Avon baseball team erases 4-run deficit to beat Farmington by one

Avon catcher Jeremy Zarwasnki and pitcher Justin Olson celebrate after rallying to beat Farmington, 6-5 Saturday at Buckingham Field.

Avon catcher Jeremy Zarwasnki and pitcher Justin Olson celebrate after rallying to beat Farmington, 6-5 Saturday at Buckingham Field.

AVON, April 18 – The Avon High baseball team trailed Farmington by four runs with six outs remaining Saturday afternoon at Buckingham Field. But they Falcons didn’t wilt or go through the motions.

They kept swinging and scored five runs in the sixth inning – four with two outs – to rally and beat Farmington on an outstanding afternoon for baseball. Chris Jacobs and Andrew LeDuc each had two-RBI singles to lift their third win in four games. Two of the three wins have been one-run victories.

“These kids never give up,” Avon’s first-year head coach Jonathan Yolles said. “I’ve been here for a quite a while and I haven’t seen this before. They didn’t get down on themselves.” Yolles was an assistant coach for eight years here at Avon before moving up to the head coaching position when long-time coach Marty deLivron retired last spring after 38 years.

This is a young team, too. There were two seniors in Saturday’s starting lineup – second baseman Bryant St. Jean and centerfielder Steve Carrier. There were three juniors, three sophomore and two freshmen in the lineup, including the designated hitter. Continue Reading

Black Wolves can’t keep up with Toronto

Toronto’s Kevin Ross and New England’s Andrew Suitor battle for a loose ball in Friday night’s indoor lacrosse match in Toronto. The Black Wolves lost, 15-12. (Photo courtesy NLL)

Toronto’s Kevin Ross and New England’s Andrew Suitor battle for a loose ball in Friday night’s indoor lacrosse match in Toronto. The Black Wolves lost, 15-12. (Photo courtesy NLL)

TORONTO – There will be no playoff games this spring for the New England Black Wolves. Toronto moved a step closer to winning the Eastern Division championship in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) with a 15-12 win over the Black Wolves before 9,271 at the Air Canada Centre. 

The Rock (13-4) moved a step closer to the division title. The Black Wolves (4-10) lost for the for the tenth time in the last 12 outings despite three goals and two assists from Patrick Saunders and a goal and four assists from Garrett Billings. 

Brett Bucktooth added two goals and three assists for the Black Wolves in the loss, while Kyle Buchanan had two goals and two assists. Brett Hickey led Toronto with eight points on three goals and five assists while Stephan Leblanc had one goal and six assists for seven points. Continue Reading

After tough loss, Canton holds big lead in win over Windsor Locks

Canton players come together to discuss strategy in a game earlier this week against Coventry. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

Canton players come together to discuss strategy in a game earlier this week against Coventry. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

WINDSOR LOCKS, April 16 – After a tough loss, it was good to get back out on the diamond. 

The Canton High girls softball team had a challenging afternoon on opening day earlier this week. On Tuesday against Coventry, the Warriors led by six runs after two innings only to see the host Patriots rally for a 7-6 victory with five runs in the seventh inning. Maggie Ziko had a three-run home run and Shea Vignone had a two-RBI single to win it. 

On Thursday, Canton started out strong against Windsor Locks and kept their foot on the pedal throughout the game with a 13-3 decision, handing the host Raiders their first loss of the season. Canton hurler Jill Petraltis allowed just three hits and struck out 12 to lead the Warriors (1-1, 1-1 NCCC). Continue Reading

Track and field: Avon boys, Avon girls improve to 4-0

Track logo DSC_1740AVON, April 15 – The Avon High boys and girls track teams each improved to 4-0 on the season with easy victories over East Windsor and Sport Medicine Science Academy on Wednesday in the first home meet of the season. 

On the boys side, Avon (4-0, 4-0 NCCC) rolled to a 96-53 win over East Windsor and a 101-69 win over SMSA. The Avon girls (4-0, 4-0 NCCC) extended their dual meet win streak to 35 in a row dating back to 2012 with a 115-28 win over East Windsor and a 122-22 win over SMSA. 

Geoff Kirk picked up three victories in the shot put, javelin and discus while Matt Gondek (high jump), Mason Love (100 hurdles), James Grant (1,600), Andrew Suter (3,200) and Greg Oberhausen (800) picked up individual victories. Avon’s 4×800 and 4×100 relay teams also won. 

On the girls side, the Falcons swept all three relays and Molly Hamel won the 1,600 and 3,200 meter races. Kaley and Kiely Quijano won the pole vault while Carly Carpino (triple jump), Jennifer Koo (400), Carly Regalado (300 hurdles), Risa Lewis (800) and Jade Yen (shot) picked up individual victories. 

The Falcons travel to Windsor Locks on Tuesday for a three-team meet with the Raiders and Enfield.

