Avon softball looking for first win; Canton is off to 3-1 start

Avon sophomore pitcher Lauren Sitaro.

Avon sophomore pitcher Lauren Sitaro.

It’s been a while since the Avon High girls softball team played in a CIAC tournament game.

Coach John Snyder is hoping the Falcons can earn seven wins this year to earn its first invitation since 2001. Canton, meanwhile, is hoping to build on its Class S quarterfinal appearance of a year ago. 

Avon has a core of players with experience returning this spring led by senior shortstop Rachael Asnes, senior catcher Carolyn DeTora and sophomore pitcher Lindsey Sitaro. Senior First baseman Amanda Gerosa, senior second baseman Kiera Jury and junior third baseman Kendra Love return along with outfielders Lauren Sitaro, Hannah Lindley and Laura Grosso. Continue Reading

Balanced effort lifts undefeated Avon girls; Sartain wins 3 events for Avon boys

Carly Regalado clears the hurdle in the 110 high hurdles Tuesday in Avon.  She won the race.

Avon’s Carly Regalado clears the hurdle in the 110 high hurdles Tuesday in Avon. She won the race.

AVON, April 22 – Junior Maddi McHugh won two individual events and ran on a winning relay team as the Avon High girls track and field team improved to 6-0 with victories over Ellington and Coventry on Tuesday afternoon. The Falcons won 14 of 17 events to capture their 24th consecutive dual meet dating back to April 2012. 

On the boys side, Ellington’s Patrick Caruthers and Dan Gagnon each won two events as the Purple Knights remained unbeaten (6-0) with wins over Avon and Coventry. Jake Sartain won three events for the Falcons, who are now 4-2 on the season. Continue Reading

Inaugural Collinsville Film Festival is this weekend

TFestivalhe inaugural Collinsville Film Festival opens Friday at the Canton Historical Museum. The festival, which runs through Sunday, will feature four feature-length films, 13 short films and one radio narrative.

The festival opens Friday night with a documentary called “Bending Steel,” which will be followed by an after-party at Wilson’s Pub with local band Wise Old Moon performing. Tickets are $10 for each feature and $5 for the short films. The films will be shown on the second floor of the museum with seating available for 50.

You can get additional information regarding times and the movies being shown at the Festival’s website. For additional information, please email the festival at info@collinsvillefilmfestival.com or call at 631-678-8302.

Editor to be recognized with Art McGinley Award from state sportswriters group

Gerry deSimas, Jr., interviews Danbury's Kevin Jack at the recent CIAC State Open wrestling tournament in New Haven.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., left, interviews Danbury’s Kevin Jack at the recent CIAC State Open wrestling tournament in New Haven. (Photo by Betsey Downey)

Gerry deSimas, Jr., the editor and founder of the Collinsville Press, has been selected as the 2014 winner of the Art McGinley Award from the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance. The award, given in memory of the long-time sports editor of the now defunct Hartford Times, recognizes notable contributions to the Alliance and journalism in the state of Connecticut.

DeSimas will be recognized at the Alliance’s 73rd annual Gold Key dinner on Sunday, April 27, at 4 p.m. at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. He is  a communications specialist for Northeast Utilities, working as a writer, photographer and web editor. Continue Reading

Registration is now open for annual Migli fundraising golf tournament

Dick Migli in 1970

Dick Migli in 1970

AVON – The 21st annual Dick Migli Benefit Golf Tournament will be held on Monday, May 5, at the Golf Club of Avon to raise money for the two Richard Migli scholarship that are presented each year to two Avon High seniors by the Avon High Booster Club and to fund Booster Club projects at the high school.

Migli, a talented Avon High athlete, died in 1993 after a courageous battle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). A member of the class of 1970, Migli excelled in football, basketball and baseball, earning 12 varsity letters. He had a passion for athletics and good sportsmanship.

You can register today to participate. The tournament regularly draws a sellout crowd of golfers, diners and donors eager to keep Migli’s legacy alive to help current and future Avon High athletes.Continue Reading

Canton boys, Avon girls roll to convincing wins in track

Avon's Tara Shayler pulls away from the field in the 200 meters in Monday's meet in Avon. Shayler won three events as the Avon girls remained undefeated.

