BEST NEWCOMER of Oxford High School burst onto the softball scene in a big way. The freshman pitcher carried the Wolverines on her back and led them to their first-ever SWC title. Guillette went 20-2 with three no-hitters, the biggest coming in the SWC semifinal game against Bethel. With Guillette back on the mound for three more years, the future is bright for the Oxford softball team.
BEST PERFORMANCE IN THE CLUTCH , a Milford native who played at Hamden High School and Avon Old Farms, put together an amazing run as he helped the Los Angeles Kings become Stanley Cup champions. Quick was brilliant during the regular season, recording a franchise best 10 shutouts, but he was even better in the playoffs. Quick had three shutouts and went 16-4. For his efforts, Quick was named winner of the Conn Smythe award, giving to the MVP of the NHL playoffs.
BEST WINNING STREAK There were many impressive winning streaks this season. baseball team won 22 games in a row and the volleyball team at Cheshire High School has a 45-game winning streak that's still in tack. The most impressive one, however, belongs to the The woman's softball team is riding a winning streak of 130 games.
BEST BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE Last year as a sophomore, had a good season for the lacrosse team, scoring 37 goals In 2012, Delaney took her game to an entire different level. She scored 20 goals in her first two games and remained unstoppable for the rest of the season. Delaney scored an eye-popping 120 goals en route to garnering All-State honors.
BEST ALL-AROUND PLAYER Few athletes showed the versatility that of Brien McMahon High School demonstrated. The UConn-bound baseball player hit .407 with a state-best eight home runs and 19 RBI's. As a pitcher, Daniello was brilliant, posting an 8-1 record with a minuscule 1.22 ERA. Daniello was named FCIAC Player of the Year for a second time and capped off a spectacular career at McMahon by being selected the Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year.
BEST MOMENT Father's Day came early for Foran softball coach. With his team playing Brookfield in the Class semifinals, his daughter, Fallon, came to bat in extra innings with the scored tied at 1-1 and a runner on second base. With her dad looking on, Fallon drove in the winning run with a single to left-center field, sending Foran into the state championship game, "Words can't express how I feel right now," said the proud father after the game.
BEST 1-2 COMBINATION of New Canaan High School were without equal when it came to the most dynamic duos this season. Mannelly, the Connecticut Player of the Year in lacrosse, scored 83 goals and dished out 47 assists., who is the best hockey player in the state, pumped in 84 goals during a season that saw New Canaan win the Class M state championship. In that victory over Wilton, Hompe scored an incredible nine goals.
BEST STRETCH OF PITCHING In the history of Pomperaug baseball, there was no record of anyone throwing a no-hitter. That all changed in the span of eight days, when the Panthers tossed three of them. On April 16, blanked Immaculate in a 15 strikeout performance. On April 19, teammate Andrew Reel held Weston hitless in an 11-1 victory. Cherry topped things off by throwing a no-no against New Fairfield in a 5-0 win on April 24. Eight days, three no-hitters? That's pretty amazing.
BEST COMEBACK FROM INJURY In March of last year, of New Canaan suffered a serious injury when he was checked into a stanchion by Boston Bruins defenseman Zdino Chara. Pacioretty fractured the fourth cervical vertebrae in his back and suffered a concussion. Pacioretty returned to have his most productive season of his NHL career, scoring 33 goals while dishing out 32 assists. The NHL honored Pacioretty with the Bill Masterton award which is given to the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication.
BEST COMEBACK, PERIOD In July of last year, suffered a heart attack while playing in a field hockey tournament in Scotland. He was brought back to life and returned to his true passion: distance running. Deiters had completed 25 marathons in his career before his heart attack and he set a goal of completing the 2012 Boston Marathon after it. Mission accomplished. On a brutally hot day that saw temperatures reach 90 degrees, Deiters finished the marathon in a time of 5:37:51.
BEST GAME OF PERFECTION Nothing beats perfection and of North Branford is a proof of that. On April 11, the ace of Thunderbirds was spectacular against Portland. She struck out 10 hitters in en route to a perfect game in the 11-0 victory.
BEST COACHING JOB had not won a state championship in baseball since 1976 but Scott Gura helped changed that. He guided the Gaels to a 22-5 record and a victory over South Windsor in the Class LL championship game. The victory ended a 36-year title drought for the Shelton baseball program.
BEST ENCORE PERFORMANCE of Darien High School was named the 2011 Connecticut Player of the Year in lacrosse. The Duke-bound senior didn't win that award in 2012 despite having an even better year offensively. Matheis led the Blue Wave to the Class M state title by scoring 69 goals and totaling a school-record 122 points. Matheis also shattered the school's all-time point record with 355, beating the previous mark of 248 set by Cooper MacDonnell.
BEST PERFORMANCE IN LOSS (Girls) Yesenia Evaristo of tied the school record for strikeouts in a game on April 8 when she whiffed 19 hitters in a win over Woodland. Just four days later, Evaristo was masterful against Oxford. The senior pitcher racked up 20 strikeouts to set the school record. It was bittersweet for Evaristo as Bethel lost the game 2-0.
BEST PERFORMANCE IN LOSS (Boys) Immaculate of Danbury didn't win the SWC championship in track & field, but Andre Chappuis made them shine in two events. Chappuis won the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. His time of 22.65 in the 200 established a new meet record.
BEST GAME (Boys) In a match-up of defending state champions, Ridgefield (Class L champs) and (Class M champs) played a spectacular wild and entertaining game. The game was tied 14-14 at the end of regulation. Eric Scala was brilliant for the Tigers, scoring an incredible eight goals. Chris Nugent had six for the Warriors. But in overtime it was Sean Wilkinson who proved to be the difference. He scored an unassisted goal in to give Ridgefield the 15-14 victory.
BEST GAME (Girls) Backyard rivals and waged an epic battle in April in girls’ lacrosse. The Rams, who were undefeated at the time, trailed by three goals with 13 minutes to play. They cut the Blue Waves lead to 7-6 and tied it with 6:48 to go on Olivia Hompe's goal. 35 seconds later, Darien regained a one-goal advantage. Sarah Mannelly came right back to tie it at 8-8. With just over three minutes to go, Hompe scored what turned out to be the game winner. New Canaan held on to win 9-8 to keep its record perfect.
BEST TRIATHLETE of Easton won the 2011 male triathlete of the year award and he could be on his way to being a repeat winner. Thomas won his first race of the 2012 season, capturing the Harriman Olympic distance event in New York. Last weekend, he won the Pat Griskus Triathlon in Middlebury for a sixth consecutive year, blowing away the field by nearly five minutes.
BEST TEAM The at Cheshire High School pursued perfection and got it. The defending Class L state champions steamrolled everyone in their path behind the the core of seniors Nate Howard, Ray Brumleve, and Ryan Cuppernull. The Rams went undefeated, won the state championship, and ran their winning streak over two seasons to an incredible 45 games.