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

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.

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.

Leo Socci – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Our November Athlete of the Month is 17 year old Leo Socci. Leo has been a dedicated baseball player since he was a little kid and although he has gone through a tough injury, he still pushes through and works hard. He is an easy-going, cool, calm and collected kid that has an ongoing motor filled with passion for the game. Leo as a freshman and sophomore went to West Hill High School and was on their varsity baseball team. At West Hill he was give Honorable Mention for two years in a row and now has transferred to Brunswick High School as a junior. Leo is a pitcher as well as plays the infield. From the ages of 12 to 14 Leo played with B.V.S.A’s travel baseball team and currently plays with the Stamford Legion. In 2016, while he was on the 15U team they won the summer championship.

Leo has been training with Mike Abate under Abate Training for 6 years. Abate is a huge fan of Leo’s; “I have a great deal of confidence due to his passion and commitment of being as good as he possibly can be. He is a player who has dealt with adversity and has made tremendous strides to overcome that and is on his way to achieving his goals. Leo’s work ethic and commitment is special.”

The “adversity” Abate is referring to is his Tommy John surgery he had last year in 2017. Tommy John surgery is a popular one for baseball players, pitchers especially in which your collateral ligament tears in your elbow. Leo’s recovery time was 14 months total going to therapy twice a week for the first nine months.

Leo is currently in the recruiting process hoping that one day he will get to play college baseball. For a potential area of study, Leo is interested in criminal justice. His favorite baseball team is the New York Yankees and favorite football team the New York Giants. He looks up to Marcus Stroman a pitcher for the the Blue Jays. Leo has a long list of supporters with him on his journey and we all hope the best for him.

Joey Pastore – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Joe Pastore is our October Athlete of the Month. He is a 17 year old senior, at Ridgefield High School. Joe is a 2 year varsity starter on the baseball team. In his junior season at Ridgefield his hitting average was .308 and he hit 2 home runs. Over the summer he played with Baseball U and ended with a hitting average of .382, 24 hits, 16 xbh, and 3 home runs.
Joe has been training with B.V.S.A for over 6 years now. He has worked with many coaches at B.V.S.A and anyone who you ask will say he is a very easy-going and hard working kid. Joe is a power hitter and very efficient from the field. He enjoys playing center field the most. He first started training with Sully from 2012-2015 and from then on trains with Anthony Conte. He is dedicated to being the best player he can be and is passionate about the game. 

He recently committed to Skidmore College to play baseball and being that his favorite school subject is economics he wants to study in the business school there as well. He started playing when he was 4 years old and is the first in his family to play baseball. He chose Skidmore because of the academics and the location being in the North East. His favorite MLB team is the New York Mets and favorite player is George Springer.

Ian Brown – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Excited to announce that Ian Brown, a.k.a “Big Country” is our Athlete of the Month for September. Ian is a 16 year old at Greens Farms Academy and plays as a first basemen on their varsity baseball team. Ian is a dedicated, hard-working, kind, witty and loyal kid on and off the field. He started playing baseball in 2008 first with Darien Little League and then started playing with Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy’s, Fury baseball team. In 2015 Ian played with Darien New Canaan American Legion baseball. He currently is still a member of the BVSA Fury.


Ian has had some great accomplishments and awards throughout his baseball career. He was on the GFA Dragonoids Robotics Team, he won the national championships in 2017 and Inspire Award and won regional championships in 2018. Ian was also on the baseball Factory/Under Armour National Team. At Green Farms Academy, Ian was the Head of School Honor Roll 2018.

Ian would love to play college baseball one day and study either science and technology or finance. His favorite subject in school is STEM. Outside of baseball he loves to go whitewater kayaking, fishing and spending time with his Portuguese Water dog, Vasco. His favorite baseball team is the New York Yankees and is a big fan of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Ian loves football as well and roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and his favorite player Ben Roesthlisberger.

Cory Johnson – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Cornelius(Cory) Johnson is going into his senior year at Brunswick high school and is breaking records and catching the eyes of college coaches all around the country. He started at Brunswick school in 6th grade and when he got to the high school, started as a freshman on their football team immediately. Cory is the second in his family to play competitive football following an older brother at the University of San Diego. Cory plays the wide receiver weighing in at about 197 and stands about 6’2.5”. He began training with Overdrive Elite 3 years ago and while working with Overdrive, Cory tested his 40 yard dash ending with a 4.5 second and also his shuttle in 4.1 seconds. These numbers resembling those of NFL receivers, Cory’s offers and achievements reflect heavily upon these results.

