By John R. Nieb
Troop 175, boy scouts from Farmington Valley towns, became the first American troop to visit Cuba since 1959.
On April 8 they left Granby at 4:30 a.m. for the Newark Airport to board a direct flight to Havana, Cuba.
“It was awesome. We love setting records like this,” said Charles Brinegar, assistant senior patrol leader and life scout of Troop 175. “We were the first to go to Cuba, as well as to summit Mount Kilimanjaro and to enter the Amazon Rainforest.”
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Open 24/7 at www.GranbyRec.com for program registration.
Website: www.GranbyRec.com Accepting MasterCard/Visa/Discover for payments. The registration system and website allow registration at any time of the day or night. Find out right away if a program still has space available, check your account to see what activities your family members are signed up for, and print out a year end receipt for tax purposes.
Program/Trip Registration: All programs/trips are based on a first come basis and space availability and require advance registration; payment must accompany registration. Please register early to avoid disappointment.
Scholarships: Financial assistance for recreational and leisure opportunities may be available for residents of Granby. Please contact the Granby Social Services Department at 860-844-5350 for program scholarship. All inquiries are kept in the strictest confidence; apply early.
Event Planning: Have your next family or other private event at Salmon Brook Park or Holcomb Farm. The Salmon Brook Park House is a beautiful facility that can accommodate up to 99 people, featuring a gas fireplace and central air. The North Barn Pavilion at Holcomb Farm is built to look like a barn, but this gorgeous new building has all of the modern amenities to make your event for up to 125 people special. Dates fill fast. Call for more information or visit www.GranbyRec.com to see pictures and rental info.
After School Programs at Kelly Lane (grades K–2)
Join us for a Granby Land Trust tradition: our Spring Bird Walks, led by Land Trust members John Weeks and Christine Chinni. These walks—to be held on the mornings of May 13 and 14, from 7 to 9 a.m—will take place on Jamie Gamble’s beautiful North Granby property located at 253 Loomis Street in North Granby. The birds are very active at this time of year, as they return from a winter away, and the Gamble property provides an ideal place in which to view them. Recent walks have featured sightings of more than 50 bird species!
Space is limited, so reserve your spot today by calling John Weeks, 860.844.8965; or by email at email@example.com. Participants should bring binoculars and be ready to start promptly at 7 a.m.
By Jim Glenney
It’s time to sign up for a garden plot and enjoy all the benefits of growing your own vegetables and flowers. The gardens are located just north of Ahrens Park on Hungary Road and are divided into an organic section and a conventional one. A pump well provides a water supply. The cost is $5 for a 20 x 20 foot plot. No new 20 x 40 foot plots will be issued this year until all requests for plots have been met. Last year’s gardeners wishing to reserve the same plots need to make their $5 or $10 payment by May 1. After that date, plots will be assigned to new gardeners. New gardeners interested in reserving a plot should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jim Glenney at 860-653-6179.
By Tracy Cavacuti
The Granby Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet and awards presentation on March 5, 2017, at Brignole Vineyards in East Granby. John French opened up the evening speaking about the previous and upcoming year. He touched on a bigger and better-than-ever Celebrate Granby event for 2017. President and CEO of Windsor Federal Savings George Hermann served as guest speaker. Herman gave an excellent and informative speech covering everything from the current and future lending rates to the challenges of owning a business in Connecticut. He gave sobering advice to business owners to be mindful of upcoming changes due to the state’s economic climate. Chamber President Mary Anne Guarco presented awards to this year’s recipients. Businessman of the year, Carmine Pandolfi was honored for his 40 years of ownership of Granby Package Store.
The “Green Eggs and Ham” breakfast has become an annual affair in Granby.
With a visit from “The Cat in the Hat” and an opportunity to fish for “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” many “Things” had a wonderful time.
Forty-five people of all ages (and some canines) showed up at Holcomb Farm on picture-perfect February 19 for a snowshoe hike. The group trekked the Farm’s east trails to where they intersect with McLean Game Refuge and Granby Land Trust property. Leaders Jack Lareau and Eric Lukingbeal provided some interesting information along the way. Check in with holcombfarm.org for upcoming events.
