Mattiello and Dubois; two THS coaches who get the most out of their Track and Field teams.
Torrington senior Ian Hogan, comes down the stretch during track and field practice on Wednesday afternoon at the high school. Hogan, in just his second year running track, is expected to be a factor in the Raiders success this season.
TORRINGTON-For the first time in her three years at the helm of the Torrington girls track team, Jada Mattiello says she is facing a rebuilding year.
Don’t buy it for a second.
True, the numbers of athletes coming out is down from previous years (seems that way in girls sports around the state at the moment) and the Naugatuck Valley League will be as tough as ever with Naugatuck (the Raiders opening meet at home on Wednesday), Holy Cross and Woodland looking strong as usual.
What has become evident from the time Mattiello has spent in Torrington over the past two seasons is that this coach has shown the ability to squeeze every ounce of talent out of whomever comes to the track that particular season.
“Personally, I thrive on re-building a team versus the maintenance of a high-caliber team,” Mattiello said.
Mattiello and Rich Dubois, the boys coach, have long had a different approach to how they get their teams ready.
It’s not really she trains the girls and he trains the boys, it’s been a team effort that focuses on how they can make the overall teams better.
If teams expect Torrington (9-3 a year ago) to have a tough season due to the graduation of some record breaking stars from a year ago, they do so at their own risk.
These two teams have long been a collection of the best athletes from both the fall and winter sports scene.
On the girls side, Sarah Royals, Mariah Cerruto and Aly Otis left the hardwood for the track and will be major players in the sprints, hurdles and distance runs.
Heck, Royals won in shot put a year ago in several meets.
Gone from the girls team are Lizzy Marola and her speed in the sprints, the distance strength of soccer standout Megan Monroy, the all around athletic ability of Lauren Cilfone and the blistering power sprinting of Sheena Lytton.
Here this year though, are a group of athletes with multiple talents that have grown accustomed to winning in their other sports, track should be no different.
Finding the right mix may present a challenge for Mattiello but now one she will shy away from anytime soon while maintaining her high expectations for her team.
“We can match up with any team,” Mattiello said, “It will be up to our athletes to out-perform their athletes on any given day.”
Dubois, in his 15th year as a track and field coach and fourth at the helm of the Raiders boys, lost some great athletes but returns a who‘s-who of Torrington athletics.
In 2010, Torrington posted a 8-3-1 mark behind the all-world performances of Dan O’Heron.
O’Heron earned All-State,and All New England honors in the 1600 while also making the grade as a Nationals Qualifier.
The boys 4x800 team of O’Heron, Ian Hogan, Dylan Kruppa and Vlad Stasilevich set a new school mark while the 4x400 team of Kruppa, O’Heron, Chris DeBerry and Theo Thomas eclipsed the school mark while making All-Class L status.
The good news for Dubois? Kruppa and Hogan return for their senior years.
On the football field last fall, several Raiders had tremendous seasons, led by All-World running back Brenden Lytton.
Lytton will take his power to the fast lane in the sprints and will be joined by gridiron standouts, Franklin Sosa and Willie Quarles in the speed events.
Kruppa will also compete in the ling jump while one of the strongest athletes on the football field, Walter Lewis, will run middle distance while taking a shot at the throwing events.
Seniors, Floyd Myrie (sprints), Matt Young (distance), Murphy Jennings (pole vault), Flynn Jennings (hurdles), Chris DeLouis (middle distance, distance) and Umberto Carusi (jumps) will give their team some of the depth needed to pile up points in close meets.
Quarles will also pole vault while juniors Marco Monroy (middle distance, distance) and Charles Rogers-Shaw (hurdles) will also see action this spring.
A sophomore, Craig Peterson (middle distance, distance) will be in the mix as well.
“The NVL is one of the premier Track and Field leagues in the state,” Dubois said, “Naugatuck and Woodland dominated the league last year, and there as several other schools capable of pulling off big wins as well. We have a strong core of veterans along with a good mix of new faces that will work hard to keep Torrington competitive in the NVL.”
Action gets underway on Wednesday, April 6 when the Greyhounds come up Route 8 for opening day, 2011.