Bristol Press Athletes of the Week are Bristol Central's Erin Petke and Bristol Eastern's Connor Errato

Published on Monday, 5 November 2018 17:52
Written by BOB MONTGOMERY

CORRESPONDENT

Seniors from Bristol’s two cross-town public high schools, diver Erin Petke of Bristol Central and soccer forward Connor Errato of Bristol Eastern, share “Athlete of the Week” honors.

Petke, the daughter of Jennifer and the late Joe Petke, has broken her own diving records for the school on a few occasions. Two weeks ago on Friday when she set the school’s six-dive mark with 226.5 in competition against Rocky Hill. At the conference meet at Platt this past Friday, Petke posted a second-place finish out of 13 divers in earning all-conference recognition.

“Erin has been a pleasure to have on the team, she steps in whenever and wherever she is needed,” Rams coach Adrienne Bentley said. “She is not afraid to challenger herself, which is evident by the number of times she has broken the school’s diving record, this year alone.”

Such occasions have pleased Petke, too.

“It feels pretty good,” Petke said. “I feel that my hard work has paid off. I’ve broken [the 11-dive record] three times this year, once last year and I hope to break it again.”

Ironically, Petke said she didn’t pick up the sport until her sophomore season. She was a cheerleader her freshman year.

“I wanted something new to do and now it’s just my favorite thing to do,” Petke said. “I started with the school team here.”

At the same time, Petke added she had plenty to learn when she first started.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Petke said. “I just wanted to better myself each time. The first time (she broke the 11-diver school mark in 2017) I had no clue what the record was and how close I was. Megan Curiss said, ‘Hey, you just broke the school record’ and I was pretty stunned.”

From an athletic family, Petke also competes in track for the Rams, doing so since her freshman year in both the long and high jump events.

In looking at the 2019-2020 school year, Petke would like to study either athletic training or kinesiology for physical therapy. She also plans to continue her diving at that collegiate level.

In the meantime, it’s the 11-dive state competition on Wednesday at Bulkeley High.

“My goal is to beat [my record of] 287.95 and I’m pretty confident,” Petke said. “I think I can do it.”

Errato, the son of Frank Errato and Teresa Conroy, scored the game-winning goal for Bristol Eastern with about a minute left in the game, for a 4-3 vcitory over cross-town Bristol Central last Monday. Errato took a Ben Chiasson through ball and put it to the net, lifting the Lancers’ record to 8-5-3.

“Connor has been an important member of the team this season,” Coach Bill Sweet said. “He produced the goal that gave us a tie with Maloney and his game-winning goal against Central was dramatic. Connor utilizes his quickness so we try to isolate him against a defender.

“He’s been asked to play a variety of positions throughout his four-year career and he’s willingly accepted his assignments. He’s probably best on offense making runs, as he did in the Central game. Connor enjoys competing and his intensity rubs off on his teammates. He challenges them and himself to play better.”

Errato, however, said the game-winner was the result of his team playing together.

“The game itself represented the ups and down of the season, because we went the entire game,” Errato said. “Then we came together to overcome our opponent. They pushed us and made us use everything we had.”

Errato started playing soccer at age four with the Bristol Soccer Club. He also spent some time playing premier soccer with CFC.

“I just love to play, the enjoyment you get with your teammates,” Errato said. “You are all working for a team and we’re all working for the same goal and when you get it, it’s the most satisfying thing.”

Up next is today’s game with Maloney this afternoon.

“It’s our first state tournament game,” Errato said. “We’re [ranked] 16th and they’re the 17th. We have a home game. To win, we just have to keep playing the way we’ve been playing.”

His plans for next year include studying law and that would be at a state school here. As far as soccer goes, he plans to go out as a walk-on.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol Central, Bristol Eastern on Monday, 5 November 2018 17:52. Updated: Monday, 5 November 2018 17:54.