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SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT CONFERENCE

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SCC Contingent Recognized by Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance

The Southern Connecticut Conference was duly recognized at the 73rd Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance Gold Key banquet on April 29 in Southington.

Photos by Bill O'Brien

 

GOLD KEY AWARDS

Ed McCarthy, West Haven Football

Ed McCarthy became the all-time winningest football coach in state history on Oct. 25 when West Haven beat Hamden 49-7. It was his 322nd victory, surpassing the mark held by Bill Mignault, who coached at Ledyard from 1959-63 and 1966-2007.

McCarthy recorded the first 92 wins of his career at St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, where, after one year as an assistant, he served as head coach from 1971-82. During his 12 seasons there, McCarthy compiled a record of 92-34-2, including three consecutive state titles in 1980, '81 and '82.

He moved over to West Haven in 1983 and has been on sidelines there for the last 31 seasons, going 234-80-7 and winning four state crowns (all in Class LL) in 1986, '87, '89 and 2002. His career record through the 2013 season is 326-114-9, a winning percentage of .736. The Westies advanced to the LL state semifinals this season before losing to Fairfield Prep 29-28.

In addition to his seven state titles in football, McCarthy won two more as head baseball coach at St. Joe's in 1976 and '80. A 1964 graduate of Notre Dame High School in West Haven, McCarthy was inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1986. He is also a member of the New Haven Gridiron Hall of Fame and both the West Haven High and St. Joseph hall of fames.

Cathy McGuirk, Branford Field Hockey

Cathy McGuirk recently completed her 37th season in a hall of fame field hockey coaching career, all at Branford High School, where she's built the Hornets into a perennial state power. In fact, the first victory she records in her 38th season will be the 500th of her career as she takes a 499-111-62 record and an .818 winning percentage into next fall.

Under her watch, Branford has won 10 state championships, including four straight Class M titles from 1988-91. The Hornets have made the state tournament 35 consecutive years, reached the semifinals 27 times, and the state finals 14 times, including eight straight appearances from 1984-91 (winning six times). In addition, McGuirk has led Branford to 16 conference championships with seven coming in the old Housatonic League and the next nine in the Southern Connecticut Conference.

Growing up in Westport, McGuirk was a field hockey goalie at Central Catholic High School in Norwalk for four years, and then played four more years at Southern Connecticut State College. She became only the second head field hockey coach at Branford High in the fall of 1977, replacing legendary coach Virginia Moesmang when she retired. It was McGuirk's husband, John, who urged her to go for the head coaching job and he's been his wife's assistant coach for the last 34 seasons.

Cathy McGuirk was named the Connecticut Field Hockey Association Coach of the Year four times, in Class M in 1984 and 2003 and in Class L in 1987 and '95. She was also selected as the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Coach of the Years in 1987, the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Region I Coach of the Year in 1993, and the NHSACA Coach of the Year in 1994 in the "Special Sports" category. She was also named the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance Doc McInerney Coach of the Year in a female sport at the 2002 Gold Key Dinner.

She has also been inducted into six hall of fames, including the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1999, The Connecticut Field Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009, the Branford Sports Hall of Fame in 1995, and the Southern Connecticut State University Alumni Association Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Sue Bavone, Cheshire Girls Volleyball

Cheshire girls volleyball coach Sue Bavone was selected the High School Coach of the Year. Bavone led the Rams to a 27-0 record and the Class LL state championship, her fourth with the program. Brockett led the Chargers to a 15-0 record and the Class S state championship, his fifth, and the No. 1 ranking in the final Register/GameTimeCT poll.

Bavone has compiled a 20-year record of 403-78, including seven trips to the state finals. Cheshire’s four titles came in 1997, 1998, 2007 and 2013). She has been the Register’s Area Coach of the Year seven times and in 2012, won the honor with both the girls and boys volleyball programs.

GOOD SPORT

Fred Kelly, North Haven

North Haven’s Fred Kelly was honored with the John Wentworth Good Sport Award. Kelly, 94, just stepped down after 60 years as president of the North Haven Tomahawk Club, which raises funds from within the community to provide deserving North Haven student-athletes with letterman jackets, sports banquets and scholarship funds. The North Haven High School Gymnasium is named after Kelly.

BO KOLINSKY SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD

North Haven High School Football Team

The first Bo Kolinsky Special Recognition Award was presented to the North Haven football team for their work with the Spring Brawl game, which benefits a charity each year, selected by the seniors. The team helped raise more than $13,000 to help with medical costs for 6-year old Matthew Jacques, who passed away on Sept. 25. Matthew’s parents, Melissa and Al Jacques, attended the event with the Indians’ head coach Anthony Sagnella and team captains.

“Not only were our lives changed, but the entire community,” said Ethan Suraci, speaking on behalf of the team’s captains. “It was amazing how one little boy could inspire so many. Not only was he our little brother, he was our muse. The impact he made on us will live with us forever.”

 

 

 

 

 

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