Canton’s Quattro finishes season with Bourne in Cape Cod Baseball League

Canton's Nick Quattro, shown here on the mound this spring with Endicott, finished the summer with Bourne in the Cape Cod League. (Photo courtesy Endicott)

Canton’s Nick Quattro, shown here on the mound this spring with Endicott College, finished the summer with Bourne in the Cape Cod League. (Photo courtesy Endicott College)

If this was Major League Baseball, it would be considered a cup of coffee – a tasty, tantalizing treat of playing baseball with the best baseball players in the world.

Canton’s Nick Quattro got his cup of coffee in the Cape Cod Baseball League this summer – considered to be the top collegiate baseball leagues in the country. Quattro, who finished his junior year at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass., signed with the Bourne Braves at the end of July.

Quattro, who had an outstanding spring season with Endicott, pitched in three regular season games for the Braves and made one playoff appearance. All three appearances were out of the bullpen for the Braves, who advanced to the Cape Cod Baseball League semifinals.

“Playing on the Cape in the summer is a dream for every young ballplayer that grows up in New England,” Endicott baseball coach Bryan Haley said. “For Nick to make this dream a reality is a special moment in his life.”Continue Reading

Villanova grid coach Talley got his start in Simsbury

Villanova head coach Andy Talley (Photo courtesy Villanova University)

Villanova head coach Andy Talley (Photo courtesy Villanova University)

Villanova head coach Andy Talley, 72, got his first football coaching job in Simsbury when he spent two years on the Simsbury High staff as an assistant to Roland Morrison in 1967 and 1968. The Trojans were 7-1 in 1967 and 8-1 in 1968, winning a Northwest Conference championship.

Talley has spent the last 30 years as the head coach at Villanova and a FCS national championship in 2009. The Wildcats have earned 11 consecutive playoff berths. Hartford Courant writer Desmond Conner talked with the long-time coach before Thursday night’s season opening game against Connecticut at Rentschler Field.

Benedetti recognized again for her athletic, academic achievements in college

In her final collegiate game, Canton's Sarah Benedetti had a team-high 13 points for St. Francis-Brooklyn against No. 1 UConn at Gampel Pavilion.

In her final collegiate game, Canton’s Sarah Benedetti had a team-high 13 points for St. Francis-Brooklyn against No. 1 UConn at Gampel Pavilion.

DANBURY – The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) has announced the six students who have been awarded Scholar Athlete of the Year awards. One male and female athlete in Division I, II and III are recognized based on extraordinary achievements in academics, athletics and community service.

Canton’s Sarah Benedetti, who graduated from St. Francis College in Brooklyn in June, was selected as one of the two Division I Scholar Athletes and will be honored in September in Danbury.

Benedetti graduated with a 3.96 GPA and majored in political science. She was a Dean’s List student each semester at St. Francis and was inducted into the prestigious St. Francis’ Duns Scotus Honor Society in 2014. In May, she was named the Northeast Conference’s Scholar Athlete of the Year in women’s basketball.Continue Reading

Avon’s Kennedy remains on the U.S. national team in swimming

Avon's Madison Kennedy won her first individual national title in the 50 freestyle Saturday in San Antonio.

Avon’s Madison Kennedy won her first individual national title in the 50 freestyle in San Antonio earlier in August.

Avon’s Madison Kennedy remains part of the U.S. Swimming national team. U.S. Swimming named 107 swimmers to the U.S. national team on Tuesday. The top six athletes with the highest world rankings in each Olympic event in results in the first eight months of this year were named to the team.

Kennedy was named to the team in the 50-meter freestyle for the second consecutive year.

In August, she won her first U.S. individual national title in the 50 free at the U.S. national championship meet in San Antonio with a career-best time of 24.71 seconds. She also represented the U.S. at the recent Pan-American Games in Toronto in July where she finished fifth and as the second American in the final behind teammate Natalie Coughlin.

