Sports: Many achievements to celebrate in 2012

Head coach John Distler led the Joel Barlow High boys varsity lacrosse team to the state Class S championship in 2012. He was also named U.S. Lacrosse’s Connecticut head boys lacrosse Coach of the Year in Class S. —Rocco Paul Valluzzo

Many accomplishments, both at the individual and team levels, highlighted Redding sports in 2012.

Michael Pilyugin, a senior on the Joel Barlow High boys swim team, finished his high school career in strong fashion by winning two gold medals at the State Open. Pilyugin won the 100 freestyle and also set a meet record in the 100 backstroke.

The Joel Barlow High girls golf team, which made its debut in 2012, had a good inaugural season. The Falcons were runners-up in the South-West Conference tournament.

The Joel Barlow High boys soccer team won the SWC championship, its ninth overall and first since 2008. The girls volleyball team also won the league crown, its fourth overall and also went undefeated until the semifinals of the state Class L tournament.

Much success came on the lacrosse field as the Joel Barlow boys were SWC runners-up. They also made their second straight trip to the state Class S finals, beating Somers and bringing home their second state championship, the first since 2002.

Two Barlow lacrosse players, Nolan Stauffer and Mike Mattson, were named All-American selections. Head coach John Distler was named U.S. Lacrosse’s Connecticut head boys lacrosse Coach of the Year in Class S.

While it did not win a league championship, the Barlow football team posted its best record in more than 20 years, going 8-2 and just missing a spot in the state Class M playoffs. It finished first in the Yankee Division of the SWC.

The final chapter of Jim Dolan’s coaching career at Barlow came to a close when he stepped down as coach of the boys golf team, a position he had for 12 seasons. He also coached the boys soccer team for 29 years and the baseball team for 17 during a 37-year span.

The Redding-Easton Rockets 9- and 10-year-old girls travel softball team won its second straight Connecticut Little League Softball District 1 title. The Rockets also advanced to the Connecticut Little League Section 1 championship before losing to Milford.

Jenn Shinall, a 2008 graduate of Joel Barlow High, signed a professional basketball contract with KUSG Leimen Young Guns in Germany. Shinall was a member of the Connecticut College Class of 2012 and an All-American selection on the women’s basketball team.

Easton-Redding Falcons Baseball, a spring-summer program for post-Little League players from both towns, began its inaugural season. The two towns also received approval for their own American Legion baseball program, which is set to start in 2013.


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