With seven straight pins, Avon takes control to win opener over Enfield

Avon’s Alex Rostenberg tries to push Enfield’s Justin Beiler away in Wednesday night’s bout at 120 pounds. Beiler won, 10-6 but Avon won the overall match.

AVON, Dec. 13 – It’s hasn’t been easy for the Avon High wrestling team in their first two years in the Central Connecticut Conference. They went 10-11 in their first season in 2015-16. A year ago, the Falcons struggled with a young, inexperienced team that went 10-12 and 1-5 in the CCC North.

But things are looking up for long-time coach John McLaughlin and the Falcons, who opened the season with a 57-19 win over Enfield in a CCC bout.

There was a good turnout this season with more than 30 wrestlers. Many wrestlers who picked up varsity experience last winter return and several got in plenty of off-season work.Continue Reading

Canton wrestlers open the season with a win over East Windsor

Canton’s Braydon Fluckiger drives into East Windsor’s Justin Donahue in Wednesday night’s NCCC match. Fluckiger won, 8-4 as the Warriors prevailed. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

EAST WINDSOR, Dec. 13 – It’s been 15 years since the Canton High wrestling team won a league championship. The Warriors captured their fourth North Central Connecticut Conference title in 2002. A year ago, Canton (14-5, 5-1 NCCC) in second place behind Granby in the race for the NCCC pennant.

Could this be the year for Canton? Perhaps. The Warriors have seven starters returning from last year’s squad and Canton got their season off to a winning start with a 51-12 NCCC victory over East Windsor on Wednesday night.

Canton had three pins and took advantage of five forfeits to pick up their first NCCC victory of the season.Continue Reading

Youngsters help defending state champion Canton girls win season opener

Canton senior Belle Magna tied her own career-high of 15 points as the Warriors won their first game of the season Tuesday night.

CANTON, Dec. 12 – Two players that started in last March’s Class S championship game for the Canton High girls basketball team didn’t play in Tuesday night’s season opening contest with Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA).

Senior center Sarah Bowman and sophomore guard Abby Charron watched from the sidelines due to injuries. But it was no problem on this evening as the Warriors got contributions from throughout the lineup in a 65-41 victory over HMTCA, which was making its North Central Connecticut Conference debut in the contest.

“We got some tremendous contributions from many new faces,” Canton coach Brian Medeiros said.

Sophomore Lauren Eschenbrenner led the way with a game-high 16 points, including four three-point shots. Sophomore Grace Treacy had a career-high 11 points while sophomore Allison Celmer had eight points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Belle Magna, the only senior in the starting lineup for the Warriors, had 15 points, tying her own career-high.Continue Reading

Avon/Southington earns first win of season over Stamford co-op squad

Avon/Southington’s Sydney Rice had two assists as the Nighthawks won their first game as a club team in Stamford Wednesday night.

STAMFORD, Dec. 13 – Abby Lamson and Caroline Nisbet each had goals as the Avon/Southington girls hockey team won their first game of the season with a 2-0 win over Stamford/Westhill/Staples co-op team Wednesday night at Terry Connors Rink. Nighthawks goalie Logan Lada made 20 saves to earn the shutout.

The Nighthawks improve to 1-1 on the season and return to action on Saturday night when they travel to Enfield’s Twin Rinks to face Suffield/Enfield/Housatonic/Ellington/MLC co-op squad at 4 p.m.

Avon/Southington scored their goals in the second period. Sydney Rice had two assists for the winners while Isabelle Lumia had one assist. Mary Leydon had 17 saves for Stamford co-op in net.

Big runs propel Killingly (13-0) to Class M title; St. Joseph’s outduels Ansonia

Killingly’s Zack Burgess weaves through traffic at the beginning of 86-yard touchdown run in Monday night’s Class M championship game in New Britain.

NEW BRITAIN, Dec. 11 – It didn’t look good for the Killingly High football team early in the second quarter. Trailing by seven points, Joel Barlow’s David Cusick blocked a punt giving the Falcons the ball on the Killingly 26-yard line.

On the next play, Joel Barlow’s Alex Stillman raced around the end for the second time in the quarter for a 26-yard touchdown to give a 14-point lead over the undefeated Redmen.

But there was a flag on the field and the touchdown was called back. Given a second chance, Killingly held on defense. On Joel Barlow’s next possession, the Falcons fumbled on their own 16-yard line. Joel Barlow never scored again.

