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Editor to be recognized with Art McGinley Award from state sportswriters group

Gerry deSimas, Jr., interviews Danbury's Kevin Jack at the recent CIAC State Open wrestling tournament in New Haven.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., left, interviews Danbury’s Kevin Jack at the recent CIAC State Open wrestling tournament in New Haven. (Photo by Betsey Downey)

Gerry deSimas, Jr., the editor and founder of the Collinsville Press, has been selected as the 2014 winner of the Art McGinley Award from the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance. The award, given in memory of the long-time sports editor of the now defunct Hartford Times, recognizes notable contributions to the Alliance and journalism in the state of Connecticut.

DeSimas will be recognized at the Alliance’s 73rd annual Gold Key dinner on Sunday, April 27, at 4 p.m. at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. He is  a communications specialist for Northeast Utilities, working as a writer, photographer and web editor. 

But he remains close to the sports scene in Connecticut.  Along with the Collinsville Press, an online publication focused on sports in the Farmington Valley, he is also the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online, which has been covering high school and collegiate wrestling in the state since 2001. DeSimas is also the co-editor of the state high school football record book and the editor of the state high school wrestling record book.

From 1986 through 1998, he served stints as sports editor at The Register Citizen in Torrington, The Herald in New Britain and the weekly Farmington Valley Herald, based in Simsbury. He also was editor of the Sunday Herald Press, serving New Britain, Bristol and Middletown.

He continues to write on a freelance basis for daily and weekly publications. He has written for The Republican-American in Waterbury for the past 15 years and has covered the WNBA for a variety of papers across the country. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, deSimas lives in Avon with his wife, Jennifer, and two daughters.

The Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance will be presenting 2014 Gold Keys to West Haven High School head football coach Ed McCarthy, UConn men’s soccer coach Ray Reid, Branford High School field hockey coach Cathy McGuirk, former Boston Marathon winner Amby Burfoot, and one-time New Britain Rock Cats President and General Manager Bill Dowling.

In addition to the Art McGinley Award and Gold Key recipients, other award winners being recognized at the banquet are:

  • Doc McInerney High School Coaches of the Year: Cheshire girls volleyball coach Sue Bavone and Ansonia football coach Tom Brockett
  • Hal Levy High School Athletes of the Year: Southington senior quarterback Stephen Barmore and sophomore distance runner Hannah DeBalsi of Staples
  • Bill Lee Male Athlete of the Year: Matt Harvey, New York Mets
  • Hank O’Donnell Female Athlete of the Year: McKenzie Hollenbaugh, Boston University and New England Mutiny
  • John Wentworth Good Sport Awards: Jason DeCarolis of Bristol, Tim Kulish of Shelton, Fran Slattery of Enfield, Fred Kelly of North Haven, David Dykes from Waterford, and the father-son tandem of Les and Brett Zimmerman from Meriden.
  • Bob Casey Courage Award: Andrew Haraghey of Enrico Fermi High in Enfield and Morgan Bjardo, Glastonbury High.
  • Bo Kolinsky Special Recognition Award: North Haven High football team.
  • President’s Award: Fairfield County Sports Commission

Tickets to the 2014 Gold Key Dinner are $75 and can be purchased by contacting either CSWA President George Albano of the (Norwalk) Hour at (203) 434-2320 or Bob Ehalt of the New Haven Register at [email protected].

Learn more about the Alliance and the Gold Key dinner at the Alliance’s Facebook page.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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