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Avon athletes named to All-NCCC and All-State teams

Nearly two dozen Avon High athletes earned all conference honors this past winter.

Nearly two dozen Avon High athletes earned all conference honors this past winter.

AVON – Twenty-two Avon High athletes earned All-NCCC honors this past winter with three athletes earning All-State honors. Three teams won league titles including the girls indoor track team, the girls basketball team and the wrestling team.

Sophomore Riley Strassner became the first boys swimmer in school history to win a state championship when he captured the 200 yard freestyle at the Class M championships to earn All-State honors. At the State Open, Strassner finished second in the 200 free – the best-ever finish for an Avon boy in the event. Strassner was one second back with a school-record time of 1:42.34.

Avon’s girls indoor track team had eight All-NCCC athletes including Molly Hamel, Amanda Holtzman, Jennifer Koo, Maddi McHugh, Caroline Rendeiro, Chamiya Rowland, Tara Shayler and Sara Stokesbury. They helped the Falcons capture their second straight NCCC championship, winning four separate relay races and with two individual champions – McHugh in the 1,000 meters and Holtzman in the 600 meters.

The sprint medley relay team of Shayler, Rowland, Koo and McHugh finished second in Class M in 4:30.58, second-fastest time in school history.

Evan Edgar and Zach Zweibel earned All-NCCC honors for the Avon boys indoor track team.

Six Avon High wrestlers earned All-NCCC recognition for the Falcons, who captured their seventh consecutive league championship and won a record 51st straight league match. Gino Bonalumi (285 pounds), Nick Briere (132), Johnny Oh (126), Eduardo Quijano (120), Anthony Tripodi (106) and Nick Zacchio (220) earned All-NCCC honors.

Four players from the league champion girls basketball team earned All-NCCC honors including sophomore Abby Laszewski, junior Shannon Curry, senior Anna Schrecengost and junior Olivia Welter. Laszewski, who averaged a team-leading 14.3 points and 10.3 rebounds a game, was named the MVP of the NCCC Tournament and also earned All-State honors. She had 73 blocks.

Schrengost averaged 11.7 points and 5.8 rebounds a game and led the team in three-point shooting with 36. She also led the Falcons (23-3, 18-0 NCCC) in assists (143) and steals (65). Welter averaged 9.9 points and 4.0 rebounds a game with 58 steals while Curry averaged 5.0 points and 4.9 rebounds a game. Avon won 21 straight games before Ledyard ended the streak with a win in the Class L quarterfinals.

From the boys basketball team, senior Patrick McKearney was named to the All-NCCC team and was selected to the second team All-State squad.

McKearney helped Avon finish 17-7 overall and second in the NCCC with a 14-2 record. The Falcons were eliminated in the Class L quarterfinals by New Haven’s Career but had a pair of exciting tournament victories – erasing seven-point deficits against Bulkeley and Darien to earn wins. In the win over Bulkeley, McKearney scored a game-high 23 points with 13 rebounds and four boys to help Avon earn the victory. 

In boys ice hockey, Avon’s Jack Wendler was one of two players from the Farmington Valley Generals co-op team to earn All-Central Connecticut Conference Southern Division honors. The Generals were made up of players from Farmington, Avon and Windsor. Nick Sanderson from Farmington was the other General to earn All-CCC South honors. The Generals went 4-15 on the season and 4-8 in the CCC South. 

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.

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