Past Issues of the Putnam Town Crier


From left: Ponte, Heselton, Roy and Mihalopoulos. Photo by Heather Stewart.

Cody Heselton remembers being maybe 10 years old and playing a Little League All-Start game against a rival town and taking a fastball off the kneecap, forcing him out of the game.
Harry Roy’s first memory goes further back, to the time when he turned a double play in a T-ball game.
There have been a lot of years and has been a lot of growth since those early baseball days for Heselton and Roy, and their Putnam Science Academy teammates Ryan Ponte and Ian Mihalopoulos, all four of whom took a momentous step in their baseball lives Wednesday afternoon when they each signed their National Letter of Intent to play next year in college.
Heselton, a lefty pitcher/first baseman/outfielder signed with Marist College; Roy, a right-handed pitcher, with Southern Connecticut; and the right-handed Ponte, a pitcher/first baseman/outfielder himself, and Mihalopoulos, a righty pitcher, both signed with Central Connecticut.
The four were feted at a ceremony at the school with family, teammates, and fellow students.
“It was great,” said the charismatic Heselton, who is from Glastonbury and in his first year at PSA. “Very nerve-wracking with so many people. That was definitely a sight to see but it was fun. I was very, very nervous. But more excited than anything, really. I’m excited for this next chapter.
“It’s been a very long process, very complicated. But signing today with Marist, it all feels complete.”
Ponte, also in his first year at PSA, was likewise nervous to speak in front of so many of his peers. And he too was happy to make it official, especially considering he hasn’t pitched in nearly a year because of Tommy John elbow surgery.
“It’s been hard with my injury,” he said. “There were times I wanted to quit, but I was really encouraged not to by my parents. I decided to do a postgrad year this year, and that’s when everything changed for me. That’s when I verbally committed and I knew then that everything was going to be OK.”
Mihalopoulos was the first player to commit to PSA in the spring of 2022, but he has yet to throw a pitch for the Mustangs because, like Ponte, he underwent Tommy John surgery. A setback in the spring kept him off the mound then, but he had a big summer, which turned into a commitment to Central.
“For me, it was just getting back onto the field,” he said. “My process was much easier than other people’s has been. It wasn’t like coaches were ghosting me or anything like that. For me, it was more just staying healthy. Once I was able to do that and get back out and pitch again, Central liked what they saw.
“When I first committed, it was kind of a surreal feeling and it is now that I’ve signed. But now that I’m actually signed to a college, it feels like my younger self is really proud of me.”
This is Roy’s second year with PSA after putting together a standout first season. He was a bulldog of an ace on last year’s staff, going 6-1 with a 1.30 ERA and 56 strikeouts over 43 1/3 innings.
“It’s just exciting just to know that this is the next chapter of my life that I’m going to be starting next fall,” he said. “There were a lot of ups and downs in the recruiting process, but Southern is the perfect fit for me. They have what I was looking for, including coaches who I trust.”
Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy


Even. That’s pretty much how Woodstock Academy volleyball coach Adam Bottone looked at the match between his fourth-seeded Centaurs and No. 12 St. Joseph in a Class L quarterfinal Saturday.
It turned out to be just that as the two teams split the first four sets.
Unfortunately for the Centaurs, the Cadets got the momentum at the end of the fourth set and never lost it in the fifth, scoring a 15-6 win to come away with the 3-2 victory overall to move into the Class L semifinals.
“The loss stinks for sure, especially when you are up two sets to one, but, at least, we lost to a good team that played hard and got after it,” Adam Bottone said.
St. Joseph (16-6) jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the decisive fifth set but two kills by Izzy Mojica, who finished with 13 overall, and a kill for setter Sophie Gronski helped the Centaurs get back within two at 7-5.
A Liliana Bottone kill kept the Centaurs close at 8-6 but it would be the last point Woodstock would score as the Cadets put up the next seven for the win.
Woodstock won the first set 25-13 and seemingly had things going on all cylinders, getting nice kills from the outside from Liliana Bottone (18 kills) and Mojica with Reegan Reynolds (11 kills) also getting into the act from the middle.
St. Joseph won that second set, 25-23, but Woodstock rallied in the third, 25-17, only to see the Cadets force the fifth set with a 25-20 win in the fourth.
Gronski had 45 assists against St. Joseph with Cassidy Ladd getting 16 digs.
The Centaurs finished with a 17-8 record.
Woodstock advanced to the quarterfinal with a 3-0 victory over Brookfield  earlier in the week. The Centaurs handled the Bobcats with wins of 25-14, 25-17, and 25-18.
Mojica led the way with 10 kills. Liliana Bottone added eight kills and Mia Sorrentino five as the Centaurs again spread the wealth. Ladd finished with eight aces. Gronski had 23 assists.
In the first-round state tournament match the  Centaurs send 29th-seeded Torrington home with a 3-0 loss.  Liliana Bottone and Sorrentino each contributed four kills and Mojica had six service points in a 25-12 first set victory.
Gronski had eight of her 12 service points and all three of her aces and Emma Kerr added seven of her 14 points in the second set. The two long service runs helped produce a one-sided, 25-4, result.
Kerr got the Centaurs out to a 4-0 lead in the third set and Mojica (15 service points) put together an eight-point run with four of her five aces on the night to extend the lead to 13-1. Woodstock walked away with the 25-10 victory. Liliana Bottone and Mojica had nine kills each while Sorrentino added eight and a block. Gronski finished with 29 assists.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


