Taking care of your Loved One Is What We Do BEST!

It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Watertown, CT

Home Care Watertown, CT

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Watertown History Museum gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Watertown, CT is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Watertown, CT

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“Bessie has been an exceptional Health Care Provider. She takes such pride in her work and truly cares about the people she is in contact with. She is dedicated, diligent, and is devoted to her job assignment. She not only takes care of my Mom, but she goes above and beyond her call of duty. Bessie has a unique ability to connect with every person she meets. No day goes by that my Mom is not pampered. Bessie make sure she's always comfortable. She makes exceptional meals for her 3 times a day, cleans her clothes, gives her showers, washes her hair and makes her look amazing every single day. Bessie is so beneficial to our family we can't imagine our family without her. I myself and my family members could never do what she does for our Mom. She has been with my mom and our family for almost 1 year and we don't know what we would do without her, she truly is a gift from God. She not only takes care of my Mom daily, nightly and weekly, she also takes care of her personal life and whatever life throws at her. She is a devoted caretaker and should be recognized with the utmost respect. Her dedication to improving the health and well-being of my Mom is commendable. You can't find anyone as special as she. Her life commitment has touched our lives through her delivery of exceptional care in a compassionate, respectful, and safe manner on a daily basis. She has become a member of our family and she has shown us the meaning of adaptability. Her strong faith in God, Forgiveness, and Believing in each other makes her the great person that she is. On behalf of our family, we would like to thank you for the extraordinary care and services your company has provided to us. Thank you for all you do”

Debra T.

“We used Always Best Care for my mother. They provided basically anything we needed a few hours a week, they were very thorough in asking about my mother's condition, and what were the needs that were required. It's more like bathing, medication, and companionship. We used them for about a week.”


“Thank you again to you, Susan and the rest of the care-givers and staff of Always Best Care for the outstanding service you have provided for our parents. ABC provided professional, first-class support that allowed our parents to remain in their home while relieving of us of concern for their care and is something we will never forget. You can be sure we will happily refer any family member or friend that is seeking care at home to Always Best Care.”

Madison R.

“Dear Rick, Over the past three plus years, my father Joseph Ceuch has lived at home assisted by the caregivers from your company Always Best Care of Greater Bristol. This letter is a personal thank you from my father and the entire Ceuch family on how your caregivers treated and attended to my father during this time. The caregivers became part of our extended family who shared in countless family events resulting in beautiful lasting memories. Caregivers Frances Boateng, Jeremy Turner, and Yanice Hernandez were awesome in their care of my father. I want to especially acknowledge Francis as a person who went above and beyond his responsibility and became part of the Ceuch inner circle. It was not uncommon for Francis on his off days to stop by during a family picnic to say hello...he is truly loved by my father. Again, I want to thank you for the loving care your caregivers provided my father. I would highly recommend your company to anyone interested in having a caregiver attend to a loved one. Thanks again”

Gregory C.

“Heather, I just wanted to thank Always Best Care in helping to provide care for my step father, Daryl. It's unbelievable how the progression of his illness happened so quickly, however, Always Best Care was always ready to provide the level of care he needed as it increased. Most importantly, I'd like to thank his aide, Sue Malasics. She was wonderful to Daryl and took great care of his needs. I knew I did not have to worry with Sue there with him. She was always cooking wonderful homemade meals and desserts and I was happy to see how happy she made Daryl. I think she is a wonderful asset to Always Best Care. Should I know of anyone needing help in the future, I would recommend Always Best Care and Sue Malasics.”

Milissa K.

“My mother was bedbound for months and had serious health related issues including kidney failure. My mother was also very demanding about her care and who she would allow into her home. After several attempts with various in-home care agencies my mother really responded well to Always Best Care Senior Services of Greater Bristol and we cant thank them enough for the high level of compassionate care they were able to provide during my moms final months.”

Liam C.

“I am a past client of this provider My journey with Always Best Care began with a visit from the owner and office manager. Soon after, I was introduced to the caregiver who would provide care for me. All 3 persons seemed very knowledgeable, experienced anf caring. I was certainly provided with quality service and much respect and compassion.”

Dorothy W.

