The HAN Network-FCIAC Athletes of the Week for Week 4 were Fairfield Warde quarterback Jack Potenza and Jillian Presser of the Trumbull High girls’ soccer team.
As exclusive broadcasting partner of the FCIAC, the HAN Network each week recognizes a Male and a Female Athlete of the Week.
The HAN Network sports staff nominates male and female candidates. The winners are then chosen in an online poll and saluted on the FCIAC Gameday program before the HAN Network football game of the week on Friday or Saturday.
This week’s winners will be announced Saturday as the FCIAC Gameday preview leads up to the HAN Network’s coverage of New Canaan vs. Greenwich in FCIAC high school football, available at live.HAN.Network Saturday at 3 p.m. That matchup pits New Canaan Head Coach Lou Marinelli against his son, first-year Greenwich High Head Coach John Marinelli.
FCIAC Tailgate starts at noon Saturday, followed by FCIAC Gameday at 1 o’clock.
Voting closes at 5 p.m. Friday.
Nominees for week five are:
Male Athlete of the Week
Michael Cognetta, New Canaan Football
Cognetta was a force on both sides of the ball as New Canaan improved to 4-0 with a 48-7 win over Danbury on Saturday.
Cognetta rushed nine times for 121 yards — a 13-4 per carry average — and caught three passes for 31 yards. He opened the scoring by catching a 19-yard touchdown pass from QB Michael Collins, and added a 14-yard TD run in the second quarter.
Cognetta also had two interceptions for the defense, collecting 48 return yards and nearly getting a pick six before being knocked out of bounds at the Danbury three-yard line.
Michael Collins, New Canaan, Football
The senior quarterback threw six touchdown passes in the Rams’ 48-7 win over Danbury.
Richie Bellucci, Fairfield Ludlowe Boys Soccer
Bellucci scored the only goal as the Falcons edged Greenwich, 1-0, in a game between two of the FCIAC’s top two teams.
Jonmichael Bivona, Trinity Catholic Football
Bivona had 147 all-purpose yards, scored twice, and added an interception for the defense, as the Crusaders defeated the Ridgefield Tigers, 26-21, Friday night at Tiger Hollow.
A junior running back and strong safety, Bivona rushed 20 times for 113 yards. He was huge on the opening drive, running 18 yards on the first play from scrimmage before catching a 34-yard pass from QB Anthony Lombardi. Bivona capped that drive with a 6-yard run, and added the second touchdown on a 17-yard run, before converting for two more points.
On defense, he had three tackles and came down with one pick.
Paul Stafstrom, Ludlowe Football
Stafstrom, a senior linebacker and tight end, helped the Falcons deliver a big defensive performance in a 7-6 win over Westhill on Saturday.
Stafstrom had 12 total tackles, including eight solo and one tackle for a loss, as Ludlowe kept the Vikings off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter.
He also forced a fumble, which was recovered by teammate Josh Evans. That was one of three turnovers for the Ludlowe defense.
Hudson Hamill, Darien Football
Senior Hudson Hamill caught two touchdown passes and caught everyone by surprise when he ran back a fumble for a score for the second time in two games in undefeated Darien’s 42-10 win at McMahon on Friday.
Hamill’s 53-yard fumble return right down the middle, and the Darien D-line that forced the loose ball, gave the FCIAC one of its most shining moments under the lights at Norwalk last week.
Jack Brandt, Wilton Boys Soccer
Brandt scored on a corner kick with 6:36 remaining to give the Warriors a 2-1 victory over Staples in a key FCIAC game on Saturday.
Brandt took the kick from the corner and was able to use the wind to curl the ball into the net for the winner.
Brandt also had a goal and an assist in Wilton’s 4-0 shutout of Brien McMahon on Wednesday, and an assist in a 3-2 win over Stamford on Tuesday.
Christian Trefz, St. Joseph Football
Trefz ran for 238 yards on 22 carries and scored a touchdown in every quarter of coach Joe Della Vecchia’s Cadets’ 35-0 road win over Wilton High on Oct. 16. Trefz scored on runs of 68, 7 and 47 yards. He caught a 3-yard touchdown pass. St. Joseph is 3-1. Wilton is 1-4
He had 10 carries for 146 yards in the first half.
Johnny McElroy, Trumbull High Football
McElroy completed seven straight passes on Trumbull’s opening scoring drive and tossed four touchdowns when coach Bob Maffei’s Eagles defeated Greenwich High, 28-23, on Oct. 16.
McElroy, a senior, threw all four touchdowns in the first half to give his team a 28-17 lead. He was 14-for-25 for 161 yards in the first two quarters. McElroy finished 21-for-39 passing for 210 yards without an interception. Trumbull is now 3-1. Greenwich is 2-2.
