There is a just a couple weeks before most FCIAC sports start their winter postseason tournaments. We found 19 athletes worthy of Winter Week 7’s HAN-FCIAC Athlete of the Week nominations. Check out the nominees and vote for your male and female picks below.
Last week’s winners were St. Joseph girls basketball’s Shannon Grabowski and New Canaan boys ice hockey’s Tyler Hill.
This week’s winners will be announced during HAN’s Nutmeg Sports show on Monday, Feb. 8, live at 2 p.m. You can watch Nutmeg Sports with Rob Adams and Donald Eng and Dave Stewart Mondays through Wednesday at 2 at live.HAN.Network.
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 HAN Network spent Winter Week 4 providing live HD coverage of boys and girls basketball. You can watch those broadcasts in their entirety at the following links:
The HAN Network will be covering numerous events throughout the FCIAC’s winter season, including ice hockey, basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, swimming and diving, and the conference’s postseason championships.
This week’s schedule includes a boys-girls ice hockey doubleheader on Monday with Ridgefield vs. New Canaan girls followed by Fairfield vs. Darien boys. On Thursday, we’ll have live coverage of the FCIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships in New Haven. Check out the complete broadcast schedule here.
HAN-FCIAC Male Athlete of the Week nominees
Jakob Camacho, Danbury Wrestling
Camacho pinned Warde’s Luke Bender in 1:27 of the 113-pound weight class, as the Hatters scored a 37-27 win on Jan. 27. Danbury is the state’s top-ranked team, while Warde is No. 3. Camacho also scored three pinfalls in a quad meet on Jan. 30, improving to 24-2 this season. The meet against Warde was carried live on the HAN Network. Click here to watch.
A.J. Jerome, Norwalk Basketball
Jerome had a double-double as the Bears topped Greenwich, 70-59, on Jan. 29. He finished with 17 points and also brought down 13 rebounds.
Matt Conte, Westhill Wrestling
Conte won the 138-pound weight bracket at the annual Ridgefield Challenge wrestling tournament on Saturday, defeating Ridgefield’s Colin Storm, 7-2. The defending Class L champ, and FCIAC runner-up at 120 pounds, Conte improved his season record to 19-1.
Nick Rende, Wilton Wrestling
Rende, a sophomore, became only the third Wilton wrestler to ever win at the annual Ridgefield Challenge wrestling tournament, with a 6-5 decision over Noah Young of Coventry, R.I., on Saturday. Rende improved his season record to 25-1.
Vashon Natteal, Westhill Basketball
Vashon Natteal scored 22 points to lead Westhill past Staples High, 59-45, on Jan. 26. Natteal had 10 of the Vikings 24 baskets, including a 3-pointer, as they improved to 7-4 overall and 4-3 in the FCIAC.
Edward Rudman, New Canaan Swimming
Rudman, a junior, had four wins as the New Canaan rams knocked off the Wilton Warriors, 101-84, on Jan. 29. Rudman won two individual events, finishing first in the 50-yard freestyle (22.46) and the 100 backstroke (56.45). He also led off the 200 medley relay, which won in 1:43.84, and anchored the 400 freestyle relay, which won in 3:27.26. The Rams are 5-1 this season.
Scott Nesbitt, Danbury Basketball
Nesbitt scored 27 points with three 3-pointers in Danbury’s 83-62 win over Fairfield on Warde on Jan. 29. Danbury is 10-1 overall and 7-1 in the FCIAC.
Drew Connolly, Wilton Basketball
A junior guard, Connolly scored nine of his 10 points in the final 3:03 of the fourth quarter to rally the Warriors past Trinity Catholic, 54-49. Connolly hit a two-point basket, a three-pointer, and all four of his free throws as Wilton came back from a 47-42 deficit to top the Crusaders.
Owen Collins, Darien Ice Hockey
Collins’ goal on a rebound just 40 seconds into the third period turned out to be the game-winner as Darien edged New Canaan, 3-2.
Devonte Clarke, Danbury Track & Field
Clarke won titles in the 55-meter dash (6:04) and the 300-meter run (37.88) when the Hatters placed first in the FCIAC Western Division Championships in Westport on Jan. 30.
HAN-FCIAC Female Athlete of the Week nominees
Emily Gianunzio, Darien Ice Hockey
Gianunzio stopped 20 of 21 shots to help lead the Blue wave to a 3-1 win over rival New Canaan on Jan. 29. The only goal allowed came during a power play in the second period, with Darien leading 2-0. She shut out the Rams the rest of the way. The game was carried live on the HAN Network. Click here to watch.
Taylor Brown, Trumbull Basketball
Brown scored a team-high 22 points and had eight rebounds in Trumbull’s 70-64 win over the Greenwich Cardinals on Jan. 26. Brown hit a pair of three-point baskets and went 5-for-6 from the free throw line.
Daja Polk, Fairfield Warde Basketball
Polk had a solid game in the Mustangs’ 50-25 win over Danbury on Jan. 29. She had 12 points, eight assists, and six steals as Warde improved to 13-1 overall and 10-0 in the FCIAC.
Alex McKinnon, Ludlowe Basketball
McKinnon led the Falcons with 17 points during a 44-28 win on Jan. 29 in New Canaan. She also scored 13 in a 57-30 win over Central on Jan. 26.
Emily Philippides, Greenwich Track & Field
Philippides won the 300- and 600-meter runs during the FCIAC Western Division championships, held Saturday at Staples. She took the 300 in 43.84, and the 600 in 1:41.47. The Greenwich girls finished third in the team standings.
Hannah DeBalsi, Staples Track & Field
DeBalsi won three races during the FCIAC Western Division championships Saturday at Staples HS. DeBalsi finished the 1,600-meter run in 5:19.32, more than seven seconds ahead of her closest competitor, and won the 3,200-meter run in 11:05.73, nearly 40 seconds in front. In the 1,000, DeBalsi was first in 3:06.42.
Adnerys DeJesus, Greenwich Gymnastics
A sophomore, DeJesus continued her outstanding season for the Greenwich High gymnastics team, which won two more meets last week to improve to 9-0 on the season. De Jesus led the Cardinals on all four events in Wednesday’s wins over New Canaan and Westhill, and was first in three events in Monday’s win over Wilton. She is currently ranked first in the state in the all-around (37.575), vault (9.4), bars (9.4875), beam (9.275) and floor (9.4875).
Asiah Knight, Norwalk Basketball
Knight scored 23 points in Norwalk’s 46-32 win over New Canaan on Jan. 26. Knight filled the stat sheet with 11 rebounds, two blocked shots, and two assists. She scored 19 points in a loss to Greenwich on Jan. 29.
Alexa Kellner, Stamford Basketball
Kellner, a 6-foot-1 sophomore center, scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in Stamford’s 65-33 victory over Danbury. Kellner hit three three-pointers, helping the Black Knights extend their winning streak to nine games.