Twelve athletes ranging from Sam Blackman, Class of 1956, to Emma Crowcroft, Class of 2009, have been chosen as the New Milford High School Athletic Hall of Fame’s 2019 class of inductees.
The New Milford High School AHOF’s third class of inductees will be honored Nov. 2 at Fairview Farm Golf Course in Harwinton.
Those wishing to join the Athletic Hall of Fame Club should visit nmhsahof.org.
Full bios and photos of the 2019 inductees will be posted there soon.
THE CLASS OF 2019
Sam Blackman, Class of 1956, was among the most versatile of Green Wave athletes, earning 13 varsity letters from five different sports. He helped the Green Wave win league titles in cross country and track & field and averaged more than 20 points per game in his senior basketball season.
John Bucinsley, Class of 1967, was a dominant runner for championship Green Wave cross country and track & field teams, along the way setting five straight course records as a harrier and earning two state open and two state class gold medals on the track.
Betty Carter, Class of 1967, was a uniquely gifted athlete who proved her considerable talents in field hockey, basketball and volleyball. She was described as a “fantastic” athlete by legendary coach Fran Zaloski, who served as her mentor in all three sports.
Laurie Center, Class of 1975, used smarts, competitive spirit and strong athletic ability to claim 10 varsity letters in field hockey, basketball and softball. Termed the “backbone” of her field hockey team, she was Green Wave basketball’s top scorer and rebounder and pitched and batted her diamond team to a WCC title and state tournament semifinals.
Donna Maruszak Roberts
Donna Maruszak Roberts, Class of 1981, displayed all-WCC volleyball talents as team MVP and was the fastest sprinter in Green Wave girls’ track history. She won 11 gold medals and four silvers in her four WCC track meets, inspiring two team championships while establishing times in the 200 and 400 meters that long remained school standards.
Eric Muttilainen, Class of 1983, contributed to a strong Green Wave basketball team and etched a Green Wave baseball pitching career unparalleled during the several decades before or since. As the mainstay of a strong mound staff, he sparked NMHS to its first league title since the early 1960s.
Margo Maytham Muttilainen
Margo Maytham Muttilainen, Class of 1983, lent superior athletic ability, leadership and fierce competitive will to three straight WCC championships for Green Wave girls’ track and an historic WCC title earned by the NMHS girls’ basketball quintet. Her school -record 5’9 ¾” high jump still stands as the state standard.
Jack Lavalette, Class of 1987, is well remembered as a game-breaking defensive force and wide receiver whose clutch performances keyed Green Wave football to unprecedented success. His 12 pass interceptions as a junior were just a sample of his versatile gridiron skills. Come springtime, he won individual WCC sprint laurels while captaining Green Wave boys’ track to a WCC championship.
Tom Ferrell, Class of 2006, best known as an elite wrestler, also proved a state-class offensive and defensive lineman for Green Wave football and was an SWC contender in the shot put for Green Wave boys’ track. On the mat, he won three SWC heavyweight titles, state class and state open gold medals and narrowly missed claiming a New England title while posting a career 116-15 record.
Devon Dobson, Class of 2007, delivered record-shattering 235 goals and 108 assists and displayed peerless faceoff skills while spearheading Green Wave boys’ lacrosse to the heights of the SWC and into the state’s upper echelon. En route to the Green Wave’s four-year, 56-22 record, he was three times each the team MVP and all-SWC first-team, and earned all-state honors as a junior and senior.
Danielle Gasser, Class of 2008, utilized remarkable court sense, eye-hand coordination and leadership to spark Green Wave volleyball to SWC and state prominence. Athletic versatility also brought her recognition in tennis and girls’ track & field. As catalyst for an ambitious volleyball side, she was MVP all four seasons, all-SWC three times, all-state twice and, as a senior, state player of the year.
Emma Crowcroft, Class of 2009, climaxed her Green Wave career by winning the SWC, state class and state open javelin throw titles and challenged for New England laurels. She also played a key role as Green Wave volleyball advanced to the state class title match and was a stalwart for the girls’ basketball team throughout her high school years.