Hamden Hall Country Day School

Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

List of 10 news stories.

  • Building a Tradition, One Stroke at a Time - Boys Swimming are New England Champions!

    Bud Kohler
         The waiting is finally over. After a string of coming up just a bit short over the last few years, the Boys Varsity Swim team were crowned New England champions on Sunday evening at the Cornerstone Aquatics Club in West Hartford! Coach Ken Pierson’s team had enjoyed an 11-1 dual meet record this season, which included an unprecedented win over crosstown rival Hopkins, and knew going into the NEPSAC meet that they were one of the favorites. However, without any divers this season, the Hornets knew that they would need everyone to come through in the clutch to capture the trophy. Unsurprisingly, then, Berwick Academy of Maine jumped out to an 80 point lead in the morning diving, joined by Avon Old Farms. But the Hornets were not to be denied, and thoroughly dominated the remainder of the meet. In the process, the Hornets broke 2 New England records and set 7 school records, while winning 6 of the events. Kudos to the Girls’ team as well. With just six swimmers, they finished 5th overall out of a field of 11!

         Senior captain, Sam Lovejoy, not only led the way, but was presented with the Babcock Swimmer of the Year Award, as voted on by the coaches for New England Division III. He won the gold in the 500 free and was just touched out in the 200 free. Sam, along with Duncan Farquharson, Steven Zhang, and Micheal Ferneini broke the New England record in the 200 Medley Relay. And in his final high school race, Sam, plus Duncan, Michael, and Joe Tenedine also broke the NEPSAC record in the 400 Free Relay. Other 1st Place finishes included:
    Michael Ferneini in the 100 Breast (school record)
    Duncan Farquharson 100 Back (school record)
    Joe Tenedine 100 Free

         Needless to say, it was a joyous way for the seniors to finish. Congratulations to Sam Lovejoy, Demir Uslu, and John Bazaar, as well as Riley Kohler, Julia Pandolfi, and Gaileen Andal, for all their efforts over the years. Congratulations, of course to Coach Ken Pierson, who lost his contacts in the post-meet pool celebration, as well as Coach Ann Kohler. Congrats, as well, to the parents, and many thanks for all the support.
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  • Senior Night Success

    Bud Kohler
         They say all good things must come to an end, and for the seniors and their families, Senior Night is a bittersweet celebration that arrives all too soon. On Thursday, seniors Jackson Benigni, Jahkai Pettway, Dylan Ratta, and Tony Zhou played their last regular season high school basketball game. Happily they helped lead the Hornets to a solid 78-67 victory over the King School of Stamford. “It was a great way to send our Seniors out with a strong league win tonight,“ commented Coach Sean Doherty. “I loved seeing our parents come together and make tonight such a special night.“ Tony Zhou added, "I enjoyed the game not only because we won, but I saw what I have known for my whole time on the team - that my teammates always have my back. The win would mean nothing without them.” 

         Another group that helped make the win more enjoyable was a very lively Hornet “Pep” Band, led by music teacher, Ms.Melissa Hudson. The band energized and entertained the Beckerman crowd with a variety of high octane numbers at every break. Kudos to Ms. Hudson and the band, which even included a string section. 

         The Hornets are seeded #3 in the upcoming Fairchester League Tournament, and will play at Greens Farms Academy on Tuesday.
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  • Swim Team Makes History

    Bud Kohler
         How do you top a doubleheader victory over archrival Hopkins in basketball? The Varsity Boys Swim team had the answer today when they defeated the Hop up on the Hill 91-85. This prep rivalry, which has been acknowledged by the New Haven Register as one of the premier high school rivalries in the greater New Haven area, has seen its share of intense match-ups. Always an underdog because of the size difference, Hamden Hall has still aspired to earn respect in the rivalry, and we have seen the Green & White emerge with their share of victories over the years in so many sports. But never in swimming - not until today. The win marked the first time that the Hornets had ever defeated Hopkins in swimming, a sport in which they have developed an outstanding tradition of success. But at least for today, Coach Ken Pierson’s squad get the bragging rights. 
          It certainly was not easy, and fittingly, it came down to the final event. With the score tied at 81-81, the 400 free relay team of Sam Lovejoy, Duncan Farquaharson, Joe Tenedine, and Michael Ferneini finished first to earn the stunning win. 
         Though the girls were not able to match the boys’ results, kudos to freshman Bella Ferneini for coming in 2nd in the 100 breaststroke, and 8th grader Ila Sundstrom, who took 3rd in the 100 fly.
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  • Big Milestones in Double Ws over Hopkins

