Baseball - Varsity
Baseball Program Overview
Avon Old Farms School possesses a rich tradition of enthusiasm and success in baseball. The many wins, league championships, and college players (and a few professionals) illustrate some of the accomplishments of the program. Equally important however, is that Avon players develop their physical and mental skills, learn how to play on a team, compete, and have fun. Avon players respect the game, play it at a high level, and maximize their personal potential and future baseball opportunities.
While the varsity team is historically recognized as one of the top prep teams each year, Avon boasts competitive teams at the junior varsity and thirds levels as well. The school provides at least two coaches at each level of baseball, and the program is designed to provide an enriching baseball opportunity for all grades and skill levels to enjoy. The program is proud to mention that most varsity players at Avon have worked their way up from the lower level teams in earlier years.
Facilities/Fields: Carpenter Field, constructed in 1998, is one of the finest fields in all of New England. Complete with dugouts, bullpens, spectator area, batting tunnel, scoreboard, and scenic views of Avon Mountain, it is truly a spectacular place to play and watch baseball. While the varsity team calls Carpenter Field home for practices and home games, each team at Avon has its own regulation field and batting tunnel.
Avon Baseball has a spacious “club house” style locker room for the varsity, has a permanent facility (complete with batting tunnel and two pitching mounds) set up in the hockey rink during the season, and use of the school’s massive indoor fieldhouse. In addition, the school’s fitness center was constructed in 2006, and offers Avon athletes the opportunity to focus on strength and conditioning both during the season and in the off-season.
Schedule/League Competition: After being a strong team in the Connatonic League from the early 1970s to 1995, Avon switched to the Colonial and Founder’s Leagues in 1996. The Colonial League includes Choate, Hotchkiss, Kent, Loomis-Chaffee, Taft, Westminster, and Trinity-Pawling. Avon competes against each team twice (home and away). The Founder’s League includes all of the Colonial League teams, but adds Kingswood-Oxford, and only the first meeting of the teams is considered part of league play. Outside of league competition, Avon will play some college teams (Trinity and Wesleyan some years) and other prep schools such as Deerfield, Salisbury, Northfield Mount Herman and Suffield. Avon plays seven games in Florida each March and twenty-one contests during the season.
Colonial or Founders League Championships won by the varsity team since 1996: sixteen in nineteen seasons (1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016)
Varsity Record 1996-2016: 385-75
Selected Colleges/Universities Avon baseball players have enrolled in since 1996: University of Virginia, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill and Asheville), University of Maryland, Yale University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, United States Military Academy at West Point, Brown University, University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern, The College of William and Mary, Elon College, Boston College, Fordham University, University of Delaware, University of Massachusetts, Johns Hopkins University, Bryant College, Amherst College, Trinity College (CT and TX), Brandeis University, Union College, Ursinus College, Williams College, Rollins College, University of Connecticut, Wesleyan University, Wheaton College, Emory University, California State at Bakersfield, Bentley, and more.
Avon players drafted by Major League Teams in recent years:
- Graeme Brown (New York Mets)
- Jason LaVorgna (New York Mets)
- George Springer (Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros)
- Tim Kiene (Washington Nationals)
- Tim Brechbuehler (Toronto Blue Jays)
- Neil Kozikowski (Pittsburgh Pirates)
- Cael Brockmeyer (Chicago Cubs)
- Chris Madera (Chicago Cubs)
- Mike Gibbons (New York Mets)
- Joey Donino (Arizona Diamondbacks)
- Jack Sundberg (Washington Nationals)
- John Witkowski '15 (St. Louis Cardinals)
- Matt Gill '16 (Cincinnati Reds)
Spring Trip: Avon Old Farms Baseball goes to Florida each March for seven games and seven practices in Port St. Lucie, FL. Twenty-four players join six coaches for one week of intense baseball. The team stays in the luxurious PGA Kolter resort, which is the same facility many of the New York Mets players enjoy for their spring training. The Florida trip is an opportunity to teach fundamentals, play games, and bond as a team. The trip is a lot of fun and is an indispensable part of each season.
