Past Issues of the Putnam Town Crier


In spurts, the first half of the PSA girls’ basketball season has been good. In spurts.
The Mustangs Prep Black team opened the season with three convincing wins, then dropped four in a row despite holding a lead in each, before closing the first semester with wins over two solid teams.
“We’ve talked about this as a team, that we can be very good, that we have a chance to be very good,” coach Devin Hill said. “We’re inconsistent right now, I think we would all agree to that.
“I’m not talking about you ordinary basketball, game of runs. I’m talking about our energy, about we’re not playing well. And not because of anything the other team is doing, but just because we’re not playing well. But I think we’ve shown enough and understand that if we do certain things better, then we can have a really good second half of the year.”
Sitting at 5-4, the Mustangs could very easily be 8-1. But they’re not, and Hill is nothing if not a realist. He won’t allow his team to make excuses, he just fully expects them to make the adjustments. And winning those last two games, at the highly-visible She Got Game Classic in Washington, D.C., just before the break, could go a long way.
“After the first three games, I thought we felt really good about ourselves,” Hill said, “and I think we got punched in the face a little bit after that, which is OK. We responded, and we responded well.”
The Mustangs, who have proven to be more explosive offensively than Hill anticipated especially when shooting 3-pointers, have been led by sophomore Ines Goryanova, a point guard from London who is already widely regarded as one of the top two players in New England; Molly Moffitt, a do-it-all postgrad from Seattle; and Janeya Grant, another sophomore from Portland, Conn., who can light it up.
Moffitt leads the team with 14.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, with Grant right there at 13.3 points per game. But it is Goryanova, averaging 13.5 points and 5.5 assists, who is the key to it all.
“Ines makes everything go,” Hill said. “That’s the best way to say it. You don’t always necessarily notice during the games. You can be like ‘Oh, that was a good play,” but when you go back and watch the game, it’s just ridiculous. The vision she has, the understanding, the IQ.
“As far as making people better, now people understand that the better she does with the way she plays, the better everyone is going to look. I hope that’s resonated by now, and I think it has.”
PSA has played a hellacious schedule already, especially when considering the travel. Two days after playing at Life Center Academy in southern New Jersey, they played at Westtown (Penn.) and Blair Academy (N.J.) on back-to-back nights. There are few, if any, teams in the country that would do that. The Mustangs also traveled six hours to Maryland to participate in the Super Scrimmage and take on some of the better teams in the country, including consensus No. 1 Sidwell Friends.
“I’m not saying no one else plays good teams in New England. That’s not true, I’m not saying that,” Hill said. “The way we do it and the stress that we put on these girls really is a lot. But I do think we’re going to be better for it, that it’s going to pay off in February, and that is the key.”
By Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy

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caption:

Escorts
Above and right, Woodstock Academy freshman Grace Pokorny, white jersey, worked hard against Oakmont Regional in hockey. The Spartans and Centaurs finished in a 1-1 tie at the Jahn Ice Rink at Pomfret School.  Photos by Trent Peters/The Woodstock Academy.


