Taylor Perlman – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Our September, First County Bank, Athlete of the Month is 18 year old Taylor Perlman. Perlman is one of the longstanding members of the B.V.S.A. community that has also been involved in Fury, Scouted Sports and Ramp3 Baseball. There are few coaches who work here or other athletes that train at the Academy who do not know Taylor Perlman. Taylor brings the lighter side out of those coaches who have been lucky to have him as a member of their team, as well as the players he battles beside. This is not without bringing one of the stronger work ethics in the building as well. 

Outside of baseball Perlman is a committed student, leader, and a member of multiple communities that he is able to bring his unique style of thinking into. Now a Senior, Perlman is entering his third year on King School’s varsity baseball team and is a Captain for this upcoming season. King’s Coach, Ryan Quinn had this to say “Taylor was voted captain by his teammates and coaches after a very successful junior campaign. He was our designated hitter throughout the season and was right in the middle of a very potent offense. He will be looked upon to provide leadership on a young King team in 2020.”

Perlman primarily a first basemen will also see time in right field, on the mound, and serve as the team’s designated hitter. During his Junior season last year he hit over .300 and was a part of the FAA championship team who made a run in regionals (losing in the finals). He has been able to reach this next pinnacle in his baseball career due to his countless years playing Fury (since he was 8), the academies travel program and training under Frank Ramppen, owner and founder of Ramp3 Baseball. Taylor has been a Ramp3 member since he was 10 years old. Frank had this to say about Perlman, “Taylor has been one of my favorite students through the years.  He has worked so hard to get to this level and it’s been fun every step of the way.  He has the unique ability to combine hard work, focus and fun. You can expect big things out of Taylor in years to come.”

However, what separates Taylor from other previous ‘Athlete of the Month’ recipients we have had in the past is truly his accomplishments off the field. In his Junior Year alone Taylor achieved a 4.82 GPA (weighted due to his 6 AP courses) and a cumulative 4.5 GPA (also weighted). He will have completed 13 AP courses in his high school career when this school year ends. Perlman also scored a 35 on his ACT standardized test all while being the Leader and Founder of King’s, Sports Business Club. Additionally he is Head Ambassador for King and the Vice President of the Upper School. Taylor also spent part of last summer interning for Duke’s basketball team as the Summer Manager and a member of the social media team. Along with being a featured NBA writer for Bleacher Report on multiple occasions. Perlman has shown to be an all encompassing student-athlete.

Perlman even with these credentials is still yet to find out exactly where he is going but one thing for sure is it will be an opportunity that he earned and most only dream of achieving. He will likely be studying Sport Management in college while also exploring other topic areas to continue to broaden his horizon. As far as Taylor Perlman the sports fan it is all about those Duke Blue Devils no matter what the sport. Every coach, teammate and person Perlman comes in contact with knows the level he can reach and everybody is excited to see how far and how high he goes.

Mckenna O’Neill – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Our First County Bank August Athlete of the Month is 9 year old McKenna O’Neill.  O’Neill is a dedicated member to JA Elite Soccer Academy and an athlete who wants nothing more than to be her very best. McKenna exhibits qualities such as leadership, hard work, and dedication that any coach would love to have in all their players. She brings a level of intensity not just to games but practice as well that help raise the level of energy and fight to be better in her teammates.

O’Neill played for both JA Elite Summer Select 08’ and 09’ teams and will be playing for Chelsea Piers this fall. McKenna also participated in year-round clinics and camps for JA Elite as well. Over this past summer her competitive play has not just made her an invaluable member to both teams but someone her coaches call on to be versatile on the field. O’Neill going into the year had mainly been a striker but as the season progressed started to play mid-field as well. Founder of JA Elite and Coach Jhonny Arteaga had this to say, “Mckenna has been terrific the entire summer. Her leadership qualities on and off the field are great to see in a young athlete. She leads by example, she’s always working hard and is very coachable. We are lucky to have so many great athletes and overall great kids in our program but the entire JA Elite coaching agreed that Mckenna is our Athlete of the month. This is recognition to the work that she’s put in, not only during this Month but the entire year. We wish her a great Fall season with her club and look forward to having her back this Winter.”

O’Neill outside of soccer plays basketball as well for two age groups and runs point for those teams. Last winter she was part of a boys team and did not skip a beat, her competitive nature mixed with her great attitude made it that much easier. Additionally McKenna excels at tennis as well, only losing one match this entire summer. It is important to reiterate that she is successful all while being a great teammate and a coach’s dream player. O’Neill by no surprise is the same person in the classroom as well. Hungry to learn, dedicated, hard working, and receiving great grades. 