By Tim Nolan
The fall sports season was historic for some Granby athletes. Boys soccer won the NCCC regular season title outright for the first time since 2001. This included beating soccer power Suffield High School for the first time in multiple years. Baylor University commit Marieke Van Der Mark was named a third team All-American for her fall success leading the volleyball team to an NCCC title of its own. Under the guidance of Coach Dennis Lobo, who celebrated his 50th year as a cross-country coach, boys and girls’ cross-country had solid seasons as well. The track around the football field will fittingly be renamed in his honor. The field hockey program dominated again, falling just a game short of another Class M state final. Senior captains Jack Hauser and Gage Fiorentino finished their fourth varsity football season with all-conference honors, a bright spot of an otherwise dismal season.
All these are long gone, however, as the winter sports are in full swing. Girl’s basketball is 9-10 on the year, but this is a major improvement from a 4-16 record the prior year. When asked what has led to the improvement, junior guard Mackenzie Stahl replied, “All players (those who start, come in as subs, or don’t play significant minutes) impact our team positively.” Stahl also mentions that her teammates on the bench are even louder than the crowd at times. Despite a losing record, the Lady Bears have begun to play more efficiently and resiliently as a team, which will be very important in the state tournament.
Boy’s basketball is 8-9 to start the year. Although senior captain Tyler Disabella would’ve liked a much better record, he believes that this is essential to the experience of younger players, like his sophomore brother Logan. “Every single player has made an impact on this team for the better, and in a year or two I think they’ll have a very solid team,” he explained. Every single player had to step up. The Bears lost seven seniors, its best player transferred, and senior Romelle Hardy had to sit out the first half of the season for disciplinary reasons. Junior Jonathon Bystrowski and sophomore James Shelansky have taken their increased roles in stride. Bystrowski now starts for the Bears, and Shelansky has worked his way to sixth man.
The Suffield/Granby/Windsor Locks boys’ hockey co-op is 12-4. Granby’s own, goalie Dan Degagne, credits the Wildcats’ success to team chemistry and strong upperclassmen leadership. Unlike most high school teams, the ‘Cats rely on all four of its lines to win games, not just the first or top two. For example, fourth-liners Cole Battiston and Derek Megliola have goals against Simsbury and Xavier respectively, two of the top teams in Division 1. Degagne believes this strong confidence in the entire team will lead to good things during the Division 1 tournament. “As long as we continue to play with grit and effort every single game, no matter the skill of the opposing team, we will be very successful,” Degagne stated.
This is also the first season that the co-op offers a girl’s team. Although it cannot be recognized as a full varsity program yet, the club team is 11-2. Two of those wins have come against Simsbury, which had been the top team in the state before the first meeting. Junior Meaghan Leonardi is unsure that the co-op will maintain the numbers long enough to be recognized as a varsity program, but she is relishing the present. “The Wildcats’ girls program gives any girl in Connecticut the opportunity to play just like the boys,” she concluded.
Boys and Girls’ indoor track season is almost over. The boys placed 5th as a team at the NCCC meet in New Haven, while the girls team placed 7th out of 12 teams. Fifteen runners qualified for states, including three freshmen (Austin Wickham, Maria Nolan, and Sarah Cramer). Junior Joey Wix, who also qualified for States, attributes their success to an increase in depth. For example, this year’s team features two male hurdlers, whereas last year’s team didn’t have one.
Wrestling captured back-to-back NCCC titles for the first time ever. Ben Kibby, Cooper Fleming, and Steven Muller took first in their respective weight classes. Fleming, a junior, is no stranger to the top of the podium. He is 107-9 in high school wrestling matches. When asked what has made him and his team so dominant in recent years, he responded, “About half of our team participates in offseason wrestling all over the northeast US, so we’re all used to high-level competition.”
Finally, although the cheer squad does not keep an official record, they have done well in their competitions. Captains Tori Rafoss and Emily Munsell have guided the girls to overcome injuries and plenty of underestimation. Junior Kat Ericksen credits their resilience to hard work and determination at every practice, allowing them to tune everything else out and compete as a cohesive unit.
Reminder: April 28, 2017
Come to GMHS on April 28 for soup, bread, and live music at Empty Bowls, an annual fundraiser hosted by the GMHS chapter of the National Honor Society. Proceeds from the event go to the Granby and Hartland food banks. In addition, a silent auction will be held to raise money for Visual Arts and NHS scholarships. Contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
FUN & REC