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War Chief Fall Classic Will Provide a Boost to West Hartford High School Athletics

The sixth annual War Chief Booster Club fundraiser will support the athletic programs at West Hartford’s Conard and Hall high schools.

Table toppers from the 2017 War Chief tailgate. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

Supporters of athletics at both Conard and Hall high schools will gather on Oct. 27, and although some may be decked out in their favorite team’s red while others will be wearing blue, the annual War Chief Fall Classic is dedicated to what can be done working together as one team.

The War Chief Booster Club – which was formerly called the War-Chief Sports Council – is dedicated to support of student athletics at both Conard and Hall High Schools.

This year’s Fall Classic, the sixth annual fundraiser for the group, will be a fun and casual outing with a tailgate atmosphere, including lawn games.

Food at this year’s event, which will be held at West Hartford Town Hall on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 6:30-10:30 p.m., will be catered by Beachland Tavern, and wine and beer will also be served. There will be DJ entertainment, and giant Jenga and cornhole games will be set up for guests to enjoy.

The War Chief Booster Club is a 501(c)(3) organization was originally founded in 2014 to continue the townwide cooperative efforts that the Hall and Conard community put together in the “Unite for Light” campaign, where $250,000 was raised to cover the town’s costs to light the stadiums at the high schools. The board has representation from both schools, and continues to work together to enhance the experience for West Hartford student-athletes by augmenting what the Board of Education’s budget cannot cover. Money raised is shared equally between Conard and Hall.

According to War Chief Booster Club co-presidents Sandy LaBranch (Conard) and Carolyn Martindale (Hall), this year’s funds will be used to expand the scope of Hudl to more programs, which is a software program available to all coaches that can be used be used for game film, analysis, recruiting, and more.

Past year’s events have also funded Hudl, out-of-state meet expenses for the cross country teams, and the purchase of padded chairs for indoor sports like basketball and volleyball.

The War Chief Booster Club has also collaborated with the high school PTOs to sponsor educational events including a “Careers in Sports Night” panel discussion that featured ESPN’s Colin Cowherd as headliner focused on various career paths in the multi-billion dollar sports entertainment industry.

Other sponsored events include important presentations on drug and alcohol abuse from basketball legend Chris Herren and Kathi and Chris Sullivan, and an NCAA Information Night with Central Connecticut State University’s assistant athletic director.

The organization also sponsored an educational panel on concussions led by national expert Dr. David Wang of Elite Sports, the team doctor for the Quinnipiac University hockey team. The War Chief Booster Club also works in partnership with West Hartford Community Television to produce and broadcast Conard vs. Hall sports contests throughout the year.  

For the third year in a row, the Booster Club will also honor a coach of the year from each high school – nominated by other coaches with the final selection made by the high school principals and Athletic Director Jason Siegal. The winners will be announced at the Fall Classic.

In 2017, coach of the year honors were awarded to Jeff Billing of Hall High School and Eddie Litos of Conard High School. In 2016, awards were given to Jim Solomon of Hall and Rob Cersosimo of Conard.

Tickets to the Fall Classic are $50 per person. Tickets for coaches and their spouses are $20 per person.

For more information or to purchase tickets, click here for the War Chief Booster Club website.

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