CHESHIRE – Canton was one of 20 Connecticut high schools recently recognized with a CIAC Michaels Achievement Cup for outstanding achievement in athletics during the 2014-15 school year.
Simsbury, Lewis Mills, Northwest Catholic, St. Paul and Northwestern Regional were other regional schools recognized with the Michaels Achievement Cup. The schools were recognized for achievements in athletics, sportsmanship, participation, athletic scholarship, training for coaches and athletic staff, equity in terms of equipment and opportunities and chemical-free initiatives.
“A lot is expected and required of high school athletics programs in this era, so it’s important to honor schools that strive to excel and can serve as a model of success,” said Karissa Niehoff, the executive director of the CIAC and the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS).
On the field, it was a year of achievement in 2014-15 for the Warriors.
- Canton’s football team (10-2) had one of its best seasons ever, winning a school record 10 games, earning its first-ever berth to the CIAC Class S tournament and capturing its first league championship (Pequot Uncas) since 1958.
- The boys soccer team (11-6) earned a spot in the Class S tournament for the ninth straight year before being eliminated on penalty kicks in the second round.
- In cross country, the Canton boys went 13-1 and finished second in the NCCC and second at the Class SS championships, earning a bid to the State Open. The Canton girls went 8-6 and finished seventh in Class S.
- The boys basketball team (14-9) won a NCCC Tournament game for the first time since 2010 and posted their second straight winning season.
- Canton’s girls basketball team (22-5) became just the third team in program history to win at least 22 games. The Warriors shared the NCCC championship with Avon – its first pennant since 1999 and advanced to the Class S championship game before losing to Thomaston, 55-52.
- The boys indoor track team finished second in the NCCC for the third straight year and finished fifth in Class S for the second year in a row.
- The Warrior softball team (13-8) earned a spot in the Class S tournament for the ninth straight season.
- Canton’s boys golf team (12-3) finished second at the CIAC Division IV tournament for just the second time in school history. The Warriors also took second in 2010.
- The boys track and field team (14-0) went undefeated for the fifth consecutive season and finished second in the NCCC. The Warriors also finished second in Class S for the second straight year. The girls track and field team went 9-5 and posted a winning record for the third year in a row.
- The Canton girls lacrosse team (9-7) had its first-ever winning season, beat Avon and Granby for the first time and advanced to the Class S quarterfinals.
“It is important for us to celebrate this great acknowledgement. But what is more important is that we as a community remember that with recognition comes great responsibility,” said Craig DeAngelis, Canton’s athletic director. “We want to maintain our areas of strength but also seek ways to continuously improve in order to give our student-athletes, coaches, and the Canton community the best possible Warrior athletic experience.”
The criteria used by the CIAC committee to make the award includes sportsmanship (30 percent), participation (20 percent), athletic scholarship (20 percent), athletic personnel including training for coaches and a trainer (10 percent), equitable financial resources and equipment (10 percent), chemical-free initiatives (5 percent), athletic achievement (5 percent).
The Michaels Achievement Cup began in the early 1980s by Roy Michaels, owner of Michaels Jewelry in an effort to recognize outstanding athletic programs. In 2008, the CIAC took over administration of the program.
Canton previous won a Michaels Achievement Cup in 1994 and 2008 for being the top team in Class S. The Warriors were second in Class S in 1995 and 1998. Since the CIAC took over administration in 2008, two to four teams a year in each class (LL, L, MM, M, SS and S) are recognized.