Vote: HAN-FCIAC Athletes of the Week

A three-time winner and his school’s first champion in his sport lead the pack for this week’s HAN-FCIAC Male and Female Athletes of the Week vote.

As exclusive broadcasting partner of FCIAC sports, the HAN Network each week recognizes a Male and a Female Athlete of the Week.
HAN's FCIAC playoffs coverage starts Thursday
Live football Friday: St. Joseph at Stamford
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The HAN Network sports staff nominates male and female candidates. The winners are then chosen in an online poll and saluted on the FCIAC Tailgate and Gameday programs before the HAN Network FCIAC Football Game of the Week on Friday or Saturday.

This week’s winners will be announced Friday as our pre-game coverage leads up to the St. Joseph-Stamford football game, available live on live.HAN.Network Friday, Oct. 30, at 6:30 p.m.

FCIAC Tailgate starts Friday at 3:30, followed by FCIAC Gameday at 4:30.

Voting closes at 2 p.m. Friday.

Jack Brandt of Wilton High boys’ soccer and Veronica O’Rourke of St. Joseph High girls’ soccer were last week’s winners.

The poll to vote for the nominees for Week 6 follow the list of nominees below:

HAN Network FCIAC Male Athlete of the Week

Eric van der Els, Brien McMahon Cross Country

Van der Els became the first Brien McMahon Senator to win an FCIAC Cross Country Championship with his first-place finish at the finals last Wednesday in Waveny Park. (You can watch HAN's complete coverage of the Championships here.)

A senior, van der Els completed the 5K course in 15:24 to win by 15 seconds over Ridgefield’s Gabe Altopp (15:39). Van der Els moved up from a fourth-place finish at last year’s FCIAC final.

Ryheim Hinds, Bridgeport Central Soccer

Hinds had three goals and an assist in Central's 5-0 shutout of St. Joseph.

Collin Lowe, Ridgefield Football

The junior wide receiver caught 11 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown as the Tigers upended previously unbeaten Staples, 31-27, in Westport.

Drew Fowler, Ridgefield Football

Fowler, a Ridgefield junior, threw for 357 yards and four touchdown passes in the Tigers’ 32-27 upset win over Staples in Westport on Friday night.

Fowler completed 29-of-44 passes.

The quarterback tossed a pair of TD passes to Chris Longo in the first quarter, helping Ridgefield to build a 14-0 lead. After Staples went ahead 27-23 in the fourth quarter, Fowler hooked up with Longo for a one-yard scoring strike to put the Tigers in front with 3:29 remaining.

Will Sullivan, Wilton Football

Sullivan kicked three field goals, including the game-winner, in the Warriors’ 30-27 overtime victory against Stamford on Friday, as captured in the above Twitter post by Scott Ericson of Hearst Connecticut Media.

A sophomore, Sullivan also went 3-for-3 on PATs and accounted for 12 of Wilton’s points.

He kicked field goals of 30 and 25 yards in the first quarter when the Warriors built a 13-0 lead, and won the game with a 20-yarder in OT.

Tyler Dalton, Norwalk Soccer

Dalton, the Bears’ senior goalie, made eight saves, including seven during the second half of a 2-0 win over the Ridgefield Tigers on Saturday.

The victory clinched a state tournament berth for Norwalk, which is 3-0-1 in its last four games.

Dalton also stopped three saves in a 1-1 tie with St. Joseph, and had one save in a 1-0 win over Warde.

Pablo Martinez, Darien Boys Soccer

Martinez scored all three goals for the Blue Wave in a 3-1 victory over Bridgeport Central on Oct. 19. Darien improved to 8-5-1 with the victory.

Hunter Kooyman, Darien Boys Soccer

Hunter Kooyman is emblematic of a multi-pronged Wave attack that has boosted it to No. 2 in the league and made Darien a top contender for what would be the first FCIAC boys' soccer title in school history. Chipping in, Kooyman had one of the Wave's goals in a 3-0 victory over Greenwich last week. Darien is 9-1-5.

