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.