It was nearly two years since the Woodstock Academy hockey team played a Central Massachusetts League game and some things just don’t change.
The Centaurs recorded three ties in their six games played in that inaugural season as a league member two years ago in 2019-20.
Dec. 22 Woodstock and Oakmont Regional and tied, 1-1.
First-year coach Eric Roy didn’t know what to expect having never played a Central Mass. opponent. He liked what he saw.
“These are the teams we should be playing; we’re equal. These are going to be good games the whole way through and will be good measuring sticks,” Roy said.
The Spartans got the jump on the Centaurs (0-1-1, 0-0-1 Central Mass. League).
Freshman forward Rachel Simkewicz took the puck behind the blue line, skated through the neutral zone and was unchallenged as she approached Woodstock goalie Mia Dang.
She lifted her shot above Dang, it clipped the crossbar and found the back of the net 10 minutes, 47 seconds into the game.
But unlike the Centaurs 3-0 loss to Burrillville, R.I., in their season opener the week before, the attitude was different this time.
“You could see the deflation when (Burrillville) scored on us last week. This week, you could see the anger and the energy went up. That’s what I took from this game, the difference in our energy after giving up that goal,” Roy said.
The Centaurs, instead, answered.
“Sydney (Haskins) passed it to Keynila (Hochard) who bounced it off the boards. I went past a defender, deked the goalie, and scored,” Chaves said. That brought the morale up.
“It was the type of goal this team needed to see – you go to the net and make something happen. It was a beautiful goal. She worked hard for it and, as a result, everyone was in front of the goal and that’s how goals are made,” said Roy.
It’s something the Centaurs still have to work on. Woodstock had 16 shots but few came off of rebounds.
“That’s all we’re working on now is finishing, finding that spot that gets them angry and gets them in front of the net. We still need to work on it so we’re just going to keep drilling it,” Roy said.
“I think we’re spread out just a little too much. We need a few more bodies in front to put the puck in,” Chaves added.
On the other side of the ice, the defense has been solid.
“It’s been the part of the lineup that we have rotated a lot. I pull some of them up to forward. I did that with Keynila (against Oakmont). We didn’t have Alex (Lee, out with an illness) so the younger defensive crew played a great game and the back checking was phenomenal. We’re playing well in front of Mia which is huge, they are not getting good opportunities on her,” Roy said.
Dang turned aside 16 of the 20 shots sent at her.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy

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Thur.  Dec. 30
Nightingale Hike
POMFRET --- The Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Pomfret on Day Road will present “Hike Nightingale Forest South” at 9 a.m. at the Wyndham Land Trust. Register: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. $5 CAS members; $10 nonmembers. 960-928-4948.

Sat.  Jan. 1, 2022
Happy New Year!

Food Drive
POMFRET --- The Pomfret Proprietor’s Food Drive to benefit the TEEG Food Pantry at Pomfret will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. at Pomfret Senior Center. Nonperishable Items, canned or boxed and dessert mixes are much appreciated.   Representatives from Berkshire Hathaway will be there to collect donations.  

Sat.  Jan. 8
History Program
POMFRET --- The Pomfret Historical Society will present “Historic Pomfret Boundaries and Houses” with Walter Hinchman at 10 a.m. at the Pomfret Community & Senior Center on Rt. 44. Free. More info on the town’s website.

Open House
POMFRET --- The Windham-Tolland 4-H Camp Open HHHouse from 1 to 3 p.m. at the camp on Taft Pond Road. Masks required indoors. Early bird discounts – details available at the open house or on the website.  

Sun.  Feb. 13
History Program
POMFRET --- The Pomfret Historical Society will present “Antique Photography” with Hunter Neal at 2 p.m. at the Pomfret Community & Senior Center on Rt. 44. Free. More info on the town’s website.

Sat.  Feb. 19
Wee Walk
THOMPSON --- The Wyndham Land Trust’s family-friendly Wee Wander Walk, “Animal Tracking at the Robins Preserve” will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Dress appropriately and bring your camera. www.wyndhamlandtrust.org.

Sat.  March 12
History Program
POMFRET --- The Pomfret Historical Society will present “The Windham Textile Mill” with Bev York at 10 a.m. at the Pomfret Community & Senior Center on Rt. 44. Free. More info on the town’s website.

Sat.  April 9
History Program
POMFRET --- The Pomfret Historical Society will present “Connecticut History Explorations” with Walter Woodward at 10 a.m. at the Pomfret Community & Senior Center on Rt. 44. Free. More info on the town’s website.

Sat.  May 7
Wee Walk
POMFRET --- The Wyndham Land Trust’s family-friendly Wee Wander Walk, “Salamander Search at the 3 B’s” will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Dress appropriately and bring your camera. www.wyndhamlandtrust.org

Sat.  May 14
History Program
POMFRET --- The Pomfret Historical Society will present “The Last Green Valley Notables & Notorious” with Bill Reid at 10 a.m. at the Pomfret Community & Senior Center on Rt. 44. Free. More info on the town’s website.

Sat.  June 11
History Program
POMFRET --- The Pomfret Historical Society will present “Connecticut’s 29th Colored Regiment” with Donna Dufresne at the Pomfret Community & Senior Center on Rt. 44. Free. More info on the town’s website.

