2023 Spring Sports Recap


2023 Spring Sports Recap

2023 Spring Sports Recap

Winning championships, breaking school records, and exemplifying sportsmanship were all a part of this spring’s sports season, completing a year full of our athletes making the school proud. 

The spring season concluded with the varsity baseball team winning the second ever Founders League playoff tournament, earning them the title of league champions. The 2-1 victory over Loomis Chafee in the final was especially sweet, after Loomis triumphed over Avon in the championship game the year prior. 

Before the season began, many believed Avon were championship contenders, but it didn’t look that way after the first few games of the season. Avon won only one of their first five games, and the team wasn’t playing their best. Team captain Dave McCann ’23, who will continue his baseball career at Virginia Tech, described his and the team’s performance to start the season as “nauseating.”

Head Coach Rob Dowling ’91, P’22 and his team persevered, however, and won 11 of their next 12 games, including a 12-2 victory over Trinity-Pawling School at Dunkin’ Park in Hartford. They finished the season strong as well, scoring 56(!) runs in their last three games. A 4-3 win over Choate Rosemary Hall in the tournament semifinal set them up for the rematch against Loomis in the final. 

McCann, along with Aidan Stern ’23, Van Liott ’24, Teddy Cashman ’23, and Owen Callaghan ’25 earned All Founders League First Team honors, while Ryan Kolodziejczyk ’23, Ben Williams ’24, Grady Gollier ’23, Ty Longoria ’24, and Michael Pelletier ’23 earned positions on the second team or honorable mention. Liott was also voted as the Underclass Player of the Year and Callaghan was chosen as the Underclass Pitcher of the Year. Dowling was also named Founders League Coach of the Year. 

Over on the links, the varsity golf team, led by co-captains Peter Crowe ’23 and Finn McHugh ’23, continued the excellent form they displayed last spring. They finished the season with a record of 15 wins and only four losses, including victories over Deerfield, Taft, Westminster, and Hotchkiss.

The boys proved to be exceptional in tournament play. They won the Coppolla Cup and finished second at the Western New England Tournament, the Founder’s League Tournament, and the Suffield Invitational as well. They finished the season with the Kingswood Invitational where they finished in the top five out of 25 schools.

Avon native Andrew Fitting ’24 proved to be a standout performer, while Chuck Blanchard ’24 took home the title of most improved. Both will surely be important return players next season.

As a team, the varsity track and field squad performed well, placing third in the Founders League. In the first meet of the season, the team placed first overall, beating out Taft, Hopkins, and Choate. 

While the team performed admirably overall, there were a few individual performances of note this season, including several school records being broken. 

KeShawn Adams ’24 broke the school record in the long jump with a mark of 22 feet and 1.25 inches. This was enough to earn him first place in the Founders League in that event. The school long jump record was previously held by Taisun Phommachanh ’19, who is now a NCAA Division 1 quarterback. 

Maxwell Warren ’23 placed a close second in the 100-meter dash at the Founders League championships, but that was still enough to break the school record with a time of 10.88. He also placed a close second at New Englands (NEPSTA D1 Championship).

In the discus event, Jeffrey Akintolu ’23 threw 149 feet and 1 inch to take first place in the league and the second best mark in school history. He also placed third in the javelin event just behind Ben McFarland ’24 who placed second with a mark of 142 feet 4 inches.

Last but most definitely not least, Donovan Crowley ’24 put up incredible performances throughout the season in long distance races. At an away meet against Andover, Loomis, and Northfield Mount Hermon, Donovan broke the school record in the 800-meter with a time of 1:57.79. At the Founders League championships, he gave his competitors no chance, winning the 1500-meter race and breaking the school record with a time of 4:05.82. At New Englands' (NEPSTA D1 Championship), he broke the school record again with a time of 4:01.62, placing fourth in the race. This was enough to place Donovan at #15 in the country for his age group, and #1 in CT overall in the 1500-meter. “It was the fastest race I've seen,” says Head Coach Beth Larson. “The winner broke the NEPSTA record and is now currently ranked number one in the country for his age group.” 

On the brand new Globe Tennis Foundation Tennis Courts, our varsity tennis athletes completed an impressive season, finishing with a record of 10-5. As a team, they recorded six shutout victories, including the first ever 7-0 win over a strong Kingswood team.  

Individually, Lucas Villamizar ’24 finished with an impressive 9-5 match record at one singles, while team captains MJ Chaho ’23, Marcus Hookong ’23, and Griffin Williams ’23 all had strong seasons as well. Head Coach Dave Raposo says his captains were exceptional in other aspects. “They really assisted in creating a positive culture that helped our team have a strong season.”

After a strong 2023 season, and with several athletes returning next year, Raposo says he is excited about the future. “We are looking forward to next season where captain Blake Jones ’24 will help keep us moving forward through solid student leadership and a winning team first attitude.”

Our varsity lacrosse team was full of talent on the field as well as on the sidelines. Professional lacrosse player Kyle Jackson joined the coaching staff led by legend of the game Henry “Skip” Flanagan H’18, GP’16, '20. 

The experience of these coaches and energy encouraged by the team’s 17 seniors proved to be a strong combination. With the playoff tournament looming, Avon needed to win their next two games—against Hotchkiss and Trinity-Pawling— to secure a spot. Not only did the team triumph in both of these games to clinch their spot in the playoffs, but the win over Trinity-Pawling marked Flanagan’s 400th win of his career. 

They closed out the regular season with an away win at rival Deerfield Academy and a game against Taft that was broadcast nationally on ESPN. Although the season ended with a tough overtime loss to Choate, there were plenty of positives to take away, the least of which was team captain Benn Johnston ’23 earning the honor of Western New England Midfielder of the Year.

Dozens of our graduating spring athletes will be competing at the collegiate level next year. All of our underclassmen, however, will be ready to return to the Farm in the fall for another year of aspiring and persevering.