Celebrating Excellence: Ben Coutant Named First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Ben Coutant

At Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy, we take pride in recognizing the exceptional athletes who exemplify dedication, skill, and sportsmanship. This month, we’re thrilled to announce that the First County Bank Athlete of the Month is none other than Ben Coutant, a standout lacrosse player whose remarkable achievements and leadership on and off the field make him a deserving honoree.

Breaking Records and Leading the Way
Ben Coutant, a senior at Stamford High School (SHS), has made waves in the lacrosse community with his outstanding performance this season. As the leading scorer for the Black Knights, Ben has broken the school’s record for the most points in a season, propelling his team to an impressive 12-4 record. With state playoffs on the horizon, Ben’s contributions have been instrumental in the Black Knights’ success, showcasing his prowess and dedication to the sport.

Commitment Beyond the Season
Ben’s commitment to lacrosse extends beyond the high school season. He is an active member of the CT City Lacrosse team, where he continues to hone his skills and compete at a high level during the off-season. This dedication to continuous improvement highlights Ben’s passion for the sport and his drive to excel.

Leadership and Teamwork
As a captain of the SHS lacrosse team, Ben exemplifies leadership both on and off the field. His coach, Mike Nazzaro, speaks highly of Ben’s work ethic and attitude towards training. “Ben leads by example, always giving 110% in practice and games,” says Coach Nazzaro. “His commitment to his teammates and his positive attitude make him a role model for younger players.”

Ben’s leadership is not just about his performance but also his ability to inspire and motivate his teammates. His dedication to teamwork and his willingness to support and encourage others have been key factors in the Black Knights’ successful season.

Looking Ahead
With state playoffs approaching, Ben Coutant and the Black Knights are gearing up for what promises to be an exciting culmination to an already remarkable season. Ben’s record-breaking achievements, combined with his unwavering dedication and leadership, set a high standard for his peers and future athletes.

We are proud to celebrate Ben’s accomplishments and look forward to seeing his continued success both on and off the field. Congratulations, Ben, on being named the First County Bank Athlete of the Month. Your hard work, talent, and sportsmanship are truly inspiring!

Grant Perconte – First County Bank March Athlete of the Month

Grant Perconte

Grant Perconte has a passion and dedication to his favorite sport of baseball. He embodies the spirit of teamwork and perseverance. When asked what motivates him to excel in baseball, Grant simply answers “My passion for the game and my teammates. We all have each other’s backs.” This camaraderie fuels Grant’s drive to constantly push himself to new heights, both on and off the field.

One pivotal factor in Grant’s journey has been his involvement with BVSA. Under the mentorship of Coach Frank Ramppen, Grant has blossomed into a formidable athlete, both physically and mentally. “Coach Frank has helped me grow into a better player in every aspect,” Grant reflects. “He has made me feel so much more confident in myself.”

Frank had some words of his own when asked about Grant. “Grant is one of the most amazing young players I have ever had the pleasure to work with. His passion and dedication are at such a high level, but what really makes him different from so many other young players is his understanding of the fundamentals and mechanics of the game and his ability to listen to instruction and make adjustments. I often find myself stopping and saying to myself, am I actually going to say this to a 10 year old? I fear that I’m going to teach above his head but I think that’s impossible. It’s amazing! Grant is so deserving of this award, great job Grant.”

Through his years on the diamond, Grant has learned invaluable lessons. “Sometimes things don’t go right in baseball, but if you don’t do anything to change that, it will never get better,” he shares.

When asked about his biggest inspiration in the world of sports, Grant’s answer is unwavering: his father. “My dad taught me the fundamentals of baseball and has been an incredible coach for our team,” he says with admiration.

Looking ahead, Grant’s aspirations in baseball are clear. “I want to play for as long as I can,” he asserts. “I would love to play in college.”

Grante Perconte – March Athlete of the Month

Balancing athletic commitments with other responsibilities is a priority for Grant. “Baseball is awesome, but before I practice, I get my schoolwork done,” he explains. This discipline proves his dedication to both his academic and athletic pursuits.

