To the Sports Editor:
Kudos to The Day for its coverage of "Ledyard Honors Retired Softball Coach Ellen Mahoney" on Sunday, May 5. Attendees at Saturday's field dedication ceremony agree, Mahoney's win-loss record (355-84); seven state championships; and 12 Eastern Connecticut Conference titles represent consistent success on the diamond. What's not printed on those championship trophies and banners is that Mahoney insisted her players to be students first, athletes second.
Mahoney spent countless hours each season instructing players on softball fundamentals and game strategy. She taught teamwork and modeled good sportsmanship. She made it fun to learn. With a pool of such highly trained and motivated players, it's worth noting many continued with softball after high school; played on college teams; now as mothers (or aunts) play hit-catch-throw with their families; are members of a community team; and became coaches themselves.
So when you think Coach Mahoney and Ledyard softball (1976-1996) understand her influence didn't just settle amongst the many stone walls of Ledyard, but rather her positive impact spread across the county.
I'm extremely proud to declare, "I throw like a girl … who was taught by the best … softball coach Ellen Mahoney."
Note: Linda Ysewyn was captain of the 1980 Ledyard High School softball team.