March 1, 2015

Catfight Coming — Wildcats Face Panthers in Shoreline Quarters Tonight

Senior Captain Jacob Ballachino is hoping to lead the team to victory tonight.

Jacob Ballachino

Breaking News:  Wildcats defeat Cromwell!  This evening the second-seeded Old Lyme Wildcats face the Cromwell Panthers in the quarterfinal round of the Shoreline Conference.  Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School gym. The ‘Cats are coached by Kirk Kaczor.

Senior Captain Jacob Ballachino will hoping to lead the team to a memorable victory tonight.

Go Wildcats!


Wildcat Girls Play in Shoreline Basketball Semifinals Today

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School girl's varsity basketball team posed for this photo prior to today's game.  Photo by Jodi Strycharz.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School girl’s varsity basketball team who play in the Shoreline Conference semi-final today. Photo by Sloan Sweitzer

Don Bugbee’s third-seeded girls face number two seeds Cromwell at Coginchaug High School gym at 6 p.m. today in a Shoreline Conference semi-final.

Click to read Wildcats Make Late Surge to Steal Victory, Advance to Semis in Shoreline Conference and find out how the girls reached the semi-finals.

Go Wildcats!


Wildcat Girls Make Late Surge to Steal Victory, Advance to Semis in Shoreline Conference


Photo by Sloane Sweitzer. The game’s top scorer Julia Strycharz (#10) reaches for the ball.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Wildcats (16-5) suddenly soared to victory over North Branford in the first round of Saturday’s Shoreline Conference.  With the score tied at 41-41 with three minutes left on the clock, overtime was looking a distinct possibility, but then the ‘Cats surged forward scoring 12 points in a row to win decisively with the scoreboard reading 53-41 at the buzzer.


Photo by Sloane Sweitzer. Strycharz (#10) was in action all over the court.

It was particularly sweet victory because North Branford had defeated Old Lyme twice during the regular season.


Photo by Sloane Sweitzer.

Don Bugbee’s third-seeded girls now face number two seeds Cromwell in a semi-final game at Coginchaug High School in Durham next Tuesday with a 6 p.m. tip-off.  Cromwell beat Old Lyme during their only meeting in the regular season.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School girl's varsity basketball team posed for this photo prior to yesterday's victory over North Branford.  Photo by Jodi Strycharz.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School girl’s varsity basketball team posed for this photo prior to yesterday’s victory over North Branford. Photo by Sloane Sweitzer.

Go Wildcats!


Champions! Old Lyme/Valley Football Defy Odds to Win State Class S-Large

CIAC Class S-Large Champs!

CIAC Class S-Large Champs!  Photo by W. Visgilio.

Congratulations to coach Tim King and his Warriors on an incredible win! On Monday, to celebrate the victory, all students at Lyme-Old Lyme High School are being asked to wear red and black.

New Britain – Quarterback Chris Jean-Pierre’s four-yard touchdown run with 22 seconds remaining rallied top-seeded Valley Regional/Old Lyme to a 21-20 victory over No. 2 Ansonia in their Class S-Large state championship football game at Willow Brook Park on Saturday morning. Click here to read the remainder of this full initial report of the game by Ned Griffin, which was published in The Day today

And here’s another link to great article about the game.

And, finally, here’s Old Lyme’s very own Tim Devlin’s video of all Saturday’s state game highlights.



Old Lyme/Valley Warriors Looking for First State Championship in Today’s Game


Warrior football action from the Old Saybrook game earlier in the season.

The Old Lyme/Valley Warriors co-operative football team, which sports an unbeaten record this season, meets the Ansonia Chargers (11-1) this morning at 10 a.m. at Willowbrook Park in New Britain in the CIAC ‘Class S Large’ state football championship.

The Warriors, who are coached by Tim King, are looking to stop the Chargers winning their fifth consecutive title and also racking up a record-breaking 20th victory.  It will be a first state championship for the Warriors if (when!) they win.

Go Warriors!

