Soccer: Class S champs Cromwell, Portland kick-off season

CROMWELL >> Defending Class S champion Cromwell kicks off the boys’ soccer season at home tonight (6:30 p.m.) against Shoreline Conference champion Valley Regional. “It should be a battle,” said Panthers coach Jon Harder, now in his eighth year. Harder also guided the Panthers to a state title in 2009 and a Shoreline crown in […]

Meet Middlesex County’s Scholar Athletes

High school seniors from Middlesex County were recognized as the state’s top scholar-athletes at the 2014 Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) Scholar-Athlete Banquet sponsored by McDonald’s. A 31-year sponsor of the program with a longstanding commitment to educational programs in Connecticut, McDonald’s joined CAS to honor the following local students as the best of the best […]

Jimmy Zanor: Portland’s Class S title one for the ages

Portland's players celebrate their Class S championship over Thomaston on June 14, 2014 Photo Peter Paguaga

MIDDLETOWN >> If the members of the Portland High School baseball team had any doubts that Bill Pomfret Stadium at Palmer Field was going to turn into Dyer Field West on Saturday, John Guidice certainly made sure to remind them. Guidice played on the Highlanders only state championship team in 1988 and Portland coach Rick […]

Class S baseball: Staub throws 1-hitter, Portland downs Thomaston for title

Portland's baseball team celebrates its Class S baseball title over Thomaston (Photo Peter Paguaga)

MIDDLETOWN >> The Portland baseball team capped off an incredible run through the Class S state tournament with an 8-0 win in the championship over Thomaston. The Highlanders came into the tournament as the No. 17 seed, losing the last four games heading into the tournament and managed to turn it around, winning five games […]

Jimmy Zanor: State Championship Weekend a good day to cheer

Notre Dame of West Haven celebrates after defeating East Lyme 2-1 in the Class L semi-final baseball game in Middletown  The Green Knight have another tough test ahead in the final Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Photo by Arnold Gold/New Haven Register

MIDDLETOWN >> One of my all-time favorite books is Jerome Holtzman’s “No Cheering in the Press Box.” The book is a collection of interviews Holtzman did with 20 sportswriters who reminisced about their experiences covering games and athletes during the “Golden Age of Sports.” It’s a fascinating read. Holtzman simply took his tape recorder, turned […]

Baseball: Class S state championship preview capsule

Complete tournament results  Class S No. 17 Portland (15-9) vs. No. 3 Thomaston (21-3) When: Saturday, 12 p.m. Where: Palmer Field, Middletown Championship game appearances: Portland 2 (1-0, lone title came in 1988); Thomaston 3 (1-1, lone title came in 2008). Watch: NFHS Network (subscription required) Players to watch: Portland: Justin Staub; Cole Ogorzalek. Thomaston: […]

Class S baseball: Portland hoping to complete magical run

Portland senior Jason Staub will get the pitching start against Thomaston in the Class S championship game Saturday at Palmer Field. Photo by Jimmy Zanor - Middletown Press

MIDDLETOWN >> Portland sure picked a good time to be playing their best baseball of the season. The No. 17 Highlanders (15-10) will try and complete their magical postseason run with a victory against No. 3 Thomaston (21-3) in the CIAC Class S state championship game Saturday at Palmer Field (12 p.m.). “It’s going to […]

Class S baseball: Portland shuts out Trinity, reaches first final since 1988

Portland freshman catcher Roland Thivierge congratulates pitcher Cole Ogorzalek after a 4-0 win over Trinity Catholic in the Class S semifinals. Photo by Jimmy Zanor - Middletown Press

BERLIN >> Portland junior pitcher Cole Ogorzalek was speechless. Senior centerfielder Hayden Manning, who made a catch for the ages, didn’t think something like this could happen. And Highlanders coach Rick Borg talked about having lucky charms. If you haven’t guessed by now ….the Portland Highlanders are headed to the Class S state championship game. […]

Class S baseball: Portland edges Old Lyme in quarterfinals

Portland second baseman Mike Bordonaro gets ready to tag out Old Lyme’s Bill Buscetto in the first inning Friday at Dyer Field. Photo by Jimmy Zanor - Middletown Press

    PORTLAND >> Behind another terrific performance from senior pitcher Jason Staub, more great defense anchored by senior shortstop Nick Adamsons, and some timely hitting, in this case a big two-run triple by Staub, Portland cruised into the Class S semifinals with a 3-1 victory over Lyme-Old Lyme on Friday at Dyer Field. The […]

Golf: Morgan repeats as Shoreline Conference champion

(Peter Casolino-New Haven Register)   Maxx Bugg of Morgan on his way to a 6-under-par 66 during the Shoreline golf Championship meet at Alling Memorial Golf Course in New Haven.

