By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – Recently, the winter scholastic schedule was released, and our local squads will be battling the best-of-the-best, starting in mid-December.
Here are some of the highlights from the up-coming winter schedule for all the sports:
Boys Basketball – Bristol Central
The Rams have its annual Christmas Tournament on Wednesday, Dec. 27 and Friday, Dec. 29 while the program travels to Fitch of Groton on Saturday, Jan. 6 for a non-conference tilt.
Plainville is once again a conference opponent and will play Central twice while the Rams go to Avon on Monday, Jan. 22.
On Tuesday, Feb. 13, Capital Prep of Hartford travels to Bristol.
Boys Basketball – Bristol Eastern
Eastern is out of the Nonnewaug Tournament and instead will play a home-and-home series against Naugatuck Valley League challenger Derby. The first game will be on the road on Saturday, Jan. 27 and the Bristol date comes on Saturday, Feb. 10.
Watertown returns to the Thomas M. Monahan Gymnasium on Friday, Dec. 29 while the first Eastern/Central showdown commences on Friday, Jan. 19 at the Charles C. Marsh Gymnasium at BCHS.
The rematch is at Eastern on Monday, Feb. 19.
Boys Basketball – St. Paul Catholic
The Falcons will be attending the Basketbull Hoop Fest Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 23 at Western New England University and will also see the usual assortment of NVL foes.
A big out-of-conference challenge takes place from the Maltby Street Gymnasium on Monday, Jan. 29 versus CCC heavyweight Weaver.
And St. Paul Catholic is nicely stacked at the end of the season, playing five of its final six games game from Bristol. The Falcons end the campaign with a contest against Crosby on Thursday, Feb. 22.
Girls Basketball – Bristol Central
Central hits the road for a holiday tournament this year as the squad travels to the North Haven Christmas Tournament on Wednesday, Dec. 27 and Thursday, Dec. 28.
And just like the boys, Plainville is on the schedule twice while the Rams will have a back-to-back game towards the end of Jan..
On Wednesday, Jan. 24, East Hartford comes to town and a day later, Bristol Central is at Hartford Public.
Girls Basketball – Bristol Eastern
The Lancers schedule is a crazy one as the program will see most of the top programs of the CCC.
On Saturday, Dec. 16, Edwin O. Smith will come to the Thomas M. Monahan Gymnasium while Eastern gets a rematch against Enfield on Thursday, Jan. 11 – a second round Class L battle from the 2016 state tournament fray.
And of course, Central travels to Eastern on Thursday, Jan. 18 and the second installment – from the Charles C. Marsh Gymnasium – is on Monday, Feb. 12.
Girls Basketball – St. Paul Catholic
St. Paul Catholic travels to Fairfield Warde for its Christmas tournament on Dec. 27-28 and then battles its usual slate of games in NVL action.
Sacred Heart travels to Bristol on Thursday, Dec. 21, the Falcons are at Kennedy on Wednesday, Jan. 10 while St. Paul Catholic will enjoy three consecutive homes games after tangling with the Eagles.
The girls finish up the campaign with four of its six final contests on the road.
Wrestling – Bristol Central
The Rams have their usual allotment of conference showdowns, CCC entanglements, and weekend tournaments.
It all starts for the program on Wednesday, Dec. 13 as Central hosts Farmington while three days later, the squad from Bristol travels to the Plainville Invitational from the Ivan Wood Gymnasium.
On Friday, Dec. 29, Hall, Fairfield Ludlowe, and Manchester invade the Charles C. Marsh gym and on Saturday, Jan. 6, it’s the annual Bristol Central Invitational.
This year, the Central/Eastern showdown takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 6 from Central high school.
Wrestling – Bristol Eastern
Eastern’s slate is a challenging one that sees the defending Class L champions visit several different locations, both far and wide.
Locally, the Lancer Duels commence on Saturday, Dec. 23 from the Thomas M. Monahan Gymnasium while one weekend later, the Lancers are at the Danbury Holiday Tournament.
On Wednesday, Jan. 3, Middletown gets its shot at the Lancers from Bristol while on Saturday, Jan. 13, Eastern is at the Cumberland Tournament – an event that always has some of the best talent from New England competing on the mats.
Wrestling – St. Paul Catholic
The Falcons are in the NVL/Berkshire League mix for wrestling and their first two meets are at home against Ellis Tech (Wednesday, Dec. 13) and Nonnewaug (Wednesday, Dec. 20).
A local clash against Terryville takes place from the Maltby Street Gymnasium on Wednesday, Jan. 10 while St. Paul Catholic is at the St. Bernard Duels on Saturday, Jan. 27.
Swimming – Bristol Central/Bristol Eastern/St. Paul Catholic co-op
The combined forces of all three high schools will be back at it in the pool this winter and all home meets will continue to take place from the Dennis Malone Aquatic Center on Mix Street.
The squad has a stretch of five home meets in six contests starting in mid-Jan. versus Southington on Friday, Jan. 12.
The co-op will end the season with home dates against Plainville (Tuesday, Feb. 13) and in a non-league event against (soon to be CCC?) competitor Lewis Mills (Tuesday, Feb. 20).