New Lettermen's Club to aid THS football
All 6-foot-5 and 280 pounds or so of Scott Langenheim bleeds Torrington High maroon and white. So when Langenheim caught a look at what there is of the Red Raiders’ training facilities earlier this year, he took big exception.
“The weight room was horrible,” said Langenheim. “It has deteriorated and there are not enough weights. The players have to stand around and weight for a chance to use them. The program deserves better than it is being given.”
Langenheim is not a casual observer. A former Red Raider All-Stater who went on to play tight end at Syracuse University, he understands the tight budget erea but also knows the ingredients of a good player and good program. And he knows Torrington is lacking in some of those areas.
So, the big guy is doing something about it with the aid some of his former teammates from the class of 1988, Brendan Abbott and Rob Bottass and Jim Zeller from the class of 1987.
The group has started a Torrington Football Letterman’s Club with the expressed purpose of helping out the THS football program.
“We’re looking to ask all the guys who have lettered, managed or coached at Torrington to become a member,” explained Langenheim. “ The annual fee is or a one-time 0 lifetime membership.”
“I couldn’t believe some of the equipment they are using,” added Bottass. “ For them to compete in the Valley, they need better.”
The group firmly believes coach Dan Dunaj is the future and plans on sitting down with Dunaj, who guided the Raiders to an outstanding 7-3 mark this season, including a potent 34-7 dismantling of Watertown on Thanksgiving Day, and discussing what the program’s needs are.
They will then go back to the membership for comments, suggestions and hopefully approval. A variety of fundraising activities are being prepared to help raise money.
“We’re there to offer any kind of support, whatever coach Dunaj says they need,” said Bottass. “We’re not in a position at this point where we can say we’ll donate this on a set date, but that is our goal. We’ll probably start off with the weight room and doing something with a pregame meal. But, we’ll wait until we build a base.”
All four founders, who will be the club’s first set of officers, was out there manning a tent near the field Thanksgiving Day, offering up Torrington paraphernalia and literature to raise some money and just to draw attention to the endeavor.
“The reception has been overwhelmingly positive, “ added Bottass.
Currently the club has 20 paid members and a list of more than 705 former lettermen they are sending updates to. Certainly any person who was not a letterman or involved with the team can donate to the cause.
Langenheim also noted that while financial support is a top goal, there is more to this effort.
“ We’re there for financial support and want people to know that once you leave the program we don’t forget you,” said Langenheim. “ We want people to be part of something bigger. We’re bringing back tradition. We’re blue collar and rolling up our sleeves to get something accomplished.”
Anyone wishing to make a contribution or find out more about the Letterman’s Club should make out checks and/or address correspondence to Torrington Football Letterman’s Club, P.O. Box 1305, Torrington.