1959-60 Suffield High School Boys Basketball Team
​​ ​Inducted in 2004
On the evening of March 12, 1960, one of the finest athletic teams to ever wear the Blue and White of Suffield High, closed the curtain on a splendid basketball season, by capturing the Class C State Championship from St. Anthony’s of Bristol 64-62. The fact that the game was decided on a last-second basket was a fitting climax for the Wildcat quintet who, all season long, won the big ones! The entire Town smiled with pride at this great achievement. What kind of boys and coach made this championship possible?
Perhaps the most outstanding characteristic of this group lies in the word “teamwork.” Aptly defined as “work done by a number of associates, all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole,” this description fits this team better than any other as each team member seemed to take a turn at coming through in the clutch.
If we take the first five alphabetically, we first find Frank Beneski. He possessed perhaps one of the best one-hand shots of anyone who ever played for SHS. Frank had a real fine touch and, over his high school career, developed into a high scorer using his one-handers and drive-ins as lethal weapons. An honor student and team co-captain, he made the winning free throws in the semi-final victory over Durham. Frank was named to the All-Tournament first team.
Dan Butler contributed in no small way to Suffield’s record. His biggest assets were his consistent scoring and rebounding. Dan’s inspired play against Windsor Locks in three meetings, including the quarterfinals, and his tremendous shooting display early in the final against St. Anthony’s were season highlights. Dan was selected to the All-Tournament second team.
“I’m the luckiest guy in the world.” So stated Tom Ganley as he stood in the locker room in a state of shock following his electrifying one-second 18-foot jump shot, which clinched the state title. This statement exemplifies Tom’s character throughout his athletic career at Suffield. Embarrassed by praise, critical of those who gave him more credit than his teammates, Tom’s modesty prevailed throughout his success. The big guy (a National Honor Society member) will forever be remembered for his coolness under fire, his defensive rebounding, and his long accurate passes. He was named to the All-Tournament first team.
In the eighth game of the season, Dave Lill was inserted into the starting lineup. As a running mate for Frank in the backcourt, he added speed and solid defensive play to the team. No one had more drive and hustle than Dave. The best offensive weapon for this honor student was his drive for the basket on a fast break.
Completing the starting five was probably the roughest and toughest member of the unit. Not looking the part and with only one full year’s experience behind him, Don Robinson became not only an outstanding pivot man, but one of the finest all-round centers in the school’s history. Big Rob’s baseline drives and fade-away jumps constituted a threat to every opponent. Suffield’s leading scorer in the final two playoff games, this honor student joined Tom and Frank on the All-Tournament first team.
Barry Meggett saved his most important contributions for the tournament games and played so well that he received honorable mention for the All-Tournament team. Henry Sobinski and David Fairman rounded out the seniors, and at various times during the season, made important contributions to victories.
We cannot forget, too, the critical part played by the remaining juniors who day after day were pitted against the starters helping them prepare for each game. John Cooper, Woody Jacobus, Bob Chase, and Bill Sheridan were instrumental in the team’s success both in practice and in numerous games.
Coach Stanley Miela’s job was to put all the ingredients together. “We’re going all the way” he confidently proclaimed at the beginning of the season and instilled that confidence in his team. Never content to sit back and revel in the early victories, he constantly planned new defenses and new offenses to counteract the style of any strong opponent. He faced each hurdle with conviction, in a purpose that was well defined at the beginning of the schedule. Faced with illnesses, injuries, and letdowns, Coach Miela proved adept at handling each adversity and, in the end, emerged the triumphant champion.

Some memorable highlights:
Administering first defeats to Berlin and Windsor Locks and spoiling a 10 game winning streak for St. Thomas, and a 5 game streak for Bloomfield.
Winning the first 10 games, losing 1, and then capturing the next 14 in a row.
Defeating arch rival Windsor Locks 3 times in one season, which kept them out of a tie for the league championship and knocked them out of the state tournament.
The scoring power of the “swish kids”…Scored 100 points, 92 points, 86 points, and 9 times in the 70’s…quite a feat considering that the starters played only half the time in approximately one-third of the games.
Having 3 players make the All-Tournament first team, 1 on the second, and 1 honorable mention.
Seeing 3 games in which 5 players scored double figures, 12 games in which 4 hit twin digits, and 4 games in which 3 boys hit 10 or more.
Watching the team come from behind in the last 3 tournament games.
Freezing the ball between one and two minutes in the final game and Tom’s epochal shot.
The poise and confidence shown by the team in every pressure game.
The 1959-60 Boys Basketball Team was a team that had ability, intelligence, a sense of humor, and a coach who knew how to use it, a team that made Suffield famous.