Sat.  Aug. 6
Wee Walk
POMFRET --- The Wyndham Land Trust’s family-friendly Wee Wander Walk, “Bats at Lyon Preserve” will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Dress appropriately and bring your camera. www.wyndhamlandtrust.org

Sat.  Aug. 13
History Program
POMFRET --- The Pomfret Historical Society will present “The Historic Mills of Pomfret” with Dick Symonds at the Pomfret Community & Senior Center on Rt. 44. Free. More info on the town’s website.

Sat.  Oct. 1
Wee Walk
WOODSTOCK --- The Wyndham Land Trust’s family-friendly Wee Wander Walk, “Leaves and Mushrooms at Rapoport Preserve” will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Dress appropriately and bring your camera. www.wyndhamlandtrust.org

Sat. Nov. 5, 2022
Dueling Pianos
PUTNAM --- Day Kimball Healthcare will present Dueling Pianos Presented By Foxwoods Resort Casino at 7 p.m. at Connecticut National Golf Club. Benefit: Day Kimball Healthcare At Home. More Info: daykimball.org/pianos

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Robert J. Gerardi,
U.S. Navy vet
PUTNAM — Robert J Gerardi, 88, of Richmond Rd., formerly of Winter Garden, Fla., and Dayville, died Dec. 14, 2021, at home.  He was the husband of Mary Alice (Akin) Gerardi. Born in Putnam, he was the son of the late Wida and Dora (Beauregard) Gerardi.
Following graduation from St Mary School, he attended Assumption Prep in Worcester and graduated from Putnam High School. Mr. Gerardi graduated from The College of the Holy Cross and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He was a member of the Holy Cross President’s Council for more than 50 years and recently at the Fenwick Society level.
In 1964, he purchased the Mabel D. Ryan Insurance Agency in Putnam, and later in 1964, merged with the Fernand (Joe) Desaulniers Insurance Agency. He became sole owner of that combined agency in 1970 and later purchased and merged with other local agencies. Upon his retirement, he sold the agency to a senior employee.
In May 1953, he was the first voice broadcast over WINY (then WPCT) during early morning tests of the station’s frequency before its inaugural broadcast. He continued working as a part-time announcer until after his college graduation.
Active in numerous civic and community activities, he was an officer of the Killingly/Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the Danielson Jaycees.  He was elected to the Danielson Borough Council and later became Borough Clerk and Treasurer.  He was also chair of the Danielson Charter Revision Commission.  In 1960, he was one of 20 individuals to organize the new County Bank & Trust Company of Danielson, which, through several mergers, is now part of Bank of America.
He was a Corporator, Board member, and Vice Chairman of the Day Kimball Hospital Board of Directors. He also chaired several committees at the hospital.  For many years, he was a Board Member of Catholic Charities for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich.
In addition to his varied community service, he took great pride in his service to the insurance profession. In 1984, he was elected president of the Connecticut State Association of Independent Insurance Agents.  He later was elected to represent Connecticut on the Board of the 50 State National Directors representing the United States insurance industry. During his career, he served on several national and regional advisory boards for a variety of insurance companies including The Travelers, Fireman’s Fund, Kemper, General Accident, American International, and others. He held membership in several clubs and was also a Life Member of the Knights of Columbus.
An avid boater, he cruised his boats to several ports on the east coast from Maine to Key West, Fla., and beyond.  He was a member of the United States Sail & Power Squadrons, the East Greenwich (RI) Yacht Club, where he served as Fleet Captain.  Until recently, he was also a member of the Newport (RI) Yacht Club and earlier, the New York (NY) Yacht Club.
In addition to his wife, he leaves four sons, Robert J. Gerardi Jr., CPA of Ellington, Peter V. Gerardi (Kathleen) of Brooklyn, Anthony J. Gerardi (Christine) of Winter Garden, Jeffrey J Gerardi (Linh) of Putnam; a daughter JoAnn Voccio (Joe) of Brooklyn; his brother Michael of Jupiter, Fla.; and sisters Susan Rich of Putnam, Melanie Mathieu of Shrewsbury, Mass., Marie Bogdanski of Pembroke, Mass., and Lori Wajer of Woodstock; 11 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.  He was predeceased by his son Paul James in 1964, by a sister Diane O’Brien in 1985, and by a sister Gail Ducharme in 2009.
The Funeral was private. Donations: The Gerardi Family Scholarship, c/o College of the Holy Cross, 1 College St., Worcester MA 01610; or to Hospice of Northeast Connecticut P.O. Box 632, Putnam CT 06260. Gilman Funeral Home & Crematory, 104 Church St., Putnam.

