Davey has 8 goals as Avon finishes with third win in last four games

Lacrosse stickAVON, May 21 – On Senior Day, the Avon High girls lacrosse team finished the regular season with a dominating victory over Ellington. For the fourth time this season and the second consecutive game, senior Hannah Davey scored eight goals to lead the Falcons. 

Davey, who leads the Falcons with 92 goals in 16 games, has scored eight games in three of Avon’s last four games – all victories. Emma Coran (26 goals) scored four against Ellington while Sammy Maniatty (40 goals) and Abby Hagan scored two each. Abby Welch and Jess Woodis also scored for the Falcons, who finished the regular season with a record of 8-8 and 6-4 in the NCCC. Continue Reading

Canton boys adjust lineup to beat unbeaten Ellington; Avon girls finish 14-0

Track logo DSC_1740ELLINGTON, May 19 – In the days leading up to Tuesday’s boys track and field meet with undefeated Ellington, Canton High coach Tim O’Donnell was concerned about the running skill that the Purple Knights brought to the track. 

It was that running expertise that has helped Ellington win the last four NCCC indoor track titles and the last three NCCC cross country championships. 

Canton is a strong running team, too. But they also have athletes who have experience on the field side as well.

The Warriors won six field events and three track events as they finished undefeated for the fifth straight season with a 90-60 win over Ellington on Tuesday. Canton also beat East Windsor, 122-28. 

Canton (14-0, 14-0 NCCC) extended its school record winning streak to 64 consecutive dual meets dating back to the 2011 season. Ellington slips to 13-1 with its first loss of the year. Continue Reading

Quick start propels Granby past Canton to NCCC championship, 16-10

Granby's Olivia Johnson, shown in last year's Class S final, had five goals and three assists in Tuesday's 16-10 victory over Canton to win the NCCC championship.

Granby’s Olivia Johnson, shown in last year’s Class S final, had five goals and three assists in Tuesday’s 16-10 victory over Canton as Granby captured the NCCC championship.

CANTON, May 19 – The Canton High girls lacrosse team may have snuck up on some teams in the first half of the team. Before this spring, the Warriors had never posted a winning season or contended for a conference championship. 

It’s been different this spring. Canton has been a contender. They beat Avon for the first time ever on a Grace Giancola goal with 1:19 left in regulation. The Warriors also beat Granby for the first time when Giancola scored with four seconds remaining in a 12-11 victory in April. 

The Bears didn’t forget that. 

In a winner-take-all game for the North Central Connecticut Conference championship, Granby raced out to a quick, six-goal lead and was never really threatened in a 16-10 victory over the Warriors to win the NCCC title for the third time in the last six years. It’s Granby’s first outright league title since 2010. Continue Reading

Somers pulls away from Canton ‘9’

Baseball ImageCANTON, May 19 – Somers scored six runs in the sixth and seventh inning to break up a one-run ballgame and beat the Canton High baseball team Tuesday at Bowdoin Field, 8-1.

The win means that Canton (7-12, 5-10 NCCC) must beat Sport Science Medical Academy (9-9) on Thursday at Bowdoin Field to earn a berth into the CIAC Class S tournament.

Somers, which had 12 hits and six extra-base hits, can win a share of the league championship with a win over Coventry on Thursday. The Spartans improve to 15-2 overall and 14-1 in the league.Continue Reading

Warriors recognize their three seniors before big win over Gilbert

Canton honored the three seniors on its softball team Monday before its win over Gilbert. From left, assistant coach Kim Church, Katie Hill, Jill Petraitis, head coach Charley Batan, Katie Walker and assistant Dave Dubois.

Canton honored the three seniors on its softball team Monday before its win over Gilbert. From left, assistant coach Kim Church, Katie Walker, Jill Petraitis, head coach Charley Batan, Katie Hill and assistant Dave Dubois. (Photo courtesy Wendy Batan)

CANTON, May 18 – The Canton High softball team celebrated Senior Day on Monday afternoon and they celebrated their 11th victory of the season. Canton pitcher Jill Petraitis pitched two innings and fanned six as the Warriors beat The Gilbert School, 18-3 in five innings.

The Warriors (11-6, 9-5 NCCC) won for the fifth time in the last six games. Before the game, they recognized their three seniors – Petraitis, Katie Hill and Katie Walker.

Petraitis has been Canton’s starting pitcher all season and has fanned 123 batters in 17 games. Last week, she had 13 strikeouts in a 10-9 win over Coventry in nine innings. She had 12 strikeouts and scattered eight hits in a 5-4 win over Stafford earlier this month, handing the Bulldogs just their second loss of the season. Petraitis scored the winning run against Coventry, scoring on a sacrifice fly from Walker. Petraitis, who is hitting .514 at the plate, also had two triples in the game.Continue Reading

Gurry, Canton beat Gilbert and move within a win of qualifying for tournament

Kevin Gurry struck out seven in Canton's 2-0 win over Gilbert Monday.