WOODSTOCK — Michael A. Campbell “Peach” 58, of Woodstock died Nov. 8, 2023, at Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam. Born in Putnam on May 27, 1965, he was the son of the late Robert L. Sr. and Odena B. (Audette) Campbell.
Peach attended St. Mary School and was a graduate of Putnam High School. He was a communicant of St. Mary Church of the Visitation. Peach was an avid sports fan and loved all the Boston sports teams. He was a dispatcher and dispatch communications supervisor for the Putnam Police, Fire and Ambulance for 38 years. Peach was a member of the Knights of Columbus where he helped with benefits to raise money in the community.
He leaves his siblings Donna Young (Doug) of Woodstock, Bob L. Campbell Jr. of Putnam; aunt Sister Louise Audette; nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.
He was predeceased by a sister Karen Paquette.
Visitation is from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Nov. 18 at Smith and Walker Funeral Home, 148 Grove St., Putnam. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Church of the Visitation, Putnam, with burial in St. Mary Cemetery.
Donations: Putnam Police Department, 189 Church St., Putnam, CT 06260; Knights of Columbus, 68 Providence S., Putnam, CT 06260; or Woodstock Volunteer Fire Association, 399 Route 169, Woodstock, CT 06281.


Finish up regular season
It was the final tune up for the Woodstock Academy Prep 1 soccer team prior to the Prep Premier League playoffs in New Jersey next weekend.
The Centaurs finished the regular season with a 13-0-1 record with a 3-0 win over Putnam Science Academy.
While it was a victory by shutout and the Centaurs did put forth a dominant effort, not all were satisfied.
The Centaurs got off to a fast start as Harrison Vail, who had just missed a header for a goal moments earlier, set up to the left of Putnam Science keeper Gabe Sacconi on a corner. David Cho sent the ball over the top of the Mustangs’ defense and Vail was able to chip it in.
The Centaurs struck again 15 minutes later when Alec Pentikis saved the ball from going out over the end line, turned and sent the ball to Cho who scored from 20 yards out.
The only other tally for Woodstock came off an own goal from Putnam Science Academy with eight seconds to play.
The Centaurs will travel to Tilton Falls, N.J., for the PPL semifinals. They will be the top seed from the East Region.
“We’re looking forward to the opportunity,” said Woodstock Academy coach Owen Finberg. “It will be my first time there. I’m sure it will be very nice. Capelli has done a great job as our sponsor in terms of apparel and they have a lot of different initiatives and the complex they have is one of them.”
In addition to the Prep Premier League playoffs, there will be a variety of other teams on hand playing showcase matches. The Centaurs Prep 2 squad will be involved in a couple of those.
Following the match with Putnam Science Academy on Friday, the Centaurs honored their seniors. It was the first Senior Day event for Finberg and his staff. Jaiden Banton, Addison Bergin, Charlie Bragg, Francesco Colantuoni, Daniel Covelli, Jasper Cox, Da Costa, Ahir Dixon, Lucas De Pedro Sanchez, Calvin Field, Ignacio Hahn, David Lee, Sten Lehmann, Hendrix Mota, Pentikis, Vail, Daniel Valdes, and Alessandro Zannoni were all recognized for their achievements.
Prep 2 Team Falls
It’s never easy to beat a team three times in a season. The Prep 2 soccer team found out how difficult it was as it fell to Putnam Science Academy Sunday in the Global Education Sports Partners League championship match, 2-1.
The Mustangs went up 1-0 in the first half and held the advantage through halftime. The Centaurs tied the match on a goal by Matias Solano, his fourth of the season. But just a little over halfway through the second, PSA scored what proved to be the game winner. The Centaurs advanced with a 5-1 semifinal win over St. Thomas More Saturday.
Daniel Mesa Blazquez and Jorge Castellanos each had two goals while Jasper Cox had three assists. Xahvi DaRoza added a goal and Jack Buyers an assist for the Centaurs in the win. The Centaurs will finish up the fall season with a couple of showcase matches this weekend in New Jersey.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


