Archived Topics

Local star atheletes?

Posted By: KAC
Date: Thursday, 28 June 2001, at 8:21 p.m.

Who are the star athletes in Windham history? Is the Twilight League at Rec Park still in existance? The men's softball league? Did any make it to the professional level?

What about "Willi State" (now ECSU) athletic standouts, who were they? 


Posted By: Ernie Gesner <>
Date: Friday, 29 June 2001, at 2:13 a.m.

In the late 40s or early 50s Windham High had a good basketball player named Cutko and a football player named Tilly Dubois I think. Don't forget Walt Dropo (The Moosup Moose) 


Posted By: Robert Thompson <THOMPSON.ROBERT@TUCSON.VA.GOV>
Date: Friday, 29 June 2001, at 5:43 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Local star atheletes? (Ernie Gesner)

They played from 46 to 47 on the junior varsity team. 48-50 they played on the varsity team. 


Posted By: Wayne Norman
Date: Monday, 2 July 2001, at 8:31 p.m.

In Response To: Local star atheletes? (KAC)

A few random thoughts on local athletes.

One of the best was Brian Vertefeuille, who played both ways on the WHS football teams of the late 60's, and went on to play pro football.

Andy Czuchry from Andover (photo on link below) was all-state at WHS then went on to play basketball at UConn ('63) under Hugh Greer, where he averaged 7.7 points per game and 3.1 rebounds per game in his three-year career. He played with Toby Kimball in his senior year--that was the year Greer died. Czuchry was a 6-0 173 Guard.

From that same era was Glenn Cross (UC '61) from Willimantic, a 6'4" 200' Center. He averaged 2 points and 2 rebounds a game.

John Risley from Coventry played both basketball and baseball at UConn ('60). A 5' 10" 175 Guard who averaged 2 points and 1 rebound a game. He was also an outstanding pitcher, who went on to be the pitching coach for ECSU's three time Division III National Championship teams.

Tony Budzinsky was another WHS grad who played at UC ('70). 6'8" 195, who averaged 6.4 points and 5 rebounds a game at UC.

There were some others--like Colleen Healy, who was an all-state player at WHS (I think she left as Windham's career scoring leader) who played at New Haven, ECSU, and eventually walked on at UConn, playing in the early '90s.

As for ECSU/ECSC/Willi State, etc...

They had one player make the majors--John Caneira ('74) pitched briefly with the Angels before arm trouble did him in.

Shortstop Joe Funaro ('95) had a very good minor league career with the Marlins. He got to AAA last year, and led the AA Eastern League in batting a few years ago before a midseason injury.

Infielder Al LeBoeuf ('81) got to AAA with the Phillies--he is now the hitting coach for Norfolk, the Mets AAA affiliate.

Shortstop Mike Turgeon ('77) got to AAA with the Cubs and Giants.

RHP Scott Chiasson ('98) from Norwich Free Academy is doing extremely well with the Cub's AA team in Jackson, Tennessee. As I write this he leads the Southern League in saves (17) and was on the all star team. His ERA is currently under 2.00.

And Eastern's latest pro prospect is First team All-America shortstop Nick Tempesta, who just finished a record setting season. He is New England's career hit leader and career assist leader. He's playing for Toronto's Rookie League team.

Windham First Selectman John Lescoe played baseball on Bill Holowaty's first team--or so he says ;)

Windham has also produced some outstanding baseball players for ECSU--like Stan Harris, Paul Martineau, Bob Wojick, Jared Holowaty, Tom Roath, Dave Bessette, Chris Dumas, and ECSC's first All-American Lenny Reed, who was also an outstanding basketball player. Reed and Wojick are in ECSU's Athletic Hall Of Fame.

As for Twilight League--I don't think it's still alive, even though there are now lights on the Rec Park baseball diamond. But that field still gets plenty of use with youth leagues.

Slo-pitch softball is alive and well--men and women--at Rec Park five nights a week.

Willimantic used to have an outstanding FAST PITCH softball league at Rec, but that was before my time.

Those names are the first ones I thought of tonight...I may add more later. Or others can! 


Posted By: Nancy <>
Date: Tuesday, 3 July 2001, at 12:11 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Local star atheletes? (Wayne Norman)

The Twilight League is running with 4 teams this year. I think the next games are on July 6th. They do have a program with team rosters, and there are still Dunnacks and Noheimers playing. 


Posted By: AL
Date: Wednesday, 4 July 2001, at 12:26 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Local star atheletes? (Nancy)

And lets not forgot a huge WHS athlete in the 1950s named Waldo O'Shaugnessy who was a top sprinter on the track team even though that creep coach Charles Smith was running the whole deal. 


Posted By: Ada Kerachsky Albright <>
Date: Tuesday, 3 July 2001, at 12:26 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Local star atheletes? (Wayne Norman)

There have been outstanding swimmers at WHS, at least in the past. The class of '58 had memorable swimmers--Enno Kaany and Joe Austin were All-Americans and Gordon Mann, who also was on the WHS baseball team, was also outstanding.