Kevin Gurry struck out seven in Canton’s 2-0 win over Gilbert Monday.

CANTON, May 18 – The Canton High baseball team is still alive in its quest to earn a berth in the CIAC Class S tournament. Pitcher Kevin Gurry went the distance, allowing just five hits and striking out seven as the Warriors beat The Gilbert School, 2-0, Monday at Bowdoin Field.

Canton improves to 7-11 and needs one victory in its final two games to earn a berth in the tournament for the first time since 2013.

The Warriors host Somers (14-2, 13-1 NCCC) on Tuesday at Bowdoin Field at 4 p.m. Somers can win a share of the league championship if they beat Canton and Coventry on Thursday. If Canton loses on Tuesday, they will have to beat Sport Science Medical Academy (8-9) on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Bowdoin Field.Continue Reading

Avon High ultimate team brings home first state championship

Avon High's ultimate team won its first state championship with an 11-5 win over Forman in the Division II title game.

Avon High’s ultimate team won its first state championship with an 11-5 win over Forman in the Division II title game.

AVON – There is a new state championship team at Avon High School.

The Falcons’ ultimate team won its first state title earlier this month with an 11-5 win over The Forman School from Litchfield at the Connecticut Ultimate Club’s championship meet in Lakeville at the Hotchkiss School. Avon captured the state Division II championship in just its third season as a varsity team.

Ultimate may be better known as ultimate Frisbee but the sport doesn’t use that name since it is trademarked. The game is played on a field that is 70 yards long and 40 yards wide with 25-yard end zones. Each team has seven players and teams score points by getting the disc (Frisbee) into the end zone. You can’t run with the disc and have to pass it to move it down the field. If the disc hits the ground, it’s a turnover to the opposition.

“It’s the type of sport that once you starting playing, you learn to love it,” Avon High coach Jim Murray said. “You want to play more and more.” Continue Reading

Tough opening day for Crushers

Canton pitcher Jim Spirito had a two-run double in Sunday's loss to Winsted.

Canton pitcher Jim Spirito took the loss in Sunday’s season opener.

CANTON, May 17 – Litchfield pitcher Joe Serafin threw eight solid innings as the Cowboys dominated Canton, 19-1 on opening day for the 2015 Tri-State Baseball League at Bowdoin Field. Litchfield’s Mike Odenaelder hit for the cycle, with a single, double, triple and home run.

The visiting Cowboys took advantage of two Canton errors in the first inning to quickly jump ahead. Litchfield scored 11 runs (eight earned) off Crusher starting pitcher Jim Spirito in the first three innings to seize command of the contest. Spirito did strike out three.Continue Reading

Another record-setting run for Drago, Jones at Avon Road Race

The Avon Road Race attracts hundreds of runners each year. Nearly 250 ran this year.

The Avon Road Race attracts hundreds of runners each year. Nearly 250 ran this year. This photo is from the 2009 road race.

AVON, May 17 – It was a record-breaking day at the 2015 Avon Road Race. Two new course records were established on a beautiful Sunday morning. 

Avon’s John Drago, 24, won the 11th annual 3.1 mile race for the third time with a course record time of 15:42, shattering the record set in 2013 by Avon’s Marc Roabaczynski of 16:10.12. Drago regained the record he held from 2010 until Robaczynski broke it. In 2010, Drago ran a then-course record time of 16:18 as a 19-year-old college student. 

Drago won the race followed by Robaczynski, the defending two-time champion, in 16:16. Farmington’s Chris Chisholm, who won this race in 2007, was third in 16:40. Continue Reading

Kennedy swims on winning SwimMAC relay team at Arena Pro Series

Swimming graphicCHARLOTTE, May 17 – Avon’s Madison Kennedy swam two races in Sunday’s final day of competition at the Arena Pro Series in Charlotte.

Kennedy finished 11th in the 100 meter freestyle in 56.24 seconds, which was better than her seed time of 54.72 seconds.

Kennedy, 27, trains with SwimMAC Carolina in Charlotte, the host club for the meet. She swam on SwimMAC’s 400 meter medley relay team that finished first with a time of 4:07.7. Kennedy swam the anchor leg in the race that SwimMAC won by more than five seconds.

On Saturday, she finished ninth in the 50 freestyle in 25.25 seconds, winning the B final by 0.21 seconds. On Friday, she swam on the SwimMAC 400 meter freestyle relay that finished second in 3:45.82. Kennedy swam on the leadoff leg.Continue Reading

Smith earns a bronze medal with U.S. after a 3-0 win over Czech Republic

Avon's Ben Smith after the U.S. men's national team won a bronze medal at the world championships.