With changes looming, fans savor the joy of going to the ballpark as Rock Cats win

For the 33rd season, the Rock Cats opened their Eastern League season in New Britain. The Cats beat New Hampshire, 8-5 Thursday night.

For the 33rd season, the Rock Cats opened their Eastern League season in New Britain. The Cats beat New Hampshire, 8-5 Thursday night.

NEW BRITAIN, April 16 – Change. It’s fine for other people but when you have to change, things can be uncomfortable.

It could be an awkward year at New Britain Stadium for the Rock Cats. Last June, the Rock Cats announced that they will be moving 12 miles west to Hartford to play in a shiny, new stadium next April. And when the Rock Cats play in the capital city, they’ll be the Yard Goats.

Let’s just say that all of this change hasn’t gone over particularly well in New Britain.

Yet, on the final and 33rd opening day of Eastern League baseball in the Hardware City, there were plenty of smiles in the grandstands and reminders of why one comes to the ballpark.

The eyes of four-year-old Angel Calderon of New Britain were wide with excitement and joy as he met the mascot called Rookie as his parents, Angel and Omayra smiled. It was the first game for young Angel. There were plenty of photos being taken with Rookie. Throughout the ballpark, Rookie and Rocky, the famous team mascot, were big hits with the kids.Continue Reading

Avon girls, Canton boys remain undefeated

Tennis graphicAVON — The Avon High girls tennis team captured their 23rd consecutive NCCC match with a 7-0 shutout over Windsor Locks at Avon Middle School Wednesday. Kendal Held, Tait Becker, Riley Abate and Gaby Berns each won in singles, dropping just nine games among them. In doubles, Avon (2-0, 2-0 NCCC) swept all three matches. The No. 1 doubles team of Shana Morel and Rachel Selzer had to go to a third set tiebreaker to beat Locks’ Linda Ye and Afram Munshi, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6. Continue Reading

Committee seeks cost of putting in new turf field at Avon High

Canton and Avon battle  in football on the grass at Avon High in 2009.

Canton and Avon battle in football on the grass at Avon High in 2009.

AVON, April 14 – A Recreation and Park subcommittee has selected a potential design for a multi-purpose synthetic turf field that could be built at Avon High School and has asked an architectural firm for an estimate on how much it would cost to build.

Glastonbury-based BSC Group presented four proposals to the subcommittee Tuesday morning for a synthetic turf field at the high school. The committee selected a proposal that would place an artificial turf field to replace the current football field.

In order to safely play soccer, lacrosse and field hockey on the field, the current six-lane track would have to be replaced and the consultant recommended an eight-lane track to replace it. There isn’t enough room to safely fit a soccer field within the current track and field design. Continue Reading

Smith selected to play for U.S. national team at upcoming world championships

Avon native Ben Smith was selected to play on the U.S. national team at the upcoming world championship tournament.

Avon native Ben Smith was selected to play on the U.S. national team at the upcoming world championship tournament. (Photo courtesy San Jose Sharks)

Avon native Ben Smith has been named to the 2015 U.S. national hockey team that will compete at the world championships May 1-17 in the Czech Republic. Smith, a forward with the San Jose Sharks, will be playing on the U.S. team for the first time.

Smith, 26, was acquired by San Jose on March 2 from the Chicago Blackhawks and played 19 games with the Sharks, scoring two goals and three assists. Smith scored a goal and had an assist in his first game with San Jose on March 2 against Montreal. For the year, Smith had seven goals and seven assists in 80 games.

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Treacy earns All-State honors in basketball

Canton's Maggie Treacy races past Notre Dame's Raina Ceryak (34) in Friday's semifinal game in Waterbury.

Canton’s Maggie Treacy races past Notre Dame’s Raina Ceryak (34) in Friday’s semifinal game in Waterbury.

CANTON – Canton High junior Maggie Treacy is the sixth girl in school history to earn All-State honors in girls basketball. Treacy was recently named to the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) All-State team. 

Treacy averaged a team-high 16.5 points as she helped Canton (22-5, 16-2 NCCC) win a share of its first NCCC championship since 1999 and earn a spot in the Class S championship game for just the third time in program history. Canton fell to Thomaston in the title game, 52-50. Continue Reading

Huskies and their fans celebrate a championship in Hartford

The Huskies peer out to view the crowd in Sunday's parade.

The Huskies peer out to view the crowd in Sunday’s parade.

CP fans DSC_7576

It was a long, cold winter in Connecticut wasn’t it?

HARTFORD — Many Connecticut natives mourn for the lost Hartford Whalers hockey team that left the state nearly 20 years ago. Sometimes, we don’t appreciate what we do have — the best collegiate women’s basketball program ever assembled. Over those past 20 years, the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team has brought home 10 NCAA national championships. Ten. Earlier this week, the Huskies won their third straight national championship with a win over Notre Dame.

