Two student athletes – Taylor Alfano (West Haven HS) and Cooper Callahan (Fairfield Prep) – are the recipients of the 2024 Southern Connecticut Conference “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 long-time corporate sponsor of the SCC, Connecticut Orthopaedics offered a Comeback Player of the Year Scholarship for student-athletes who participated in an interscholastic sport during the 2023-2024 academic year and showed great leadership both on and off the field after their 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 14th year awarding student-athletes from the SCC with scholarships,” said Susan Bader, 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.  We also recognize the importance of scholastic achievement and applaud these individuals for their commitment to both.” 

“Many thanks to the doctors and staff at Connecticut Orthopaedics for their support of the SCC and these scholarships,” 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.” 

2023-24 SCC/Connecticut Orthopaedics Comeback Players of the Year 

TAYLOR ALFANO, WEST HAVEN HS (volleyball, ice hockey, softball) 

A three-sport standout for the Blue Devils, Taylor suffered a hip impingement and torn labrum injury.  A true leader on and off the playing fields, Taylor worked tirelessly through the mental and physical aspects of the injury and rehabilitation to return to the ice this past winter. 

She served as the team’s captain this winter and earned All-SCC Second Team honors as a defenseman.  This spring, she played shortstop and earned All-SCC Second Team softball accolades. 

An outstanding student (4.78 GPA) who ranked eighth in her class, Taylor will attend Endicott College in the fall.   

COOPER CALLAHAN, Fairfield Prep (football, basketball, lacrosse) 

A three-sport captain (believed to be just the second Prep student-athlete to have such a recognition), Cooper tore the ACL, MCL and meniscus in his knee during the fall of 2022 while playing football.  

Through his hard work and dedication, he returned to the lacrosse field in the spring of 2023 and played a handful of games for the Jesuits, who made it to the state championship.  This spring, he has led Prep to the SCC title and a spot in the state title game.  Cooper earned All-SCC Second Team honors from his long stick midfield position. 

Cooper signed a national letter of intent to Sacred Heart University and will continue to play lacrosse for the Pioneers. 


The 2023-24 academic year marks the 30th year of existence for the Southern Connecticut Conference. The SCC is comprised of 23 high schools with more than 23,000 students representing 16 communities. Recognized as one of the best athletic conferences in the state, the SCC also has a great tradition of offering first-rate non-athletic programs and events that enrich the overall high school experience of our young people to help them become responsible students, athletes and citizens. For more information on the SCC, visit 


Connecticut Orthopaedics is a premier team of orthopaedic doctors, surgeons and health care professionals who provide compassionate and innovative care to keep you moving forward with life. With over 50 doctors serving 20 locations, including 7 Urgent Care | Walk-In centers, three orthopaedic-only Surgical Centers and 12 state-of-the-art Sports Therapy | Rehab locations, we make it convenient for you to get the orthopaedic care you need, close to where you live. 

There’s simply no other Connecticut practice that offers the convenience, personalized care and comprehensive experience that you’ll find with Connecticut Orthopaedics. From your first visit, to diagnosing your injury, to treatment and rehabilitation, we offer end-to-end orthopaedic services designed to accommodate your every need. To learn more, visit