Avon’s Tara Shayler pulls away from the field in the 200 meters in Monday’s meet in Avon. Shayler won three events as the Avon girls remained undefeated.

AVON, April 14 – Canton’s Keith Wilson won three individual events while Colin Martin and Dean Yost won two each to lead two-time defending NCCC champion Canton boys track and field team to a 90-60 win over Avon and a 124-25 victory over East Granby Monday afternoon.

Canton (3-0) won 12 of 18 events and captured its 41st consecutive dual meet, dating back to opening day in 2011.

Wilson won the 200 meters and both hurdles events. He was third in the jump. Martin won the 100 and 400 meters and took third in the long jump. Dean Yost won the 1,600 and 3,200 meters and ran on Canton’s winning 4×800 meter relay team. Devin Glasson (shot) and William Briggs (discus) also won events for the Warriors. Continue Reading

Thousands celebrate with the Huskies in Hartford

UConn fans cheer in Sunday's victory parade for the UConn men's and women's basketball teams, who each won national championships earlier this week.

UConn fans cheer in Sunday’s victory parade for the UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams, who each won national championships earlier this week.

HARTFORD, April 13 – Geno Auriemma is no stranger to victory parades. 

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach has been to eight parades, including the 2004 parade to celebrate with the UConn’s men’s basketball team, which also won a national championship that same season. 

There are always smiles and cheering at UConn victory parades but the mood on Sunday was different.  

Auriemma, whose undefeated UConn women’s team won an NCAA record ninth straight national championship on Tuesday beating Notre Dame, noticed. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “The passion. The love. The outpouring of affection. You had to be there to feel it.” Continue Reading

Avon’s Murphy selected to play in Super 100 Senior All-Star game

Avon's Jimmy Murphy digs hard toward the end zone in Saturday's win over North Branford.

Avon’s Jimmy Murphy (36) digs hard toward the end zone against North Branford last fall.

Two-time All-State linebacker Jimmy Murphy of Avon was drafted to play in the Connecticut High School Coaches Association’s (CHSCA) Super 100 Senior All-Star football game on Saturday, June 28, at Rentschler Field in East Hartford at 4:30 p.m.

Earlier this week, two teams drafted 50 players to form their teams. They’ll select another 50 to round out their rosters at a later date. Murphy was selected to play on Team Nutmeg, coached by Sheehan High coach John Ferrazzi.
 
Two players from Farmington, wide receivers Kenny Jones and Anthony Carpenter, were selected to play on Team Constitution, coached by Xavier High coach Sean Marinan.Continue Reading

Previews: Season begins for Canton, Avon track, tennis and golf teams

Avon's Jake Sartain cleared 5-foot, 10 inches in the high jump in Wednesday's opening day meet in Granby.

Avon’s Jake Sartain cleared 5-foot, 10 inches in the high jump in Wednesday’s opening day meet in Granby.

The spring athletic season began on Wednesday. Here is a brief preview for the track and field, tennis and golf programs in Canton and Avon. Continue Reading

Another fine season for Canton’s Benedetti at St. Francis

Junior Sarah Bendetti of Canton averaged 11.7 points for the St. Francis (N.Y.) women's basketball team this winter. (Photo by Blue Vision Photography, courtesy of St. Francis, NY)

Junior Sarah Bendetti of Canton averaged 11.7 points for the St. Francis (N.Y.) women’s basketball team this winter. (Photo by Blue Vision Photography, courtesy of St. Francis, NY)

BROOKLYN – St. Francis (N.Y.) junior forward Sarah Benedetti of Canton helped the St. Francis women’s basketball team finish with a record of 19-11 this past winter. Nineteen wins in a single season is a program record for the Terriers. 

Benedetti averaged 11.4 points and nailed 71 three-point shots for St. Francis, which qualified for the Northeast Conference (NEC) tournament. Bryant eliminated St. Francis with a 58-53 victory in the tournament quarterfinals. Benedetti had 12 points in the loss. 

