CANTON – Girls who played on sports teams in Canton high school in the last school year have won a lot.
Canton’s nine varsity teams finished with an overall record of 102-36-3 last year, winning 73% of their games.
Girls’ swimming, softball and volleyball all had undefeated regular seasons and the Canton volleyball team won the most of any team last year, going 22-1 overall. .
Canton lost five seniors from last year’s squad, including Section 10 MVP Katie Bennett.
A good chunk of the volleyball team also played on the Canton softball team last year, which is coached by head coach Carla Wentworth’s husband, Mike.
It is no coincidence that the players of both teams know how to win and like to win.
“They play other sports and they walk into the gym and they’re excited,” Wentworth said. “They trust each other. They communicate well with each other. They have been playing together for a long time and they get on well.
The Golden Bears are returning plenty of stars, including Ava Hoy, who was a first-team NAC player and could be just as dangerous this season.
“She can just take over,” Wentworth said of Hoy. “If we get her the right set, she can just hammer it. It’s about having good passes to get to that point. It’s hard to (come back) because it’s so fast.
Hoy, who is 6ft 3in, is just entering her freshman year but is already known in Section 10 sports for also playing basketball and being one of the best softball pitchers in the area. .
“She can still get a lot better,” Wentworth said. “She is very reserved. She likes to involve everyone. A lot of times I have to tell her, ‘Ava, go hit the ball.’ She has this personality of wanting the team to get involved.
Hoy can dominate in all three of her sports, but she hasn’t picked a favorite.
“I (played volleyball) for a few years and the team is always great fun,” Hoy said. “It’s a great environment here. We all feel good. Our team is looking great so far.
“Normally in basketball season (I love basketball), in softball season it’s softball and in volleyball season it’s volleyball.”
Hoy and setter Courtney Peters are both Canton softball pitchers and their chemistry shifts to the volleyball court.
“Hitting is my favorite and we always have great passers too, which makes it a lot easier for me,” Hoy said. “(Peters) has big hands. She’s a great player in every way. We have several passers this year and they are all excellent.
Peters was on last year’s team, but she wasn’t the main setter. She’s been in the role since Mattie Porter, now part of the St. Lawrence University team, graduated.
“She’s just a great athlete, very different from Ava,” Wentworth said of Peters. “They complement each other so well. It’s funny. She was our secondary setter last year and mostly played defense, but she’s super coachable and very fast.
Peters primarily played in the infield in softball, but when Canton lost one of her pitchers, Hadley Alguire, to injury, she switched to rotation and pitched a no-hitter in a game, showing his ability to do well in any situation.
“We have an amazing team this year,” Peters said. “We have a lot coming back and from the (junior college). I watch how far we go. To be part of a championship team is to create such great team dynamics, build friendships and go this far. It creates a lot of confidence. I’m really excited about this season.
“It’s a bit different because last year we mostly had Mattigan Porter, but I’m really excited to step in and be able to build that dynamic like (Hoy) did with Mattigan.”
A newcomer to varsity this season is Emma Logan, who was one of the best players on the varsity junior team last year.
“I love that his skills are phenomenal,” Wentworth said. “She’s been to a few camps in St. Lawrence and she’s very athletic. She’s just been able to really elevate her game. She’s going to anchor the defense.
Logan is eager to play a part in another potential championship season for the Golden Bears.
“I like the dynamic of the whole team,” Logan said. “We are all so positive during training. It’s really fun. I came last year during the playoffs. It was a little different. I hadn’t really played with these girls before.
“I mostly like playing everywhere honestly. We’ll find (a position) I guess. It’s a lot of fun. All the girls are so positive.