Past Issues of the Putnam Town Crier


Holiday season marked by annual
pops concert at Loos Center
WOODSTOCK — During the holiday season more than 325 residents enjoyed the third annual Holiday Pops Concert at the Loos Center for the Arts which was sponsored by Performing Arts of Northeast Connecticut, the afternoon featured a festive musical kickoff to the holiday season.
The afternoon began with a pre-show reception including cookies, hot cocoa and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Guests also enjoyed the colorful artwork of “This is Me” local student show in the Loos Center’s Gallery, which can be seen through the end of January.
The concert began with four pieces performed by The Woodstock Academy Hill Singers, a small a cappella choir of talented high school students directed by Amy Ranta. The afternoon’s headliner, the Ocean State Pops Orchestra, featured about 20 pieces in two acts with a short intermission.

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Donation
The Day Kimball Healthcare Foundation recently received a community grant of $2,000 from the Walmart Supercenter in Putnam in support of Day Kimball At Home services of HomeCare, HomeMakers, and Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern CT. From left: Walmart Supercenter Store Manager Sandra Klein and Kristen Willis, director of development, DKH.

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Mook Zimmerman has a long resume filled with plenty of successes as a football coach. Undefeated season. Arena League champions. Arena League Coach of the Year awards. But he says his greatest wins have come off the field.
“I have a lot of wins and losses on the field, but a having young man who I taught how to tie a tie when he was on my middle school team now sending me a video of himself doing it while getting ready for the Senior Prom and singing the song I taught him, that’s a win,” Zimmerman said last week. “I am most proud to have been able to push them to the next level, whether as players or as men. I’m proud that I’ve been able to do that and I’m proud of the young men who have taken it.”
Zimmerman will be looked upon to win both on and off the field again, this time at Putnam Science Academy where he was named last week as the football coach of the new program set to play its first season in the fall of 2024. The 35-year-old Zimmerman was most recently the head coach of the West Virginia Rough Riders of the Arena Pro Football League and the American Arena League.
“The excitement is the challenge,” said Zimmerman, a native of Waterbury. “It’s the challenge of not having all the resources we may need but the school saying, ‘We’re giving you the keys and we’re going to back you and some day we are going to have all those things.’ I’m real big on challenges and I want to make this football program great. I’m excited for the challenge, for the recruiting, and for drawing exposure to Putnam Science and building the student body and fan base across the country.
“Even if we don’t get everybody we recruit nationally right away, our name will be national. I want people to start having it in their heads, just like they do for our basketball, baseball, and soccer programs, that Putnam Science up there in New England is a place we can go to.”
PSA Dean of Athletics Tom Espinosa said starting a football program is, in a word, stressful. But he received quality resumes from candidates across the country. Zimmerman’s stood out though. His extensive experience was one thing. The fact that he is from Connecticut and has New England ties is another. Espinosa appreciated too hearing of the work Zimmerman and his team did in the community. When they met for an interview, Espinosa was sold.
“He just blew me away with his energy, his ideas,” Espinosa said. “His experience speaks for itself. It’ll be great to have someone who has coached at all levels, including professionally. And speaking with his references, one of them was an owner of an arena league team, who talked about how he holds his guys accountable on and off the field. I’m excited to have Mook on board. I really feel comfortable that we got the right guy to build this program.”
After playing collegiately at Sacred Heart University, Zimmerman played professionally in arena leagues in both South and North America. He began his coaching career at Sacred Heart Catholic High School in Waterbury before moving into the arena league, where he led the Rough Riders to an undefeated season and league championship in 2017 when he was named Coach of the Year. He lost just two games the next year, before going undefeated and winning another league title and Coach of the Year award in 2019.
Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy

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Day of Service
Several Woodstock Academy athletic teams took part in the Martin Luther King National Day of Service by collecting and donating food and personal items to the Daily Bread food pantry. The girls’ basketball team, wrestling team (represented by from left: Gunner Basak, Owen Hamilton and Ayden Angel-Ouimette) and members of the indoor track and girls’ hockey teams walked from the YMCA to the food pantry to deliver the items. Photos by Sean Saucier and Cahan Quinn/Woodstock Academy.

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DJ Germann missed most of the first half of the basketball season with an injury but is finally showing what he can do now that he is healthy.
The PSA postgrad had an electric week in leading the Elite team to a pair of wins – going for 16 points, five rebounds, five steals, and four assists in a 98-86 drubbing of St. Thomas More last Thursday, then following up with 18 points, seven assists, and five rebounds in a 113-79 win over Winchendon.
“He’s so fast, a lot of guys can’t keep him in front of them,” coach Nick Schmidt said. “He’s been a big addition to have back, especially at full strength, and especially too with Tony (Williams) being moved to the Prep team. DJ’s been really good.”
Javelle Epps had a game-high 21 points in the St. Thomas More game, while Octavius Wheeler finished with 18 points, three assists, and three steals, and Jalen Claude added 16 points and five assists. Sebastian Fermin chipped in with 14 points for PSA, which used a 23-5 run in the first half to grab a 10-point lead and take control of the game.
Epps added 20 more points against Winchendon, while Carter Mungin had 12 points and 14 rebounds, and Fermin and Tyler Hansen combined for 31 points and nine 3-pointers. Fermin went 5-of-6 from deep and finished with 17 points while Hansen made 4-of-6 and totaled 14 points. Wheeler chipped in 10 points, five assists, four rebounds, and three steals for PSA (10-2).
The Varsity team dropped it lone game last week, a tough one, 48-46 at Busche Academy. Amyas Hall-Chiari led PSA (4-4) with 13 points, while Vlad Vetrov had eight and Martyn Poliuchovic and Julien Ville both finished with seven.
PSA’s girls’ basketball team lost three in a row over the weekend while playing three Canadian teams at the She Got Game Classic. Carlota Lopez was brilliant in all three games though, putting her all-around game on display, particularly her dazzling ballhandling and finishing skills. She finished with 10 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals in a 43-38 loss to St. Francois Friday night, a game in which Kate Lipatova led PSA in scoring with 19 points (knocking down five 3-pointers along the way).
Lopez had with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and three steals in Saturday’s game against Bond Academy, which used a big third quarter to seal the Mustangs’ fate. Lipatova had five points, six rebounds, and three blocks for PSA, which trailed by just five at halftime but by 20 after three quarters. Helin Yoztyurk added 10 points for the Mustangs.
Lopez was terrific again Sunday in a 50-40 loss to Atlantic Academy, charting 12 points and eight rebounds.
Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy

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