O’Neill is  still young, in elementary school, and progressing in all aspects has big aspirations of where her work ethic will take her. Everyone here at Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy and JA Elite Soccer Academy look forward to seeing what her future holds in store both on and off the field.

Ryan Higgins – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Our July Athlete of the Month is 16 year old Ryan Higgins. Higgins a truly special talent has been growing as a player and a person every year since starting with Frank at 8 years old. However, over the past few months, Ryan has pitched his way to the next level.  It was not without hard work and dedication that he has accomplished so much as a player. Higgins pitches with intent and intensity unlike any one around him. He is entering his Junior season at Taft School and the team is coming off a conference win.

Ryan is primarily a pitcher who plays outfield when he is not on the bump. Higgins before Taft was a standout player for St. Luke’s School in the FAA. His coach Anthony Conte has this to say about him “Ryan started for us on varsity as an 8th grader.  He ended up being a few votes short of being all-league as an 8th grader. His athleticism and demeanor make him a very fun kid to coach.” During his previous summer seasons Ryan played for many of our Fury teams. He dominated on both sides of the ball with all his coaches loving the production they received from him. During this summer though Higgins has made the most of an invitation to play for the Evoshield Canes. This is where he has continued to truly mature as a player.

A large part of why Ryan has reached the level he is at now, is because of where it all started, in the cages at Camp Ave with Frank Ramppen.  Higgins was the original member of Ramp3 baseball and now with that guidance, he has created his own path because of the ability to tap into his potential. Frank had this to say, “ Ryan, clearly had plenty of athletic ability but like most 8 year olds, needed to learn the proper mechanics of throwing and hitting. Through the years Ryan worked on his development regularly throughout the year, training at least once a week and often times twice. Ryan developed into a solid hitter, batting third or fourth for all his teams and always the ace of the pitching staff. I had the opportunity to not only train Ryan in the cages but was his coach for several teams so we were able to connect and experience the mental aspects of the game too.  In 2015 when I started Ramp3 Baseball, Ryan was my first client as we continued to work towards his full potential. Ryan has worked his butt off and has grown physically, mentally and technically. He has experienced some dominating times both as a hitter and a pitcher and now, at the age of 16 has harnessed a fastball in the low 90’s to go along with a sharp, late breaking curveball and an excellent change up. I am so proud of him and honored to have been a part of the journey.”

The culmination of hard work, dedicated time to the craft and endless games has resulted in Higgins’ verbal commitment to Duke University. A dream come true for the kid who only eight short years ago started to see what he could become. Ryan is also an honor roll student at Taft School with some time before deciding on what to study at Duke. His favorite team is the Chicago Cubs and his favorite player is Kris Bryant, the 2016 MVP. Like many, his goal is one day to be playing in the big leagues, and hopefully for the Cubs. But unlike the crowd Higgin’s toolset separates him from the rest of the pack and gives him a realistic chance of making this dream a reality. We look forward to seeing what the future has in store for you, congrats Ryan!

Anthony Dimeglio – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Our June, First County Bank Athlete of the Month, is twenty two year old Anthony DiMeglio. DiMeglio is not just one of the most talented arms to come through the Academy but also a great example of what hard work helps create. Ant did not rest on the fact he was talented but doubled down on it and invested the time to foster it. This is why he had the great opportunity to pitch at Fordham University, a Division 1 program. DiMeglio is a ferocious competitor who gives you everything he has and more. With a power fastball and a hammer curve Ant can make an at-bat very uncomfortable for any hitters. DiMeglio additionally has of earlier this year finished with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Fordham.

Before Fordham, Anthony was a standout player at Darien High School. He was a three year varsity starter, as well as a captain his Senior year. DiMeglio earned All-FCIAC honors twice and First Team honors in 2015. In addition, was named First Team All-Connecticut by MSG Varsity. DiMeglio was a valuable member of multiple Fury teams over the years and was a beloved player by his coach Anthony Conte. Coach Conte had this to say about him, “Anthony always threw a heavy ball, knew how to spin a curveball and loved to compete.  More importantly, he always has a smile on his face and learned to work through adversity with a handful of injuries over the years. I was pumped that he got the opportunity to play at Fordham and really develop into the pitcher he is today. We are excited to see how far he can take this!!”

