After a long winter, the spring scholastic sports campaign is underway. Here is a quick look at Avon and Canton’s tennis and track and field squads.
TRACK & FIELD: The Canton boys (13-0, 13-0 NCCC) have won the last four league championships and the last five NCCC championship meets. In the last four years, they have won two Class S state titles and finished second twice. The Warriors will be led by Cam Daley, an all-around athlete who was sixth in last year’s CIAC decathlon. He won the NCCC title in the javelin and 300 hurdles. Sprinter Nico Tuccillo, distance runners James and Dean Yost and discus thrower John Graziano are among the many returning veterans. Look for Ellington and Suffield to challenge the Warriors.
The Avon High boys (9-4, 9-4 NCCC) returns a strong core of runners led by Andrew Suter, Collin Pritchard and Greg Oberhausen. The Falcons will need a balanced effort across the board if they hope to be competitive with the top teams in the league. David Zlatin is taking over as the boys head coach while Al Dadario remains as the girls head coach.
The Canton High girls team (9-4, 9-4 NCCC) had its best-ever record a year ago, taking fifth in the league championship meet and eighth in Class S. This year, the Warriors have only a handful of athletes which won’t be enough to competitive in most dual meets. They do have junior Lucy Tanner, an accomplished hurdler who set the league record in the 300 hurdles last May along with sophomores Abby Briggs.
The Avon High (13-0, 13-0 NCCC) girls track team should be a contender in its final season in the NCCC. The defending league champion Falcons will be strongest on the track, led by distance runner Molly Hamel, Christina, Rachel and Ashley Martin, Hannah Carpino and Risa Lewis. Avon has two of the top three pole vaulters in the league returning with NCCC champion Kaely Quijano and her sister Kiely. To hold off Suffield and Ellington, the Falcons will need a team effort this spring.
BOYS TENNIS: The Avon High boys tennis team won three straight Class M titles from 2011-13. A year ago, the Falcons (14-2, 13-0 NCCC) finished second in Class M. Avon will look to extend its dominance in the NCCC where they have won four straight league titles and their last 65 dual meets dating back to 2010. … In Canton, the Warriors (9-5, 9-5 NCCC) finished third in the league under coach Dante Boffi. Senior Rick Hefler and sophomore Joe Bowman should be the top two singles players with seniors Jon Smith and Jonas Real at No. 1 doubles. The Warriors opened the season Wednesday with a 7-0 win over Hartford Classical. Hefler, Bowman, Liam Connolly and Brendan Shepard combined to win 48 of 52 games in their four singles matches. In doubles, Hyun Kang/Brian Barger won at No. 2 doubles with Drew de la Vega and Rowan Cookman winning at No. 3.
GIRLS TENNIS: Avon (17-2, 17-1 NCCC) has won six of the last seven NCCC titles and hope to hold off Suffield and Ellington/Somers to finish their tenure in the NCCC on a strong note. … Canton (1-17, 1-17 NCCC) is looking to build under second-year coach Stephen Reilly. The Warriors opened the season with a 4-3 win over Hartford Classical on Wednesday, snapping a 17-match losing streak.