“The U.S. swimming national team represents the highest level of swimming in the United States,” said Frank Busch, USA Swimming national team director. “Heading into an Olympic year (2016), this group of dedicated athletes will positively represent our country and aim to build on the national team’s tradition of success in and out of the pool.”Continue Reading

2015 edition of Connecticut High School Football Record Book is released

The  16th edition of the Connecticut High School Record Book is now available.

The 16th edition of the Connecticut High School Record Book is now available.

The Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance is pleased to release the 2015 Connecticut high school football record book. 

This is the 16th edition of the record book, a compilation of records and historical information from newspapers, team statisticians, coach’s records and individual research. Some of the new information in this year’s record book includes:

  • An update of year-end state coaches and sportswriters polls with voting for each season.
  • History of some state co-op football programs.

Several athletes earned new state records in 2014.

Southington’s Alex Jamele caught 18 passes last fall and set a new career record for most TD receptions with 50. Newtown’s Julian Dunn caught 14 TD passes last year and finished his career with 49 TD receptions.Continue Reading

It takes 15 innings but Rock Cats leave New Britain Stadium with a win

Kids cheer on the Rock Cats in their final game ever in New Britain Sunday. The Cats prevailed in 15 innings, 7-5.

Kids cheer on the Rock Cats in their final game ever in New Britain Sunday. The Cats prevailed in 15 innings, 7-5.

NEW BRITAIN, Aug. 30 – By the end of Sunday’s game, the Third Base Shop at New Britain Stadium had been stripped bare by Rock Cat fans looking for one last souvenir to remember their team. It was pretty much the same in the Portland Seadog bullpen.

After using four pitchers, the Seadogs put third baseman Oscar Tejeda on the mound. They got away with it in the 14th inning when he loaded the bases on a hit and two hit batters. But Tejeda struck out New Britain’s Pat Valaika to end the threat.

The Rock Cats made Portland pay in the 15th inning. New Britain’s Jordan Patterson etched his place in Rock Cat history. He belted a one-out pitch from Tejeda over the right field fence to send home the Rock Cats faithful with smiles on their faces with a 7-5 decision to close out an emotional weekend at New Britain Stadium. His two-run blast was his seventh home run of the year.

More than 6,500 fans filled New Britain Stadium as the Rock Cats played their final home after 19 seasons in the ballpark and 33 years in the Hardware City. The Cats will be moving to Hartford next spring and will take the field as the Yard Goats.Continue Reading

Rock Cats tenure at New Britain Stadium coming to an end

Fans celebrate at New Britain Stadium when the Rock Cats beat Portland, 2-1 on Saturday night -- the final Rock Cats night game in New Britain.

Fans celebrate at New Britain Stadium when the Rock Cats beat Portland, 2-1 on Saturday night — the final Rock Cats night game in New Britain.

NEW BRITAIN, Aug. 30 – The tale of the New Britain Rock Cats began on a cold April night in 1996 and it ends on a warm, sunny August afternoon 19 years later.

The team arrived in the city in 1983 and played for years at Beehive Field. In 1994, it looked like New Britain could lose its team. Owner Joe Buzas struggled with the decision to keep the team in the city or move it to Springfield.

In the end, Buzas went with his heart and kept the team in New Britain. One of the reasons was if they left, another team wouldn’t be coming back. In response, the state paid $10.5 million to build a new stadium for the team which was renamed the Rock Cats.

The Rock Cats played their first game at New Britain Stadium – a facility soon to be nicknamed as The Emerald by long-time Rock Cats beat writer Ken Lipshez of the New Britain Herald – in 1996. Buzas sold the team in 2000 to an ownership group headed by Coleman Levy and William Dowling, sparking a golden era in Rock Cats baseball.Continue Reading

A spirited welcome for Avon High freshmen

The Avon Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) hosted a new student orientation program for Avon High freshmen earlier this week. It was called GO Avon (as in get oriented, Avon). Ninety-six percent of the 252 freshmen at AHS attended the event, which was planned and hosted by 85 upperclassmen (sophomores, juniors, seniors). This was an expanded effort for freshman orientation at the high school. Take a peek at GO Avon.

