In spring sports, can Plainville survive the CCC?

August 22, 2014

By MICHAEL LETENDRE
STAFF WRITER
PLAINVILLE – The last two weeks have proven a telling tale about whether or not the Central Connecticut Conference is the right division in which Plainville High School should compete.
Along the way, we’ve seen why (and why the Blue Devils shouldn’t) remain as a member of the CCC.
Let’s answer a quick question: What good does it do squaring off against bigger schools all the time?
Sure, for the Plainville baseball team in 2012, all those losses to Bristol Central, Conard and the like, helped mold the squad into a state champion and those games proved to be invaluable.
But most times, David doesn’t beat Goliath and the results don’t turn out all that great in the end.
So, keep in mind as we explore what took place over the recent spring scholastic season, how well did Plainville fare overall?
How did Plainville do against those Class L and Class LL giants?
Let’s take a look at the final results from the spring and, next week, let’s revisit the overall picture of Plainville and the CCC South.
 
Spring sports offered by the CCC: 11 (where’s Ultimate Frisbee?!?)
Spring sports Plainville participates in: Eight
b Girls and boys lacrosse (with a turf field soon to be constructed, maybe it’s time to propose starting those programs) and boys volleyball.
 
Here’s a quick look at the sports Plainville high school participated in and the results from last season’s spring campaign:
Baseball
Regular Season Record (2014): 10-11 overall
Wins against: Plainville defeated the likes of Fermi (10-4), Middletown (5-4), East Harford (7-3), Conard (5-4), and Bristol Eastern (4-1).
CCC South ledger: The Blue Devils were 5-9 in CCC South play.
Class M Tournament: Plainville, ranked 31st in the Class M field, dropped its game to No. 2 Plainfield by a 10-1 final.
All-Conference: Rob Pezzulo and Shane Pugliese were named all conference.
Quick take of the season: Plainville was a bit on the young side but, again, was challenged by mostly bigger teams throughout the campaign. Plainville did a good job to pick off Eastern (and its huge roster) but struggled against Bristol Central and the like. Usually, the Blue Devils thrive in the “underdog” role in the regular season, taking its lumps, before making some loud noise in the state tournament. And that formula, like in 2012, often works out well. Plainville, after posting a loss on Griswold to advance in the Class M bracket, simply ran into an excellent Plainfield team – ranked second overall. There’s still no reason for any Plainville team having to battle Class L/LL in regular season play. The system of having top finishers/middle finishers/bottom finishers in CCC Interdivisional play each other for six games when bigger schools still sneak into the fray isn’t working.
 
Softball
Regular Season Record (2014): 8-13 overall
Wins against: The Blue Devils defeated New Britain (5-4), Middletown (8-6), Farmington (4-1) and took down Platt 5-4.
CCC South ledger: Plainville went 4-10 overall in CCC South play.
Class M Tournament: No. 29 Plainville dropped its first round game to CCC competitor Rocky Hill – ranked fourth – by a 6-1 score.
All-Conference: Senior Alexis Ruscito, Danielle Angelillo were named all CCC South performers.
Quick take of the season: Let’s give the softball team some credit here because the squad could have easily missed the state tournament picture. The Blue Devils took its lumps in battles with Central and Eastern but came back strong to end the campaign. Credit the leadership of the Alexis Ruscito and Danielle Angelillo and the battle Plainville put up against Rocky Hill in the playoffs. But, again, having to play the Bristol schools is an uphill climb in the middle of a snowstorm. And trying to compete with some of those year round softball players from Bristol Central is tough for any program, not just the smaller ones.
 
Boys Outdoor Track
Regular Season Record (2014): 6-8 overall
Wins against: The big one was the Blue Devils defeating arch rival Berlin, 77-73.
CCC South ledger: Plainville went 2-4 in CCC South play.
Class M Tournament: The Blue Devils placed 25th overall at the Class M challenge.
All-Conference: The all conference contingent from Plainville included Omar Abdelsame, Nick Boutin, Julius Brown, Dante Correa, Quentin Lux and Alec Maisonet .
Quick take of the season: Plainville had a loaded squad this year and even beat Berlin this past campaign. That’s a special deal. Now, how does this small, but mighty, squad stack up to Middletown or Bristol Central or Bristol Eastern? While some of these schools that have athletes who perform in just one of two events, athletes like Omar Abdelsame, Quentin Luz and Alec Maisonet have to get stretched and compete in multiple events. Against a squad like St. Paul, both teams would be on the same page. Hence, a more competitive meet. But against Central? True, you can’t stack the deck but you can even out the playing field a bit.
 
