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Seven Avon High athletes earn first team All-State honors – The Collinsville Press
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Seven Avon High athletes earn first team All-State honors

Four of the seven Avon High athletes to earn first team All-State honors this fall. From left, Mareen Ek, Jack Martin, Cameron Little and Megan Gilbey.

AVON, December 14, 2020 – Seven Avon High athletes earned first team All-State honors for their play in this pandemic-shortened season this fall.

Action didn’t begin until October and lasted about five weeks. Competition was limited to primarily regional Central Connecticut Conference schools close to Avon and there was no state tournament action. Still, there was an opportunity to play – something that athletes participating spring sports lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three runners earned first team All-State honors – Jack Martin, Carver Morgan and Mareen Ek – while boys soccer player Cameron Little was named All-State. Three field hockey players – Megan Gilbey, Isabelle Russo and Haylie Thompson – earned All-State honors for the Falcons, who finished 13-1.

Volleyball player Kelli Raines earned second team All-State honors.

Martin earned All-State for the second straight year in cross country and for the third time his scholastic career. Martin, who missed two weeks of the four-week season, won two dual meets this fall and finished second at the CCC Region B championship meet. Martin finished 15th at the Northeast Cross Country club championship race and qualified to run in the virtual Nike national meet at Fisher Meadows in Avon.

Morgan won two dual meets for the Falcons, who were undefeated this fall (7-0) and finished fifth at the CCC Region B championship meet.

Ek earned All-State honors for the first time as she helped the Falcons finish 6-1 this fall and take second in CCC Region B behind Southington. Ek won four dual meets, finished seventh in the CCC Region B championship meet and took 19th in the girls unseeded race at the Northeast Cross Country club championship race.

Little was a four-year starter on the boys soccer team and one of three captains this fall. “Cameraon had the technical skills to play anywhere on the field but we mostly used him as a defender during his career,” Avon High boys soccer coach David Zlatin said. “As a sophomore (2018), he played defensive center midfield and was a key member of the team (that advanced to the Class L semifinals).”

He finished his career on a high note with a pair of goals in the final game of the year, a 5-2 win over New Britain. The Falcons went 6-5-3 in CCC Region B this fall.

Avon’s Izzy Russo, right against Lewis Mills earlier this year, earned All-State honors in field hockey.

Gilbey, Russo and Thompson helped the Falcons go 13-1 this season with eight shutouts in 14 games. Russo was defensive midfielder and Thompson was a defender on an Avon team that gave up just eight goals this season.

Gilbey, who earned All-State honors for the second straight season, led the team in scoring with 13 goals and 15 assists while Russo had a goal and seven assists. Gilbey finished her four-year career with the Falcons with 26 goals – 13 combined in her first three seasons at Avon.

Raines helped the Falcons go 8-6 in volleyball with a team-leading 156 kills and 55 aces while serving. She had 147 digs, second on the squad.

Haylie Thompson earned All-State honors this fall with the Falcons.

BOYS SOCCER
Coach: David Zlatin
Record: 6-5-3 CCC Region B, fifth place
All-Conference: No All-Conference selections made this fall by the CCC.
All-State (CHSCA): Cameron Little
Postseason experience: 2-0. Beat New Britain, 5-2 to win pool B in CCC Region B tournament
CIAC state tournament: Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

GIRLS SOCCER
Coach: Jim Murray
Record: 4-8-2 CCC Region B, sixth place
All-Conference: No All-Conference selections made this fall by the CCC.
All-State (CHSCA): none
Postseason experience: 1-1. Beat New Britain, 4-0 to finish third in pool B in CCC Region B tournament
CIAC state tournament: Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic 

FIELD HOCKEY
Coach: Terri Ziemnicki
Record: 13-1 CCC Region B, first place
All-Conference: No All-Conference selections made this fall by the CCC.
All-State (CHSCA): Meghan Gilbey, Isabelle Russo, Haylie Thompson
Postseason experience: 2-0. Beat Granby, 3-1 to win CCC Region B championship pool
CIAC state tournament: Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Carver Morgan earned All-State honors with the Avon cross country team this fall.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Coach: Courtney Fusco
Record: 7-0 CCC Region B, first place
All-Conference: No All-Conference selections made this fall by the CCC.
All-State (CHSCA): Jack Martin, Carver Morgan
All-State (GameTimeCT): Martin and Morgan were both named to the second team.
Postseason experience: Won CCC Region B meet
CIAC state tournament: Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic 

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
Coach: Al Dadario
Record: 6-1 CCC Region B, second place
All-Conference: No All-Conference selections made this fall by the CCC.
All-State (CHSCA): Mareen Ek
Postseason experience: Third at CCC Region B meet
CIAC state tournament: Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic 

Avon High senior Kelli Raines had a career-high 23 kills but the Falcons dropped a 3-2 decision to Southington on Monday night.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL
Coach: Curt Burns
Record: 8-6 CCC Region B, fourth place
All-Conference: No All-Conference selections made this fall by the CCC.
All-State (CHSCA): Kelli Raines (second team)
Postseason experience: 0-2 in CCC Region B championship pool
CIAC state tournament: Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

FOOTBALL
Coach: Jeff Redman
Record: Season cancelled to COVID-19 pandemic
Of note: If approved, some games could be played during an alternative season between March 19 and April 17, 2021. … It was the first season without football at Avon High since the program began in 1960.

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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