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East Lyme's Valakos named to All-American boys' lacrosse team

East Lyme's Matt Valakos was named to the 2021 United States Lacrosse All-America boys' lacrosse team on Wednesday, one of 16 Connecticut players to make the team.

Valakos, a senior attack, finished with 132 points (64 goals, 68 assists) for the Vikings, who went unbeaten during the regular season, captured the Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I regular-season and tournament championships, and reached the Class M state tournament semifinals before losing to eventual champion Weston.

Head coach Gary Wight said Valakos is the first player in program history to earn All-American honors.

"Matt's natural leadership skills have had an enormous influence on the team this spring," Wight said. "His goal-oriented approach, instinctive mindset, and drive to succeed have assisted with our team's progression.

"Though Matt is a modest individual and always thinks team first, he is a fierce competitor and has been a game changer, encompassing the capacities to alter his style of play to meet the needs of the team in the moment. Matt is immensely respected by his teammates and coaches. His exceptional work ethic and competitive nature have been contagious."

Valakos' teammate, senior long stick midfielder Connor Daugherity, was named to the Academic All-America team along with a pair of midfielders, Bacon Academy senior Kellen Paparella and Fitch senior James Deichler.

Valakos was also one of five East Lyme players named to the Class M all-state team. Valakos, senior midfielder Garisen Wiese and senior defender Tucker Mazzulli were named to the first team while senior attack Ryan Whaley and senior defender Jake Tukey made the second team.

Local players were well represented on the Class S all-state team, too, with Bacon's Paparella, senior attack Tyler Graham and defender Owen Mocksfield making the first team along with Stonington senior long stick midfielder Jacob McBain, and Bacon senior midfielder Jason Consiglio and Stonington senior defenseman Kyle Marino making the second team.

Bacon's Tom Hart was named the Class S Assistant Coach of the Year.

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