After a fall season in which one Norwalk High team reached the state finals and another two reached the semifinals, it's no surprise that there were plenty of awards to handed out to when all was said and done.
A total of 59 athletes from both Norwalk and Brien McMahon were recently honored as the FCIAC announced its all-star teams.
The Norwalk football team, which went 9-2, won a state playoff game for the first time in program history, and reached the state semifinals in the process, led the way with 18 selections. The Bears' first-team all-Central honorees included wide receiver Derick Edwards, offensive lineman Pat Whalen, defensive linemen Kwazee Rice and Brandon Rembert, linebackers Bobby Stringfellow, Gil Araujo and Dave Klein, as well as defensive backs Delshawn Wilson and Johnny Anzalone. First-year head coach Sean Ireland was named all-FCIAC Central Coach of the Year after leading Norwalk to its first state playoff appearance since 1998.
Norwalk running backs Kenny Francois and Tomar Joseph, offensive linemen Brian Manby and Tyler Burns, and defensive back Marc Lerebours received second-team all-Central honors, while wide receiver Andy St. Fleur, kicker/punter Jon Wilkins and offensive linemen Tristan Opdahl and Tyler Hiller were given honorable mention.
The Brien McMahon football team, which went just 3-7 after suffering five losses by eight points or less, had 13 players honored. Quarterback Damien Vega, running backs Chris Jerome and Kyle Jordan, defensive lineman Zack O'Connor and defensive backs Marc Lugo and Ryan Scott were named to the all-Central first team. The Senators' second-team selections included offensive linemen Ryan Silverman and Andre Rodriguez and linebackers Brandon Freeman and Drew D'Antonio. Defensive back Jamie Restivo and linebackers Chris Holomakoff and Danny O'Brien received honorable mention.
On the pitch, the Norwalk boys soccer team constructed one of its finest seasons, reaching the state semifinals for the first time in seven years. The first-team selections for the Bears, a 13-win team during the regular season, included forwards Nic Zuniga and Mike Broncati, and defender Andrew Melitsanopoulos. Norwalk forward Kevin Joslyn and midfielders Santiago Muriel, Nacho Navarro and Erick Romero were named to the all-West team.
The McMahon girls team also finished under .500 after going 5-10 but goalkeeper Shangyne Samuels was honored as a second-team selection. Norwalk defender Karolyn Collins was named to the first-team.
The Norwalk field hockey team enjoyed arguably its finest season in program history after winning 13 games and reaching the state finals for the first time. Midfielder Katie Schmidt, who scored 16 goals and assisted on six others, received first-team honors, as did forward Christine Mace. Defender Kerry McCabe and forward Efthimia Kutrubis were all-East selections for the Bears.
McMahon's field hockey team also made the state tournament after going 6-7-3 in the regular season, and its goalkeeper Lili DeRossi was a big reason why. The Senators recorded seven shutouts and DeRossi received first-team honors. Midfielder Nicole Lue was an all-East selection.
There was also plenty of talent in the pool during the season, as the Norwalk-McMahon co-op girls swim team placed 10th out of 49 teams at the State Open. Junior Stephanie Czulewicz (500 freestyle) and sophomore Lauren Czulewicz (100 freestyle) were named to the all-first team. Freshmen Kate Wargo (200 free relay, 400 free relay), Olivia Haskell (50 freestyle, 200 free relay), Lynette Lopez (200 free relay) and Paige DeLago (100 backstroke, 400 free relay) were second-team selections.