Killingly (13-0) scored 34 unanswered points to rumble past Joel Barlow to win the Class M championship Monday night at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in New Britain and complete the first undefeated season for the Redmen since 1953. It was the first state title for the program since 1996.Continue Reading

Three Canton High athletes earn All-State honors, others earn All-NCCC honors

Senior Max Sparks earned All-State honors for the second straight year in boys cross country. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

CANTON – Three Canton High athletes earned All-State honors for their play on the field this fall while 14 other athletes earned All-Conference honors.

Senior goalie D.J. Clement earned All-State honors in boys soccer, senior Emily Gabrielian was named to the first team All-State team in field hockey while senior Max Sparks earned All-State honors in boys cross country for the second straight season.

Sparks also became just the second Canton runner to earn All-New England honors in cross country.Continue Reading

Boston rolls to 5-1 win over slumping Connecticut

Connecticut WhaleSTAMFORD, Dec. 10 – Boston’s Jillian Dempsey had two goals and two assists to lead the Boston Pride to a 5-1 win over the Connecticut Whale in National Women’s Hockey League action Sunday at the Terry Connors Rink here in Stamford.

Former Whale player Dana Trivigno had two goals and an assist as the Pride (2-3-1) won their second straight game. Brittany Ott made 18 saves in net to earn the victory for Boston.

Connecticut (2-4) dropped their second consecutive contest and have scored just one goal in the last two outings. Kelly Babstock, the Whale’s leading scorer (2-4, 6) scored with 4:23 gone in the third period to cut a four-goal Boston lead to three goals.Continue Reading

Avon/Southington falls to Conard/Hall in long-awaited girls hockey debut

Avon’s Kori Bartko glides down the ice for the Nighthawks in Wednesday night’s season opening game in West Hartford. Conard/Hall beat Avon Southington, 5-1.

WEST HARTFORD, Dec. 6 – Southington’s Mike Carrera has been waiting for years for this moment.

Yet, Wednesday night’s contest against Conard/Hall it wasn’t much different than other games he has coached over the last five years with the Avon/Southington Nighthawks girls hockey team.

Carrera has been trying to form a high school girls hockey team for years. For the past four seasons, his team comprised mainly of girls from Avon, Farmington and Southington has played as an independent team – facing high school teams, junior varsity teams and prep school teams.

They played 20-to-25 games a year, participated in pre-season jamborees and did everything that most high school girls hockey teams in the state did – except play in the Connecticut High School Girls Hockey Association’s state tournament.Continue Reading

Avon/Southington girls hockey team makes debut on Wednesday night

High school girls hockey comes to Avon with the debut of the Avon/Southington co-op club team Wednesday night in West Hartford.

AVON, Dec. 5 – A new sport debuts at Avon High on Wednesday night at Veteran’s Memorial Rink in West Hartford.

The Avon/Southington co-op girls hockey team makes their debut against the West Hartford co-op team from Conard and Hall at 7:30 p.m. The club team has 15 players including eight from Southington, five from Avon and one each from RHAM and East Granby.

The team will play a 17-game schedule and is part of the Southern Connecticut Conference’s North Division. The Avon/Southington team will practice and play their home games at Newington Arena.Continue Reading

O’Briley Turkey Trot to make donation of $18,300 to St. Jude Childen’s Hospital

More than 500 runners participated in the O’Briley 5K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning in Collinsville.

CANTON, Dec. 2 – In five years, the O’Briley 5K Turkey Trot, the 3.1-mile Thanksgiving morning road race in Canton, raised more than $21,000 for several charities — the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Canton Food Bank and an organization to fight Parkinson’s disease.

This year, the race will make a donation of $18,300 to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The race raised $9,150 and that will be matched by the employer of race co-organizer Colin O’Brien, who works for Bristol Myers Squibb.Continue Reading

Chanting incident in Canton used to lead SI story about Trump and sports in U.S.

Canton’s Ryan Enns drives to the basket in last February’s NCCC Tournament game against Hartford Classical as the crowd cheers on the Warriors.

On their website, Sports Illustrated published a story in November about sports becoming a battleground in America under President Donald J. Trump. The headline stated that anger, hatred and fear have become part of sports.

