Tag Archives: Sports

Comeback City


Photo Credit: Google Images

 By Paige Brown

Sunday night was a huge night in sports for Boston fans.  The New England Patriots won in a nail-biter against the  New Orleans Saints and the Boston Red Sox came back from  a huge gap to win 6-5 over the Detroit Tigers.

Fans of Boston teams all around the country were  undoubtably on their feet in anticipation during each game.

The Pats definitely put on a show for their fans in the  stadium and at home on the big screen. Not only did Gronk  yet again miss another game, but Wilfork is now out for the  season, putting the defensive line in jeopardy against the Saints.

During the game, it seemed like all the Pats could do was drop the ball, literally. And as a die hard fan, it kills me to say that our offense is no where near where it used to be last year with Welker and Hernandez. However, the rookies are looking to soon become stars with how they have been playing.

New to the team this season but not new to the game is Amendola. All over Twitter people were tweeting that we should stamp “Fragile” onto his forehead, and after yesterday’s game, I couldn’t agree more. It seems like a normal hit that can be taken by anyone yet knocks out a seasoned player is becoming more and more prominent in Amendola. He was taken off the field and to me, looked pretty confused about the world around him.

Despite all of the injuries and players missing from the game, and again the drops by Edelman and others, the Pats came back in the last ten suspenseful seconds. Tom Brady threw the winning touchdown, caught by rookie Kenbrell Thompkins.

Coming back from a 27-23 loss to a 30-27 win against the Saints, the Pats definitely kept their fans, myself included, on their toes until the last seconds.

After fans and spectators of football Sunday thought they just saw the most exciting upturn of the night, they were stunned again.

The Red Sox, after a grueling season and going 22 innings without any hits, recovered with a grand slam to win against the Tigers.

As many baseball fans know, the Boston Red Sox haven’t been much of a celebratory team this season. Until last night. David Ortiz, better known as “Big Papi” hit a grand slam to help his team towards a much needed ninth-inning win.

After 13 batters being struck out by Detroit pitcher Max Scherzer, Jarrod Saltalmacchia’s single into left field that led in Jonny Gomes is what put the team into the lead.

Both the Pats and the Sox needed these wins and faithful fans were undoubtedly joyful for their teams. As an all around Boston fan myself, I can say that I’m proud to be a fan of both of these teams. And for everyone out there who is not a fan of these teams, you can’t say that both games were not pure sports entertainment…I mean come on, Boston was definitely “Comeback City.”

Central Survives Saint Francis For Homecoming Victory



By Sean Begin

The Blue Devils faithfully packed the parking lot of Arute Field on a warm homecoming Saturday, decked in their blue and white “Super Fan” long sleeve shirts, ready to watch their football team take on the first conference foe of the season.

For the first half, led by sophomore quarterback Nick SanGiacomo and a smothering defense, Central Connecticut (2-4, 1-0 NEC) looked unstoppable.

But a furious second half comeback from Saint Francis University (1-4, 0-1 NEC) sent the Blue Devil defense scrambling before buckling down and forcing back-to-back three and outs by the Red Flash offense, sealing the 38-29 victory.

“We actually played a really good defensive game,” said Coach Jeff McInerney. “We caged them up pretty good. Not great, the way we want too, but overall we played well.”

The Blue Devil defense gave up only a field goal to Saint Francis in the first half, shutting down the FCS’s leading rusher, senior Kyle Harbridge.

Central held the running back, who was averaging 7.8 yards per carry, to only ten yards on nine carries, tackling Harbridge either at or behind the line of scrimmage on four of his nine attempts.

Returning after missing the last two games with an injury, SanGiacomo picked apart the Red Flash, completing 10 of 13 passes for 130 yards in the first half, despite playing without all the strength back in his arm, according to McInerney.

SanGiacomo led the Blue Devils on three straight touchdown drives – including one 66-yard bomb to junior wide receiver Tyrell Holmes – in the final six and a half minutes of the first half, putting Central up 28-3.

“The halftime score did not shock me,” said McInerney, “but we have to figure out a way to get them over the hump, where we go out and put four quarters together. You can’t do that in the third quarter.”

