Manchester Sports Hall of Fame holds induction ceremony

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Manchester - posted Fri., Nov. 15, 2013
Marcy MacDonald just celebrated her 14th crossing of the English Channel. Photos by Lisa Stone.
Marcy MacDonald just celebrated her 14th crossing of the English Channel. Photos by Lisa Stone.

The Manchester Sports Hall of Fame executive board held its 34th induction ceremony at the Manchester Country Club on Nov. 9, with seven new individual inductees and a high school team from the 1990s joining the other 178 members in the Hall of Fame. Honored for excellence in individual sports, as well as coaching, officiating and promoting safe competition, this year's inductees were Gil Boisoneau, David D. Boland, Robert Goehring, Gary Kinel, Patrick Tierney, Mike Heffron, Janit Romayko and the 1994-95 and 1995-96 Manchester High School wrestling team, who won state LL championships with consecutive undefeated seasons.

Members of the wrestling team include captains of the 1995 season, Eric Rose and Bryan Jaworski, along with Jarred Freeman, Thomas Yang, Eric Bovee; captains of the 1996 season, Dan Hughes, Matt Peak, Todd Petroff and Glen Ringbloom, along with Jesse Odell, Alex Rojas, Dave Rojas, Matt Schilit, Jamie Kravontka, Kevin Watt, Matt Jaworski, Erick Wilkinson, Nick Ricciardi, Mark Jaworski, Jim Albright and manager, Elisha Bernstien.

During the social hour, fans were privy to memorabilia from several inductees. President Tom Lodge said, "We have several awards that we give out. They include individual achievement award, team award, founder's award, McCluskey award and the Marcy MacDonald award. All of our awards are meaningful, but the Marcy MacDonald award is very special. It is in honor of our secretary, Marcy MacDonald. She has crossed the English Channel for the fourteenth time recently. We are very proud of her."

MacDonald admits she is competitive. "I had crossed the English Channel 12 times," said MacDonald. "That was one-way crossings. Peter Jurzynski of Naugatuck did 14 solo crossings. I just couldn't stop at 12. I felt the need to hold the record. This past year, I completed my fourteenth crossing by doing a back and forth crossing. That brought me up to 14, but I need one more crossing to break the record. I am hoping to complete my fifteenth crossing on June 30, 2014."

This date has a special meaning to it, as it marks the 20th anniversary of the original crossing of the channel. With water temperatures of 55 degrees, muscles tense up and hypothermia sets in after only six hours. The channel is 21 miles wide. "It's not easy," added MacDonald. "I seem to be born to swim. I love swimming, so training is not an issue for me. I need to swim 25 to 40 miles per week. I don't wear any special gear or diving suit, just a bathing suit," she explained. "It is extremely cold. That is why I purposely put on an extra five pounds. That helps keep me warm. The water feels like pins and needles on my skin. As crazy as it sounds, I really love it." MacDonald says that if you have a goal, you should be realistic. Being prepared is very important to accomplishing your dream. She is often asked to speak to children and inspire them to go for their dreams, and that is one of her favorite things to do.

Mayor Leo Diana who attended the ceremony said, "This is an all-star lineup for the Hall of Fame. This is a great organization that adds so much to the community. Manchester is extremely fortunate to have this organization."

Diana met up with his childhood east side basketball coach, Cliff LaPointe. "That was great times. I am just waiting for my induction into the Hall of Fame for being the captain of the Manchester High football team," joked Diana.

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