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NCHS Hall of Fame Induction Dinner
Friday, October, 14, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm$125
The spotlight will once again shine on local sports figures from the past as New Canaan High School has named its 2022 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees.
Boyd Harden, Bo Hickey, Anthony “Dinny” Lapolla, Diane Murphy, Frank Panella, Emily Stauffer and Andy Towers will headline this year’s event. The HOF dinner will be held on Friday, October 14th at Woodway Country Club. Tickets for the event are $125 and will be available for advance purchase on NCRAMS.COM
- Boyd Harden (NCHS ’83) earned nine varsity letters in his time as a Ram in football, hockey and lacrosse. A multiple All-State and All-FCIAC recipient, Harden won two CIAC titles in both football and lax while also winning three FCIAC championships in ice hockey. He went on to a stellar collegiate career at UNC Chapel Hill, winning an NCAA National Championship with the Tar Heels in 1986 and became New Canaan’s first-ever lacrosse player to earn First-Team All-American honors in 1988.
- Bo Hickey was a Stamford native, starring in football, baseball, basketball and track for Stamford Catholic High School. He was named All-Fairfield County and All-State in football as a senior. Hickey went on to play football at Maryland where he led the Terps in rushing his sophomore season while being named second team All-ACC. Hickey went on to play pro football for the Denver Broncos, Montreal Alouettes, Brooklyn Dodgers and Long Island Bulls before retiring and moving on to coaching in 1974. It is here where Bo cemented his legend, first as an assistant at Staples then at New Canaan where he was an assistant coach to Lou Marinelli for three decades and a valuable part of four FCIAC and eight State championship teams. In 1994 he took over a 1-7 New Canaan team midseason and led them to an FCIAC title. He turned the Rams into a perennial state powerhouse, guiding them to undefeated regular season records in 1998-99 and 2010-11. In Hickey’s tenure, the Rams won 10 FCIAC hockey crowns, including in his final year as coach in 2014, and made six state championship finals appearances.
- Anthony “Dinny” Lapolla (NCHS ’51) was a three-sport letterman in football, basketball and baseball. A member of the 1951 NCHS baseball team, Lapolla helped lead the Rams to the state title…the last state championship for the Rams until 2013. After high school, he joined the United States Marine Corps and served in the Korean War. After his military service ended, he became a New Canaan police officer in 1958 reaching the rank of sergeant before retiring in 1988. Dinny continued with his love of sports throughout his adult life playing semi-pro baseball and excelling in golf. He shared his football skills by founding New Canaan Pop Warner teams, which won awards from 1961 through 1971 and was credited with developing more high school athletes than any Pop Warner coach in the history of the state. Lapolla died on June 25, 2018 after battling a long illness.
- Frank Panella (NCHS ’73) was a versatile, talented football player who alternated between halfback and split end on New Canaan’s great teams of the early 1970’s playing under legendary head coach Bob Lynch. Panella gained 1,454 yards as a Ram, still ranking in the top-15 all-time more than a half-century later. Equally adept at receiving as he was at rushing, Panella had 109 career receptions, good for the 4th highest total in program history. His 1,735 career receiving yards placed him 6th all-time and his 23- career receiving TD’s are good for the 5th highest total ever at NCHS. An All-FCIAC and NH Register All- State selection in 1972 in football, Panella was also the leader of the NCHS baseball team, earning All- FCIAC honors as a senior while leading New Canaan to the 1973 FCIAC East title.
- Emily Stauffer (NCHS ’94) was a two-time first team All American for the Rams and was named All-State and All-FCIAC each of her four years as a Varsity soccer player. In her senior year as captain, Stauffer led New Canaan to a state championship. Stauffer went on to play at Harvard and was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year her freshman season. In her four years playing for the Crimson, she led the team to three Ivy League Championships earning three All-American honors and was named First Team All-Ivy each season. She was a two-time finalist for the Herman and Mac Award and a finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year. Following her collegiate career, Stauffer played pro soccer for the New York Power of the WUSA, the first soccer league in US history.
- Andy Towers (NCHS ’87) played both varsity basketball and lacrosse for the Rams and led New Canaan to three straight State Lacrosse Championships, earning All-American honors as a junior. In 1988, Towers played for the 19 & Under USA Team that won the World Championship in Adelaide, Australia. Towers went on to play at Brown University where he led the Bruins to Ivy and New England Championships while garnering multiple postseason honors and set numerous school records. After college, Towers continued his playing career in the professional indoor and outdoor leagues and held head coaching positions at University of Hartford and Dartmouth. After coaching college lacrosse for 19 years, Towers is now in his fourth season as the Head Coach of the Chaos Lacrosse Club of the Premier Lacrosse League. He won the PLL Coach of the Year Award during its inaugural season in 2019 and coached the team to the 2021 PLL World Championship last summer.
- Diane Murphy ( NCHS 1981-2021 Diane’s 39’s years of service to the NCHS Athletic Department and to the Town of New Canaan. It would be hard to argue that Diane has touched more young people’s lives than any other teacher, coach or administrator during her years in New Canaan. She has been a highly capable health service provider as well as a trusted adult to thousands of New Canaan High School students. It is truly remarkable to when you consider that Diane has dedicated her entire professional life to the New Canaan Athletic Community. In 2015, she was named the “Secondary Athletic Trainer of the Year Award” from the state association for athletic trainers in recognition of her work. Under Murphy-Kivell’s leadership, NCHS was consistently recognized with the Safe School Award from the National Athletic Trainers Association. She has an undergraduate degree from Southern Connecticut State University and a graduate degree from Marshall University. She has been honored as a recipient of the Micro Bio Medic Scholastic Athletic Trainer of the Year, Outstanding Alumni Award Marshall University, and the 2015 Donald Bagnall award from the Connecticut Athletic Trainers Association. Diane also serves as a preceptor for Sacred Heart University.