By John Torsiello
Granby female runners regrouping this season
The Bears, who finished 18-8 in dual meets, fifth at the NCCC Championship, and fourth at the Class SS state meet, lost Ashley Piccirillo-Horan, who was Class SS All-State in 2009 and All-NCCC four years. She is currently running at Brandeis University.
But Granby has senior Alexa Cipkas, All-NCCC for three years, back. Katie Pinson, a senior, is a first-year cross-country runner but Hansen has her slotted in the number two spot.
“The development of our four through seven runners will be a key for us. We should be strong at the top with Alexa and Katie, but the success of the season depends upon how much we improve and develop the rest of our runners.”
The coach believes his club should finish among the top five teams in the NCCC and be around that position at the Class SS meet.
“Avon is extremely strong and talented and favored to win our league. In fact, they are probably the number one team in the state.”
Granby opened up its season Wednesday with Canton and Suffield at Somers.
Granby boys cross-country looks to move up
Key losses to graduation were Dylan Chicione, Mitch Rennels and Matt O’Neil.
Lobo believes his team worked hard in the off-season and has solid depth, but the team has a lack of big meet experience.
“We have a better attitude and our strength lies in our underclassmen. As the saying goes, `Everything green grows.’ The challenge will be how fast the growing takes place as the team moves up to Class M in 2014. If we can stay healthy, we could surprise at the end of the season. I figure Ellington, Canton and Suffield are the top teams in the conference.”
Granby’s first meet was Wednesday at Somers with Canton and Suffield.
Granby field hockey seeks big season
The Granby High School field hockey team year in and year out is one of the best programs in the state.
During head coach Sandy Wickman Mason’s 10 years on the job, the Bears have posted 150 wins and nine ties with only 30 losses. Granby finished 9-6-2-1 last season and the mentor believes her club can contend for North Central Connecticut Conference and state honors this fall.
“I would suspect that Avon will be favored to repeat in the North Central Connecticut Conference but we hope to compete for the top spot. What we need to do is spread our experience on the team to all lines of our system. We certainly look to improve on last year’s record in the conference and our state tournament showing.”
The Bears have some solid returning talent.
The Bears lost some top talent to graduation, including midfielder Mia Olsen and goalie Nicole Fredo. Wickman Mason will need to find replacements for those two players.
Granby opened its season at home against Somers Thursday.