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

Serruta finishes 11th at Connecticut Women’s Amateur tournament

Golf ballNEWINGTON, Aug. 13 – Avon’s Autumn Serruta finished 11th at the 50th annual Connecticut Women’s Amateur golf championship at Indian Hill Country Club. Serrutta, who played golf at Avon High and Mount St. Mary’s in college, had a three-day total of 244.

Catherine McEvoy, 17, of Greenwich fired a 73 on the third and final day of competition to beat Jen Holland of Branford by one stroke to win the tournament with a three-day total of 227. McEvoy will be a senior at Greenwich High in the fall.

Avon’s Marissa Grillo and Canton’s Nikki Liucci also participated in the tournament.Continue Reading

Comstock moved by support back home for his attempt to cross English Channel

East Granby's Doug Comstock swimming in the English Channel earlier this week. (Photo courtesy Liberty Forrest)

East Granby’s Doug Comstock swimming in the English Channel earlier this week. (Photo courtesy Liberty Forrest)

DOVER, England, Aug. 12 – East Granby swimmer Doug Comstock wasn’t able to complete his quest to swim across the English Channel on Tuesday but he was deeply moved with the support he has received from friends across the state and the world.

Comstock, 60, was attempting to become one of the oldest swimmers to complete the 21½ mile swim from Dover, England to Cape Griz Nez in France. Beginning around 8 a.m., he swam 19 miles before getting out of the water around 9:15 p.m.

While the water temperature was about 62 degrees, the wind was around 11 knots (13 to 14 mph) in the evening. “I knew it was getting colder when I looked at my crew on the boat deck and they were all wearing winter clothing and (they were) still cold,” Comstock said in a Facebook post to his many friends and supporters.

Comstock, who graduated from Canton High in 1973, trained for nearly three years for this swim. His preparation included swimming through jelly fish in Long Island Sound and training in cold water at West Hill Lake in New Hartford and in Long Island Sound to prepare his body for the cold water found in the English Channel. Earlier this spring, he would emersed himself in a trash can of ice water in preparation for the swim.Continue Reading

Given another chance, Crushers end season with 3-2 win over East Mountain

Canton's Muneeb Alam celebrates with pitcher Jimmy Spirito during Thursday night's season finale at Bowdoin Field. Canton prevailed, 3-2.

Canton’s Muneeb Alam celebrates with pitcher Jimmy Spirito during Thursday night’s season finale at Bowdoin Field. Canton prevailed, 3-2.

CANTON, Aug. 13 – You can see the signs of autumn approaching.

Most baseball teams have packed away the bats, gloves and baseballs. Sidelines and other key lines have been painted on Bowdoin Field for the approaching high school soccer season and the weeds are growing tall in the Bowdoin Field batting cage.

Still, the baseball diamond looked sharp. The lawn was cut and the baselines looked crisp and clean, free of weeds. There was still baseball to be played as the Canton Crushers hosted Waterbury’s East Mountain Cougars in a long-delayed Tri-State League contest.

The regular season ended about three weeks ago and the Tri-State playoffs have about one week remaining. But the two teams wanted another opportunity to do what they love – play baseball. Canton’s veteran pitcher Jim Spirito struck out 11 and pitched a complete game to lead the Crushers to a satisfying 3-2 victory over the Cougars.Continue Reading

Comstock swims 19 miles before bid to swim across English Channel ends

East Granby's Doug Comstock, a Canton High graduate, is in the water today trying to swim across the English Channel.

East Granby’s Doug Comstock, a Canton High graduate, swam 19 miles Tuesday in his bid to swim across the English Channel. (Photo courtesy Liberty Forrest)

DOVER, England, August 11 — Doug Comstock’s bid to swim across the English Channel ended early Tuesday night off the coast of France. Doug, an East Granby resident and a 1973 graduate of Canton High, came out of the water with 2½ miles remaining. The coast of France was in sight but it would have required another three-to-four hours of swimming in the 62-degree water.

Comstock, 60, began swimming at around 8 a.m., and swam 19 miles before getting out of the water at around 9:15 p.m. The challenge was that the wind was increasing and the wind chill was a concern for Comstock – even in the water since his shoulders are exposed to the elements.

Swimmers cannot wear any wetsuits and are allowed to wear only a swimsuit, goggle and swim cap. The wind was gusting around 11 knots (13-14 mph) when Comstock came out of the water. Six other swimmers trying to cross the channel today came out of the water before Comstock did.Continue Reading

Kennedy wins bronze medal in 100 freestyle at U.S. national championships

Madison Kennedy won a bronze medal at the U.S. national championships in the 100 freestyle. (Photo courtesy U.S. Swimming)

Madison Kennedy won a bronze medal at the U.S. national championships in the 100 freestyle. (Photo courtesy U.S. Swimming)

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Aug. 10 – Avon swimmer Madison Kennedy is going home with two U.S. national championship medals. Kennedy won her first individual U.S. title on Saturday, taking gold in the 50-meter freestyle. On Monday night, Kennedy won her first U.S. national medal in the 100 freestyle, taking third with a time of 55.02 seconds.

Kennedy, 27, had the lead at the midway point with the fastest 50 meter time among the eight finalists at 26.25 seconds, slightly ahead of the American record holder in this event Amanda Weir (26.41) and Olympic medalist Allison Schmidt (26.65).

But in the second 50 meters, Weir was able to inch ahead to pick up a solid victory with a time of 54.24 seconds. Schmidt was second in 54.34 with Kennedy taking third – her best-ever finish in the event at the U.S. national championships.Continue Reading

Avon’s Madison Kennedy captures U.S. national title in 50 freestyle

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 Saturday in San Antonio. (Photo courtesy U.S. Swimming)

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Aug. 8 – It’s been quite a year for Avon swimmer Madison Kennedy. In December, she swam with the U.S. team at the FINA world championships (25 meters) in Qatar and won a world championship on the American 4×50 mixed freestyle relay in world record time.

In July, she represented the United States for the second time at the Pan American Games in Toronto, winning a silver medal in the 4×100 freestyle relay.

On Saturday, Kennedy won her first individual national title. Kennedy pulled away in the final 10 meters to capture the 50 meter freestyle at the Phillips 66 national championships with a career-best time of 24.71 seconds.

It’s the third fastest time of the year by an American swimmer in the 50 freestyle.Continue Reading

Sun’s Bentley snaps scoring drought with 31-point windfall against Mystics

Connecticut's Alex Bentley had a career-high 31 points against Washington Friday night. The two teams play again Sunday.

Connecticut’s Alex Bentley had a career-high 31 points against Washington Friday night. The two teams play again Sunday.

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Through the first 15 games of the season, the Connecticut Sun’s second-year guard Alex Bentley was averaging 16.8 points a game. She helped the Sun get off to a surprising 7-1 start and earned an invitation to play in the WNBA All-Star Game.

But she hit a rough patch following the All-Star break. She scored three points in a loss to Indiana, two in a loss to Seattle and four in another loss to the Fever.

But with the help of teammates, Bentley is back on track. The 5-foot-7 guard had 10 points in a win over San Antonio and exploded for a career-high 31 Friday night in a key 86-72 victory over the Washington Mystics at the Mohegan Sun. The Sun face the Mystics Sunday in the second game of a weekend, home-and-away series.

“It was a huge slump. You can call it that now,” a relieved Bentley said Friday night. “Teams were changing up how they were defending me.”

Bentley is just the ninth player in the Sun’s history to score more than 30 points in a game. It ranks as the seventh best single game scoring performance in Connecticut history. The last Sun player with 31 points in a game was Tina Charles in 2011 against Chicago.Continue Reading