Terryville girls basketball senior McKenzie Huria and junior Bristol Eastern wrestler Diego Fernandez have been chosen for “Athlete of the Week” honor with regards to area high school sports.
Huria, the daughter of Sandy and Tom Huria of Plymouth, not only leads her team in scoring, but on and off the court as well.
“We’ve played eight games so far and we’re looking for a victory,” Kangaroos head coach Tom Morgan said. “She’s averaging 13.6 points a game and six rebounds. Coming off last year, she’s dedicated herself to basketball. She attended clinics, camps, played AAU, played in summer leagues and made herself a better player. It’s her love, basketball. She’s doing a heck of a job for us.”
In looking for that first win, Terryville came into this week with a 0-8 record, but that doesn’t seem to disturb the team captain. It’s just continuing doing their best.
“Right now, our team goal is to get four wins in a row,” Huria said. “We also have a team goal of out-rebounding the opposition. We’re pretty good at rebounding. We have a girl who is 6-foot-2 and one that is a 6-footer. We’re just trying to get some wins, out of the conference and Berkshire League wins.”
Huria, who plays shooting guard and sometimes at the point, is always willing to do what is best for the team.
“[My job is] to look for the open pass and take [the shot] when I can,” Huria said. “Leadership is so important, because we have a young team. I just try to encourage all the girls.”
A multi-sport athlete, Huria also plays volleyball for the school with basketball being her favorite.
“I like the communication on the floor and meeting other girls” Huria said. “I like how our team is close and how we like each other.”
Her plans for next year include college, where she plans to study either secondary education English or speech and language pathology.
Fernandez, the son of Marlo Marrero Fernandez and Luis Fernandez, is fairly new to the wrestling scene, but has learned quickly.
“He started wrestling two years ago,” Eastern head coach Bryant Lishness said. “This is his first year in the varsity line-up and he’s 7-1. He was third at the Danbury Tournament and first at the Bristol Central Invitational.
“He moved here from the Dominican Republic his freshman year and does MMA at Ascension Athletics in town. He has a great work ethic, he’s fearless and never overwhelmed. He’s a really fun kid with a great, outgoing personality. He makes friends with everyone, everywhere we go.”
An example of his outgoing personality was seen in answering the first question of his interview: How is your season going?
“My season is going good,” Fernandez said. “I think every day I’m doing better, working hard in practice. In tournaments, I go into the match and get the win. I’m doing pretty good this year. When coach Lish is happy, I’m happy.”
Fernandez also realizes how fortunate he is in wrestling for the state’s No. 2-ranked high school team.
“We got a pretty good team,” Fernandez said. “We are one of the best teams in the state, because we work hard and win like a family. When we win, everyone on the team wins. Everyone in the line-up wants to win to be state champions.”
With regards to MMA, Fernandez has worked out of Ascension Athletics directly next door to The Bristol Press and under the guidance of Jeff Haddad, who was an assistant at Bristol Eastern last year.
“I was working with him every day and I’m better today because Jeff made me a better wrestler,” Fernandez said. “I like fighting, so I thought wrestling would help me fight, and it’s helped. Wrestling helps me fight and fighting helps me wrestle.”