2024 Spring Sports Recap


2024 Spring Sports Recap

2024 Spring Sports Recap

The spring athletics season at Avon Old Farms always seems to fly by much faster than the fall and winter seasons, but that certainly doesn’t mean there was any less sportsmanship or talent on display. There were plenty of records broken and trophies won as well.

After winning the Founders League Championship last year and adding new postgraduate talent this year, the varsity baseball team was given the number one ranking in all of New England by the New England Prep Baseball Journal. Yet, the boys were clearly up to the challenge of taking on those lofty pre-season expectations. 

The Winged Beavers never dropped from that number one spot. They went undefeated at home and finished the regular season with a record of 16-4. Their final regular season game and first post-season game—both against Westminster—finished in thrilling walk-off fashion. They met Choate in the championship game, and after a standoff that featured great pitching and defensive play, pinch-runner Conner Naspo ’24 stole home to win the title. 

Conner, like most of the team’s 13 seniors, was also a member of the 2023 title-winning team. He discussed how this year felt a bit different. “This year was just so surreal. Being able to go out as seniors on top like this was really special.” 

The varsity golf team had a similarly difficult task of following up on a tremendous 2023 season. Like most of our spring teams, it began with a training trip during March break. Captain Chuck Blanchard ’24 said that was a perfect way to start the season. “That was really fun. We got to play on some amazing courses and we played with a bunch of Avon alums.”

Unfortunately, the team returned from warmer regions to less-than-ideal golf conditions in Connecticut. However, the boys persevered through the cold, wind, and rain to achieve wins over Williston, Pomfret, Canterbury, Kingswood Oxford, and Hopkins. 

As the weather improved, so did the team’s play—just in time for league and invitational tournaments. They placed in the top three at both the Suffield Invitational and the Coppola Cup. During the final weekend of the school year, the team competed in the Founders League tournament in which they defeated strong Westminster and Choate teams, who they had lost to earlier in the season. 

This year’s varsity track and field team also exemplified perseverance this season, finding success despite several injuries to key athletes including captain and standout in long distance events Donovan Crowley ’24. He says overcoming setbacks made finishing 2nd in the Founders League that much more special. “That’s the highest we’ve finished since I’ve been here, and we did it with so many people injured,” Donovan said. “Which means others really stepped up.”

There were plenty of individual accolades to go along with the team’s success. At the NEPSAC Championship Meet, the 4x100m team of Weston Samson '26, Emory Sirman '25, Henry Goginsky '25, and Rayshon Andrews '25 broke the Avon school record, running a 42.78 and placing 3rd. Rayshon also broke the 200m record by running a 22.20 earning him 2nd place, and the long jump record by jumping 22' 5.75 which earned him 1st place. Myles Carter '27 earned All-New England status by scoring a 41' 4.5 in the triple jump—an impressive feat for a freshman. 

As a result of these performances and others throughout the season, Rayshon Andrews, Emory Sirman, Weston Samson, Henry Goginsky, and Miles Carter earned an All-NEPSAC Certificate while Jordan Lee ’26 was awarded an All-NEPSAC Honorable Mention. With so many underclassmen performing at a high level, the track and field team has a very bright future. 

Speaking of bright futures, the varsity lacrosse team saw several underclassmen step up this year. Young attackers Trevor Havill ’25 and James Towers ’26, along with faceoff specialist Vince Gaylord ’25, cemented themselves as crucial components for next season. 

The team’s performance remained streaky throughout the season, but they proved on multiple occasions they could hang with the best. They defeated Deerfield, a top-15 team in the region, in front of friends and family on Avon’s senior day. They also defeated the #10 ranked team Hill Academy with a winning goal scored in the last second of play. “That was a highlight of the season for sure,” Captain and UNC-commit Ryan Hornyak ’24 said. 

When he inherited the job from Henry “Skip” Flanagan this year, head coach Kyle Jackson planned to begin his tenure by focusing more on building team culture and developing players, as opposed to leaning too heavily on established stars. With this philosophy in place and very talented players set to return, the varsity lacrosse team is posed to bounce back next year. 

Despite a final record of 11-5, the varsity tennis team just missed out on postseason play, a testament to how competitive the Founders League was this season. That being said, our boys did more than hold their own against such tough competition. The team finished the season winning eight out of their final 10 matches, toppling teams like Salisbury and Kingswood Oxford in the process. 

Captain Blake Jones added that the dramatic win against Westminster in the penultimate game of the season was one he’ll always remember. The two teams were tied going into the final match. All of the athletes, coaches, and fans from both teams gathered to watch David Block ’26 battle back to force a tiebreaker. “We were all watching Block, cheering every point,” Blake said. “He ended up winning, and that won us the match. Everyone just went crazy.”

Block is one of several players set to return next year. So is Cooper Smith ’25, who told the Avon Record he is optimistic for next year. “We believe in our collective talent and capabilities,” Cooper said. 

We will remember the achievements and perseverance of the Class of 2024. They upheld the school’s core value of sportsmanship both on and off the field/court/track/course. 

The 2024 spring sports season also marked the end of Major John Bourgault’s tenure as Assistant Director of Athletics. While his two decades did conclude with the Avon Army rushing the field to celebrate a championship, it’s really the values and life-lessons that intertwine with athletics that generations of Avonians will remember Major for.