In that quarter, the Red Flash outscored Central 20-0, who suddenly could not contain Harbridge and lost all rhythm on offense.

Harbridge ripped off a 60-yard run on the second play of the quarter, finishing the scoring drive with 78 yards and the touchdown.

On Central’s answering drive, SanGiacomo made his big mistake, getting picked off by freshman defensive back Lorenzo Jerome, who returned the interception 65 yards to set up an easy touchdown.

The Red Flash defense stopped Central cold on their next drive, quickly returning the offense back to the field. Harbridge took over again, punching through the Blue Devil defense for a 16-yard score.

Saint Francis tacked on another touchdown in the fourth quarter following a Blue Devil field goal, but failed to convert the two point conversion to tie the game. Central started driving again, but a fumble by Hollomon in the red zone gave the Red Flash the ball back with just under nine minutes to play.

“When I did fumble I was frustrated,” said Hollomon, “but when it was time to go back out there, I just put it past me and was focusing on the next play. I know my teammates depend on me to go out there and make plays.”

The defense picked up the running back, however, forcing a three and out on Saint Francis’ next two drives, culminating with a sack from senior defensive back Chris Linares that silenced the Red Flash offense.

“They [the coaches] blitzed me and the linebacker and C.J. [Morrison] slowed him down and I just came in and cleaned it up,” said Linares of the play.

The Red Flash comeback was reminiscent of the game earlier this season at Lehigh, when the Blue Devils gave up a 20 point lead before losing in overtime.

“We kept preaching over and over that we had a lead and that’s exactly how it was at Lehigh and we gave it up and we didn’t want that to happen again,” said Linares. “This time it was a different outcome. We were more mentally tough and ready for the situation.”

The Blue Devils next game comes October 12 at Sacred Heart University, the second conference game for both teams.

Blue Devils Defeats Wagner

By Derek Turner

The Wagner Seahawks came out of halftime scoring six straight points to give the visitors a four point lead, but Kyle Vinales hit back-to-back threes firing up the Detrick Gymnasium crowd and the Blue Devils would not look back.

“I hit the second one and the crowd got into it a lot; it gave us energy,” said sophomore Kyle Vinales.

The game went back and forth for most of the first half as there were eight lead changes and until 5:25 left in the half, neither team had led by more than four points. Matt Hunter led the Blue Devils in the first half with 11 points and seven rebounds as the Odessa Junior College transfer continues to fill up the stat sheet night in and night out. Hunter got the scoring started with a layup and then a three getting CCSU out to a 5-2 start.

Malcolm McMillan and Adonis Burbage would get in on the action early with a jump shot and a three respectively to give Central a 10-6 lead. Wagner would then come back to take an 11-10 lead on a layup by their leading scorer Kenneth Ortiz. The rest of the half was a game of runs. The Blue Devils went on a 7-2 run over the next five minutes to take a 17-13 lead, but Wagner answered right back with four straight points to tie the game at 17. CCSU would gain their largest lead of the first half with 3:37 remaining after an 11-2 run capped by an NBA range three pointer from Vinales as the shot clock expired. Josh Thompson of Wagner would answer with a three ball of his own, but Burbage fired right back. Eric Fanning hit one for the Seahawks which would begin a 5-0 run to end the first half. The Blue Devils entered the locker room up 33-31.

The Seahawks came out of the break firing as Ortiz, Johnathon Williams and Latif Rivers would drop in two points to give Wagner their largest lead of the game 37-33 early in the second half. Vinales then hit the two biggest shots of the game. Back-to-back from beyond the arc cut the Wagner lead to one and then a mid-range jump shot by Joe Efese caused Wagner to take a timeout.

“Those are the situations where we need a player to step up,” said head coach Howie Dickenman on his lone senior Joe Efese.

CCSU was in the midst of an 18-4 run which lasted 6:32. A layup by Hunter at the midpoint of the second half tied the largest lead of the night for Central as they led 53-43. Ortiz and Rivers followed with five straight made free throws, including three at once by Rivers when McMillan fouled the shooter on a three point attempt. Ortiz hit a three 43 seconds later to cut the Seahawk deficit to two. Central Connecticut did not pull away, but they kept a safe distance for the rest of the game, never letting Wagner within four points.