“Our sister, Barbara has early-onset dementia , and was in sudden need of a personal care assistant until placement in a quality skilled nursing facility became available. We reached out to home health care agencies in her local area but, by this point, had already worked with several agencies for med reminders for Barbara (and 24/7 care for our Mom in another area of CT) and were a bit skeptical that that we’d find one that could provide consistent quality of care.When I spoke with Rick Downey of Always Best Care Senior Services in Bristol, he conveyed both confidence in his knowledge of health care and empathy in understanding the frustrations that families experience when seeking quality care for their loved ones. We were next contacted by their care coordinator,Heather Kozikowski, who came to our sister’s home to conduct an assessment and further explain the services offered by Always Best Care.A further testament to the exceptional quality of Always Best Care is the service and care we’ve received after Barbara is no longer a client; our thanks to Always Best Care for the excellent care of our sister, and the peace-of-mind it afforded our family knowing that she was in such kind and competent hands!”

Susan W.

“I am a retired registered nurse, and for several years, I have been the primary caregiver for my husbamd/ My husband suffers from dementia and is aphasic. On a Saturday morning in October of 2015, a sudden change in my health required an emergent hospitilization, which late resulted in an extensive rehabilitation stay. Upon my hospitalization, my son reached out to Always Best Care Senior Services of greater Bristol. The Always Best Care team assessed my husband, his needs, and had his care staffed within hours of my son's call. The care provided to my husband has been exceptional. The caregivers as well as the office staff have been attentive to our needs and have met all of our expectations. I would highly recommend Always Best Care to you and anyone who is in need of care for their loved one.”

Pope A.

“I had a very good experience ! I really appreciate the service that your company, Always Best Care, offered our family and especially the caring, loving attitude that Amber and Natalie displayed to Carol at all times. They were outstanding and you should be proud to place them in any situation with the full expectation they will represent your firm in a most professional manner. Thanks again for all your help.”

Kevin N.

“My journey with Always Best Care began with a visit from the owner and office manager. Soon after, I was introduced to the caregiver who would provide care for me. All 3 persons seemed very knowledgeable, experienced anf caring. I was certainly provided with quality service and much respect and compassion.”


“Dave and staff, thank you or consistently caring and comforting my Mom. Your quality of care will be recommended to others. You went above and beyond what was expected.”


“I have a very good providers from this Company”

elizabeth S.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Watertown, CT?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Watertown, CT

Types of Elderly Care in Watertown, CT

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Watertown, CT
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Watertown, CT
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Echo Lake Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Watertown, CT
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Echo Craft Kitchen or visit Rock House, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Watertown, CT

Benefits of Home Care in Watertown, CT

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Watertown, CT, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Watertown, CT

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your CT's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Watertown, CT

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Watertown, CT understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Watertown, CT

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Watertown, CT

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • The Ivy at Watertown Assisted Living and Memory Care
  • Pleasant View Manor
  • Trinity Terraces
  • Apple Rehab Watertown
  • Old Glory Days
  • The Residence at Watertown Square
Home Care Watertown, CT

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Watertown, CT

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Watertown, CT 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Watertown, CT

Latest News in Watertown, CT

Gambee guides No. 8 Watertown High over Gilbert-Northwestern-Housatonic into SS championship game

TORRINGTON – Watertown quarterback Brady Gambee did a great imitation of Buffalo’s Josh Allen in the No. 8 Warriors’ 21-0 Class SS semifinal win over No. 5 GNH Sunday afternoon at Torrington’s Robert H. Frost Sports Complex.The two teams held each other off in the first quarter, but the preview was already in. Twice in the Warriors’ first scoring drive, early in the second quarter, Gambee, a 6-foot-4 junior kept it alive with two huge fourth-down runs: the first for seven yards, the second for 11 before h...

TORRINGTON – Watertown quarterback Brady Gambee did a great imitation of Buffalo’s Josh Allen in the No. 8 Warriors’ 21-0 Class SS semifinal win over No. 5 GNH Sunday afternoon at Torrington’s Robert H. Frost Sports Complex.

The two teams held each other off in the first quarter, but the preview was already in. Twice in the Warriors’ first scoring drive, early in the second quarter, Gambee, a 6-foot-4 junior kept it alive with two huge fourth-down runs: the first for seven yards, the second for 11 before his final four-yard scoring jaunt.

