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10 years ago

The fall sports season got off to a successful start for Norwalk High as the Bears defeated city rival Brien McMahon in two opening contests. The NHS girls soccer team nipped the Senators 1-0 on an early goal by senior Lindsay Macri, the Bears’ only shot of the first half. Goalie Stephanie Gonzalez recorded nine saves for the shutout.

Meanwhile, Norwalk bested McMahon 24-33 in a five-team boys cross country meet. Mike Corasaniti was the Bears’ top runner, while Chris Madaffari of BMHS finished first overall, 26 seconds ahead of the field. Norwalk went 3-1 while McMahon was 1-3.

The NHS football team also had plenty to celebrate as the Bears knocked off perennial power Greenwich 19-7 to end a 21-game winless streak (0-20-1) against the Cardinals. Dave Klein scored one touchdown on a 1-yard run and returned a fumble 75 yards for another, while Derek Edwards tallied the other TD on a 10-yard pass from Anthony Ferraro ... McMahon dropped its opener 15-6 to Danbury as Chris Daniel accounted for the Senators’ only points on a 6-yard scoring pass from QB Damien Vega.

25 years ago

For the first time in over three decades the Brien McMahon soccer program had a different head coach patrolling the sidelines as the Senators began the post-Ralph King era. King, who started the program in 1961, retired last year after 33 seasons and 317 victories. Cam Diamandis, one of King’s former players, took over as head coach and the 1977 All-FCIAC player made a successful debut as McMahon blanked Bassick 6-0. Mario Rodriguez led the way with three goals while Ben Davies registered the shutout in goal.

The Norwalk High football program also ushered in a new era as Lew Socci made his head coaching debut, and the Bears responded with an impressive 20-0 win over Danbury. Maurice Powell ran for 187 yards, two touchdowns and a two-point conversion as NHS outgained the Hatters 246-79 on the ground and 288-103 in total yards.

Meanwhile, defending FCIAC champion Brien McMahon christened the newly named Jack Casagrande Field with a 28-16 victory over Staples. Luis Vega, one of just a handful of starters back from last year’s 12-0 state championship team, ran for 140 yards, three touchdowns and a two-point conversion as the Senators built a 28-3 lead heading into the final quarter.

50 years ago

All three local high school football teams opened their 1970 seasons with Brien McMahon posting the lone victory on opening weekend as the Senators beat visiting Stamford Catholic 14-6. Lloyd Fuller threw an 18-yard halfback option pass to Tom Fagan for the game’s first touchdown, and after the Crusaders cut it to 7-6, Abe Weldon ran 5 yards for a TD on the first play of the second quarter. Rudy Gisolfi kicked his second PAT to make it 14-6 at halftime and neither team scored in the second half. Stamford Catholic did threaten, but the Senators’ Brent Lacy, who had two interceptions, picked one off on his own 1-yard line, while Terry Fuller intercepted another pass in the end zone. It was McMahon’s first-ever win against the Crusaders.

Norwalk High dropped its opener 32-6 to New Canaan at the Rams’ field. An interception by Dan O’Grady led to the Bears’ only points as QB Mike Caden completed a short screen pass to Paul Caldwell, who then rambled 30 yards to the end zone to cut NC’s lead to 20-6 at halftime. The Rams scored a pair of second-half TDs to seal the win.

Central Catholic also came up short on the road as the Cavaliers dropped their opener to Ledyard 13-6, spoiling the debut of new head coach Ray Ciarieglio. All the scoring took place in the second period with Ledyard taking a 13-0 lead before Central’s Charlie Featherston intercepted a pass on his own 32 and one play later QB Tom Trainor hit Jamie Flynn with a 67-yard touchdown pass. Bob Kramer, Jim Treschetta and Bob Ganser also had interception for CCHS.

The McMahon soccer team won its season opener 6-1 against Roger Ludlow as co-captain Greg Nichols scored two goals and Armando Pantalone had a goal and an assist for the defending FCIAC champs.

While fall sports began, the local baseball season drew to a close with the Laurels falling short of winning a second championship as they lost in the finals of the Accousta Tournament in Stamford. The Norwalk City League champs met the Conetta Yankees, winners of the Stamford Twilight League, in a best-of-three series and the Laurels won the opening game 2-0 at Cubeta Stadium as Gary Lemme pitched a shutout and Tim Johnson had two hits and drove in both runs in the fourth ... Conetta evened the series with a 7-5 win and led 11-0 in the deciding third game. But the Laurels, trailing 12-5 and down to their last three outs, rallied for seven runs in top of the seventh, including a bases-loaded triple by Bill Granata, to tie it. The game ended 12-12 and the two teams had to play again with Conetta winning 4-0 to claim the championship trophy.