Coach Dowling started working with the varsity baseball team in 1996 and was named head baseball coach in 2001. During Coach Dowling's time with the baseball program, the team has earned sixteen league championships and witnessed dozens of Avon Old Farms baseball players progress to the collegiate level at some of the top programs in the country. Several Avon Old Farms players have been drafted into the professional ranks during Coach Dowling’s time at Avon including Jason LaVorgna ’04 (New York Mets), George Springer ’08 (Houston Astros), Tim Brechbueller ’09 (Toronto Blue Jays), Cael Brockmeyer ’10 (Chicago Cubs), Tim Kiene ’10 (Washington Nationals), Joe Donino ’10 (Arizona Diamondbacks), Christopher Madera ’11 (Boston Red Sox), Mike Gibbons ’11 (New York Mets), Jack Sundberg ’12 (Washington Nationals), Neil Kozikowski ’14 (Pittsburg Pirates), Ryan Cusick ’18 (Cincinnati Reds), and Hudson Haskin ’18 (Oakland Athletics).
More important than the baseball-related team and individual accomplishments, Coach Dowling is most proud of the growth and success of Avon players as high-quality people.
In the summer, Dowling has worked in the NECBL and with Connecticut legion and AAU programs. Each summer, Coach Dowling is asked by the Boston Red Sox scouting department to throw batting practice to prospects and professionals at various stadiums including Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium. Coach Dowling maintains quality personal relationships with college coaches and the professional baseball community.
Coach Dowling grew up in Massachusetts, is a 1991 graduate of Avon Old Farms, and played his college baseball at Trinity. He teaches history and serves as the school's Provost. He and his wife Amy have two children; Brian and Kathryn.
If you have questions about the Avon Old Farms baseball program, please be encouraged to contact Coach Dowling using email at email@example.com or by phone at 860-404-4264.
Associate Head Coach
Coach Doyle started working with the varsity baseball team in 2003. He has been an indispensable part of the team’s success over the years and skillfully served as Head Coach in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Coach Doyle grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts before attending Deerfield Academy ’88 and Amherst College ’92. While at Amherst, Doyle played on several championship hockey and baseball teams and, upon graduation, he served as the Hitchcock Fellow under legendary coach Bill Thurston.
Brian and his wife, Lara, moved to Avon in 1993 and have called Avon Old Farms home ever since. After serving as the Athletic Director and an Academic Dean for several years, Brian currently works as the Dean of Students. He also teaches mathematics and coaches hockey. Brian and Lara live on faculty row and have two children; Connor ’12 and Cody ‘14.
Please be encouraged to contact Coach Doyle using email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 860-404-4218.
Coach Callaghan ’95 joined Avon’s faculty in 2003 and began working with the varsity baseball team as a pitching coach in 2008. He has been teaching English and coaching since graduating as an English major from Amherst College in 1999 where he also pitched for Coach Bill Thurston. During his playing days, Coach Callaghan was active in the summer wood bat leagues, most notably the NECBL (Danbury, CT) in 1996 and the Coastal Plain League (Durham,NC) in 1998. Coach Callaghan also served as the pitching coach for the Holyoke Giants of the NECBL during the summer of 2003. He lives on campus with his wife and two children.
Coach Hodgson enters the Old Farms Varsity dugout in 2017 after working with the JV team in 2016 when he joined the Avon faculty as an English teacher. Hodgson is no stranger to the diamond having played collegiately at Kenyon College where he was a two-time team MVP, two-time team captain, and two-time All-NCAC player. After graduating from Kenyon in 2001, Hodgson stayed in Gambier, coaching at his alma mater before moving on to coaching stints at Georgia College and State University and The George Washington University where he served as the recruiting coordinator and hitting coach until 2008. During his college baseball coaching tenure, Hodgson helped numerous players earn All-Conference, All-Region, and All-American accolades, and he had the pleasure of seeing some get drafted and play professional baseball. Hodgson lives in Simsbury with his wife and son.
|Major League||George Springer||Houston Astros|
|Minor League||Mike Gibbons||New York Mets|
|Minor League||Jack Sunburg||Washington Nationals|
|Minor League||Cael Brockmeyer||Chicago Cubs|
|Minor League||Chris Madeira||Boston Red Sox|
|Independent League||Mike Castellani||Washington Wild Things|
|2019||Ben Dellancono||Holy Cross|
|2019||Mark Smith||Sacred Heart|
|2018||Ryan Cusick||Wake Forest|
|2018||Ryan Smith||Washington College|
|2017||Will Hesslink||Boston College|
|2016||Matt Gill||Boston College|
|2016||Stephen Thibault||Sacred Heart|
|2015||John Witkowski||Boston College|
|2014||Cody Doyle||Sacred Heart|
|2014||Anthony Maselli||Boston College|
|2014||Mike Tommila||Univ. of Rhode Island|