MERIDEN — A good player’s value to his team is arguably best measured by his absence.
Witness Regan Maloney of Maloney High School. A year ago, with Regan Maloney out for the season with an injury, the Maloney softball team struggled just to get into the playoffs, not qualifying until the final day of the regular season.
This year, with a healthy Regan Maloney back at the top of the lineup and playing shortstop, the Maloney Spartans won their first eight games and went 15-5 in the regular season.
“I truly believe that it is because Regan Maloney was able to play this year,” said coach Scott Aresco.
“Regan is one of the hardest — if not the hardest — working softball players I have ever coached,” Aresco added. “But even through her hard-working practices and games, she always has a smile on her face. She is a constant example of a ‘lead-by-example’ student-athlete. She is always doing whatever is best for the team.”
This season, Maloney batted a team-high .521 with 37 hits in 71 at-bats. She was named All-Conference and, after a one-year absence, selected to the All-Record-Journal team for a second time.
Academically, Maloney finished with a 4.43 GPA that ranked her No. 4 in the Class of 2018.
Along the way, Maloney was a multiple Record-Journal Scholar-Athlete. She earned a Yale Book Award, a DECA Student Recognition Award and was a CT Governor’s Scholar semifinalist.
She was also a member of the Athletic Leadership Council, Health & Wellness Committee, Leo Club and Math Team. Maloney now leaves Maloney for St. John’s University, where she’ll study Criminal Justice and Accounting.
Regan Maloney was one of seven Record-Journal Scholar-Athletes selected by their coaches at Maloney High School for the 2018 spring season. All seven are invited to the Record-Journal’s “Best of the Bunch” awards brunch, which will be held at the Aqua Turf Club next Sunday, June 24.
Demetre Carnot, golf: Fourth-year multi-sport athlete Demetre Carnot returns to the R-J Scholar-Athlete one last time before heading off to Miami of Ohio.
The two-time state class wrestling champion was again the leading man on the links for the Maloney golf team while posting a 4.48 GPA. He was the individual medalist at this year’s City Championship.
A mem2ber of the National Honor Society, Carnot participated in DECA and Youth and Government. He was this year’s Connecticut Youth Attorney General and also a student rep to the Meriden Board of Education.
Hannah Cloutier, girls track: Here’s the girl whose name became synonymous with pole vaulting in the Maloney track program.
Cloutier signs off with school records in both the indoor and outdoor season. She won the first Maloney girls indoor track championship when she claimed the Class L crown this winter.
In the spring, Cloutier won her fourth straight CCC South championship before an ankle injury derailed her bid for another Class L title.
”When I became the head coach of the track and field team four years ago, I never would have thought that one of my most consistent and by far the most dominant athlete I would have coached in that time would be a pole vaulter,” said Maloney coach Don Askew. “Hannah has worked harder than anyone to transform herself into the champion that she is.
”The ability to balance work, school and vaulting makes Hannah the ultimate student-athlete, and her willingness to do whatever it takes to be successful at all that she does is why it was a very easy choice for her to be named a captain for the indoor and outdoor seasons, and an easy choice for Scholar-Athlete.”
Cloutier indeed hit high marks academically. With a 3.97 GPA, she graduated No. 24 in the Class of 2018. She’s going to Wagner College, where she’ll continue to compete in track while studying Microbiology.
Tatyana Inman, girls tennis: With a 4.2 GPA, Tatyana Inman graduated No. 7 in Maloney’s Class of 2018.
Now she’s off to Springfield College to play Division II tennis and participate in the school’s six-year, direct-entry Physician’s Assistant program.
Inman has already gone a considerable way down that road. She’s a certified nursing assistant and she’s logged over 150 hours of volunteer service, many of them at the John J. Nerden Camp in Middlefield for children and adults with special needs.
Inman also participated in Skills USA and Youth and Government. She was a member of the Allegrettos and Chamber Singers.
Inman played four years of tennis, capping her career at No. 2 doubles. She was a cheerleader as a freshman and sophomore before switching over to soccer for her junior and senior years.
“Tatyana has been a terrific influence on our team,” said tennis coach Tim Sweigard. “She is conscientious, mature and respectful, and those characteristics have had a tremendously positive influence on her teammates over the last four years. Her discipline and work ethic will serve her well in college and beyond.”
Jaybril Pagan, boys volleyball: Maloney coach Kevin Savejs points out that Jaybril Pagan, while only a junior, was voted team captain this season.
“It speaks to the type of leader Jaybril is,” Savejs said. “Jay pushed his teammates every day to get better. He led by example and put his heart and soul into everything he did.”
As Maloney’s setter, Pagan dished out 290 assists. He also got his hands on 84 digs and planted 22 service aces.
”Although we did not see the successes we hoped for this season, our team is set up to have a great season next year with all starters returning with the exception of one,” Savejs remarked. “Our team will continue to get better and it’s because of the leadership Jaybril brings every single day.”
A two-time All-CCC Academic student, Pagan has a GPA of 3.2.
Tanner Raymond, baseball: This senior was a consistent bright spot in a rough season on the diamond for the Spartans.
Raymond pitched, played center field and also caught. He batted .266 with four doubles and a home run. He struck out 30 batters in 33 innings work.
Raymond’s numbers were solid in the classroom as well. He graduated with a 4.22 GPA and will move on to Norwich University to pursue a degree in Nursing.
“Tanner has been a model student-athlete as a member of the baseball team,” said coach Howie Hewitt. “He exemplifies all that the award represents. His contributions to the baseball team are measured statistically and by his dedication to make himself and his teammates better. He has been remarkable and will be hard to replace.”
Adam Williams, boys track: Adam Williams returns to the Record-Journal Scholar-Athlete lineup for a second time this school year, having made it in the fall for football, when his punting helped the Spartans reach the Class L state playoffs.
In track, Williams was All-Conference and captained both the indoor and outdoor teams, much to the appreciation of coach Don Askew.
“To have Adam on the team is like having an extra coach. One of the hardest aspects of coaching track and field is to be able to coach multiple events at the same time. Having an athlete such as Adam has definitely made that job easier,” Askew said. “Adam is one of the hardest working, most dedicated athletes I have coached in all my years and has played a major role in carrying our boys' team as a senior leader and captain.
“He is an asset not only for his ability to fill in for multiple events, but by how he leads by example,” Askew added. “The positivity that he brings to the team makes us a better squad.”
With a 4.11 GPA, Williams graduated No. 20 in the Class of 2018. The High Honors student was also a member of the Italian Honor Society.
Williams participated on the Math Team and the Interact Club. He’s got a Black Belt in Kenpo karate and he’s certified in CPR and AED. In the fall, Williams will head to the University of Hartford to study Architectural Engineering.