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    Saturday, December 03, 2022

    Local roundup: Wesleyan’s Nick Helbig, the ex-Fitch star, wins two major football awards

    Ex-Fitch High School star Nick Helbig, who recently wrapped up his football career at Wesleyan University in Middletown, was honored with a pair of major awards on Tuesday.

    The senior defensive lineman was awarded the 26th Joe Zabilski Award as New England Divisions II and III Defensive Player of the Year, and was also named the New England Small College Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season.

    In addition, Trinity head coach Jeff Devanney and East Lyme graduate was selected as the NESCAC Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his 17 years after guiding the Bantams to a perfect 9-0 season and the program’s 10th NESCAC title.

    Helbig was also a first-team All-NESCAC selection for the second straight year and was named to the New England Divisions II-III first team. Helbig was joined on the New England first team by Coast Guard Academy senior running back Spencer McMillion, who rushed for 1,175 yards and 16 touchdowns.

    Helbig receive the Zabilski Award at the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston’s annual Bob Whelan College Football Awards Night on Monday, Dec. 19 at the Marriott Hotel in Burlington, Mass. Helbig and McMillion will be honored at the New England Football Writers Captains and Awards Banquet on Thursday, Dec. 8 at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center.

    Helbig will leave as one of the most decorated players in Wesleyan football history. This season, he had 38 tackles (20 solo) with 11.5 tackles for loss, eight saves and five forced fumbles, which led the nation during the regulation season. He finished his three-year career (his sophomore season was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic) with 127 tackles, 35.5 tackles for loss, 21 sacks and seven forced fumbles in 26 games.

    Helbig has one season of eligibility remaining because of the missed 2020 season and recently announced via Twitter that he has entered the transfer portal and hopes to play his fourth season of eligibility at a higher level.

    Men’s basketball

    • Alfonzo Stokes scored 21 points, including 13-for-14 from the free throw line, as Mitchell College won its fourth straight by outlasting Albertus Magnus 77-74. New London’s Jalen Benson added 19 points for the Mariners (4-1), going 10-for-11 from the line, while Robert Zirlis finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

    • Connecticut College made it four straight wins with a 49-39 win over Salve Regina. Cam Schainfeld had 10 points and seven rebounds while RJ Casey added 10 points for the Camels (4-1).

    Women’s basketball

    • Amina Wiley had 23 points and 17 rebounds but Mitchell came up short against Western Connecticut, 64-57. Yasmine Santos added 14 points, seven rebounds and four steals for the Mariners (2-2).

    H.S. football

    • Victor Mejia ran for three touchdowns as Windham clinched at least one home game in the upcoming Class SS state playoffs with a 56-6 win over Montville. Quarterback Zachary Robinson Smey added a 40-yard TD run and a 33-yard touchdown pass to Emanuel Vazquez for the Whippets (9-1).

    The TD pass came on the final play of the half to give Windham a 29-6 lead and it came only 33 seconds after Montville (1-9) pulled to withing 22-6 on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Ladia to Anthony Barbuto.

    Women’s hockey

    • Goals by Casey Chesner and Melanie Conca lifted Conn College to a 2-1 win over Suffolk. Eun-Bee Hugh made 17 saves in goal for the Camels (2-1) while Kylie McCarthy and Serena Seiple each had an assist.

    H.S. field hockey

    • Eastern Connecticut Conference champion Stonington finished eight in the final state field hockey coaches’ poll of the season. The Bears lost in the Class S state final to North Branford, which finished No. 3 in the poll. Class L champion Darien finished No. 1.

    H.S. softball

    • The CIAC will hold its four 2023 state championship games on Saturday, June 10, at UConn’s Burrill Family Field Softball Complex. The state-of-the-art facility opened in 2021. “The CIAC is thrilled to offer student-athletes the opportunity to play at UConn,” CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini said in a release. “UConn’s staff has been great to work with and share CIAC’s excitement in bringing (the) state championships to Connecticut’s premier softball facility.”

    Thanksgiving football

    • Stonington hosts Westerly on Thursday in the 162nd Thanksgiving Day game between the two schools, the longest such rivalvy in the country. Gates open at 8:30 a.m., with kickoff scheduled for 10 a.m. All tickets are $5 and school officials are encouraging using exact change to speed up the process at all the gates. Backpacks will not be allowed.

    Road racing

    • The 41st Annual Pearl Harbor Memorial Road Race will be held on Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Waterford VFW Post 6573. The race is for runners 40-and-older with male and female division awards in five-year age groups. Race proceeds go to the Waterford VFW Youth Activities Fund. Race day registration opens at 9:30 a.m and the races beings at 11 a.m. Additional info and printable application is available at snerro.com and at the Waterford Parks and Recreation Office.

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