Click here to read a preview of the game by Jimmy Zanor and published 12/12/14 on


Old Lyme-Valley Warriors Complete Perfect Season

The Old Lyme-Valley football team trounced Haddam-Killingworth 49-7 to win the Principal’s Cup and complete their second sequential unbeaten season.

Congratulations, Warriors … and now on to the play-offs!

Click here to read a full report by Ned Griffen and published in The Day today or this article on by Jimmy Zanor:  Football: Valley Regional/Old Lyme caps perfect regular season or view video footage of the game by Tim Devlin.


Both Wildcat Soccer Teams Fall in State Tournament

Nate Peduzzi challenges H-K goalie

The Haddam-Killingworth keeper foils Nate Peduzzi’s header attempt on goal.

It was a disappointing day for the Wildcats as first the boys and then the girls failed to clinch places in a further round of the state tournament.  For the boys, this meant missing a spot in the semi-finals and the girls similarly missed out on the quarter finals.

The boys, ranked third, played first in Friday’s double-header against sixth-ranked Haddam-Killingworth, who they had beaten twice respectively in the regular season with 2-0 and 3-0 victories.

After a disappointing first half in which the ‘Cats fell behind by a penalty kick and then another goal, Old Lyme snapped back into shape and piled on the pressure in the second half.  They dominated the field, controlling possession throughout the half, but failing to put away any of the numerous chances they created until 10 minutes before the final whistle.


Old Lyme players collapse on the field in exhaustion after their valiant attempts to score in the final 10 minutes ended when the whistle was blown

But one goal was not enough and H-K now advances to the semi-final where they will meet East Hampton.

The fifth-ranked girls played a scoreless 80 minutes of regular time and then 20 more minutes of overtime against 12th-seeded East Hampton before the game moved to a penalty shoot-out.

Almost all of the 22 players on the field in final goal-mouth scramble...

Almost all of the 22 players on the field were involved in this desperate goal-mouth scramble in the final minutes of overtime.

The Wildcats experienced a devastating start when their first two players missed their shots, while the Bellringers scored on their first three attempts.  Old Lyme then scored their third shot, but when East Hampton put away their fourth penalty, the game was over.

It was a disappointing end to an outstanding season for both teams, in which the girls won the Shoreline Championship and the boys were runners-up in the same conference.

East Hampton girls now meets Portland in the quarter final.


Wildcat Boys, Girls Play in State Soccer Tourney Today

Shoreline champions 2014!

Shoreline champions 2014!

The Wildcats third-ranked boys’ soccer team, who were runners-up last week in the Shoreline Championship, faces sixth seeds Haddam-Killingworth this morning at 11 a.m. in a CIAC state quarter-final at Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS.)

Then this afternoon, kicking off at 2 p.m., and coming on the heels of their Shoreline Championship victory, the fifth-ranked Wildcat girls play 12th seeds East Hampton in a second round game on the LOLHS varsity field.

The boys and girls are coached respectively by Marc Vendetti and Paul Gleason.

Go Wildcats!


De Landvoisin Campbell Takes Third Place in State XC Race

Eloise de Landvoisin Campbell

Eloise de Landvoisin Campbell proudly wears her medal after finishing third in the State Cross Country championship.

Twelve-year-old Eloise de Landevoisin Campbell, who attends Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS), placed third in the A race at the Connecticut Middle School Cross-country State Championship last Saturday, Nov. 1, at Wickham Park in Manchester, Conn.  She was running for her triathlon team, the Nutmeg Youth Triathlon Team, since LOLMS no longer competes in this race.  Eloise ran the 2.3 mile course in 14:20.60 (6:15 pace).

This result is an outstanding achievement for Eloise since more than 80 middle schools were competing in the state championships and the number of runners totaled over 3,000.  Six races were held, three for boys and three for girls.  The fastest 350 – 400 runners then ran in the A Races (the Girls’ A Race had 354 runners.)  There were also two B races — one for East of the river boys and girls, and the other for West of the river boys and girls.) 

