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

Connecticut to celebrate national titles with the Huskies Sunday in Hartford

The UConn men's basketball team celebrates with its 2014 NCAA championship trophy after Monday night's win over Kentucky.

The UConn men’s basketball team celebrates with its 2014 NCAA championship trophy after Monday night’s win over Kentucky. (Photo courtesy of UConn)

HARTFORD, April 9 – It’s become an annual rite of spring in Connecticut. A parade to celebrate the NCAA national championship victories by UConn’s men’s basketball team and women’s basketball team will be Sunday beginning at 4 p.m. in Hartford. 

The parade kicks off at the state capitol, makes a loop around Trinity Street, Jewell Street and Gold Street before returning to the capitol. A pep rally will be held for both programs. 

The UConn men won their fourth NCAA championship and second in four years with a 60-54 win over Kentucky on Monday night. The UConn women captured a record ninth NCAA national title with a dominating 79-58 victory over Notre Dame on Tuesday night to finish the season undefeated at 40-0.

2014 UConn championship parade in Hartford

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

Douglas returns to Sun, signing a two-year deal

Katie Douglas with the Sun in 2006.

Katie Douglas with the Sun in 2006.

The Connecticut Sun reached back into their past in hopes of a brighter future this season. The Sun signed free agent Katie Douglas, who blossomed into an All-WNBA star when she played in Connecticut for five seasons in 2003-07. 

Douglas, who will be 35 in May, put together an MVP-caliber season with the Sun in 2007, averaging 17.0 points a game and career-high averages of 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists. She was named to the All-WNBA team for the second straight year and the All-WNBA defensive team for the third consecutive season. 

But she asked for a trade to be closer to her home in Indiana, where she grew up and went to college (Purdue). The Sun traded her to the Fever for All-Star Tamika Whitmore and a first round pick. 

Douglas has played with Indiana for six seasons and won a WNBA championship with the Fever in 2012, averaging 16.5 points a game. But she missed virtually the entire season a year ago with a back injury, playing only four games. 

Still, Douglas could be an tremendous addition to a Sun team that was battered by injuries a year ago and finished last in the Eastern Conference with a 10-24 record.

Continue Reading

Avon’s Strassner takes historic second in State Open in 200-yard freestyle

Avon High sophomore Riley Strassner took second in the 200-yard freestyle at the State Open at Yale -- the best performance ever by an Avon swimmer at the Open.

Avon High sophomore Riley Strassner took second in the 200-yard freestyle at the State Open at Yale — the best performance ever by an Avon swimmer at the Open.

NEW HAVEN, March 22 – Avon High sophomore Riley Strassner continues to break down barriers with the Falcon boys swimming team. A week ago, Strassner became the first Avon boys swimmer to win a state championship by capturing the 200-yard freestyle at the Class M championships. 

On Saturday, he came within one second of winning a State Open championship. Strassner turned in the best individual performance in the history of the Avon High boys swimming program at Yale’s historic Kiputh Pool by taking second in the 200-yard freestyle with a school-record time of 1:42.34. 

“It was a great swim,” Avon coach Diana Cesaro said on a loud and crowded pool desk. “He took it out where he needed to do. He ran out of gas a bit but he still broke his own school record.” Continue Reading

Avon’s Smith cashing in on his chances with the Blackhawks

Avon native Ben Smith scored his second goal in three games Wednesday night in a 4-0 win over St. Louis. (Photo courtesy Chicago Blackhawks via Facebook)

Avon native Ben Smith scored his second goal in three games Wednesday night in a 4-0 win over St. Louis. (Photo courtesy Chicago Blackhawks via Facebook)

CHICAGO, March 19 – Once again, Avon native Ben Smith is taking advantage of his opportunities. Last June, Smith practiced patiently as the Chicago Blackhawks moved through the Stanley Cup playoffs. He didn’t see any ice time but he prepared every night to play only to watch the game from the press box.

But when an injury took Marion Hossa out of the lineup for game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Boston Bruins, Smith was ready to go. He played in his only post-season action and got his name on the Stanley Cup as the Blackhawks won in six games.

Now, Smith is centering the second line with All-Star Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell. In the last three games, Smith has two goals and an assist, including a goal in Wednesday night’s 4-0 decision over St. Louis, the team with the best record in the NHL. Continue Reading