In his Freshman year at Fordham, Anthony appeared in 24 games (all relief appearances), which was the 8th most ever in a single season for a pitcher. He recorded his first collegiate strikeout, win and save this season as he learned what this level of play was all about. His Sophomore season was a tale of two tapes. DiMeglio showed signs of dominance and taking his pitching to the next level. But he was unfortunately hit by a line drive early in the season versus Canisius, costing him a month of his season. Anthony’s Junior season was his coming out party, where he set career highs in every statistical category as well as leading the team in strikeouts and wins. He also threw a complete game in a tough lose to George Mason in the Atlantic 10 Championship. DiMeglio continue to shine as a standout pitcher for Fordham and finished his career there with solid numbers.

Rob DiToma, current Head Coach at FDU, had the opportunity to coach Anthony at Fordham.  He had this to say about Anthony “From the minute Anthony walked on campus his freshman year he had something to prove.  He truly worked himself into a pitcher that we could not ignore.  He earned every inning he received, and at the same time the respect of his teammates and coaching staff.  It was a pleasure to watch him develop and grow into the person he became both on and off the field.  There’s no doubt the Fordham program would not have accomplished what it has the last four years without Anthony.”

Since finishing his playing career and academic tenure at Fordham University his next opportunity has presented itself. Anthony was recently signed to an amateur contract by the Milwaukee Brewers. He earned this, all the hard work, along with years of sacrifice paid off with the ability now to go and continue the dream of being a major league player. We could not be happier or more excited for you here at the facility and want your journey to be an example to all the upcoming players in the area.  Perseverance is a major contributor to achieving your dreams!

Griffin Dey – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

We are excited to announce our May Athlete of the Month, 22 year old Griffin Dey! Dey a longstanding member of the B.V.S.A. community has been working hard year after year to continue to progress his skillset. Closing in on reaching a level many work for and few achieve, he sets himself apart in a multitude of ways. Griffin the ball player on the field can be described as a calculated and dynamic athlete who has the ability along with strength to send the ball into orbit.  Dey recently wrapped up his Senior season at Yale University, while also graduating with a Bachelor’s in Political Science to finish his academic tenure at the school.

Griffin was primarily a first baseman in his time at Yale but played third base in his senior year. He also pitched mainly as the team’s closer when the opportunity arose. Prior to Yale, Griffin grew up in Pound Ridge, New York and went to John F. Kennedy Catholic.  An impact player there, and a stellar student it was clear Dey was destined for D1 Baseball. But to help get his skillset as a ball player Griffin found himself as a student of Frank Ramppen, Ramp3 Baseball and BVSA. Frank the managing partner of the Academy also operates his own elite level training company for players who are truly committed to the process.  Dey continues to work with Frank anytime he is home or needs a quick tune up. Frank had this to say about Yale’s slugger, “Griffin hits the ball as hard as anybody I’ve seen in our area and he does it with regularity. He has a legitimate power factor, is a hard worker and is a tremendous person.”

Dey worked hard to make sure he was impactful in the middle of Yale’s lineup. After a Freshman season filled with struggle he took a major jump up his Sophomore year. His Sophomore year he was an Ivy-League Honorable Mention, leading his team with 10 home runs, driving in 40 and having a 6-0 record with a 2.70 era.  His Junior year he earned a spot on the 2018 ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division I Northeast All-Region Second Team and Named 2018 NEIBA Division I All-New England First Team. In his final season Dey batted .362 with 11 home runs, and 44 driven in. Griffin was a mainstay in the middle of the Bulldogs lineup. June 3rd is fast approaching Griffin’s baseball career is set to reach a new level. With the Amateur Draft being the day, Dey gets the call saying he is good enough to play professional baseball. An ex-teammate, Rich Slenker, who recently got the call had this to say about him, “He hits until his hands bleed. Then keeps hitting. Hardest worker I know. Never had more fun playing baseball than I had playing with Grif. He knows how to keep things in perspective and enjoy the little things in the game.”

Congratulations to Griffin on this honor! We look forward to seeing what team will give him the chance to reach the ultimate level of playing on June 3rd. Keep up all the hard work and being a great example for the youth athletes we have coming through the academy.

Colin Kelly – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Our April First County Bank Athlete of the Month is 21 year old Colin Kelly. Kelly is our first college baseball player to receive the honor and is currently a senior at Union College. Kelly has excelled in his time as a Dutchmen while taking none of it for granted continuously putting in a copious amount of work any chance he can. During the breaks he has from college, Kelly is a frequent of BVSA, and utilizes it to the fullest. Kelly is a true gamer, not just playing hard but playing the game smart. His heads up baseball, mixed with a solid baseball IQ gives helps give his team the best chance to win in every game.

