At EHHS, the trophy cases do not represent the success over the years of many teams. Trophy cases show and honor the athletes, the teams, and the coaches on their successes in the past, present and holds a place in there for the future. In high schools, these cases send a message about the school’s value and emphasizes how truly amazing and honorable the athletes are. However, at EHHS it does not constitute the value of these players. There have been many unheard complaints from the students and parents that it looks disorganized, cluttered and not very honorable to the athletes and teams. Students, parents, athletes, etc. are not being heard and some people think that something has to be done immediately to show how much the school values our athletes, coaches and the teams overall. Many students are frustrated and angry about how their trophies are being presented, and they feel there needs to be a change.
Principal Vincent DeNuzzo said, “I think they need to represent the history of our school. I think that it is a function of the athletic department.” He had also talked about the complaints from parents about the fact that there are more boy’s awards and trophies than girls. He mentioned, “The history part, those first couple of trophy cases, those are representative of 70 years of our schools history, so to respond to the piece that there is more boys stuff, we really haven't had much girls success until the last 25 years. So in the early part of our schools history, there is a lot of boys success, so I think that is the reality of that piece is that because it wasn't until the 90’s that the girls teams really started to see some success.” Lastly, DeNuzzo mentioned the importance of what the parents and students believe would help this matter. He says, “I do think that getting the feedback from the students and the parents as far as what they notice when they walk down that hallway is very important because if it is notice but not stated that it looks disorganized then that’s something we can address.”
A student from EHHS, junior Jonathan Mulero, who plays varsity in cross country and track said, “It could use a little rearranging and be more presentable, more vibrant and more organized with separating each sport by seasons or each sport in general. I think that these cases are meant to display all the hard working athletes that worked hard to earn those trophies and those trophies should be honored neatly and with respect.”
At the boys basketball game, Anjelica Ford, sister of junior Asaiah Ford and player for the school's basketball team sophomore Alias Ford, gave her opinion on what she thinks about the way the trophy case looks and how it can be changed: “I feel like it’s not very updated. There also seems to be a lot of black and white and the case itself is brown. I would want it to be more orderly and organized. I would also want each year to pop out differently to showcase and represent their achievements. It looks like they were playing sports in the 70’s, it needs to be more up-to-date with time.”
In contrast to others’ beliefs, sophomore Ian Reynolds’ dad, Jim Reynolds, had commented, “I think it should always show the past and present of great athletes and teams East Haven has had. East Haven has such a rich tradition of great teams and athletes that it should show and I’m sure Anthony will do a great job in getting that together. I’m sure, if given the opportunity and will be given the opportunity he’ll fix that up. He is a great AD and I have a great deal of respect for Anthony Verderame and I think he will do a great job.”
Anthony Verderame, the athletic director, was asked why the cases hasn’t been updated and why it has not been clean in a while. However, Verderame had declined to comment on this matter.
DeNuzzo addressed that we can bring change to this matter through the Captain's Council, a group of team captains who serve as leaders for all the sports teams. They are student-athletes who focus on the influence of sports in the high school community and help take student leadership capacity to a whole new level. DeNuzzo had commented on how we can make aware of this issue and how it can change. He said, “I think it’s also a good project for the Captain’s Council to take on as far as like how those trophy cases can be best organized to represent the success that we have here and whether that be on a two year rotation where every couple of years we cycle out all the league picture. I do think we can organize it in a manner that is men's sports, women's' sports, or specific by season like fall and winter sports.”
At the time of this posting, students, parents and athletes alike hope that EHHS will reorganize the trophy cases to accentuate the accomplishments of male and females athletes from our history.