SHAthletes Dominate Winter Sports, Despite Drawbacks of Covid-19

If there is anything the past few months have proved, it is the great resilience of those in the SHA community, most notability the student SHAthletes. Though we commend the Southern Connecticut Conference and Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for their tremendous efforts in allowing sports to safely commence, we must recognize the new hurdles (both literally and figuratively) that all 2020-2021 student athletes are pushed to overcome. Despite much contact-tracing and team-quarantining, SHA students produced an amazing fall season. The season concluded with an SCC Championship title and multiple athletes recognized as part of all-area team(s). The past season also brought about multiple college commitments amongst both juniors and seniors, as follows; Clare McCurley ’21, Roanoke College Field Hockey; Charlotte McCarthy ’21, U.S. Coast Guard Academy Sailing; Eva Cuevas ’21, Grinnell College Swimming; Mia Celentano ‘21, Western New England University Lacrosse; Kyla King ’22, Fordham University Soccer (D1); Ava King ’22, Stony Brook University Soccer (D1).

SHAthletes persisted through the winter months, as daylight decreased and the air became colder. Initially unsure of if or when they would even be able to compete, the Sacred Heart Academy basketball team, hockey team, and indoor track team prepared for any tentative season, following the CIAC guidelines as they conditioned. However, a winter sports plan was soon approved by the CIAC, permitting the commencement of “regular” sports practices and scheduled games for both hockey and basketball. The plan for indoor track competition was still being toyed with, as there is only one indoor track for the entirety of the SCC/state. All teams compete in masks.

The West Haven-Sacred Heart Academy co-op girl’s ice hockey team is in the midst of one fiery season, as the Westie-Sharks have yet to be beat. Their current record 6-0, winning each game by two points or more. The team is in the running to clinch their third SCC title in four years (excluding 2020, as playoffs were canceled due to COVID-19). A senior night ceremony was recently held at the Shark’s home rink (Bennet Rink) in West Haven, CT honoring both SHA and West Haven senior players. Nonetheless, their season is not over yet, their upcoming games can be found here:^Scrimmage^Postseason

Sacred Heart Academy’s girls’ basketball team is also doing extremely well, their current record 8-1. Their season began incredibly strong, with sharp-shooter Rosa Rizzitelli scoring a game-winning 3-point shot over Wilbur Cross. With a mere .6 seconds remaining on the clock, Rizzitelli shoots and scores- the video clip even being featured on ESPN Sport’s Center “Play of the Day”. In her interview with GameTimeCT, Rosa talks about her persistence with basketball. She tells of an important game last year when she missed a certain shot, and she believes, cost the team. She then found herself practicing that same shot from that same spot everyday… and

the opportunity came back to her, this time landing her on national television. SHA basketball coach, Coach Kirck, was also interviewed by those at GameTimeCT as he was a special guest on the network’s Give & Go basketball podcast. Kirck gives insight on the growth and development of a team, as well as informing us of his background and what it means to him to be coaching among his two (soon to be three) daughters at SHA. The podcast can be streamed here: SHA ball has had an incredible season thus far and are not finished yet. The remainder of their games can be found here:^Scrimmage^Postseason

With some runners conditioning since November, SHA track was relieved when it was announced that meets would be allowed. With the first meet occurring just the first week of March, the sharks knew they had time to prepare… and prepare they did. This was evident as SHA trackies won their first meet against Wilbur Cross with ease, junior Ella Guth even breaking the SHA indoor track mile record, with a time of 5:48.13. All runners competed in their events whilst wearing a mask. With only dual meets allowed, SHA indoor track will compete twice on the indoor track at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven versus Wilbur Cross, as well as twice on our own outdoor track versus Mercy and Lauralton Hall. The SHA indoor track competition season is just getting started, meet information available here:^Scrimmage^Postseason