The Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance is pleased to announce that six dedicated individuals will receive the John Wentworth Good Sports Award in 2015.
Glynn Baron of West Hartford, Jerry DeJulia of Danbury, Jane Pinho of Prospect, Sarah Jadach of Derby, and Dave Rodriguez and Bill Hutchinson of Wallingford will be honored at the 74th Gold Key Dinner on Sunday, April 26 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. The award is given in memory of the longtime sports editor of the New Britain Herald and honors individuals who have dedicated themselves and their time to helping their communities through sports.
Former professional hockey player Craig Janney, former Killingly High and Providence basketball standout Tracy Lis, former Derby High and Yale running back John Pagliaro and longtime FCIAC official John Kuczo will receive Gold Keys at the dinner.
Tickets to the 2015 Gold Key Dinner, which begins at 4 p.m., are $75 and can be purchased by contacting either CSWA President Matthew Conyers of The Hartford Courant at 860-874-4166 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Vice President Tim Jensen of The Enfield Source at email@example.com. Tickets can also be obtained by mailing a check to Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance, P.O. Box 70, Unionville, CT, 06085.
Here are six short bios on the Good Sports Award recipients.
Glynn Baron (West Hartford)
West Hartford’s Glynn Baron played baseball for more than two decades in Torrington, at Eastern Connecticut State University and in the Tri-State Baseball League. Now, Baron is making his mark as the manager of Hartford’s American Legion baseball team.
In 2014, Baron, in his fourth season, helped lead Hartford to the state tournament for the first time since the early 1940s. Hartford went 11-10 in Zone 7 to earn a spot in the tournament before being eliminated by Simsbury in a best-of-three series. It was Hartford’s first winning season since 2001.
Before Baron arrived, the team had won just three of 48 games in a two-year span. In Baron’s first two seasons, Hartford won five games, but the team improved to 9-12 in 2013 and the growth continued in 2014 with Hartford going 17-15-1.
The team played nearly all of their games on the road. Hartford had players from five Hartford high schools, along with city players from Cheney Tech and Goodwin Tech, and two players from Conard in West Hartford. They employed the same style Baron used in his playing career. They played hard. They were quick, athletic and enthusiastic. Hartford handed defending state and Northeast Regional champion Branford a 3-1 loss in an exhibition game in early July.
This winter, Baron will once again host a free winter program at Prince Tech from January through mid-March for any Hartford player that will be eligible to play for the Legion team. It is Baron’s fifth year running the program.
Jerry DeJulia (Danbury)
Having organized and umpired countless softball leagues and charity tournaments in Greater Danbury, Jerry DeJulia has worn many hats throughout the decades. One of them has been a Santa hat.
Every Christmas Eve since 1964, DeJulia has pulled on his convincingly authentic Santa Claus suit and delighted wide-eyed children with surprise visits to their homes. He did this, free of charge, for many years in the Danbury area – he was up to about 50 visits in one night at one point – and has continued the tradition in Sarasota, Fla., where he has wintered for the last decade.
Throughout the spring, summer and autumn, the 80-year-old DeJulia has been dedicated to the local softball leagues for years. Just about any night of the week, he can be found umpiring games somewhere in Greater Danbury – still going strong with his emphatic “strike” calls, complete with his unmistakable high-leg kick.
Sarah Jadach (Derby)
As the daughter of a high school wrestling coach, Sarah Jadach’s interest in sports began at an early age. Over the last 25 years Sarah’s involvement and contribution to the sport of wrestling has reached every level.
At the youth level, Sarah has been the director and coach of the Derby Renegade Wrestling Club for the past 14 years. At the high school level, she plans tournaments, fundraisers, and awards banquets. In 2002, Sarah became involved at the state and national level when she was elected the membership director of Connecticut USA Wrestling. She had previously held the position of Vice-Chairman for several years. In 2009, Sarah was elected state chairman of the wrestling organization.
As chairman, Sarah oversees an organization that has approximately 3,500 athletes and coaches. The organization offers a year-long schedule of events and opportunities for state wrestlers.
Jadach is also responsible for assembling a CT High School National Freestyle Wrestling team and organizing their trip to Fargo, N.D. for the largest high school tournament in the world.
Jadach is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University with a degree in Mathematics. She resides in Derby.
Jane Pinho (Prospect)
Jane Pinho of Prospect is a 1983 graduate of Holy Cross High in Waterbury and has been a branch manager at Ion Bank in Prospect for 11 years.
Through a golf tournament in honor of her late husband, George Pinho, she has helped raise funds for Woodland Regional football players. In two years, the George Pinho Memorial Scholarship fund has helped raised $25,000. George Pinho, a Naugatuck native, was a Woodland football and basketball coach, who died at age 48 in January 2013.
Dave Rodriguez and Bill Hutchinson (Wallingford)
Dave Rodriguez and Bill Hutchinson of Wallingford are co-directors of The Wallingford Invitational Soccer Tournament (TWIST) that has evolved into a financial windfall for the town and a source of college scholarship funds for Lyman Hall and Sheehan student-athletes.
The tournament, which attracts about 9,000 people, is sanctioned by youth soccer’s national website (GotSoccer.com) and rated among the best in the Northeast. Its 30th renewal in August brought in 139 teams – 2,500 players and 300 coaches.
TWIST, a subsidiary of the Wallingford Youth Soccer League, has raised $145,000 for 209 scholarships and $80,000 for the maintenance of town fields. The WYSL/TWIST family earned the 2013 Selected Organization Award from the Connecticut Recreation and Parks Association based on positive community impact and economic impact.