Sparks is first Canton runner to win Large Division title at Stratton Brook

Senior Max Sparks became the first Canton runner to win a Stratton Brook Invitational title. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

SIMSBURY, Sept. 16 – The Canton High cross country program gets plenty of practice running the 5,000 meters at Stratton Brook Park in Simsbury. It has been the home course for the Warriors for years and it is the home of the Stratton Brook Invitational.

Senior Max Sparks, who worked hard over the summer to prepare for his final scholastic campaign, became the first Canton runner to win the Stratton Brook Invitational Saturday with his victory in the boys race.

Sparks won the Large Division race with a school record time (at Stratton Brook) of 16:33, nine seconds ahead of Staples’ William Landowne who took second in 16:42. Sparks cut 18 seconds off his time from last year when he was second in the Large Division.Continue Reading

Looking to extend win streak, Canton beats Farmington for first time since 2006

Canton’s Abby Charron (23) had a pair of goals in last week’s 3-2 win over Farmington — the first win over the Indians since 2006. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

CANTON – The Canton High field hockey team is undefeated through three games including their first win over Farmington in 11 years. Now, the Warriors try to continue their winning ways this week with a pair of road games at Stafford on Tuesday afternoon and at Haddam-Killingworth on Wednesday.

Canton (2-0-1, 0-0-1 NCCC) beat Northwestern, 2-0 in their season opener on Sept. 11 and the next day beat Farmington for the first time since 2006 with a 3-2 victory. The Warriors battled Suffield to a scoreless tie on Sept. 14 to open the NCCC campaign.

Against Suffield, goalie Jessica Szczepanski made 6 saves in goal to earn her second shutout of the season. Canton got off eight shots on net against the Wildcats.Continue Reading

Avon residents donate $10,000 to annual booster club fundraising drive

Members of the field hockey program helped collect nearly $800 for this weekend’s annual Avon Booster Club fundraising drive.

AVON, Sept. 17 – Generosity of Avon residents helped the Avon High Booster Club raise $10,000 this weekend during the annual ticket drive this weekend.

More than 140 student athletes representing each of the athletic teams at the high school were escorted around town by 30 parents/drivers. The students knocked on doors to solicit donations for the booster club.

Donations to the Avon Booster Club will help fund equipment, programs and scholarships for Avon High student athletes. Residents also got the opportunity to purchase season tickets to Avon athletic contests throughout the year.Continue Reading

Avon girls capture Connecticut River Invitational for third straight year

The Avon High girls cross country smiles after taking second in Varsity II at the Haddad Windham Invitational earlier this month. (Photo courtesy Bill Stokesbury)

CROMWELL, Sept. 16 – The Avon High girls cross country team is off to a good start in 2017. The Falcons, who finished second in Class MM a year ago and won their second straight CCC Central White division title, have a pair of top two invitational finishes after two weeks.

Avon finished second in girls varsity II at the Haddad Windham Invitational on Sept. 9, in Windham, led by senior Sara Leavens, who finished third in a time of 19:43. E.O. Smith beat the Falcons in the race 80-92.

On Saturday, Avon won the Connecticut River Invitational in Cromwell for the third straight year with a dominating performance. Avon placed five runners in the top 10 to overwhelm second place Mercy High, 28-111. A year ago, Avon beat Mercy by just four points.Continue Reading

Tolland’s Carlson has 4 TDs as Eagles hand Avon first loss of the season

Freshman Quandrell Stewart (81) is surrounded by Tolland’s Collin Cook (33) and Brady Gordon in Saturday’s CCC game in Avon.

AVON, Sept. 16 – A week ago, the Avon High football team opened the season with a 34-point shutout victory over East Catholic – beating the private Catholic school for the first time in over 20 years.

But head coach Sal Cintorino said the warning signs late in the week during practice. He could see that the sharpness, intensity and focus wasn’t quite there.