Girls Outdoor Track
Wins against: The Blue Devils defeated Bulkeley.
CCC South ledger: Plainville went 2-4 in CCC South play.
Class M Tournament: At the Class M event, Plainville finished 19th overall.
All-Conference: The Plainville girls track team had one all conference performer, Shea Echols.
Quick take of the season: The Plainville track teams are always doomed against the bigger schools and that includes Middletown. But if you ever attend a Plainville track meet, check out the size of the Bristol Central and Eastern programs…the Blue Devils can’t compare. Sure, Shea Echols will sprint her shoes off – and usually beat everyone – but the Rams and Lancers throw, seemingly, zillions of participants in each event. Pitting Class M (really, Plainville might as well be Class S) schools against Class L/LL giants is a no-no.
 
Boys Golf
Regular season record (2014): 6-10 overall
Wins against: Plainville defeated Platt (186-213), Maloney (178-229) and Platt (187-197).
CCC South ledger: Plainville went 6-8 in CCC South competition.
All-Conference: Nick Lea and Nick D’Amico were all CCC South members.
Quick take of the season: Plainville had an up and down year in golf but still managed to win six matches. Again, the Blue Devils had its hands full with the bigger programs like the Bristol schools. Someone pointed out that having bigger schools versus smaller schools in golf doesn’t matter since it’s only five-on-five in terms of scoring. But it does matter when these big schools have JV guys that would be starting at several other schools because of the sheer number of participants in the programs.
 
Girls Golf
Regular season record (2014): 1-11 overall
CCC South ledger: Plainville went 1-4 in CCC South action.
CCC Tournament: Plainville placed 13th out of 14 in the 2014 CCC Girls Golf Tournament (520).
All-Conference: To her credit, Taylor Rogers made the CCC South all conference squad.
Quick take of the season: First year programs have their up and downs and just getting one win on the greens is impressive. With not as many opponents to take on in terms of girls golf, the Blue Devils have to take on as many local programs as it can since Bristol Central, Eastern and the like don’t carry programs. Taylor Rogers, Sarah Yorski, Tessa Pereault, Jamilex Rivera, and their teammates deserves credit for getting on the course in 2014. Hard to really judge girls golf on class size since everyone’s programs are growing – from big to small schools.
 
Boys Tennis
Regular season record (2014): 3-10 overall
Wins against: The Blue Devils defeated Bristol Eastern (4-3), the Bulkeley Co-op (6-1), and Bristol Central (5-2).
CCC South ledger: Plainville was an impressive 3-3 in CCC South contests.
Class M tournament: Plainville did not take part of the state tournament as a team.
All-Conference: None for the 2014 campaign.
Quick take of the season: The Plainville boys tennis team returned after several years of inaction. And in a rare feat, Plainville did pretty well against a few of the bigger schools. Wins against Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern were two feathers in the cap for Plainville as both the Bristol schools have very well established boys tennis programs. As this team grows so will the number of victories each season.
 
Girls Tennis
Regular Season Record (2014): 7-9 overall
Wins against: Plainville picked off Manchester (6-1), Rockville (5-2), Platt (6-1), Bloomfield (6-1), and Windsor (7-0).
CCC South ledger: The Blue Devils were 2-5 in CCC South action.
Class M Tournament: Plainville just missed the cut at 7-9.
All-Conference: None for the 2014 campaign.
Quick take of the season: The girls were impressive on the court and the 7-9 ledger was a big improvement over 2013. The squad is heading in the right direction. However, the 2-5 CCC South record says a ton over how Plainville does against the bigger schools it’s forced to play. Bluntly, how can the Blue Devils compete with the tennis machines that come out of both Bristol Eastern and Central. I’m calling “fault” on that one…
 Conclusion: It could have gone a lot worse for the Plainville programs but the Blue Devils did well against all comers none-the-less. No team garnered a .500 record though baseball was flirting with .500 ledger all season. With two new spring teams in the mix, that winning percentage was naturally dragged down a bit but in the end, a rift is still notable when Plainville is out competing in the big school division known as the CCC. Next week, some final thoughts on the 2014 scholastic campaign will be discussed.

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