    Bud Kohler
         It might not have looked like a sure bet down at Foxwoods, but the Girls and Boys Basketball teams doubled down on crosstown rivals Hopkins on Monday and both came up big winners. In addition, two players cashed in with impressive milestones, which made the double Ws all that much sweeter.
         In the early game, the Girls came out firing right from the start and never looked back, as they cruised to a 63-39 victory. Constant ball rotation and off-the-ball movement enabled the Hornets to spread the Hilltoppers out to create drives through the lane. And whenever the Hilltoppers collapsed deep into the paint, the outside shooting made them pay. The relentless pace also had the Hornets hungry for rebounds and put backs that the visitors could not match. 
         History was made in the game as freshman standout, Jayda Johnson, broke the girls’ single game scoring record, throwing down a stunning 34 points! Johnson was everywhere; slashing through the paint, breaking the Hilltopper pressure, hitting from the outside - a truly complete performance.
         Indeed, Jayda’s 34 would have been enough to defeat the Hopkins boys in the nightcap, as the Hornets won a relatively low scoring affair 43-31. The highlight of the boys game was seeing senior guard Jackson Benigni score his 2,000th career point with just over a minute left in the contest. Benigni led all scorers with 22. Afterwards, however, the sharpshooter shifted the spotlight directly onto the strong team effort. “It was great to play home with such a big crowd, and it's always a battle when we play Hopkins. It was a great win for us to get above .500 on the year. But no time to celebrate with a big one on the road Wednesday at Storm King.”
         No matter how either team finishes this season, they will play gutsy basketball down the stretch. And that’s a sure bet.
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  • Hornets Tame Bruins

    Bud Kohler
         A dose of home cooking seemed to be all the Boys Varsity Basketball team needed to get back in the win column with a convincing 73-60 victory over FAA rival Brunswick. “I was very happy to see the team work so hard and rebound from a poor road loss at St. Luke’s,” commented head coach Sean Doherty after the contest. Indeed, both Doherty and the fans in attendance at the Beckerman Center had plenty to enjoy as they watched the Hornets sting the visiting Bruins from first whistle to last.
         With neither team possessing any height advantage to establish a dominant inside game, it became a contest of who could deliver a better combination of quick passing, slashing drives, and hot shooting; and it was the Hornets who came out on top in all categories. The game was close in the first frame, with the Hornets going into the break with a narrow 35-32 lead; however, they heated up in the second half. Brunswick never let the game get away from them entirely, but whenever they seemed poised to make a run, senior sharpshooter Jackson Benigni answered by draining an impressive array of three pointers, many from far beyond the arc. Corey Walters constantly looked to drive the lane, forcing the Bruins to foul, only to see Walters deliver with a soft touch from the line.  Benigni finished with a game high 32 points, including 6 threes and a perfect 8-8 at the line. Walters threw in 19 and went 7-7 at the line. Tyler Callahan added 7 in helping the Hornets build a double digit lead that they would enjoy down the stretch.      Both the Boys and Girls teams hope to see a big turnout for the annual home doubleheader showdown against the Hop on Monday.
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  • Hornets Sting Cardinals

    Bud Kohler
         Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, sang “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.”
    On Tuesday evening, South Kent had to give a ‘whole lotta’ respect to the visiting Hornets when they topped the hosts 58-46, and it was a sweet victory over South Kent’s top level AA Prep program that includes many college JV teams on its schedule.

         Coach Sean Doherty was exuberant in his praise for the gritty Hornet performance. “Our guys came focused tonight, stuck to the game plan, and battled on both ends of the court to the end.” 
    Held to a single basket in the first half by a stingy Cardinal defense, senior star Jackson Benigni was virtually unstoppable in the second frame, scoring 19 more points. Corey Walters normally would have added plenty to the offense, but was needed to shut down SK’s best offensive guard. So it was left to newcomer, Owen MacDonough, who grabbed critical rebounds and hit several key three pointers to make the scoring difference. Jahkai Pettway was huge on the boards and hit a clutch three late in the 2nd half to seal the win. The senior captain summarized the game saying, “South Kent showed their toughness on defense in the first half, but we didn’t back down and went into the second half knowing we’d have to set harder screens and execute our offense. It was a great overall team win, moving into the second half of the season.” Owen MacDonough’s take was, “Yesterday in our win over South Kent I feel that we played extremely well as a team and every individual on our team played a role in the game. Our season is far from over, and we need to use this win to continue to get better as a team. “ 

         The Hornets now sit with a record of 6-5 overall, and return to FAA league action next Tuesday when they travel to St. Luke’s. And when they do meet, you can expect the Hornets to sing, “What you want, baby I got it"...
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  • Hornets Earn a Swarm of Fall Post Season Awards

