Softball standout Abby Abramson of Cheshire and football star Spencer Lockwood of Killingly have been named recipients of the Hal Levy High School Athlete of the Year Award for 2017 by the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance.
Abramson led the Rams to the Class LL softball semifinals, pitching her way to a 23-2 record with a 0.96 earned run average and 309 strikeouts in 159 innings. She also contributed mightily at the plate, batting .429 with seven home runs and 31 runs batted in. For the second straight year, she was named the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Softball Player of the Year, and she was also tabbed the state Gatorade Player of the Year.
After playing shortstop as a sophomore, Abramson transitioned to pitching in her junior year, leading Cheshire to an undefeated season and Class LL championship. Her two-year cumulative pitching record was 50-2, and in the summer of 2017, she was one of only two high school players on the roster of the legendary Connecticut Brakettes of the Amateur Softball Association women’s major division. She is currently a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, where she will play Division I softball.
Lockwood scored 44 touchdowns and was the state’s leading ground gainer this season with 3,137 yards, the sixth best rushing total in state history, according to the Connecticut High School Football Record Book. He averaged 9.7 yards per carry and ran for over 100 yards in all 13 games. He rushed for over 200 yards in 10 games and over 300 yards once. He finished his career with 7,316 rushing yards, fourth best all-time in state history, and 93 touchdowns, fifth all-time. As a linebacker, he made 67 tackles and had three interceptions in his senior year.
Lockwood helped Killingly win its first Class M state football championship since 1996, defeating Joel Barlow, 41-14, in the Class M final. The Redmen (13-0) finished as the state’s only undefeated team in 2017. His accolades include selection as Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year; CHSCA All-State Top 25; Walter Camp All-Connecticut First Team; USA Today All-Connecticut First Team, Offensive Player of the Year; New Haven Register All-State First Team, and All-ECC Division III First Team.
The award is named in honor of Hal Levy, executive sports editor of the Shore Line Times and other weekly newspapers along the Connecticut shoreline for more than 29 years, who provided extensive coverage of boys and girls high school sports. The former Alliance president passed away in 2008.
Abramson and Lockwood will be honored at the 77th annual Gold Key Dinner at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington on Sunday, April 29, 2018. Gold Key Award recipients will be PGA golf professional Dennis Coscina, former Granby Memorial High School field hockey coach Dot Johnson, New Canaan High School football coach Lou Marinelli, newly-retired UConn women’s soccer coach Len Tsantiris and Olympic ice hockey gold medalist Gretchen Ulion-Silverman.
Tickets to the Gold Key Dinner are $75 apiece, and may be reserved by contacting CSWA President Tim Jensen of Patch Media Corp. at email@example.com or 860-394-5091, or Vice President Rich Gregory of the Danbury News-Times at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-705-8625.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Bo Kolinsky Journalism Scholarship, named after a longtime Hartford Courant sportswriter and past CSWA president who died unexpectedly in 2003.
Photo credits: Abramson photo courtesty University of Pennsylvania Athletics; Lockwood photo by John Shishmanian, courtesy of Norwich Bulletin