Eloise has also been achieving significant success in Triathlons this year.  She won the Toughkids Championship in Croton on the Hudson this past August.  In addition, she placed second at the Westchester Super Sprint in September and first at the Westfield Wave Triathlon in Massachusetts last June, racing against adults in both events.

Eloise also went to USA Triathlon (USAT) Nationals, where she placed 22nd for her age group. 

Congratulations, Eloise!

Visit to view the full results of the State championship.


Wildcat Girls are Shoreline Champions!

Shoreline champions 2014!

Shoreline champions 2014!

Paul Gleason’s second ranked girl’s soccer team came through in convincing fashion in yesterday’s Shoreline Conference final played at Portland High School in the early evening damp conditions. One goal almost on the half-time whistle was all it took to defeat fourth-seeded Coginchaug. The goal was scored by Keelin Hurtt and assisted by Jenna Peduzzi.

Congratulations to all the girls, their assistant coaches and, of course, Mr. Gleason himself!

Click to read a full report of the game by Gavin Keefe and published by The Day today.


Wildcat Boys, Girls Play in Shoreline Championship Finals Tonight in Portland

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School boy’s soccer team coached by Marc Vendetti and the girls coached by Paul Gleason play in double-header Shoreline Conference Championship games tonight at Portland High School.

The Wildcat boys, ranked number one, meet  number two seeds Cromwell at 7 p.m. while the second-seeded girls face fourth-ranked Coginchaug at 5 p.m.

In regular season play, the boys notched one of their only two defeats this season against Cromwell 1-0, while the girls defeated Coginchaug 1-0 back in September.

Go Wildcats!


Old Lyme Rowers Bring Home Two Silver Medals From ‘Head of the Charles’ Races

Head_of_the_charles_2On Oct. 19, a sunny and windy Sunday, hundreds of crew teams from across the United States and the world competed in the 50th annual Head of the Charles in Boston, the ultimate race that ends the primary rowing season.  The river, which winds its way through the city, shone in the bright sun, but even brighter were the two silver medals earned by the Old Lyme Rowing Association / Blood Street Sculls.

“This is a great accomplishment,” declared Head Coach Steve Baranoski, continuing, “Dedication, hard work, and tremendous support from the board, families, the town, and the school all contributed to this win.”  Baranoski took seven high school students to the contest, five of who are competing in their senior year before heading to college.


One medal was earned in the Young Men Fours race by Lyme-Old Lyme High School seniors, Liam Corrigan, Harry Godfrey-Fogg, Josh Swanski, and Thomas Crisp and Madison High School junior, Jeremy Newton. The boys placed second with a time of 17:33.69 minutes – only seven seconds off first place – to complete the 4800 meter (2.98 mile) race in the field of 84 crews from all over the world.

In a race of doubles Lyme-Old Lyme High School students Brandon Green, a senior, and Peter Fuchs a junior, rowed a strong double race coming in 15th (28th) among 42 entries in the Men Youths Double. They rowed the 4800 meters in 19:47.17 minutes — just 1.32 minutes less than the winners.

Another silver medal was earned in the Director’s Challenge Women’s Quads by Charlotte Hollings, Candace Fuchs, Peggy Johnston, and Kacey Elfstrom.  These master rowers finished second out of 30 competitors in their 4800 meter race, which they completed in 19:23.23 minutes only 23 second off the lead.

“It’s a great honor for me to coach this team that competes and finishes so well against a stacked international field,” Baranoski said.  He added, “The team has worked incredibly hard and dedicated hours to this goal in all kinds of weather. We practice before school at 5:30 a.m. and then again after school at 3 p.m.”  Noting that the whole team had stayed focused and dedicated to this race, he commented, “They entered the race with a mission to do well and they all did. These team members showed a level of perseverance and focus in addition to remarkable skill and expert rowing.”


The Head of the Charles is the equivalent of the World Series of racing and the Old Lyme Racing Association / Blood Street Sculls prepared for this race throughout the season.  This year’s performance winning silver medals was a marked improvement over the last year when the 4+ came in 25th.

