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Four Canton athletes earn All-State honors; Mix named All-American

Canton’s Spencer Mix bears down on the ball during a recent win over Ellington. Mix scored a team-high 30 goals this fall.

Four Canton High athletes earned first team All-State honors for their play on the field this fall – soccer players Devin Brown and Spencer Mix, field hockey player Maggie Gibbons and cross country runner Jack Dendinger

Mix also earned All-New England honors for the second consecutive season and became just the eighth athlete in school history to earn All-American honors.

Gibbons was a midfielder for the Warrior field hockey team and scored three goals. She helped the Warriors beat Granby, 1-0 in October to win a share of the NCCC league championship for the first time since 2006. “She did a great job (all season) moving the ball up the field and distributing,” Canton High field hockey coach Margaret Bristol said.

Dendinger was the top runner for the Warriors this season. He won four dual meets, was third at the NCCC championship meet and was second at the Class SS championship meet to earn All-State honors.

Brown was a steadying force on the defensive backfield for the Warriors, who shared a piece of their first league championship since 2002 with Suffield. Canton had six shutouts in the regular season and three in the state tournament.

Mix became just the eighth player in school history to earn All-American honors when he was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-American team. Mix scored a career-high 30 goals and had 12 assists to lead Canton to the Class S championship game where the Warriors fell to Old Saybrook, 4-1 in overtime.

Mix scored five of Canton’s 14 goals in the state tournament including two in a 2-0 win over No. 1 seed Holy Cross and the lone Warrior goal in the loss to Old Saybrook.

“He is an unbelievable player,” Canton High boys soccer coach Bill Phelps said. “And it’s not just the goals. The goals are great, but it is the way he commands the field and sees what is going on. He sees and understands the game very well.”

Early against Holy Cross, he was on the forward attacking and putting pressure on the Crusaders. Once Canton had the lead, he would float back to help defensively but when there was an opportunity, he sprinted forward.

He didn’t mind the extra attention from defenders, either. “If I can take the attention from the defense, it opens up my teammates,” Mix said.

Mix is the fourth Canton boys soccer played to earn All-American honors, joining an elite group that includes David Vaudreuil (1983), Karl Schilling (2003) and his teammate from a year ago, Ty Aleska (2020).

Mix’s 30 goals is No. 3 on the all-time single season list for Canton soccer behind Schilling (33 in 2003) and James Spatcher (31 in 2012). Mix had a career-high four goals in a win over East Granby in October.

Mix is fourth on the career list for goals behind Jackson Miner (67 from 2017-20), Schilling (64 from 2000-03), Ken Langevin (51 from 1982-85) and Steve McDonald (50 from 1977-80).

Coach: Erik Shortell
Record: 7-4, 5-2 Pequot Uncas (co-champions with Rockville and Stafford/East Windsor/Somers)
All-NCCC: John Bruhin (Canton), Cooper Boyd (Granby), Marquis Thomas (Granby), Will Attianese (Granby), George Horst (Granby)
CIAC state tournament: Lost to Torrington, 37-29 in Class M quarterfinals
All-State (CHSCA): none
Note: Canton is part of the co-op football program hosted by Granby

Coach: Bill Phelps
Record: 16-5, 12-1 NCCC (co-champions with Suffield)
All-NCCC: Devin Brown, Miles Dieulis, Thomas Gibbons, Spencer Mix
CIAC state tournament: Lost Class S championship game to Old Saybrook, 4-1, OT
All-State (CHSCA): Devin Brown and Spencer Mix
All-State (GameTimeCT): Spencer Mix
All-New England (United Soccer Coaches): Spencer Mix
All-American (USC): Spencer Mix

Coach: Jamie Thwaites
Record: 7-9-1, 6-6 NCCC (eighth)
All-NCCC: Julia Lau and Brooke Potter
CIAC state tournament: Lost to Sheehan, 1-0 in first round of Class M tournament
All-State (CHSCA): none

Coach: Margaret Bristol
Record: 11-6, 7-1 NCCC (co-champions with Granby)
All-NCCC: Tommie Barker, Gabriella DelSanto, Maggie Gibbons, Erin Mackin, Mika Stamos
CIAC state tournament: Lost to Lauralton Hall, 1-0 in second round of Class S tournament
All-State (CHSCA): Maggie Gibbons, Erin Mackin (2nd team)
Note: Gibbons was selected and played in the CHSCA Senior All-Star game while Stamos and Delsanto played in the Junior Select All-Star game at Avon.

Coach: Matt Brintle
Record: 5-16, 2-7 NCCC (ninth)
All-NCCC: Sophia Mates
CIAC state tournament: Did not qualify
All-State (CHSCA): none

Coach: Tim O’Donnell
Record: 9-3, sixth at NCCC championship meet
All-NCCC: Jack Dendinger, Thomas Purcell
CIAC state tournament: 4th, Class SS
All-State (CHSCA): Jack Dendinger

Coach: Chris Chisholm
Record: 6-6, fourth at NCCC championship meet
All-NCCC: Morgan Babbitt
CIAC state tournament: Not enough runners to score at Class SS meet
All-State (CHSCA): none


Canton High All-American players
David Vaudreuil, soccer 1983
Bill Canny, baseball 1987
Betsy Olson, field hockey 1989
Erin Murphy, field hockey 1992
Karl Schilling, boys soccer 2003
Abby Charron, girls lacrosse 2019
Ty Aleska, boys soccer 2020
Spencer Mix, boys soccer 2021

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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