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Plenty of memorable moments and athletic achievements in 2015

Thank you for being a part of our Collinsville Press.com family in 2015.

In the past 12 months, more than 45,000 visitors came to the site and viewed our stories and photos more than 269,000 times. Together, we’ve shared some great athletic moments and achievements in 2015. We look forward to sharing additional outstanding achievements in the months to come. Let’s remember a few memorable moments from 2015.

Avon's Madison Kennedy won her first individual national title in the 50 freestyle Saturday in San Antonio.

Avon’s Madison Kennedy won her first individual national title in the 50 freestyle in San Antonio. (Photo courtesy U.S. Swimming)

Avon’s Madison Kennedy won her first U.S. national title in swimming (50 meter freestyle) in August and also represented the United States at the Pan-Am Games where she won a silver medal in the 4×100 relay and was fifth in the 50 meter freestyle.

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The Falcons celebrate after winning the Class L championship Saturday over Wethersfield, 3-1 in double overtime.

The Falcons celebrate after winning the Class L championship Saturday over Wethersfield, 3-1 in double overtime.

Avon High senior Jack Keenan scored six goals in the final three state tournament, including two in a 3-1 double overtime win over Wethersfield in the Class L championship game as the Falcons won their ninth state title in boys soccer.

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The Canton High girls basketball celebrates after beating Notre Dame Fairfield Friday night and earn a berth in the Class S championship game.

The Warriors celebrates after beating Notre Dame Fairfield in the semifinals and earning a berth in the Class S championship game.

It has been 16 years since the Canton High girls basketball team had won a NCCC championship. But the Warriors earned a share of the league title with Avon and advanced to the Class S championship game before losing to defending state champion Thomaston.

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Avon's Nate Laszewski drives to the basket in Friday night's win over SMSA.

Avon’s Nate Laszewski drives to the basket in the final of the NCCC Tournament against SMSA.

In its final season in the North Central Connecticut Conference, the Avon High boys basketball team couldn’t claim the league title. So, they did the next best thing. They beat Granby with a last-second basket from All-State forward Nate Lasezwski and then topped league champion SMSA to win the NCCC league tournament.

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Avon High coach Jim Caouette gets a celebratory bath after Avon prevailed in a CCC Div. 3 East battle with Berlin at Sage Park Friday night, 21-14.

Avon High coach Jim Caouette gets a celebratory bath after Avon prevailed in a CCC Div. 3 East battle with Berlin at Sage Park, 21-14.

In its first season in the Central Connecticut Conference, the Avon High football team won seven games and captured the CCC Division III East Division championship. The key victory was a hard-fought 21-14 win over Berlin. The Falcons forced two turnovers, sacked Berlin QB Jack Lynch three times and stopped two Berlin drives inside the 20-yard line to beat the Redcoats for the first time since 1983.

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Canton's Cam Daley was fifth in the javelin as the CIAC decathlon Wednesday. Daley set a school record with 5,725 points and finished third.

Canton’s Cam Daley was fifth in the javelin as the CIAC decathlon Wednesday. Daley set a school record with 5,725 points and finished third.

Throughout his scholastic career, Canton senior Cam Daley was an all-around athlete displaying athletic abilities on the football field, basketball court and on the track. He set a new school record by taking third at the State Open in the state decathlon – the grueling, two-day, 10-event test of endurance.

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Strassner DSC_4739Avon junior swimmer Riley Strassner finished second in the State Open in the 200 meter freestyle, only 0.33 off the winning time. Strassner won the Class M title in the 200 free for the second straight year.

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East Granby's Doug Comstock swims away from the English cliffs at Dover.

East Granby’s Doug Comstock swims away from the English cliffs at Dover. (Photo courtesy Libby Forrest)

Douglas Comstock graduated from Canton High in 1973. But he continues to push himself at the age of 60. Comstock, who now lives in East Granby, trained for two years and attempted to swim across the English Channel in August. He swam 19 miles before he had to abandon his attempt.

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Plan for High School DSC_0612Avon residents and officials continue to debate the merits of building a new artificial turf facility in town. Town officials have received details on two proposals for facilities at the old M.H Rhodes facility on Thompson Brook Road and to upgrade facilities at Avon High School.

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Fans clamor for autographs prior to the start of Sunday's game at New Britain Stadium.

Fans clamor for autographs prior to the start of Sunday’s game at New Britain Stadium.

After spending more than 25 years in New Britain entertaining fans throughout central Connecticut, the New Britain Rock Cats completed their final season at New Britain Stadium. The team is moving to Hartford in the spring and will become the Yard Goats.

Readers speak

Our readers had different choices. Based on the numbers of page views, these were the top 10 stories at the Collinsville Press in 2015.

  1. Former Avon High soccer player Robby Brisco passes away
  2. Long-time Avon High teacher and coach Glenn McLellan dies
  3. Matterhorn miniature golf course opens in Canton
  4. A special season for East Granby softball team
  5. Avon sophomore organizes benefit mini-golf tournament for coach
  6. Avon’s Mike Golic inducted into National Wrestling Hall of Fame
  7. Avon’s Nate Laszewski earns All-State honors in basketball
  8. No. 8 Simsbury outlasts Farmington to win CCC West title in wrestling
  9. Jack Keenan helps Avon capture Class L championship in boys soccer
  10. Avon alumni lacrosse game honors the late Kurt Skelley

Top stories from the past

Top Collinsville Press stories from 2014

Top Canton stories from 2012; Top Avon stories from 2012

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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