Page 37 - CHSCA Fall-Winter Magazine 2020-2021
P. 37

   Cathy and John McGuirk coaching Branford High field hockey in 2004. (PATRICK RAYCRAFT / The Hartford Courant)
tion that she helped instill in me in terms of being active and hav- ing health and fitness be a central component of my life.”
There would have been more participants Sunday but organizers urged people to walk or run virtual- ly, due to the pandemic. Other teams like Guilford did their own runs.
Still quite a few people came. And they got to talking – “Oh, you were the goalie who broke my re- cord’ or “Oh, we heard all about YOU.”
“We span generations,” Men- dilla said. “The tagline is ‘Tradi- tion Never Graduates’ and it’s true. It’s much more deep than that. It doesn’t matter if you graduated in 1998 or 2008.”
This is why Cathy was choked up. But she doesn’t dwell on the past; she celebrates it. Like when she and John had a chance to go to the balloon festival in New Mexico. Or going to Florida to be inducted
into the National Field Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame in January 2019. Or making it to the naming of Cathy and John McGuirk Field at Branford last fall.
“I’ve done so many things,” she said. “I’ve had so many special peo-
ple in my life, so many places I’ve gone, sports I’ve played. That’s the thing I talk about or I think about when I’m thinking about what’s go- ing on now.”
Lori Riley can be reached at lri- ley@courant.com.
 Former Branford High field hockey player Hillary Mendilla, wearing her field hockey kilt from high school, watches as a group of current field hockey play- ers walk around Foote Park in Branford to raise money for ALS. (Hartford Courant)
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