Terry Laich

Terry was born on March 9, 1950 to Alyce and George “Battler “ Laich, who was also an
inductee in the Branford Sports Hall of Fame back in 1990. Terry had a competitive spirit
and positive outlook about life which served him well. He graduated from Branford High
School in 1969. He excelled in football and basketball not only with his athletic skills but his
quiet but determined team building skills.
Terry attended Harbor Street School where he earned a reputation for being a skilled
athlete. He attended Branford High School and earned the reputation for being a strong
and competitive participant in sports. He began his experience in his sophomore year
where he played football for Coach Bill Simon’s football squad. He became a skilled
quarterback and safety, earning the respect of his opponents. In the winter Terry joined
Hall of Fame basketball coach Stan Petela and became the first player off the bench for an
outstanding Hornet team. At midseason of his sophomore season when All State center
Jerry Schmitz became injured and stepped in to help Branford to a Housatonic League
championship, losing only one game. Terry’s teammates were Hall of Famers Eric
Anderson, Joe Roberti, Ted Kaczynski and Dennis Swirsky. In Terry’s Junior year, the
Hornets under the new basketball coach Tom Murray began the season slowly, but by mid-
season had become a contender for the League title. In the final game of the season against
rival East Haven, a powerful team, which was tied for the league title. Terry had been ill
with a high fever for a week, and it didn’t appear that he would be able to play in the big
game. When game time arrived, there was Terry to the surprise of all. He joined
teammates Hall of Famers Dennis Swirsky, Bob Hammie, Gary Lipkvich to defeat the
Yellow Jackets with a 46-44 score and win the Housatonic League Championship. Terry’s
great defense and his 13 rebounds were key factors in the win. In the following year, Terry
and his teammates posted a 18-1 record and, again, were League Champs.
Following high school, Terry entered Milford Academy and continued playing basketball.
Terry’s dreams for success in the world of sports were dashed when he was diagnosed with
a serious and rare health condition at the young age of 19. He took the news of a “few
months to live” as a challenge to live life to the fullest. He embarked on a nomadic life
traveling the world for several years before settling in Maui, Hawaii with his brother,
George. Despite his health challenges, Terry operated his own business while undergoing
weekly dialysis treatments after a kidney transplant failed.
Terry never gave in to his physical health challenges but embraced a life of adventure,
making friends worldwide while keeping strong ties with his Branford friends over the
years. Terry passed away in 1999. He certainly was a competitor who outlived the
predictions for a short life. He will always be a winning champion to all who knew and
loved him.
Terry has a brother George living in Maui and sister Alexine (Lex) living in Florida. His
sister Barbara is deceased.