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CCC votes to admit Avon into league beginning in 2015-16

CCC logoAVON – The Avon High athletic program will make its long-talked about jump to the Central Connecticut Conference in September 2015. On Thursday night, the CCC voted to accept the Falcons as the league’s 33rd member.

Avon will join the CCC in all sports, including football, with the 2015-16 season. The Falcons currently play football in the Pequot Conference. For the upcoming 2014-15 season, nothing will change for Avon, which will play a final season in the North Central Connecticut Conference (NCCC).

“We feel very thankful and appreciative to the principals and athletic directors in accepting the application of Avon,” said Newell Porch, Avon’s athletic director. “Two main reasons for our request (to join the CCC) was regionalism of the participating schools as well as (teams) with sub varsity teams in most sports.” 

Many of Avon’s games today for their junior varsity and freshman programs comes against CCC opponents. Few teams in the NCCC have freshman programs and some don’t have junior varsity programs.

The league rejected Avon’s application twice in 2013 – once in the fall and once in the spring. A CCC official in June 2013 said that the CCC had to study and discuss the impact of Avon joining the league before admitting the school.

Any realignment of the CCC and the details concerning Avon’s place in the league will worked out in the coming months ahead.

Avon is the largest school in the NCCC, which is made up of Class S schools (nine) and Class M schools (four). According to this year’s CIAC basketball packet, Avon had 540 boys and 555 girls in the school in grades 9-12.

The next largest school in the NCCC is Suffield with 410 boys and 452 girls. Granby has the third largest number of boys in the league with 390 boys while Ellington has the third largest number of girls in the NCCC with 417 girls. And the NCCC has some of the smaller public schools in the state including East Granby (151 boys), Bolton (182 boys) and East Windsor (192 boys), which won its first NCCC boys basketball title since 1983 this winter.

There has been significant growth in Avon schools over the past decade. In 2003, Avon was the third largest boys school in the league behind Enfield and Tolland, who joined the CCC in the fall of 2009. But since 2007, the Falcons have been the largest team in the league. For the Avon girls, they were the fourth largest school in the league as recently as 2006 behind Enfield, Tolland and Suffield. But since 2009, the Avon girls have been the largest school in the NCCC.

In the CCC, Avon would be one of the smaller schools in the league. Among the boys, Avon would be the No. 23 largest school out of 33. The Avon girls program would be the 19th largest school.

However, Avon would be able to renew their rivalry with Farmington and establish rivalries with nearby neighbors from Simsbury, West Hartford (Hall, Conard, Northwest Catholic) and Bloomfield.

Avon has been a member of the NCCC since 1984. Prior to that, Avon participated in the now-defunct Northwest Conference where they competed with Farmington, Middletown, Berlin and Plainville. Avon will reunite against with Tolland, a long-time rival in the NCCC before the Eagles joined the CCC in 2009.

The CCC last expanded in 2009 when they admitted seven teams from the Northwest Conference – Berlin, East Catholic-Manchester, Middletown, RHAM, Plainville, Northwest Catholic-West Hartford, Rocky Hill and Tolland from the North Central Connecticut Conference. Farmington joined the CCC in 2008.

The CCC was formed in 1984 with 24 teams.

As for the NCCC, the league will have 15 teams this fall with the addition of Hartford’s Classical Magnet School. The Gladiators are a Class S school who will have the second smallest boys program (161 boys) in the league and the fourth smallest girls program (202).

 

Avon’s growth 

To see the growth in the numbers of athletes at Avon, we compared the respective boys basketball and girls basketball enrollment numbers in the respective CIAC basketball packets back through 2003. Note, the CIAC counted athletes in grades 10-12 from 2003 through 2008. Beginning in 2009, they counted athletes in grades 9-12 to determine the size of a school.

BOYS
Year     2014   13    ’12   ’11   ’10    ’09   ’08   ’07   ’06    ’05   ’04   ’03
Avon       540   548  548  563  543   535  382  352  313  307 268   257

GIRLS
Year     2014   13     ’12   ’11   ’10    ’09     ’08  ’07   ’06   ’05  ’04   ’03
Avon      555   583    559  533  522   515   342  332  327  337  316 302

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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