CANTON – The Canton High boys lacrosse team has been taking its lumps during their brief three years of varsity play. “We’re gaining as much experience as we can,” first-year coach Chris Weller said.
It’s a challenge in a league with established programs such as Avon, Suffield, Somers and Granby.
However, Saturday was a day of smiles and fun for the Warriors.
The Canton High campus was buzzing with activity. Canton Youth Lacrosse hosted its annual Warrior Day with youth games beginning at 8 a.m. and running through 5 p.m. Concessions from Avon Prime Meats and Ben and Jerry’s was on site along with music.
The Warriors also hosted a doubleheader on its new artificial turf playing surface at the high school with the boys hosting Bristol Central and the girls hosting Rocky Hill.
The Canton boys rolled to their second win of the season with a 14-5 win over Bristol Central. Leading scorer Manny Harden (27 goals) had four goals and three assists while senior midfielder Alex Daley added a career-high four goals and an assist for the Warriors, now 2-9.
Sophomore attack Jake Whittingslow had two goals and three assists while sophomore midfielder Eddie Melton had two goals and two assists. Sophomore goalie Nick Allen earned the win between the pipes.
It was the second highest scoring output in the team’s three seasons. The Warriors had 16 goals in a 16-4 win over Housatonic last May.
“It’s a growing process or our kids and there are a lot of positives,” Weller said. “We have 22 kids in the varsity program and our youth program is outstanding. The older kids are gaining experience every time they step on the field. And we had a lot of younger kids score today.”
Freshman Matt Walczuk scored his first two varsity goals while junior William Columbia added an assist.
It was a nice victory for the boys team that fell to Somers, 20-5, just 24 hours earlier. On Thursday, Canton scored 10 goals in a 20-10 loss to Bacon Academy. Harden, a senior attack, had a career-high six goals in the contest. It was the third straight day with a game for the Warriors, who also dropped a 17-3 decision to Avon on Monday.
OF NOTE: Harden and Henry Bonini own the single-game record for most goals in a game with six. Harden had six goals against Bacon Academy earlier this week and six in a 12-7 loss to Suffield on opening day. Bonini had six against Housatonic last May. … Canton’s first win of the season came against Ellington on April 26. The Warriors prevailed, 10-6 behind four goals and two assists from Harden and two goals each from Whittingslow and Melton. … After 11 games, Whittingslow and Melton each have 13 goals.
Canton 14, Bristol Central 5
Bristol Central (1-8) 1 1 1 2 — 5
Canton (2-9) 3 4 3 4 — 14
Goals: Jake Whittingslow (C) 2, Alex Daley (C) 4, Manny Harden (C) 4, Eddie Melton (C) 2, Matt Walczuk (C) 2; Caleb Hildebrand (B), Dante Coco (B), Noah Letourneau (B), Christian Hildebrand (B) 2; Assists: Whittingslow (C) 2, Daley (C), Harden (C) 3, Melton (C) 2, William Columbia (C); Saves: Nick Allen (C)