St. Francis finished with a record of 10-8 in the NEC, also a school record for most conference victories in a single season. Continue Reading

LeDuc has top time so far this season in 3,000 steeplechase

NEW LONDON, April 5 — As his final collegiate season continues, Connecticut College senior Michael LeDuc of Canton is poised to finish with a flourish. LeDuc, the defending NCAA Division III national champion in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, won the event at the Sam Howell Invitational at Princeton on Friday night.

LeDuc’s time of 8:56.48 is the top time of the spring so far in the event. The performance earned LeDuc invitations to compete in the upcoming New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), New England Division III, ECAC Division III and the All-New England championship meets.

CCC votes to admit Avon into league beginning in 2015-16

CCC logoAVON – The Avon High athletic program will make its long-talked about jump to the Central Connecticut Conference in September 2015. On Thursday night, the CCC voted to accept the Falcons as the league’s 33rd member.

Avon will join the CCC in all sports, including football, with the 2015-16 season. The Falcons currently play football in the Pequot Conference. For the upcoming 2014-15 season, nothing will change for Avon, which will play a final season in the North Central Connecticut Conference (NCCC).

“We feel very thankful and appreciative to the principals and athletic directors in accepting the application of Avon,” said Newell Porch, Avon’s athletic director. “Two main reasons for our request (to join the CCC) was regionalism of the participating schools as well as (teams) with sub varsity teams in most sports.” Continue Reading

Can Avon continue its winning ways in the CCC?

CP canterbury aIt’s been something talked about on the Avon High athletic fields for years – the potential of Avon moving to the larger Central Connecticut Conference to get more competition on the field and in some cases the opportunity to play more games.

Talk became reality on Thursday night when the CCC voted to admit Avon as the league’s 33rd member beginning in the fall of 2015.

How will this affect the teams in Avon? For some, it will be a big step in competition. Some will do just fine. Others will struggle. Will Avon win some divisional championships? Yes. Will they win many conference tournaments? Not as many as they have won in the NCCC. Continue Reading

Rock Cats announce roster; open season Thursday vs. Richmond at home

The Rock Cats open their season on Thursday at New Britain Stadium. (Photo courtesy Rock Cats via Facebook)

The Rock Cats open their season on Thursday at New Britain Stadium. (Photo courtesy Rock Cats via Facebook)

NEW BRITAIN, April 1 – Two Connecticut natives are on the opening day roster for the New Britain Rock Cats, the Double A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, the team announced Monday.

Left-handed started pitcher Pat Dean is a native of Naugatuck and pitched for the Rock Cats last season before moving up to Triple A Rochester.  Left-handed reliever Jim Fuller played collegiate baseball at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.

New Britain opens the 2014 season on Thursday night when they host Richmond at 6:30 p.m. — the first game of a seven-game home stand.

Kennys Vargas, a 6-foot-5, 273 pound first baseman who hit 19 home runs and had 93 RBI in the Florida State League in 2013, will be at New Britain for the first time. Vargas has been often compared to Red Sox slugger David Ortiz and is on the Twins 40-man major league roster.

McNeil won’t play soccer this summer with the Breakers

Boston's Kia McNeill during the 2013 campaign. (Photo by Mike Gridley, courtesy Boston Breakers)

Boston’s Kia McNeill during the 2013 campaign. (Photo by Mike Gridley, courtesy Boston Breakers)

SOMERVILLE, Mass. – Avon native Kia McNeill won’t be suiting up for the Boston Breakers in the National Women’s Soccer League this summer. McNeill, 27, has opted to continue her studies and her role as an assistant coach with the Boston College women’s soccer team.

McNeill graduated from BC in 2008 with a degree in human development and a minor in psychoanalytic studies. She has been an assistant coach with the Eagles since 2009 and is working on her MBA. The Breakers will retain her rights.

McNeill has been a defender in her professional career. With the Breakers last summer, she started all 21 games at center back and played career-high 1,890 minutes for Boston (8-8-6). Only three other players had more time on the field than McNeill. Continue Reading