The Cheshire Academy’s boys’ basketball team kicks off the winter season with its Zero Gravity Prep Classic game on Dec. 1 against Wilbraham and Monson. Check out our winter sports previews below:
Head coach: Jim McCarthy
Top players: Justin Allen ’19, 6-8 F; Asa Beyah ’20, 6-3 G; Eamon Fitzpatrick ’19, 6-4 G; Marco Barosi ’19, 6-1 G; Ethan Okwuosa ’21, 6-3 G
Season outlook: Cheshire Academy, a program with a rich history on the hardwood, will once again play a challenging schedule in NESPAC Class AA, one of the strongest leagues in the country. It starts this weekend at the Zero Gravity Prep Classic at St. Andrew’s School in Barrington, Rhode Island. The Cats will face a pair of prep powers in Wilbraham and Monson (Dec. 1, 7:30 pm) and Gould Academy (Dec. 2, 9 am). First-year head coach Jim McCarthy comes to Cheshire Academy with an impressive college coaching resume. McCarthy most recently served as an assistant at the University of New Haven, and has also coached at Yale, Towson, Northeastern and Williams. The Cats will feature a strong inside-out attack with solid post play and attacking perimeter players. Allen will provide a formidable post presence, while Fitzpatrick will stretch defenses with his shooting ability. Also, look for talented newcomers Beyah and Okwuosa to make an immediate impact.
Season opener: vs. Wilbraham and Monson at Barrington, Rhode Island, Dec. 1 at 7:30 pm
Head coach: Jeff Allen
Top players: Ashley Nadeau ’19, 6-0, F; Araceli Gonzalez ’19, 5-9 F; Audrey Allen ’20, 6-0 F; Kyla Raccio ’19 5-7 G; Nia Hubbard ’19, 5-9 G
Season outlook: The Cats return 12 players from last year’s NEGBL title run. Jeff Allen, entering his fourth year as head coach, has a roster filled with depth and experience. Defense and forcing turnovers will be the Cats’ biggest strength. Gonzalez is a versatile talent who can score inside and out. Nadeau and Allen will also be key players. Raccio is a strong on-the-ball defender and look for Hubbard to emerge as a strong player for the Cats. Cheshire Academy (17-9 last year) could be a darkhorse in NEPSAC Class B.
Season opener: at home vs. Hopkins, Dec. 3 at 5 pm
Head coach: Fran Connolly
Top swimmers: Girls – Courtney Cail ’19, Molly Guglielmino ’19, Sarah Greenberg ’21. Boys – Tanner Soybel ’20, Dante Giano ’20.
Season outlook: Highlighted by Mia Leko ’18 – now at Dartmouth – the Cats graduated a group of swimmers who rewrote the school record book. Connolly said that opens the door for a promising bunch who should make the most of this season’s opportunity. Cail will be one of the top swimmers in NEPSAC Division III. Guglielmino is a strong sprinter, while Julia Dattilo ’21 provides versatility. Also, Greenberg (backstroke, fly, IM) looks to pick up where she left off after a great freshman season. Newcomers Natasha Chander-Levy ’21 and Maria Criado ’20 are expected to make an impact right away. On the boys’ side, Soybel and Giano will lead a squad
that has seen an increase in numbers from last season.
Season opener: at home vs. Westover, Dec. 5 at 3:30 pm
Head coach: Matt Socia
Top fencers: Thomas Craley ’21, Lucas Alfaiate ’20, Cat Mattio ’19 and Julie Zhang ’21
Season outlook: Cheshire Academy’s co-ed fencing program continues to grow in terms of numbers and talent. Craley, an All-American leads the way. He placed third at the varsity state championships as a freshman last year. A strong supporting cast is highlighted by Alfaiate, Mattio, a postgraduate, and Zhang. There are three types of weapons in fencing: foil, epee and sabre. The Cats have been dominant in foil, and added epee in recent years. New to the program this year is sabre. Socia takes over as head coach. He served as an assistant coach last season and competed for a successful club program at Michigan State. The Cats compete in the Connecticut High School Fencing Association.
Season opener: at home vs. North Branford, Dec. 12 at 4:30 pm