After missing their first four free throws of the game while only taking one in the first half, the Blue Devils hit 14 of 23 in the second half, far from their 77.4 percent on the season, good for 6th in the nation, but it was good enough down the stretch as Central Connecticut defeated Wagner College 73-66 in front of an announced crowd of 2217 in Detrick Gymnasium Thursday night.

“We were a little tense at the end, because we weren’t making our free throws, but we did and we stopped them and we got rebounds and forced some turnovers down the stretch,” said Dickenman.

Kyle Vinales led all scorers with 30 points while adding six rebounds and five assists; he was 8-17 shooting and 4-8 from long range while dropping in 10-14 free throws. This is the 3rd time this season and fifth in his career Vinales has gone for at least 30 points and the six rebounds is a career high. Hunter followed with 13 points and eight rebounds while Burbage and Efese each dropped in 10 for CCSU.

Brandon Peel continues to pull down the rebounds adding eight in the game and is averaging 10.8 per game in Northeast Conference play.

“Inside we strive ourselves on being tough, not really letting anyone in there, grabbing rebounds, and mostly backing these guys up if anyone gets behind them,” said forward Matt Hunter.

Kenneth Ortiz led the way for Wagner with 18 points and six assists with Eric Fanning and Latif Rivers contributing 13 and 12 respectively. The only rebounder in double-digits on the night was Orlando Parker with 11; a high school teammate of CCSU’s Adonis Burbage at Orlando Christian Prep.

“That was a real good win for us, because it dropped them to where we’re at and their a real good team,” said Vinales. “Coach D said it was probably one of the biggest games we’ll play all year, we certainly took on the challenge.”

Central Pushes LIU; Can’t Finish

By Derek Turner

Even in a loss to the Northeast Conference leading LIU Blackbirds Saturday afternoon, Central Connecticut Volleyball made a statement.

The teams traded set wins through the first four before Long Island completed the victory and stayed undefeated in the NEC with a 15-8 fifth set win.

“I think it was an exciting match,” said Head Coach Linda Sagnelli returning to the gym after talking to her team following the loss. “A lot of long volleys, there was good serving, there was some incredible defensive plays and then some incredible plays on both sides where stuff happened very quickly and the ball just stayed up.”

LIU jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first set off a couple CCSU errors, but the Blue Devils quickly turned things around and the two teams traded points throughout the set. Central took control of the set near the end when they scored seven of the final eight points en route to a 25-18 first set win.

Long Island came back strong in the second set never trailing and coming out with a 25-16 win to tie the match at one set apiece.

After it seemed like Central conceded the second set towards the end, they came back and dominated the third with defense holding the Blackbirds to their worst set hitting percentage on the day at .108. The Blue Devils took the third set by a score of 25-18 and needed only one more set to defeat the top team in conference, but they couldn’t put the match away.

Just as in the first set, the fourth was extremely competitive and neither team could take a large lead early on. After 16 points the score was tied 8-8. LIU then scored four unanswered points and didn’t look back even after Central closed the gap to one at 12-11. Long Island scored 13 of the final 17 points and tied the match at two games each with a 25-15 win.

“It seemed like in the sets we won, everything worked better for us and in the sets they won they seemed to be more in sync,” said Sagnelli.

Tied at two sets each, LIU and Central were headed to a fifth set. The only other time LIU had played five sets in a conference match was September 22 against Sacred Heart; their first Northeast Conference match of the season. This would be the Blue Devils first five-setter of the conference schedule as both teams played very equal on Saturday.

“Overall the numbers match up very closely adding them all up and a few points separated the two teams today,” said Sagnelli.

As the Blue Devils came out of their huddle before the fifth set, libero Allyson Porter looked over to the “student section,” and motioned them to get loud. Everyone in the stands knew this was the biggest set of the season thus far and the Blue Devils needed everyone behind them, especially the three male students with their shirts off and chests painted blue and white.

