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Scholar Athlete banquet goes on as a virtual event on TV, internet – The Collinsville Press
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Scholar Athlete banquet goes on as a virtual event on TV, internet

CHESHIRE – The CIAC will still hold their annual Scholar Athlete banquet on Sunday, May 3. But this year, it will be a virtual celebration of athletic and academic achievement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The banquet will be broadcast live on Fox affiliate Channel 61 out of Hartford on Sunday, May 3, beginning at 6:30 p.m., and on the internet at

The 30-minute special will honor the Scholar Athletes selected by 182 schools across Connecticut.

Abby St. Onge and Walden Yan will be honored from Avon High while Allison Celmer and John Freedenberg will be recognized from Canton High. Simsbury will honor Riley Peterson and Andrew Lech while Catherine Mydosh and Sam Attianese will be recognized from Granby.

The event will feature recognition of each Scholar Athlete; remarks from keynote speaker Anna Mahon a former Olympian and current principal of Amity Regional; retired ESPN radio personality Bob Picozzi as host of the event for the 33rd time in 36 years; and a profile of Haley Lespier from Maloney High School, the 2020 Michael H. Savage Spirit of Sport Award winner.

There will be brief features on a pair of compelling scholar-athlete stories; congratulatory messages from noteworthy Connecticut sports figures and more.

The Scholar-Athlete Program annually recognizes two high school seniors from each member high school whose academic and athletic careers have been exemplary, whose personal standards and achievements are a model to others, and who possess high levels of integrity, self-discipline and courage. It is one of the longest running CAS-CIAC events, honoring standout senior student athletes every year since 1984.

2020 CIAC Scholar Athletes

Avon:                         Abby St. Onge           Walden Yan
Canton                       Allison Celmer          John Freedenberg
East Granby              Emily Kowal               Kristian Kowalski
Farmington               Sarah Hennig            Shery Sharma
Granby                       Catherine Mydosh   Sam Attianese
Lewis Mills                Morgan Sokol           Harry Honig
Simsbury                   Riley Peterseon        Andrew Lech


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 35 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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