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Monday, August 31, 2009

Top 10: Teams of this decade

With the end of the decade fast approaching, this week’s Top 10 lists the top teams from this decade.
The rankings are based upon a combination of state playoff appearances, number of finals a team reached and championships won.

1. New Canaan
The Rams, who play in, arguably, the toughest league in the state, the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference, have qualified for the state playoff seven times this decade.
They advanced to five finals and have won four championships.

New Canaan is the three-time defending Class MM champions, and are one of the favorites in that class this season as well.

The Rams also won the Class M title in 2001. They went to the final in Class M in 2000, and the semifinals of Class MM in 2005.

The team did not make the playoffs in 2003 (the Rams went 5-5-1) and 2004 (6-4).

2. Ansonia
The Chargers, out of the Naugatuck Valley League, qualified for the playoffs eight times this decade, one more than New Canaan, and the most of any team on this list.

Ansonia went to five finals, and won Class S titles in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007. The Chargers also appeared in last year’s final before losing to Cromwell.

Ansonia, which has won a state-record 16 CIAC titles, lost in the Class S semifinals in 2000, 2001 and 2004.

3. Greenwich
Like fellow FCIAC member New Canaan, the Cardinals made the playoff field seven times this decade.

Greenwich won back-to-back Class LL titles in 2006-2007. The Cardinals lost in the Class LL final in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004.

The team’s six championship game appearances is the most of any team on this list. Greenwich also made the Class LL semifinals in 2003 before losing to eventual champion New Britain.

4. Staples
The Wreckers are the third FCIAC to make the list. Staples went to the playoffs seven times this decade.

The team won the Class MM title in 2002 and the Class L title in 2004 and 2005.

The Wreckers went to five straight finals from 2002-2006, and seven straight playoff appearances from 2001-2007.

Staples lost in the Class L final in 2003 and 2006, and lost in the Class L semifinal in 2001 and 2007.

5. Masuk
The Panthers, out of the South-West Conference, have made the postseason seven times this decade, including the last four seasons.

Masuk is the defending Class L champions, the only title it has won this decade.

The Panthers, however, have been in four other finals (2000, 20003, 2005, 2007) this decade but finished as the runner-up each time.

Masuk lost in the Class MM semifinals in 2002.

6. New Britain
The Golden Hurricanes, members of the Central Connecticut Conference, had a sensational start to the decade.

New Britain, which leads the state in career victories, won three titles in four years. The Golden Hurricanes captured Class LL titles in 2001, 2003 and 2004.

New Britain also went to the Class LL semifinals in 2000 and 2002, for five playoff appearances this decade.

7. Hand
The Tigers had a remarkable run during the middle of this decade.

Hand, the Southern Connecticut Conference’s lone representative on this list, won three straight Class M titles from 2003-2005.

The Tigers also made the Class MM final in 2007 before losing to New Canaan.

8. Seymour
The Wildcats, another NVL school, have made five playoff appearances this decade.

The Wildcats won their only title of the decade after capturing the Class SS crown in 2007.

Seymour went to the final last season in Class SS, and also made the Class M final in 2001 and the Class MM final in 2002.

In 2000, the Wildcats were defeated in the Class M semifinals.

9. Bloomfield
The Warhawks, also from the CCC, were another team that had success early in the decade.

Bloomfield made the playoffs four straight times from 2000-2003. The team won the Class M title in 2000, the Class S championship in 2001 and the Class SS crown in 2003.

In 2002, Bloomfield lost in the Class SS semifinals, and the team lost in the Class S final in 2006 to Ansonia.

10. Ledyard
The Colonels, out of the Eastern Connecticut Conference, have made the playoffs six times this decade.

It’s lone title came in Class M in 2007, which was the last game in legendary coach Bill Mignault’s career.

Ledyard lost in last year’s Class M championship, and the team also lost in the Class M final in 2002 and 2003.

The Colonels also lost in the Class M semifinals in 2004 and 2006.

Honorable mention goes to:

Berlin (six appearances, one final (Class M 2007)
Hyde (six appearances, three titles (Class S 2000, 2004, 2005)
Shelton (four appearances, two titles (Class LL 2000, Class L 2003)
West Haven (four appearances, one title (Class LL, 2003)

Did your team make the list? Who would you add? Let us know. Leave a comment below.

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