STODDARD BOWL: Platt, Maloney tap ’90s for ’22 honorees

MERIDEN — Weren’t these guys just playing in the Stoddard Bowl?

Time flies. Both Platt and Maloney have turned to two of their best from the 1990s for their 2022 Stoddard Bowl honorees.

Platt’s selection is former quarterback Jese Showerda, a 1992 graduate. Maloney has chosen Jeff Valerie, a 1996 grad. Both will be honored during Thursday’s 64th annual Stoddard Bowl at Falcon Field.

Showerda and Valerie played when the annual Thanksgiving Day rivalry game was still be waged at Ceppa Field.

Showerda was a three-sport athlete, accumulating 12 varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball. He threw a no-hitter in baseball and scored over 1,000 career points in basketball, earning All-State recognition as a senior.

Football was where Showerda made his deepest mark. With Platt, Showerda was All-Conference as a junior and senior and All-State as a senior.

He went on to play quarterback at the University of New Haven. In 1996, Showerda led all of Division II in passing efficiency and was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Award, which goes to the top D-II player in the country.

He was named ECAC Player of the Year that season and an American Football Coaches Association Division II All-American. A year later, the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance selected him its Bill Lee Connecticut Male Athlete of the Year.

Showerda was inducted into the Platt High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002 and the University of New Haven Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.

A retired juvenile corrections officer, Showerda is now employed by the Meriden Board of Education as a climate specialist at Lincoln Middle School.

He lives in Meriden with his wife Jessica and children Eli, Georgia, and Hannah. He will also be accompanied Thursday by his parents, Kathy and Mike Showerda.

As for Valerie, he was a four-year varsity football player at Maloney and senior captain of the 1995 squad, which went 8-1-1 en route to the CCC South title. Over the course of his career, the Spartans were 28-10-2 overall, including 3-0-1 in the Stoddard Bowl, with two CCC South banners.

Valerie capped his career being voted 1995 MVP by his teammates and receiving the prestigious Terry Wanat award.

After graduating in 1996, Valerie attended Central Connecticut State University and continued helping young football players coaching for the Meriden Raiders.

He was on the Maloney sidelines as an assistant coach from 2000-2003 and later introduced the annual running of a “Green Bay” in honor of his late coach, Rob Szymaszek.

In 2004, Valerie became a police officer with the City of Hartford and, after 19 years, continues to work there.

He will be accompanied Thursday by his wife Alison Valerie, a 1995 Maloney graduate, and their son Ethan.


More From This Section