New Britain City Journal

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The Sports Journal

Top NBHS Winter Athletes Made an Impact

The New Britain High School winter season is wrapping up and it’s time to look back and see what student-athlete stood out the most for their team during this past season.

Girls’ Basketball: Nikira Hooks

Hooks, a senior, was the heart and soul of the girls’ basketball team. While the team only won five games out of twenty, she was a force to be reckoned with when she was healthy. Hooks missed numerous games due to various injuries but when she was on the floor, opposing teams rarely had an answer for her. One of the best moments this season for Hooks was the season opener against Windsor. The Hurricanes fell behind in the third quarter and were on a cold streak until the middle of the fourth quarter. It was then where Hooks saw enough and knew she had to do something about it.

She challenged her teammates to finish strong and led by example. Hooks, along with freshman Jamyra Irizarry, took over the game in the final moments of the fourth quarter and drove their team to victory. Irizarry scored seven points in that quarter, which included a three-pointer to help seal the game. Hooks scored ten points and several key rebounds to add to the stat sheet. The Hurricanes were able to close out the game and begin their season with a win. The final score was 46 – 41.

Hooks will be missed next year but she hopes that the passion and energy she brought to the program is carried on by the younger players in the program.

Boys Basketball: Annuel St. Juste

Annuel Saint Juste is the one constant that the Hurricanes can rely on every game. While he may not get the media recognition that others get on the team, he quietly goes about his business and finds different ways to help his team win every time he’s on the floor. Saint Juste has scored over 100 points over the course of the season and is looking to carry over his stellar regular season performance into the CCC and State tournaments.

In their season opener against Bloomfield, when the game was close at the beginning of the early fourth quarter, head coach Todd Stigliano called a timeout and told his players that they all needed to step up. More specifically, he told Saint Juste that he needed to take over the game. He did just that. He went on to score 18 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter and overtime while taking over the paint, grabbing four rebounds in the last two quarters. In another game against Hall, Saint Juste scored 26 points, the most on the team.

Saint Juste, a senior, knows that their season is far from over with the CCC tournament starting and the State tournament shortly after. They have a lot of work to do and there is nothing more than he would like than to end his high school career with a state championship title.

Wrestling: Dylan Krivickas

Krivickas, a senior, picked up his 100th career victory earlier in the season and has been pushing forward since then. He is one of the leaders on the wrestling team and it’s a responsibility he doesn’t take lightly. It is his job to inspire his teammates and to get each person to reach their maximum potential. In fact, on any given afternoon, you can find Dylan leading his teammates through the hallways at NBHS running laps and doing other drills. He knows that it’s a job that must be done and it’s one that he enjoys.

“As the leader of my team I try to show them that hard work does pay off. I give it my all in every practice and match,” Krivickas said. “They’re a bunch of young guys but I feel with the push that coach and I are giving them are going to inspire them to do great things on and off the mat.”

He compiled a 34-1 record on the season. The state tournament was held the weekend of February 22 and due to a stroke of bad luck, Krivickas could not complete his matches due to a serious illness. He will now look towards college where he plans to wrestle.

Indoor Track and Field: Stephon Henry

Henry, a senior, finished first in both the 55-meter hurdles and the 300-meter dash at the CCC Indoor Track & Field Championships in New Haven earlier in February. He also competed at the Indoor Track and Field State Open, also in New Haven, and placed second overall in the 55-meter hurdles and fourth in the 300-meter dash. With that, he has qualified for the New England Championships in Boston in both events.

“Placing first in the CCC Championship means I’m the best in that event in Connecticut,” Henry said. “For it to be my first indoor season, it means a lot to me that I could even be able to do this. To be able to go up to New England’s is an honor. I worked so hard and I sacrificed some things to be in the place that I am.”

The New England championships will take place on March 1. At that event, he will have the chance to qualify for the National Championships in New York on March 14.

While Henry hasn’t received any scholarship offers at this time, he is currently talking to track and field coaches and setting up visits at UCONN, Central Connecticut State University, and Southern Connecticut State University. Whichever college gets Henry, they will be getting a hard worker and one who is determined to be the best that he can possibly be.