Gambee continued to roll with a total of 152 yards on 27 carries for the game, alongside bursts from senior running back Aiden Arline’s 20 carries for 79 yards.

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“(Gambee) is a beast,” said GNH Head Coach Scott Salius. “All week, we worked on defensive plays to try to stop him and we couldn’t do it.”

The extra point by Sam Paoletto carried Watertown into the halftime locker room with a 7-0 lead.

The Warriors came out steaming in the rain to stop the Yellowjackets on four plays to start the third, then followed Gambee into paydirt again with eight plays highlighted by a 27-yard run by Gambee.

Gambee finished it off with four-yard run, but a bad snap kept the score at 13-0.

Not for long.

“We couldn’t get anything going,” said Salius while Gambee and the Warriors continued to roll.

The Yellowjacket defense stiffened late in the third quarter, but an offside penalty gave Watertown new life on fourth down. Gambee’s 14-yard run seemed to highlight this Warrior drive.

A 23-yard scoring pass from Gambee to Adam Hassinger topped it, along with a pass for the two-point conversion early in the fourth

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The Yellowjackets had one more chance to get on the board, but Watertown intercepted a pass from GNH quarterback Nolan Risedorf.

Want to guess who made the interception? You’re right: Brady Gambee.

“He’s a great athlete,” said Watertown Head Coach Shawn Stanco. “He’s always saying, ‘Coach, get me the ball.’”

The Warriors, with a 5-5 regular-season record, reach their first state championship game since 1986 when they won it all.

“We learned what it takes to get there,” said Stanco, citing big wins and big losses along the way. “We fought through some great teams to learn our lessons and the biggest, I think, was ‘football savvy.’”

With one more to go, Watertown faces defending champion Joel Barlow in next Saturday’s Class SS final, 4:30 p.m. at Rentchsler Field.

Player of the Game

Brady Gambee, Watertown: Rushed for 152 yards and scored two touchdowns on 27 carries, and threw for another TD.


(Gambee) is a beast. We worked on plays all week to try to stop him and couldn’t do it. – GNH Head Coach Scott Salius.

Watertown 21, GNH 0

Jack Gilbert's two TDs lead Joel Barlow to second straight Class SS football title

EAST HARTFORD – Many observes saw it as a surprise that both Watertown and Joel Barlow advanced to Saturday's CIAC Class SS football championship game. The similarities did not end there.Both had midseason losing streaks, both entered the final with winning streaks that got them to the final (Watertown four, Barlow five), solid defense and running games were key in getting them to the title game and both were competing for their program’s second state title.While the similarities stood out in the Class SS final Satu...

EAST HARTFORD – Many observes saw it as a surprise that both Watertown and Joel Barlow advanced to Saturday's CIAC Class SS football championship game. The similarities did not end there.

Both had midseason losing streaks, both entered the final with winning streaks that got them to the final (Watertown four, Barlow five), solid defense and running games were key in getting them to the title game and both were competing for their program’s second state title.

While the similarities stood out in the Class SS final Saturday, there were also some surprises.

Quarterback Jack Gilbert scored on a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs, including the game-winner in the third quarter, to lead No. 7 Joel Barlow to a 21-20 win over No. 8 Watertown at Rentschler Field for their second straight Class SS title.

Watertown had a key opportunity at the end of regulation. With just 1:38 left, Aiden Arline scored a touchdown to put his Watertown team down by just a point. Watertown went for two and failed, allowing Barlow to seal a win.

Barlow joined North Haven (Class MM) and New Canaan (Class L) as the first CIAC repeat state champions since St. Joseph did it in 2018 (Class M) and 2019 (Class L).

“Our guys played their hearts out, we had to grind this one out tonight,” Joel Barlow coach T.J. Cavaliere said. “We wanted them to have a special moment and they did, I am so proud of these guys.

“Watertown is a great team. Our defense has been playing great all year and they stepped up on that two-point play to get us the win. At halftime we were behind a touchdown and I just told our defense to play hard in the second half. They played and tackled like their lives depended on it.”

Gilbert ended up with 77 yards on 14 carries and Cole Peterson had 74 yards on 13 carries for the Falcons (9-4).