Female Athlete of the Week
Paisley Eagan, Wilton Girls Soccer
The sophomore midfielder had three goals (a first-half hat trick) in a 6-0 rout of Stamford and then scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Staples.
Ellery Baran, New Canaan Field Hockey
Baran assisted on both New Canaan goals as the Rams knocked off the Wilton Warriors, 2-1, Friday at Dunning Field.
Trailing 1-0 early in the second, the Rams knotted the score when Baran took the ball in to the right corner and sent it into the circle, where Mariana Ferreira fired it into the cage.
Less than a minute later, Baran again brought the ball to the right corner and passed it into the circle. This time, Camaren Dayton was there to redirect it into the goal.
Veronica O’Rourke, St. Joseph Soccer
O’Rourke posted a shutout in the Cadets’ biggest game of the year, as they defeated Warde 1-0 Saturday in Fairfield.
O’Rourke, a sophomore, made 11 saves against 11 Mustangs shots in what was a battle for first place. St. Joseph improved to 12-0-0, while Warde fell to 11-0-1.
A sophomore, O’Rourke made two huge saves during the second half, first grabbing an attempt by Taylor Gabrenas and then punching away a shot by Alexa Montani.
Emily Berzolla, Greenwich Girls Soccer
The senior scored both goals in the Cardinals’ 2-0 win over Fairfield Ludlowe.
Chelsea Domond, Westhill Girls’ Soccer
Chelsea Domond put Westhill a step ahead of the rest of a packed tight group of teams looking to make the FCIAC playoffs with a single footed effort in the Vikings’ 2-1 win at Darien on Thursday.
Domond scored to tie it in the first half, tucking the ball inside the near post 10 yards out, then spectacularly put the ball up under the cross bar on the rush for the winner in the second.
“Chelsea is capable of doing that every game we play,” said her coach, David Flower.
Kat Culliton, Darien Field Hockey
Darien field hockey has had more than a dozen girls come to the fore this season as scorers and playmakers as it looks to regain the FCIAC crown.
One of them is senior Kat Culliton.
Culliton set-up eight goals and scored two in back-to-back games against Brien McMahon and St. Joseph.
Jenna Bike, St. Joseph Girls Soccer
A senior, Bike scored three goals and had an assist when St. Joseph defeated Darien High, 5-1, on Oct. 13. The Cadets improved to 11-0 on the season with the victory over the 5-5-1 Blue Wave. The All-American and reigning MSG Varsity and Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year, Bike is the lone player from the Tri-State selected to the U.S. National Team. She’s already committed to play at Boston College. She had two goals in St. Joseph’s 6-2 victory over New Canaan on Oct. 15.
Anna Glovin, Fairfield Warde Girls Soccer
Glovin scored with 3.3 seconds remaining in the Mustang’s match with Fairfield Ludlowe to break a 1-1 tie, as Warde remained unbeaten with a 12-0-1 record. Glovin’s header off a corner kick from Claire Pullen ended Ludlowe’s seven-game unbeaten string.
HAN Network Male Athlete of the Week
- Jack Brandt, Wilton Soccer (21%, 560 Votes)
- Jonmichael Bivona, Trinity Catholic Football (18%, 467 Votes)
- Hudson Hamill, Darien Football (13%, 333 Votes)
- Johnny McElroy, Trumbull High Football (12%, 311 Votes)
- Michael Cognetta, New Canaan Football (10%, 268 Votes)
- Richie Bellucci, Fairfield Ludlowe Boys Soccer (9%, 236 Votes)
- Paul Stafstrom, Fairfield Ludlowe Football (7%, 176 Votes)
- Michael Collins, New Canaan, Football (6%, 150 Votes)
- Christian Trefz, St. Joseph Football (4%, 114 Votes)
Total Voters: 2,615
HAN Network Female Athlete of the Week
- Veronica O’Rourke, St. Joseph Soccer (33%, 1,235 Votes)
- Emily Berzolla, Greenwich Girls Soccer (24%, 911 Votes)
- Paisley Eagan, Wilton Girls Soccer (15%, 548 Votes)
- Ellery Baran, New Canaan Field Hockey (9%, 345 Votes)
- Kat Culliton, Darien Field Hockey (7%, 244 Votes)
- Anna Glovin, Fairfield Warde Girls Soccer (6%, 235 Votes)
- Jenna Bike, St. Joseph Girls Soccer (4%, 135 Votes)
- Chelsea Domond, Westhill Girls’ Soccer (3%, 99 Votes)
Total Voters: 3,752