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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 Cheshire, CT

Home Care Cheshire, 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 Cheshire Historic District 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 Cheshire, CT is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Cheshire, 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.

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TESTIMONIALS

“We are 3 weeks into working with this agency for homecare for my dad. There were a few bumps in the road, but we have hit the jackpot with two of our caregivers. Melissa Pericas and Jordene have been amazing! My mother has been struggling with having strangers in her home and letting someone else take care of her husband, but these two lovely women have melded into the family and put her completely at ease. They are both very experienced and are doing and amazing job. My mom is able to put the caregiving into their capable hands and focus on being his wife and spend valuable time with him. These ladies both deserve 5 stars!! I rated the agency with 4 stars because we had some scheduling issues in the beginning and had one caregiver that was problematic, but he was removed from our schedule as soon as I reported the issue.”

Sherry D.
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“Our caregiver Anne Sumner is more than a passionate, compassionate, caring, dependable and dedicated professional. She quickly became a family member and friend.”

t M.
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“Cynthia Montano is the amazing from Always Best Care. Cynthia has helped my parents and us with this transition process. She has been wonderful explaining everything. If we had questions or just needed to talk about what is going on with the parents she was there to help. She goes above and beyond. She has help us tremendously. I feel blessed for having Cynthia during this time. Our family would like to say thank you for everything. We couldn't have done it without her.”

Deborah M.
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TESTIMONIALS

“I just want to thank ABC agency for allowing us our angel giver which is what we call her. Shay is a life saver without her I'll be running like a chicken with my head cut off. She has stepped in and saved the day numerous times between changing her schedule to work with ours, to even making sure Steve visits his wife grave. We appreciate her please don't take her from us steve would be devastated. She's amazing”

Stephanie B.
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TESTIMONIALS

“They are very hospitable and provide a wide range of job and in various locations. They communicate these job very well and make access to these opportunities easy. I definately like working for them.”

Jardene R.
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“My experience with ABC has been great. My current caregiver Tashaya S. Is helpful and quick”

Virginia C.
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“I enjoy my job , I love the flexible hours :)”

Zhane C.
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“The caregivers talk with me. I like that the caregivers clean for me.”

Walter S.
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TESTIMONIALS

“ABC has been very supportive in providing excellent caregivers to take care of my 96 year old father. It’s been a very good experience working with them over the past few months. Responsive and flexible in covering last minute requests. We are also blessed to have Ginny as our full time day caregiver and Mike for overnight. Both are very passionate about the care they give and do a terrific job. We have no worries when they are with dad. They care for him as if he was their own and it means a great deal to my family. They go above and beyond our expectations. We are more than grateful for their assistance.”

Donna M.
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TESTIMONIALS

“My uncle needed support-fast! Cynthia’s assistance helped him weigh his options and make the transition from home to assisted living in surprisingly quick fashion. In addition, she suggested vendors and agencies to help support and manage the distribution of his belongings. We are forever grateful.”

Deborah S.
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TESTIMONIALS

“Nothing in particular. Generally, I get people who are good people, most of the people they send are okay and I have had 2 or 3 people who were bad. I have someone now who is good and I have had some people who were not good from the agency. Some of them need to be more thorough.”

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TESTIMONIALS

“Great company to work with, flexible and reasonable. Always involved and available as well as continued contact from beginning to end of service. The caregiver we had was amazing and devoted as well as super knowledgeable and driven to not only care but to rehabilitate . I would recommend them to anyone in need without hesitation.”

Kevin A.
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TESTIMONIALS

“ABC was a great care giving company to work with. If there were issues, they were corrected quickly by the office staff and the aides my mother had were kind and caring. Kudos to everyone!”

Rich R.
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TESTIMONIALS

“Great company to work with, flexible and reasonable. Always involved and available as well as continued contact from beginning to end of service. The caregiver we had was amazing and devoted as well as super knowledgeable and driven to not only care but to rehabilitate . I would recommend them to anyone in need without hesitation.”

KJA511
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TESTIMONIALS

“She talks with her while I go to appointment and if there is a problem. I would recommend because it provides companionship.”

Connie B.
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“They've boosted my husband's spirits and his wellbeing. We've had two people, and they're absolutely incredible.”

