Local Roundup: Football Foundation honorees announced

Mohegan - Sixteen local scholar-athletes will by honored by the Southeastern Connecticut Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame at the organization's annual awards dinner, Sunday, April 28.

In addition, Tim Dwyer, The Day's Executive Editor, will be the recipient of the Bill Cawley Media Award after playing a lead role in bringing groundbreaking live production of football to the newspaper's Web site.

Players who will be honored are Joey Paparelli, Norwich Free Academy; Chris Gill, Ledyard; Trey Geisman, Bacon Academy; Dylan Martel, Griswold; Chris Connor, Valley Regional/Old Lyme; Caleb Camacho, New London; Mike Vitrano, Coast Guard Academy; Adam Opsahl, East Lyme; Isaiah Holloway, Montville; Michael Stringer, Woodstock Academy; Dane Grauer, Killingly; Ryan Brasel, Waterford; Colby Cyrus, Plainfield; Mike Semancik, Fitch; Ryan Luberto, Windham; Jake Radack, Stonington.

Other honorees are Person of the Year, Paul Hoey (CIAC); Coach of the Year, Jemal Davis (NFA); Retired Coach, Bob Mitchell (Stonington); Dick North Administrator, Art Lamoureux (Coast Guard Academy); Officials Award, Rick Bogert (Eastern Board).

The dinner will begin at 5 p.m. For tickets or more information, contact Jim Buonocore at jbuonocore@ledyard.net

Auriemma, Dailey honored

• UConn coach Geno Auriemma and his associate coach for the length of his hall of fame career with the Huskies, Chris Dailey, are among those who will be inducted into the Connecticut Women's Basketball Hall of Fame on April 24 in Hamden.

Before Auriemma was hired at UConn, the Huskies posted just one winning season in their entire history. Under his direction, UConn has won seven national championships and recently reached the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16 for the 20th straight season. The Huskies hold the NCAA record for consecutive wins with 90.

Auriemma has been National Coach of the Year seven times, Big East Coach of the Year 10 times and is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn. He coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in 2012 in London.

Dailey, like Auriemma, is in her 27th season at UConn, coordinating the Huskies' recruiting efforts. She was inducted into the Rutgers University Lady Knight Hall of Fame as a member of the 1982 national championship team.

Other inductees are Patty Costa (high school player, Andrew Warde); Karen "Pie" Draughn (high school player, Wilbur Cross); Nick Chaconis (high school coach, Portland); Amy Matthews McKenna (college player, Western Connecticut); and Lisa Brummel (college player, Yale).

The induction dinner will be held at the Cascade Banquet Facility at 480 Sherman Ave., in Hamden. Ticket information may be obtained from Ann V. Fariss at (203) 378-6581 or avfariss@sbcglobal.net

College baseball

• UConn managed just 11 hits in a doubleheader loss to Seton Hall, falling 4-3 in 11 innings and 3-0. In game one, freshman Vinny Sience went 3-for-5 with two runs scored for the Huskies (14-9, 2-3 Big East) while senior LJ Mazzilli went 0-for-5 to end his career-best 15-game hitting streak.

WNBA, ESPN extend contract

• The WNBA has extended its contract with ESPN through the 2022 season.

The league and network announced Thursday they added six years to their current broadcasting deal, which had four seasons remaining. ESPN has been televising WNBA games since its inaugural season in 1997. Up to 30 games will be aired yearly on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

Under the expanded deal, broadcasts will feature a referee cam worn by officials during select games and the inclusion of former players to provide their perspective on the progress of the sport through the years.

The network also will have increased access to practices, shootarounds and the locker rooms before games and during halftime.

The WNBA also unveiled a rebranded logo that features a silhouette of a player in the act of shooting a layup. Previously, the silhouette was of a player dribbling, similar to the logo used by the NBA. The lettering of the league's name also was changed to more rounded characters with a lowercase "n' and "a.'

"We took a look at our current logo and felt that as we looked at her, she just didn't really reflect the athleticism, the diversity and sort of the competitive nature of our game as we're entering into our 17th season," Richie said.

Both Skipper and Richie declined to disclose the monetary value of the deal.

"It would be silly of me not to recognize there is a financial component to this deal and that is intended to help the league get more of their teams to profitability," Skipper said. "I will not comment on what that amount is no matter how many times you ask me. ... Clearly that's there and it's important teams have financial stability so they can grow and market and add to players' salaries."

The WNBA draft is April 15 and the league's 17th season opens May 24.


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