Tolland’s Ryan Carlson made the Falcons pay. Carlson, a 5-foot-7 sophomore quarterback scored four touchdowns and ran for 164 yards on 18 carries to lead the undefeated Eagles (2-0) to a 34-6 Central Connecticut Conference East Division win over Avon on a sunny and warm Saturday afternoon. Carlson also passed for 73 yards and made 15 tackles on defense.Continue Reading

McKane is part of two record-setting scoring plays in Canton’s loss to Bulldogs

Canton QB Caleb McKane was a part of two-record setting plays Saturday.

CANTON, Sept. 16 –Canton High quarterback Caleb McKane was involved in two school record scoring plays Saturday as the Warriors hosted the Stafford, East Windsor and Somers co-op football team in a Pequot Conference game.

Colton Engel ran for two touchdowns, returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown and threw a 43-yard TD pass to lead Stafford/East Windsor/Somers to a 58-26 Uncas Division victory over Canton, which tied a school record with their 23rd consecutive defeat.

But McKane was involved in two exciting plays. The sophomore QB set a new school with an 88-yard touchdown run with 5:32 left in the second quarter, breaking the previous record of 85 yards set by Joe Cungo against Berlin in 1940. It was the oldest record scoring play in the Canton High football record book.Continue Reading

Granby rolls past Raiders for first victory

football graphicGRANBY, Sept. 15 – Quarterback Jackson Rome ran for one touchdown and threw a pair of touchdown passes as the Granby High football team earned their first win of the season Friday night with a 43-6 win over Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby in a Pequot Uncas Division game.

Rome completed 6-of-12 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a team-high 53 yards and scored on a six-yard touchdown run. Logan Disabella (4-15) ran for two touchdowns while Christian Warren caught a 51-yard TD pass from Rome and also scored on an 11-yard touchdown run.Continue Reading

Gavin Carter runs for 130 yards and touchdown in season-opening loss

Canton’s Dugan Lloyd (7) fires a pass in Saturday’s Pequot Conference contest game in Durham. The Blue Devils beat Canton, 36-20.

DURHAM, Sept. 9 – Sophomore running back Gavin Carter ran for a team-high 130 yards and a 55-yard touchdown but it wasn’t enough as the Coginchaug/Hale Ray co-op team won their first game as a co-op program Saturday with a 36-20 win over Canton.

Caleb McKane ran for 85 yards and an 18-yard touchdown on seven carries and completed 5-of-7 passes for 61 yards off the bench for the Warriors (0-1). Starting QB Dugan Lloyd completed two-of-15 passes for 27 yards.

Carson Humphrey ran for 28 yards and a 7-yard touchdown on five carries. He also scored on a two-point conversion for Canton.Continue Reading

Burgos throws 2 TD passes as Avon blanks East Catholic to capture opener

AVON, Sept. 9 – Senior QB Dylan Burgos completed three passes Saturday in the season opener against East Catholic but two were for touchdown passes as the Avon High football team beat the Eagles for the first time since 1995 with a 34-0 victory.

Burgos threw a 62-yard touchdown reception to Ryan Ollestad and a touchdown pass to Dan Quick. Burgos completed 3-of-5 passes for 110 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

“The kids did a great job,” Avon High coach Sal Cintorino said. “They played hard. The offensive line was excellent along with the defensive line.”Continue Reading

Roundup: Nieves runs for 4 TDs as Simsbury tops Hall in season opener

football graphicWEST HARTFORD, Sept. 8 – Rafael Nieves ran for four touchdowns to lead the Simsbury High football team to a dominating 42-7 win over Hall Friday night in CCC Division I action. After scoring a touchdown in the first quarter, Nieves had touchdown runs of 97, 12 and 55 yards. Tate Valerio also caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from QB Jackson Masters.Continue Reading

Avon to play in CCC West’s Patriot Division in most sports

With the departure of Rockville and Weaver in June, the Central Connecticut Conference stands at 31 teams and they have realigned their divisions.