“Extremely happy for Colin to see how much success he’s having at the college level. Not surprised as Colin’s work ethic was always different than most. What everyone knows of him is a great athlete who swings it from the left side. Good feet as well as a plus arm. What most won’t see on paper is the type of person he is and the leadership he provides for team and teammates. Good luck Colin and finish strong!” – Mike Abate, Greenwich Cannons Head Coach

Kelly as stated early is currently a senior and enjoying every second of what could potentially be his final season. Originally from Greenwich, CT, he is a product of Greenwich High School and the Greenwich Cannons. Kelly is currently the Dutchmen’s shortstop, getting to display his athleticism, however can play anywhere in the infield. Kelly is committed to the classroom as well and is a very successful student as well. He was a member of the National Honors Society in high school and now is very much so a shining example for young student-athletes. Besides baseball Kelly grew up playing hockey as well, earning All-FCIAC honors in high school for both sports.

We want to congratulate Colin again on receiving this honor, we are proud to call him part of the BVSA family! Wishing you nothing but the best and we look forward to seeing what you can do with the rest of your season and taking on your next challenges away from the field.

Current Stats: .338 Avg, 22 Hits, 10 XBH, 19 R.B.I., and 14 Runs Scored

Honors and Awards:

– ABCA/Rawlings All-America Second Team (2018)

– D3baseball.com All-America Second Team (2018)

– ECAC Div. III Player of the Year (2018)

– ABCA/Rawlings All-New York Region First Team (2018)

– D3baseball.com All-New York Region First Team (2018)

– All-ECAC First Team (2018)

– Liberty League Player of the Year (2018)

– All-Liberty League First Team (2018)

– D3baseball.com National Team of the Week (4/10/18)

– Liberty League Performer of the Week (4/2/18, 4/9/18, 5/7/18)

– Harold D. Moore Sophomore Athletic Prize (2017-18)

Aisling Boyd – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Our March First County Bank Athlete of the Month is 13 year old Aisling Boyd. Boyd is our first lacrosse player to receive the honor and is a participant with CT City Lax here at BVSA. Aisling was not just a committed lacrosse player through her time with CT City but also someone who was open to all feedback that would help elevate her game to the next level. Boyd is both a ferocious competitor while in the heat of the game, wanting to play her best and help her team win. While also being a great teammate and friend when it is all said and done. Coach Nazz had this to say, “She is a hard worker and asks questions for further understanding. She is highly skilled and deserved this award!”

Boyd is currently an eighth grader at John Jay Middle School in Cross River, New York. She plays midfield for her town team and additionally plays for the 2024 Gold Coast Club Team. Boyd’s commitments do not end on the lacrosse field though. She is an honors student who also is a competitive horseback rider. She also is an avid surfer in the summertime whenever the opportunity is there. Boyd is also a devout Mets’ fan, which helps prove how committed and patient she is to the process of getting better over time.

We want to congratulate Aisling again on receiving this honor, we are proud to call her part of the BVSA family! We look forward and so does Nazz to having her back sharpening her skills with CT City Lax this upcoming fall. Good luck with your upcoming season and go out there and dominate!

Mackenzie Bruggeman – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Mackenzie Bruggeman
Mackenzie Bruggeman

Our February Athlete of the Month is 15 year old Mackenzie Bruggeman. Kenzie is one of B.V.S.A.’s most impressive athletes. What she is able to do on the softball field is typically unmatched and hard not to notice. Bruggeman has not been able to achieve these distinctions without putting in the time to make it second nature. During this time at the academy, it is often a great show she is able to put on, with so many stopping what they are doing to watch. Even when you cannot watch her, you can tell it is her working from the different sound her ball of the bat or her ball popping the glove makes. Bruggeman is a powerful player with a fire to compete and help her team with whatever way she can.

Kenzie is currently a sophomore at Trumbull High School and is preparing for her second season of Varsity softball in the coming months. Bruggeman who is mainly a shortstop, can also play third, and played a lot of second base for Trumbull last season. All leading up to her pitching every state playoff game for Trumbull to end their season. Once the High School season ends Bruggeman is back with her long time summer team the Lady Titans. Lady Titans is B.V.S.A.’s softball travel program coached by Danielle Simoneau. Last summer for the Lady Titans Kenzie put up some astronomical numbers; Batting .402, OBP .467, Slugging .630, making for an OPS of 1.098. She had 37 hits including 10 doubles, 1 triple and three home runs all while driving in 36 runs. On the bump she was 6-1, with a ERA of 2.88, and had 38 strikeouts. These numbers help reinforce why she is such a feared player on both sides of the ball.

