The postseason was a mix of highs and lows for Berlin High School winter athletes, highlighted by the wrestling team’s success and shocking loss.
Longtime BHS wrestling coach Jim Day passed away on Feb. 22, just days after junior Dan Veleas won his second straight Class M state championship in the 132-pound weight class.
“I just wish that I knew that when I got off the bus after Class M's that night, that that would be the last time I would see him,” Veleas said. “Because if I knew that then I would just want to say thank you.
“I'd want to thank him for all he had done to make me better over these last few years and show him that I appreciated how much he cared for me and my teammates.”
Senior Josh Veleas also placed in the Class M tournament, coming in fourth at 160. Senior Moses Marino added to Berlin’s success, landing in fourth place at 152.
On the hardwood, Berlin made quick tournament exits.
The Berlin boys basketball team played well against Southington in the opening round, but ultimately fell in overtime.
Berlin players felt they didn’t live up to their potential in the tournament.
“I think we definitely could have made some noise and continued to advance with the confidence of beating the 7-seed as a 26-seed,” junior Holden Murphy said.
The story was very similar for the BHS girls basketball team, which lost to Stonington in the first round.
The Lady Redcoats won seven of their last 10 heading into the postseason and were expected to go deep into the tournament.
“Yeah, I really thought we could make it all the way this year. But we took this loss as a learning experience and next year we’ll hopefully have a different outcome” junior Angela Perrelli said.
Perrelli, Lyzi Litwinko and Ashley Wenzel are among the players the Lady Redcoats will lean on next winter.
The spring high school sports season begins soon (track, baseball, softball, golf, lacrosse, tennis). Stay tuned.