George G.
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TESTIMONIALS

“My Mom started requiring 24x7 care 2 years ago and her primary aid was attentive to her needs and treated her with dignity and respect. She would often call my Mom her "Queen". They always provided advanced notice whenever the aid needed time off and was responsive to questions and concerns. I don't know what we would have done if not for ABC and its services.”

KBPells
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TESTIMONIALS

“If my back is hurting, the aid will do everything I need. She takes me to every one of my appointments. I would recommend this agency because the people that have cared for me have all been great people, and they are willing to do everything for me.”

Andrew R.
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“The client feels comfortable with the provider. I like that they are attentive to the patient.”

Domenico B.
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TESTIMONIALS

“The first time you send an aid to someone, send a list of expected duties the aid is supposed to do. I like that they always offer a fill in care giver. They always make sure I have an aid when I am supposed to have one.”

Barry P.
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TESTIMONIALS

“My Mom started only requiring part time care due to her cancer but as it progressed, we needed around the clock care. The aides were always extremely helpful and kind to my Mom and when we needed care 24x7 our aide was Na who was here for my Mom day in and day out. In a six month period she had only taken two days off where we needed coverage which Always Best took care of for us. Na was just wonderful and my Mom loved her and everything she had done to comfort her. I also appreciated everything Na had done for my Mom and to have an aide as dedicated to my Mom was critical in my eyes. I would also like to thank their entire office they always worked with me and were always available whenever I needed anything. Thank you Always best Care, my Mom couldn't have been treated any better!!!”

kevinRK
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TESTIMONIALS

“I deal with Deanna, and I can ask her to do what I need without question. I like that they're prompt.”

Gilmay L.
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TESTIMONIALS

“Tommico, she makes my bed, she helps me with cleaning my floors cleans my bathroom, and she really does a nice job. They try hard to get caregivers and the right care to have someone here for me.”

Barbara K.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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 Cheshire, CT

Types of Elderly Care in Cheshire, 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 Cheshire, 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 Cheshire, 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 Bartlem Recreation Area 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 Cheshire, 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 Viron Rondo Osteria or visit Lock 12, 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 Cheshire, CT

Benefits of Home Care in Cheshire, 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 Cheshire, 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 Cheshire, 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 Cheshire, 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 Cheshire, 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 Cheshire, 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 Cheshire, 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:

  • Marbridge Assisted Living & Memory Care
  • Elim Park
  • Civita Care Center at Cheshire
  • Southwick-Cheshire Condo
  • Assisted Living Home Care Services
  • Primecare Inc
Home Care Cheshire, 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 Cheshire, 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

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

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Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider

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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 Cheshire, 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 Cheshire, CT

Latest News in Cheshire, CT

Cheshire High School football rallies back, ends losing streak to Southington behind Matt Jeffery

SOUTHINGTON — Matt Jeffery has done a lot of things on both the football and lacrosse fields.He had never intercepted three passes in a game, however. Until Thursday."First time, I think," said the Cheshire senior. "I don't think it'll be the last, though. I'm serious."NEW YEAR SALE: Only 99¢ for Unlimited Digital Access! And when Jeffery says he's serious, you take it ... well, seriously. The nation's No. 1 lacrosse recruit, who's heading to Notre Dame next year to play lacro...

SOUTHINGTON — Matt Jeffery has done a lot of things on both the football and lacrosse fields.

He had never intercepted three passes in a game, however. Until Thursday.

"First time, I think," said the Cheshire senior. "I don't think it'll be the last, though. I'm serious."

NEW YEAR SALE: Only 99¢ for Unlimited Digital Access!

And when Jeffery says he's serious, you take it ... well, seriously. The nation's No. 1 lacrosse recruit, who's heading to Notre Dame next year to play lacrosse and football, hadn't played in nearly two months due to a hamstring injury. He didn't know whether he'd play on Thursday morning, and the Rams are glad he did.

Not only did Jeffery pick off three passes, he also scored three touchdowns to lead Cheshire to a come-from-behind, 34-20 victory over Southington in the Apple Valley Classic at Fontana Field.

The victory snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Blue Knights in the annual Thanksgiving Day matchup. More importantly, it clinched a spot in the MM playoffs.