There will be four leagues – CCC North, CCC West, CCC South and CCC East. In each league, there are two divisions and there will be eight division champions crowned in each sport.

Avon is the CCC West and will play in the Patriot Division with Simsbury, Glastonbury and Farmington. The Falcons will play each team in the Patriot Division twice (six games) and each team in the CCC West Colonial Division – Conard, Hall, Northwest Catholic and Southington — once (four games).Continue Reading

High school football season begins Friday with four of six Valley teams on road

Avon QB Dylan Burgos and the Falcons open the 2017 campaign on Saturday when they host East Catholic at the high school at 1 p.m.

The high school football season kicks on Friday here in the Farmington Valley with Simsbury, Farmington and Granby playing under the lights — all on the road. Simsbury will be at Hall in West Hartford with Farmington seeking its first-ever win against Platt High in Meriden. Granby visits North Branford for the first time.

On Saturday, Avon and Lewis Mills each host their season openers at 1 p.m. Avon will be looking for its first win over East Catholic since 1995 and Lewis Mills will face off with Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton/Lyman Memorial. Canton will travel to Durham looking to snap a 21-game losing streak in their first-ever meeting with the newly-formed Coginchaug/Hale Ray co-op team.Continue Reading

With nine starters returning on both sides of the ball, Granby is optimistic

Receiver Keon Lawrence is one of nine starters returning for Granby on offense this fall.

GRANBY, Sept. 7 – After a magical 2015 campaign when the Granby High football team went undefeated (10-0) in the regular season, won the Pequot Conference championship and went to the CIAC Class M playoffs for the first time, the Bears got back to the basics of building a program in 2016.

With a young roster, the Bears started six freshmen last fall and just two players that had played varsity football. Not surprisingly, the Bears (2-8) struggled to win games but they did earn victories over Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby co-op team and Canton on Thanksgiving morning, 43-20.

Hopes are higher this fall for second-year coach Erik Shortell. The Bears are returning nine starters on both sides of the ball – offense and defense.

“We are very fast and physical at the skill positions with lots of depth,” Shortell said. “We have a high-powered offense and a very fast and physical defense. If we stay healthy, we can stick with the best of teams.”Continue Reading

Early schedule is challenging but Farmington is looking for a good year

Farmington High football coach Chris Machol is beginning his ninth season at the helm of the Indians this season.

FARMINGTON, Sept. 7 – It looks to be an interesting season to watch the Farmington High football team. The Indians have some talented players returning but they will also have some youngsters in key spots on the offensive and defensive lines.

The question will be how soon can the team coming together as a unit and minimize mistakes. The team isn’t huge and with 62 players in the program, long-time head coach Chris Machol (9th year, 44-38) expects five to seven sophomores to see significant playing time.

Farmington lost 23 seniors, including five of seven starters on the offensive line, from a team that finished 3-7 a year ago.

But starting quarterback Zac Conrad returns along with a solid group of running backs led by Jack Beisel (25 rushes, 104 yards, 2 TDs), Luke Popolizio, Aidan Sposato, Angel Velez and Max Bratholomay. Continue Reading

Avon spikers looking strong with experienced team returning

Avon’s Sofia Berrio blocks Jonathan Law’s Shawna Winters (20) in a Class L tournament game last October in Avon. Audrey Worth (7) helps out on the block.

AVON, Sept, 6 — The Avon High girls volleyball team has done well in their first two seasons in the Central Connecticut Conference. Twice, they finished second to Farmington in the CCC Central White Division. A year ago, the Indians went to the Class L championship before losing for the first time all year to CCC rival RHAM.

They’ve won 17 matches the last two seasons and advanced to the Class L tournament quarterfinals both years.

This year, the Falcons are hoping a little bit more with a senior-dominated and experienced squad.

“We return a strong core of players,” long-time Avon coach Curt Burns said. “We have a dedicated group of players that have worked hard in the off season by participating in USA Volleyball club tournaments throughout the Northeast and at the national level as well.”Continue Reading