West Haven football alumni to honor Siclari

The West Haven Football Alumni will honor one of its all-time greats, Bert Siclari, at a “Roast” at the West Haven Italian-American Club on Friday, Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m.

Siclari was a defensive star on the famed 1968 West Haven state championship team that was ranked fifth in the nation.

After college he returned to his alma mater to begin a long coaching career, first under the late Tom Hunt and then as an assistant to longtime veteran coach, Ed McCarthy. He retired from coaching in 2002 after 33 years at West Haven High School.

The newly-formed West Haven Football Alumni Association is hoping for a large turnout of former players and fans of Westie football to honor Siclari at this first roast.

The WHFAA was formed this past fall when McCarthy approached former Westie Tom “Tinker” Blake about starting the organization. Many other schools already have an alumni association up and running successfully.

The mission of the WHFAA is to support the current and future Westie teams with pre-game meals, a new weight room, scholarships and to benefit the program in general.

The WHFAA sponsored a kickoff reception at Kelly’s on Campbell in November and raised funds to provide the Westies a pre-game breakfast prior to their Thanksgiving game at Fairfield Prep.

With the Siclari Roast, a membership drive and a golf tournament later in the year, the new weight room may become a reality for the current and future players.

Blake is joined on the WHFAA Board of Directors by Burt Cohen and George Macleman, both members of the 1968 team along with former Westies Teddy and Mike Keyes, Jim Brennan, Chris Case, Steve Francis and Ulish Booker. Also on the Board are coaches Ed McCarthy, Rich Boshea, Ron Luneau, Tom Demorro and athletic director Jon Capone.

Tickets for the roast are $30, which includes a ziti dinner with beer, wine and soda. A cash bar for liquor will also be available.

A large crowd is expected, so an advanced ticket purchase is recommended.

For table reservations or ticket information, contact Blake at 203-934-3820 or trblake@snet.net. Other ticket contacts are George Macleman at 203-528-8145, Mike Keyes at 203-530-3660, Ted Keyes 203-619-1738 and Jon Capone 203-937-4360.