Currier hopes to run a more diverse offense in Canton this fall

Canton head coach Chris Currier directs the Warriors during a recent pre-season practice.

Canton head coach Chris Currier directs the Warriors during a recent pre-season practice.

As part of their preseason preparations, CPTV Sports visited Canton, new head coach Chris Currier and the Warriors. Currier is 37 and is thrilled to have enough players to reinstate the junior varsity program. Currier is looking for Canton’s offensive to be a bit more diverse than last year’s run-oriented program.

Click here for the story. CPTV Sports will broadcast Canton’s Pequot Conference game against Coginchaug on a tape-delayed basis on Tuesday, October 27. CPTV Sports High School Football Training Camp special is September 4.

Sun to honor three as Women of Inspiration; Whaley to receive Dydek Award

Suzy Whaley has been named to receive the Margo Dydek award from the Connecticut Sun. (Photo courtesy PGA)

Suzy Whaley has been named to receive the Margo Dydek award from the Connecticut Sun. (Photo courtesy PGA of America)

UNCASVILLE  -The Connecticut Sun will honor three state women as Women of Inspiration at Saturday night’s game between the Sun and the New York Liberty at the Mohegan Sun Arena at 7 p.m.

Long-distance swimmer Marcy MacDonald, speaker, counselor and advocate Sarah Gallardo and professional golfer Suzy Whaley will be recognized in a pregame reception and a halftime ceremony.

“This event is one of the highlights of our summer,” Connecticut Sun vice president and general manager Chris Sienko said. “We are excited to honor three truly amazing women, who engage, challenge and inspire every day. They are wonderful role models.”

Each year, the Sun selects three women who have distinguished themselves while positively impacting their communities. The Connecticut Sun Foundation will donate $500 in the name of each Women of Inspiration recipient to a charity of their choice.

One of these outstanding women will be selected to receive the Margo Dydek award, named in honor of the late WNBA star, and a donation of $1,000 to the charity of their choice.

Whaley has been selected to receive the Margo Dydek award.Continue Reading

Dean Yost outruns them all to capture Canton’s Lobster Loop road race

Dean Yost pulled away in the last mile to win the 24th annual Lobster Loop Road Race in Canton Sunday.

Dean Yost pulled away in the last mile to win the 24th annual Lobster Loop Road Race in Canton Sunday.

CANTON, August 23 – Canton’s Dean Yost and his twin brother James have been teammates for years. They’ve been a part of Canton High teams that won four straight NCCC titles in outdoor track and Canton teams in indoor track and field and cross country that always challenged for league and Class S championships.

Most of the time, James came out ahead. Not every time. And not by much.

Dean beat James at the NCCC cross country meet last fall by two seconds, finishing fourth. It was his first win of the fall over James. A week later, he was 14th in Class SS, three spots ahead of James. The two were on the same Canton 4×800 relay team that won a Class S state championship last spring.

On Sunday, the two brothers continued their summer training at the 24th annual Canton Lobster Loop road race. Both will be attending the University of New Hampshire this fall. They would like to try and participate in the track and field program.

Dean got off to a nice start with the leaders and pulled away in the final mile to become just the third Canton runner to ever win the Lobster Loop race with a 28 second victory over Goshen’s Brandon LeClair. West Hartford’s Jillian Sullivan held off Avon’s Rachel Martin to win her first women’s title in 19:13.

Continue Reading

Smith, Bonino attend pro hockey camp in preparation for upcoming NHL season

Avon's Ben Smith of the San Jose Sharks moves in on a breakaway during a scrimmage Friday at Newington Arena.

Avon’s Ben Smith of the San Jose Sharks moves in on a breakaway during a scrimmage Friday at Newington Arena.

NEWINGTON, Aug. 21 – Hockey camps aren’t just for youngsters.

Five National Hockey League players from Connecticut and several professional and collegiate athletes spent the past week at the Pete Asadourian Pro Hockey Camp at the Newington Arena. The week was capped off with a spirited one-hour scrimmage for the general public on Friday night before an estimated 500 fans.

