New Canaan Old Timers Association To Induct Six Athletes, Honor Wilky Gilmore

After missing a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the spotlight will once again shine on local sports figures from the past as the New Canaan Old Timers Association hosts its annual honoree ceremony on Sunday, September 19th at Waveny. 2021 inductees will be Bobby Festo, Paul Gallo, Tom McInerney, Lew Socci and Katey Twombly. Also being recognized at this year’s affair as the Loren J. Keyes Memorial Honoree is all-time New Canaan basketball great, the late Wilky Gilmore. 

Bobby Festo is listed in the Who’s Who of American High School Athletes as an All-American in track and field, an honorable mention on the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletics Conference county soccer team as a goalkeeper his senior year in New Canaan. He holds many track and field records as a sprinter for New Canaan, and won many medals at state and invitational track and field competitions as a sprinter in both individual events and as a member of a relay team. He went to college at Southern Connecticut State College where he joined the men’s track team for a year and a half while also participating on the men’s soccer team.

‘A Great Feeling’: Paladino Construction Wins New Canaan Rec Softball Title 

Joe Paladino hadn’t played softball in 10 years when he attended a friend’s party in 1999 and heard about New Canaan’s Rec Department summer league. He signed up, and five years later launched his own Paladino Construction team, working through some difficult and even winless early seasons before finally getting to .500 mark and consistently making the finals. “We considered ourselves the Buffalo Bills of New Canaan softball,” Paladino recalled. “We always got to dance but could never make the magic happen.”

Until recently. Last week, Paladino Construction bested a team called “The Firm” by a combined three-game score of 34-11 to capture its second straight league championship.

‘They’re a Very Special Group’: New Canaan Basketball Falls to Ridgefield in FCIAC Semis

For more than 26 minutes Tuesday’s FCIAC semifinal showdown between Ridgefield and New Canaan lived up to its billing and looked to be a fitting sequel to the previous meeting between these two teams 20 days ago—a double-overtime win for the Rams. 

Unfortunately for New Canaan, a storybook ending was not in the script this time around. The top-seeded Tigers outscored New Canaan 16-4 over the final 5:15 en route to a 62-49 win. With the win, Ridgefield advanced to the FCIAC finals for the third consecutive year and will try for a three-peat against Westhill. Meanwhile the Rams, who came into the tournament as the No. 5 seed will wait another year to seek their first FCIAC title since the 1968-69 season.

Town Approves Contract for Electrical Work at NCHS Track

The Board of Selectmen at its most recent meeting approved a $17,000 contract with a Darien-based company to install power outlets at the finish lines at the New Canaan High School track. As it is, a generator is rolled out onto the field to power up timing devices and scoreboards for track and field events at NCHS, according to Joe Zagarenski, senior engineer with the town Department of Public Works. Under a contract with Darien Electrical Contracting Inc., power will be installed in a shed near the Waveny water tower and will also come down to the finish lines at the track. The work would “get rid of the need for bringing a generator out to the track,” Zagarenski told the selectmen at their March 9 meeting, held via videoconference. 

“So needless to say, the high school Athletic Department is very supportive of this project,” he said. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of the contract. 

Williams said he was “a little befuddled as to why this wasn’t done when we redid the track in the first place, years ago.” (Williams served on the Fields Building Committee that oversaw the water tower turf field and track projects.)

Zagarenski said conduits had been put in place as part of the original project, but installation of bleachers and grandstand seating was higher priority.