Central held a slim 3-2 set lead, but a series of errors cost them the set and the match. As the teams switched sides, Long Island held an 8-4 lead and extended the lead to 11-4 before CCSU made a small run, but LIU quickly regained composure and finished off the Blue Devils scoring four of the final five sports and defeating Central three sets to two.

“We talk about competitive attitude and mental toughness all the time and I think Long Island was better at that today,” said Sagnelli. “We have a degree of mental toughness; we need to able to increase that and not be afraid to go out there and go for the win.”

Outside hitter Blaike King led CCSU with 17 kills on the day followed by Emily Cochran’s 15 with a majority of the attempts coming from passes off the hands of setter Makenna Lommori who finished the match with 38 assists. Porter contributed on the defensive end with 20 digs.

LIU-Brooklyn remained undefeated in conference play with this victory over CCSU and a 3-0 victory Sunday versus Bryant University. Through Nov. 4, LIU, Robert Morris University and CCSU had clinched berths in the NEC tournament which is played at the #1 seed’s home court on Nov. 17 and 18.

Blue Devils Remain Positive

By Tommy Liljedahl

Despite a disappointing 0-5 start, the CCSU football team remains optimistic during a much needed bye week.

“Obviously, this is not the start we wanted,” said Head Coach Jeff Mcinerey. “But we knew this team was going to take some time to take shape, especially with the new quarterbacks.”

Andrew Clements, junior, and Nick Sangiacomo, freshman, have been splitting snaps at QB for the Blue Devils, both experiencing some successes along with failures. While Sangiacomo threw three touchdowns in a 34-21 loss to Sacred Heart last week, he also threw three interceptions, including a late one that was returned for a touchdown, breaking the game wide open. Since a solid performance in the home opener, Clements has experienced struggles of his own, throwing three picks in a 43-10 loss at New Hampshire on Sept 15.

Clements will start in CCSU’s homecoming game versus Duquesne this upcoming Saturday, Oct 13.

“They’re both talented kids, no doubt,” McInerney said. “The ups and downs are to be expected, they just need to keep improving and get hot. There are a lot of other issues we need to work on.”

These issues include giving up big plays, as well as a mediocre third down offense and defense. However, they managed to hold Sacred Heart to 3 of 11 on third down, while converting 9 of 20 on third down. They also held Sacred Heart to only 261 yards on offense. Thwarted by a missed extra point, a blocked punt, and three turnovers, CCSU was left with a lot to build on heading into their bye week.

“This team is getting better and will win games,” McInerney said confidently. “A defeated team doesn’t practice this hard. The bye week has already given us a chance to regroup and improve.”

Lorenzo Baker, senior captain and outside linebacker, echoed the coach’s sentiments.

“Character is what you are, record is what people think you are. We’ve been working as hard as ever, and a few plays could have had our games going either way,” said Baker.

As a senior, Baker hopes to make the most of his final six games here at CCSU, and expects the younger players to follow his lead.

As grim as their record looks, CCSU has faced a brutal schedule which has included Stony Brook, who beat Army; New Hampshire, who holds the longest run in the FCS Top 25 poll; and Lehigh, ranked 11th in the FCS.

The schedule is no excuse, however, according to Coach McInerney.

“It’s on me, the players have practiced and played extremely hard and will continue to compete with integrity. I have to do a better job,” McInerney said.

McInerney expressed gratitude towards the student body and their willingness to come out and support the Blue Devils.

“I really appreciate the crowds and support we’ve been getting, and hope we can provide the fans with our first win in the homecoming game against Duquesne,” said McInerney. “Sometimes you have to fail your way to success.”

Column: Don’t Hate Tim Thomas

By Brittany Burke

It’s no surprise that the Boston Bruins travelled to the White House this past week to celebrate their Stanley Cup win President Obama, in fact it’s pretty fair to say it’s tradition. Winning a professional championship and visiting the President nearly go hand in hand.

What did come as a surprise to a lot of people is the fact that Bruins goalie, Tim Thomas chose to skip the meet and greet, which he has said he would do for months.

Peter Chiarelli, Boston’s general manager said in interviews that they’ve tried to convince Thomas to go and enjoy the time with the team, especially since he was one of the most crucial players during the Stanley Cup run, but Thomas stood his ground and personally I think he did the right thing.

