Senior Mitch Kezer anchored the Stonington High School lacrosse team defense this season, helping the Bears make the Class S semifinals.
Kezer was rewarded for his efforts, becoming the first Eastern Connecticut Conference player to earn US Lacrosse High School All-American status. He is one of 17 athletes from Connecticut on the team.
"There have been All-America caliber players in the ECC before, but they just haven't been noticed yet," Stonington coach Paul Deon said. "Mitch is that pioneer to get the ECC rolling. There will be more to come.
"It is absolutely huge for the area and Mitch is very deserving of the award. He works very hard and plays lacrosse year-round. He's a great kid."
With Kezer on defense, the Bears reached the state semifinals for the third time in four years, losing to St. Joseph of Trumbull, 9-6, Wednesday. Stonington finished with a 15-5 record.
Kezer, an All-State selection, is considering continuing his lacrosse career at Quinnipiac.
"Mitch has great field presence," Deon said. "He's got tremendous foot-work for a defender. ... He's got great stick skills. He has a strong ability to take charge of the defense. He's an on-field leader.
"He can throw what appears to be an effortless stick check on an offensive player while running with them, which is not easy to do.
In other honors, Fitch senior goalie Michael Semancik was one of eight Connecticut athletes named a US Lacrosse Academic All-America.
Niantic Legion folds
• The Niantic American Legion baseball program will not field a team this season due to a lack of numbers. The program, which also dropped its junior team last week for the same reason, was founded by Lou Ernst in 1959.
"Anytime a program is no longer viable it's disheartening,'' Zone VI commissioner John Krot said. "This is one of the oldest, well respected and most successful programs in the state. This comes as a shock to all of us.''
Since Niantic's season wasn't scheduled to start until tonight, its 30-game zone schedule won't have to be forfeited. The zone will now play 27-game schedules. Players from the Niantic program, however, will not be eligible to play for other Legion teams this summer.
• UConn and Boston College will play for the first time since 2005 when the long-time New England men's basketball rivals meet in the 2K Sports Classic in November. ESPN first reported the match-up.
UConn leads the overall series, 54-35. Indiana and Washington will join UConn and Boston College in the semifinals on Nov. 21 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Semifinal winners play for the championship on Nov. 22.
Each of the four teams will host a regional round from Nov. 14-17.
• East Lyme senior Fran Shields shot a 6-over 78 to finish tied for 21st and the Vikings placed 14th overall at the CIAC Division II tournament at Tallwood Country Club in Hebron.
The Vikings finished with 345 strokes. Daniel Hand of Madison won the team title with 299. North Haven's Ramsey Kong fired a 5-under 67 to earn medalist honors.
Other East Lyme competitors included: Connor Callaghan (85), Drew Bradley (92), Zachary Kosakowski (91) and Dinkar Ahuja (91).
• Six former southeastern Connecticut athletes earned New England Small College Athletic Conference spring all-academic honors.
To be honored, they had to be a sophomore varsity letter winner with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.35.
Selections by school:
Connecticut College: Aaron Davis, New London, men's track; Jen Herbert, Pawcatuck, women's tennis, a three-time selection; Ian Rathkey, Old Lyme, men's track.
Trinity: Matt Cohen, East Lyme, men's lacrosse; Wesleyan: Jake Turkowski, Old Lyme, men's lacrosse; Williams: Brianne Mirecki, East Lyme, women's track.
• Emerson College junior Chelsea Phillips, a St. Bernard High School graduate from Waterford, was recently named to the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Association's All-Region second team. She led the Lions with 67 goals and added 11 assists and also ranked first in draw controls (69) and ground balls (50).
• In her first year of eligibility, Wheeler sophomore Emma Marrs of Old Lyme was named to the New England Collegiate Conference academic spring team. She's a member of the women's lacrosse team.
• Southern Vermont sophomore Sean McKay of Mystic also earned NECC academic honors. He's on the baseball team.