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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaugs Scott Meyer, left, was honored as the recipient of the 2024 Michael H. Savage Spirit of Sport Award at the CAS-CIAC Scholar Athlete Banquet on May 5 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. (Courtesy of the CIAC)
Nonnewaug’s Meyer Wins Prestigious CIAC Perseverance Award
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Nonnewaug boys soccer coach Toby Denman, left, and assistant coach Josh Kornblut address the team after a game last season. Denman says hes tried to learn how to be an effective coach by observing the ones hes played for and coached with. (Kyle Brennan)
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Nonnewaugs Ellie McDonald dribbles the ball during a game last season. McDonalds nickname is Smellie -- one of many Chief names that exist on the girls soccer team. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
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Nonnewaug’s Meyer Wins Prestigious CIAC Perseverance Award

Nonnewaug’s Scott Meyer, left, was honored as the recipient of the 2024 Michael H. Savage Spirit of Sport Award at the CAS-CIAC Scholar Athlete Banquet on May 5 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. (Courtesy of the CIAC)

WOODBURY — The 2023-24 school year was full to the brim with great accomplishments in the Nonnewaug community. Perhaps the greatest of all was the awarding of the Michael H. Savage Spirit of Sport Award to Nonnewaug’s own Scott Meyer, a senior student-athlete and captain of the boys track and field team. The award, given to one senior in the state of Connecticut each year, highlights a student-athlete whose story exemplifies the ability to work through hardship and uses it as motivation for success.

Nonnewaug boys track and field head coach Deb Flaherty speaks very highly of Meyer, citing his work ethic as an “exemplar of perseverance.”

“He’s just such a great kid,” she added. “He’s personable, he’s kind, he’s involved, he’s just that great overall kid that you want in the Tribe.”

The Chief Advocate met with Meyer to discuss his journey to this point and his thoughts on the Spirit of Sport award.

What does the Spirit of Sport award stand for?

To me, it stands for persevering through challenges that you face and still doing the work you’re supposed to, and competing like an athlete.

If you could describe the feeling of winning this award in one word, what would it be and why?

I would say shocked. When I won it, I had no clue that it was happening. I don’t know if you saw me walking up [at the Red-Out pep rally] to [receive] it, but I was visibly shaking.

Nonnewaug senior Scott Meyer, third from left, poses with his family and the CIAC’s Gregg Simon, right, after receiving the CIAC Spirit of Sports Award at Nonnewaug’s red-out pep rally Feb. 2. (Deme Jones ’26)

How has being an athlete helped you to overcome the physical struggles you’ve faced in your life? 

I just always wanted to be like other kids, doing workouts and stuff, so I think it pushed me in my struggles to just do it regardless. It honestly helped my disability get stronger in a sense, where I can move [my left side] better.

Did it help emotionally?

I’d say so. It was rough during the pandemic because I hadn’t done a sport since seventh grade, and I was dying inside. I was just inside playing video games, and I needed something else. My mom noticed it too, and she was like, “You should probably start playing a sport again.” And once I started playing sports again, it helped me out a lot.

As you reflect on everything that you’ve been through up to this point, how do you think your experiences have shaped who you are?

Honestly, I think it’s made me a stronger individual more mentally than anything. Stuff doesn’t affect me; little things don’t affect me as much as they might affect a person that hasn’t gone through [something like me]. It’s helped me persevere a lot, too. It’s taught me a lot of life lessons at an early age compared to, say, someone who’s 70 and hasn’t gone through too much.

At what point during your life would you say that you were at your lowest point, and how did you get through it?

I’d say two points. [Firstly,] during the pandemic, I was going through chemo, so I literally could not go out at all. My parents were not taking the risk because say I got COVID, I could end up on my deathbed. So I was basically isolated in my room the entire time. The most I could do was play video games; that was my only way of socializing, and Snapchat. That’s really all I had, so I was pretty down [at that time]. And then this is the weird one – after I was cured, and getting back to school and stuff. It was a lot of adjusting from being in the hospital 24/7 to being really socially active, now with sports on my plate. Beforehand, my mom helped me out with a lot of things, and then, she just kind of pushed me back out there to do stuff on my own. It was really stressful and definitely created a bit of a low point.

How did you get through it?

Support, really, from friends and family. [The track team] welcomed me with open arms when I came in and it was nice.

What people in your life have had the most impact on the person you are today? 

I’d say my family. They were a big help. And again, the track kids – they were the first group of friends that I made when I first came here because I was online my entire freshman year, so I didn’t really know anyone coming in.

What is a message that you have for the Nonnewaug community as the winner of this award? 

This doesn’t go to athletes, but just every kid in general: When you hit that low point, just keep going. It’s not worth it to just sit there and sulk about it. It’s better to just keep moving. Push forward.

About the Contributors
Gianna Lodice '24
Gianna Lodice '24, Senior Editor
Gianna Lodice is a senior at Nonnewaug and a first-year reporter for the NHS Chief Advocate, now serving as a senior editor. A three-season athlete, Gianna is captain of the soccer, indoor track, and outdoor track teams, a testament to her passion for sports. She is also serving as the president of Nonnewaug’s National Honor Society for this year, and she is a member of the agriscience program. After high school, Gianna aspires to run track at her dream college (wherever that is) and potentially major in history on her route to law school. She is excited to write about things that interest her and have new experiences.
Deme Jones '26
Deme Jones '26, Reporter
Deme Jones is a sophomore at Nonnewaug High School who writes for the NHS Chief Advocate. This is her first year as a writer for Chief Advocate, and she hopes for a great year filled with many well-written pieces. Demetra enjoys her sports - lacrosse and field hockey -- and hopes to play in the future.
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