"There's a tremendous amount of passion and care for football in both towns," Cheshire coach Don Drust said. "You cross that line at Route 10 and you can feel the change from red to blue. You know, going both ways, it's two communities that care. They have passion for their towns, for each other, and they care about each other. When you combine two towns and put them on the football field like that, you get tremendous football games. That's what Thanksgiving is about."

Southington (6-4) had already clinched a berth in the Class LL playoffs, though it will likely have to start on the road, rather than at home.

The Blue Knights led 13-7 at halftime thanks to a pair of Rashard Williams touchdowns. But Cheshire (8-2) quickly tied it on its opening drive of the latter half on a four-play, 67-yard drive highlighted by a 42-yard run from Jeffery Gonzalez.

Southington engineered a 73-yard scoring drive of its own on its next possession, capped by C.J. DiBenedetto's 30-yard pass to Evan Anderson. The Rams nearly immediately countered, when Liam Suomala got wide-open by about 15 yards off a gadget play, but quarterback Aiden Gregorich's throw bounced just off his fingertips.

However, the Rams wound up scoring on the drive on Gonzalez's 6-yard pass to Colin Sheehan. Williams fumbled the ensuing kick return and Cheshire's Tommy Wilkinson recovered at the Blue Knight 32. Gregorich immediately hit Lucas Chymbor with a scoring pass to put Cheshire ahead for good.

Jeffery picked off two passes over the final four minutes, the first setting up his own 25-yard scoring run on the very next play, the second pretty much clinching the Rams' victory.

"From the beginning of the season, I told this team I was going to be there if I was hurt or not," Jeffery said. "This year's been a lot of ups and downs for our team, but we hold our ground here."

Anderson was named Southington's Offensive MVP and Aaron Borkowski the defensive MVP. Gonzalez (21 rushes, 134 yards) was Cheshire's Offensive MVP.

And Jeffery was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

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"Matty's an unbelievable human being," Drust said. "He's one of those guys that, as a coach, he makes us look really good. I'm really fortunate to share space with him. He's the type of kid that you hope your son grows up to be like, or your daughter marries. That's the ultimate compliment."

Cheshire 34, Southington 20

No. 2 Cheshire defense shuts down stingy Notre Dame-West Haven to stay unbeaten

WEST HAVEN — For some, it may be hard to believe a football team could average allowing less than five points per game. It comes as no surprise to members of Cheshire.Playing a stifling defense which allowed just 181 yards of offense, the state’s second-ranked team topped Notre Dame-West Haven 28-3 in a Southern Connecticut Conference contest at Veterans Stadium in West Haven Friday evening.“I give (Notre Dame) a lot of credit,” Cheshire coach Don Drust said after his team improved to 7-0 and has allowed...

WEST HAVEN — For some, it may be hard to believe a football team could average allowing less than five points per game. It comes as no surprise to members of Cheshire.

Playing a stifling defense which allowed just 181 yards of offense, the state’s second-ranked team topped Notre Dame-West Haven 28-3 in a Southern Connecticut Conference contest at Veterans Stadium in West Haven Friday evening.

“I give (Notre Dame) a lot of credit,” Cheshire coach Don Drust said after his team improved to 7-0 and has allowed just 33 points in seven games. “They played really, really hard. They showed up at home. At the end of the day, they won a state championship last year. We knew what we were going to get. They were going to show up.

“We played hard. We ran to the football. It made up for a lot of mistakes at the end of the day. We are athletic. We are fast. It’s an effort thing. We play with tremendous effort. It is tremendous effort for all six to eight seconds of the play.”

The Rams were so good on defense they never allowed the Green Knights more than 74 yards of offense in any quarter, twice allowing just 43 yards in the first and third quarters.

Senior Jeffery Gonzalez, who scored twice on the offensive side and ran for 86 yards, also had a key first half interception which allowed Cheshire to take a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.

“They are not extremely big, but they are very well-coached,” Notre Dame coach Joe DeCaprio said after his team fell to 2-5. “They are always in position. If you watch them, I can guarantee you there weren’t many solo tackles out there. They have six kids at the ball on every play. It’s amazing.”

The Green Knights did not make things easy on themselves as each time they got things going, penalties stalled the momentum. Notre Dame trailed just 7-0 after one quarter, but twice had possession inside Cheshire territory before penalties took over.

