With the fall season reaching its conclusion for all girls teams and boys soccer, the HAN-FCIAC Athlete of the Week nominees are all football players for Week 11. The FCIAC champion Darien Blue Wave, New Canaan Rams, Staples Wreckers, St. Joseph Cadets and Trinity Catholic Crusaders are headed to the state playoffs, with quarterfinal games scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 1.
As the official broadcasting partner of the FCIAC, the HAN Network each week recognizes the top male and a female athletes during each week of the season.
The HAN Network sports staff nominates the athletes. The winners are then chosen in an online poll (at the bottom of this post) and saluted during a HAN Network show.
Last week’s winner was Emily Conley of the New Canaan High School field hockey team. There was no boys poll.
The next live game on HAN Network is on the ice, as the New Canaan girls hockey team takes on the Guilford Indians at 6 p.m., Monday, Dec. 14, at the Darien Ice Rink.
The this week’s nominees are below, and an online voting ballot follows.
Timmy Graham, Darien Football
Graham, the Blue Wave’s quarterback, took the FCIAC championship game MVP award for the second time as he threw for 441 yards and four touchdowns in Darien’s 28-21 win over New Canaan at Boyle Stadium. Graham completed 32-of-45 passes, and fired TD passes of 29, 39, 28, and 8 yards. His eight-yarder to Hudson Hamill with 4:14 remaining was the game-winner.
Hudson Hamill, Darien Football
Hudson Hamill’s two touchdown catches, including one for the clinching score with under five minutes to play in the Turkey Bowl, helped the Blue Wave repeat as FCIAC champions in the league’s 50th annual football final. Hamill scored Darien’s first TD on a 29-yard pass from Timmy Graham, tying the game at 7-7 in the first quarter. His second touchdown, a leaping grab in the back of the end zone, was the game-winner. Hamill caught three passes for 75 yards and also rushed for 12 yards.
James Makszin, Norwalk Football
Junior James Makszin led a fantastic defensive effort as the Bears topped city rival Brien McMahon, 36-7, on Thanksgiving. Makszin had two sacks, and also ran in a two-point conversion to give Norwalk an 8-0 lead in the first quarter. Norwalk’s defense held McMahon to 131 total yards and kept the Senators off the scoreboard until late in the fourth quarter.
JonMichael Bivona, Trinity Catholic Football
Trinity running back JonMichael Bivona rushed for over 200 yards and scored four touchdowns as the Crusaders routed Wilton 41-14 on Thanksgiving. Bivona carried the ball 15 times for 207 yards, while scoring on runs of 3, 52 and 43 yards. He also returned an interception 50 yards for another score. Trinity finished the regular season with an 8-1 record.
Julian Ross, Staples Football
Julian Ross, a junior defensive back, came up with a game-saving play when he batted down Greenwich’s pass on a two-point conversion attempt with 12 seconds to play, preserving Staples’ 28-26 triumph in the teams’ FCIAC Thanksgiving rivalry game. The victory clinched a berth in the Class LL state playoffs for the Wreckers.
Connor Langan, Greenwich High Football
Connor Langan led the Cardinals back from a 21-7 deficit To Staples-Westport with three touchdown passes in the second half. The host Wreckers held off Greenwich, 28-26. A junior, Langan was 20-of-30 passing for 211 yards. He threw touchdown passes Luke Bienstock (13 yards) and Joey Longo (49 yards, 8 yards).
Jack Potenza, Fairfield Warde Football
Quarterback Jack Potenza threw for three touchdowns passes and ran for another to lead the Warde Mustangs to a 35-14 victory over Fairfield Ludlowe on Thanksgiving Day. A senior, Potenza completed scoring passes to Mike Whiting, good for 69, 75, and 62 yards. He also ran for an 11-yard score.
Mike Whiting, Fairfield Warde Football
Receiver Mike Whiting played a huge role in the Mustangs’ 35-14 win over rival Ludlowe on Thanksgiving. Whiting had three catches for 206 yards, with all three receptions going for touchdowns. He scored on catches of 69, 75, and 62 yards.
The HAN Network, formerly known as Hersam Acorn Newspapers, is the exclusive FCIAC broadcast partner through the spring of 2018. HAN Network’s broadcasting division replaced HANRadio.com with a new focus on live video streams of high school athletics along with the Network’s news and lifestyle programming.