Past Issues of the Putnam Town Crier



Mouhamed Dioubate has had himself a good summer. Bouncing back from an up-and-down half-season with Putnam Science Academy’s prep team, the 6-7 rebounding wing has opened a lot of eyes on the AAU circuit by outplaying a number of Top 50 and four and-five-star recruits. But don’t expect him to make a big deal of it.
“I don’t look at top players,” said Dioubate, who picked up offers from St. John’s, VCU, and St. Peter’s, among others. “I don’t look at them any different than a regular player. And I don’t discriminate against lesser players either. You’ve got to play hard and raise your level all the time, and I feel like I’ve done a good job of that this summer. I really don’t care who I play.
“My confidence level is extremely high. Not to sound cocky but I feel like I’m better than all the guys I play against. I believe you have to think that way, otherwise you’re already beaten. Everything has been going good. I’m just working out every day and trying to get better.” Dioubate joined the Mustangs in January from John Bowne High School in Queens, the same school that connected PSA with the Diarra brothers. He expected to play right away. That didn’t happen, and it didn’t happen much for the remainder of the season. He played limited minutes, and averaged a shade less than four points and three rebounds per game.
“I had to realize there were guys there who had so many practices in the first semester and only played two games, and it made me realize how hard they had been working,” he said. “Now that I’m going back, I expect a lot better from myself to earn the chance to play more.”
Mustangs coach Tom Espinosa isn’t surprised by the summer Dioubate had. “Playing with us for a couple months prepared him,” Espinosa said. “Mo showed us some flashes that he can be pretty good, and he’s killed it this summer, he’s played great. He’s so big and athletic. He’s just a monster on the glass. We’re anticipating that he plays a significant role this year. He should come in as a new man. It takes a lot of guys about one semester to adjust. Now he’s been through it and should be ready to go and be a new player.”
By Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy

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Late last summer, Darryl Simmons – never short on confidence – defiantly said he would have a role on Putnam Science Academy’s Prep basketball team. He said it would be an opportunity for him to prove he could lead a team at a young age, and that “this is my time. I worked hard for this. Somebody’s minutes are in jeopardy.”
In the coaches offices, that belief was not as strong.
“I don’t know that we were so sure,” Mustangs coach Tom Espinosa said recently. “I wasn’t convinced he was ready for the Prep level. At some point he would be. But I wasn’t sure it was going to be last year.”
But Simmons’ work ethic, attitude, and talent forced him onto the roster and into a backup point guard role to open the season. And when Bensley Joseph didn’t return to the team for the second-half restart after breaking his ankle in the second game, the ball was in Simmons’ hands. All he did was average 12.1 points, 4.4 assists, 1.7 steals, post a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, and lead PSA to an 18-3 record.
Needless to say, the view from the top has changed heading into the 2021-22 season.
“It’s really different, and it starts with recruiting,” Espinosa said. “In the years past, we needed to get a Bensley Joseph, a Tyson Etienne, a Kyle Lofton, someone who was going to run things. Now, we already have our point guard. We have our head of the snake.
“We’re excited about him. He’s a good player. He’s got confidence you can’t take away, and that’s a skill that is unique. You’ve got that, plus he is such a smart basketball player, plus guys love playing with him…it’s all a pretty good mix.”
Simmons, a member of the Class of 2023, has backed up his strong season with another one on the AAU circuit this summer, leading his U16 Expressions Elite team and garnering more interest from colleges.  
“It’s been a good summer,” said Simmons, who has added some muscle to his 5-foot, 10-inch frame. “I’m playing a lot of top 2023 guards who are on the ESPN list. For me, it’s about seizing the moment. Last season was an opportunity and I did what I had to do. I worked for it and put in the time and effort. Same thing this summer. People are the result of that time and work I put in.
“Looking ahead, I want to be more of a leader because the goal is to win a national championship. That’s the goal. There’s going to be ups and downs. It’s not all going to be as good as you think it will be. But we just have to work and keep going. All we want to do is win a national title.”
By Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy

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CorePlus
appoints new
board chair,
vice chair
CorePlus Federal Credit Union has appointed Jean Swift of Preston to serve as chair of its board of directors. Swift succeeds Susan Dowling who has served as chair of the board since 2020.
Nancy Bulkeley of Pawcatuck will serve as vice-chair.
Jean Swift is interim CFO to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and previously served as Tribal Council treasurer until December 2018. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Connecticut and a CorePlus Board Member since 2018. She also serves on the Board for the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce and recently completed a three-year term on the IRS Advisory Council, Tax Exempt and Governmental Entities Subgroup. Swift has an undergraduate degree in business administration from UConn and an MBA from DeVry University.
Bulkeley is the senior community affairs representative for Dominion Nuclear Connecticut. She has been in the nuclear industry for 25 years, in the areas of human resources, communications and public affairs. In her current position, she is responsible for representing her company and its policies and programs in the community. She is the primary interface to local governmental and community groups not only in nuclear related discussions but as a key interface for the local charities that are part of Dominion’s focus as a responsible member of the community. Bulkeley has served on committees and boards for several non-profit organizations in her community. She supports education programs through tours, community outreach, special events, and establishes and promotes minority outreach programs.

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Honored
FRANKLIN, Mass. — Four local students were named to the Dean College dean’s list for the spring 2020 semester: Olivia Cunha of N Grosvenordale; Yong Wang of Woodstock; Jacob Laflamme of Pascoag; Nancy Lavallee of Dayville.

Gets degree
NORTHFIELD, Vt. — Cahan John Quinn of Putnam received a bachelor’s of arts Cum Laude in criminal justice from Norwich University May 2, 2020.


Graduates
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Three local students at Western New England University received their academic degrees: Cooper Mayo of Dayville, bachelor’s of science; Kyle Wigmore of Woodstock, bachelor’s in business administration; Gabrielle Delos of Chepachet, bachelor’s in engineering.

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John Mathieu, Vietnam vet
PUTNAM — John Mathieu, 75, died July 14, 2021, in Hartford Hospital. Born in 1946 in Putnam, he was the son of the late Lucille Rose Mathieu.
Mr. Mathieu worked as an auditor for the IRS for many years and retired in 2009.
John enjoyed playing golf, video games, and traveling.
He had a love of music and played bass in a band.
He was also a member of the American Legion, VFW, and the Knights of Columbus.  
Mr. Mathieu was a U.S. Army veteran and served during Vietnam.
He leaves his grandson, Andrew Ziemba of Putnam. He was predeceased by his daughter, Rebecca Mathieu.
The Funeral was Aug. 10 at St. Joseph Cemetery, Dayville.
Gilman and Valade Funeral Homes and Crematory, 104 Church St. Putnam.

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