By David Glovach and SHELBY IAVA
@DavidGlovach / @shelbyiava
NEW BRITAIN - With the fall season now officially over with the wrap up of the state football title games on Monday, this past season provided plenty of exciting moments for area sports. And, of course, behind those moments were the players providing them.
Over the final weeks of the season, Southington’s Will Barmore and Newington’s Abby Molloy did just that.
While the Southington football team was eliminated from the Class LL playoffs after the final game of the season, the Blue Knights certainly make it interesting, beating rival Cheshire for the 30-22 on Thanksgiving.
The win gave Southington its sixth straight win in the Apple Valley Classic and gave Barmore a final record of 19-3 as the team’s starting quarterback.
“It’s hard to put [this season] into words,” said Barmore, who ended the final game of his high school career completing 15 of 29 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown. “It’s been a great learning experience. You learn a lot about life and football in the four years playing for this team because it teaches you a lot of things you thought you’d never learn. It’s definitely a bummer we couldn’t get in the playoffs. But our season was in our own hands. We lost two tough ones, but it was a lot of fun, a great learning experience.”
Still, it was quite a senior season for Barmore. As a first-time starter last year, the signal caller was asked to manage the game more with the Blue Knights relying on a strong running game.
Barmore finished his 2016 campaign completing 58.7 percent of his passes for 1,815 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. But Barmore began to come into his own as his junior year ended and carried that progress over into his senior year.
With Barmore as more of the focal point of the offense, he completed 61.9 percent of his throws for 2,239 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions despite dealing with injuries to his receiving and running back corps and his offensive line.
After the season, he was rewarded with his second all-conference selection.
But as always, the Barmore quickly deflected the praise off himself and onto his teammates and coaches.
“That’s all the coaches,” Barmore said. “They really groomed me into the player and person I am today. But they did a great job with this team. Also, shout out to my cousin [former Southington quarterback] Stephen [Barmore] and Matt Kelleher. They did a lot of offseason stuff with me this year and really turned me into a different player. They really improved my arm strength, my decision making, my footwork. They had a big part in this season so thank you to them.”
Now the question remains of who will follow another successful quarterback for the program next season?
The Newington girls soccer team finished its season just below .500. The Indians advanced to the postseason but unfortunately, they were knocked out in a 4-0 loss by Middletown in the first round.
One of the players leading the way this past season has been Molloy.
The center midfielder has scored a total of eight goals on the season and four assists.
The junior captain scored six of those goals in the first three games of the season against New Britain (7-0), Bloomfield (7-0) and Hartford Public (7-0).
“This year I wanted to step upand be the go to player for this team,” Molloy said. “I really tried to engage the younger players. It was great to help them develope and get a handle on high school soccer.”
Molloy has been playing soccer under the instruction of Newington head coach Adam Wilkinson for the last 11 years.
“She was always very quiet but as the years progressed and as she has gotten older, she has come into her own,” Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson said Molloy is very versatile on the field which led to her success throughout the season. Molloy led the Indians in assists and well as second leading goal scorer.
Molloy’s efforts did not go unoticed, she and three other Indians were honored with all-conference titles, for Molloy it’s her second year straight.
Although Molloy is only a junior she has already been looking into playing soccer in college.
“She wants to play in college she’s looking around,” Wilkinson said. “At this point she’s looking to play D1, wells see how it goes next year and how she plays.”