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NCCC to add two new teams next fall — Rockville and HMTCA

Rockville will joining the North Central Connecticut Conference next spring along with Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy.

Rockville will joining the North Central Connecticut Conference next spring along with Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy.

After losing two teams in the past two years, the North Central Connecticut Conference has voted to add an additional teams next fall – Rockville High and Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA), according to sources within the league. The two teams will begin play in the league next fall in September 2017.

Avon left the NCCC for the Central Connecticut Conference in June 2015 and Enfield left last June after merging with Fermi High. Enfield took Fermi’s spot in the Central Connecticut Conference.

The addition of Rockville and HMTCA will give the NCCC 15 teams once again with four teams in Class M (Suffield, Granby, Ellington, Rockville) and 11 in Class S, including Canton.

According to this year’s enrollment figures from the CIAC, Rockville will be the fourth largest school in the NCCC with 251 boys in grades 10-12, trailing Suffield (307), Granby (287) and Ellington (273). Among the girls programs, Rockville will be the largest school in the league with 311 girls in grades 10-12 – just ahead of Ellington (291) and Suffield (288).

Rockville provides Suffield, Ellington and Granby with another school that can field varsity and junior varsity programs and provide potential games for their athletes.

While Rockville will become one of the largest schools in the league, they are much closer in size to Suffield, Ellington and Granby than Avon, which left the league in June 2015 to join the Central Connecticut Conference. Avon had nearly 100 more athletes than Suffield, Ellington and Granby when it was in the NCCC and had a much larger advantage over the smaller schools in the league.

Rockville has been a member of the Central Connecticut Conference since it was formed in 1984. The Rams have 24 sports – 13 for boys and nine for girls.

The Rams have won 12 state championships in their history but just three since 2000. Rockville won the 2012 Class L softball championship, a 2008 Division III ice hockey championship with a co-op team with Manchester and the 2000 Class L baseball championship.

Since the NCCC doesn’t have football, the logical place for Rockville to play would be in the Pequot Conference where Canton, Elington and Granby play along with NCCC schools in four co-op programs — SMSA/University/Classical, Stafford/East Windsor/Somers, Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton and Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby.

Jeff Swan, the athletic director at Valley Regional and president of the Pequot Conference, said that Rockville has not submitted an application to join the Pequot at this time. However, there is plenty of time to get an application in to possibly play next season.

HMTCA is a new school that opened in 1999. They’ve only been competing in varsity athletics for a few years. HMTCA offers 13 varsity sports with seven teams for boys and six for girls. In football, athletes from HMTCA play with the Bulkeley/Weaver co-op team in Hartford under the Bulkeley banner in the Central Connecticut Conference.

Canton will probably see plenty of games with Rockville. The Warriors aren’t the little school they were in the 1970s. They are the second largest Class S school in the NCCC among the boys teams with 179 athletes in grades 10-12 and the second largest Class S school among the girls teams with 180 athletes in grades 10-12. Overall in the league, Canton is the No. 6 largest school among the boys and girls.

Now in its 54th season, the NCCC made its debut in September 1963 with South Windsor, Suffield, Stafford, Ellington and East Windsor.

The most recent addition to the league was Hartford Classical Magnet in September 2015 and before that, Sport Medicine Science Academy in Hartford joined the league in September 2011. HMTCA will be the third Hartford-based magnet school in the league.

Tolland left the league in September 2010 to join the Central Connecticut Conference. Bolton and Coventry left the now-defunct Charter Oak Conference in September 2006 to join the league. Canton has been in the NCCC since 1984.

The number of athletes in NCCC schools in grades 10-12, as provided by the CIAC, in September 2016.
BOYS
School      Grades 10-12
Suffield            307
Granby            287
Elllington          273
Rockville*         251
Coventry          195
Canton             179
Somers            176
Windsor Locks 177
SMSA               147
Stafford            145
East Windsor   122
Bolton              106
Classical          104
HMTCA*          102
East Granby     99
*Joining NCCC in fall 2017

GIRLS
School      Grades 10-12
Rockville*        311
Ellington          291
Suffield            288
Granby            239
Coventry         186
Canton            180
Somers           174
Stafford           174
SMSA              167
HMTCA*          154
Classical          148
Windsor Locks 147
Bolton              126
East Windsor   112
East Granby      95
*Joining NCCC in fall 2017

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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