Multi-purpose facility at Canton is formally dedicated

Students, town and school officials officially dedicated the multi-purpose field and facility Friday morning in Canton. (Photo courtesy John Fitts, Canton Compass.com)

Students, town and school officials officially dedicated the multi-purpose field and facility Friday morning in Canton. (Photo courtesy John Fitts, Canton Compass.com)

CANTON, Oct. 24 — They’ve been playing games on Canton’s new synthetic turf field for nearly a year now. However on Friday morning, town and education officials joined hundreds of students, staff members and members of the Canton community to formally dedicate the track and the multi-use field at Canton High. It’s part of the celebration of Spirit Week and Alumni Weekend at the high school.

The $3.6 million project, that included reconstruction of the high school parking lot and roads in and out of the high school, was approved by town voters in November 2012. The parking lot was completed in time for the opening of school in September 2013. The turf field and track was completed in late October 2013.

Learn more about Friday’s dedication, including several photos, from John Fitts and the Canton Compass.

Canton field hockey, girls soccer teams earn wins as Alumni Weekend begins

C logo, Canterbury C for CantonCANTON – Alumni Weekend activities got off to a great start Thursday night at Canton High. Grace Giancola scored the game winner to lift the Canton field hockey team to a 1-0 win over Enfield under the lights on the turf field. It’s the third win in the last four games for the Warriors (6-7). 

The 12th annual Wall of Fame induction ceremony will be Friday night beginning at 5:30 p.m., with five Canton High graduates being recognized for their contributions to the community. 

The Canton High football team (5-1) host Enfield (1-5) at 7 p.m. under the lights on the turf field. The Warrior girls volleyball team will host Avon beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the gym. And on Saturday night, the annual night soccer doubleheader will be held on the turf field with the girls soccer team facing Sport Medicine Science Academy at 5 p.m. and the boys soccer team hosting SMSA at 7 p.m. 

Alumni games for field hockey and soccer will be held Saturday morning on the grass field hockey field and at Bowdoin Field, respectively, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Continue Reading

Late goal doesn’t rattle Avon in OT win over Granby to close in on NCCC title

Avon's Rachel Moore (23), Rebecca Bonini (4) and Abbey Hagan (2) celebrate Avon's OT win over Granby with goalie Natalie Sawicki

Avon’s Rachel Moore (23), Rebecca Bonini (4) and Abbey Hagan (2) celebrate Avon’s OT win over Granby with goalie Natalie Sawicki

GRANBY, Oct. 23 – They gave up a goal in the first six minutes of the game. And the Avon High field hockey team gave up a goal after time expired. But the Falcons didn’t wilt. 

Avon took a big step toward winning a share of its fourth straight NCCC championship Thursday night with a 3-2 overtime decision over Granby. Avon’s Rachel Moore scored two goals, including the game-winner just 1:30 into overtime. 

No. 6 Avon (11-1-1, 10-1 NCCC) can clinch a share of the league title with a win over winless Somers (0-13) on Tuesday at home at 4:15 p.m. No. 9 Granby (11-2, 10-1 NCCC) can clinch a share with a win over Canton (6-7) on Monday on the old grass field at CHS. 

Avon was on the verge of winning the game in regulation. Avon took a one goal lead on Shelly George’s team-leading 13th goal of the season with just 2:44 gone in the second half. The Falcons controlled large portions of the second half but Granby continued to battle. Continue Reading

Canton, Avon to race at CIAC cross country finals Saturday

The Avon High girls cross country team won three matches Monday to improve to 11-1.

Avon will be racing in the Class MM girls championship meet Saturday at Wickham Park in Manchester

MANCHESTER – The CIAC cross country championships will be held this weekend at Wickham Park in Manchester and the Canton High boys cross country team is hoping to come home with some hardware. 

The Warriors (13-1) will be competing Saturday’s Class SS championship race at 3:45 p.m. A senior-dominated Haddam Killingworth, which won the Shoreline Conference championship last week, will be the favorite. But Canton is hoping to be in contention for a title or a runnerup trophy. 

The Canton girls will be competing in the Class S championship race at 2:05 p.m. The Avon High girls will run in the Class MM race at 10:20 a.m. while the Avon boys will be competing in the Class M race at 10:55 a.m. Continue Reading

CCC realigns with addition of Avon next fall

CP canterbury a, graphicThe move of Avon High to the Central Connecticut Conference is still more than 10 months away but the CCC has announced a realignment of its teams to accommodate the addition of the Falcons. Avon will become the 33rd member of the largest scholastic league in the state in September 2015.

In 14 sports, the CCC will divide itself into three regions of 11 schools each – the North, South and Central regions. In most sports, there will be two divisions within each region – a White Division of six schools and a Blue Division of five schools. Every school will play each team in its region (10 games) at least once and that will go toward determining a divisional champion.