Coach Baranoski noted that the performance in this premier race, “Shows how the program is progressing.  This club can compete with the best crews and belongs with the elite rowing groups.”  He attributes the success to the creative, involved board members, supportive parents, and enthusiastic, dedicated team members.

Adding, “I am very fortunate to be a part of this club and to help it achieve success as a competitive program,” Baranoski concluded, “We have great athletes on both the boys and girls team.  I invite others to join.  We need members of all ages and levels.”

Next weekend the team will race again at the Head of the Fish in Saratoga, N.Y.


Making History All Over Again: Football Played in Old Lyme for First Time in More Than 70 Years


“The whole town is here!” said one enthusiastic spectator Saturday afternoon.  And that was almost true when the crowd had gathered for the first high school game played in Old Lyme since 1943 and some 1,500 people were in attendance at the Lyme-Old Lyme High School varsity soccer field.


It was a perfect fall day with tail-gating everywhere and pre-game fun galore.  Two members of the 1941 and 1942 Old Lyme football teams, respectively George King and Tim Keenan, were present for the ceremonial coin toss and they just happened to be respectively the father and uncle of Valley-Old Lyme coach Tim King.


The game itself was not the most exciting ever seen and ultimately,the Valley-Old Lyme football team crushed Old Saybrook-Westbrook with an unstoppable 42-7 victory.

Last year’s Valley-Old Lyme team won the Conference Championship and also advanced to the State semi-finals, and this year’s team is looking to repeat – or exceed – that record.

For a full report, click here to read Dave Davis’s article published in The Day today. 


Are You Ready For Some Football? Today Sees First Game Played in Old Lyme for Over 70 Years

Warriors_logoToday, Saturday, Sept. 27, at 1 p.m., the Valley-Old Lyme football team will face Old Saybrook-Westbrook on the Lyme-Old Lyme High School varsity soccer field.

This will be the first high school game played in Old Lyme since 1943. The prospect of the game has generated significant excitement in both the Region 18 schools and the town itself — consequently, a large crowd is expected.

Last year’s Valley-Old Lyme team won the Conference Championship and also advanced to the State semi-finals, and this year’s team is looking to repeat – or exceed – that record.

Admission is free to all Region 18 students and employees: adults will be charged five dollars.

There will be pre-game tailgating, concessions and a tent manned by the Booster Club.  To top it all, not only is the forecast for warm, sunny weather, but also an intense game between two well-matched teams is anticipated.

Click to read a blog post published Sept. 27, by Day sports writer Ned Griffin about the game.

Go Warriors!


‘Bound for the Sound’ Road Race Takes Place This Morning, Raises Funds for LOL Education Foundation


The starting gun is at the ready for Saturday morning’s perennially popular Lyme-Old Lyme Education “Bound for the Sound” Road Race.

Formerly known as the ‘Artistry in Motion’ Road Race, ‘Bound for the Sound’ 10K and 5K races starts at Sound View Beach in Old Lyme and take runners by some of the most picturesque natural vistas Old Lyme has to offer.

The 10K route is mostly flat with some gently rolling hills along country roads, while the 5K is very flat making a pleasant run through the Old Lyme beach community.  There is also a very popular one mile Family Fun Run, which brings out families of all generations to run together to help raise money for local education initiatives in and beyond the Lyme-Old Lyme Regional School District.  All the runs are capped off with a finish down historic Hartford Avenue towards the beach.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers.  A race T-Shirt is available to the first 150 registered participants.

Race organizer and president of the Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation, Michael Kane, says, “The run has historically attracted a wide field of participants with quality runners competing in both the 5k and 10k, alongside many who see this local race in support of local education initiatives as the perfect incentive to start training for their first competitive run”.