“We are a very young team right now,” DeCaprio said. “We are making mistakes, and obviously, they are a great team with a great staff. They adjusted to our adjustments. We knew we weren’t going to come in here and pound the ball. We play really hard. We are going to play our brand of football, Notre Dame football. I’m proud of my kids for playing hard. They were better than us.”

Leading 21-3 at the half, the Rams took control of the game on the opening drive of the second half, marching 65 yards in nine plays to take a 28-3 lead.

Quarterback Aniston Marsh completed passes of 16 and 15 yards, Gonzalez ran for 14 yards, and Marsh capped the opening drive of the second half with an 11-yard scoring run.

“It’s big, it’s very nice,” Gonzalez said of being 7-0. “Again, we just have to keep on chugging along. 7-0 is great, but that is not the goal. We expect to be 7-0. We have bigger goals we haven’t achieved yet. We have Southington. We have playoffs. Those are really the goals we are looking at. It is good to get the win. It is keeping us on track.”

The Green Knights let the Rams know they were in for a battle in the first half, moving the ball on offense and putting up a fight on defense. But penalties hurt Notre Dame in the opening half.

Despite gaining just 120 yards in the opening half, Cheshire took advantage of big strikes to take the halftime lead, including a 25-yard scoring strike from Marsh to Evan Russo for a 7-0 lead with 1:20 remaining in the first quarter.

Cheshire’s Gonzalez, who played well on both sides of the ball, intercepted a Joe Capasso pass to set the Rams up at the Notre Dame 11. Two plays later, Gonzalez ran in from 11 yards out on the first play of the second quarter for a 14-0 advantage.

“Our team, we come out and play really hard,” Gonzalez said. “We play as a team. We harp on that. Defense is all heart. Offense, we have to make plays. That’s what we do week in and week out.”

Notre Dame used an interception of its own to score its only points of the first half. Donovan Darden came up with the interception, and after the drive stalled, Davin Garamella put the Green Knights on the board with a 27-yard field goal with 8:45 remaining in the first half to get Notre Dame within 14-3.

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With both teams holding, the Rams finally increased the margin to 21-3 with 1:54 left in the half. Marsh hit Gonzalez in stride for a 39-yard reception, before Gonzalez fumbled at the 2, and recovered in the end zone for the score.

“I learned a long time ago a couple of things,” Drust said. “Winning is really hard. You have to enjoy them when you get them because they are really hard to get. Tomorrow morning, we will move on. We will enjoy this tonight. We will show up next week and get ready for North Haven.”

Marsh was 10-of-15 for 168 yards in the win for Cheshire. Capasso finished with nine completions for 141 yards for the Green Knights.

Player of the Game

Jeffery Gonzalez – Cheshire senior ran for 86 yards, scored two touchdowns, and had an interception as the Rams improved to 7-0.

Quotable

“You don’t get guys walking around. It is not okay. Our seniors lead that and put that expectation out there. Here is the way it is going to be,” Cheshire coach Don Drust on his defense.

Cheshire 28, Notre Dame-West Haven 3

Masuk High School football dominates Cheshire in Class MM quarterfinal win

MONROE — It was a complete effort for the Masuk football team to open the Class MM state playoffs Tuesday night.Quarterback Rob Klein accounted for four touchdowns and the Panthers’ defense held Cheshire without a first down for the majority of the first half as No. 2 seed Masuk defeated No. 7 Cheshire 42-21 at Benedict Field. The game wasn’t that close.“I’ve been a part of three great years of Masuk football and this is by far the best group,” said senior tailback Jason Champagne, who scored...

MONROE — It was a complete effort for the Masuk football team to open the Class MM state playoffs Tuesday night.

Quarterback Rob Klein accounted for four touchdowns and the Panthers’ defense held Cheshire without a first down for the majority of the first half as No. 2 seed Masuk defeated No. 7 Cheshire 42-21 at Benedict Field. The game wasn’t that close.

“I’ve been a part of three great years of Masuk football and this is by far the best group,” said senior tailback Jason Champagne, who scored Masuk’s first two touchdowns.

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Masuk will now host No. 3 seed Wilton in Sunday’s Class MM semifinals at 12:30 p.m.

Masuk’s defense was able to contain Cheshire senior Matt Jeffery, who played several series at quarterback for the first time since early in his junior season. He scored on a 15-yard fumble return for a touchdown to open the scoring for Cheshire, and added an interception later on, but was held in check on offense.

