Basketball at Avon Old Farms
Q&A with Head Coach Matt Mihalich
- What is your background?
- Who does Avon Old Farms compete against?
- What is your coaching philosophy?
- What is the key to having a great team?
- What are the primary Intangible benefits of playing in a program like this?
- RECRUIT ME
What is your background?
Coach Mihalich: I began my coaching career as an assistant coach for Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington, VA. My boss was Joe Wootten, who has been there for more than 20 years and helped so many students to play college basketball. The level of competition in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference ranks among the country's elite as far as high school basketball goes, so that really rooted my love for high school hoops, and aiming for the highest level possible.
Before coming to Avon Old Farms, I most recently coached basketball at the University of Hartford where I gained invaluable experience. My grandfather wrote the book, Sports and Athletics: Philosophy in Action, in which he said athletics provide a platform for pure expression of the human spirit, as well as the pursuit of excellence. That philosophy guided me at Hartford, and I formed relationships with great people from all over the world. Prior to Hartford, I worked at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia. I taught Academic Support and Mentoring, assisting students throughout their coursework in English, history, and math. There, I was mentored by people who believed that true coaches – at their core–are teachers. These principles – be a teacher first, express spirit, and pursue excellence–form my approach to working with high school boys, both in the classroom and outside of it.
Who does Avon Old Farms compete against?
Coach Mihalich: This league is a destination; players from all over the country (and beyond) know they will find elite competition in the NEPSAC. We go toe-to-toe with teams who attract students who want to win and go on to play at the next level. That's how we operate as well, so our schedule is quite the gauntlet.
What is your coaching philosophy?
What is the key to having a great team?
Coach Mihalich: A great team has balance. Each player must balance his personal goals with the team goals. They must think for themselves while trusting the coaches. There must be friendship among the group, but still very competitive with one another. As long as the members of the team find the right mix of each aspect, that has the makings of a winning team.
What are the primary Intangible benefits of playing in a program like this?
Varsity Basketball Games
Basketball - Varsity
Basketball Program Overview
The basketball program here at Avon Old Farms has a strong tradition of fielding talented and competitive teams at all levels. Interest in basketball here at Avon continues to grow, and just a few years ago we added a fourth competitive team. All four teams play a full slate of games and each team has at least two coaches. All of our teams practice in our beautiful field house. The field house has three full courts, all 94’ long. During the winter season, our parquet wood floor is laid down on the first court to form Cole Court, one of the best courts in prep school basketball. The other facilities are also top notch and include a spacious locker room right off of the court, an excellent weight and fitness center, and a training room.
The varsity team plays a very competitive schedule of between 22 to 25 games each year. We are members of both the Tri-State League and the Founders League. Through our league affiliations, we play against excellent competition which includes home-and-home series with Hotchkiss, Kent, Trinity-Pawling, Taft, Berkshire, and Canterbury. We also play league games against Choate, Loomis, Kingswood-Oxford, and Westminster. In addition to our league opponents, we also play traditionally strong teams like Salisbury, Suffield, Deerfield, St. Andrew’s, and Marianapolis.
We have been fortunate to have many talented players through the years. While each year we do have some players for whom basketball is their only varsity sport, the vast majority of our players are talented multi-sport varsity athletes. We are very glad that most of our players continue the proud prep school tradition of participating in multiple sports.
Our program focuses on teaching and promoting the ideals of playing as a team and being a good teammate. At the same time, teams at all levels devote practice time and instruction aimed at improving individual skills. We hope that through participating in our program the boys will learn and develop an appreciation for hard-work, discipline, competitive fire, and team work that will help them succeed in every facet of life.
Basketball - Varsity
Varsity Basketball Roster
|1||Christian Moore||W/F||2023||Pasadena, CA|
|2||Jared Flaks||G||2023||Avon, CT|
|3||James Monin||G||2023||Atlanta, GA|
|4||Matthew Curtis||G||2023||Ellington, CT|
|5||Thomas Prendergast||Wing||2023||Bayport, NY|
|10||Matthew Trotta||G||2024||Trumbull, CT|
|11||Jeffrey Akintolu||F||2023||Welling, KENT|
|12||Joel Taylor||G||2024||Braintree, MA|
|13||Benjamin McFarland||G||2024||Portsmouth, NH|
|14||Cole Canty||C||2023||Dover, MA|
|22||Blake Smith||G||2024||Pleasantville, NY|
|23||Jake Horowitz||G||2024||New York, NY|
|25||Melvin Weaver||Wing||2023||Unionville, CT|
|Dominic Carducci||MGR||2025||Farmington, CT|
|Benjamin Williams||MGR||2024||Hanover, NH|