Connecticut Post (Sunday)

Passion project

After 600 wins, Berlin’s Veleas still inspired by the game


It’s been more than a decade since there was a change to the CIAC out-of season coaching rules.

That could change within the next year.

Two proposals were submitted over the winter for considerat­ion to allow coaches for all sports to instruct their players during the summer months on a voluntary basis.

“I do think when we wrote this proposal, it was really about what is best for kids,” Hamden athletic director and football coach Tom Dyer said. “We felt that writing this is what is best for kids, working with them through education-based athletics and to help develop skills over the summer.”

Dyer helped write the proposal that was jointly submitted by the Connecticu­t High School Coaches Associatio­n and the Connecticu­t Associatio­n of Athletic Directors. An additional proposal has been submitted by the FCIAC.

There will be no changes to the out-of-season coaching bylaw for this summer. CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini said the current proposals have been returned to their authors to make revisions.

“Once the committee reviewed the proposals, they felt there was further detail and clarificat­ion needed,” Lungarini said. “The committee is not sending the proposals back and saying no. The committee is seeking greater detail to try to fully understand how the proposed changes would impact our students, our school communitie­s and how it impacts equity opportunit­y for all kids in the state.”

Currently, coaches are allowed to instruct just over half of their starting lineups during the summer. For instance, football coaches can work with six of their players at a time, baseball or softball coaches can work with five players at a time, basketball coaches can work with three at a time, and so on.

Coaches can also organize conditioni­ng programs without restrictio­ns at any time during

Hearst Connecticu­t Media file photo the year.

The proposals seek to increase time and player allowances for coaching during the summer.

The original CHSCA/ CAAD joint proposal presented to the CIAC Out of Season Committee, and obtained by Hearst Connecticu­t Media, would allow for head coaches to be able to work with their athletes for two days per week and no more than 2½ hours per day.

The offseason would begin the Monday after the CIAC spring champi

BERLIN — The moustache is gone. For the first time in 28 years, Berlin baseball coach Leo Veleas’ upper lip is clean shaven.

“I think it makes him look younger,” said Bert Veleas, his bride of 51 years. “A lot of people are saying that, too.”

“The beginning of the season he comes up to me and he says, “Fourteen, Gomesy, and you get to keep my moustache,’” senior first baseman Will Gomes said. “I didn’t know what he meant. Was it in a paper bag or something?’”

He meant his 600th win meant an appointmen­t with a razor.

Veleas didn’t have a moustache when he and Bert were married a half century ago. He wasn’t quite sure when he first grew it. Bert figures it was sometime in the 1970’s when sideburns were long, moustaches were bushy, and Leo played for powerhouse Gartenhaus of the National SlowPitch Conference.

Berlin athletic director Dave Francalang­ia certainly knew the date of the only other time that led to Veleas shaving it.


 ?? ?? St. Joseph girls basketball coach Chris Lindwall talks to his team during a timeout during a game with Trinity Catholic in 2020.
St. Joseph girls basketball coach Chris Lindwall talks to his team during a timeout during a game with Trinity Catholic in 2020.
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