Two Bristol residents, Jade Udoh of St. Paul and Chris Trelli of Bristol Central, share â€śAthlete of the Weekâ€ť honors for area high school sports.
Udoh, the daughter of Bevin and Unwana Udoh, is a sophomore forward/center on coach Joe Moneâ€™s girls basketball team, which earned the No. 3 seed in the Class M state tournament at 17-4 in being seeded No. 3.
â€śSheâ€™s doing well,â€ť Mone said. â€śSheâ€™s really become a strong player. Sheâ€™s progressed nicely over the past two years. With all our injuries this month, sheâ€™s been important as our go-to player and is taking on that responsibility of being our team leader.â€ť
The Falconsâ€™ last game before starting state tournament play last night was a 48-39 loss to Wolcott on Feb. 17, in the first round of NVL tournament play.
â€śIt was a lot of missed easy shots,â€ť Udoh said. â€śI felt we could have played defense better and rebounded better. I feel we should have had more team energy.â€ť
Getting to the state tournament, the Falcons have had to deal big time with injuries.
â€śIt was rough,â€ť Udoh said. â€śAs soon as someone got healthy, someone would get hurt. I think it wore us down mentally. It was difficult. I think weâ€™re a lot better now. I think that almost every starter and sixth and seventh man has gotten hurt with either a major or minor injury. Itâ€™s been rough.â€ť
In looking at the future, Janessa Gonzalez - the teamâ€™s leading player who is out for the season - and Udoh are both sophomores and they have their junior and senior years ahead of them.
â€śI think something that Janessa and I want is to win the state championship our senior year, or possibly one next year,â€ť Udoh said. â€śItâ€™s something we want to work for and thatâ€™s if no one gets hurt.â€ť Â
Trelli, the son of Bonnie and Bret Trelli, is a senior wrestler who captured the Class L title at 120 pounds. He then finished fifth at the State Open at Hillhouse High in New Haven this past Friday and Saturday. The latter finish was the best of the Central grapplers and one of the best of those representing this city.
â€śI expected to [win],â€ť Trelli said about the Class Lâ€™s. â€śI felt good about my draw [being seeded No. 1]. I just trusted myself, basically, and I knew what I needed to do. Last year, I was in the finals and lost.â€ť
â€śChris is a great competitor who has set very high goals for himself,â€ť said his coach, Matt Boissonneault. â€śAlthough most wrestlers would be ecstatic with a fifth place finish at the State Open, for Chris this was a major letdown.
â€śOne of the most valuable lessons this sport teaches kids is the ability to overcome adversity. Itâ€™s just you and your opponent. For Chris, losing in the semifinals was such a major setback that, in the immediate aftermath, he mentally struggled to rebound and get himself ready to wrestle again. Less than an hour after that loss he had to come back and wrestle another quality opponent, Dan Charron from Killingly, and was back to himself with a dominant win. That last win qualified him for the New England tournament, a highly competitive tournament that he placed fourth in last year.â€ť
When Trelli ends his scholastic career, he will with have obtained a number of honors at the state and New England levels.
As a sophomore, he finished fifth in the Class Lâ€™s at 106 pounds. Last year he finished second at the both the Class Lâ€™s and State Open at 106 pounds before his fourth at the New Englands.
Trelli is pleased with what heâ€™s gotten out of the sport.
â€śItâ€™s made me a better person, disciplining myself and making the sacrifices,â€ť Trelli said. â€śI made a lot of friendships that I value through the sport and itâ€™s just fun for me. Iâ€™ve been doing it for about eight years.â€ť
And then thereâ€™s coach Boissonneault.
â€śIâ€™ve known him for seven years,â€ť Trelli said. â€śHeâ€™s like an uncle to me. Heâ€™s seen me grow up and progress through the sport, and heâ€™s been on my side all of the way.â€ť
His plans next year include studying biology and wrestling in college, but he is not sure at which level yet.
Contact Bob Montgomery at or by calling 860-973-1808.