It's tough being in between sizes on a boat. The best advices is to demo both boats and see which you like the best.
I started boating right about your age, I lived up in Bridgeport. You are going to love paddling in your home state, it's some of the best I've been on.
Good choice on getting a river running play boat. You will quicky find you like having a hull that can surf all those waves you've got. And don't fool yourself, you'll be surfing it up your 3 or 4th time on the river.
Enjoy the demo process.
PS. Boatertalk.com will have a lot more eastern boaters on it. So if you're looking for paddling buddies, check it out there. Also, a paddling club (Three Rivers is a good one) can be a great way to meet people of your own skill level.