Harris fans 17 as Avon beats Bulldogs at impressive Dunkin’ Donuts Park

The Avon High baseball team won their fourth straight game with a 6-1 win over Bulkeley/Weaver Thursday at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford.

HARTFORD, April 27 – Earlier in the month, the Avon High baseball team opened the 2017 season by playing Windsor under the lights on Champion Field in Orlando, Florida, the spring training home of the Atlanta Braves.

But when the Falcons stepped into Dunkin’ Donuts Park on Thursday afternoon prior to their Central Connecticut Conference game with Bulkeley/Weaver, they didn’t just march right in. They stopped and stood in the concourse and looked around. A few jaws dropped, Avon High coach Jon Yolles said.

“They were pretty much in awe when we got here,” Yolles said. Added Falcon catcher Jeremy Zarwanski, “Coming here was so exciting. I know the whole team was excited for this.”

It was the second high school game to be played in the new $71 million stadium, home of the Double A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies – the Hartford Yard Goats. At least another seven high school games are scheduled to be played at the ballpark over the next month. And some CIAC tournament semifinal games are scheduled to be played here in June. Continue Reading

Avon’s Madison Kennedy wins Jax 50 Dual Challenge for second time

Avon’s Madison Kennedy won the Jax 50 Dual Challenge for the second time.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 23 – Avon native Madison Kennedy looked sharp in winning the TYR Jax 50 Dual Challenge for the second time in four years with the fourth best time in her career in the 50-yard freestyle.

Kennedy swam the 50-yard freestyle in 21.76 seconds to easily beat University of Tennessee swimmer Kira Toussaint (22.59) in the finals. It was Kennedy’s best time in the event since she swam a career-best 21.68 seconds twice in 2015 at the Oklahoma Elite Pro-Am.

The Jax 50 Dual Challenge is a unique meet. Ordinary swimmers from age eight and up get to compete in the same meet as some of the top professionals in the sport. Swimmers vye for a chance to qualify for the eight-woman final in the 50 freestyle.Continue Reading

Despite rain, Canton boys and girls remain undefeated (5-0) by beating Classical

CANTON, April 25 – It was a tough day to be outside on Tuesday. It was cloudy and raining. The baseball players were inside along with the softball team and players from the golf and tennis programs.

Canton’s track and field athletes were competing as scheduled rolling to easy victories over Hartford Classical. The undefeated boys team (5-0) extended their school-record dual meet win streak to 84 with a 110-26 victory while the girls team also remained unbeaten (5-0) with a 121-23 decision over Classical.

Canton coach Tim O’Donnell doesn’t hesitate to allow the Warriors to compete in the rain. It’s good preparation for the CIAC championship meets in late May. Those meets run rain or shine. The only thing that stops those championship meets is lightning.Continue Reading

Briggs named state player of the year; Athletes earn All-Courant recognition

Canton senior Emily Briggs, center, was named the state player of the year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association. Briggs is with head coach Brian Medeiros, left, and assistant coach Ken Carpenter, right.

Post-season awards continue to be released from the winter campaign.

Canton senior Emily Briggs, the two-time All-State player, was named the state player of the year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association.

Briggs, who averaged 23 points and 10.7 rebounds a game and led Canton (23-4) to a second straight Class S state championship, was named to the CHSCA’s Class S All-State team for the second consecutive season.

Briggs was also named to the Hartford Courant’s Fab 15 team as one of the top players in the Courant’s 71-town circulation area. Briggs, who finished with 1,765 career points, was also selected to be on the second team of the New Haven Register’s All-State girls basketball team.Continue Reading

Annual Avon Road Race at Pine Grove School set for May 21

Runners take off at the start of the Avon Road Race last May. Marc Robaczynski and Marisa Jones each won the third time.

AVON – The 13th annual Avon Road Race presented by Hoffman Auto will be Sunday, May 21, beginning and ending at the Pine Grove School.