Stone Creek will be performing at the after-party on the beach, while local companies Vitality Spa and Bonne Sante will be providing pre- and post-race massage in return for tips donated to the Foundation.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization established in 2006 to support and enhance public education in our community.  The Foundation is governed by a volunteer board of directors and supported by an advisory group of members of the community.  In the past, the Foundation has funded initiatives in Lyme and Old Lyme schools such as a new kiln and a third printer for the high school, as well as helping fund the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School’s successful Science Olympiad team on their trip to the national finals.

To find out more about the Foundation or to make a donation go to  Follow the Foundation on Facebook here.

Registration for the race is through or search on “Bound for the Sound”.


Old Lyme’s Hack Rows With US Men’s Eight In Today’s World Championship Race

The US Men's eight in action Wednesday.

The US Men’s eight in action Wednesday.

Old Lyme’s Austin Hack and his fellow crew members of the US men’s eight qualified for the 2014 World Rowing Championship final in Amsterdam in the repechage on Wednesday.  Hack is a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2010 and the Stanford University Class of 2014,

After missing a direct pass to the final on Monday, the U.S. crew of Hack along with coxswain  Zach Vlahos (Piedmont, Calif.), Thomas Dethlefs (Lawrenceville, N.J.), Nareg Guregian (North Hills, Calif.),Matthew Miller (Fairfax, Va.), Rob Munn (Redmond, Wash.), Steven Kasprzyk(Cinnaminson, N.J.), David Banks (Potomac, Md.) and Sam Dommer (Folsom, Calif.) needed to finish either first or second to advance to the final.

They were hard off the line and built a lead of more than three seconds by the thousand. In the third 500 meters, France cut into that lead, and in the final quarter, they caught up and then clipped the U.S. in the final strokes.

France won in 5:42.91 and the U.S. was second in 5:43.32. Sunday’s final will see France and the U.S. meet rep one winners Great Britain and Russia, and heat winners Poland and Germany.

“You want to win the race, but we really went hard at the beginning,” said Guregian. “We worked on the first half (of our race) in one day, so now we have four days to get ready for the final.”


Old Lyme’s Hack Rows for US Team in World Championships

The US men's 8 competes in Monday's race in Amsterdam.  Austin Hack is fourth from right.

The US men’s 8 competes in Monday’s race in Amsterdam. Austin Hack is fourth from right.

Austin Hack, a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2010 and the Stanford University Class of 2014, is currently competing in the 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, Holland.  A member of the US men’s eight, Hack raced with his crew late Monday afternoon.

It was a tough race against crews from Russia, China, Italy, The Netherlands and Poland. The Poles pulled out for an early lead, but despite battling hard, overtaking the Russians and moving up from third to second place, the Americans could not overtake the leaders.  

Consequently, the US team must now participate in the repechage on Wednesday to secure a place in the medal round on Sunday.

Good luck, Austin, and the US Men’s Eight!

Click here for more details of today’s race.


Story from ‘The Day': Old Lyme’s Corrigan Has Quite the Summer Vacation Story to Tell

Pictured from left to right are: Coach of the 1st and 2nd Varsity Girls John Laundon with Ella Pilgrim, Hannah Hannah Wilczewski, Kathryn Stedman (coxswain), Hattie Wilczewski and Kaetlin Kolar.

Liam Corrigan stands third from left in this group photo.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School rising junior Liam Corrigan is making quite a splash in the world of international  youth rowing. Ned Griffin wrote a wonderful story about Liam, which was published in yesterday’s edition of The Day. Click here to read Griffin’s article. 


Girls Lose Lax State Semifinal on Stonington’s Last Minute Goal

Photo by L. Buckley.  With hands joined in unity, the Old Lyme girls stand to attention during the national Anthem.

Photo by L. Buckley. With hands joined in unity, the Old Lyme girls stand to attention during the national Anthem.

Fate – and some might say the referee –  was not on the side of the Wildcat girls’ lacrosse team yesterday evening, when, after the fiercest of battles at Waterford High School, and with just a single second left on the clock, Stonington scored the goal that defeated the ‘Cats 12-11 and took the Bears into the CIAC Class S final.

