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Canton has nine players on All-Pequot Uncas squad; Avon has 5 honored

The Canton High football celebrates after beating Granby Tuesday, 43-13 for a school-record 10th win and a berth in the Class S playoffs.

Nine of the 27 players on the Canton High football team were named to the All-Pequot Conference Uncas Division team in balloting by the league coaches.

After a dominant season in the Pequot Conference this fall, the Canton High football was recognized by the league coaches with nine players being named to the Pequot Conference’s All-Uncas Division team, Dan Delos being named player of the year in the Uncas Division and head coach Paul Philippon being named as Pequot Conference coach of the year. 

Avon, in its final year in the Pequot Conference, had five players named to the All-Uncas Division squad while Granby had two players named to the All-Uncas team. Lewis Mills didn’t have a player named to the All-Sassacus Division team. 

Canton’s Cam Daley (DB/QB), Sebby Gumbs (DB/RB), Henry Bonini (LB), Shane Toland (DL), Eddie Melton (K), Caiden Permenter (G), Keagan Toland (G), Pearse Walsh (T) and Dan Delos (RB) were recognized with All-Uncas Division honors. 

Avon’s Geoff Kirk (WR/TE), Harrison Gill (T), Ryan Rogers (G), Teddy Allmendinger (LB) and defensive lineman Jamie Dlugolecki were named to the All-Uncas team. Granby center Andrew Migliaccio, running back Connor Field and defensive back Dom Pagano were recognized for Granby. 

Canton went 10-2 on the year and 9-0 in the Pequot Conference Uncas Division, winning its first league championship since 1958 and qualifying for the CIAC Class S playoffs for the first time in school history. 

Canton’s Cam Daley and Sebby Gumbs earned All-Pequot honors for the third year. It was the second year for Bonini, Shane Toland and Walsh. 

“These all-league players have shown year-round commitment to making themselves stronger athletes in our weight room and have worked tirelessly at mastering their individual position techniques and schemes,” former Canton High coach Paul Philippon said. “This recognition is a testament to their hard work and their willingness to make sacrifices.” 

Delos was selected as the player of the year in the Uncas Division. Delos was a force on both sides of the ball. He rushed for a school record 1,511 yards and 21 touchdowns. Defensively at linebacker, he made 73 tackles, five for a loss and had a team-high 5½ sacks. He recovered three fumbles. 

“The fact that the coaches selected Daniel over other deserving players – some with more impressive statistics – speaks volumes about his consistency on every snap both as an outside linebacker on defense and as a fullback on offense, “ Philippon said. “When breaking down game films, No. 34 jumps off the screen as a difference maker, a game changer. It’s a huge honor and certainly well deserved.” 

Delos had a career-high 214 yards rushing and scored 4 TDs in a win over Windsor Locks in October. 

Daley had a tremendous impact on the Warriors. He ran for a career-high 974 yards and 15 touchdowns. He played running back, receiver and quarterback. Defensively, he led the team with four interceptions, had 93 tackles and three for a loss. He had back-to-back games of 184 and 179 yards rushing before moving to quarterback for the final four games of the season. 

Gumbs saw little action in the first two games due to an injury but finished strong, rushing for 1,023 yards and nine touchdowns. He also caught three TD passes and returned a kickoff for a TD. Gumbs ran for over 100 yards in the final four games of the season, including a school-record 226 yards and three TDs in a win over Hyde-New Haven and 149 yards in the thrilling OT win over Avon.   

Bonini was Canton’s leading tackler with 106 tackles including 68 solo stops. He also ran for 211 yards and four TDs on offense. 

At 6-foot-4, Shane Toland was a force on both sides of the ball. He helped anchor an offensive line that cleared the way for two 1,000-yard rushers – the first runners in school history to achieve that. Defensively, Toland had 101 tackles and a team-high 13 tackles for a loss. 

Permenter, Keagan Toland, Pearse Walsh helped Canton score a school record 336 points this season and run for 3,875 yards – one of the top 25 best rushing seasons in state history. 

Melton was recognized for his kicking. He converted on a school record 48 of 50 extra points. His 48 points is a single season school record. But he ran for 112 yards on 18 carries and caught three passes for 49 yards. Defensively, he recovered three fumbles and had 32 tackles. 

Philippon was named the Pequot Conference coach of the year and he credited his players. “If you put these players on another team’s roster, we would have a different coach of the year,” he said. One week after the season, Philippon resigned after three years citing the uncertainty surrounding the status of the program. There are just 18 underclassmen in the program. 

The Avon High football team ran for a school record 9 TDs and 707 yards in Saturday night's win over Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby. Above, Ryan Rogers (54) and Geoff Kirk (12) lead Teddy Allmendinger (34).

Avon’s Ryan Rogers (54) and Geoff Kirk (12) lead running back Teddy Allmendinger (34). All three made the All-Pequot Uncas Division team along with Jamie Dlugolecki (42).

