Page 22 - CHSCA Issue 3 2019-2020
P. 22

   Frank Beneski looks at a photo of him and his wife, Sheila, which rests on the mantle next to a ball presented by the Xavier High School basketball team that reads “Sheila Beneski: First Lady of High School Basketball,” at his home in Suffield on Feb. 14.
coached the Xavier boys team since 1999. “Any time they walked into your gym made it a special game. People have hobbies, and Connecticut high school basketball was their hobby.
“I can’t even tell you how long I’ve known them. As long as I can remember, they were at games.”
Frank Beneski looks at a photo of him and his wife, Sheila, which rests on the mantle next to a ball presented by the Xavier High School basketball team that reads “Sheila Beneski: First Lady of High School Basketball,” at his home in Suffield on Feb. 14.
Xavier had a moment of silence at a game after Sheila died. A rose was left on front-row seats reserved for the Beneskis. Kohs had a basketball made up that read “Sheila Beneski: First Lady of High School Basketball.”
After Sheila was gone, Frank couldn’t bring himself to go to a game alone. It was too hard. After all, it was Frank and Sheila, not just Frank.
Then one night, he found a note from his grandson Eamon on his pillow. It read: “I’m proud of you, of what you’re doing. But you’ve got to get to a game.”
“He said, ‘Pick out a game,’ so I did my usual thing last week. I laid out the games that would tempt me. I figured I would go to one of them,” Frank said. “But it came time to leave and I couldn’t go.”
Frank Beneski places a hand on his clipboard, which holds a memory of his wife, Shelia, while sharing recollections of her at his Suffield home Friday. Both Frank and Shelia had their own clipboards that they used to keep track of stats and notes from the
(KASSI JACKSON/HARTFORD COURANT)
high school basketball games they attended together.
They finally went, on Feb. 8. It was a Saturday afternoon game. East Catholic against Hope, from Rhode Island. Frank walked in, and immediately people came over and talked to him.
And it was OK.
“It was,” he said. “It was good. It was comforting.”
But something was off.
“It can’t ever be the same,” he said. “But I am committed to do what she wants me to do. I think that she would want me to resume.”
Yes. The postseason is approaching. The CIAC is dedicating the state tournaments to Frank and Sheila.
Not just Sheila. That’s not how it was. One word: FrankandSheila.
 PAGE 22 • CONNECTICUT COACH • ISSUE 3 • 2019-2020
















































































   20   21   22   23   24