Long-time Southington High School statistician Steve Daniels has been named co-recipient of the Bob Casey Courage Award by the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance.
Daniels, 60, has used his labor of love - keeping stats for the Blue Knights’ football, boys and girls basketball and baseball teams - to help him cope with debilitating health challenges. He endured cervical vertebral fusion surgery in 2012 and fusion spine cervical anterior surgery a year later.
As a result, he’s been relegated to a walker and his voice reduced to a whisper, yet he negotiates obstacles at fields and gyms, focusing on his love for Southington sports rather than his own problems. He missed just the 2013 baseball season and the first four games of the 2013 football season.
Daniels graduated from Southington High in 1975. He began keeping football stats in 1988, boys basketball in 1993-94, baseball in 2006 and girls basketball in 2011-12.
He was named a John Wentworth Good Sport by the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance in 2000.
He will share the award with Katie Shea, a senior volleyball player at RHAM High School in Hebron, who has battled autoimmune encephalitis, an autoimmune disorder affecting the brain.
The Courage Award is named in honor of the late Bob Casey, a former New Haven Register sportswriter and public relations director for the NHL’s Hartford Whalers, who passed away from cancer in 1994.
Daniels and Shea will be honored at the 77th annual Gold Key Dinner at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington on Sunday, April 29. Gold Key Award recipients will be PGA golf professional Dennis Coscina, former Granby Memorial High School field hockey coach Dot Johnson, New Canaan High School football coach Lou Marinelli, newly-retired UConn women’s soccer coach Len Tsantiris and Olympic ice hockey gold medalist Gretchen Ulion-Silverman.
Tickets to the Gold Key Dinner are $75, and may be reserved by contacting CSWA President Tim Jensen of Patch Media Corp. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-394-5091, or Vice President Rich Gregory of the Danbury News-Times at email@example.com or 203-705-8625.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Bo Kolinsky Journalism Scholarship, named after a longtime Hartford Courant sportswriter and past CSWA president who died unexpectedly in 2003.