I don’t mind that Thomas chose not to go and no one else should either and to be honest I was probably more upset that the President chose to call Brad Marchand a “little ball of hate” than I was not to see number 30 standing in for the press photo op.

James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers refused twice to go to the White House twice, so Thomas is far from the first and he probably won’t be the last.

In fact I like that Thomas opted not to go, if he feels so strongly about his political views then so be it. He has just as much right to refuse to take part in the event as I do to write this column. Some may look at him differently now for declining to meet President Obama, but I’m proud to know that a member of the team I root for is willing to stand up for what he thinks is right.

On the other side of things I can’t help but want to say, who cares? Sure, I love reading about how the players go to hospitals and different charity events off the ice, but any fan will tell you, what a player does on the ice or field is the most important.

All I care about is whether or not Thomas continues to play well and put up good numbers so the team doesn’t have to completely rely on Tuukka Rask. I would’ve been more upset if the team decided to suspend him for missing a team event, which thankfully they’re choosing not to do.

If he’s not penalized by his team then he shouldn’t be penalized by the public either. Take his decision for what you will, but meeting the President or not meeting him doesn’t change what kind of player he really is.

Blue Devils Soar Past Hawks

By Brittany Burke

A strong first half against the struggling University of Hartford Hawks secured the third straight win at home for the CCSU men’s basketball team, 92-58.

Saturday’s meeting against the in-state CCSU (3-2, 0-0 NEC) rivals was the 41st between the two schools, and the first time the Hawks (0-6) have come to Detrick Gymnasium since 1994. In last season’s meeting in the Connecticut 6, the Blue Devils scraped out a 64-62 win, but this was all about a strong CCSU team.

The Hawks opened up the game early with four unanswered points. It took Robby Ptacek’s two free-throws for CCSU to get on the board after going 0-for-3 in attempts.

“We saw on the board that [UHart was] starting the majority freshmen … even though they are starting freshmen we still can’t take them lightly,” said Kenny Horton. “We were a little rattled at first, they were getting under our shirts, but we tallied and it worked out in our favor.”

Despite the slow start, Ptacek’s three-point shot started a 10-point drive, seven of which came from Ptacek.

The senior guard had a major first half, scoring half of the Blue Devils’ 44 initial points. In the opening 20 minutes alone Ptacek went 7-for-10, 2-for-3 in three-point attempts and was perfect from the line.

He finished the game with 24 points, five rebounds and seven assists, quickly cementing his spot as part of the CCSU “Big Three.”

“If one person on our team is getting hot like Robby was doing early, he was hitting shot after shot, you’re feeding off that,” said Horton. “He was getting us hype and as a team our confidence started to get up, started to pick up momentum. I think that goes with any game if somebody is doing that in any game that gives the team that little fire and you can keep going and I think he did that early for us today and defense picked it up on D so everything just started clicking.”

Following quickly behind Ptacek in the first half was Horton. Horton entered half time with 16 points. The 6-foot-6 Blue Devil was nearly perfect in the first half, sinking all six field goal and three-point attempts. The only blemish in his first half stats was going 3-for-4 from the line.

Horton ended the game with 20 points and eight rebounds.

CCSU led UHart 44 to 13 going into halftime, exploding after the initial minutes. While the Blue Devils have a young back bone to turn to, the team’s starting veteran core was no match for the young Hawks.

Entering intermission the Hawks had more turnovers than points, and was shooting a 22.2 percentage with no free-throw attempts.

“We have a Big Three, I guess it’s kind of developing into a Big Three with two seniors and a freshman,” said Head Coach Howie Dickenman. “In less than three minutes in the second half Kyle [Vinales] had 12 points and one of them his foot was on the line, so when he gets going talk about streaky, and Robby, he’s just having a great year he had seven assists last year he had a total of 51 in 31 games and he had seven assists today…

While Horton and Ptacek had an explosive first half, the two stepped back, and the third member of the “Big Three” stepped up. Vinales had only three points to begin the game, but ended as the game’s point leader with 25.

