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E.O. Smith Soccer Coach to Receive Prestigious Gold Key Award

John Blomstrann, the winningest high school soccer coach in Connecticut history, will be among the honorees at the Gold Key Dinner on April 28.

A former soccer standout at Enfield High School who went on to become the winningest coach in Connecticut high school soccer history will receive a prestigious honor this spring.

John Blomstrann, a 1972 Enfield graduate, has been selected as a recipient of the Gold Key award by the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance. He will be honored at the annual Gold Key Dinner on Sunday, April 28 at 4 p.m. at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.

Blomstrann went on to star at the University of Connecticut before embarking on an amazing coaching career at E.O. Smith Regional High School.

In 33 years at the helm of the Panthers, Blomstrann has compiled a 481-101-34 record. Included in that run are five Class LL state championships (1985, 1987, 1991, 1994 and 1998). His teams have been to the state finals seven times overall, finishing runner-up in 1980 and 1993.

Blomstrann's teams have won 21 league championships - three in the Eastern Connecticut Conference, 11 in the North Central Connecticut Conference and seven in the Central Connecticut Conference.

In 2011, he was named the National Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association. He qualified for the award after being named the NHSACA Region One Coach of the Year for a third time (also in 1997 and 2005).

Blomstrann was inducted into the Enfield Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000, and the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame in 2007.

In addition to Blomstrann, Gold Key recipients will be former NBA player Mike Gminski, UConn field hockey coach Nancy Stevens, Staples cross country and track coach John “Laddie” Lawrence and former New Haven College basketball star Gary Liberatore.

Other CSWA award winners are Tina Charles of the Connecticut Sun, who will receive the Hank O’Donnell Female Athlete of the Year Award; former Hamden resident Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings, the Bill Lee Male Athlete of the Year Award recipient; and Ansonia running back Arkeel Newsome and three-sport standout Casey Pearsall of Wilton, who are the Hal Levy High School Athletes of the Year.

Suffield High School boys soccer coach Mark Beigel and Northwest Catholic girls soccer coach Todd Sadler will receive the Doc McInerney High School Coach of the Year awards.

Tickets to the 2013 Gold Key Dinner can be purchased by contacting either CSWA President George Albano of The (Norwalk) Hour at 203-434-2320, or Vice President and Dinner Chairman Bob Ehalt of The New Haven Register at Ehalt.Bob@sbcglobal.net.

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