The 3.1-mile road race is one of the largest fundraisers for the Pine Grove Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and has helped the PTO bring representatives from the Hartford Stage and Mystic Aquarium into the classroom with awe-inspiring presentations for the students.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with the race kicking off at 8:30 a.m. A Kid’s Fun Run or one mile and a half mile will be at 9:30 a.m. The Mandell JCC Valley Sports and Community Center will be on hand to provide fun activities for the kids along with the Gymnastics Training Center.Continue Reading

Olson helps Avon win third straight; Mental errors hurt Canton in loss to E.G.

Avon starting pitcher Justin Olson had a no-hitter through six innings Monday against Plainville. He struck out seven before giving up a hit in the seventh inning.

AVON, April 24 – Avon High senior Justin Olson pitched six innings of no-hit baseball, striking out seven and leading the Falcons to a 4-2 Central Connecticut Conference win over Plainville Monday at Buckingham Field.

Olson had a no-hitter going into the seventh inning but was lifted after giving up a double to Plainville’s Jordan Bishop. But Avon’s Connor Harris was able to retire the side on 11 pitches to secure the save and lift Avon to their third straight victory.

Avon (3-2) took a three-run lead in the third inning. Olson doubled with two outs and scored on Brendan Dyer’s RBI single. Dyer moved to second on Jeremy Zarwanski’s single. Both players scored on Chris Jacob’s two-RBI double to center field for a 3-0 lead.Continue Reading

Undefeated Canton boys extend win streak to 83; Canton girls open with four victories

Canton’s Aidan O’Donnell leads the combined 3,200 meter race with teammates Peter Royer and Sean Richard right on his heels. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

GRANBY, April 20 – The Canton High boys track and field team have won the last seven North Central Connecticut Conference championships. The Warriors have captured six of the last seven NCCC Championship meet crowns and they have a school-record win streak dating back to the 2011 season.

The Canton boys (4-0, 4-0 NCCC) extended their mark to 83 consecutive wins, including 82 in the NCCC, with a pair of victories over SMSA, 120-29, and Granby, 97-53, last Thursday.

The Canton High girls track and field team, coming off their first-ever conference title by taking the NCCC indoor track and field championship in February, is also undefeated after two weeks at 4-0. The Warriors, who hope to challenge Ellington and Granby for the league title this spring, beat Granby for the first time ever on Thursday with a 96-54 win. Canton also beat SMSA, 128-14.Continue Reading

Canton girls earn fourth win by beating Granby

Canton’s Manuela Montoya returns a volley in her No. 2 singles match in Granby Monday. She lost in three sets. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

GRANBY, April 24 – The Canton High girls tennis team won three of four singles matches and two of three in doubles to earn a 5-2 victory over Granby in NCCC action Monday.

Canton’s Katherine Hynes remained undefeated on the year at 5-0 with a straight set victory at No. 1 singles. Lauren Almeida won at No. 3 singles while teammate Brina Donovan won in three sets at No. 4 singles.

Continue Reading

Avon boys lacrosse team earns first-ever regular season win over Bethel

Avon sophomore Will Avery (1) scored a team-leading five goals in Avon’s win over Bethel on Saturday.

AVON, April 22 – Sophomore Will Avery had five goals while freshman Ryan Varano and senior Chase Gordon had four goals each as the Avon High boys lacrosse team won their second straight match with a 16-12 non-league decision over Bethel Saturday at Buckingham Field.

The Falcons (4-3) beat Bethel for the first time in a regular season contest. The Falcons did eliminate Bethel in the first round of the 2016 and 2015 Class M state tournament.

Quinn Haines had two goals for Avon while Eric Schweitzer picked up one goal. Sophomore goalie David Triggle picked up the win in goal for the Falcons.Continue Reading

Old Lyme hands Canton girls lacrosse team first loss of year in double OT

Canton’s Julianna Iovine scored a goal but Old Lyme held Canton scoreless over the final 9:36 of the game to lose for the first time this season. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

OLD LYME, April 22 – The Canton High girls lacrosse team was tested Saturday by Old Lyme.

