TORRINGTON >> Torrington celebrates its 18th class in the Torrington Athletic Hall of Fame tomorrow at the Cornucopia Banquet Facility with the induction of Tim Considine, Christine Strawson Gamari, Davie Lee Holliday and Tina Shanahan O’Marra.
Considine has never stopped earning new fans in the area — first as an All-State high school and college athlete, then as a beloved youth sports coach and, finally, as a result of publicity from his death from Lou Gehrig’s disease, as an inspiration to people who never even knew him.
The athletic part seems easy for a man who shared gene pools with Hall of Fame member Jim Considine, his brother, and, now, Christine Strawson Gamari, his niece.
A standout baseball infielder, he was All-State and All-NVL, with a .327 batting average and 20 RBI as a junior, then .382 and 24 RBI as a senior in 1981.
In a 2-0 stint as a pitcher, his ERA was 0.49. As team captain, he led the Red Raiders to an NVL baseball championship.
He was also captain of his basketball team.
He went on to play baseball two years at UConn.
After graduation in 1985 and marriage to Cheryl (Thayer) Considine, entire families came to know him as a coach in Little League and Babe Ruth baseball and PAL/Elks basketball, as his own sons, Timothy Jr. and Brian grew up in sports.
An entire archdiocese knew him for his volunteer efforts with St. Peter/St. Francis School as basketball coach and fund-raising volunteer.
Now, with his death in 2012, and induction Sunday, the Northwest Corner knows him as a man whose fame is richly deserved.
Christine Strawson Gamari
As far as the world knows, Christine Gamari is good at everything she touches — from athletic participation to teaching, from academic honors to parenthood.
Hardware proves it.
Start with a valedictorian cap in Torrington High School’s class of 2004.
Move back through a three-sport high school athletic career: volleyball — second-team All-State as a junior and senior; All-NVL from her sophomore year on; NVL Outstanding Senior Player.
Basketball — All-NVL for three years, second all-time leading girls basketball scorer at Torrington High School with 1,493 points.
Track — All-State and All-New England triple jumper; All-NVL in the 4×100 relay, javelin, triple jump and shot put.
She was the female Connecticut Wendy’s High School Heisman Award winner in 2003, then 2004’s NVL Most Outstanding Senior Female Athlete and NVL Most Outstanding Female Scholar Athlete.
The hits kept coming in volleyball at Division I Holy Cross (Worcester, Massachusetts), where Gamari was two-time captain of her volleyball team, two-time Patriot League Volleyball Scholar Athlete of the Year; and three-time All-Patriot League Second Team. She set a school record for career kills (1,246) in 2007.
As a senior in 2008, she was named Crusader of the Year, the only volleyball player to receive the Holy Cross Varsity Club’s highest award in its 58-year existence. The award recognizes overall excellence in athletics, in the classroom, in campus activities and in the community.
Now Gamari teaches science in the Torrington Middle School, coaches volleyball at Torrington High School (her team took this year’s NVL Copper Division Title) and raises one-year-old Maya with husband Eric, a teacher and Torrington High School boys basketball coach.
Davie Lee Holliday
Holliday is another all-around success story.
He earned athletic fame at Torrington High School (Class of 1988) in football and track, then earned academic awards in college.
As a high school senior, Holliday led the state in rushing and touchdowns, sitting atop a career 60 TDs and 4,700 rushing yards, including 278 yards on 26 carries in the 1987 Thanksgiving Day game with Watertown.
Holliday was All-State and All-NVL as a junior and senior, Honorable Mention All-America as a senior.
He was a sprinter in track season, earning All-NVL honors for three years in the 4×100, 100 and 200 meters. As a senior, he made All-State in the decathlon.
Holliday went to Boston University on an athletic scholarship, earning a B.A. in psychology, then went west for academic distinction at the University of Southern California.Holliday was a USC Scholar and an Earl Warren Scholar while earning his law degree.
He stayed in California, ultimately becoming Managing Director of Holliday Partners, an executive search firm in Belmont Shore, where he lives with his wife and two children.
Tina Shanahan O’Marra
O’Mara was a standout basketball player at Torrington High School and Western Connecticut State University.
She graduated from Torrington in 1993 with 1,146 points in four years, averaging 14.7 points a game. In the course of a career in which she scored over 30 points in three games and 20-plus in 20 games, O’Marra climbed from All-NVL Honorable Mention as a sophomore, through second team as a junior and All-NVL first team as a senior, when she was also second team All-State.
She got even better in college, where WestConn also inducted O’Mara to its Hall of Fame this year.
As a Colonial, O’Mara set team records in career rebounds (912); single-game rebounds (23) and consecutive free throws in a season (26). She is fifth all-time in field goals (478) and eighth in free throws (233).
She was an All-Little East Conference first team selection as a junior and senior in 1996 and 1997 when her teams went to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Colonials made it to the Round of 16 in 1997.
O’Marra has taught at Winsted’s Batcheller Elementary School for 13 years while raising two children with husband Rob in Torrington.
She joins her late grandfather, Matt Shanahan Sr., in Torrington’s Hall of Fame.