It was a cruel twist in a game in which Old Lyme had fought back to equalize time and again, overtaking Stonington by a goal at 10-9, only for the Bears to come back this time with an equalizer.  First-year coach Emily Maccione’s girls never gave up and — constantly urged on by the enormous crowd of their fans — it seemed as if the girls were beginning to sense victory precisely when the cruelest card of that last second goal was played.

To their credit, the Old Lyme girls continued to play with their heads held high until the almost immediate final whistle and then, despite their broken hearts, they graciously shook the hands of the victors with the utmost composure.

To retain such grace in the face of bitter disappointment was a victory of different kind — not one which will give much consolation at this time, but one which will stand the test of time and make this team proud in years to come.

Congratulation, Wildcats and coaches — you went down fighting to the last second and made us all extremely proud!


Old Lyme Crew Girls, Boys 1st Boats Win Silver at Nationals; Girls 2nd Boat Takes Bronze

Pictured from left to right are: Isabelle Foster, Hannah Paynter, Hannah DeBruyn (Coxswain), Honor Clements and Christiana Congdon of the 1st Girls Varsity Four with their silver medals.

All photos by B. Corrigan. Pictured from left to right are: Isabelle Foster, Hannah Paynter, Hannah DeBruyn (Coxswain), Honor Clements and Christiana Congdon of the 1st Girls Varsity Four with their silver medals.

In an extraordinary display of talent and commitment, the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) crew team added three National Medals to their collection on Sunday at the USA National Scholastic Championships at Saratoga, N.Y. Battling primarily against exclusive preparatory schools with extensive private resources, publicly-funded, tiny LOLHS came through with an exceptional roster of results.
The girls 1st Varsity Four, pictured above, won silver in a time of 5:47.93, just four seconds behind the winners from The Winsor School, Mass.
Pictured from left to right Sean Wolf from King Boats, with Graham Richartz, Liam Corrigan, Tom Crisp (coxswain), Phillip Hallwood and Josh Swansk, who comprise  the Boys' Varsity 1st team, along with coach Louis Zubek

Pictured from left to right are Sean Wolf from King Boats, with Graham Richartz, Liam Corrigan, Tom Crisp (coxswain), Phillip Hallwood and Josh Swansk, who comprise the Boys’ Varsity 1st Four, along with coach Louis Zubek.

The boys 1st Varsity Four, above, won silver in a time of 5:05.62, only two seconds behind The Gunnery School, Conn.
Pictured from left to right are: Coach of the 1st and 2nd Varsity Girls John Laundon, with Ella Pilgrim, Hannah Wilczewski, Kathryn Stedman (coxswain), Hattie Wilczewski and Kaetlin Kolar.

Pictured from left to right are the coach of the 1st and 2nd Varsity Girls John Laundon, with the Girls’ Varsity 2nd Four of Ella Pilgrim, Hannah Wilczewski, Kathryn Stedman (coxswain), Hattie Wilczewski and Kaetlin Kolar.

The girls 2nd Varsity Four won bronze in a time of 6:20:15 behind the Ignatius-Chicago Rowing Association, another preparatory school from Chicago, Ill.
The boys 2nd Varsity Four, with two freshman members, also qualified for the Nationals and were a close fourth in their very competitive race.
These wins build on the team’s clean sweep in the fours at the Connecticut Public Schools Rowing Association Championships, where both the Boys 1st and 2nd Varsity Fours and the Girls 1st and 2nd Varsity Fours, won the State Championships, which qualified them for this National Regatta.
The team is grateful for the support of Old Lyme Rowing Association, Region 18 School District and Lyme-Old Lyme High School and also WinTec Racing/King Boats, who loaned the 1st Varsity Boys a new boat for the season.
Several of the seniors are now going on to row for their chosen colleges including team captains Isabelle Foster (Stanford, Calif.) and Graham Richartz (Cornell, N.Y.)  as well as coxwain Hanna DeBruyn (Bates College, Maine).     Additionally, some team members have had the honor of being invited to National Development and Selection Camps this summer.