The annual Thanksgiving Football luncheon was another success on Tuesday, November 20 at the Russian Lodge in Shelton. Ed Sheehy once again served as the master of ceremony at the even which honors the senior members of the Derby and Shelton High School football and cheer leading squads. Sheehy kept the action moving quickly, but interspersed the speakers with bits of history dating back to the very first game in the early 1900’s. (See a complete list here.) Both Shelton’s Jeff Roy and Derby’s George French spoke about their teams and introduced the senior members of their squads, but the real highlight of the luncheon was the part played by the alumni speakers. Each coach brings along a former player to talk about their experience playing in the game and the impact that it has had on their lives. Dr. Jeffrey Klauser spoke of his experiences playing football at Shelton High School that influenced him to specialize in sports medicine. He now assists both teams with their football injuries. He and Coach French played against each other while in high school.
Ray Kreiger was Derby’s speaker. A 2012 Derby High graduate, he went on to play baseball at Central CT State University and the University of Bridgeport, and is currently working on his masters degree as a physician’s assistant. He spoke about the impact that football had on him as well. He became a starter at Derby as a freshman and went on to earn All Naugatuck Valley League and All State honors for his performance. Ironically, his team never beat Shelton on Thanksgiving, though he enjoyed great individual success himself. In fact, he was given the prestigious Silver Turkey Award for his stellar performance in the 2011 game that most often goes to a member of the winning team!