    Bud Kohler
         The winter sports season is well underway, but we want to salute the many post season distinctions that were accorded to Hornet players for their efforts this fall. Varsity Football received plenty of recognition in their first year as members of the Evergreen Conference. All League honors went to Jordan Benoit, Kai Ellis, Zack Conlan, Michael DeMatteo, and Amari Phillips, while Paul Gregory, James Laubstein, Owen MacDonough, Richard Russo, Konye Taylor, Corey Walters, and Matt Wright were all named All League Honorable Mention. Michael and Kai were also named New England Prep All Stars, with Jordan and Zack receiving Honorable Mention. Matt was also awarded the Sonny Coughlin Award for his dedicated efforts by the New Haven Football Officials Association.
         In Soccer, senior captain Alex Horvath-Diano, who led the Boys Varsity with 18 goals, and junior Liam Kohler, who dished out a similar number of assists, have been named CT All State. Alex was also named to the Fairchester All League 1st Team, New England Prep All Star, and Western NE All Star, while fellow captain, Chase Lilly, was also named WNEPSAA All Star. Liam also earned FAA Honorable Mention. Senior girls captain May Cervone was named FAA All League 2nd Team, with standout goalkeeper Gabi Pesticci earning Honorable Mention. 

         Though Field Hockey does not belong to a league, a number of players still earned post season honors. Leading the way was senior standout Molly Anderson, who earned a spot on the very selective New Haven Register All Area team. Molly also was named to the New England Prep All Star 1st Team, as well as to the WNEPSFHA All Star squad. Freshman standout Kaci Benoit was also named to the New England and Western New England All Star teams. Senior Destinee Gabriel and sophomore Lily Chicosky were named New England Honorable Mention.

    Congratulations to all these players on their stellar performances this fall.
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  • Boys Hoops Topple King

    Bud Kohler
         Boys Varsity Basketball showed no signs of sluggishness from the long winter break as they  outpaced King down in Stamford 87-61. Captain Jackson Benigni led all scorers with 31 points, including 4 three pointers. Corey Walters threw in 13, and Jackson’s younger brother, Carson, added 8. Clutch free throw shooting prevented the host Vikings from ever mounting a comeback, with the team going 25 of 30 from the line. Coach Sean Doherty commented, “It was a nice FAA league road win for the squad. I was impressed by the way the entire team came in and contributed offensively. We really got going when senior Dylan Ratta made three consecutive threes to break the game open in the second half.” Dylan himself added, “It was a fun game where we all were able to get on the court. Coach was able to sub and spread the minutes out. When I came in, my teammates created open shots for me that I was able to knock down.”

         The team cannot afford to rest of those laurels too long, as they hit the road again this afternoon for a match-up again The Gunnery.
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  • Wrestlers Shine at Derby

    Bud Kohler
         Congratulations to the Varsity Wrestling team for an outstanding effort at the annual Derby Invitational Tournament. Senior standout Connor Massey took home the gold medal. Andrew Kormansky lost in the final to capture the silver. Jack Fuoco finished in 3rd in his weight class, while Richard Russo finished 4th. Richard also recorded the fastest pin in the tournament. Max Fuoco also put in a strong effort. Though few in numbers, the members of the team continue a proud tradition of being some of the fiercest competitors in every match and tournament.
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  • Girls Hoops Score a Whale of a Win

    Bud Kohler
         Does Vineyard Vines sponsor the Girls Varsity Basketball team? If the recent 66-18 victory over Canterbury is a sign of things to come, the team certainly ought to adopt a spinoff slogan, “Every Game Should Feel This Good!” The Hornets dominated the host Saints in every aspect of the game. The high pressure defense and up tempo attack were equally responsible for the landslide win. Coach Brian Johnson remarked, “ It was an extremely satisfying win. Tenacious team defense along with nice balanced scoring.” The Hornets were led by Jayda Johnson with 19; however, Ellie Moffat also chipped in 13 and Shannon Rhone added 12, while Kelly Thomas and Kendra Hill chipped in 7 and 6 respectively. This marked a major improvement from the previous game - a 46-39 setback against Suffield Academy where Johnson was the only player in double figures with 22." The team returns to action this weekend vs. Westminster School at the Ethel Walker Tournament. Should they win, expect to see the team sporting Shep Shirts and a pink whale as their mascot!

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2019 Seniors Playing College Sports
Cara Samson Washington College Sailing
Ryan Doherty Manhattan College Baseball
Christopher Kuselias Babson College Baseball
Jackson Lalonde St. Lawrence University Lacrosse
Jared Morrissey Western New England College Lacrosse
Jenna Berens Bates College Basketball
Christian Adams Pace University Basketball
Byron Breland New Jersey Institute of Technology Basketball
II Timothy Dawson New York Institute of Technology Basketball
William Porto Amherst College Football
James Sansone Ithaca College Football
Karis Curtis Lehigh University Field Hockey/Lacrosse

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