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PUTNAM — Dec. 13 nine students were officially welcomed into the Putnam High School chapter of the National Honor Society during its annual induction ceremony. Chapter advisors are Courtney Prendergast and John Allen. PHS Principal Heather Taylor and Putnam Superintendent Daniel Sullivan gave opening remarks.
Inducted were: Alishia Thompson is a 16-year-old junior at Putnam High School.  In the past three years, she has participated in both Putnam’s SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and GSA (Gender Sexuality Alliance) clubs.  She is passionate about teaching Martial Arts to young kids at her dojang.  After she graduates from high school, she plans to attend UConn and study psychology to help children and teens fight mental health struggles.
Guinevere Weiker is a 16-year-old junior at Putnam High School. In her time at PHS, she has enjoyed serving as president of the SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) club and is currently also serving as the co-president of the National Student Organization, “Text Less, Live More”.  She is passionate about political science and making change.  In the future, she wants to live unconventionally on a “schoolie” (converted school bus) named Filmore after she has graduated from an Ivy League school.
Ella Schoppe is a 16-year-old junior at Putnam High School.  In her time at PHS, she has enjoyed challenging herself through the most difficult courses offered.  She is currently serving as vice president of the PHS SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) Club.  In her free time, she is passionate about art and competitive horseback riding.  While undecided on her plan of study post-graduation, Ella knows she wants to use her love of design to help people.
Emily St. Martin is a 16-year-old junior at Putnam High School.  At this point Emily has accumulated close to 200 hours of community in northeastern Connecticut, spending time working at Daily Bread or through Putnam Leo Club.  In her spare time, she enjoys playing volleyball, basketball, and softball.  After graduation, Emily is planning on pursuing a career in nursing.
Jacob Mailloux is a 16-year-old junior at Putnam High School. Jacob has spent his time at PHS volunteering through the Putnam Leo Club and serving as a team captain on the varsity baseball team at PHS.  He enjoys playing sports and spending time with his family and friends.  After graduation, he hopes to attend a four-year college and study physical therapy or sports medicine.
Enrico Ong is a 16-year-old junior at Putnam High School.  He has served as an officer in the Putnam Leo Club and spends time playing sports through Putnam High School’s boys’ basketball and soccer team.  In his free time he enjoys sports and looking after his younger brother.  While he is undecided on post-high school plans, after he graduates, he hopes to make a difference in people’s lives.
Tyler Fullerton is a 17-year-old senior at Putnam High School.  He has worked hard to maintain high honors while holding down a part-time job and playing soccer, volleyball and football. Tyler served as the co-captain of the first-ever PHS boys’ volleyball team.  In his free time, he enjoys quality time with family and friends.  He hopes to attend UConn to study business after graduation.
Rafaela Araujo is a 19-year-old senior at Putnam High School originally from Rio De Janeiro.  Before coming to America, Araujo volunteered at orphanages, children’s cancer hospitals, and read for people who were blind. Araujo likes spending time with family, friends, and community.  Araujo currently works at South County Hospital in Wakefield, R.I. After graduation, Araujo hopes to become a criminal prosecutor.
Benjamin Northup is a 17-year-old senior at Putnam High School. He has volunteered many times for his class and has been involved in school events.  He has maintained high honors while also managing a part-time job and participating in soccer, volleyball and basketball. He served as the co-captain of the first-ever PHS boys’ volleyball team.  When not participating in school or work, he enjoys watching football and spending time with his family and friends. He hopes to study business at UConn.


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