With the spring sports season just around the corner, there are athletes who recently finished their winter schedule in fine fashion.
Two of these are senior Molly Hooks of the St. Paul girls basketball team and sophomore Mark Petrosky of Bristol Central’s indoor boys track team, our “Athlete of the Week” picks for their winter performances.
Hooks, the daughter of Bethann and Stacy Hooks of Southington, has been with the St. Paul girls basketball program for four years.
She’s seen increasing playing time thanks to her development through practice. She was one of those to look to during the final weeks of the season and stood up to the challenge.
Her coach, Joe Mone, talks about his senior forward, who played on a team that went 18-5 overall and was seeded No. 3 in Class M play.
“Molly was our rock all year long, both leading off and on the court,” Mone said. “She really raised her game at the end of the year when we lost a bunch of players. She raised her production in all categories, scoring, rebounding and defense. She had a great four years for us and will be greatly missed.”
Hooks is also a cheerleader for the Falcons.
“I think the season went well, especially with all of the injuries,” Hooks said. “I think we really played well together and worked as a team overall. Since we worked as hard as we did all season, [without the injuries] we could have won the state championship.”
Playing for coach Mone and Gary Fleming has been rewarding for her, and it’s brought a lot of good things to her table.
“I think basketball has made me a better leader and taught me to work well with others,” Hooks said. “I think our team got close together. I’ve been playing it all of my life, so it’s become a part of who I am.”
Next year Hooks will be attending Loyola University to study accounting. She won’t be playing basketball, but that doesn’t mean she will walk away from the game.
“Right now, I’m helping coach the younger kids with coach Fleming, his sixth and seventh graders,” Hooks said. “If I like it, I might like to coach myself one day.”
She also has enjoyed her connection with Mone, the girls varsity head coach.
“I think Mone takes care of all of us,” Hooks said. “He helped build us as a team. He’s very knowledgeable with the sport and that’s helped us every year.”
Besides her “AOW” honors here, Hooks was the selected a CO Sports Academy All-Star. This organization, based in Waterbury, schedules an all-star game for those playing at different levels of basketball.
Petrosky, the son of Bryan and Stacy Petrosky, had the best finish of those from Bristol competing at the Class L Boys Indoor Track and Field Championships in February. He posted a second place finish in the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:31.90, while placing 13th in the 3,200.
One of the team’s quad-captains, Eric Knox, had good things to say about the talented underclassman.
“He’s one of the most humble athletes I’ve ever run with,” Knox said. “He’s a very hard worker and I’m proud to say that I had the chance to run with him.”
Petrosky talked about the Class L meet.
“Going into the race, there was a goal to be All-State, so I had to be in one of the top positions,” Petrosky said. “I knew the Hall kid [Trey Cormier] was the clear favorite, so I tried to stay with him in good position. At the end, I pushed my hardest to keep the others from catching. I was second the whole race.”
With the indoor season over, Petrosky is looking forward to running outdoors. He’ll likely run both the mile and two-mile and his best times from last year as a freshman are 4:48 and 10:19, respectively.
“I’d like to do a sub 4:30 in the mile and sub-10 minutes in the two-mile,” Petrosky said. “Coming off an Achilles tendonitis when the Class L’s came last year, I didn’t do well and I’d like to redeem myself.”
Petrosky’s cross country season last fall first proved him to be the area’s No. 1 male distance runner. There, he captured the annual city meet with a time of 17.45 at Rockwell Park. He then went on to get his personal best time of 17.125 at the CCC meet for a 22nd place finish and later finished 13th in the Class L meet with a time of 17:29.
He says running has started to provide him with a number of benefits.
“It’s brought me closer to a different group of people I wouldn’t be with if I wasn’t running,” Petrosky said. “It gives me something to work for, to get better to be the best I can be. It’s taught me to use my time wisely. I take advantage of my free time to get things done.”
Contact Bob Montgomery at or by calling 860-973-1808.