A love of baseball has flowed through Anthony Bloss since he was five years old. That’s when Bloss made his way up a tunnel of the old Yankee Stadium and caught his first whiff of the freshly cut, bright green grass which surrounded the diamond. It made his young boy’s eyes sparkle, Bloss recalled on a recent morning. When Bloss arrived as a math teacher at New Canaan High School in 2005, one of the first things he did was seek out then-longtime head varsity baseball coach Mark Rearick to express his interest in helping the baseball program in whatever way he could. And over the better part of the next 14 years, Bloss did just that.
Saying it’s the best thing for local students and their families, officials from New Canaan and Greenwich are asking the organization that oversees high school sports in Connecticut to consider moving a state championship football game this weekend closer to home. The Rams and Cardinals will square off Saturday for a widely anticipated Class LL championship after advancing in the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference tournament.
As it stands, the game is likely to be played at Shelton High School, though NCHS Athletic Director Jay Egan said officials from both lower Fairfield County high schools are asking whether it could be moved to Stamford’s Boyle Stadium, which is available. “Greenwich and New Canaan are advocating for a venue that would be most advantageous for our students and our fans to see the game, so they will not have to travel so far and all the reasons that make sense,” Egan told NewCanaanite.com. “Both schools are interested in what is best for the school and communities.”
Referring to the high schools’ advocating for a nearby venue, he added, “We would be remiss if we did not do that.”
CIAC officials could not be reached for comment. Asked what reasons CIAC officials have for not playing a New Canaan-Greenwich football game at a venue that’s halfway between them, Egan told NewCanaanite.com that the organization has said championship game sites are set before the season, that they’re chosen carefully with all potential teams in mind and that making a last-minute change could set a bad precedent.
NCHS head coach Lou Marinelli’s Rams have played against a Cardinals team coached by his son, John, four times since the latter took the helm at Greenwich High School in 2015.
Just 37 percent of the total athletics coaching positions at New Canaan High School are filled by Board of Education staff—a figure that has dropped off in recent years though it would benefit the district to see it higher, officials say. Out of 106 coaching positions, 39 are filled by district staff, a number that represents 29 unique coaches, as some of them coach multiple sports, according to NCHS Athletic Director Jay Egan. A closer look at the numbers shows that just 21 of those unique coaches are teachers, Egan told Board of Ed members at their most recent meeting. “So that means almost 20 percent of the coaches are teachers,” Egan said at the June 18 meeting, held in the Wagner Room at NCHS. “Now, 15 years ago that was a much different model.
New Canaan High School Rams fans soon will have the ability to watch significantly more sports contests online, as district officials work with the broadcast arm of an Indianapolis-based organization that helps develop standards and rules for interscholastic activities nationwide. Starting no later than this fall, some 200 games and matches at Dunning Stadium and the NCHS gym will be streamed live, according to Athletic Director Jay Egan, through the High School Sports Network, a service of the National Federation of State High School Associations. “I think it’s an expectation that our parents have that this is a service we can provide for them and I think people are really excited thinking about being able to do this,” Egan told members of the Board of Education during their regular meeting, held Monday night in the Wagner Room at NCHS. The service costs user a fee in the range of $25 to $50 per year, and involves installing camera equipment at the NCHS facilities, Egan said. The approximately $6,500 it costs to get up and running is being paid for by the Booster Club, he said.
The coverage will complement and expand about 55 to 60 games already streamed online each year through an excellent student-operated NCTV 78 YouTube channel.
New Canaan High School officials on Monday said an assistant basketball coach arrested over the weekend is no longer employed by the district. According to NCHS Athletic Director Jay Egan, the coach—Jose Amor, of Stamford—had “passed the mandatory background check necessary for employment in the New Canaan Public Schools.”
“The New Canaan Public Schools has an extensive background check for all employees and will continue to use this system for all future hires,” Egan said in an email addressed to the ‘New Canaan Public Schools Community.’ According to The Advocate, Stamford police found Amor to be in possession of 20 bags of heroin and charged with possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Formerly a basketball coach at Westhill High School, Amor also had been arrested in 2016 following accusations that he had tipped off one of his players there that he was a suspect in a shooting, leading to a misdemeanor charge of interfering with police. Amor’s criminal record in that matter was erased one year ago after he completed a short “accelerated rehabilitation” program, though Google search returns related to the incident remain high.