Avon’s Ben Smith of the San Jose Sharks attended the camp for the first time this year along with Farmington’s Nick Bonino of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who attended for the 11th year.

“Pete puts on a pretty good camp here and it culminates with a pretty good game on Friday night,” Bonino said.

It’s an opportunity to stretch your legs and play in front of family and friends. Other NHL players in attendance included Bolton’s Ron Hainsey of the Carolina Hurricanes, Wethersfield’s Colin McDonald of the Philadelphia Flyers and former Connecticut Whale standout Kris Newbury, who signed a minor league deal with Los Angeles’ top farm club and has played 76 NHL games with the New York Rangers, Toronto, Detroit and Philadelphia. Continue Reading

Turnout is up in Canton with nearly 40 players out for the squad

Canton junior QB Alex Higley hands the ball off to Eddie Melton during preseason workouts at Canton High.

Canton junior QB Alex Higley hands the ball off to Eddie Melton during preseason workouts at Canton High.

CANTON, Aug. 20 – There was a lot of interest surrounding the Canton High football team after one of the greatest seasons ever. Playing with just 27 players on its roster, the Warriors (10-2) won their first league championship since 1958 and qualified for the CIAC playoffs for the first time.

Yet in December, the future was uncertain. Head coach Paul Philippon resigned after three successful years. With the graduation of eight seniors, only 18 underclassmen were left on the roster. Could Canton even field a team in the fall?

Yes.

The Warriors have 39 players out for first-year coach Chris Currier and he hopes to grab a few more when school begins. For the first time since 2012, the Warriors will play junior varsity games when Philippon had 37 players in his first year as head coach. Currier won’t predict wins and losses but he is confident that Canton will be competitive in the Pequot Conference’s Western Division.Continue Reading

Avon football team excited about challenge of playing in CCC

Avon's Andrew Blackmore and QB Ian McDonald work in preseason practice Wednesday at Avon High.

Avon’s Andrew Blackmore (foreground) and QB Ian McDonald work in preseason practice Wednesday at Avon High.

AVON, Aug. 19 – The first game of the 2015 season is a little over three weeks away. But there is a sense of anticipation among the players of the Avon High football team – even on the third day of practice on a warm, August evening.

After spending nine successful seasons in the Pequot Football Conference that included three CIAC playoff appearances and five Uncas Division titles, the Falcons are returning to their roots and Central Connecticut opponents they competed against for years.

Avon (7-4 in 2014) begins play in the Central Connecticut Conference on Friday, Sept. 11 when they travel to Rocky Hill. In football, the CCC is split into three divisions and Avon is the Eastern Division in Division III – a conference where they can be very competitive.Continue Reading

Khang dominates at Golf Club of Avon to win 3rd Connecticut Women’s Open

Meghan Khang of Massachusetts won her third Connecticut Women's Open title Wednesday in Avon.

Meghan Khang of Massachusetts won her third Connecticut Women’s Open title Wednesday in Avon.

AVON, Aug. 19 – She may be a 17-year-old amateur from Massachusetts but Megan Khang played like a professional in carving up the Golf Club of Avon course to win her third Connecticut Women’s Open championship Wednesday. Khang had 16 birdies and an eagle in the two-day event, winning by eight strokes over professional Ashlan Ramsey of Greenville, South Carolina.

Khang won with rounds of 65 and 64 on the par-72 course for a tournament record score of 129 (-15). That shattered by nine shots the previous Connecticut Women’s Open tournament record of 138, previously held by Suzy Whaley (2002) and Natalie Shaeary (2010).

Khang’s day two score of 64 also set a competitive course record at the Golf Club of Avon, which was hosting this Connecticut State Golf Association (CSGA) event for the first time. Ramsey was second with a 138 after rounds of 71 and 67. Bloomfield amateur Nathalie Filler carried the banner for Connecticut by finishing tied for fourth with a two-day total of 142 and a strong second day score of three-under-par 69.Continue Reading