Avon went 7-4 in its final season in the Pequot Conference. Guard Ryan Rogers, tackle Harrison Gill and Geoff Kirk at tight end led the way for the Falcons, who scored 384 points – the third highest number of points in team history. 

“Ryan was a devastating run blocker for us and only gave up one sack in the last two years,” Avon coach Jim Caouette said. “Harrison came back from several injuries and proved to be one of best linemen. Geoff was a dominant run-blocking tight end and great pass catcher for us.” Rogers was also named to the Connecticut High School Coaches Association’s Class M All-State team.

Kirk led the Falcons in receptions, pulling in 17 receptions for 428 yards and five touchdowns. Behind the Falcons offensive line, Teddy Allemendinger ran for 1,278 yards and 13 touchdowns. 

Jameson Dlugolecki was productive on both sides of the ball. He ran for 229 yards and 8 TDs. Defensively, he recovered two fumbles for touchdowns and had an interception. “He was always around the ball for us,” Caouette said. Kirk was also a dominant linebacker for Avon. 

Allmendinger rushed for more than 1,200 yards but stood out on defense, too. “He was one of the top linebackers in the Pequot Conference in the state,” Caouette said. “He finished with over 130 tackles and eight sacks.” He also forced and recovered several fumbles. 

Granby's Connor Field

Granby’s Connor Field

Granby’s Connor Field ran for a school-record 2,204 yards and 23 TDs. He set a new state record by running for more than 300 yards in four consecutive games. Migliaccio at center helped the Field and the Bears run for more than 3,590 yards. Pagano had a strong year at quarterback, rushing for 742 yards and defensive back. 

2014 Pequot Conference All-Stars 

Coach of the Year: Paul Philippon, Canton
Uncas Division MVP: Dan Delos, Canton
Sassacus Division MVP: Jake Ward, Morgan
Teddy Netcoh Winner: Sam Nochea, Old Saybrook/Westbrook 


QB: Christian Rider, Ellington/Somers
RB: Connor Field, Granby
RB: Dan Delos, Canton
RB: Jarvis Miller, Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby
WR: Mark Hickman, Ellington/Somers
WR/TE: Geoff Kirk, Avon
WR: Jake Lareau, Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby
WR: Tyrik Henry, Enfield
T: Pearce Walsh, Canton
T: Harrison Gill, Avon
G: Keagan Toland, Canton
G: Caiden Permenter, Canton
G: Ryan Rogers, Avon
C: Andrew Migliaccio, Granby
K: Eddie Melton, Canton
Flex: Daniel Gebhart, Coventry/Windham tech/Bolton 

LB: Teddy Allmendinger, Avon
LB: Shane McGowen, Ellington/Somers
LB: Henry Bonini, Canton
LB: Jake Marconi, Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby
DL: Shane Toland, Canton
DL: Jamie Dlugolecki, Avon
DL: MIchell Jackson, Gilbert/Northwestern
DL: Devyn Lozada, SMSA/University
DL: Jake Hinkel, Ellington/Somers
DB: Cam Daley, Canton
DB: Nick Lajara, SMSA/University
DB: Sebby Gumbs, Canton
DB: Dominic Pagano, Granby
P: Jacob Jeffko, Gilbert/Northwestern
Utility: Connor Hutchins, Stafford/East Windsor 

QB: Chris-Jean Pierre, Valley Regional/Old Lyme
RB: Jake Ward, Morgan
RB: Jake Ober, Coginchaug
WR: Austin Calamita, North Branford
WR: Evan Smith Valley Regional/Old Lyme
WR: Joe Lee Morgan
OL: Eric Peterson, Morgan
OL: Josh Smith Coginchaug
OL: Lou Distasio, North Branford
OL: Dan Figuenick, Valley Regional/Old Lyme
OL: Chris Seals, Morgan
K: Jarred Roache, Valley Regional/Old Lyme
FLEX: Eddie Miller, North Branford 

LB: Greg Lee, Morgan
LB: Nick Sagnella, North Branford
LB: Justin Cheverier, Valley Regional/Old Lyme
LB: Tajhay Marshall, Valley Regional/Old Lyme
DE: Mike Kaiser, North Branford
DE: Tyler Cheverier, Valley Regional/Old Lyme
DE: Jake Tuener, Morgan
DL: Jack Gianconia, Valley Regional/Old Lyme
DL: Quentin Thompson, Hyde Leadership
DB: Andrew Tuscano, Valley Regional/Old Lyme
DB: Mateo Zampano Morgan
DB: Shelby Franklin North Branford
DB: Dwayne Hunter-Parker, Hyde Leadership
DB: Kristian Sapp, Cromwell
UTILITY: Devin Rodrigue, Coginchaug
UTILITY: Hunter Czaja, Haddam Killingworth

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 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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