HAN Network FCIAC Female Athlete of the Week

Hannah DeBalsi, Staples Cross Country

DeBalsi captured her third consecutive crown with a first-place finish at FCIAC girls cross country championship meet last Wednesday in Waveny Park.

DeBalsi finished the 4K course in 14:05, winning by 40 seconds over Wilton’s Mary Lynch (14:45). DeBalsi also holds the course record with a time of 13:29 during her sophomore season.

Sophia Picarazzi, Trumbull Volleyball

Picarazzi had 15 kills, 11 service points and seven digs to help Trumbull get past Trinity Catholic, 3-2.

Sydney Adams, Trumbull Volleyball

Adams filled the stat sheet during the Eagles’ 3-2 win over Trinity Catholic on Wednesday.

The Trumbull senior setter racked up 32 assists, three kills, 10 digs, 19 service points and four aces. The Eagles rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win 20-25, 25-16, 18-25, 26-24, 15-10.

Adams also had 27 assists and eight aces in 3-0 sweep of Central last Monday.

Mollie Kerrigan, Fairfield Warde Girls Soccer

Kerrigan made 12 saves when the Mustangs defeated Staples High of Westport, 12-1, in a rematch of the defending FCIAC champions on Oct. 20. The rivals played to a draw and shared the league title in 2014.

Phoebe Slaughter, Darien swimming

Phoebe Slaughter is one of Darien's many points-getters keeping the three-time defending FCIAC champs undefeated this fall. She collected a slew, on her own and with teammates in the Wave's 103-78 win over Wilton at home on Oct. 19. Slaughter won the 50 and 500 free, and swam legs in the first place 200 medley and 400 free relay teams.

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HAN's FCIAC postseason pay-per-view postseason coverage heats up with boys soccer quarterfinals this Thursday. The PPV events are part of HAN’s three-year broadcasting deal with the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference. It costs $7.50 for a day pass or $35 ($25 if you subscribe by this Wednesday) for the entire package of 11 to 12 events. With the subscription, you can also watch the contests on-demand before they are open up for free on this site. Click here for more information and details on how to sign up.

Here’s schedule by date, time, sport, round of playoffs, and location (seedings will be announced after the season ends on Tuesday, Oct. 27):

Thursday, Oct. 29, 3:30 p.m.: Boys Soccer FCIAC quarterfinals, Staples at Darien
Monday, Nov. 2, 5 p.m.: Boys Soccer FCIAC semifinal, Fairfield Ludlowe
Monday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m.: Boys Soccer FCIAC semifinal, Fairfield Ludlowe
Tuesday, Nov. 3, 5 p.m. Field Hockey FCIAC semifinal, New Canaan
Tuesday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m.: Field Hockey FCIAC semifinal, New Canaan
Wednesday, Nov. 4, 4:30 p.m.: Girls Soccer FCIAC Championship, Norwalk
Wednesday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m.: Boys Soccer FCIAC Championship, Norwalk
Thursday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m.: Field Hockey FCIAC championship, Brien McMahon
Saturday, Nov. 7, 4 p.m.: Volleyball FCIAC championship, Fairfield Ludlowe
Saturday, Nov. 21, TBA: Football FCIAC Championship, Stamford
Thursday, Nov. 26, 10:30: Football Turkey Bowl: New Canaan at Darien

The HAN Network, formerly known as Hersam Acorn Newspapers, is the exclusive FCIAC broadcast partner through the spring of 2018. HAN Network’s broadcasting division replaced HANRadio.comwith a new focus on live video streams of high school athletics along with the Network’s news and lifestyle programming.

To advertise on the HAN Network broadcasts, click here for package options.

HAN's FCIAC playoffs coverage starts Thursday
Live football Friday: St. Joseph at Stamford
Subscribe early and save on pay-per-view playoffs