The host Wildcats scored twice in the final four minutes to force overtime and then Sydney Cowell scored with 2:12 left in the second OT to lift Old Lyme to an 11-10 victory over Canton on Saturday.

The defending Class S champion Warriors (6-1) beat Old Lyme in last June’s Class S semifinals, 15-11, on the way to their first state championship in program history. Old Lyme’s win snapped Canton’s school-record 12-game winning streak that began late last season.Continue Reading

Undefeated Granby handles Canton ‘9″

Canton’s Sam Beadle races out of the batter’s box in a game earlier this week against Suffield. The Warriors have lost two straight games. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

CANTON, April 19 – Pitcher Jacob Nichols allowed just four hits over five innings and struck out six as the undefeated Granby High baseball team blanked Canton, 6-0 in a rain-shortened NCCC contest at Bowdoin Field on Wednesday.

The Bears (5-0) scored five runs in the third inning to take control of the contest. Cormac Hogan gave the Bears a 1-0 lead, scoring on an error. Kyle Desjardins had a RBI single, Parker Hansen had a RBI double and Sam Attianese had a two-RBI single for Granby in the third inning.Continue Reading

Avon nips Ellington for first win; Canton tops Granby for 6th straight victory

Avon goalie Olivia Donahue made 13 saves Tuesday against Ellington as the Falcons won their first game of the season.

AVON, April 18 – Emma Coran and Mollie Morrison each scored three goals as the Avon High girls lacrosse team won their first game of the season with a tight 10-9 victory over Ellington at the high school on Tuesday.

Sydney Walters, Olivia Jackson, Olivia Zaptaka and Rachel Spivak also scored for the Falcons (1-1). Goalie Olivia Donahue made 13 saves in net to secure the victory.Continue Reading

Avon’s Zybowski third in handcycle division at Boston Marathon

Avon’s Krys Zybowski was third in the men’s handcycle race at the Boston Marathon Monday. (Photo courtesy Achilles Racing via Facebook)

BOSTON, April 17 – Avon’s Krys Zybowski had a personal-best time of 1:05.23 and finished third at the 121st Boston Marathon Monday in the men’s handcycle division – the first year that it is being officially run in Boston.

Handcycles are powered by riders’ arms, allowing racers with certain disabilities to pilot the three-wheeled vehicles effectively. Zybowski led a host of men and women at the Farmington Valley competing at the marathon on Monday.

The top area runner was Burlington’s Mary Lynn Currier, 53, who ran the race in 3:05.09, just 15 seconds better than Unionville’s Tracy Deeter, 38, who finished the race in 3:05.26. Canton’s Connor Smyth, 24, was the top male runner from the area with a time of 3:08.26.Continue Reading

Canton boys tennis earns first win of season

CANTON, April 17 – The Canton High boys tennis team swept all four singles matches to earn their first victory of the season with a 6-1 NCCC victory over Bolton Monday at Mills Pond Park.

Joe Bowman, Brian Barger, Jason Ho and Jared Barter won in singles for the Warriors, now 1-1 on the year. The doubles teams of James Vetro and Mike Dupre won in three sets while Tigger Klussendorf and Rowan Cookman won in two sets.Continue Reading

O’Donnell to be honored as CHSCA coach of the year in cross country

Canton boys and girls cross country coach Tim O’Donnell will be honored as the Connecticut High School Coaches Association’s cross country coach of the year.

CANTON – Canton’s Tim O’Donnell will be among 23 coaches who will honored as an Outstanding Coaching of the Year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) at its 53rd annual recognition dinner on Thursday, May 11, at the Aqua Turf in Southington.

O’Donnell, who has coached cross country, indoor track and outdoor track and field at Canton, was named outstanding coach of the year in cross country.

Tickets for the event are $46 and may be purchased in advance only by contacting John Fontana at 860-628-4122.

O’Donnell has coached Canton for 15 of the last 16 years, leading the Warriors to NCCC championships in 2009 and 2010 – the first league titles in school history for the boys cross country team – and a Class SS championship in 2010.Continue Reading