Plenty of memorable achievements shared in Collinsville Press in 2016

Ranomi Kromowidjojo, center, of the Netherlands won her third short course world title in the 50 free at the 2016 World Championships (25 meters). Italy’s Silvia diPietro, left, was second and Avon’s Madison Kennedy, right, was third. (Photo courtesy FINA via Facebook)

Thank you for being a part of our Collinsville Press.com family in 2016.

In the past 12 months, our traffic more than doubled. More than 114,000 visitors came to the site and viewed our stories and photos more than 706,000 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 2016.

1.

For the third consecutive year, our top story was the athletic accomplishments of Avon swimmer Madison Kennedy. That is what happens when you’re a world-class swimmer. Kennedy came within a whisker of making the U.S. Olympic team in June but fell 0.15 of a second short.

Kennedy didn’t stop swimming. In December, she won her second world championship medal on the United States’ winning women’s 4×100 freestyle relay team at the World Championships in Canada. She also won her first individual medal, taking bronze in the 50 meter freestyle.

For the third time, Avon’s Madison Kennedy competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska in June.

2.

In Canton, the girls basketball team advanced to the state championship game for the second straight year at the Mohegan Sun Arena. This time, the Warriors went home to celebrate after winning the first state championship in program history over Thomaston, 64-51.

Canton’s Abbe Skinner holds the state championship high after the Warriors won their first state title beating Thomaston at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

3.

The Canton girls lacrosse team had few teams that challenged them this past spring – especially in Class S. The Warriors rolled through the tournament to win their first state title in girls lacrosse with a dominating victory over Somers.

The Canton High girls lacrosse team celebrates after winning the Class S championship with a dominating win over Somers. (Photo courtesy, John Fitts, Canton Compass)

4.

In Avon, the Town Council continued to work on developing plans to replace the track and field facility at Avon High and lay down a new synthetic turf playing surface for football, soccer, field hockey and lacrosse. In December, the Town Council endorsed a plan to reconstruct the football and track and field complex and also install an artificial turf surface at the current field hockey field. Now, the plan goes to the Board of Education.

From left, Avon High’s Natalie Grillo, Hannah Deppe, Paige Deppe and Lauren Jeandell spoke at a public hearing at the Senior Center in favor of installing a synthetic turf on the current field hockey field at Avon High.

5.

In the fall of 2015, Simsbury’s Danny Deitz was fighting for his life. He received a heart transplant in Boston. This year, he was back on the gridiron with his friends who had grown up playing football together. Deitz caught a touchdown pass against Enfield in an emotional evening for himself, his family and his teammates.

Simsbury’s Danny Deitz, left, and Sean Penney celebrate after Simsbury’s 52-21 win over Enfield in which Deitz caught a touchdown pass.

6.

Over 700 runners came to Collinsville in May for the running of the first-ever Collinsville Classic 10K road race. The 6.2 mile race, the largest road race ever held in town, was sold out and featured runners from the valley and across the state.

Runners cross over the railroad bridge into Collinsville.

7.

The Avon High baseball team dropped seven of their final eight games of the regular season but never let doubt creep in. Avon won three games in the CIAC Class L tournament to earn a spot in the semifinals for the first time in 48 years (1968) with a 7-4 win over North Haven.

Avon’s Will Boone and Jeremy Zarwanski celebrate after the Falcons beat North Haven to earn a berth in the state semifinals for the first time since 1968.

8.

The Canton High boys basketball team finished 14-6 but had an exciting post-season run. The Warriors beat Hartford Classical in triple OT in the NCCC Tournament semifinals and then lost to East Windsor in the NCCC Tournament title game on a shot that banked in off the backboard at the buzzer.

Canton’s Rieley Hoffman (3) hangs in the air as he makes a shot in the NCCC Tournament title game against East Windsor.

9.

Avon’s Geoff Kirk becomes the first Avon athlete to win two events in the same year at the State Open track and field championships by winning the discus and shot put. It was the first Open title for an Avon track athlete since 1994. Kirk followed that up by taking second in New England in the discus – the best ever performance by a Falcon. He wasn’t the only stellar Falcon. Kaleigh Sherman, in her first year throwing the javelin, won the Class MM girls title and finished third at the State Open.

Avon’s Geoff Kirk twirls to generate power to win the State Open title in the discus. (Contributed photo)

10.

In June, Farmington native Nick Bonino helped the Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup. On a steamy August afternoon, thousands came to Avon Old Farms to see the Bonino and the Stanley Cup.

Farmington native Nick Bonino carries in the Stanley Cup through a crowd of thousands on a warm August afternoon at Avon Old Farms.

Your choices

In terms of numbers of readers and website traffic, these are the top 10 stories presented in the Collinsville Press in 2016.

1. Avon’s Teddy Allemendinger excited to play football for UConn

2. Avon’s Madison Kennedy to swim in the U.S. Olympic Trials

3. In Canton, veteran coach Mike Guy hired to coach the Warrior football team

4. An Iraq War veteran and former Avon High football player shot to death outside of his Alabama home.

UPDATE: Four men have been arrested in connection with the case and are in jail awaiting trial.

5. Jean Hunt, the longtime Hall of Fame coach at Farmington High passes away.

6. Simsbury’s Danny Deitz, who received a heart transplant a year ago, catches a touchdown pass against Enfield

7. Youngsters do well at Lobster Loop road race in Canton

8. Avon High football coach Jim Caouette steps down after three seasons

9. Simsbury prevails with a pin in the final match to snuff out Avon’s upset bid in wrestling

10. At Avon, Sal Cintorino hired to coach the football program.

Top stories from the past

Top Collinsville Press stories from 2015

Top Collinsville Press stories from 2014

Top Canton stories from 2012; Top Avon stories from 2012

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