President Trump has been very vocal in criticizing National Football League players taking a knee during the national anthem to protest the treatment of minority citizens by some police officers across the nation. SI printed the story on its website on the one-year anniversary of Trump winning the 2016 presidential election.

Sports Illustrated writer Tim Layden began his story with the incident in Canton last February where some Canton fans taunted players from Hartford’s Classical Magnet School in a NCCC boys basketball tournament game with chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump” and waving a Trump/Pence campaign banner.

And it was no brief introduction. Layden examined the game, the incident and the makeup of the two schools and the communities they represent.Continue Reading

Record-setting performances and crowds at O’Briley 5K Turkey Trot

Runners take off at the start of the sixth annual O’Briley 5K Turkey Trot in Collinsville. A race record field of than 500 runners participated.

CANTON, Nov. 23 – Six years ago, the O’Briley 5K Turkey Trot was a little 3.1 mile road race on Thanksgiving morning amongst 30 friends along the Farmington Valley River Trail in Collinsville.

In the last three years, the participation in the race has blossomed. On Thursday, more than 500 runners participated in the O’Briley 5K Turkey Trot. Bristol’s Spencer Johnson, a senior at Marist College, won the race in record time while 13-year-old Storrie Kulynch-Irvin of Annapolis, Maryland won the women’s race – also in record time.

As they have been each year, proceeds from the race are donated to charity. This year, proceeds will be donated to the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in New York City. Race organizers and founders Michael Riley and Colin O’Brien hope to donate close to $10,000.Continue Reading

Rookie QB Attianese runs for 3 TDs in Granby’s 19-8 win over Canton

Granby sophomore Sam Attianese (24) came in relief at quarterback and scored 3 TDs to help Granby beat Canton, 19-8 Wednesday night.

GRANBY, Nov. 22 – Granby High sophomore Samuel Attianese has gotten in some snaps at quarterback in practice this fall and a few snaps scattered throughout the season. It wasn’t enough for him to consider himself a quarterback.

Attianese came in at quarterback in Wednesday night’s Thanksgiving Eve game with Canton after starter Jackson Rome got hurt in the first series of the game. Afterwards, Attianese was asked if he had played quarterback before. “Never played before,” he stated.

Attianese fit right in. He scored three touchdowns in relief of Rome to help the Bears come from behind and beat Canton for the third straight year, 19-8, to win the old red milk jug and finish the season with a victory.

“Sam is our do it all guy,” Granby coach Erik Shortell said. “He is our leader on defense. On offense, he plays wing back and slot receiver. He stepped up and clearly got the job done today.”Continue Reading

Simsbury blanks Avon for sixth straight win and Valley Gridiron Classic title

Avon’s Dan Quick is surrounded by Simsbury defenders Ralph Gilliard (13) and Tate Valerio (81) in Tuesday night’s Valley Gridiron Classic in Simsbury.

SIMSBURY, Nov. 21 – Two years ago, the Simsbury High football finished with a 1-9 mark, giving up a school-record 371 points. A year ago, the Trojans finished at .500 with a 5-5 record.

This fall, Simsbury dropped three of their first four games to then-No. 2 Southington, East Hartford and South Windsor, who is now ranked among No. 11 in the state coaches poll. East Hartford is currently ranked No. 12.

But Simsbury didn’t falter. The Trojans (7-3) won six straight games to end the campaign including a dominating 42-0 win over Avon Tuesday night to capture the Valley Gridiron Classic for the second year in a row.

For years, Simsbury has been a team that runs the football. They embraced it further under former coach Jeff Osborne by running the triple option veer. But things have changed. Quarterback Jackson Masters set a host of new school records this season, completing 189 passes for 2,305 yards and 19 touchdown passes – all new records.Continue Reading

Auction of old Canton championship banners to raise money for lights

Lights on Canton is auctioning off 56 old athletic championship banners to raise money for permanent lights for the athletic complex at the high school.

CANTON – Canton High has donated 56 championship banners that used to hang in the high school gymnasium to Lights On Canton, the group seeking to raise $250,000 to install permanent lights at the artificial turf field and track complex at Canton High.

Lights on Canton is auctioning off the banners to the highest bidder and the auction is open now.

The banners were raised to honor athletic teams and at Canton that won league and state championships between 1973 and 2009.Continue Reading