After a scoreless first quarter, Gilbert gave Barlow a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard TD run with 7:23 to go second quarter. Aiden Arline responded for Watertown on a 60-yard TD run to tie Barlow at 7 with 5:52 to go in the half.

Brayden Gambee scored on a 2-yard quarterback keeper with 19 seconds to go in the second quarter to give Watertown a 14-7 lead. The touchdown was set up by a 21-yard pass to Arline from Gambee that gave the Warriors a first down on the Barlow 12. Four plays later Gambee scored.

Barlow's Luke Bishop followed with a 17-yard run to tie Watertown at 14 with 7:51 to go in the third quarter On Watertown’s next possession, Barlow’s Connor Smith recovered a fumble on the Watertown 29. Seven plays later, Gilbert scores his second TD on a 1 yard run to give the Falcons a 21-14 lead with 4:08 to go.

"It feels great when you can contribute to a big win like this, but the entire team contributed," Gilbert, a junior, said. "We fell behind and we didn't give up. We learned that and a lot of things from the seniors who played and won the title last year.

"Tonight, the offensive line opened holes for us and our entire defense stepped up when it mattered most. Winning this title two straight years is huge for our program."

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Late in the fourth quarter, the Warriors put together one last drive with Arline scoring on a 12-yard run with 1:38 left. Gambee's 2-point run failed giving the Falcons their 1-point victory.

Arline ended up with 98 yards on 16 carries.

Player of the Game

Jack Gilbert ran for 77 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning TD, for the Falcons.


"We remembered what a great feeling it was for the seniors to win the title last year and we wanted to give this year's seniors the same feeling." — Barlow junior Jack Gilbert.

Barlow 21, Watertown 20

2023 Class SS football championship preview: Joel Barlow vs. Watertown

The 2023 CIAC Class SS football championship preview capsule. Compiled by Pete Paguaga, Sean Patrick Bowley and Mike Fornabaio.Watch MoreMore championship previews: Class LL | C...

The 2023 CIAC Class SS football championship preview capsule. Compiled by Pete Paguaga, Sean Patrick Bowley and Mike Fornabaio.

Watch More

More championship previews: Class LL | Class L | Class MM | Class M | Class S



Championship History

WATERTOWN (1-0): 1986-S-I def. Platt 31-0.

BARLOW (1-1): 2017-M lost to Killingly 41-14; 2022-SS def. Valley Regional/Old Lyme 61-6.

How They Got Here

WATERTOWN defeated Granby/Canton 26-12 in the quarterfinals, defeated GNH 21-0 in the semifinals

BARLOW defeated Coginchuag 13-6 in the quarterfinals, defeated Sheehan 17-16 in the semifinals.

Players to Watch

WATERTOWN: Ty Housen, Sr., RB/LB, Brady Gambee, Jr., QB/DB, Adam Hassinger, Jr., WR/DB, Joe Bunce, Jr., LB.

BARLOW: Jack Gilbert, Jr., QB/LB, Scott Romano, Jr., RB/DB, Cole Peterson, Sr., RB/LB, Dylan Taylor, Sr., RB/DB, Liam Kiernan, Sr., DL.

What’s What

When Thanksgiving morning broke, neither of these teams had clinched a playoff spot. Actually, neither that morning was even guaranteed a playoff spot with a Thanksgiving win. But they won, enough other teams either lost or failed to gain the points they needed, and there they were, seventh-seeded Barlow and eighth-seeded Watertown. And here they are. This will be the first 7-8 final since eight-team playoff classes began in 2010. In that first eight-team season, Hillhouse won Class M as the eighth seed; no No. 7 seed or No. 8 seed has won a title since. This year’s Class SS was already the first 5-6-7-8 semifinals. Both of these teams were under .500 in the second half of the season but have put together win streaks – five for defending champ Barlow, four for Watertown – to get here. Gilbert has led the Falcons in rushing in the triple option, but he’s one of four players with seven touchdowns on the ground. Masuk and Notre Dame-Fairfield both scored 49 on them at midseason, but otherwise they have not given up more than 16 points. Watertown has given up only 20 points in its four-game winning streak. Gambee and senior Aiden Arline have both had big rushing games in the playoffs. This is only Watertown's third CIAC playoffs appearance; its only other, aside from the 1986 championship, was in 2017.

