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Wednesday, January 1
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ALUMNI NEWS    

   BRANFORD H.S. SWIM ALUMNI UPDATE #26

(January 2014)  

GEORGE MILES ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT, SUE LECZA NAMED STINGRAY HEAD COACH 

After 30 years as head coach of the Stingrays, George Miles has announced that this will be his final year ending with the long course season in July.  George coached virtually every Branford High School swimmer over the last 30 years and is in large part responsible for the 17 state championship banners that hang at the pool.  The dedication and countless hours that George put in established the Stingrays as one of the premier programs in Connecticut. Over the last three years George has successfully transitioned the Branford Stingrays to the Shoreline Y Stingrays which now has close to 200 swimmers.

Sue Lecza (85) has coached the 11 and 12 year old Stingrays for over 20 years, has been assistant coach of the Girls High School Team, treasurer of BOSS, treasurer of Connecticut Swimming and run the summer clinic for over 20 years. She has been named head coach, intends to remain the 11 and 12 coach and hopes to have an announcement about the new senior coach shortly. We thank George for all he has done for Branford swimming and wish Sue all the best as she takes on this major responsibility. 

 

BRANFORD SPORTS HALL OF FAME DINNER WAS GREAT NIGHT FOR BRANFORD SWIMMING 

The annual Branford Sports HOF dinner in November saw Jen Baird, Ed Dingus and Kathy Andriole inducted as well as the 88 and 90 Girls State Championship Swim Teams. Over twenty team members along with their coaches, parents, spouses and many swim alumni attended. In all, Branford swimming accounted for almost 100 of the 350 in attendance. The festivities continued the next day with a team brunch.  It was fun watching everyone interacting, truly enjoying each others company and trying to get caught up on the last twenty-five years. I couldn’t help but be impressed by seeing what you all have become, how mature you all are, the strong personalities you now have and the fact that you still had fond memories of those BHS swimming days. Thank you for a weekend that I will never forget.

 

DO YOU WANT TO GET YOUR TEAM TOGETHER? 

Many of you that have come back to be with your state championship team as part of the HOF dinner have mentioned that it meant more than your high school reunions because your teammates were who you spent most of your time with in high school.  The HOF only recognizes state championship teams on their 25th anniversary but every team experienced that close bonding and in fact some of our best teams never won state championships. If anyone or a group would like to organize a reunion weekend for your team or several years of teams, please let me know and I’ll be happy to give you email addresses and any help I can.

 

GIRLS FINISH ANOTHER GREAT SEASON, BOYS BEGIN A NEW ERA

The girls had another great season highlighted by a third place finish at the Class M championships. Scott Butler (91) completed his seventh year coaching the girls.  The boys team is undefeated as I write this under first year coach Ray Beaulac (07).  Ray is enthusiastic, has high expectations and has everyone excited about the season.  The schedule is on the CIAC website.

 

COACHES UPDATE 

The HOF banquet brought together many of the former BHS coaches. Rich Thompson is now retired from the Branford School System but is working part time supervising student teachers at Southern and still coaching at Pine Orchard. Sylvia Brink still lives in New Jersey, is thinking about retiring as a teacher and her son is in his third year of college. Tony Fontana really enjoyed the reunion of the 88 and 90 teams and is kept busy grandparenting with Kristine’s three and Lauren expecting. Eric O’Brien, former diving coach came to the alumni meet, his oldest daughter is in high school and he now owns Crossfit on State St. in New Haven. Eric Golia has been coaching diving at BHS for twenty years, owns Whitfield Sanitation and ConnCans and is busy with his three daughters.  I am glad to report that thanks to the swimming vote I was elected to the Board of Education which has made everyone happy except for Mrs. O’C. Sad to report that Bob Johnson who coached the boys from 72 to 74 and the girls from 72-78 passed away this summer. He was in his mid 90’s was a former all-American swimmer at Ohio State, retired from Yale and taught swimming for over 60 years.

Where are the Updates?

Updates for alumni can be found to the left by clicking on "Alumni News and Archives." 



   
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