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Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists Awards "Comeback Player of the Year" Scholarships

Wednesday, April 25, 2013

Left-Right: Glenn Elia, CEO of Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists, Noah Criscuolo, Isabelle Fishbein-Ouimette, Dr. Richard Diana of Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists, and SCC Commissioner Al Carbone.

SCC student-athletes Isabelle Fishbein-Ouimette (Lyman Hall) and Noah Criscuolo(Guilford) are recognized with $1,000 scholarship awards

Two senior student athletes - Isabelle Fishbein-Ouimette (Lyman Hall HS) and Noah Criscuolo (Guilford HS) - are the recipients of the 2013 "Comeback Player of the Year" scholarship award. Both students overcame severe injuries during their high school careers, yet were able to overcome them to become outstanding role models in their respective schools.

A corporate sponsor of the Southern Connecticut Conference (SCC), Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists P.C. (COS) has offered a Comeback Player of the Year Scholarship for one male and one female athlete who participated in an interscholastic sport during the 2012-2013 season, and showed great leadership both on and off the field after their severe injury.

Coaches and school's athletic directors nominated these student-athletes after they each suffered an unfortunate injury that prohibited them from play during their high school careers. Isabelle and Noah each received a $1,000 scholarship to be used for their college education.

"This is our third year in awarding student-athletes from the SCC with scholarships," explained Glenn Elia, Chief Executive Officer of COS. "Our goal has been to acknowledge two athletes that have overcome the challenges of an injury and, through hard work and determination, have become positive role models for their fellow teammates. We know there are scholarships for gifted athletes. This one is for their impeccable character displayed both on and off the field."

"Many thanks to the doctors and staff at Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists for their support of the SCC and this scholarship," explained SCC Commissioner Al Carbone. "Our league has many outstanding student-athletes who excel in the classroom and on the field, but we are delighted that two exceptional young people in Isabelle Fishbein-Ouimette and Noah Criscuolo can be recognized for their admirable stories of perseverance and unselfishness."

Isabelle Fishbein-Ouimette, Lyman Hall - Soccer

Isabelle is a member of the Lady Trojans soccer squad. Last summer, Isabelle's doctors found an ovarian tumor, weighing two pounds, and successfully removed it. Isabelle had a remarkably short recovery, but found her return to the team and to her previous fitness level to be a challenge. Nevertheless, she persisted and her inspiration and leadership was a positive impact to her teammates and squad, earning several team awards for her inspired play.

Lyman Hall girls soccer head coach Charles Liu said, "Isabelle is a very special lady, an athlete determined not to let her school and team down. I don't know of a more deserving player who has had a very positive impact on the team, especially from an injury that she should have missed and not played."

Isabelle plans to attend the University of Ottawa and is interested in studying environmental science.

Noah Criscuolo, Guilford - Wrestling

In the summer following his sophomore year, Noah suffered multiple injuries, including a compound fracture of his femur and collapsed lung, in an automobile accident. During his recovery, he suffered from failed bone growth and endured multiple operations which caused him to be unable to wrestle his junior year.

Despite these obstacles, Noah persevered and returned to the team and was named a captain. He had an outstanding 2012-13 season, finishing with a 29-5 record and placed sixth at the Class M state tournament. He also earned Second Team All-SCC honors and was an Academic All-State selection. He finished his scholastic career with 97 victories.

Guilford wrestling head coach Craig Vedrani said, "Despite being unable to wrestle and while going through intense rehab sessions and encountering setbacks along the way, Noah maintained his passion and enthusiasm for his team and his own recovery. He remained focused on his mission to get healthy and returned to the mat."

Noah plans to attend the University of Rhode Island and study nursing.


The 2012-13 academic year marks the 19th year of existence for the Southern Connecticut Conference. The SCC is comprised of 22 high schools with more than 23,000 students representing 16 communities. Recognized as one of the best athletic conferences in the state, the SCC also has a great tradition of offering first-rate non-athletic programs and events that enrich the overall high school experience of our young people to help them become responsible students, athletes and citizens. For more information on the SCC, visit

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