Final 4 honorees added to Gold Key dinner slate
SOUTHINGTON, July 27, 2021 — The Gold Key Dinner, a yearly extravaganza honoring great Connecticut athletes, coaches and sports personalities since 1940, will honor top athletes and high school coaches of the year for 2020-21, in addition to its previously-announced slate of Gold Key recipients and other award winners.
Tickets are now on sale for the 79th dinner, organized by the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance (CSWA). It was originally slated for April 2020, but after several postponements due to the coronavirus pandemic, will now take place Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.
The Bill Lee Male Athlete of the Year award will go to Scott Testori of Daniel Hand High School in Madison. He became the first Connecticut soccer player to be named National Player of the Year by the United Soccer Coaches, and earned All-American and All-New England honors the past two seasons. The Tigers won the Class L championship in his first three seasons, then went undefeated in 2020, when no state tournament was conducted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Testori has signed to play at UConn this fall.
Standout 3-sport athlete Maddie Epke of Guilford High School will receive the Hank O'Donnell Female Athlete of the Year award. She earned All-State honors in field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse in her junior year with the Grizzlies, and scored her 100th career goal on the ice Feb. 27. In lacrosse, she scored 57 goals and added 72 assists in leading Guilford to its first state title. She has committed to play lacrosse at James Madison University, the 2018 NCAA champions.
High school coaches of the year are recognized for both a male sport and a female sport with the Doc McInerney Award.
Jon Carroll, boys basketball coach at Sacred Heart in Waterbury, led his team to a perfect 14-0 record in the school's final year of operation. The Hearts won their sixth Naugatuck Valley League title in seven years, and placed second in the year-end statewide poll.
Seymour, led by 16-year head coach Ken Pereiras, was the No. 10 seed in the Class M softball tournament with a 15-4 regular season record, but stormed through five opponents by a combined 37-7 scoring margin to win the Wildcats' sixth state title under his guidance.
Gold Key recipients are:
Cookie Bromage, field hockey coach at Enfield High School for 52 years and winner of five state championships;
Joe Grippo, longtime girls volleyball and girls basketball coach at The Morgan School with 14 state championships;
Lou Milardo, who compiled 552 career victories and four state titles in 31 years as softball coach at Hale-Ray High School;
Ricky Shook, Danbury High School wrestling coach since 1999 with 17 Class LL and 15 State Open championships;
Angela Tammaro, who compiled 1,637 career wins as field hockey, lacrosse and basketball coach at Greenwich Academy.
A number of other awards will be presented during the event, including:
President's Award - Claire Smith, Baseball Hall of Fame journalist
Bill Lee Male Athlete of the Year (for 2019) - Alfonso Vazquez Villar, Windham High School soccer
Hank O'Donnell Female Athlete of the Year (for 2019) - Jonquel Jones, Connecticut Sun
Doc McInerney High School Coaches of the Year (for 2019) - Bobby Pattison, Newtown football; Kitty Palmer, Guilford field hockey and Daniel Hand girls tennis
Bo Kolinsky Special Recognition - Elizabeth Fry, Westport world record swimmer
Bob Casey Courage Award - Caden Gesualdi, Ellington High School ice hockey
Hal Levy High School Achievement Award - Dave Johnson, retired South West Conference commissioner
John Wentworth Good Sport Awards - Ben Aleks, Somers; Paul Duddy, Mystic; Steve Krevisky, Middletown; Bill O'Brien, Stratford; Bill Santillo, New Haven
Tickets are $75, and may be ordered by contacting CSWA President Tim Jensen at email@example.com.