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Mountaineers climb the heights in 2023

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FALLS VILLAGE — Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS) athletes punched well above their weight this year in a variety of sports.

With rosters full of underclassmen, playoff hopes were a pipe dream for Mountaineer fans. Someone must have forgotten to tell the players.

Without a single senior in the lineup, the girls’ basketball team set the tone for the year to come by qualifying for the Berkshire League playoff tournament. They lost in the first round, but with a taste of the postseason and all players returning in 2023-24, the team is hungry for more in the season to come.

The girls kept rolling in the spring with a successful softball season. HVRHS softball wrapped up the 2023 season with a record of 12-10 and made its deepest playoff run in a generation. For the first time since 1990, Mountaineer softball advanced to the state quarterfinals.

Noah Shippa slid safely into home for HVRHS baseball last spring. Photo by Riley Klein

“The girls this season persevered and had amazing passion for the game, which allowed us to get back to states,” said coach Kaleigh Selino after her team scored 46 runs in the state tournament.

HVRHS sent five track athletes to compete in New Britain at the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) Class S Track and Field Championships: Kyle McCarron, Ava Segalla, Harper Howe, Sara Huber and Mia Dodge.

McCarron represented HVRHS in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter boys’ races. McCarron finished the 1600-meter race in fourth place with a time of 4:34.36. McCarron brought home bronze for HVRHS in the 3200 with a time of 9:58.85.

Freshman Ava Segalla won her preliminary 100-meter heat with a time of 13.01 seconds and qualified for the finals. She placed fifth in the 100-meter championship race at 13.05 seconds and also qualified for the state opens.

Mia Dodge placed first overall in the Berkshire League heptathlon last May. 

Mia Dodge jumped 4.47 meters in the long jump on her way to winning gold for HVRHS in the Berkshire League heptathlon last spring. Photo by Riley Klein

HVRHS sports continued in the offseason at Torrington Summer Basketball League. TSBL began its 40th summer season last month with a noteworthy addition to the rulebook: the implementation of a shot clock. The change went into effect following CIAC’s announcement that a 35-second shot clock would be added to varsity basketball for the 2023-24 season.

When asked about the shot clock after a TSBL game, HVRHS athlete Owen Riemer said, “I like it because you can’t like dribble the ball out forever.”

Anthony Labbadia scored in the 2023-24 basketball season opener. Photo by Riley Klein

Boys’ sports took flight in the fall with another winning year for GNH football. After starting in a 2-4 rut, the young roster joined together for a five-game hot streak that carried them to the CIAC Class SS semifinals. 

HVRHS girls’ soccer kicked into high gear last fall as well with berths in both the Berkshire League tournament and the CIAC Class S playoff. 

Housatonic co-op hockey took a tragic blow late in the 2023 season when teammate Marcus Rogers and his grandfather died in a car accident traveling to practice. A somber tribute was held on the ice before the game following the accident.

“The amount of love, well-wishing and fans that have come our way this week have gone a long way in easing the pain in our hearts that we all feel,” said coach Dean Diamond. “As I look at my team on the goal line, I know that Marcus is standing side-by-side with each and every one of them getting ready to play the game that he loves.”

“It’s been a tough four days, but you guys made it a lot easier,” said Rogers’ father. “It’ll never get easier, but you guys sure helped a lot.”

Story courtesy of the Lakeville Journal

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