“We had our white board, put a big 4 (Jeffery’s jersey number) and circled it. Whenever he was on the field, we had to know where he was,” Masuk interim coach Jeff Lever said.

Masuk’s initial first down didn't come until there was under 4 minutes left in the first half. By then, Masuk had scored 28 unanswered points to take a 28-7 lead at halftime.

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After Champagne scored his two touchdowns, one on a 25-yard punt return and the other on a 32-yard run, Klein rushed for a touchdown and threw another to Colin Hope.

In the third quarter, Klein threw another touchdown to Hope and also to Max Viglione to make it 42 unanswered points for the Panthers (9-2). Klein said he is fully recovered from a right wrist and left hamstring injuries that he said has bothered him for much of the season.

“Once we’re playing good, they (Cheshire) can’t stop us,” Klein said.

The Masuk players have managed to fare well in the midst of an investigation that has had head coach Steve Christy on administrative leave since July 5.

Earlier this month, interim head coach Brian Halapin resigned, as did assistant coach Eric Giordano, who had been placed on leave the same day as Christy. Those resignations nearly led to the remainder of the season being canceled.

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“We’re still playing for Coach (Steve) Christy, Coach G (Giordano) and Coach (Brian) Halapin,” Champagne said, “We fully support whatever they do.”

Lever, who didn’t join the team until after the season started, was then named interim coach and assistants Nick Chacho and Jerry Peck remained on board so the Panthers could continue their season that now moves into Sunday’s semifinal.

“They're children, young men. All they want to do is play,” Lever said “It’s hard, the whole thing is hard, all around. But the boys have been willing to buy in and trust. It’s hard for the boys to trust but they did.”

Lever credited defensive coordinator Eric Linderbeck with the game plan that helped contain the Rams’ offense most of the night.

Cheshire (8-3) had to defeat Southington on Thanksgiving Day to get into the Class MM tournament. Tuesday was the final game for Jeffery, who will be playing men’s lacrosse at the University of Notre Dame after one more season at Cheshire this spring.

“He (Jeffery) gives them (the younger football players) something to look at and say, ‘This is how your supposed to act and be and conduct yourself and grow and work and the human you are supposed to try and emulate and be like,’” Cheshire coach Don Drust said.

Player of the game

Masuk quarterback Rob Klein: Senior threw for three touchdowns and ran for another to help the Panthers score 42 unanswered points.

Quotable

“Listen, that kid Champagne is a really, really good football player. You try to keep touches out of his hands, it’s hard to do.” — Cheshire coach Don Drust on Masuk’s Jason Champagne

Masuk 42, Cheshire 21

Cheshire girls volleyball coach celebrates big career milestone

Cheshire girls volleyball is looking to play for its third-straight Southern Connecticut Conference title this week, but the Rams have already celebrated a big milestone this season: 600 career wins for head coach Sue Bavone.“Any of these milestones are program milestones, you know, it's not just a ‘Sue Bavone’ milestone,” Bavone said.After 29 seasons at Cheshire, where she also coaches the boy’s team, Bavone would much rather talk about everyone else who did the winning along the way.&ldquo...

Cheshire girls volleyball is looking to play for its third-straight Southern Connecticut Conference title this week, but the Rams have already celebrated a big milestone this season: 600 career wins for head coach Sue Bavone.

“Any of these milestones are program milestones, you know, it's not just a ‘Sue Bavone’ milestone,” Bavone said.

After 29 seasons at Cheshire, where she also coaches the boy’s team, Bavone would much rather talk about everyone else who did the winning along the way.

“There's always some class that gets to be in on the actual big number,” Bavone said. “But we always we never lose sight of the classes that came before that got to that big number.”

Those “big numbers” have happened a lot in the Rams’ gym.

“I still remember the time we celebrated 550 and I was like, 'Wow, that's insane,'” senior Emma Danaher said. “She deserves so much recognition for what she's done.”

Recognition Bavone passes on to the consistency of her assistant coaches, but that her players are more than happy to share.

“I've been saying all my friends are like, ‘oh like 600 wins. That's so many.’ And I'm always like because she knows what she's doing,” junior Eva Catalanotto said.

Of course, the road to 600 wins has come with some bumps. Just ask Bavone about her first ever game.

