While it felt more like spring last week, the winter season was slowly beginning for many FCIAC teams. With unseasonably warm temperatures outside, the action started to heat up inside on the ice, the hard courts, mats and more.
While not every team was playing during the first week — and most league action is yet to begin — we’ve found many FCIAC athletes worthy of Athlete of the Week nominations during the first week of the 2015-16 winter season.
As the official broadcasting partner of the FCIAC, the HAN Network’s sports editors and sports broadcasters each week recognize the top male and a female athletes during each week of the season. The nominees and poll are all below.
Along with the athletes getting their seasons started, the HAN Network kicked off its winter sports coverage with girls ice hockey (New Canaan vs. Guilford) last Monday. Boys ice hockey debuts on HAN Monday night, Dec. 21, with a double header live from West Haven (No. 10 New Canaan vs. No. 4 Notre Dame-West Haven and Amity vs. Staples-Weston-Shelton).
The HAN Network will be covering numerous events throughout the FCIAC’s winter season, including ice hockey, basketball, wrestling, swimming and diving, and the conference’s postseason championships.
Upcoming boys ice hockey broadcasts include St. Joseph vs. West Haven at 5 p.m., Monday, Dec. 28; and New Canaan vs. Darien at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 29.
Basketball and wrestling make their HAN Network debut in January with Ridgefield vs. Trumbull wrestling on Wednesday, Jan. 6, and Danbury vs. Norwalk boys basketball on Thursday, Jan. 7.
Check out the complete broadcast schedule here.
HAN-FCIAC Male Athlete of the Week nominees
David Voight, Darien Ice Hockey
David Voigt delivered a 25-save shutout in his first game as Darien’s starting goalie. The senior backstopped Darien to a 6-0 win at Hamden. The Blue Wave is the defending FCIAC and state Division I champion.
Herbie Hazelton, Darien Ice Hockey
Hazelton found the back of the net twice, only 13 seconds apart, to lead the No. 1-ranked Blue Wave to a 6-0 victory over No. 7 Hamden on Saturday at Lou Astorino Ice Arena in Hamden. Hazelton’s goals came late in the second period and gave Darien a four-goal lead at the time.
Giacomo Brancato, Fairfield Warde Basketball
Brancato scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help the Mustangs defeat New Milford, 78-66, in their season-opener on Saturday.
Chase Lind, Fairfield Ludlowe Wrestling
Lind, a defending FCIAC champion, was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler as he helped lead the Falcons to the Ludlowe Invitational title on Saturday. Lind pinned all three of his opponents to win the 160-pound weight class. He defeated Fairfield Prep’s Jack Bosken at 3:41 of the final match. The Falcons won the team title with 228 points, while Prep was second with 177.
Michael Ceci, Greenwich Wrestling
Ceci, a Greenwich senior, won the 160-pound weight class in the annual Shelton Invitational Tournament on Saturday. Ceci had two pins before defeating Vin Mercado of New Haven via a 10-4 decision in the final.
HAN-FCIAC Female Athlete of the Week nominees
Catherine Granito, New Canaan Ice Hockey
Granito had eight goals, including a pair of hat tricks, and three assists as the New Canaan Rams started the season 3-0 last week. She had five points on three goals and two assists in a 6-2 win at Hamden on Wednesday, and added a hatty in a 6-0 shutout of the Stamford/Westhill/Staples co-op on Saturday. In the season opener last Monday, Granito had two goals and one assist as New Canaan topped Guilford, 9-2.
Sofie Sogaard, Ridgefield Indoor Track & Field
Sogaard won the long jump at 13 feet, 3 inches, and tied for first in the high jump at 4 feet, 10 inches during the first FCIAC Developmental Meet at Staples on Saturday.
Georgia Cassidy, Darien Ice Hockey
Georgia Cassidy got the season started by scoring the game-winning goal, and dishing out an assist, during Darien’s tough-fought 2-1 win over the East Catholic co-op in the opener. A senior, Cassidy then had a hat trick at Greenwich on Tuesday.
Steph Walsh, Stamford-Westhill-Staples Ice Hockey
Walsh, a Westhill senior, had six points, including four goals, as the Stamford-Westhill-Staples co-op team scored three wins in the first week of the season. Walsh had a goal and two assists in a season-opening 4-2 win over Notre Dame-Fairfield, and scored twice in a 5-1 victory over Wilton/Norwalk. She added one more goal in a 2-0 shutout of Daniel Hand
Jackie Jozefick, St. Joseph Basketball
Jozefick had 13 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and four blocked shots in the Cadets’ 48-33 win over Newtown High on Thursday. A senior co-captain, Jozefick had 17 points with 14 rebounds, seven blocked shots and five steals when St. Joseph lost its opener to Pomperaug.
Brooke Jonsson, Wilton-Norwalk Ice Hockey
Wilton High senior goaltender Brooke Jonsson made 47 saves on 50 shots to keep the Wilton-Norwalk girls hockey team in the game until the end during Thursday’s 3-2 loss to Greenwich. A first-team all-FCIAC pick last season, Jonsson has averaged 35 saves a game for the Warriors, with a goals against average of 3.5 goals per game and a 91% save percentage.
Anizia Babczenko, Stamford-Westhill-Staples Ice Hockey
Babczenko had a hat trick in a 5-1 victory over Wilton-Norwalk and added one goal in a 2-0 triumph over Daniel Hand.
Alexa Kellner, Stamford Basketball
Kellner had 18 points, including two three-pointers, and grabbed 14 rebounds as Stamford routed Lauralton Hall, 58-26.