Southington and Terryville residents are our Athletes of the Week for Bristol area high school sports. They are Connor Baston, a senior sprinter for coach Jim Husbands’ indoor track team at St. Paul, and junior point guard Amy Roqi of coach Tom Morgan’s Terryville girls basketball team.
The choice of Roqi, the daughter of Vjollca and Eduary Roqi, comes thanks to her leadership on the team in handling the ball and being its leading scorer. She averages just under 10 points a game.
Terryville enters this week with one win this season, equaling last season’s total. However, the Kangaroos have plenty of games remaining to better their 2017-2018 campaign.
“Well, we’ve been playing a lot better than last year,” Roqi said. “We’re more connected and playing more as a team. This is a rebuilding year, because we lost a great player from last year, McKenzie Huria, who is now playing for Elms [College]. We also lost a great leader in Alana Girch, who always made sure to keep everyone’s head up.”
Asked about her role on this year’s team, Roqi had it down pat.
“[It’s to] create for other players,” Roqi said. “To be a leader on the court and to also create shots and opportunities for myself. To be someone the younger players look up to.”
Roqi, who wears jersey No. 21 for the Kangaroos, took up the sport eight years ago.
“I think I started in the third grade [playing] just by myself,” Roqi said. “From there, I tried out for my middle school team, Eli Terry. I started varsity last year as a sophomore.”
In addition to basketball, Roqi plays soccer for Terryville, her favorite sport. She was asked about first taking up the sport.
“As soon as I could walk,” Roqi said. “I only played for Terryville Youth Soccer and still do. I’ve been a starter here in high school since I was a freshman.”
Honors in soccer have come Roqi’s way in earning both All-Press honors from the Bristol Press and Berkshire League all-conference recognition. She entered this past season as the team’s top player after a sophomore year when she was one of two Kangaroos to earn All-Press and all-conference honors as a center midfielder.
She added that playing both sports in high school has benefited her.
“It’s made me more confident in myself,” Roqi said. “It’s made me to become more of a leader to other people. It’s given me a stage to show people what I’m good at.”
Baston finished sixth, the best of any St. Paul athlete this winter, in the 55-meter race at the Elm City Coaches Invitational a weekend ago. He won his qualifying heat in 6.85 before going 6.90 for sixth in the finals.
His 6.82 then became St. Paul’s best winter track finish as the top-seeded runner captured first place at the McReavy Invitational at Wesleyan University Thursday night.
“Connor has made a serious commitment to track this year in hopes of being able to run collegiately next year,” Husbands said. “The extra work he has done at the gym and extra practice time he’s been doing has certainly begun to pay off. He has run better this year than previous years and I’m looking forward to seeing him continue his improvement and what he’ll be able to do at the NVL meet and the Class S championships.”
In talking about the Elm City placing, Baston was more than pleased.
“My best last year was 7.19,” Baston said. “The first race I felt amazing. Instantly, I knew it was my [personal record]. I was more excited to see I qualified for the finals, because it would have been my first time.
“After I went back to our [team] area and started to get excited, I spent five minutes on-line for the results. I finally found it and was completely shocked.”
He then went over to his teammates and informed them they were going to stay at the meet a little longer, because he would be in the finals.
Baston only started running track as a freshman. He was too scared to try out for basketball and told his father that going out for track sounded good.
As far as goals go, Baston would like to earn All-NVL honors this winter. He also hopes to lower his 55-meter time to around 6.7 seconds.
“The 300 meters indoors is my second favorite,” Baston said. “I’m hoping to do well in the NVL’s and 38.7 is my best time to date. He also plans to run track in college while continuing to lower his times.
Baston had advice for the younger track participants.
“Buy track spikes/shoes,” Baston said. “It’s more of a mental game. It’s calming yourself down when your nerves kick in. Best advice is weight training, 100 percent.”
Contact Bob Montgomery at or by calling 860-973-1808.