East Lyme to induct nine into Sports Hall of Fame

Robert D. Tobin

East Lyme High School will induct nine new members into its Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday, Dec. 9, at Flanders Fish Market.

The Class of 2018 includes Ryan Cochrane, Todd Donovan, Harlan Hanson Jr., Bob Kelly, Milan Keser (posthumously), Amy Parulis, Julie Sherman Putnam, Robert Tobin and Hans Wiederkehr.

The induction ceremony and banquet begins at 5 p.m. For more information or to reserve tickets contact Dave Putnam at (860) 739-5828. Tickets are $40 per person and includes a buffet dinner and social hour.

Following is a look at the Class of 2018 inductees:

Ryan Cochrane (Class of 1991): Played varsity soccer from 1987-90, earning All-ECC honors three times while being named The Day’s 1990 Player of the Year and helping the Vikings to a runner-up finish in 1989 Class L state tournament. Also played basketball and baseball and later played soccer at Springfield College.

Todd Donovan (1996): Playing baseball, football and track, earning All-ECC and all-state honors in all three sports. He was the ECC and The Day’s Player of the Year in baseball in 1996 and was an indoor track All-American in 1996. Player baseball at Siena College, earning All-MAAC honors three times, and was drafted in eighth round by San Diego Padres in 1999, playing 11 professional seasons. He is currently a scout with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Harlan Hanson, Jr. (1978): Played football and wrestled, where he was a two-year captain and became the first individual state champion in any sports from East Lyme in 1978. Was also the 1978 ECC champion and earned All-ECC honors in football in 1977. Played football at Coast Guard and football and wrestling after transferring to Wesleyan, where he graduated in 1883.

Bob Kelly: Graduated from high school in 1945 in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was winning pitcher in 1944 state semifinal and championship games. Pitched for Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians from 1948-58 before moving to East Lyme, where he coached Niantic Babe Ruth, Niantic Legion and East Lyme H.S. freshman. He is a member of the Niantic Legion Baseball Hall of Fame.

Milan Keser: The founding member of Hall of Fame, serving as chairman until his passing. Also founded East Lyme Soccer Club, serving as president for 30 years, and was East Lyme’s first girls’ varsity soccer coach, leading Vikings to seven ECC titles and 11 straight state tournament appearances. Is also a member of the Westfield State College, Southeast Connecticut Soccer and Connecticut Soccer Association Hall of Fames.

Amy Parulis (2000): A decorated track and field athlete at East Lyme and later the University of North Carolina. Won ECC titles in high jump, long jump, shot put and javelin, as well as all-state honors in shot and javelin. Was also a two-time All-American in the javelin and hammer, then later a two-time All-ACC pick at North Carolina in the javelin and hammer, as well as a captain in 2004.

Julie Sherman Putnam (1985): Player basketball and softball, serving as captain of both in 1985. Was a two-time All-ECC pick in softball, earning all-state honors in 1985, and was All-ECC in basketball in 1985 while earning all-state honorable mention honors. Attended UConn and was a four-year starter in softball, serving as captain in 1989 while earing Academic All-American honors in 1989.

Robert Tobin: An integral part of East Lyme youth spots upon his arrival in 1968. He coached, umpired and was president of East Lyme Little League, served as president of East Lyme Babe Ruth, was a co-founder of East Lyme girls’ basketball program and coached the “Supersonics” in the boys’ basketball program for over 20 years. Spent 28 years on Parks and Rec Commission, including 20 as chairman, and was named a “CT Treasure” by former Gov. Jodi Rell for his work with youth.

Hans Wiederkehr (1981): A three-sport athlete (football, basketball, track) from 1978-81. Was an All-ECC, all-state and All-American pick in football in 1981, was All-ECC in basketball and was All-ECC in the shot put in 1981. Player football (offensive guard) at Syracuse from 1981-85 before spending one season with Pittsburgh Steelers. Became a successful high school coach at Babylon (N.Y.), leading his teams to 10 league titles.

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