Senior Aidrianna Lopez of the St. Paul girls basketball team and junior Trinidad Gonzalez of Bristol Eastern’s Class L state champion wrestling team share Athlete of the Week honors for area scholastic sports.
Lopez, the daughter of Elizabeth Rosa and Jule Carofano of Meriden, is a captain and guard for coach Joe Mone’s Falcons, 18-5 overall this winter after reaching the second round of Class M state tournament play.
Lopez led the way offensively with seven points when St. Paul was eliminated from the tournament, 41-32, by visiting Stonington last Thursday.
“Adrianna may be one of the best defensive players we’ve ever had in our program,” Mone said. “She’s also a tremendous rebounder for her size. Her leadership and energetic play was a shining example for our younger, inexperienced players. In a year that was filled with injuries and illnesses, Adrianna was the one constant we could rely on for each game.”
Lopez was proud of her team’s effort in the Stonington game.
“From the jump, we knew it was going to be a close game,” Lopez said. “However, we put that aside and played our hearts out. We had the lead in the first half. However, turnovers cost us the game in the end.”
She added that she was proud of the team, as it had to adjust to the many injuries it suffered during the season. East Catholic and St. Paul were the Class M frontrunners coming into the season.
“I’d say over one half of the team had injuries or were sick,” Lopez said. “Other people thought we couldn’t go as far as we did, but we proved them wrong. If we had everyone healthy, we could have been state champions. Every week it’d be something. It was hard.”
Lopez, a four-year player at St. Paul, added that she has benefitted from her time with the sport.
“It’s given me the courage to do things I normally wouldn’t have done,” Lopez said. “As a person, I grew physically and mentally. Leadership was a big key.”
Her plans for next year include college, where she will be concentrating on marketing to prepare herself for the business world. As far as sports go - she’s also a sprinter in the spring for the Falcons’ track and field team - she will likely do a club sport in college.
Gonzalez is the son of Crystall Coe and Tony Gonzalez. He captured the state Class L 195-pound championship and finished second at the State Open. This past weekend, he went 2-2 at the New England championships.
His coach, Bryant Lishness, is looking forward to his senior year.
“He loves to have fun and laugh,” Lishness said. “People mistake his carefree nature for a lack of competitive fire, but nothing could be further from the truth. He wants to win the New England next year, not just the Open. He’s already very strong, but if he lifts as hard as he did going into his sophomore year and adds more offense to his wrestling, he can reach his goals easily. Trin is a joker and comes across as casual, but he is very aware of where he and his teams stand in Bristol wrestling history.”
Gonzalez has now won back-to-back Class L titles.
“I was trying to win,” Gonzalez said. “I wasn’t nervous, I was confident. I was seeded third, but expected to win. I lost in a double overtime. It was close. A lot of people have an off day.”
Gonzalez has learned a lot from his coach.
“He’s a great coach,” Gonzalez said. “He knows how to interact with us and knows how we are feeling every day. He takes his job real serious, and scouts out other teams before our matches with them. He and [coach John] Benoit do a good job at making sure our grades are up.”
Despite what he has accomplished on the mats, Gonzalez says his favorite sport to play is football. It keeps him in shape and he enjoys hitting people, something he’s good at it.
He was selected to the 2017 All-Press football team as a middle linebacker after leading the Lancers with 91 tackles, 10 for a loss, and adding a sack.
Contact Bob Montgomery at or by calling 860-973-1808