The grass has been cut (or with field turf, has been maintained) and this morning there was the familiar autumn dew on my car. This can only mean the interscholastic sports season is nearly ready to kick off. In fact, most teams are out on the field for pre-season practices already.
With that in mind, it seems the perfect time to take a brief look at the recent CIAC Tournament results to get a feel for what trends stand out coming in to the year. Keep in mind this is more of a macro view, rather than an in-depth look at which teams return a number of standout players and things of that nature.
Boys Cross Country: Last year’s State Open featured an extremely fast race as Fairfield Prep’s Connor Rog ran the fastest time in that meet since 2003, helping his team claim that Open title. Coming into this year Tolland is the lone school with a chance for more than back-to-back titles as they try to extend their Championship streak to three in Class MM. Bolton returned to its title-winning ways in Class S, winning a third crown in four years. In Classes L and LL there have been a wide range of winners in recent years, with a total of seven different winners over the past four years in those classes as only Amity Regional has won twice.
Girls Cross Country: Guilford has been one of the most dominant recent teams in any sport as the team has won the past eight MM titles. Thomaston has not quite matched that success, but it will look for a third-straight crown in Class S after winning a tight battle over Immaculate (who should have the returning runnner who posted the fastest time from last year in Maggie Christ). Ridgfield captured the Championship in LL, breaking a run of success from Glastonbury, while Wilton earned its second title in three years at L. Class M has seen the most variety of success with six different teams claiming wins over the past seven years.
Field Hockey: Granby Memorial continued a run of success in Class S with its third-straight title thanks to a 2-1 overtime victory. Elsewhere, Wilton snapped a three-year title run from Darien as it captured a Championship in Class M. Class L has seen a great deal of parity with Cheshire capturing the title last year, making it six champions in four years with two years of Co-champions. Class L has also seen Co-Champions evrey other year since 2008, which would means 2012 is due for another.
Football: Xavier has been the dominant team at Class LL with a second-consecutive title last season. Ansonia moved to a new class, and rebounded from a loss in Class S to earn a title in Class M. Lots of parity in Class S and M with Holy Cross in S and Ansonia in M becoming the fifth different team to win the title in each class over the past five years. Daniel Hand was the champion in L, handing New Canaan a second-straight title game loss as it appeared in a sixth-straight title game. Only ony of the four Championship games last year was decided by seven points or less.
Boys Soccer: Bunnell returned to the Class L title game for a second-straight season but this time came out on top to claim the crown. Somers continued a string of strong showings with a dominant 7-1 result in the Class S final for a third title in four years. Class M has been filled with parity in recent years, with eight different winners over eight years including two Co-Champions. Much like Class L inÂ field hockey, Class M in boys soccer has hadÂ Co-Champions every other season since 2008.Â Pomperaug also made it a third different winner in three years in Class LL.
Girls Soccer: There is a real dominant team in girls soccer with Immaculate claiming at least a share of Class S title for the fourth-straight year and for the eighth time in nine years. In Class L, Avon snapped a string of runner-up finishes with a title. N.W. Catholic has been a staple in the Class M title game winning two of the last three after a win last season. Meanwhile Class LL has featured four different winners over the past four years as Glastonbury earned the win last season, and all four came in one-goal wins. In fact, 13 of the past 16 title matches across the classes have been decided by one goal.
Girls Volleyball: Coventry has had control of Class S as the team won a sixth-straight title last season and has appeared in every title match since 2003. RHAM moved to Class L where its run of four titles was snapped with a runner-up finish to East Lyme which claimed its second title in as many years. Rocky Hill then earned the state title in Class M and Class LL has seen a number of teams capture the Championship as Newtown became the sixth program in six years to finish with the tournament title.