Hamden Hall Country Day School

Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

List of 10 news stories.

  • 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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  • Boys Hoops "Ambi-Dexter-ous"

    Bud Kohler
         Despite a long bus ride northwards along the bleak I-395 corridor, there was nothing unlucky about playing on Friday the 13th for the Boys Varsity Basketball team, who earned a hard fought 56-51 victory over Dexter-Southfield up in Boston. The Hornets withstood the early pressure from the hosts and the game swayed back and forth all night. In the end, the full court pressure ended up wearing down the Rhinos, while the Hornets scored clutch shots to secure the W.
         Corey Walters was exceptional, making numerous big shots, while Jackson Benigni continued to be a force. The Hornets got a huge boost from Jahkai Pettway and Owen McDonough who wiped the glass and dominated the paint. Pettway also threw down a key bucket to give the Hornets some separation
    at the end of the game. After the game Jahkai stated, “Coach prepared us well, and we did a good job of attacking their weaknesses and making them play our style of basketball. Not everything went our way, but after the long two and a half hour bus ride, we weren’t going home with a loss. We wanted it more.”  Corey Walters added, “It was a tough game. We made our share of mistakes throughout the game, but we made it close, and it was the type of game that brings your team closer. We made more hustle plays than they did, and that is why won.”
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  • Boys Hoops Tops the Hop

         The hike up all those stairs to the Hopkins gym is almost exhausting. (A secret weapon for why they field such competitive teams?) But on Tuesday evening, the Hornets gritted through the early hurdles, and then sprinted their way to a clutch 72-61 victory over the host Hilltoppers. It was the first Fairchester league game for the crosstown rivals, and if the dramatic opener was any indication, the FAA should be one of the strongest leagues in the area this winter. 
         The much improved Hop jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and tested the resilience of a Hornet squad that is still creating its identity for the new season. However, there is one constant left over from last year, and his name is Action Jackson Benigni. The senior demonstrated why he was the New Haven Register’s MVP last season, scoring 29 points, including 13-16 from the foul line, while dishing off countless assists when double and triple teamed by the desperate defenders in maroon. With his coolness under fire, plus the relentless work of fellow co-captain, Jahkai Pettway, as well as Corey Walters at both ends of the court, the Hornets clawed back to take a slim 33-32 lead at the half. 
         The second frame was a different story, as the Hornets upped the tempo. And though the Hop battled to the end, the Green & White prevailed down the stretch. In addition to Benigni’s contributions, Walters finished with 15 points, and big man Owen McDonough threw down 11. The Hornets also got a huge boost from Carson Benigni, Jackson’s sophomore brother. After the game, Jackson proudly commented, “We got a big second half push from a lot of guys but especially Carson that really pushed the lead to 17!” 
         Corey Walters added, “We started off shaky in the first half, but coach made adjustments and we picked our energy up and played the way we were coached to.  Many things to take from this game, positive and negative, but we will learn from them and focus on Friday’s game against Dexter.
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  • Girls Hoops Win Opener over LCA

    Bud Kohler
    The Girls Varsity Basketball team gave new head coach, Brian Johnson, a terrific housewarming present on Saturday in the form of a solid 46-39 victory over Lexington Christian Academy from Massachusetts down at the Beckerman Center. Coach Johnson, who has been a very successful coach in the area’s AAU program, is very excited by this year’s prospects; and though the team does not go deep or possess enough height to dominate the paint, the Hornets still have plenty of buzz. On Saturday, they repeatedly stung the visiting Lions from first whistle to last and executed well in their first test. After the game, Coach Johnson remarked, “It was a great defensive effort by our girls. I am very proud of the poise they showed in their first game.” Freshman Jayda Johnson led all scorers with 24 points, while senior Shannon Rhone dished out 9 assists and grabbed 7 key rebounds off the glass. Other scorers included Ellie Moffat with 7 points, Josie Cancro 6, Destiny Gabriel 5, and Kelly Thomas 4.
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  • Boys Hoops Swarms Gunnery in Season Opener

    Bud Kohler
         The last time the Hamden Hall Boys Varsity Basketball team walked off the court, they had just been crowned New England Champions, having defeated Canterbury School 75-66 in the Class B final. Not long after that, fans, players, and coaches began wondering what will the Hornets look like for the 2019-2020 campaign. After all, the trio that had been at the heart of the Hornet success are now graduated and have embarked on collegiate careers. Forward Christian Adams is averaging 10 points a game at Pace University, while Tim Dawson is a starting guard at NY Institute of Technology, and Tre Breland is garnering minutes at New Jersey Institute of Technology.