The regional alignment will be used for boys soccer, girls soccer, boys and girls cross country, girls volleyball, boys basketball, girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls outdoor track, boys and girls tennis and boys golf.Continue Reading

Hamel wins NCCC cross country title as Avon girls and Canton boys finish 2nd

Molly Hamel became the sixth and final Avon High girl to win a NCCC cross country title.

Molly Hamel became the sixth and final Avon High girl to win a NCCC cross country title.

WINDSOR LOCKS, Oct. 18 – The reign of the Avon High girls cross country may have come to an end in the North Central Connecticut Conference. But the Falcons made Suffield High work for it.

Suffield placed five runners in the top nine to beat Avon, 28-47 and clinch its first NCCC cross country championship since 2009 Saturday at Windsor Locks.

On the boys side, Canton continued to grow as a team but it wasn’t enough to slow down Ellington which clinched its third straight NCCC championship with a 37-46 victory over Canton.

Avon High senior Molly Hamel has had a wonderful fall campaign. She has won four dual meets and a pair of invitational races at the Windham Invitational and the Winding Trails Invitational in Farmington. She added her first NCCC championship, beating Suffield’s Monique Labarre by 24 seconds with her time of 19:33. “I’m glad for Molly. She ran a great race,” Avon coach Al Dadario said.

Hamel becomes the third consecutive Avon girl to run to the league championship. Maddi McHugh won last year and Rachael Rosow won in 2012.Continue Reading

Morgan breaks through to hand Canton its first loss of season

Canton's Sebby Gumbs (8) had an 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown Saturday against Morgan -- the second longest in school history.

Canton’s Sebby Gumbs (8) had an 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown Saturday against Morgan — the second longest in school history.

CANTON, Oct. 18 – Even without Morgan’s All-State running back Jake Ward on the field, the Canton High football team couldn’t contain the Morgan High running attack. The visiting Huskies ran for over 350 yards and five touchdowns in a 31-7 win, handing Canton its first loss of the season.

Ward, who set a new school record for career rushing yards earlier this season (over 4,700) has been injured and has missed the last two games, including Saturday’s game with Canton. Still, Ward’s teammate Gabe Eriksen scored five touchdowns and ran for 349 yards behind a large, veteran offensive line. Morgan QB Chucky Kostek completed 15-of-21 passes for 166 yards. Continue Reading

Thunderbirds rock the Falcons, 47-7

Avon's Andrew Blackmore (24) scored on a 72-yard run in Friday night's loss to North Branford.

Avon’s Andrew Blackmore (24) scored on a 72-yard run in Friday night’s loss to North Branford.

NORTH BRANFORD, Oct. 17 – The North Branford High football team ran for over 233 yards and three touchdowns while two Thunderbird quarterbacks combined to throw three TD passes in a 47-7 win over Avon on Friday night. 

The Thunderbirds (5-1) had a 34-0 lead before the Falcons (4-2) could get on the scoreboard with a 72-yard run by Andrew Blackmore.

North Branford’s defense was solid. They had a season-high 98 tackles including six for a loss. The Thunderbirds forced two Avon turnovers (one fumble, one interception).

Continue Reading

Canton, Avon face big Sassacus Division tests this weekend

football graphicThe Avon and Canton High football teams both play inter-divisional games this weekend that won’t have an effect on the race for the Pequot Uncas Division championship. But this weekend’s games against two of the stronger Sassacus Division squads will shine a light on how far Canton and Avon may go this season. 

Undefeated Canton (5-0), off to its best start since 1952, hosts Morgan (4-1) Saturday afternoon at the high school. Avon (4-1), which has won four straight since an opening day loss to Ellington/Somers, challenges North Branford (4-1). Continue Reading

Avon girls, Canton boys looking for a share of a NCCC cross country title

Action from last year's NCCC championship race in Windsor Locks. The league championship meet is scheduled for Saturday.

Action from last year’s NCCC championship race in Windsor Locks. The league championship meet is scheduled for Saturday.

WINDSOR LOCKS, Oct. 16 – In its final appearance in NCCC competition on Saturday morning, the Avon High girls cross country team will try and bring home a league championship. The Canton High boys cross country team will try to pull off an upset and gain a share of a NCCC title. 

Both teams will be at the NCCC cross country championship meet beginning Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Windsor Locks High School. 

Avon will be moving to the Central Connecticut Conference next fall. The girls cross country team would like to add a fourth straight NCCC championship before they leave the conference. Avon, which was 13-1 in the league, would have to beat Suffield (14-0) to earn at least a share of the championship. Continue Reading

Roundup: Canton’s record-tying win streak halted at 7; Avon boys still unbeaten

Soccer graphic CPWINDSOR LOCKS, Oct. 14 – The record will remain at seven. Windsor Locks outlasted the Canton High boys soccer team on Tuesday, 3-2, to snap Canton’s record-tying win streak at seven straight games. The Warriors (8-3, 6-3 NCCC) had won seven games in a row since losing to Avon on September 16. 

