By Ron P. Coderre
This week’s RPC column, the very first of 2016, is dedicated to Diane Harmon, one of Putnam High School’s most ardent sports fans.  When not working at Jessica Tuesday’s, Harmon can usually be found in the stands at a Clipper sporting event rooting on her son and nephew, along with all the Putnam athletes.
Clipper Classic Boys’ All Stars
Killingly High School senior Brendan Turner was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2015 Clipper Holiday Classic.  He was joined on the All-Tournament team by his teammates Chace Wood and freshman Luke Desaulnier.  The remainder of the team included Evan Ware of Tourtellotte and a pair of Putnam Clippers, Zach Cutler and Dan Porcic.
The All-Academic team, which was composed of one player from each school, included Cory Sipos (Killingly), Furu Sherpa (Tourtellotte), Zach Brennan (Ellis Tech) and Cutler (Putnam).
Clipper Classic Girls’ All Stars
Meagan Bianchi of Killingly High School was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Girls’ Clipper Holiday Classic.  She was joined by three of her Teammates on the All-Tournament team.  Also named from Killingly were Morgan LeSage, Ally Conde and Kylee Mazzarella along with Marissa Shirshac of Windham Tech and Emily Vincent of Tourtellotte.
The All-Academic team included Stacey Belliveau (Putnam), Christina Kopacz (Tourtellotte), Oralee Collazo (Windham Tech) and Conde of Killingly.
Centaur Holiday Classic All Stars
Two Woodstock Academy females were recognized as all star performers during the Centaur Holiday Classic held at Alumni Field House.  Named were Jamie Woods and Madison Brennan.
Tourney Tidbits…Some noted personalities who were spotted in the tournament crowd included Father John O’Neill, pastor of St. James Church in Danielson, Putnam optometrist Dr. David Gaudreau, a member of the Putnam Board of Education and college basketball official Corey Pothier…Killingly Athletic Director Gene Blain was in attendance at all games despite recent surgery for a right knee replacement…Ray Elliot, former girls and boys head basketball coach at Windham Tech shook a lot of hands during the two-day event…Working the door at all the games was former Tourtellotte standout Nate “Gator” Gagnon, who now teaches at Putnam..,WINY Radio was on hand for both championship games with Sports Director Josh Sanchas handling the play-by-play and Scott Derosier providing the color commentary…Former Putnam High School standout lineman Dick Bianchi is the grandfather of Killingly hoop standout Meagan Bianchi…All games were officiated by the newly created Board #35…Some of the recognizable officials included Jeff Glenn, Rick Bogert, Joe Camposi, Tom Hayden, Christian Sarantopoulos and Scott Blevins…The best dressed and most colorfully outfitted coach in the tourney was Tourtellotte’s Neil Bernier with his brightly colored lime green and lemon yellow shirts to go along with his matching ties…Coach Tom Espinosa of Putnam Science Academy enjoyed the games with Killingly football coach Chad Neal and former Assumption College record setting receiver Eric Mauer…Putnam High School Principal Jackie Vetrovec, Assistant Principal Suzanne Sansoucy and Athletic Director Adam Mielniczuk did a great job of controlling the environment of the two-day tourney…Congratulations to Killingly High School and coaches “Jimbo” Crabtree of the boys’ team and Mark Lowell of the girl’s team for the Redmen and Redgals sweep of the titles…Finally, what would games in the Putnam gym be without Maurice “Moe” Coderre singing the National Anthem.
Gridiron Recognition
Congratulations to Killingly High School offensive lineman Josh Angell for his recent recognition on the State level.  The big tight end was named to the USA Today All-USA Connecticut second team.
College Hoop Update
Two noted local college basketball players played significant roles in impressive victories for their teams over the past weekend.  Former Woodstock Academy All State performer, Ian Converse, a sophomore at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, had eight points in a 67-65 victory over Eastern Nazarene.  Converse and the Engineers are enjoying a successful season with a 10-1 record.  WPI is ranked #14 in the Top 25.
Across town at Worcester State University, former Putnam Science Academy big man Paul Brooks continues his impressive play for the Lancers.  In a 93-89 victory over Gordon College, Brooks posted 14 points and nine rebounds.  The 6-foot, 9-inch center is one of the major reasons the Lancers are having a great season currently at 8-5.
RPC Closing Thought For The Day: The bee that hangs around the hive doesn’t get the honey.
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