Erica Carboni returns to DHS as Head Softball Coach


Provided by Gianna Ianquinto

Top row(left to right): Emily Bogues, Azariah Bowden, Shannon Quinn, Makenna Cooke, Caitlin Van Tronk Second row (left to right): Biff Croxford, Haley Pucci, Emily Stefanelli, Gianna Iaquinto, Kendall McNamara, Hayley Gundeck Bottom row (left to right): Mia Gregory, Bella Morrell, Trinadey Santiago

Paz Moran, Contributing Writer

On December 9th, Danbury High School Athletics announced that former DHS Graduate and Softball Alum, Erica Carboni, has been named the Hatters new softball coach. Coach Carboni was previously the varsity assistant and will now replace Shawn O’Brien as head coach. 

Carboni attended Danbury High School from 2009-2012. She played varsity all four years  and was captain both her Junior and Senior year. 

Carboni claims that “the thing that excites [her] the most about being the head coach is the opportunity to give back to a team that [she] got so much from when [she] was playing.” Having an alum who has experienced the Danbury athletics mindset, along with accomplishing a successful high school academic career, allows this culture to be passed down and continue.

Danbury High School Athletic Director Chip Salvestrini strives towards hiring DHS Alumni as coaches anytime the opportunity is presented. Salvestrini explains that, “Erica Carboni was not only a fierce competitor on the softball field here at DHS, she was a top performer in the classroom as well.”

Senior Captain, Gianna Iaquinto, shares “a goal that [she has] for [her] last softball season at DHS is to go as far as [they] can possibly go through FCIACS and states.” Ianquinto is striving to be “the best leader [she] can be for this team.”

The goal in DHS athletics is to excel not only on the field, but in the classroom as well. The culture consists of creating well rounded people that strive for excellence in all aspects of their lives. Salvestrini adds that “there is no question that right from the beginning of [Carboni’s] coaching tenure at DHS, Coach Carboni will expect the same from her players.” 

Salvestrini is confident that Coach Carboni is capable of teaching these student athletes good habits that they will continue to utilize even after graduation. The objective is to build the character of each student so they can be as successful as possible in everything that they do.

The rise of Coach Carboni is exciting, but long time Coach O’Brien will be missed. Salvestrini proudly states, “his softball teams at Danbury, were highly organized, skilled and game ready to compete in the FCIAC year in and year out.”

Coach O’Brien  left his mark as a great coach. Salvestrini added that “O’Brien was one of the FCIAC’s best”

“Having been an assistant coach with Coach O’Brien over the last three years, I have been able to see the level of talent we have and the talent we have coming in and I am looking forward to unlocking all that potential and being a top team in the FCIAC,” shares Carboni.

Ianquinto says, “Coach O’Brien was a great coach and he will be missed but [she] looks forward to the future of DHS softball with Coach Erica.”

Carboni is thrilled to take on this new position and shares her excitement towards having the opportunity to inspect “the growth of athletes over a season and over the four years [she will] get to coach them.”

There have been ongoing concerns with high school sports amidst the pandemic. Salvestrini is hopeful for a spring softball season. He claims, “The CIAC has made it very clear that because there was no spring season last year every effort will be made to make sure the spring athletes have a season in 2021.”

Coach Carboni also expressed her concerns for their spring season but remains optimistic. She shares that “[her] main concern is keeping the athletes as safe as possible and if that means a modified season, [she] will be happy for that.”

Ianquinto is “extremely hopeful for my season due to covid” Just like any high school student athlete Ianquinto expresses, “it was so upsetting to have had [her] junior season taken away.” Although these are tough times, she is “so excited and beyond ready to get back out on the field and compete with the DHS softball team.”

Both athletes and coaches are optimistically striving for a successful spring sports season this year.