Tolland High School honors athletes

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Tolland - posted Thu., Jun. 13, 2013
Katy Sprout is Tolland High School's female Athlete of the Year. Photos by Steve Smith.
Katy Sprout is Tolland High School's female Athlete of the Year. Photos by Steve Smith.

Tolland High School honored its student athletes and their achievements at the Athletic Awards Ceremony on June 12. "Our athletic season was successful on so many fronts," said Athletic Director Pat Cox, citing that the participation of about 700 athletes out of a school with just over 900 students is remarkable.

Hockey player Garrett Tirrell (also the Class of 2013 valedictorian) and tennis player Rebecca Heilman were named Scholar-Athletes for Tolland High School by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. Tirrell will attend UConn in the fall, and wants to pursue a career in sports management. Heilman will also be attending UConn, in the Allied Sciences program.

Cox called Tirrell and Heilman "exemplary students and terrific role models."

"They are certainly the type of people you would want to have be a part of your program, regardless of whether it was athletic-oriented or not," Cox said.

THS Athletes of the Year were Katy Sprout and Chris Byam, as determined by the Tolland coaches.

Sprout was the #1 300-meter hurdler as a sophomore and as a junior, and now holds seven school records in individual and relay events. She holds the State Open and Class M record in 300-meter hurdles and was the first New England Champion for Tolland in that event – the first for the school in any event.

Sprout is bound for Dartmouth University in the fall, where she will continue to run track. She has also played soccer for THS.

Coach Corey Bernier said Sprout has been a big part of Tolland's back-to-back Class M titles in outdoor track. "She has helped raise the level of our program," Bernier said.

Byam has been a two-time All-Conference baseball player, as well as a two-time All-Conference football player, and has been the Eagles' starting quarterback for three years. Byam will continue to play baseball at Lehigh University next year.

Tolland players who have earned All-State honors include Kelsey Lewis – volleyball, Hannah Fay and Jenny Jacobs - soccer, Chelsea Domian – basketball, Jack Moran – soccer, Colin Sauter - cross country, Courtney Ackerly - cross country, Melissa Caron, Molly Kozlowski, Taylor Fortin - basketball, Katy Sprout – track, Megan Lester - track, Jenna Olander, Carly DeDominicis - track, Kelsey Swanson – track, Andrew Schadt – tennis, Dan Gadoury – tennis, Cody Daigle - lacrosse, Sean Gannon – lacrosse, Larry Middleton – lacrosse, and – Ross Brancati - hockey.

More than 70 Tolland athletes earned All-Conference honors.

Several of the school's teams were honored for conference titles or great performances in conference or state tournaments, including the boys' lacrosse team, boys' golf, cheerleading, girls' outdoor track (Class M champions in 2013 and 2012) and girls' cross-country (Class M 2012-13 and 2011-12 champions).

Cox thanked the athletes for their accomplishments. "What you do represents the school, on and off the field. What you do is really the face of the school, in so many ways," he said. "Thank you for representing the school the way you do."

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