By MICHAEL LETENDRE
In just a few weeks, Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern will welcome Lewis Mills of Burlington into the Central Connecticut Conference, Southern Division and several of our local squads are going to start some new rivalries.
Mills was a long time member of the Berkshire League; but the CCC just had so many more advantages than the Spartans old league.
Some of those advantages include freshman and junior varsity programs and a wider range of scholastic sports.
And, despite Lewis Mills’ smallish size, the Spartans are going to be full of surprises and supply the Mum City’s best squads some memorable battles and showdowns.
Mills is in the mix with Berlin, Maloney, Middletown, Plainville, Platt, and, of course, the two schools from Bristol.
Finally, the CCC is a league that’s 32 teams strong and, hopefully, it stays that way.
The CCC South, Patriot Division is now a four team unit that includes Mills, Plainville (who is a similarly sized to Burlington) along with Central and Eastern.
And why not take a sneak peak of when Mills plays the squads from Bristol, starting with boys soccer.
Central travels to Burlington on Friday, Sept. 20 in a CCC South encounter at 3:45 p.m. from Nassahegan Field.
Mills then cruises up to Bristol for the rematch against the Rams on Nov. 1 in a 6:30 p.m. nighttime encounter.
On the girls front for the Central soccer team, it’s simply the reverse of the boys schedule.
The Rams are home for Mills on Sept. 20 at 3:45 p.m. from the turf field at BCHS and Nov. 1 sees Central go to Burlington for a 3:45 p.m. showdown.
Head coach Bill Sweet and his boys soccer squad from Bristol Eastern battles Mills from Alumni Field on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. while Oct. 29 has the Lancers battling the Spartans at Nassahegan Field – starting at 3:45 p.m.
Scott Rodman’s varsity girls soccer crew from Eastern takes on Lewis Mills on Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. on the road while the Spartans travel to Alumni Field for the rematch on Oct. 29, commencing at 3:45 p.m.
In cross country, Eastern battles Mills for the first time in conference action on Tuesday, Sept. 10 from the cross country course (at the school) in Burlington while Central tangles against the Spartans and Middletown on Tuesday, Sept. 17 from Veteran Memorial Park in Middletown.
The Bristol Central volleyball team, which should be an outstanding unit this season, plays Mills on the road in its third match of the year on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 5 p.m. While on the flip side, the Spartans battles the Rams in Bristol on Wednesday, Oct. 28 from the Charles C. Marsh Gymnasium at 6:30 p.m.
Bristol Eastern, also with a brand new coach, takes a crack at Mills on Monday, Sept. 23 from the Thomas M. Monahan Gymnasium in Bristol at 6 p.m. While the Spartans and Lancers battle for the final time in the regular season on Oct. 25 at 5 p.m. in Burlington.
There won’t be any crossover in football as Lewis Mills will be stationed in the CCC, Division III action while the Bristol schools compete in Division II contests.
Mills doesn’t field a girls swimming team either.
Regardless of the sport, expect some big things and excellent matches and games between the Bristol public schools and Lewis Mills for the first time as conference rivals.