Todayâ€™s â€śAthlete of the Weekâ€ť picks, Sophia Torreso of Bristol Central and Mason Lishness of Bristol Eastern, come from legendary four generation sports families.
Torresoâ€™s great-grandfather, James Ziogas, was a member of the Bristol Tramps sports organization and West End Club, while Lishnessâ€™s great-grandfather, Pat Dyer, taught boxing at the former Bristol Boys Club before becoming a well-known Senior Olympian in this area.
Torreso, a three-sport athlete who is the daughter of Ginny (Ziogas) and Jeffrey Torreso, gets the nod for her recent play for coach Steve Gaudetâ€™s girls basketball team. She led the Rams in scoring the past two games, with 12 and 17 points, respectively.
â€śSophia is a fearless competitor,â€ť Gaudet said. â€śShe has not been overwhelmed by the moment as a freshman, she is playing beyond her years. She is our leading scorer, probably our best distributor of the ball, and is an excellent defender. In my 15 years as the head coach, she is by far the most impactful freshman I have ever coached. She is a scorer who refuses to be denied and is on the precipice of a great career at Bristol Central.â€ť
The Rams carried a 4-11 record for the season before facing Hartford Public last night.
â€śOur team goal is to make it to the tournament and Iâ€™m not sure what the [qualifying] rules are now,â€ť Torreso said. â€śBut our other goal is to score more points to get us on a level with more teams. My goal is to work on my defense and get stronger on that end.â€ť
An all-around athlete, Torreso also played varsity soccer at center/defense this past fall and looks to play varsity softball as a pitcher this spring.
â€śSoftball is my favorite, because being a pitcher you are always in the play and always moving,â€ť Torreso said. â€śEach batter brings a new challenge.â€ť
As far as basketball and softball go, her sister, Gwen, a junior at the school, is and would be a school teammate, respectively.
â€śSheâ€™s always someone I can count on,â€ť Torreso said. â€śItâ€™s fun. I enjoy playing. Right now, Iâ€™m also playing travel softball with her and thatâ€™s fun. We play for the CT Titans.â€ť
Getting back to her family, her grandfather, Greg Ziogas, is in the Plainville High School Hall of Fame and her mother was inducted into the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame, while her father played football at Pace University.
Lishness, who wrestles at 120 pounds, is the son of Bryant and Jennifer Lishness.
He has a 29-4 record coming into this week and is 73-18 in his high school career. One of his goals is to reach the coveted 100-win career mark before he graduates.
His father, also his head coach, talks about his junior captain who finished third at 113 pounds at the Class Lâ€™s last year.
â€śThis past week he was a finalist at the CT Challenge in Southington,â€ť Bryant Lishness said. â€śHe won by tech. fall against Berlin in a regularly scheduled CCC league match on Wednesday. Then he won the Lancer Modified Tournament, going 5-0 with three pins and two tech. falls.
â€śMason has put together a strong season for us. He competes year-round and it shows. He only has a few decision wins this year. The rest have all been pins and tech. falls. He is a huge scorer for us with bonus points in duals.
â€śHe sets high goals and puts in the work to achieve them. He competed all over the Northeast, from New England to Virginia, and he wrestled year-round at Gladiators, Ascension and Empire in New York to be on the mat with the toughest competition he could find. Itâ€™s not easy being a coachâ€™s kid, but he handles it well and has learned to welcome the expectations that come with it.â€ť
Mason Lishness talked about the Eastern team this season, ranked No. 4 in the state and state champions the past three years.
â€śWeâ€™re undefeated,â€ť Lishness said. â€śI think the team is doing well and weâ€™re working hard to obtain our team goals. We have a team goal and itâ€™s a four-peat.â€ť
His personal goal is to fare well in the states once again and add as many wins as he can to his high school career total.
As far as the Lishness family goes, besides his great-grandfather, his father has made a mark in state wrestling circles with his success and his aunt, Laura Lishness, also a Bristol Eastern graduate, is well-known as a UConn womenâ€™s basketball great.
Contact Bob Montgomery at or by calling 860-973-1808.