About the Team
Bill, after many painful falls off his horse, has learned that Bocce is in fact much safer than polo, and his wife is thrilled with the switch to competitive bocce. Bill is extremely excited about the potential upcoming Guinness record, “Its sort of like an Olympic medal, but a bit different since an Olympic medal is really just for that one particular year, while a Guinness Record is in fact for all of history. So while not judging one against the other, they both have their merits…..” Bill is also under the allusion that along with the Guinness glory, this record, may rescue Ridgefield’s residential market. “San Fran has tech, we’ll have bocce!!”
Kristian is a long time Fairfield County resident who recently moved to Ridgefield with his family. Growing up he excelled in soccer, tennis and choir, but honed his bocce skills during summers working on construction sites on Block Island. “It’s been an adjustment transitioning from the rolling grassy hills to the fine level gravel of the official court, but I’ll be ready to go come game time.“ Perhaps best known as the taller member of Team USA (back-to-back Hunter Lane Bocce Tournament champions), Kristian is excited to apply his considerable bocce prowess towards great local causes while pursuing this Guinness World Record. “I look forward celebrating with you all starting in hour 33 after bringing the record home for Ridgefield!”
As a former collegiate lacrosse star, with a penchant for wearing sleeveless shirts, and two time Prom King pick for his alma mater in Ossining, NY (which may in itself be a Guinness World Record), Chris is familiar with winning. Chris, who never competes in an event unless there is a trophy awarded to the winner states, “I’m incredibly competitive when it comes to sports, and that’s why I’m the ideal team member for this Guinness World Record event. Not only will we break the record, but my team, Roar, is also sure to be the winning team.” Chris, who can often be found doing ‘hill repeats’ on his racing bike, up and down Old Branchville Road (seriously, who does that, and why!), has been a long time resident of Ridgefield with his wife and two daughters.
Brendan grew in the rolling hills and bucolic farmland of Ellington, CT.
In his youth he journeyed to the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains where he spent his time in deep meditation in caves with the Himalayan Bocce Masters. He actually never threw a single Bocce ball during this time but imagined the perfect shots in his mind’s eye over 10 million times.
Yearning for more worldly skills he then travelled to Genoa in northwest Italy to train under the legendary Maestro Giavanni. Giavanni had Brendan throw an iron 30 lb Bocce ball 10,000 times with backspin until the last 1,000 throws landed perfectly on the town square fountain peak. He then toured the American Deep South hustling any one who’d play him in Bocce. He was soon known simply as the “Backspin Kid”.
His travels took him to the Midwest where he’d play Holler Bowlin’, Pigskin Barrel, underground Jart games, Lawn Bowling and any other hucking related sport. He hit an all time low once hustling a family outside of Cincinnati at Holler Bowlin’, besting them out of 19 cows and 2 years worth of what they called “Lucky Blandford Moonshine”. Fortunately he cleaned up his act when he married his beautiful wife, Noelle.
He now lives happily in Ridgefield with his 2 daughters allowing him to reconnect with his inner Bocce peace.
“After winning the prestigious doubles Hunter Lane Bocce Tournament in both the 2017-2018 seasons I’ve been excited to get back to my Italian Bocce roots. I plan to bring honor to my Himalayan Bocce Masters, Maestro Giavianni and Ridgefield by bringing home the World Record.”
Mark cut his teeth playing competitive Jarts in the 70’s and early 80’s in Southern Ohio. His Jart career came to an abrupt end as a result of the Infamous “Jart Massacre” of 1985, when an errantly thrown Jart mortally wounded Fuzzy, the family bunny rabbit. In order to deal with the aftermath of the Jart Massacre, Mark spent the following summer recovering on his grandparent’s farm in Pee Wee Valley Kentucky. One morning after milking the cows he noticed some local teens playing a game that they called “Holler Bowlin”. From the first throw, he was hooked. Upon his return home at the end of the summer his parents asked about his obsession with this new past time to which he replied, “No one ever lost a bunny Holler Bowlin”. Mark moved to New York City in 1991 and discovered that Holler Bowlin had a different name in the Northeast, it was call Bocce. Mark is honored to be part of the Ridgefield 8 in their pursuit of the record. In his own words “It is important to me that we are raising money for R.O.A.R. as part of this event, as I am playing in honor of Fuzzy, and hope that raising money for rescue dogs will finally provide closure."
You may know Jeff from his success on the CNBC MBA challenge game show in 2008 or his award-winning chicken parm recipe from Ridgefield’s own GCCFR. Jeff has decided to up the challenge and join a group of talented men in competing for the prized Guinness World Record for Longest Bocce Marathon. “I’ve trained with Ridgefield’s best – in backyards, behind the rec center and at Ancona’s – and feel ready for 32+ hours of competitive play”. Jeff was born and raised in Avon, CT – where the current Guinness record resides – and is excited to bring the record to the wonderful town of Ridgefield, CT!
Kyle built a professional scale bocce court in his backyard, turning a weekend project into a summer-long "labor of love", to the delight of his neighbors and wife Michele. They moved across town a few months later, but the court, according to Kyle, was "a huge selling point. Huge".
"Oh, is that what that thing is?"- new owner.
Kyle lives in the Stonecrest neighborhood, and is known to enjoy a good beer from time to time.
Michael C Rosella aka, Mike, Mikey or Rosey grew up in the Connecticut bedroom town of Newington. He was the oldest of 3 boys. Mike was the type of kid that took everything to the extreme. He was never satisfied with being part of the status que and when introduced to any type of sport or activity he needed to excel. Many people know Mike as a Big Freestyle skier. To say he skis good, well, is an understatement. A much older version of him exists today on the slopes (2 ACL reconstructions later). The 40 something year old Mortgage Broker today now can be found on a Golf course having worked on getting his handicap <4. Having recently moved back from living in sunny Parkland Florida for 3 years, Mike is proud to call Ridgefield his hometown. In the process of getting reacquainted with town friends, he was approached to join the Ridgefield Bocce Club. A game that was not new to Mike, but never one he saw as extreme or ever having visions of becoming an Elitists in. (ie. World Record)
Mike was the 8th member of the Ridgefield 8. His membership acceptance was a long and arduous process. The hazing was somewhat difficult and in ways both mentally and physically demanding. One member not to be mentioned even went as far as to deny his Facebook friend request and reprove to Mike with a sinister laugh. Mike knew that the goal of the 8 was a World Record for the longest competitive Bocce match to be played. Mike was encouraged to push through. He can now proudly call himself a Ridgefield 8 member as they all strive for a World Record. A nobility in the game of bocce he once believed to not ever having be defined as an extreme sport. 32 plus hours of competitive Bocce and the logistical aspects believe it or not are super complicated. The event alone of not sleeping and a 5 minute break every hour during this attempt will be extreme. Mike states his biggest fear is what many cups of coffee and cans of Redbull will do to these 8 men come the 2nd day. This is a nightmare that keeps him awake prior to this event.
I am confident in the commitment to the world record and know this group of 8, with its planning and determination will hold that record. We will celebrate together and cherish the memory. I am even more ecstatic by the idea that as a community we will raise some money in the process for Boys and Girls club of Ridgefield and Team ROAR. Mike looks forward to friends, family and the people he calls neighbors to rally for such a great cause.