MERIDEN — A pair of Silver City stars that went on to have monster careers at Eastern Connecticut State University are being given the biggest honor by the school.
Platt grad Pete Daniels and Maloney graduate Amy Golas will be inducted in the Eastern Connecticut Hall of Fame. The E-Club Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Reception is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 18 at the Betty R. Tipton Room in the school’s student center.
Daniels won a baseball state championship as a Platt senior in 1986 and then in his senior year at Eastern he was an All-American third basemen on a Division III national championship team.
“It brings a good ending to my whole baseball career,” Daniels said of being inducted. “Only a handful of people are in the Hall from my era. I had a blast at Eastern. In my senior year we went 40-6 and played well together.”
Daniels, 46, was an outfielder and a DH as a sophomore, a pitcher as a junior and manned the hot corner as senior.
“I was lucky,” Daniels said. “In high school we won a state championship. We won a Division III championship at Eastern. One through nine we had kids that could play. Even on the bench we had players that could have started anywhere. There was no egos and everyone did what they had to do for us to win.”
Daniels hit .374 from the No. 3 spot in the 1990 season in which Eastern finished with an 18-game winning streak. The Warriors led the country in hits (544) and runs (433) and team batting average (.342) that year.
Daniels was inducted individually in the Platt High School Hall of Fame in 1992. The 1986 team coached by Rich Katz was inducted in 2008. The Panthers outscored tournament opponents Berlin, Stratford, Watertown and New London 40-5 during its championship run.
Daniels has now turned his attention to coaching, in particular his 10-year old son Ryan.
“It’s going to be a nice night in October,” Daniels said. “My son will enjoy it. I coach his travel team. He is getting big into baseball now. I would rather be coaching than to do something like this. But we will have fun.”
Golas, 32, graduated from Maloney in 1999 and from Eastern in 2003.
She learned to swim at the Meriden YMCA and moved on to the Meriden Silver Fins before joining the Maloney program.
“The Platt/Maloney rivalry was so fantastic,” Golas said. “You are swimming against people who you knew since you were 8-years-old. I knew I wanted to continue swimming in college because I knew the sport would help ease my transition.”
Golas won 102 races in dual-meet competition over a four-year career at Eastern.
The Meriden native joined the program in its fourth year on the intercollegiate level, helping the Warriors to their first four winning seasons and to their first three Top-10 finishes in the NEISDA Championships.
Golas, who now lives in Canterbury, was considered the program’s first impact recruit. She finished her career undefeated in the 50-yard butterfly in dual meets. She graduated as the program record-holder in seven individual events (50, 100 and 200 freestyle; 50 and 100 butterfly).
“While Amy’s contributions in the pool are impressive, they come as no surprise to anyone who knows her,” said Eastern head coach Maureen Fahey. “They are the manifestations of the hard work, dedication and passion for excellence she demonstrates in every aspect of her life. Her commitment to continuing to contribute to both the Eastern community and her students remain evident to this day in her work ethic, pride and quality in everything she does. While I am so very proud of all that she has done and continues to do as my colleague, I am most proud to call her my friend.”
Golas said the reason why she felt so at home at Eastern was because of Fahey.
“She truly believes in the saying that the quality you put in is the quality you get out,” Golas said. “By instilling that each and every day at practice, I , as a swimmer, didn’t want to disappoint myself. If you wanted to swim fast in that meet on Saturday, you needed to put in the work to do that. Maureen was certainly going to provide you with the work and sets that would make you a stronger swimmer, but it was up to you to put the work in, and it was through that that we were all able to achieve to our highest ability... She has really influenced the way that I approach my life in so many ways, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.”
Golas now teaches eighth-grade English at RHAM High School in Hebron. She has never left the Eastern swim program; she has been an assistant at the school for 11 years.
“I love swimming and I love the program and I wanted to see it be successful and I hope I can contribute something to it,” Golas said. “It’s going to mean a lot for me to be inducted. Being at Eastern the four years I swam and every year since as an assistant, I always remember seeing the plaques on the wall. I thought to myself that would be really cool to have one. It’s going to be really nice.”
Golas’ parents Jack and Maggie still live in Meriden and will be on hand in October. She also expects her boyfriend Kevin and sisters Jen and Katie to attend as well.
“I love Eastern so much that I showed up in 1999 and have never left,” Golas said.
Tickets are priced at $50 and must be reserved in advance by contacting Scott Smith at 860-465-4326 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.