tourney begins with quarter-finals at West Haven Saturday, Feb. 17 at , 2, 4 and The semi-finals are Tuesday, Feb. 20 at West Haven at 6 and 7:45 p.m. with the finals at West Haven Thursday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. Career-New Haven and Mercy-Middletown are the top teams.
The boys' tourney is at East Haven with the quarterfinals Saturday, Feb. 24 at , 2, 4 and The semifinal and final dates will not be finalized until East Haven's schedule in the CIAC state girls' tournament is known. East Haven figures to have at least one home game and probably two in the tourney. The boys' champ will have to be better than Hillhouse-New Haven.
The boys' swimming and diving schedule includes trials Monday, Feb. 26 at Cheshire with diving Tuesday, Feb. 27 at Hamden at 5:30 p.m. with swimming the following night at 6 p.m. at Wesleyan's Freeman Athletic Center. Fairfield Prep and Cheshire should be the top teams.
The Division II ice hockey tourney will have semifinals Friday, March 2 at Northford at and with the finals Saturday, March 3 at Northford at There will be no tourney for Division I teams. Division II is wide open with Amity Regional-Woodbridge and Cheshire probably playing the best.
Windham High School is the most recent Mohegan Sun girls' high school basketball team of the week. The Whippets, 12-1, knocked off Norwich Free Academy, 54-50, as Amie Toner scored 19 points and Jamie Martingano added 14. Then came a 47-27 win over Woodstock Academy in which the Centaurs were held to three field goals in the second half.