NEW HAVEN >> Maxx Bugg was having the round of his life Wednesday at Alling Memorial Golf Club. But like any superstitious golfer, the Morgan junior did his best to block it out and focus on each hole. His bogey-free, 6-under-par 66 earned him medalist laurels at the Shoreline Conference championship meet by nine strokes. […]

Class S baseball: Portland stuns top-seed East Hampton

Portland junior Cole Ogorzalek went the distance in the Highlanders’ upset win over East Hampton in the Class S tournament. Photo by Jimmy Zanor- Middletown Press

EAST HAMPTON >> East Hampton trailed 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning when Marvin Gorgas strode to the plate with a runner on first and no outs. Portland coach Rick Borg called timeout and went to the mound to talk with his junior pitcher Cole Ogorzalek. Gorgas, who beat the Highlanders with a […]

Softball: All-Shoreline Conference selections

The Shoreline Conference recently released its all-league selections in softball. ALL-SHORELINE FIRST TEAM Gabby Diaz (P-Coginchaug); Emily Popp (P-Morgan); Kayla Nowak (IF-North Branford); Kolby Burger (IF-Haddam-Killingworth); Jessica Dombrowski (IF-Hale-Ray); Lauren Pascoe (IF-Old Saybrook); Jen Dawson (IF-Morgan); Nicole Caruso (OF-Portland); Jamie Fitzgerald (OF-Morgan); Mallory Leone (OF-Cromwell); Jill Cayer (UT-Valley Regional); Sabrina LeMere (UT-North Branford); Paige Trabucchi […]

Baseball: Top three seeds advance in SLC tourney

East Hampton 4, Old Lyme 2 >> Senior pitcher Marvin Gorgas struck out 14 and hit a solo homer to lead the host Bellringers in the SLC quarterfinals. No. 1 East Hampton (19-2) will host No. 5 Westbrook in the semifinals on Thursday. Gorgas allowed six hits and walked two. Dylan Riley, Steve Peltier, and […]

Baseball: Coginchaug outlasts Portland for second-consecutive victory

Portland's Cole Ogorzalek steals second base as Coginchaug's Eric Sbona waits for the ball.

  DURHAM >> After winning just one of their first six games, things seem to be turning around for the Coginchaug baseball team. Jack Granger had four hits, including a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth, and Blue Devils ace John Mormile earned the win with a clutch relief stint as Coginchaug outlasted […]

Baseball: Staub home run sparks Portland

By Jimmy Zanor @ShoreLineSports on Twitter PORTLAND >> All Portland senior Jason Staub wanted to do was to get on base any way possible and extend the inning. Instead, Staub made history. Staub crushed a three-run homer that gave the Highlanders the lead for good in the third inning. It was Staub’s first career […]

Column: Remembering Portland coach Gene Reilly

By Jimmy Zanor, Middletown Press PORTLAND >> There have been a lot of tears shed these past few days upon hearing about Gene Reilly’s passing on Sunday in Rhode Island. Reilly, a Portland coaching icon, was 70. But crying is the last thing Coach Reilly would want us to do. “Off the court there was […]

Boys basketball: Former Portland coach Gene Reilly dies

Former Portland boys basketball coach Gene Reilly, one of the all-time winningest coaches in state history, passed away Sunday at Rhode Island Hospital. He was 70. Reilly coached for 35 years at Portland (1972-2007), winning 547 games, still the sixth-best victory total in state history. Reilly also won one Class S state championship in 1982 […]

Portland Spring Preview: New challenges await Highlanders

By Jimmy Zanor @ShoreLineSports on Twitter PORTLAND >> Portland joined the Shoreline Conference in 2006. Here’s a look at some of the Highlanders teams this spring. Baseball Highlanders coach Rick Borg believes his club can be contenders in the always tough SLC this spring. Portland went 14-9 a year ago and returns some key […]

Girls basketball: East Hampton holds off upset-minded Portland

By Jimmy Zanor @ShoreLineSports on Twitter PORTLAND >> Former Charter Oak Conference foes Portland and East Hampton renewed their rivalry Tuesday night. And although the teams are moving in opposite directions this season, it wasn’t an easy victory for the Bellringers. Freshman forward Gyanna Russell came off the bench and scored a game-high 17 […]

Coginchaug routs Portland in SLC girls basketball matchup

Catherine Avalone - The Middletown Press
Coginchaug junior Naomi Rinaldo drives around Portland's Jill McGrath Thursday afternoon in Durham. The Coginchaug Blue Devils defeated the Portland Panters, 55-26.

DURHAM >> They’ve combined to win close to 1,200 girls basketball games, numerous league titles and five state championships. But Portland’s Nick Chaconis and Coginchaug’s Nick Economopoulos never got a chance to match X’s and O’s. Until now. The Blue Devils routed the Highlanders, 55-26, Thursday at the Coginchaug gymnasium. Despite the lopsided score, the […]