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Six Avon High athletes to play at Division I level next year

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AVON — Six Avon High athletes signed official NCAA letters of intent last week to play collegiate athletics at the Division I level. 

Noah Hahn, who set a new single season record for throwing touchdown passes with the Avon High football team this fall, signed a letter of intent to play baseball with Quinnipiac University. 

Marissa Grillo, a three-time All-State golfer, has signed a letter of intent to play golf at Boston College and Hannah Dahlem has signed a letter of intent to play women’s tennis at West Point with Army. 

Three players on the girls lacrosse team will be playing in college, too. Britt Douglas will play at Furman in Greenville, S.C., goalie Paige Hammick will play at Sacred Heart and Emily Wright will play at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. 

Now in his third year as the starting quarterback for the football team, Hahn has thrown 22 touchdown passes in 10 games with one more game on Saturday. However, at Quinnipiac, Hahn will be playing baseball and will most likely be an infielder for the Bobcats. 

Hahn is a strong all-around player. He played shortstop and pitched the past two seasons for the Avon American Legion baseball team. Avon won its first Zone 1 championship this past summer and in 2012, they had a deep run into the state tournament, falling two wins shy of the state title. Hahn was named to the All-Tournament team in 2012, thanks to his excellent pitching. He pitched 11 innings in five games with an earned run average of 0.82 and in one game, he came on in relief and retired 18 straight batters. 

Hahn played with the Avon High baseball team last spring and was an All-NCCC selection. He will be a captain of this spring’s team. 

Grillo has helped Avon win the past two Southern Connecticut Girls Golf League championships. Last spring, Grillo was medalist in 12 of 14 events and she won her second straight SCGGL championship by eight strokes. She was seventh at the CIAC championship meet. Grillo qualified to play in the New England tournament where she finished fourth in a four-girl playoff. She shot a 75 in regulation. 

Over the summer, Grillo won the Connecticut PGA Junior Championship at the Country Club of Waterbury with a one stroke victory over Cheshire’s Andra Frappier and Simsbury’s Mikayla Sherry. As a sophomore, she won the SCGGL title and won 14 events. She was seventh at the CIAC’s Connecticut state meet and finished eighth in New England. 

Dahlem is one of the top ranked players in New England (No. 6) as determined by the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) in October. As a freshman in 2011, she helped Avon advance to the Class M final. She won an individual Class M championship in singles and was second at the State Open, dropping the match to two-time champion Kimmy Guerin of Weston. 

The past two springs, she has been challenging herself at USTA tournaments around the country. She is now playing in the Girls 18 and under division. 

Douglas has been starting for three years for the girls lacrosse team in Avon. She plays midfield and attack and can score at will. Last spring, she had 50 goals in 16 regular season games and finished with 67 goals for the Falcons. “But she is also the kind of player who gets all of her teammates involved in the flow of the game,” Avon High girls lacrosse coach Sean Cole said. 

Hammick has also been starting for three years and is one of the state’s best lacrosse goalies. Hammick helped the Falcons advance to the Class M semifinals last spring – its deepest run ever into the CIAC tournament. She was selected as the No. 1 goalie in New England last spring and played with a New England All-Star team at the national tournament in Lehigh. 

Six times last spring, she gave up less than five goals in a game including just two in a 13-2 win over Granby in the NCCC Tournament final. 

Wright is a three-year starter with the girls lacrosse program and can play all over the field. She had 11 goals last spring. But Wright really excels in the defensive zone. “She gets all her teammates involved in the flow of the game,” Cole said. “She is a great communicator and coach on the field.” UMass-Lowell is starting a Division I program and they will hit the field in the spring of 2015 when Wright will be a sophomore.

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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