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Roundup: Young Canton baseball team drops two games

CANTON, April 10 — When you have four starting pitchers, two catchers and a few outfielders graduate, it’s not going to be easy. “We’re still a work in progress,” Canton High baseball coach Brian Roy said after his Warriors dropped two games last week. “We’re going to take our lumps.”

The Warriors (0-2, 0-1 NCCC) gave up three home runs and a lot of hits in a 20-6 loss to Stonington on opening day. Canton had one hit in a 7-0 loss to Somers on Friday. The Warriors left seven runners on base and just couldn’t get that big hit. Third baseman Arias Benevicius had three straight line drives directly at Somers infielders.

All-NCCC shortstop Nick Quattro and Benevicius are the only seniors on the team. There are four juniors on the team and the rest are freshmen and sophomores. No one on the pitching staff has pitched in a varsity game before.

“Experience is a big deal at the varsity level,” Roy said. “We’re going to have to learn to throw strikes and learn what we have to do to win.”

BOYS TRACK: A year ago, Canton beat Ellington by 19½ points at the NCCC championship meet but four losses in the dual meet portion of the schedule by the Warriors helped Ellington win the league title. Last week, Canton beat Ellington for the first time ever with a solid 98-52 victory. The Warriors won 10 of 16 events, led by David Kucia with victories in the 110 and 300 hurdles and long jump. Dylan Smith swept the shot and discus while the Warriors prevailed in the 4×400 and 4×800 relays.

In girls track, Ellington dominated Canton, 123-17. Camila Rich won the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles for the Warriors.

BOYS TENNIS: Canton (1-1) looked good in its 7-0 opening day victory over Windsor Locks/East Granby. Sophomore Ben Corbett (No. 3 singles) and sophomore Alex Boon Van Ostade (No. 4) each won their first varsity matches. Van Ostade didn’t lose a game, winning 6-0, 6-0. At No. 1 doubles, Eric Scott/Mason Case won their first varsity match along with Tyler Van Kirk and Patrick Tong at No. 2 doubles.

However, Canton stumbled in its second match, a 6-1 loss to Bolton, with a few players visiting colleges and others home ill. Skenderis and Krug prevailed at No. 3 doubles while Jutras lost a hard-fought three-set match at No. 1 singles.

GIRLS TENNIS: Canton (1-2, 1-2 NCCC) opened the season with a 4-3 decision over Windsor Locks but dropped a 7-0 match to defending league champion Avon and came close in a 4-3 loss to Bolton on Friday.

GIRLS GOLF: Sophomore Nikki Liucci led the Warriors last week in Canton’s first match with a 47 but it wasn’t enough as Cheshire beat Canton, 196-228 at Southington Country Club. It’s the highest team score since Canton’s first year as a team in 2007. That is no surprise to Canton coach John Manners. He had three players make their varsity debut against Cheshire. “Now they know what it is like after playing in their first match,” he said. “We’ll get better.”

OPENING DAY: The girls lacrosse, softball and boys golf team did not play last week and open play this week.

BOYS TENNIS
Canton 7, Windsor Locks/East Granby 0
At Windsor Locks
Singles: Nate Scott (C) d. Brian Nussbaum, 7-5, 0-6, 6-3; Peter Jutras (C) d. Jon Zimnoch, 6-4, 6-0; Ben Corbett (C) d. Jared Descoteaux, 6-1, 6-4; Alex Boon Van Ostade (C) d. Wamig Ahktar, 6-0, 6-0
Doubles: Eric Scott/Mason Case (C) d. Tim Putnam/Adam Loughrey, 6-2, 6-2; Tyler van Kirk/Patrick Tong (C) d. Jay Vachhani/ Hamza Masgood, 6-1, 6-1; Teddy Skenderidis/ Jake Krug (C) d. Hussein Hussein/Nick Mollica, 6-1, 6-2

Record: Canton 1-0

GIRLS TENNIS
Canton 4, Windsor Locks 3
At Canton
Singles: Cristina Szepanski (WL) d. Carrie Hefler, 6-0, 6-4; Kimberly Love (WL) d. Nancy Kutz, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1; Kassie Grecula (C) d. Carolyn Vo, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3; Jill Miller (C) dec. Julie DellaGuistina, 6-2, 6-0

Doubles: Stephanie Kupchik/ Katherine Eich (C) dec. Amy Wetzel/ Charlotte Zocco, 6-3, 6-0; Kelsey Poe-Kailynn Malloy (C) def. Jenn Rivera/ Diana Vo, 6-4, 6-2; Ali Martinez/ Tianna Duquette (WL) dec. Samantha Joerg/ Allison Morini, 6-4, 7-5

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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