Canton previously won seven in a row in 1973 when they won the final seven games of the season to win their first Class S championship. They also won seven straight in 1975 and 1983. Continue Reading

Basketball shooting specialist to host youth clinic in Canton

CP basketball graphicCANTON — Renowned NBA shooting specialist, Dave Hopla, will hold a special basketball clinic for boys and girls, grades 3-12, on Nov. 22 and 23, at Valley Sports Center in Canton.  This advanced two-day program is designed to help basketball players improve their mid-range, three-point shooting and free throws. Continue Reading

Avon girls take 2nd in seeded race at Wickham Invitational

CP canterbury a, graphicMANCHESTER, Oct. 11 – The Avon High cross country program took their annual trial run on the home course of the CIAC state championship meets Saturday – Wickham Park. Led by senior Molly Hamel, the Avon girls finished second in the seeded race behind Londonderry, N.H.

Londonderry had four runners in the top 25 while Avon had two. Christina Martin also earned a top 20 finish by taking 14th.  The Avon girls took second in the seeded race for the third straight year.

The Avon boys took fifth in the seeded race led by Collin Pritchard, who finished 14th. Continue Reading

Undefeated Canton forces six turnovers, runs over Windsor Locks

Brock Steinfeldt (44), Dan Delos (34), Cam Daley (3) and Caiden Permenter (59) gang up on Windsor Locks' Khamri Thomas in Saturday's 37-13 Pequot Uncas victory.

Brock Steinfeldt (44), Dan Delos (34), Cam Daley (3) and Caiden Permenter (59) gang up on Windsor Locks’ Khamri Thomas in Saturday’s 37-13 Pequot Uncas victory.

WINDSOR LOCKS, Oct. 11 – The Canton High football team gave up a 77-yard touchdown run to Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby on the second play of the game. The Warriors didn’t allow much more than that. 

Undefeated Canton won its fifth straight game Saturday afternoon as Dan Delos ran for four touchdowns and a career-high 209 yards in a 37-13 win over the host Raiders. The Warriors forced six Windsor Locks turnovers as Cam Daley intercepted two passes and Canton recovered three fumbles. After the Raiders took a six-point lead in the second quarter, Canton outscored the Raiders, 30-0 and forced five turnovers. 

“Hats off to (Canton) coach (Paul Philippon). They played great,” Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby coach Jason Qua said. “They’re big up front. They have the biggest front line in the Pequot. They owned the line of scrimmage and that is how you win football games.” 

Canton (5-0) leads the Pequot Uncas Division with Avon, Ellington/Somers and Gilbert/Northwestern in second place with 4-1 records. It’s Canton’s best start since winning its first five contests in 1952. Continue Reading

Avon soccer teams battle to thrilling overtime ties with Suffield

Suffield's James Busch feels the pressure from Avon's Ian Jalbert in Friday's non-league game at Fisher Meadow in Avon.

Suffield’s James Busch feels the pressure from Avon’s Ian Jalbert (34) in Friday’s non-league game at Fisher Meadow in Avon.

Avon's Amanda Holtzman (2) and Suffield's Nicole Stryjek battle for control in Friday's NCCC contest in Avon.

Avon’s Amanda Holtzman (2) and Suffield’s Nicole Stryjek battle for control in Friday’s NCCC contest in Avon.

AVON, Oct. 10 – Because I have a camera and I am a reporter, I had one of the best seats in the house Friday afternoon at Fisher Meadows. OK, it wasn’t actually a seat. I was standing.

I was standing on the thin greystone path between the two main fields. To my left, the Avon High girls soccer team was squaring off with rival Suffield in a battle of two undefeated teams. To my right, the Avon High boys soccer team was also playing Suffield, which carried a state record 43-game winning streak into the contest.

Four of the best soccer teams in the NCCC and I was right in the middle of it – going from game-to-game like watching a tennis match.

They were both thrilling games. In the girls game, Suffield scored on a penalty kick with 10 seconds left in the first half to take a one-goal lead at intermission but Avon tied the game with 8:11 remaining when Meghan McKenna tapped a loose ball over the goal line as the Falcons battled to a 2-2 overtime tie.

In the boys game, Avon ended Suffield’s record-tying win streak with a 1-1 overtime tie. Avon took a one goal lead with 23:58 gone in the first half on a goal from Max Gorack. But the three-time defending Class M champions responded immediately, scoring 30 seconds later to tie the game.Continue Reading