With 5-3 records, the Falcons did share a league championship with Suffield in 2010. And Avon has won the conference tournament three times – most recently last spring.
But in the race for the regular season trophy, presented to the most consistent team over the course of the spring, Avon has finished second five times in the last six years.
It won’t be easy. The Falcons (7-0, 4-0 NCCC) play each team in the NCCC twice and that means a pair of challenging games with Granby, a Class S semifinalist a year ago and Somers, which finished second in Class S.
“It’s tough to beat good teams twice,” Avon coach Scott Kossbiel said. “Everyone has their strengths. Granby and Somers are our two biggest rivals.” A year ago, Granby won the league title with a 9-1 record with Avon a game behind at 8-2. For Avon, the difference was a one-goal loss to Granby and a one-goal loss to Somers.
This year, Avon opened the season with a 12-4 win over Somers as Taylor Maniatty and Patrick Driscoll-Kelly each scored three goals while Colin Moore and Tyler Mattioda added two each.
The Falcons also beat Conard for the first time ever, 9-6 with four goals from Moore and two from Driscoll-Kelly. They also outlasted Southington, 8-6, and gave up just one goal in a 8-1 win over Suffield.
Avon won its first seven games for the first time ever – topping a pair of 6-1 starts in 2012 and 2002.
“We’re a great defensive team,” Kossbiel said. “We have great goaltending and we were very fast. We can get up and down the field very quickly.”
Senior Cameron Dowd anchors the Falcons in goal with Anders Bill working as the captain of the defensive corps that include Brian Duffy, Dean Skelley and All-State midfielder Ben Hartigan.
Jeff Demers, an All-NCCC cross country runner for Avon, and Colin Moore, the Connecticut state player of the year in football, are a pair of speedy forwards along with Jackson Davey.
Kossbiel and the Falcons, a senior-laden team, are looking forward to the challenge to winning a league championship. The Falcons played Granby on Tuesday (April 30) and face Granby again on Saturday at Ahrens Field on the road at 4 p.m.
Avon also has non-league games with Tolland, Farmington and NFA to help prepare them for the Class M tournament.
The NCCC Tournament will be Wednesday, May 22 with the top four teams in the league participating. The championship game will be Friday, May 24 at 7 p.m. under the lights at Suffield High.
APRIL: 26: at Somers; 30: GRANBY
MAY: 3: at Ellington; 4: at Granby, 4 p.m.; 6: TOLLAND; 8: FARMINGTON; 10: CANTON; 14: at Suffield, 7 p.m.; 17: NFA; 22: NCCC Tournament semifinal, site TBA
Home games at Buckingham Field.