Thur.  Nov. 16
Thanksgiving Dinner Signup
PUTNAM --- The Putnam Lodge of Elks’ free Thanksgiving Dinner will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 23.  Delivery can be arranged. For info and to arrange delivery, call between 3 and 8 p.m. seven days: 860-928-3901. Must RSVP by Nov. 16.

Sat.  Nov. 18
Bake, Craft, Tag Sale
ABINGTON --- The Abington Congregational Church will hold a Bake, Craft and Tag Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church.

Turkey Distribution
PUTNAM --- The Danielson Veterans Coffeehouse will be distributing turkeys at 2 p.m.  at the Putnam Farmers Market Pavilion. Do not start lining up until 1 p.m. There will be one turkey per car plus a bag of potatoes, stuffing and green beans. One turkey per car, no exceptions.

Collecting Toys
PUTNAM --- The Danielson Veterans Coffeehouse will be collecting toys for the Marines Toys for Tots program from 10 a.m. to noon at the Putnam Elks Lodge 574. Please donate a new unwrapped toy. Last year the Toys for Tots program provided toys for 12,368 children in Windham County.  Toys donated in Windham County stay in Windham County.

Thur.  Nov. 23
PUTNAM --- The Putnam Lodge of Elks will hold its annual Free Thanksgiving Dinner from noon to 2 p.m.

Fri.  Nov. 24
Santa Coming!
PUTNAM --- Santa Lights Up Putnam will be held at 4 p.m. in front of Jewett City Savings Bank in the Riverfront Commons.  Sponsored by the Putnam Recreation Department, WINY Radio, Jewett City Savings Bank and the Putnam Fire Department.

Sat.  Nov. 25
One-Day Sale
PUTNAM --- The Aspinock Historical Society will hold a one-day-only sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Municipal Complex.

Sun.  Nov. 26
Dazzle Parade
PUTNAM --- The 22nd annual Holiday Dazzle Light Parade will step off from Grove Street at 5 p.m. and go through downtown Putnam. Rain date: Dec. 3. Presented by WINY radio, the Town of Putnam and Green Valley Crossing.

Tues.  Nov. 28
PUTNAM --- The Day Kimball Healthcare @ Home Hospice & Palliative Care Program manager will present “Meeting You Where You Are. Supporting People with Serious and Terminal Illnesses” from noon to 12:30 p.m. in the first floor Community Room at the Municipal Complex. All welcome.

Wed.  Nov. 29
Support Presentation
KILLINGLY --- “Lunch and Learn at The Library  Meeting You Where You Are will present “Supporting People with Serious & Terminal Illness” from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Killingly Library. RSVP by Nov. 27 to: Laura Kroll, RN, BSN. 860-576-4930.

Sat.  Dec. 2
Art/Craft Show
E. WOODSTOCK --- The East Woodstock Congregational Church will hold its annual Holiday Art/Craft Show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Holiday Fair
POMFRET --- The annual Saint Nicholas Victorian Fair in Pomfret will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 2 (snow date: Dec. 9) at Christ Church in Pomfret. Besides the fund-raiser fair to support community outreach, there is also an online Silent Auction Nov. 18 – 29. Auction purchases should be picked up in person at the Fair on Dec. 2. The auction is accessible at It goes live Nov. 18 at noon and closes at noon Nov. 29.

Sun.  Dec. 3
Tree of Life
The DKH 34th Annual Hospice Tree of Life Ceremonies will be held at 5 p.m. in 11 towns throughout northeastern Connecticut. The purchase of memorial lights on each community's Tree of Life benefits Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Connecticut. For info:

CHEPACHET --- The Music at the Meeting House will present its Christmas Concert, “silent Night, Joyful Night: The Christmas Carols of Northern Europe” at 2:30 p.m. at the Chepachet Baptist Church on Rt. 44. Free. All welcome. Freewill offering will be taken. Refreshments.


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