Tag Archives: Staples Gridiron Club

Once A Wrecker…

Finding a good birthday gift is hard.

It’s especially tough for someone who’s turning 80 years old. By that time in life, you’ve pretty much gotten everything.

But this 80-year-old was Bill Klemish. He lives in Florida now, but still remembers the 1950 Staples football team. He was captain, and they were undefeated.

A quick note to Dan DeVito — president of the Staples Gridiron Club — was all it took. Dan sent a Wreckers sweatshirt, and a nice note.

Bev Breault (Staples Class of 1952) presents Bill Klemish with his Staples football sweatshirt.

Bev Breault (Staples Class of 1952) presents Bill Klemish with his Staples football sweatshirt.

The guests at Bill’s party  — held at his daughter Marilyn’s home near Sarasota — could certainly relate to Staples. Their names read like a Who’s Who of Westport: Marge Santella, Bev Breault, Carole Maddock, Ann and Don Rully, Barbara Allen Yamnicky, Bunny Maier, Jack Lauterbach, Bob Duffy, John Hastings; Bill, John Michael and Mary Kate Klemish, Florence Dohanos, Linda Gilchrist, Jenny Walton, Bill and Mary Ann Stirling, Althea D’Aiuto, Jessie Huberty and Ardela Whortley.

Ray Maddock was there too. He and Bill have a lot more in common that Staples football. They’ve been friends since kindergarten in Westport — 75 short years ago.

Young Athletes Get In The Zone

Peer pressure is a dangerous thing.  And it’s everywhere a kid turns — including, these days, the internet.

Andy Moss thinks that’s a good thing.

At least, it can be.

Andy Moss

He envisions an online social networking site where student-athletes can help each other.  Positive peer pressure, he says, can provide both mentors and mentees with role models, solutions to problems on and off the field — and prizes.

Now he’s put his pixels where his mouth is.

ESMZone.com went live last week.  Although he spent 17 years with Microsoft — launching new businesses, tracking digital media and working with social media — the Westport resident was as excited as a kid on baseball’s Opening Day.

The ESMZone concept is this:  Young athletes sign up, then fill out a profile indicating their athletic and academic interests.  They can ask or answer questions — about sports, school or anything else.  There is a “like” button for questions and answers.  (No “dislike” — that’s too negative.)

Points are awarded for “likes.”  At the end of each sports “season” (fall, winter, spring), the winners in 3 age groups (7th-8th grades, 9-10, 11-12) earn rewards.   They could include a VIP pass to a pro football training camp, gift certificates to a sports store, even textbooks for college.

There are 2 ways to ask questions:  public and private.  Topics range from finding the best cleats and the difference between NCAA Divisions I, II and III, to help with algebra homework.

Of course, Moss admits, “You never know what will happen.  We don’t encourage or discourage anything.  We just create an environment where people feel comfortable — and have fun.”

Fun is nice.  But how will someone show Moss the money?

The site will including advertising and sponsorships.  Eventually, Moss says, there will be an annual user subscription fee.  He’s talking with Westport groups like the  WSAPAL and Gridiron Club — offering a 10% donation for every registered athlete.

But for now, ESMZone.com is free.  And “06880” readers are invited to click here, then register using a special code:  woog2010-1.