The Picks

Dec 6, 2023

Pete Paguaga is a senior sports producer for GameTimeCT and Hearst Connecticut Media Group. Pete was raised on Long Island and graduated from Southern Connecticut State University. He enjoys pretzels, bad movies and high school football and baseball.

Michael Fornabaio is a sports reporter with Hearst Connecticut Media Group. Born in the Bronx and raised at the New Haven Coliseum (but really in Orange), Fornabaio has been with the Connecticut Post since 1997. He has covered high school sports for pretty much that whole time, though he also covered the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers daily for 17 years. In his occasional free time, you can usually find him watching more baseball or hockey and complaining about the delay-of-game rule.

Sean -- or SPB -- is a Woodbridge native and an alumnus of Amity Regional and Syracuse University who has covered high school sports in Connecticut for over two decades, beginning at Elm City Newspapers and Connecticut Post, now as editor of Sean has won numerous national and regional honors and is best known for his innovative and comprehensive coverage of Connecticut high school football. A ski and movie aficionado during off-seasons, he still calls Greater New Haven home.

Watertown has run out of water after major water main break

UPDATE 10/19/23 6:30pm: The city has opened three sites for residents to pick up bottled and bulk water. Find the details here.As of 2:30 p.m. Thursday, the city of Watertown has run out of water, according to the ...

UPDATE 10/19/23 6:30pm: The city has opened three sites for residents to pick up bottled and bulk water. Find the details here.

As of 2:30 p.m. Thursday, the city of Watertown has run out of water, according to the Watertown Daily Times.

Speaking with WWNY-TV, Mayor Jeffrey Smith said it may take three days before the city can restore potable water to residents' homes and businesses.

"We don’t know how long," Smith said. "You’ve got to fill the entire system back up. It’s not just the city of Watertown, you’re talking about the Fort Drum line, town of Watertown, town of Pamelia."

All Jefferson County offices will be closed tomorrow because of the break, except for the airport, the highway department and the sheriff's department, according to a Thursday afternoon press release from County Administrator Robert Hagemann.

Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement, "We are in the process of deploying emergency water to Watertown residents. I have directed the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation to work closely with local and federal officials. The State Emergency Operations Center has been activated and staff from DHSES, DEC and DOH are currently on the ground to ensure the safety of the Watertown community."

The water main break is affecting every place that uses the city's water supply, according to WWNYTV, including several nearby towns and Fort Drum.

Mayor Smith said that residents will soon be able to pick up bottled water, likely at the fairgrounds in Watertown.

"We’re talking about pallets. We’re talking about big water trucks, portable water, bringing it in. State resources are on that, working with our partners in state government and the federal government and that’s what we’re working on right now," he said.

Hochul said Fort Drum's water resources may be used to help resolve the problem. “We are evaluating water distribution systems and moving valves from Fort Drum to assist in the water restoration efforts," she said.

Schools and government offices closed early today, with students and non-essential city employees being sent home.

Samaritan Health said in a press release that it's shutting down several departments, including general surgery, the pain clinic, and the wound care center. Samaritan's entire Health and Wellness Plaza has also been closed, including the Family Health Center, Behavioral Health and Addiction services, and the X-ray, MRI and CT labs.

The Watertown city manager has issued a mandatory conserve water notice ordering people to refrain from unnecessary water use. He also said all water should be boiled before being consumed.

The city is also sending out text messages to all residents ordering them to conserve water.

Samaritan is also limiting visitation at its medical centers as follows:

Medical/Surgical Units, Critical Care Unit, Inpatient Mental Health - Visitation is closing at 3:30 p.m. on October 19, 2023 - will remain that way until further notice.

Car-Freshner Center for Women and Children - one support person allowed as of 3:30 p.m. on October 19, 2023 - until further notice.

Emergency Department (ED) - ED pediatric patients or those with an altered mental state or OB patients over 20 weeks are allowed one support person. No other support persons or visitors until further notice.

End-of-life / Comfort Care - These patients may have one support person. Compassionate exceptions are approved by the Nursing Supervisor - until further notice.

