Hamden Hall Country Day School

Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

List of 10 news stories.

  • 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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  • Field Hockey & Girls Soccer in New Englands; Football Finishes with Big Win vs. K-O

    Bud Kohler
    The basketballs are already bouncing around the Beckerman Athletic Center, but the fall season still enters its last week of competition, including playing in the New England tournaments for several Hornet teams.

    Varsity Field Hockey has been seeded #6 in the Class C tournament, and they will square off against #3 seed Ethel Walker School in Simsbury on Wednesday afternoon at 2:15. The team earned a bid as a result of a consistently solid performance throughout the season, though they came up just short in their last two regular season contests. Last week the team fell to Kingswood-Oxford 4-3 in West Hartford. The Hornets found themselves trailing 2-0 halfway through the second half before freshman Kaci Benoit got the Hornets on the board with a beautiful breakaway goal. Benoit scored again to tie the game off an assist from senior captain Molly Anderson. The game swung back and forth throughout the second frame, as KO regained the lead 3-2, only to see Benoit register a hattrick and tie the game with 3 minutes remaining. However, with just 14 seconds left, the Wyverns scored off a penalty corner to escape with the win. The team then suffered a second setback, dropping an overtime heartbreaker to Choate 2-1. The Hornets battled to a 0-0 halftime draw, and then saw Benoit again find the back of the net off a Molly Anderson assist early in the second half. The Hornets held the lead for most of the second half, only to see the Judges scored with a little over a minute left to send the game into overtime when the hosts eventually scored the game winner. Though they had come up short in the scorebook, the Hornets had proven themselves the virtual equals of two larger opponents. The team goes into the New England tournament with a 10-6 record and in high spirits.
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  • Down the Home Stretch, Hornet Teams Make Runs at Post Season Bids

    Bud Kohler
    November has arrived and that signals the home stretch of the fall season. Teams are making their push to finish strong, many hoping to secure a tournament bid with some final clutch wins. Seniors are realizing that what had seemed like an endless fall sports career is soon drawing to a close. 

    Varsity Field Hockey currently boasts a record of 10-4, and have gone 3-2 since Homecoming. Though they fell to rival Hopkins 1-0 in a game that could have gone either way, the team quickly rebounded with a stellar team performance to beat St. Luke’s 3-1 down in New Canaan. It was neck and neck for the first 20 minutes and then the Hornets struck first when sophomore Siena Kyriakides found the back of the net off a double assist from senior Molly Anderson and freshman Kaci Benoit. Kyriakides struck again 3 minutes later off another Anderson assist, but the Storm scored 2 minutes later to make it 2-1. The Hornets kept the pressure on and were rewarded when Anderson sent a rocket from Benoit to the back of the cage halfway through the second half. Destinee Gabriel made 4 saves in net and the defense remained strong and held off the hosts as time expired. The Hornets hosted and then toasted The Gunnery to the tune of 4-1, only to fall the next day on the road by the same score to Holy Child of Rye, NY.
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  • Hornets Launch a Homecoming Success!

    Bud Kohler
         It was a near perfect Saturday afternoon at the Skiff Street athletic fields with a strong turnout of alums, families, and friends enjoying beautiful weather while cheering on the Hornets to numerous victories.  
         Girls Varsity Soccer got the ball rolling with a 2-0 win over Watkinson School of Hartford, while one of the closest contests of the day was the see-saw Varsity Volleyball match between the Hornets and EF Academy. HH looked strong from the start and claimed the first set only to see the visitors finally come out on top after five sets. A dominant performance by Cross Country then set the tone for the remainder of the day. The first four runners to reach the finish line in the boys race wore the Green & White, as the team cruised to a win over Greenwich Country Day and Capital Prep. Senior John Bazaar led the field, finishing the 5K trail with a time of 18:22. Steven Zhang, John Golioto, and Marlon Ward were close behind. Captain Michael Lee came in 9th and freshman Adam Shi finished 10th. Though the girls do not have enough for an official team race, Rosa Wang took home the gold and Lucy Xu earned the bronze in a field of 16. It was a somewhat bittersweet event for the seniors, Michael Lee, John Bazaar, Zean Wu, Kieran Johnson, Nikhil Samuel, and Rosa Wang, as it marks their last home meet after four solid years of pounding the Skiff St. running trail.
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  • Midseason Update & Homecoming Preview

    Bud Kohler
         Columbus Day weekend is upon us and that usually signals the onset of cool autumn days, vibrant foliage, and of course Homecoming! The Hornet teams have competed well thus far, and some are making quite a bit of noise. Everyone is certainly gearing up for some high octane competition this Saturday.
         Varsity Field Hockey is much improved and boasts the best team record going into the weekend at 6-2, coming off a convincing 4-0 win over Marianapolis Prep. They have already matched the number of wins from the past two seasons respectively. However, they will certainly have their hands full when they host Greenwich Academy on Saturday. The visiting Gators are a perennial New England powerhouse, loaded with talent. 
         Boys Varsity Soccer also continues to improve and impress and have a record of 5-2-1. Led by the skillful Alex Horvath-Diano, the Hornets recently topped Chase Collegiate 3-2 and then came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie FAA league leaders St. Luke’s at New Canaan on Thursday. Junior Liam Kohler, has already amassed 13 assists, many off of free kicks to the meaty head of Cam Maldonado. Despite having to constantly change line-ups and formations because of injuries, Coach Dan Pinkerton certainly has the boys believing that they have what it takes to come out on top each game and make a deep run into the playoffs in November. The EF Academy squad they face on Saturday will likely prove a stiff test.
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  • Equestrians Mount Up for Second Season

    Bud Kohler
         So if you cannot leap high enough to spike, or run like the wind, then let your horse help! The HH Equestrian team is back and better than ever for year two at Blackhorse Equestrian Center in Bethany! 
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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.