MHS hosts boys' basketball alumni night
By Martha Marteney, Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Tue., Feb. 8, 2011
Manchester High School held its first boys’ basketball alumni night on Feb. 8. Any team alumni were eligible to see that night’s game versus East Hartford High School free of charge. The attendees were honored before the game and enjoyed refreshments afterwards.
“We’ve talked about having the alumni come back,” said Susie Camilleri Healy, herself an MHS graduate and former cheerleader. Her husband, Bob Healy, is also an MHS graduate, and is the boys’ basketball varsity coach and department head of physical education and health. “For us, it’s kind of like a family affair because Bob’s coached here so long.”
Alumni night drew 25 alumni spanning six decades. “I played for the last team that went to the state finals,” said Manchester resident Dave Turkington, class of 1956. He hopes that something will grow out of this first annual alumni night.
The alumni were introduced before the varsity game against East Hartford High School. Turkington received a loud round of applause. Coach Healy made special mention of one former MHS basketball player, Ed Kennison, who died in the Hartford Distributor shooting in 2010.
“It’s nice for the community and to teach my high school kids that there’s tradition here,” noted coach Healy. “Winning’s nice, but lessons like this are really what the experience is all about.”
The 1965 boys’ basketball team was well-represented, with five alumni, including Don Romano of East Hartford. Manchester resident Carl Hohenthal said, “We come to a game every couple of years to see how things are.”
“You try to maintain alumni spirit,” explained Manchester resident Wally Irish, class of ’65. “I called my old teammates. We’re here to honor those who still wear the red and white for Manchester High.”
Duke Hutchinson, class of ’65, was inducted into the Manchester Sports Hall of Fame in Nov. 2010. He played basketball, soccer and baseball, and was the captain of all three teams. Although he now lives in Boston, he gets together with his old basketball teammates a couple of times of year. “It was a nice night,” he said after the event.
“I think it’s nice to get people together,” said Jim Kuhn about alumni night. He now lives in Bloomfield with his wife, Liz, a fellow MHS graduate and former cheerleader.
1974 graduate Kim Bushey shares the MHS boys’ basketball record, along with 2001 graduate Chaz Carr, for the most points scored in a game: 40. About alumni night, Bushey said, “It’s a great idea to get people together. I think more schools should do it.” About the night’s game, Bushey noted that there was a lot more running and a lot fewer baskets.