Barlow Squeaks By Watertown To Win Second State Football Title

EAST HARTFORD, CT — In a battle of underdogs employing hard-hitting defenses and crunching run offenses, it was Joel Barlow High School that hit just a bit harder and ran just a bit stronger.The Barlow Rams eeked past the Watertown High School Warriors, 21-20, to win the CIAC Class SS state championship Saturday night at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford.With both squads employing "3 yards and a cloud of dust" offenses, this battle was a football purist's delight, featuring hard running balanced out b...

EAST HARTFORD, CT — In a battle of underdogs employing hard-hitting defenses and crunching run offenses, it was Joel Barlow High School that hit just a bit harder and ran just a bit stronger.

The Barlow Rams eeked past the Watertown High School Warriors, 21-20, to win the CIAC Class SS state championship Saturday night at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford.

With both squads employing "3 yards and a cloud of dust" offenses, this battle was a football purist's delight, featuring hard running balanced out by equally hard-hitting defenses.

In the end, a failed two-point conversion — a bold decision by Watertown coach Shawn Stanco — was the difference in the title game.

With that, Barlow, led by coach TJ Cavaliere, repeated as SS title holders, winning the program's second CIAC title.

The 7th-seed Falcons, a regional school serving Redding and Easton, came into Saturday night's title game with a 6-4 regular season record, followed by two close playoff wins.

Meanwhile, Watertown was only 5-5 in the regular season, but as the 8th seed, the Warriors were propelled by two upset, playoff wins to the championship game.

Watertown, which came up short in another improbable upset bid Saturday, last won the state championship when Ronald Reagan was president in 1986.

Both sides felt each other out in the first quarter, whittling down the clock with running attacks that, ultimately, led to a 0-0 score.

As the second quarter arrived, Barlow's running game pushed across the field into Watertown territory.

The drive gave Barlow a 7-0 lead after junior Falcon quarterback Jack Gilbert kept the ball and plowed across the goal line from the 1-yard line with 7 minutes, 23 seconds in the first half.

But Watertown struck fast, with senior running back Aiden Arline running about 60 yards to pay dirt with a spectacular run down the right sideline, evening the score at 7-7 after the extra point.

Later, Watertown returned a Barlow punt to the Falcons' 39-yard line and moved down the field with a pounding rushing attack and one big pass play that gained a first down on third and 19.

The Warriors took a 14-7 lead at the half when junior quarterback Brayden Gambee pushed through from the 2-yard line with 19 seconds left in the second quarter.

After a Watertown punt at the start of the second half, Barlow's first possession was a bruising, ground-crunching push toward the end zone, fueled by a 15-yard face-mask penalty by the Warriors.

On the next play, Barlow sophomore running back Luke Bishop ran up the middle for 17 yards and a Ram touchdown, evening the game at 14-14 after the extra point.

Watertown fumbled its first running play after Barlow scored, gifting the Rams with good field position at the Warrior 28-yard line after Barlow recovered.

The Rams smash-mouthed their way downfield and took the lead when Gilbert kept it and scored a touchdown from the 1. After the extra point, Barlow was up 21-14.

With Barlow one drive away from putting the game away, Watertown didn't let it happen and they nearly pulled off a stunning upset.

After getting the ball toward the end of the fourth quarter, Watertown moved downfield after a long scramble by Gambee and a critical pass interference penalty by the Rams.

They were knocking on Barlow's door as the clock continued to tick, when Arline scored on a 12-yard run, making the score 21-20 Barlow.

But looking to steal a championship, Watertown went for 2 points instead of kicking the extra point.

But that effort failed when Gambee was stopped short of the goal line and his desperation toss into the end zone after the line of scrimmage was ruled an illegal forward pass instead of a fumble.

It kept the Rams in the lead and, ultimately, was the difference in a tight, close game.

Armed with two timeouts, however, Watertown went for the onside kick and Barlow recovered with 1 minute, 36 seconds left in the game.

Using their timeouts, the Warriors were able to get the ball back on their own 20 with 16 seconds left, but it was too tough an obstacle as Barlow intercepted a pass, ending the game.

For a recap of the game, along with the boxscore and statistics, click on this link.


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