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School budget issues may be particularly acute in 2017, but many athletic programs across Connecticut have dealt with flat funding for many years. And no district knows exactly how much money they will get from the state this year.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Out of 96 teams in the National Premier Soccer League, New Haven’s Elm City Express is the last one standing. The Express beat Midland-Odessa of Texas 5-0 Saturday night at Yale’s Reese Stadium to become national champion in its inaugural season.

The owner of Bridgeport, Connecticut’s Sound Tigers hockey team says the city’s plan for a concert amphitheater next to their arena is unfair. The Sound Tigers play at Webster Bank Arena in downtown Bridgeport, next door to the planned amphitheater.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Mayor Joseph Ganim brought baseball to Bridgeport in his fourth term as mayor back in 1998 when the Bluefish opened play at Harbor Yard as an Atlantic League Independent Baseball team.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

New Haven’s professional soccer team, the Elm City Express, has made it to its league’s championship game in its inaugural year, after beating a team from Oakland on Saturday.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Hartford City FC finished its inaugural National Premier Soccer League season last month having won six games, including a playoff victory. 

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Matt Iannazzo was a baseball star at Norwalk High School, pitching them to an FCIAC title in 2007. At the University of Pittsburgh, he was an All-Conference pitcher. Out of college, Iannazzo signed with the Chicago Cubs and played two seasons near the bottom of their organization. Then he pitched for the Bridgeport Bluefish in the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory J. Mendenhall / US Coast Guard Academy

Last week, the "skinny" repeal of the Affordable Care Act died a buzzer-beating (and perhaps temporary) death on the Senate floor. The Ringer's Bryan Curtis notes that, "Minus the life-and-death part, it had the feel of an unexpectedly competitive Pac-12 football game that the country noticed in installments."

Jeffrey Beall / Wikimedia Commons

Former University of Connecticut quarterback Dan Orlovsky is going back to the National Football League for a 13th season.

Gina Mazany grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. And that's where she had her first fight.

"It was right after I turned 18," she recalls.

A local bar had a boxing ring, and Mazany decided to give it a shot. Her opponent was an older woman with a "mom haircut."

"She beat the crap out of me," Mazany says. "Like she didn't knock me out, she didn't finish me. But she just knocked me around for three rounds. And I remember, later that night I was very, very nauseous. I was throwing up that night."

It was her first concussion.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

The Connecticut Sun started the 2017 season with four straight losses. But now, it has the third best record in the WNBA, winning 12 of 17 games since the rough start. 

Early in the new ESPN documentary Mike And The Mad Dog, Robert Thompson — a designated Talking Head Expert On Pop Culture for decades — says that if you don't live in New York, there's a good chance you don't really know who Mike Francesa and Chris Russo are. But, the documentary argues persuasively, you've seen the results of their work.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Hundreds of people packed the gym at Waterbury’s Crosby High School on a recent Friday night. But they didn’t come to see a basketball game. Some came to see a 13-foot Burmese python, a prop for a guy named Jake “the Snake.”

Unknown / Creative Commons

Former professional athlete Gene Conley died Tuesday, his family has confirmed. He was 86. Conley played minor league baseball for the Hartford Chiefs in 1951.

Simon Q flickr.com/photos/simononly/8441642491 / Creative Commons

Jamie Szantyr was a kid from Waterbury. She ran track, played softball, and cheered in high school. She did college for a while, but it got in the way of something she loved even more: wrestling.

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