Devon Yaghmaie has accomplished more athletically than most Stamford High female athletes before her.
She did so by winning in a sport normally dominated by players from suburban schools.
She was All-State and All-FCIAC and, along with her twin sister Taylor, won two CIAC State Open Doubles Tennis Championships.
She did all that without ever setting foot on the court as a senior due to the coronavirus shutdown.
Yaghmaie was also the captain of the Stamford field hockey team and named FCIAC All-West her senior season.
For all her efforts, along with her success in the classroom and community, Yaghmaie is the 2020 recipient of the Allyson Rioux Memorial Award.
“Getting this award means a lot,” Yaghmaie said. “I grew up playing basketball in Stamford and always heard people speaking about Allyson Rioux. If you are a girls growing up and playing sports in Stamford, you know who she was. I wasn’t expecting to win because I knew a lot of great athletes were applying.”
This is the 31st year the $5,000 Allyson Rioux Memorial Award has been given to a senior female athlete in the Stamford Schools.
Allyson Rioux was a standout softball player from Stamford who died in 1989 from an inoperable brain tumor. To keep her memory alive, a $5,000 award was established in her name to be presented to a senior female athlete in the Stamford Schools.
The memorial award was established in Rioux’s memory to annually recognize someone who has proven herself to be an athlete of exceptional ability, determination, courage and an unselfish devotion to her teammates.
Cheryl Tiscia, the president of the Allyson Rioux Memorial Foundation, and Rioux’s sister, said Yaghmaie represents the qualities that made her sister a Stamford legend.
“The Allyson Rioux Memorial Foundation is thrilled to add Devon to our long list of talented female athletes who excel in their high school sports and in the classroom,” Tiscia said in a press release. “We continue to be amazed at the quality and number of applicants we receive year after year. It is hard to believe this is the 31st year of the award.”
The Yaghmaie sisters won two CIAC State Open Doubles Tennis titles and had played in the state final each year of their high school careers.
As freshmen they won the state title, sophomore year they lost in the final in a tiebreaker and junior year, they were back on top.
The pair wanted nothing more than to close out their senior year with one more championship.
Despite not getting the shot at a third championship, the duo leaves a lasting legacy at Stamford High, where they were the first doubles team from the school to win the State Open.
“When I look back, it is amazing what we accomplished,” Yaghmaie said. “We were the first doubles team to from Stamford High to win it. Especially since we won two, it’s a very cool thing to leave behind.”
There is a banner hanging in the Stamford gym with a photo of the sisters after winning states freshmen year. That banner will hang in Kuzco Gymnasium for the ages.
Yaghmaie will be attending The University of Connecticut where she will play tennis.