2011 Review: The year in sports

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Members of the 2011 girls' soccer team pose for a photo after winning the Division 2 south title. (Mike Barucci photo)

In a review of Canton High School sports in 2011, the teams from the past winter and spring seasons deserve plenty of credit. Nearly every team reached the postseason, and three of those squads captured league titles. There were also dominant individual performances by members of the wrestling, track and tennis teams.

But nothing quite compares to what the Bulldogs accomplished in the fall, when they tore through the Hockomock League en route to five Davenport Division titles, three Hockomock Classic Cups, and a Hockomock tournament championship.

The school’s top four programs — girls’ and boys’ soccer, field hockey and volleyball — lost only five games between them throughout the entire regular season, finishing with a combined overall record of 55-5-11. They went on to win 13 of 17 in the playoffs, led by the field hockey team, which won its third straight south sectional title, and the girls’ soccer team, which won the Eastern Mass. championship for the first time in program history. A fifth team, the CHS golfers, went on to finish 8-5 before besting the nine other Hockomock schools to capture their first-ever league trophy.

Male Team of the Year: Blue Hills Regional Football

After surpassing all expectations in 2010 en route to a Super Bowl berth, the Blue Hills Warriors returned to the field this fall with a championship-or-bust mentality — and they delivered in the end, capturing their second-ever state title with a 16-14 victory over Boston Cathedral in the Division 4A Super Bowl. The game was marred by a controversial call in the fourth quarter that went against the Cathedral quarterback on a would-be go-ahead touchdown run. Nevertheless, the Blue Hills players came up with numerous big plays down the stretch on both sides of the ball and held on for the win. The 12-1 Warriors were led by senior quarterback John Curran of Canton and junior running back Vincent Burton, a two-time Boston Globe Player of the Year who finished with 1,785 yards rushing on a school-record 344 carries.

Female Team of the Year: CHS Girls’ Soccer

In a season with so many dominant sports teams, this Lady Bulldogs squad shined above the rest, winning the Division 2 south sectional and EMass titles before losing a 1-0 heartbreaker to Auburn in the state championship game. Led by all-stars Lauren Berman, Brianna Duserick, Kensey Waterman and Meghan Lennon, along with a host of talented role players, the girls finished 19-2-2 overall and captured both the Davenport Division title and the Hockomock Classic Cup. And they did it all in dominant fashion, outscoring opponents by a combined total of 83-13 while collecting a remarkable 15 shutouts.

Honorable Mention: CHS Field Hockey (20-1-1 overall record, Div. 2 south sectional champions for the third consecutive season)

Male Athlete of the Year: Jon Vaughn

A member of the class of 2011, Vaughn wrapped up a stellar CHS track career with a historic senior season, winning titles in two separate events over two seasons. In the winter, Vaughn won the 55-meter hurdles at the Division 3 championships and went on to finish third in the event at the All-State meet. In the spring, he captured the D3 title in the 100-meter dash, followed by a second-place finish at All-States.

Female Athlete of the Year: Lauren Berman

Only a junior, Berman solidified her reputation as one of the best female soccer players in the state after leading her team to the brink of a Division 2 state championship and a 19-2-2 overall record. She piled up countless awards and honors, including another league MVP award, and has verbally committed to play soccer at the University of Maryland in 2013-14. Berman also had an outstanding spring, winning the Hockomock and Division 3 titles in the mile in her first-ever season of track.

Honorable Mention: Chris Murray (became the first boys’ soccer All-American in school history; winner of the Hock MVP award; finished second on the Bulldogs’ all-time scoring list with 52 points)

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