“I was so nervous. I locked the balls, the medkit, everything, I locked them and my keys in my car,” Bavone said.

One of her players got a broken nose in that game, too. But they won. Win number one on the road to 600.

“Everyone always asks, ‘Why didn't you coach college?’ and I like getting whatever I get and trying to figure out how to make it successful,” Bavone said.

That’s the challenge every year in a town like Cheshire that has strong girls sports programs for volleyball, the sport at the bottom of the alphabet, as Bavone says, to compete with.

Though, her program does plenty of competing of their own.

“Since 1994, every single girl that we've coached is on one of those banners,” Bavone said, pointing to the championship banners in the high school gym.

“Every kid's walked out of here with either a league championship or a conference championship or a state championship or all three ... so they've all experienced winning and they've all experienced losing luckily not as much," she continued.

The Rams will try for their 17th overall SCC title this week and then shift their attention to the state championships.

Armani Reid's punt return touchdown leads No. 3 West Haven by No. 6 Cheshire

CHESHIRE — When you play against the West Haven football team, it’s not if, but when a big play will change the game.On Friday night at the Maclary Athletic Complex, it came when Armani Reid received a punt inside his team’s own 10-yard line with his team clinging to a five-point lead late in the third quarter.The senior saw the punt rolling in front of two Rams’ defenders and stepped up to pick up the ball. He made one defender miss and stiff armed another and was off the races for a 92-yard score to ic...

CHESHIRE — When you play against the West Haven football team, it’s not if, but when a big play will change the game.

On Friday night at the Maclary Athletic Complex, it came when Armani Reid received a punt inside his team’s own 10-yard line with his team clinging to a five-point lead late in the third quarter.

The senior saw the punt rolling in front of two Rams’ defenders and stepped up to pick up the ball. He made one defender miss and stiff armed another and was off the races for a 92-yard score to ice the No. 3 Blue Devils’ 25-14 win over No. 6 Cheshire.

“I’ve got to go get this one,” Reid said he told himself. “So I went and got it and I saw the clear lane and made one (player) miss and I had a lot of blockers and I saw (the end zone).”

It was Reid’s third punt return of the season and fourth touchdown on special teams. West Haven coach Rich Boshea said that the coaching staff has said no team will kick the ball to Reid, but Boshea reminded them that in high school sports anything can happen.

“They made a mistake tonight and Armani made another one of his unbelievable fantastic punt returns,” Boshea said.

Boshea said that Reid and Maloney’s Donte Kelly, who had five special teams touchdowns going into Friday’s game, should go head-to-head on return highlights.

“Both are exciting players,” he said. “Armani is our guy here and we are really glad because we wouldn’t be 8-1 without him.”

Reid has been a top player for the Blue Devils (8-1, second in Class LL playoff rankings) for two seasons and has scored 13 touchdowns so far this year. Cheshire knew they couldn’t let him get the ball.

“At the end of the day, he is tremendous,” Cheshire coach Don Drust said. “He is dynamic and every time he touches the ball he can score. We know that; everyone in the state knows that and if they don’t they should because he can.”

The punt was a good one and if anyone but Reid was back there it would have pinned the Blue Devils back in their own territory, up less than a score, but Reid knew he had to make a play.

“I stiff armed one (player) and I saw a wall of white (jerseys) and I just followed my blockers,” Reid said.

The Reid touchdown was the exclamation point on a great night for his team, which forced six Cheshire fumbles and recovered five.

“After that North Haven (loss) a bunch of teams forgot West Haven has a good defense,” Reid said. “A lot of teams forgot, we had to remind them.”

Cheshire, which dropped to 7-2 and into eighth in the CIAC Class MM playoff rankings, was missing five starters due to injury, including its top player Matthew Jeffery, leading tackler Jack Brewster, and starting quarterback Aniston Marsh.

“It hurts and it stings,” Drust said. “We had six turnovers or something like that, you can’t do that against a good football team, but I will never question how hard they play, their heart.”

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Player(s) of the Game

Eleven of them to be exact. The West Haven defense came to play on Friday night. The group forced six fumbles and recovered five of them.

Quotable

“What’s that kid's name that return that punt again? Oh Armani Reid, he’s not that bad,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said with a laugh.

West Haven 25, Cheshire 14

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