“You got to tip your hat when you have Horton, Ptacek and that young kid Vinales,” said UHart Head Coach John Gallagher. “Those three guys get 69 points and on our scat report the first thing was take away these three guys. You know [they’re] good when you’re trying to stop guys and they’re still scoring.”

Both the Blue Devils and Hawks had strong second halves, gaining 48 and 45 points respectively, but the deficit built up in the first half was too much for the Hawks to overcome.

CCSU had the win sealed, but Blue Devil Mark LaPorte still managed to sink a three-pointer with three seconds to go, pushing the team score to 92.

The Blue Devils won all three home games and now head to the road to open conference play at Bryant. The quick road stint comes to an end on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. when CCSU comes back home to take on NEC opponents, Sacred Heart.

Women’s Basketball Wins Season Opener

By Brittany Burke

While the men’s basketball team traveled to Mohegan Sun to open the 2011 season against Yale in the Connecticut 6, the CCSU women’s team stayed in New Britain to debut their group of fresh talent against the University of Maine Black Bears.

“It was a little rough, we made a lot of mistakes. We’re really young so I think everyone had first game jitters, I know I did really badly,” said Jaclyn Babe. “When it came down to it, we made big time plays. We got big time rebounds and I think that’s what won it for us.”

Despite the amount of young talent, the Blue Devils opened home play with a 53-48 out-of-conference win.

Heading into Friday’s season opener, CCSU was on the losing end of a 2-9 record against Maine, but it was the home team who took charge of the game early.

With a 27-18 lead at half time, the Blue Devils fought to get the early lead, and would never lose it. The game changed hands three times, but CCSU never let go of the top spot following half time.

At one point the Blue Devils had the 40-29 lead over the Black Bears, but Maine slowly began to climb back, coming within four points, 46-42 with 2:50 left to play in the game. With 2:36 left, Maine’s Brittany Williams went up for two to put her team down by one shot.

“[Maine] basically came out in the second half and said we’re gonna get to the rim, we’re gonna attack them and that’s what they did,” said Head Coach Beryl Piper. “They just kept going to the basket and going to the basket and we really struggled defending and like I said, we have to get better. We knew what they were doing because they were doing it every single time.”

As time was running out both teams went back and forth to put final points on the board. Defensively, CCSU was cutting back on the chances that the Black Bears had, but the team managed to still get points on the board and cause the Blue Devils to scramble to keep the lead.

A rebound shot made by CCSU’s Kirsten Daamen increased the Blue Devils’ lead back to four, but Williams came back with two matching points with 39 seconds left.

“We did some things early and I think they picked up the intensity and I think we’re so young that you know that we’re gonna make some mistakes … they just haven’t played a real lot and I think down the wire when we needed some big rebounds we got some big rebounds and they were able to get it done when we needed to get it done so, any win’s a good win. Anyway, we can take it,” said Piper.

The final win was secured by fouls. With CCSU’s Lauren Arbogast at the line, she went 1-for-2. As soon as her second shot went up, Shareka Maner on Maine was fouled and sent to the line for two free throws, which she couldn’t sink.

Daamen and  Babe were both sent back to the free throw line inside the 10 second countdown, both going 1-for-2, they put the Blue Devils up 53-48 without enough time for Maine to stage a comeback.

“It was extremely nerve wracking, I knew the whole time [we were gonna win], I just had that feeling, I knew we were going to make those big plays because we have big time players that will step up in those situations,” said Babe. “We didn’t hit every foul shot, but we definitely hit the first ones which really help [the game] out and keep it going.”

Babe lead the team in points with 16, matching UMaine’s leading scorer, Ashleigh Roberts. Freshman Kaley Watras lead the team in rebounds with eight, while her classmates Johnna Fisher and Danielle Davis both had strong first showings.

CCSU outshot Maine at the free throw line, making 52.6 percent of their attempts, while the Black Bears made just shy of 45 percent. However, the Blue Devils committed 19 turnovers opposed to Maine’s 15.

The young Blue Devils head on the road for the next two games, first at Massachusetts, then closer to home to take on in-state rivals, the University of Hartford.

