Two student athletes – Skylar Burzynski (Amity Regional) and Lucas O’Reardon (Lyman Hall HS) – are the recipients of the 2021 SCC “Comeback Player of the Year” awards. Both students suffered severe injuries, yet were able to overcome them to become outstanding role models in their respective schools.
A corporate sponsor of the Southern Connecticut Conference (SCC), Connecticut Orthopaedics has offered a Comeback Player of the Year Scholarship for student-athletes who participated in an interscholastic sport during the 2020-2021 academic year and showed great leadership both on and off the field after their severe injury.
Coaches and school’s athletic directors nominated these student-athletes after they each suffered an unfortunate injury that prohibited them from playing for their high school teams. Both will receive a financial scholarship to be used for their college education.
“This is our 11th year awarding student-athletes from the SCC with scholarships,” said Glenn Elia, CEO of Connecticut Orthopaedics. “Our goal is to acknowledge student-athletes who have overcome the challenges of an injury and, through hard work and determination, become positive role models for their fellow teammates. As sports medicine specialists, we understand intimately what it takes to recover from an injury and return to playing sports at a high level.”
“Many thanks to the doctors and staff at Connecticut Orthopaedics for their support of the SCC and these scholarships over the past decade,” explained SCC Commissioner Al Carbone. “Our league has many outstanding student-athletes who excel in the classroom and on the playing fields; but it is a tremendous gesture to recognize traits like courage, perseverance and selflessness, especially in an unprecedented year as we have experienced.”
2020-21 SCC/Connecticut Orthopaedics Comeback Players of the Year
Amity Regional High School (basketball/lacrosse)
A two-sport standout for the Lady Spartans, Skylar tore her ACL two weeks before her junior basketball season. Despite being injured, she came to practice every single day to support her teammates, all while being diligent with her rehabilitation.
She was named captain for her senior year and led the Lady Spartans to the SCC Division I playoffs. One of the team’s leading scorers and rebounders, Skylar was selected to the All-SCC West Division team. This spring, she was an integral part of Amity’s lacrosse team which reached the SCC Division II championship game.
Skylar will attend Norwich University in the fall with plans to major in exercise science/physical therapy.
Lyman Hall High School (football/basketball)
A two-sport standout for the Trojans, Lucas suffered a severe neck injury called Clay Shoveler’s fracture that required emergency surgery during the fall of 2019. His injury short-circuited a promising junior football season that saw him still earn All-SCC Division III accolades after catching 46 passes for 631 yards and five touchdowns, and making 87 tackles and three interceptions.
Following his injury, he missed the basketball season and then the 2020 football season was not played. Lucas’ determination and work ethic carried him through his rehabilitation and he came back to lead the Trojans’ basketball squad to the SCC Division II title and was named to the All-SCC East Division team.
Lucas will attend the University of New England in the fall and intends to major in physical therapy.