Bruggeman works at B.V.S.A. as a junior instructor for softball programming and clinics that happen throughout the year. She is also an athlete that puts in the hours with Overdrive Elite Performance multiple times a week and excels there like few others do. Bruggeman just now getting into the recruiting process has been turning heads and is expected to receive a ton of attention moving forward. No one in this area understands that more than her mom, and coach, Danielle Simoneau. Danielle was also highly touted and went through similar circumstances. Danielle went to University Hartford on a full ride, was a fear pitcher and hitter while there, still holding school records for a multitude of statistics. Kenzie is a hard working student who understands that she is a student-athlete. But we are looking forward to seeing her continue to grow as an athlete and an individual.

Roger Bolton – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Roger Bolton has been selected as our First County Bank Athlete of the Month for January.  Roger is an extraordinary husband, father, worker, and overall person. He is happily married to his wife, Lynne, and they have three amazing children, Taylor, Tim, and John.  Roger makes it a priority in his life to train year-round at Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy, while working full time as the President of the Arthur W. Page Society.

In January of 2019, Roger attended his ninth fantasy baseball camp, and seventh in the last seven years (all with the Cincinnati Reds).  Fantasy Camp is a six-day event where the participants play at least 10 games, including one against ex-pro Reds’ alumni. The entire week is also programmed, led, and coached by former Reds players. 

In order to prepare for this, he trains at BVSA with Anthony Conte. Since 2012, Roger has put in over 150 hours of work, always working to improve for the next camp. His sons, Tim and John, also trained at BVSA throughout their high school varsity baseball years.  Additionally, his daughter Taylor, who captained her high school varsity softball team, recently started to train with Roger and plans to join him at Reds’ camp next year.

“He is an awesome guy all around!” Anthony said. “I am so glad he found us all those years ago and has stuck with it.  It’s extremely impressive to have an idea of his usual schedule and somehow, he always finds a way to focus on his family and professional life, while staying in shape for the next opportunity to compete.  It’s been a very cool experience for me to work with and get to know Roger. He’s constantly pushing himself and challenging me as a coach, and person, in our sessions. I can’t thank him enough for our time together.”

As President of Page, Roger is part of a global membership organization for corporate chief communication officers and PR agency CEOs.  Their members help their enterprises build brand and reputation, earn trust by developing a strong corporate character and authentically engaging with key stakeholders.  He has prior experience in corporate communications at Aetna and IBM, and in government public affairs at the White House, U.S. Treasury, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Congress.  Roger was recently granted the Alexander Hamilton Medal for Lifetime Achievement in 2018. Watch with the link below.

We look forward to having Roger continue to come back for many years to come and to see his success on the field and in life keep on such an outstanding trajectory. BVSA is proud to have Roger as our oldest private lesson client and a member of the family.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wdPx_Tr3Z0

Joey Skarad – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Our December Athlete of the Month is 18 year old Joey Skarad. Skarad has not just been dedicated to being an excellent baseball player since he could hold a bat, but also a dedicated member of the baseball community at B.V.S.A. Without so much as a second thought, there are few names that you can say out work Skarad in the cages, gym or even at work. He is a fierce competitor, with an unmatched drive, and internal motivation to out work what he did yesterday. Skarad played at Westhill through his junior year and transferred to King. Now a senior, he is a captain and has been accepted, with a roster spot to Sacred Heart University.

Skarad is primarily a catcher who can play shortstop and pitch as well. He has played both Fury and X-Fury in the history of B.V.S.A. Both were great opportunities for Skarad to play with very talented, focused, older players who helped cement the work ethic needed be a frontline player. He has also played for other programs since but all who know Skarad know that B.V.S.A. is his home. Besides training here, he is currently a B.V.S.A. employee, an athlete training with Overdrive and an employee at Instant Replay. All highlight his work ethic, the love of the game, and the fact that if he could he would probably sleep here. Carrington one of the owners of Overdrive had this to say, “Joey is one of the hardest working kids in the gym. He is very consistent with his attitude, he is always motivating the other athletes in the gym and Skarad never has any excuses.”

Skarad finished with both the recruiting process and his acceptance into SHU is able to focus on enjoying the rest of his senior year and crushing baseballs come the high school season. He has chosen to study economics, while continuing to chase his passion of baseball. Skarad is a New York Yankees fan and Dallas Cowboys fan. He also grew up having Derek Jeter as his favorite player and role model on the field. Skarad is a facility favorite and all here look forward to seeing what his future holds for him both on and off the field.