“[UHart is] gonna be fired up and ready to play us,” said Piper. “Last year we played them and had the experienced team and they had the inexperienced team and we played them here. This year is a reversed scenario and we’re playing in their gym and their house, they have good fan support so we need people to come out and support us.”

CCSU returns to home play on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 2 p.m.

Column: The Focus Should Be On Sandusky

By Brittany Burke

A lot of light has been shed on the Penn State molestation case since the news first broke last week. Joe Paterno was fired for not doing more, for not taking matters into his own hands and ensuring that the boys who were violated by then-assistant coach Jerry Sandusky were given justice and helped.

Much was said about all the parties involved, but mostly Joe Pa. I’ve tried to read about the case as much as I could, and I’ve come to the decision that while I think Paterno should have done more, like he said he should have, I am also inclined to feel sorry for him.

I know being “pro-Paterno” could get me hated, but this isn’t because I’m a Penn State fan. I’m not one of the hundreds of students protesting the firing of Paterno, seemingly forgetting that he does in fact have a hand in this entire scandal.

This also doesn’t mean that I don’t acknowledge that what had happened was disgusting and morally wrong, but I also remember it wasn’t Paterno in the shower with the boys, it was Sandusky.

I think a lot of people are forgetting who the true criminal is in this case, Sandusky. It was Sandusky who allegedly molested 8-year old boys, who were already in a vulnerable position. It was Sandusky who used his own charity foundation, the Second Mile charity, to seemingly find these boys. Not Paterno.

As Paterno is caught in the media and a public crossfire between those who support him and those calling for his head, Sandusky is getting off easy.

When arrested, Sandusky was given a $500,000 bail and the idea of having to wear an ankle monitor was thrown around, but one district judge put an end to it. Now, not only does Sandusky not have to pay his bail unless he doesn’t appear in court, he also doesn’t have to wear the monitor. Instead district judge Leslie Dutchcot ruled he only steer clear of children.

Now, as of Monday, Sandusky has come forward in an interview with Bob Costas proclaiming his innocence. I know it is the tell-tale saying that “innocent until proven guilty,” but how could we believe a grown man who admitted to taking showers with young boys, but adamantly refuses that it was anything other than horsing around?

My question is, why aren’t we protesting that? People seem to be spending so much time focusing on Paterno that Sandusky slips through the cracks.

Telling him to avoid contact is a minor slap on the wrist for someone who allegedly molested children over the course of 15 years, why aren’t we up in arms about that?

I hope that more people realize that we have to put full blame on Sandusky for doing this. This is a man who still sees nothing wrong with what he has done. So I ask again, why are we spending so much time focusing on Paterno?

“I shouldn’t have showered with those kids … I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact,” said Sandusky in the Costas phone interview.

How could we continue to push this man to the back burner and use Paterno as a scapegoat? The answer is that we can’t.

I realize this is something that could have been avoided, had Paterno gone to the police instead of the athletics director. But he did what he thought was necessary to ensure that what had happened was properly taken care of, but what Paterno did or didn’t do isn’t the vital information here.

Should he have checked back with the official he told to make sure he was handling it? Yes. Should he have told more than one authoritative person to make sure this wasn’t just brushed to the side? Yes.

However, it isn’t him we should be focusing on. Paterno is just one small piece in this huge scandal. I agree that Paterno should have been let go, but he had already announced his retirement for the end of the season.

What I don’t agree with is the fact that he was fired over the phone. Despite everything that has come about, I believe he deserves to be shown more respect than that, but again this isn’t about him. It is not Paterno that matters, it is Sandusky.

This scandal is mostly about the alleged eight boys who have been harmed by Sandusky’s negligence, and it is about Sandusky who abused his position of power. Let’s not forget that.

A Bittersweet Senior Day

The Blue Devils seniors and their families. Photo: Kenny Barto

By Brittany Burke

Fourteen graduating seniors took to Arute field in front of family, friends and Blue Devils fans for the last time Saturday to play Northeast Conference rivals, the Robert Morris Colonials. In the final home game of the season, CCSU managed to snap a six-game losing streak, while handing RMU its fourth consecutive loss, 31-24.

