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Local roundup: Lyman Memorial's Nanos named CHSCA Volleyball Player of the Year

Southington — Callie Nanos of Lyman Memorial was named the Connecticut High School Coaches' Association Volleyball Player of the Year at the organization's banquet Tuesday night.

Nanos, a senior, helped the Bulldogs win the Eastern Connecticut Conference Division II title as well as their third straight CIAC Class S championship. She had 372 kills, 180 digs, 99 aces and 17 blocks this season.

The award is given to the player who received the most votes for the CHSCA's all-state teams. Coaches can vote for up to 10 players who they played against, watched play or were in their state division.

Skylar Bell and Ella Freed from ECC Division I champion East Lyme were both selected to the Class L first team as was Fitch's Rita Sefransky.

Lyman's Fallon Bailey and Nanos and Kuranda Ruggiero of Griswold both received Class S first team honors while Maya Hillman of Montville and Old Lyme's Abby Speckhals made second team.

Lavinia Hutchins of Ledyard, Katie Lange of Waterford and Kiera Stewart of Bacon Academy were both named to the Class M first team.

Men’s basketball

• Billy Whelan scored 20 of his game-high 27 points in the second half to lead Connecticut College to a 79-70 win over Coast Guard. Whelan came off the bench and made 5 of 9 3-pointers and was 8 of 13 from the floor and six for six from the foul line. Cam Schainfeld and Jarron Flynn both scored 17 for the Camels (2-3). Jarrod Jackson had a career-high 14 points for the Bears (1-6) while Garrett Drummond added 11 points and a game-high six assists. Also, Madison Maloney had a game-high 12 rebounds.

Women's basketball

• Kelly Hagerty (10 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks) was one of four Coast Guard players to score in double figures in its 83-45 rout of Albertus Magnus. Emma Puddington had 16 points and six rebounds, Kyra Hartman had 14 points and seven rebounds and Julia Mann had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Bears (4-3), which outscored Albertus 25-6 in the third quarter. Lily Mika added eight points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals for Coast Guard.

UConn adds to football staff

• Nick Charlton and Dalton Hilliard were named to the UConn football coaching staff Wednesday, as announced by head coach Jim Mora. Charlton, who served as the head coach at Maine for the last three seasons, joins the Huskies as assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Hilliard comes to UConn as the defensive backs coach after serving as the secondary coach at Arkansas State in 2021.

Both appointments are pending the successful completion of the university's onboarding process.

A 2011 graduate of Boston College, Charlton led Maine to a 14-13 overall record, including a 10-10 mark in Colonial Athletic Association action, during his three years as head coach. The Black Bears were also successful in the classroom under Charlton, as the team posted a program-best 3.26 GPA during the spring 2020 semester.

During the 2021 season, Charlton led Maine to a winning record and the Black Bears won five of their last six games. During that stretch, Maine defeated an FBS opponent for the fourth time in program history. That win over UMass marked the largest margin of victory of an FCS team over an FBS opponent during the fall 2021 season (35-10). Maine also defeated archrival New Hampshire, winning on the road at Durham for the first time in 20 years. Charlton mentored nine all-conference selections this season, six on offense.

"Nick is a dynamic and innovative offensive mind who is well-equipped to take our offense to a completely different level of efficiency," Mora said in a press release. "Nick has an impressive track record of helping quarterbacks reach their potential, but his expert understanding of offense has helped countless student-athletes achieve success."

Charlton joined the Maine staff in spring 2015 as the wide receivers coach. He was named Maine's special teams coordinator in April 2016, a role he held until February 2018.

Charlton came to Maine after serving three years at Boston College as a graduate assistant under head coach Steve Addazio and then Boston College offensive coordinator, and now Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, where he worked on offense with the quarterbacks in 2014. Charlton helped mentor Boston College quarterback and Pittsburgh Steelers signee Tyler Murphy, who set the ACC single-season quarterback rushing record with 1,184 yards.

Charlton graduated from Boston College in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy. He received a master's degree from Boston College's Woods School of Advancing Studies in 2013.

Hilliard worked as a defensive graduate assistant at UCLA during Mora's time as head coach for the Bruins.

Hilliard spent the 2019 and 2020 seasons at Tennessee-Martin, serving as the defensive pass game coordinator each year and the cornerbacks coach in 2019, before being elevated to secondary coach in 2020.

While UT Martin did not play a fall football schedule in 2020, Hilliard's first season with the program saw the Skyhawks rank first in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) in pass defense efficiency while also pacing the league in scoring defense (19.5 avg.)

"I have known Dalton for a number of years and have great respect for his coaching ability and for his character," Mora said. "Dalton has been making a positive impact on the lives of young men for years, and I know he will have a positive effect on our student-athletes both on and off the field."

The Skyhawks ranked third in the league with 13 interceptions and led the conference with three defensive touchdowns and a plus-5 turnover margin. The corners boasted an impressive coverage stat, allowing zero touchdowns against conference opponents.

Prior to his time at UT Martin, Hilliard was on staff at UCLA, where he served as a defensive and special teams analyst for a season after spending 2015-17 as defensive graduate assistant under Mora. As a graduate assistant, he spent time at all major position groups on the defensive side of the ball at linebacker, defensive line and the secondary.

Hilliard was a four-year safety at UCLA, seeing action in 41 games while earning 27 starts. He tallied 114 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles and an interception in his career. As a senior he was honored as the team's Tommy Prothro Award for Outstanding Special Teams Player of the Year and one of three Kenneth S. Washington Award winners for Outstanding Senior of the Year.

After his collegiate career, Hilliard signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chicago Bears in 2013. Following his stint in the NFL, he played professional football in Italy, leading Seamen Milano to the team's first Italian Super Bowl in 20 years.

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