2013-14 Sports News and Accomplishments

scholar athletes
West Haven High School has chosen softball captain Sierra Santana and soccer captain Pablo Perez as its CIAC Scholar-Athletes of the Year after reviewing their stellar performances in class and on the field. The seniors were honored recently at the Annual Connecticut High School Scholar-Athlete Awards Program and Banquet with recipients from other high schools from across the state. One female and one male student are chosen at each CIAC member school each year.

​The West Haven High School boys soccer team will soon welcome a new coach, now that a Hamden resident who competed in the sport locally and abroad in high school and college has been appointed to the position. The Board of Education approved the hiring of Peter Hamasian at Monday night’s meeting, after a selection committee recommended him for the job. He most recently worked as the assistant coach for the Daniel Hand High School junior varsity girls soccer team—which he says lost only two games in his two years as a coach—and replaces Liam Leapley, who recently stepped down from the WHHS boys soccer coach position.


The Rotary Club of West Haven honored 37 West Haven High School juniors and one senior May 21 at its annual Scholar-Athlete Recognition ceremony. Senior Leah Morrissey was presented with the Robert Greenwood Service Above Self Award for her involvement in athletics and community service at school and in West Haven.  Numerous Westies honored are part of multiple sports at WHHS. Athletic Director Jon Capone distributed the awards at the ceremony to Elise Abu-Sitteh, cross country and indoor track; Arianna Allen, indoor and outdoor track; Cassidy Allen, volleyball; David Bennett, unified soccer, basketball and track; Joseph Bepko, hockey; Danielle Bertolini, lacrosse and volleyball; Lizi Bowen, soccer; Thomas Brim, basketball; Vanessa Brown, dance and indoor and outdoor track; Kayley Carr, volleyball; Haroon Chaudhry, indoor and outdoor track; Lhamo Dolma, tennis; Elizabeth Fournier, swimming; Donald Froehlich, hockey; Samantha Furtak, soccer and hockey; Yalda Jabarkhyl, cross country and indoor track; Jake Kelly, baseball; Taylor Lambert, volleyball; Cindy Ki, tennis; Madly Lima, outdoor track; Matthew Marcello, tennis; Katerina Mazzacane, tennis; Jolie Morrell, soccer and softball; Cindy Nguyen, tennis; Alice Obas, tennis; Marisa Pacapelli, soccer, hockey and softball; Julia Paterson, soccer; Alexia Perez, soccer; Jenna Perno, cheerleading; Olivia Quagliani, hockey; Kharl Reynado, tennis; Nurul Sauffian, tennis; Alexis Severino, soccer and softball; Michael Tran, tennis; Justin Tuschhoff, lacrosse; Kial Watts, basketball and softball; Jason Wilkerson, football and baseball; and Alexandra Young, volleyball and lacrosse.


Ava Gambardella, a West Haven High School senior who’s made a name for herself on the basketball court and soccer and lacrosse fields, has committed to playing lacrosse at the University of Bridgeport.  Gambardella, 18, plans to study communications and journalism at the college, with the goal of pursuing a career in sports broadcasting.

Senior softball player Sierra Santana was named a 2014 Softball All-State Athlete by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association and selected for the Academic All State Softball Team.

 The Blue Devils saw two of their players--senior Alex Scranton, a defenseman, and WHHS junior Mike Savino, the goalie--named to the All-SCC Division I hockey team (only seven hockey players were chosen from across all SCC teams) and the Coaches All-State Division I hockey team, as voted on by coaches from across all state conferences.


For the second time since the dance team formed in 2008, members of the competition arm of the group competed in the Connecticut Association of Schools/Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Dance Team Championships Feb. 22 at Hamden High School. And for the first time, they qualified to move on to the next level by placing second out of 12 teams in the small division in the jazz genre. That means they will now perform in the third annual New England Interscholastic Spirit and Dance Championships in Vermont Saturday (March 8).  

 The Unified Sports team participated in the SCC Basketball Tournament January 27th at the New Haven Athletic Center and also the Bowling Tournament February 12 at Woodlawn Bowling Alley in West Haven. 



 WHHS Athletic Director Jonathan Capone was recognized with the Robert Duncanson “Meritorious Service Award” by the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors for his contributions to sports at WHHS and at the state level.


 WHHS freshman hockey player Mya Berretta was named Saturday's Star for the New Haven Register in January. She scored all six goals in the Westies' 6-5 win over Hand and scored 60 goals this season during 18 games.

WHHS basketball player Gary Dudley was also recognized by the New Haven Register in January. He was named the male New Haven County Athlete of the Week by the newspaper.



Senior football player Ervin Philips has officially committed to attending and playing football at Syracuse University next year after being recruited by top coaches. He participated in National Signing Day in February, announcing the news at a press conference. He will head to campus this summer to begin training with the team and get acclimated to college life.



Athletic Director Jon Capone presents the SCC Scholar Athlete Award of the month of February to Alyssa Woosley and Devin Hickman.  Alyssa is a four-year member of the girls hockey team and captain her senior year.  Devin has been a four-year member of the cross country and tennis teams.

vets game


The WHHS boys hockey team held a game honoring veterans, with local vets from the VA Hospital in attendance. Sargent William Cole, an active member of the Coast Guard Reserves, is pictured with his son Hunter, who is a sophomore on the team.

 Blue Devils Coach Ed McCarthy has become the All-Time Winningest High School Football Coach in Connecticut by defeating Hamden High School on October 25. 


 SCC Scholar Athletes for the month of November were boys soccer player Pablo Perez and girls swimmer Yingxian Guo. Pablo is ranked 23rd in the class with an overall GPA 3.96 and Yingxian is ranked No. 1 in the class with a 5.03 GPA. Both were captains of their sports




 Fundraisers promoting October’s Soderman Bowl, which secured another victory for the Blue Devils, allowed for generous donations to be made to veterans. The West Haven Football Alumni Association and current Blue  Devils raised more than $11,200 for the Wounded Warrior Project by holding a “fill the helmet” collection and selling sponsorships for a game program and ad book.WHHS    cheerleaders raised $2,000 for Pesce by selling T-shirts and hats, while local nonprofit Kids for Kids, Dancing for Life, Inc., contributed $1,000. Sean Pesce, a 21-year-old wounded soldier and West Haven High School graduate,  also ttended the bowl game and helped present the trophy to the Blue Devils after they defeated Notre Dame High School.


Fall Sports All-League Selections: Girls Volleyball – Leah Morrissey; Girls Soccer – Allyson Hempstock, Tory Lavery, Marisa Pacapelli; Boys Soccer – Pablo Perez and George Oppong; and Football – Ervin Philips, Duane Gary, Jesse Ridgway and David Cinti.

Coaches All State – Ervin Philips, Marisa Pacapelli,  Jesse Ridgway and Pablo Perez

New Haven Register All Area MVP and All-New England Pablo Perez

​ Football Captain Ervin Philips and Soccer Captain Pablo Perez were voted MVPs for their sports in the SCC.