BEST OF THE BUNCH: ‘The envelope, please.’ Award-winners will be unveiled Thursday night



reporter photo

MERIDEN — You know our Coaches of the Year. To learn the rest, you’ve got to tune in.

The Record-Journal’s “Best of the Bunch” awards video will be online starting Thursday evening. It will be on our website, myrecordjournal.com/sports. It will be on our Facebook page. It will be on YouTube.

It’s crisp, it’s tight and it features appearances by all but one of our award winners. (Summer camp, out of state; you know how it goes.)

Aaron Flaum, who specializes in photography, videography and saving my hide now and again, put it all together. I just had to make sure all the names were spelled right.

And they are, because they’re all unforgettable. The 2021-22 scholastic sports year was more than just another great one for the books. It saw history, and that history was made by more than one of our finalists.

Here’s the full slate of candidates who have been unveiled over the past 17 days. Some winners were slam-dunks. Others were much, much tougher to call. Anyone nominated as a finalist should take pride in being considered the best of the best.

■Football: Kenny McMillan (Maloney); Austin Pszczolkowski (Southington); Antwone Santiago (Platt).■Girls Soccer: Jessica Carr (Southington); Anna Hurlbut (Cheshire); Mackenzie McCormack (Maloney); Alicea Piscitelli (Sheehan).■Boys Soccer: Krystian Colbert (Wilcox Tech); Ryan Lunn (Southington); Murphy Malone (Cheshire).■Field Hockey: Avery DePodesta (Cheshire); Lauren Houle (Cheshire); Rilee Reutenauer (Sheehan).■Girls Cross Country: Alexa Ciccone (Cheshire); Jackie Izzo (Southington); Jessica Lombardo (Southington).■Boys Cross Country: Tyler Caron (Cheshire); Drew and Jake Nafis (Southington).■Girls Volleyball: Savannah Bernabucci (Maloney); Morgan Birdsey (Southington); Mackenzie Grady (Lyman Hall); Avery Mola (Cheshire).■Boys Volleyball: Matt Morgan (Southington); Tim Nugent (Cheshire); Dev Patel (Maloney); Adnel Torres (Maloney).■Girls Swimming: Julia Barto (Cheshire); Caroline Krawec (Lyman Hall); Avery Potyrala (Cheshire); Elise Richardson (Lyman Hall).■Boys Swimming: Landon Colby (Southington); Sam Hurlburt (Maloney); Jerick Lagamao (Lyman Hall); Anmol Sapru (Cheshire).■Girls Basketball: Lily Coooper (Southington); Darla Jagrosse (Sheehan); Jaylice Rosario (Maloney).■Boys Basketball: Makhai Anderson (Platt); Jack Markarian (Cheshire); Anthony Nimani (Platt).■Ice Hockey: Anthony DeFilio (Sheehan); Brenden Hilinski (Sheehan); Jack Roberts (Lyman Hall).■Wrestling: Onil Carrion (Maloney), Ben Gorr (Southington); Caiden Talento (Platt).■Girls Lacrosse: Gabby Castonguay (Southington); Ava Harris (Cheshire); Jayna MacKenzie (Sheehan); Allie Ottochian (Sheehan).■Boys Lacrosse: Charles Kurtz (Cheshire); Matt Jeffery (Cheshire); Gavin Pelletier (Southington); Jason Raba (Cheshire).■Girls Track & Field: Bria Benigni (Maloney); Amanda Castaldi (Sheehan); Patrice Mansfield (Sheehan); Shaelyn Murphy (Maloney); Avery Winters (Sheehan).■Boys Track & Field: Colin Brown (Cheshire); Paul Burkett (Sheehan); Jack Freyler (Southington).■Girls Tennis: Lily Marcuss (Maloney); Alex Orlins (Cheshire); Xochilt Rangel (Wilcox Tech).■Boys Tennis: Andrew Gershfeld (Cheshire); Sam Raniolo (Southington); Utsav Subramani (Cheshire).■Golf: A.J. DePaolo (Cheshire); Sydney Hidalgo (Cheshire); Dylan Miller (Maloney); Brooke Zajac (Southington).■Softball: Maddy LaValle (Maloney); Grace Lurz (Cheshire); Sam Rogers (Southington); Sam Sullivan (Southington).■Baseball: Chris Barkasy (Sheehan); Brandon Cahill (Platt); Justin Hackett (Lyman Hall); Jackson Rusiecki (Southington).■Overall Female Athlete: Emily Chase (Lyman Hall); Darla Jagrosse (Sheehan); Grace Lurz (Cheshire); Grace Massicotte (Maloney).■Overall Male Athlete: Apollo Dubuc (Sheehan); Dylan Gay (Lyman Hall); Jackson Rusiecki (Southington); Antwone Santiago (Platt).

Six teams are in the running for Team of the Year. Four of them were state champions: Maloney football, Lyman Hall boys indoor track, Sheehan girls track and Southington softball. Cheshire boys soccer and Maloney girls soccer are also finalists.

The late Charlie Lembo of Southington baseball and the late Tom Johnson of Platt/Wilcox Tech girls basketball, both of whom passed away this year during their seasons, are the Coaches of the Year.

They have their video segments, too. It is all very much worth the watch.



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