Page 3 - CHSCA Fall-Winter Magazine 2020-2021
P. 3

by Joe Canzanella, CMAA
  As the sun sets on 2020, the year of COVID-19, coaches, student-ath- letes, and education leaders contin- ue to adapt, revise, create and jump each hurdle that this pandemic has placed before us. These tasks are part of each coach’s preparation process to ensure that his/her student-athletes are ready for their next challenge. We all realized quickly that there was not a playbook for this infection. Each day becomes a page of the COVID-19 play- book. I am confident our outstand- ing Connecticut coaches will create a pathway for each committed student- athlete to succeed despite the detours caused by COVID-19.
My message would not be com- plete without honoring our former executive director, John Fontana. His leadership during his 30 years gave us all a foundation to move and grow in the years to come. His passion for supporting member coaches, their student-athletes, and organizational excellence will be difficult to surpass. However, in his name, we will all work diligently to bring the CHSCA to new heights. Additionally, I would like to thank our tough fullback, Robert “Jiggs” Cecchini for carrying the ball as the interim executive director after John’s passing. Another first down for Jiggs. As a note, who knew Jiggs had a real first name, and it isn’t Jiggs!
The CHSCA, under the leader- ship of Deb Petruzzello and our out- standing executive board, will set the tone as we move forward into 2021. Working with these individuals has
been fantastic as we face the changes together within the world of Connect- icut high school athletics.
Speaking of change, the CHSCA office is now based at the CIAC office building, 30 Realty Drive in Cheshire. As you know, this is to be the epi- center of all discussions, modifica- tions and policies that affect educa- tion-based athletics in our state. The CHSCA is now on the ground level with these discussions and respect- fully sharing a “coach’s perspective” to all the stakeholders regarding the issues, dilemmas and decisions that can affect our student-athletes and CHSCA member coaches.
Moving forward, the CHSCA will strive to promote our mission through:
• Updating and broadening com- munication through our social media platforms:
with partner associations; and
• Meeting the ongoing needs of our growing membership.
CHSCA has forged new collabora- tions with Kozak and Salina (Govern- ment Relations), NFP Sports (commu- nications/brand enhancement) and strengthened existing partnerships with Stadium System, the Aqua Turf Club, Town Fair Tire and Diamond Sports.
Our member coaches have given their time and put their safety and life on the line in the best interest of their student-athletes – at a time when student-athletes emotional wellness is being pushed to the limits.
Coaches and teachers are front- line workers and I am grateful for having these individuals as CHSCA members. The one fact I do know – when selfless coaches pull together in one direction for the benefit of their student-athletes and their sport, obstacles can be overcome and nega- tives become positives. Hopefully, we all have learned never to take educa- tion-based athletics for granted and that our member coaches are pillars of strength for our student-athletes and their communities.
Finally, I am honored to be the CHSCA’s fourth Executive Director. To be in the company of demigods such as Joseph J. Fontana – “A Found- ing Father,” John J. Fontana and Rob- ert “Jiggs” Cecchini is intimidating and energizing as well.
ct_hs_coaches_association FACEBOOK: @CTHSCA
Development of a member-only CHSCA smartphone app;
Growing professional develop- ment member services;
Deepening the CHSCA’s influ- ence and footprint within local and state governmental agen- cies;
Advocating for member coaches through trusting relationships

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