We threw a parade for the Whalers after they won a single playoff series. UConn coach Geno Auriemma doesn’t take these championships for granted. He doesn’t take these parades for granted, either. Auriemma and his Huskies basked in the glow of the sunshine Sunday afternoon in Hartford and the love from their fans. Continue Reading

Pequot Conference realigns into three divisions; Canton in West with Granby

Canton defensive lineman Pearse Walsh (70) and linebacker Henry Bonini (7).

Canton defensive lineman Pearse Walsh (70) and linebacker Henry Bonini (7) against Windsor Locks last fall.

The Pequot Football Conference is realigning for the third consecutive season. The 19-team league is moving back to a three division format with six teams in each division (West, East, South).

Enfield, which will be a co-op team with Fermi, will play one more year in the league but won’t be in a division. Enfield will be merging with cross-town rival Fermi and is scheduled to join the Central Connecticut Conference in the fall of 2016.

The Pequot Conference used three divisions in 2013 but went back to two division (Uncas, Sassacus) in 2014 after Housatonic/Wamogo dropped its varsity program. Avon is leaving the league to begin playing in the CCC this fall.Continue Reading

Canton girls beat Somers for first time ever; Boys lose big to Spartans

Lacrosse stickSOMERS, April 10 – It’s a new year for the Canton High girls lacrosse team. No longer content with being one of the teams in the lower half of the league, the Warriors are out to prove themselves. 

Emma Charron scored five goals and Grace Giancola added two as the Warriors (1-1, 1-1 NCCC) beat Somers for the first time with a 10-5 decision on Friday. Olivia Sullivan, Hanna Bonini and Jackie Grabowski each scored for Canton, which received eight saves in net from goalie Amanda Gottlieb. Somers slips to 0-2. Continue Reading

Avon has little trouble with Somers, Classical

Track logo DSC_1740SOMERS, April 9 – The Avon High boys and girls track and field teams got their seasons off to a good start on a cold, wet afternoon Thursday with victories over Somers and Hartford Classical. 

The Avon girls, the defending NCCC champions, extended their dual meet winning streak to 33 in a row with a 115-35 win over Somers and a 131-19 decision over Classical.  The win streak dates back to the 2012 season.

Carly Regalado swept the 100 and 300 meter hurdles while Chymiah Rowland (100), Tara Shayler (200), Carly Carpino (triple jump), Molly Hamel (1,600), Rachel Martin (3,200) and Hannah Carpino (800) each won individual events for the Falcons (2-0, 2-0).

On the boys side, Avon (2-0, 2-0) beat Somers, 93-48 and Classical, 92-46. Mason Love also swept the 100 and 300 hurdles while Andrew Blackmore (100), Geoff Kirk (shot), Andrew Suter (3,200) and Greg Oberhausen (800) also picked up individual victories.  Continue Reading

Bite-size previews: Track & field, tennis

Canton's Cam Daley set a new school record in the CIAC decathlon Wednesday.

Canton’s Cam Daley finished sixth in the CIAC decathlon a year ago.

After a long winter, the spring scholastic sports campaign is underway. Here is a quick look at Avon and Canton’s tennis and track and field squads.

TRACK & FIELD: The Canton boys (13-0, 13-0 NCCC) have won the last four league championships and the last five NCCC championship meets. In the last four years, they have won two Class S state titles and finished second twice. The Warriors will be led by Cam Daley, an all-around athlete who was sixth in last year’s CIAC decathlon. He won the NCCC title in the javelin and 300 hurdles. Sprinter Nico Tuccillo, distance runners James and Dean Yost and discus thrower John Graziano are among the many returning veterans. Look for Ellington and Suffield to challenge the Warriors. Continue Reading

Avon girls shake off Canton in second half to win season opener

Avon's Hannah Davey (7) had seven of Avon's 11 goals in the season-opening win over Canton Wednesday.

Avon’s Hannah Davey (7) had seven of Avon’s 11 goals in the season-opening win over Canton Wednesday.

CANTON – The Canton High girls lacrosse served notice Wednesday that they have no intention of giving away victories. The Warriors may lose but you’ll have to work to get past them. On a frigid early evening, Avon used a strong second half performance to beat the Warriors, 11-9 behind seven goals from senior Hannah Davey in the season opening match for both squads. She had two other goals called back due to penalties. 

Even though Canton made the CIAC Class S tournament for the first time a year ago, the Warriors are still waiting to compile their first winning season. Avon, on the other hand, is coming off three straight NCCC championships and has advanced to the Class M semifinals for the past two seasons. Expectations are high with the Falcons. 

“We want to win the NCCC and get to the state championship game,” Avon’s first-year head coach Cat Hanks said. “They’re very talented. They work hard every day and they want it badly.” Continue Reading