For aspiring athletes at BVSA, Grant offers simple advice. “My advice is to be confident that you can get better,” he says. “You may not hit the ball 100mph, but step by step you can become the player you want to be.”

Reflecting on his journey thus far, Grant takes pride in his achievements. “My greatest accomplishments in baseball have been with my team when we won States and got to the Regional finals, and when we won the Hudson Valley League.” he says with a smile. 

As Grant Perconte continues to carve his path in the world of baseball, his unwavering passion, coupled with his commitment to excellence, ensures that his journey will be nothing short of extraordinary.


First County Bank Athlete of the Month – Jack Hoch

First County Bank Athlete of the Month – Jack Hoch

Our January, First County Bank Athlete of the Month for January 2021 is Jack Hoch. Hoch is a 17 year old senior, switch hitting, captain at Stamford High School. The leader of the Stamford Black Knights team is one the most diligent, respectful and hard working athletes we are blessed to have coming into the Academy. Hoch in his senior year has plenty to concern himself with; school work, applications and school interviews. However, Hoch is the only captain on the Stamford roster and has taken complete responsibility for his squad’s winter workout. He is both leading the charge but more importantly leading by example.

Hoch is a big, lean, strong athlete who has found a home in the outfield and on the mound. His ability to cover ground out in that wide open space and have nerves of steel on the bump make him a dynamic player for Coach Rit Lacomis this upcoming season. 

Lacomis had this to say, “Jack is extremely deserving of this recognition. He’s a tremendous baseball player, fantastic student, and even better person. Jack brings everything a coach wants in a player to the SHS Baseball Program and uses it to continuously make everyone around him better. He is someone that willingly leads his peers and is looked up to by underclassmen. Although Jack’s on-field contributions to the SHS Baseball team are important, his main value to our program runs much deeper.” 

Although, what makes Jack Hoch even more impressive than anything we could say about his baseball skill and acumen is the level of achievement in school and what he does off the field. Hoch maintains a 3.96 GPA with the lofty (but achievable) goal of going to an academically competitive college with the plans to study neuroscience this coming fall. The school has yet to be determined but Hoch’s drive and ability to persevere will make this endeavor an awesome journey for our Athlete of the Month.

Jack has lived quite a baseball life, starting out as the die-hard Mets fan those around him have come to know and love, his playing career started in Stamford at just 4 years old. Hoch played in what is formerly known as Springdale Little League (now Stamford North), then progressed to Stamford Babe Ruth where at 15 years old Hoch made the 18U roster. In addition, Hoch got a lot of experience from his fall seasons with the Connecticut Blue Jays in Hartford as well. The best experience of Hoch’s baseball life has to be his coaching the Stamford North Little League 10U All Star team, where he passed on his knowledge and experiences to each of those dedicated players.  

Coach Conte at Bobby V’s had this to say about Jack, “Jack is the kind of person you bend over backwards to make time to work with!  He schedules his own training sessions, maximizes every minute of his training, somehow finds time to work in some Met’s or current science banter and he’s walked to BVSA in the rain multiple times!  As a coach we get blessed with a handful of players who push us to be better coaches and people.  Jack is definitely one of those people! The maturity and dedication to excellence is something we can all learn from.  Can’t wait to see what he does this spring for baseball as well as through and after college, beyond baseball.  My personal prediction after baseball, he helps solve some major health crisis in the future!!”

It is exciting to see what the future holds for Hoch, but without a shadow of doubt it will definitely be a bright one. A lot of things to look forward to; a senior season, getting accepted to the right college, and starting that next chapter of his journey.  We at BVSA who have seen you coming in over the past decade want to say congratulations and that we cannot wait to see what unfolds very soon. It is great to have such a shining example of what hard work and determination can create!

Justin Virgulak

Justin Virgulak

Writer and Editor