As Cory’s football career has progressed he continues to win awards and nominations for outstanding talent. His sophomore and junior season he was named all conference. Cory stood as captain in his junior year and made the All-New England team his junior year as well. Following his junior season, Cory received a 4 star rating on ESPN and was a finalist for Nike’s The Opening. He is on the path to break Brunswick records in the number of touchdowns and yardage in the history of the school.

Cory’s hard work and efforts have definitely paid off for his dream of playing college football and then onto professionally. He received his first offer in 2017 by Duke University. Following Duke, Cory has received what seems like endless offers from all top football schools. Cory was offered by 2017-2018’s champion team Alabama this year amongst many big name schools;  Stanford, Michigan, Notre Dame, Boston College, Penn State, etc. Cory is unaware when and who he is going to commit to at the moment. His favorite professional team is the Los Angeles Chargers and his current favorite player is Jarvis Landray.

When not on the field Cory takes his studies very seriously and wants to continue on with this mentality in college as well. He has about a 3.4 GPA and thrives in his math courses. In college he thinks he wants to study get a degree in a business major. Cory’s friends and family say he is one of the most passionate and driven kids they’ve seen in a while. He is determined to be the best player he could be yet knows how to keep a humble persona. He is a very easy going and caring teenager. Overdrive Elite Coach Carrington quoted on Cory saying “He is the most hard working kid I’ve worked with, always is respectful and his ceiling is high.” Renick, Overdrive Elite’s other trainer started with Cory when he was 15 and would describe Cory as “very mature for his age and has the correct mentality to make it at the highest level.”

Kim Saunders – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Our third Athlete of the Month goest to 14 year old, Kim Saunders from Stamford. She just finished her freshman year at Stamford High school. During her freshman year she played both volleyball and softball. Kim was on their varsity softball team this past season as a pitcher and third baseman playing in nearly every game. She threw a perfect game in their win against Staples. By the end of her freshman season Kim had hit 6 home runs as well. Kim was awarded 2nd Team all FCIAC as a freshman.
Kim started playing softball about 6 years ago and has been training with B.V.S.A Coach Danielle Simoneau for 5 years. 

Kim hopes to go on and play college softball after she graduates high school. Her dream schools are Texas A&M where her father attended college. Other schools she is interested in include The University of Rhode Island and The University of Virginia. Kim helps other kids improve their game too at the B.V.S.A softball summer camp. 

Off the field Kim is very into her studies as well. She is in all honors classes making honor role each term at Stamford High School. Social Studies is her favorite subject. When Kim goes on to college, she thinks she will want to study business. Kim Saunders is a young star on and off the field and if she keeps up the hard work, she’ll be a very successful student-athlete.

Jack Cunningham – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Jack, A.K.A “Jackie Boy Baseball” started coming to the Academy at age 5, when he told Frank he “wanted to be on the Furry (not Fury) team”. Jack made his first BVSA Fury team for the 10’s at age 8 and has played 10 consecutive seasons since, earning 4 team tournament championships along the way. Jack is currently playing for three baseball teams this Spring; 13U Fury, 12U Darien Blue Hawks and for Masonic in the Darien Little League baseball program.

In 2015 he was on the Darien Little League Championship, Team Merrill Lynch, has played in 2 All-Star games and most recently was on the 11U Connecticut Little League District 1 championship team in 2017, finishing the Districts season with,17 hits, 4 doubles, 4 home runs, 11 runs scored, 11 RBIs,  batting .567 with an OBP of .581 and slugging 1.1 over the 8 game tournament. He finished the 2017 season with 21 career over-the-wall home runs.

Off the field, Jack is a 7th grader at Middlesex Middle School on Darien and is a lifelong Mets, Jets and Islanders fan.  He and his younger brother Colin are licensed State of Connecticut boat captains. In 2015, Jack was able to take batting practice at Citi-Field with the Mets and got to announce the starting lineup on the Stadium Scoreboard and on national TV.