Saturday, October 23, 2021

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Practicing for Minute Man Race

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Westport resident Jennifer Johnson was out today doing a practice run at Compo Beach in advance of Sunday’s 41st annual Westport Young Woman’s League (WYWL) Minute Man Race. “Sunday will my fourth time in the race during my 10 or so years in Westport,” she said. Meanwhile Westport police issued an advisory saying the following areas will be impacted by the 5K and 10K races: Compo Beach, Longshore Park, Soundview Drive, Compo Road South, Bridge Street, Imperial Avenue, Baker Avenue, Greens Farms Road, Hillspoint Road, and Compo Beach Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

RTM Approves $4.75 Million for New Turf Fields, Staples Track

By James Lomuscio

By a 29 to 1 vote, Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight approved a $4,785,269 appropriation to replace four synthetic turf fields and the Staples High School running track, improvements an engineer said should serve the town well for up to 24 years. WestportNow.com Image
Workers tug at the snythetic turf laid down on the Staples High School football field in August 2006. It was the first of four such fields created in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

RTM member Greg Kraut, who did not offer input at tonight’s meeting, was the lone dissenter.

Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Fava made the request, which had been approved by the Board of Finance after a $200,000 cut from the initial $5,040,400 request

First Selectman Jim Marpe spoke in favor of the appropriation, saying that the plan to replace the four synthetic, turf fields had been in the town’s five-year capital forecast since 2015.

Nick Zeoli Named Memorial Parade Grand Marshal

Nicholas T. Zeoli, a Saugatuck native and World War II veteran, has been selected to be the Grand Marshal for this year’s Memorial Day Parade, William Vornkahl, president of the Westport Veterans Council, announced today.

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Nick Zeoli: World War II vet. Photo from YouTube.com

The parade will be held on Monday, May 27 beginning at 9 a.m. on Riverside Avenue.

Zeoli was born in Saugatuck to Westport Firefighter Dominick and Olympia Zeoli on July 1, 1923. He graduated from Staples High School in 1942, where he was an all-star athlete: captain of the football, baseball and basketball teams. He had planned on attending Gettysburg College on a football scholarship, but instead enlisted in the Navy.

On June 30, 1943, he was assigned to the USS Boston, a heavy cruiser and spent three years in the Pacific Theater where the USS Boston engaged in 13 major battles, including the battle of Okinawa.

Almost Time for Wrecker Baseball

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A new bullpen, adjacent to the Staples High School Wreckers baseball field, is currently under construction by contractor Dave Lepska. He said the current bullpen is often mired in mud following wet weather and is uneven for pitcher and catcher pre-game warmups. The Wreckers’ home opener is Friday, April 5 against New Milford. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Staples Ski Team Winds Up Season

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The Staples Ski Team completed its 2019 season today at Mount Southington with the state championship race. The girls team came in second just behind Fairfield. The boys team placed fifth. Both teams were awarded medals for placing second (girls) and third (boys) in the league for their season results, which consists of five races in the Connecticut Interscholastic Ski League conference. Results are calculated by adding the combined times for the top six racers. Although both teams are graduating fast racers like captains Maddie Steele, Kayla Sirlin, Erin McWhirter, Ryan Smith, Liam Fanning and Josh Buchman, they look to remain competitive in the 2020 season under coaches Rebecca Anderson-Furlong and Courtney Ruggiero. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Turf Talk: Fast Tracking Field Replacements

By Jarret Liotta

With a chance to see a new Staples High School (SHS) stadium field and surrounding track up and running by the end of September, consultants and school sports officials hope the town will move quickly off the blocks.

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Parks and Recreation Commissioner Alec Stevens and other officials examine turf samples at tonight’s meeting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jarret Liotta for WestportNow.com

A combined Town Hall auditorium meeting tonight of the Parks and Recreation (P&R) Commission and the Board of Education (BOE) heard different turf and design options from representatives of Milone & MacBroon, a Cheshire-based consulting group, as well as a potential timeline to minimize impact to sports programs.

Actual cost estimates for three different turf options, based on outside bids, are due Friday and will be presented at a BOE meeting tentatively set in mid-March, with the P&R Commission in attendance.

Pending town approvals for funding, construction on the SHS stadium and Wakeman B Fields would begin on May 31, with work on the Ginny Parker Field in the eastern corner of SHS and the P.J. Romano Field at Saugatuck Elementary School done the summer of 2020.