2014 Torrington Hall of Fame Inductees. Christine Gamari.
TORRINGTON: Sometimes the best complement you can pay someone is to say you truly consider them a role model they would enjoy seeing generations emulate.
May seem a little strong worded, but sometimes it just fits.
You run into a person who exudes the qualities we value most; motivation, drive, caring and a will to be the best person they can be.
That sentiment comes to mind when you talk about Christine Gamari, Christine Strawson when she attended Torrington High School, and one of the newest members of the THS Hall of Fame.
The 2014 induction ceremony will take place this Sunday at the Cornucopia Banquet Hall in Torrington and for the first time, a young lady that I covered when I first started my career in sports writing will be given an honor she most assuredly deserves.
What stuck with me when it came to Christine where her manners and level of respect that was instilled in her at an early age by a tremendous family that understood how important it was to live your life that way.
From day one it was “Hello Mr. Gaffney”. No, “Hi Tim” or hey or any of that.
Formal, respectful and classy.
Even in later years when Christine graduated from THS and returned to help coach girls’ basketball while teaching at Naugatuck High School it was still “Mr. Gaffney”.
By then she was an adult and had every right to break out the “Hey Tim”, but she didn’t.
Christine was relentless on any field of play. Be it a gym floor or a track.
Her passion and drive for winning was wonderful to watch.
To see her go up for a kill or block near the net during volleyball was a thing of beauty, you knew the result of the play before it occurred.
“Christine was one of the top female athletes ever to play at Torrington High School,” head coach Mike Fritch said. “She was a natural who could have excelled at golf if she picked up a club. She led by example and could go to the basket with the best of them.”
You see bumper stickers around town that read “Raider Pride.”
Christine was one of the student/athletes who bled Raider Pride, 24-7, 365.
Her success after high school is documented in the information listed below and her return to Torrington High School as a coach (volleyball) and teacher completes a circle that brings one of the best back to the place she loves.
Congrats on making the Hall, Christine, or should I say “Mrs. Gamari”.
A job well, well done and yes, Christine now call me Tim.
Below is how she will introduced on Sunday night.
Christine excelled in both academics and athletics when attending Torrington High School. A three-sport athlete, she was also the valedictorian of the Class of2004.
In volleyball, her accolades included All-State Second Team (2002.2003), All-League (2001, 2002, 2003), NVL Outstanding Senior Player (2003) and was selected to play in the Class M All-Star Game (2003).
The awards also continued for basketball where she was named All-League (2002,2003,2004), NVL Outstanding Senior Player (2004), McDonald’s All-American nominee, was selected to play in the Class M All-Star game in 2003, and was the second all-time leading scorer in girls’ basketball history at Torrington (1,493 points).
In track, she was All-New England and All-State in the triple jump (2003). Also in 2002 and 2003, she was All-League in the 4x100 and triple jump. In 2004, she was named All-League in the javelin, triple jump, and shot put.
More high school awards included being named the female Connecticut state winner for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award in 2003. In 2004, the league’s athletic directors awarded Christine a rare double honor when she was named the league’s Most Outstanding Senior Female Athlete and the league’s Most Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete.
At the College of the Holy Cross, she was two-time captain of the Division 1 Holy Cross Women’s Volleyball team. As the Patriot League Volleyball Scholar Athlete of the Year in both her freshman and sophomore years, Christine was also named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 1 team three and to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll four times. She was named three times to the All-Patriot League Second Team. In 2007, Christine broke the school record for number of career kills with 1,246. She was named to eight straight regular season all-tournament teams. In 2006, her 4.17 kills per game tied a school record and were second in the Patriot League.
In 2008, Christine was named “Crusader of the Year, “the only volleyball player ever to receive the award in the 58 years since its institution. The Crusader of the Year is the most prestigious student-athlete award presented by the Holy Cross Varsity Club. It is awarded to a senior who has excelled not only in varsity athletics, but also in the classroom and the community, and has been prominent in campus activities.
Presently Christine is the head volleyball coach at THS, with her team clinching the Copper Division title this year. She is the K-3 Girls PAL Program Coach Coordinator. Christine is married to Eric Gamari and has a one-year-old daughter, Maya. She is an eighth grade science teacher at Torrington Middle School. Christine joins her two uncles, Jim and Tim Considine in the THS Athletic Hall of Fame.