         However, Coach Sean Doherty is very excited about the prospects for this year, and NEPSAC has still ranked the Hornets #6 in New England. With a team that is a blend of key returnees and fresh faces, Coach Doherty has compiled and shared a preseason look at this year’s Hornet squad. (See below) 

         On Wednesday, there was a solid turnout of students, parents, and fans at the Beckerman Center Wednesday evening eager to see the new look Hornets in action and the team certainly did not disappoint, as the Hornets swarmed The Gunnery 67-44 in the season tap off. The visiting Gunners entered the game with a much improved roster from last year and matched the Hornets at both ends of the floor in the early going. However, the Hornets soon demonstrated how their preseason prep work could pay off as they upped the tempo at every opportunity, driving the floor, finding the open man, sweeping the glass for rebounds, and forcing turnovers. Senior co-captain, Jackson Benigni, MVP of both last year’s New England Tournament as well the New Haven Register All Area team, led the way with 20 points, while Corey Walters, having transferred back from Hamden HS, threw in 17. The Hornets also got great games from the likes of co-captain Jahkai Pettway, Owen McDonough, and Carson Benigni. After the game, Coach Doherty said, “I thought our guys came in very focused tonight and our leaders showed the way for the younger players to follow. I felt every younger player I put in the game showed they were ready to play at this level, which is a great sign for this season and the future."

         The next game is Saturday at 6:30 vs. Holderness from New Hampshire at the NEPSAC Tip Off Tourney, hosted by Marianapolis Prep, featuring many of the best prep powers in Class B.

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  • Inaugural Middle School XC Meet a Huge Hit

    Bud Kohler
    A thrilling athletic highlight for the fall was the inaugural Hornet Invitational Middle School Cross Country Race that took place recently at the Skiff St. athletic complex. On a beautifully sunny 65 degree day, over 100 runners from six schools gathered to test their endurance and running skill on the 2.0 mile course, which features two sections in the woods along the Mill River. By the end of the day, the HH boys had earned their first ever invitational victory! The final point tally was: HH 49; Country School 66; Foote 69; Watkinson 82; Renbrook 88; IDS 139.
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  • Top Hornets Sign National Letters of Intent

    Bud Kohler
    The fall is always an exciting and sometimes tense time for seniors because of college applications. But a number of Hornet student-athletes are already breathing a sigh of relief and beaming proudly as they have declared to attend and play at their college choice. Last Wednesday, five Hornets signed National Letters of Intent in the Swain Library. Alex DiVincentis, a Fairchester All League star, will be playing lacrosse at Division I Marist College in Poughkeesie, NY, as will LJ Pezzolesi at DI University of Hartford. Molly Anderson, a standout in both Field Hockey and Lacrosse, will play women's lax at DI Bryant University in Rhode Island next year. Last year’s New Haven Register Player of the Year, Jackson Benigni, signed to play basketball at Division II Stonehill College in Massachusetts. Chase Lilly, another strong, multi-sport player, has signed to attend and play at DII St. Anselm’s College in Manchester, NH. 

    Three other Hornets have made college commitments. On Wednesday, May Cervone was playing in a New England Soccer Tournament quarterfinal, and obviously unable to attend. May will be signing her NLI soon and joining LJ at DI University of Hartford, where she will play soccer for the Hawks. Division III schools do not use NLIs; however, both Alex Horvath-Diano and Zach Giugno will be seeing action at nearby Connecticut College in New London. Alex H-D helped lead the much improved Hornet soccer team, and will be playing for the Camels next fall; while Zach, who was a steady goalkeeper for soccer, will be on the attack instead for the Conn laxmen.

    Congratulations to all these fine scholar-athletes and their families and coaches. We look forward to hearing about their collegiate successes in the near future.
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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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Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.