Ledyard - Six former stars, including one who scored the first touchdown in Ledyard High School football history, headline the second class of inductees into the school's Football Hall of Fame, head coach and athletic director Jim Buonocore announced Thursday.
The late Jeff Hammock (Class of 1967), who ran 52 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage during the Colonels' first varsity game in 1965 against Windham Tech, will be inducted along with Robert Caron (1977), Tim Curtis (1977), Jay Lanoue (1987), Tom Whipple (1992) and B.K. Mignault (2002).
The Hall of Fame Class of 2012 will be honored during halftime of the Ledyard-New London football game on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 10:30 a.m., and will be officially inducted during the 2012 varsity team awards ceremony in January 2013.
The Hall of Fame display is housed in the main hallway at Ledyard.
"It is an honor to announce and welcome the second class of inductees to the Ledyard High School Football Hall of Fame," Buonocore said in a statement released by the school. "The Hall of Fame was organized as a way of maintaining the rich and storied tradition of football at Ledyard High School. This allows our program to properly recognize, preserve, and honor the former athletes and coaches who have made significant contributions to Ledyard Football over the past 49 years since the program began.
"It allows the past to meet the present, and for our present players to fully grasp and understand that they are a part of such a special organization. Once again, we feel that we have put together a great group of inductees who have distinguished themselves on and off the football field as fine representatives of Ledyard High School and our football program."
The following are profiles of the six inductees:
• Jeff Hammock was a four-year varsity member. In addition to scoring the first TD in program history, had a four-touchdown game later in that 1965 season against North Branford. An honor student as well as an outstanding track athlete, Hammock attended the U.S. Naval Academy for two years, then enlisted in the Navy. He graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1973, but died in 1974 at the age of 25 when he became lost in the desert in Kenya for five days while on an anthropological expedition.
• Robert Caron starred as a fullback on offense and a lineman on defense, earning All-Eastern Connecticut Conference honors in 1975 and 1976. (he rushed for 776 yards and 11 TDs in 1976). He was also an accomplished wrestler, winning ECC and state titles in 1976 and 1977 at 185 pounds. Caron has been a wrestling official for the past 20 years, served as Ledyard's freshman football coach from 2003-07 and is currently the manager of Hill Top Inn and Suites in North Stonington.
• Tim Curtis was an All-ECC and honorable mention All-State performer at tailback for the Colonels, finishing his career with 2,619 rushing yards, 24 touchdowns and 172 points. He also competed in track for Ledyard before playing football for one season at Southern Connecticut State and three at the University of New Haven, where he graduated in 1982. Curtis served in the Groton Town Police Department from 1983-2008, retiring as a Lieutenant. He is currently employed by the State of Connecticut within the Department of Children and Families.
• Jay Lanoue helped lead the Colonels to their first state championship in 1986 as a tailback and outside linebacker. He was a two-time All-ECC pick, carried the ball a career record 501 times and finished with 29 touchdowns and 174 points. In the 1986 CIAC Class M state championship game, Lanoue threw a 40-yard halfback option pass for a touchdown in Ledyard's 12-6 win over Stratford.
• Tom Whipple was the starting quarterback for the 1991 Class MM state championship football team. During his senior season he passed for 827 yards and 15 touchdowns, averaged 36.2 yards per kick as the punter and was named All-ECC. Whipple made the play of the game in the fourth quarter of the state championship, securing an errant snap that went over his head and booming a punt which pinned Newtown deep in its territory to secure Ledyard's win. Whipple was also a standout track performer and still holds numerous school records. He is currently owner of Total Native Solutions, which deals with merchant banking and energy efficiency.
• B.K. Mignault threw for 2,777 yards and 47 touchdown passes, both school records, earning All-ECC honors in 2000 and 2001, and all-state honors in 2001. He was 15-4 as a starter. Mignault played football at Sacred Heart University and was a back-up wide receiver as well as a member of the special teams in 2002 and 2003. He graduated from Sacred Heart in 2006 and currently serves as Sales Manager at Lenora and resides in Raleigh, N.C.