Fifteen Blue Devils were honored in the pre-game ceremonies, despite only fourteen suiting up for the game. The atmosphere around Arute grew solemn as the seniors lined up on the sidelines with family members flanking them on either side. The first player honored was number 94, Rich Royster. The 2011 season was dedicated to Royster, who was killed in a car accident, and it was his mother who met Head Coach Jeff McInerney and Athletics Director Paul Schlickmann at midfield.

“[Senior day is] sad, always sad,” said Head Coach Jeff McInerney. “There are some people you truly love whether you win or lose or draw. I always tell them this, the wins and losses, championships, come and go, but relationships stay for a lifetime and I’ve known some of these kids since right after they’ve shown up out of high school. I can tell you something about every one of them and they’ve all had tough and hard times.”

Many of the players on the CCSU football team (3-7, 2-5 NEC) are recruited right from Connecticut, so it is always special to have longtime friends and family come see them play at home one final time. This senior class had a hand in the 2009 outright NEC championship as well as the 2010 co-NEC championship.

“This is probably my last time ever playing football in New Britain,” said senior linebacker, Isaiah Boddie. “I mean I’ve been playing football in New Britain my entire life, since I was little. So it’s definitely special, especially since I’ve been with these guys … it’s special.”

Prior to the defeat of RMU (2-9, 2-4 NEC), CCSU hadn’t won since Sept. 17 at Wagner, and the fans hadn’t seen a home win since the season opener against the Southern Connecticut State University Owls. The early lead provided by Brian Fowler’s 9-yard run was also the first lead since Oct. 8 in the loss against UMass.

Fowler, a graduating senior, had two touchdowns in the game and 91-yards. He finished second in rushing for the Blue Devils behind running back Chris Tolbert.

Tolbert had an explosive game, finishing with 162-yards rushing and 23-yards receiving. While it may have been senior day, it was the sophomore who had a career-high game, breaking the 100-yard mark for the first time.

“Really just the line was opening the holes and I was just running through them, just making my reads, just opening up,” said Tolbert. “I thought we could’ve done this all season but it is what it is and the win today felt good.”

David Sabilia and Raul Debenendittis also had a hand in securing points for the Blue Devils. Sabilia scored with under two minutes to play in the half following a 15-yard RMU personal foul. The seven points was the first for Sabilia, who plays both tight end and offensive linebacker.

Debenendittis on the other hand had the only touchdown in the third, which was dominated by the defense.

“We had a good scheme out there today,” said graduating quarterback Gunnar Jespersen. “We were opening up the run with the pass, opening up the pass with the run, the way we had our line blocking down at that front opened up for Chris and Fowl, and they looked good. They ran the ball well and we needed that. I think we got sick of where we were at and finally pulled out of it.”

Over the past six weeks the Blue Devils had gotten away from the nitty-gritty fundamentals of football, but offensively things seemed to click for CCSU. Aside from Tolbert’s record game, the Blue Devils also racked up a season high 279-yards rushing.

Defensively there are things that still need to be worked on, but the team is continually building foundations for next year’s roster. While CCSU got up early, RMU managed to score 10 unanswered points, however following the half the team came out with an additional fire.

“[I] had to yell at them at half time, the defense, which I hadn’t had to yell at a team in about four years,” said McInerney. “The problem was handled and [the team] responded and went out and had a bunch of three-and-outs. I’m just happy for our seniors, and we needed that in a bad way to build on our future I think that was obvious.”

A Tyrell Holmes interception kept the Colonials out of the end zone and gave CCSU the chance to get more points on the board, resulting in a 31-yard field goal.

Prior to the half, RMU quarterback Jeff Sinclair had to be helped off the field and was later replaced for the remaining quarters by freshman back Matt Layman.

The Blue Devils now have momentum going into a bye week before traveling to Bryant to finish out the season.

“Us being 3-7, there’s been some things that I didn’t do well, there’s been things that the assistant coaches didn’t do well, and there’s things that some of the players, when you win two championships, not that they’re bad kids, they forget little things and the extra things it takes to win, you just don’t show up and it happens … I learned a valuable lesson so I’m excited I’d like to end this season on a two game winning streak,” said McInerney.