Avon’s Ben Smith after the U.S. men’s national team won a bronze medal at the world championships.

PRAGUE, May 17 – Eleven players on the U.S. men’s national team were playing in the International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) world championships for the first time – including Avon’s Ben Smith, a forward with the San Jose Sharks. 

But this group of young men came together to win a bronze medal with a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic Sunday. The medal-winning victory comes less than 24 hours after the Americans fell to Russia in the semifinals, 4-0. 

“The guys showed great character,” U.S. coach Todd Richards said. “This wasn’t an easy game to play. It was a tough, emotional loss last night against the Russians. But you could see the desperation and character we had from the guys who were blocking shots and diving in front of pucks.” 

Nick Bonino of Farmington, one of three Connecticut players on Team USA, scored a goal and had an assist while goalie Connor Hellebuyck (St. John’s/AHL) made 39 saves to earn the win. Charlie Coyle (Minnesota Wild) also had a goal and an assist. Continue Reading

Kennedy takes 9th in 50 free at Arena Pro Series in Charlotte

Madison Kennedy before the 50 freestyle final. (Courtesy U.S. Swimming)

Madison Kennedy

CHARLOTTE, May 16 – There isn’t much of a margin for error among the fastest swimmers in the world. Avon’s Madison Kennedy swam the fourth fastest time of the evening in the 50 meter freestyle at the Arena Pro Series in Charlotte.

However, Kennedy finished ninth in the event because she missed qualifying for the championship final by 0.02 of a second. She swam a time of 25.77 in qualifying but she was pushed out of the top eight and the championship final by Kelsi Worrell (25.75) and Michelle Williams (25.73).

With her time of 25.25 seconds, Kennedy did win the B final by a significant margin of 0.21 seconds over Sandrine Mainville of Canada and American Amanda Weir in 25.96 seconds.Continue Reading

Canton hopes for more success in year two in Tri-State League

Crushers pitcher Jim Spirito went 11 innings on the mound to help Canton win its first-ever Tri-State League game Saturday at Bowdoin Field.

Crushers pitcher Jim Spirito went 11 innings on the mound to help Canton win its first-ever Tri-State League game over Amenia, N.Y. last July at Bowdoin Field.

CANTON, May 14 – Tom Dubois is a happy man. And why not? He is getting married this weekend. But there is more than wedded bliss that is bringing a smile to the face of the manager and coach of the Canton Crushers, who are getting ready for their second year in the Tri-State Baseball League. 

The Crushers went 1-17 in their initial campaign a year ago but Dubois is optimistic that 2015 will be a more successful season. Canton opens the season Sunday at Bowdoin Field hosting Litchfield at 5 p.m.

“We more excited to come into this year,” Dubois said. “We’re more relaxed. We know what to expect. The guys that are coming back are comfortable with each other. It’s a good group of guys who know each other and play well together.”

The Crushers have a core of players back from last year’s team including shortstop Steve Dubois, a long-time veteran Tri-State League player, pitcher Jim Spirito, another Tri-State veteran who anchored the Crusher pitching staff a year ago, outfielder Sean Dury, pitcher Chris Colon and Brian Kulik and John Scrippa. Continue Reading

Avon stumbles in sixth in loss to Ellington

Baseball ImageELLINGTON, May 14 – The Avon High baseball squandered a three-run lead in the sixth inning and fell to Ellington, 6-4 on Thursday. The Falcons gave up four walks in the pivotal sixth inning as the host Purple Knights scored five runs to move in front to stay. 

Avon, which received two hits each from Ian McDonald and Andrew LeDuc, saw their five-game winning streak snapped. The Falcons (11-15, 9-5 NCCC) had won seven of their previous eight games. 

Avon led 4-1 before the sixth inning. But Avon pitchers Justin Olson and Sean DelGallo walked four of the first five batters, driving in two runs. Ellington’s Jay Skorluski had a two-run single to put the Purple Knights in front for the first time, 5-4. An insurance run came in on a fielder’s choice by Shane McGowan. Continue Reading

Hard-hitting Avon pulls away from Warriors, 13-4

Baseball ImageCANTON, May 13 – It may have been the final game between old rivals and the Falcons went out with a bang. Avon had 16 hits and six doubles in a 13-4 decision over Canton Wednesday afternoon at Bowdoin Field. 

The two schools have been facing each other nearly every year since 1960. But with Avon’s departure from the North Central Connecticut Conference in a few weeks, the future of the series is uncertain. Both teams will have openings for non-league games on their future schedules but will there be room for each other? Only time will tell. 

Wednesday’s game was actually a non-league contest. The Falcons prevailed in the NCCC game about three weeks ago with 11 hits in a 12-1 victory. On Wednesday, Avon’s hard hitting prevailed again as the Falcons scored four runs each in the fourth and fifth innings to pull away. Continue Reading