Rotary Speaker
Josh Sanchas, center, sports director at WINY, spoke at the Putnam Rotary meeting last week. Left: WINY owner and Rotarian Gary Osbrey. On right is Ron Coderre, Rotarian. Courtesy photo.
By Ron P. Coderre
This week’s RPC column is dedicated to Putnam resident Al Cormier.  An Army veteran, Cormier has devoted his life to the success of young people, as an educator, counselor and coach.  Today he continues working with students through his involvement in the Putnam Lions Club and American Legion Post #13.
The Woodstock Academy gymnastics program changed its head coach this year when the legendary Robin Deary-Fillmore retired at the end of last season and was replaced by her daughter Kasey Fillmore.  It appears that the coaching change hasn’t affected the Centaur mat performers as last week they repeated as the Eastern Connecticut Conference champions.
Woodstock walked away with the championship trophy posting a winning score of 145.45, easily outdistancing second-place finisher Norwich Free Academy.  The Wildcats had a score of 128.60, followed by East Lyme-Waterford-Montville (127.95), Stonington (123.55), Killingly (112.30) and Windham (75.40).
The Centaurs placed the top five finishers in the All-Around competition.  Junior gymnast Grace Logan walked off with the All-Around honors posting a score of 37.95 followed by her teammate Paige Stuyniski at 36.85.  The pair was followed by Lydia Taft (35.10), Ali Crescimano (34.85 and Maddie Grube (34.30).
Logan took first place in the Bars and Beam, while Stuyniski garnered the honors in the Vault and the Beam.  Logan placed second in the Vault and Beam.
Putnam’s Maggie McKeon, who is a team of one, finished sixth in the All-Around.  Killngly’s Emma Gifford was fourth in both the Floor and Beam competitions.
On Air Personality Regales Rotary Club…
Josh Sanchas, sports director at WINY Radio 1350, was the guest speaker at the Putnam Rotary Club meeting on Feb. 9 at the Inn at Woodstock Hill.  A graduate of Killingly High and the Connecticut School of Broadcasting in 2014, Sanchas assumed his position in the latter portion of 2015.
Sanchas told the Rotarians about the details of his position, which include daily sports reports, hosting the Sports Talk call-in show and broadcasting local high school athletic contests.  He spoke about how his early love of radio led him to an internship at WINY as the young age of 16 as a Killingly High School student.
While continuing to grow in his current position, Sanchas noted that he’d someday enjoy either a radio or television career on ESPN or Fox Sports.  Inserting a touch of humor, Sanchas said he styles himself on sports television personality Bob Costas, who like Sanchas, is vertically challenged.
As he reaches for the stars in his future, Sanchas is up each day at 4:30 a.m. and at the station by 5:30 a.m. where he prepares for his daily sports segments which air at 20-past and 10 minutes before each hour.
Florida Softball Connection…
Most snowbirds head south each winter to get away from the cold weather and wintery mix of precipitation.  The sports inclined snowbirds usually head to the golf courses for their sports diversions.
Over the past few winters the Pomfret Smutnicks, John and Steve have not only hit the Florida links but they’ve made a name for themselves on the softball and baseball diamond.  John Smutnick has become legendary with his hitting exploits throughout the Sunshine State.  Recently Steve Smutnick has been making sports headlines in the Sebring, Fla., area while playing on the ‘senior circuit.”
In December, at third Smutnick brother, David moved permanently to Florida where he’s gradually making his way back on the softball diamond.  Although not making headlines yet, David is quickly rounding back into his high school playing shape.  The way John and Steve have impacted Florida softball, David certainly will have to reach high to grab the bar his brothers have set.
Catching up on Schoolboy Statistics…
The northeastern Connecticut high school basketball individual scoring race has evolved into a two-man race between Plainfield’s Liam Jacobs and Putnam’s Dan Porcic.  The latest stats have Porcic averaging 18.2 points per game while Jacobs is averaging 17.3.  Woodstock’s Nick Short is the top three-point producer with 33.
On the prep level, Pomfret’s Cam Winston is on top at 16.3, followed by Hamidou Diallo of Putnam Science Academy who is scoring at a 15.7 pace.  Winston’s teammate Christian Wilson is third at 13 points per game with PSA’s Mamadou Diarra and Joe Del Ricci of Marianapolis tied in fourth place at 12.9. 
Meagan Bianchi of Killingly is the leading high school women’s scorer, averaging 14.3 points per game.  The Plainfield pair of Zoe Beaver and Madeline Lorange leads the three-point race with 36 and 30 treys respectively.
In the preps, Pomfret boasts the top three scorers, led by Alyzae Davis (15.4 ppg.), Deja Ross (12.4) and Olivia Batastini (10.9).  Jordan Frye of Marianapolis is fourth at 9.8.  
On the ice, Woodstock Academy’s hockey team is beginning to make noise statewide with its play.  The Acads are led by the trio of Ryan Black, Nathan DeLuca and Zack Burnham.  Black has 32 goals and 21 assists for 53 points, while DeLuca has 18 goals and 22 assists for 40 points.  Burnham has scored 14 goals and assisted on 14 for 28 points. 
Keeping up with the Collegians…
Following a tough week on the hardwood, Quinnipiac big man and former Putnam Science Academy standout Chaise Daniels bounced back with a solid 12-point performance in a 68-52 loss at the hands of St. Peter’s.  In a loss to Manhattan Daniels had eight points.   Andrew Robinson had one three-pointer, while his twin brother Aaron was scoreless.  The Bobcats are 8-15 on the season.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute is struggling lately as the Engineers are 16-5 overall and 6-4 in the NEWMAC following a double overtime loss to Babson 91-87.  Former Woodstock standout Ian Converse had eight points for WPI.
Scoochie Smith, the former PSA guard, had a tremendous performance in a 68-66 A-10 victory over the University of Rhode Island.  Smith contributed 16 points, many on key drives late in the contest and was on the front end of passes that ended up as baskets for his teammates.  The game was televised live on ESPN2.
Former Marianapolis standout Brian Ahearn had four points for Binghampton University in a 68-54 win over the University of Hartford.
RPC’s Closing Thought For The Day: In life, read the small print and see the big picture.
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