Class of 1987
Jack Lavalette, Class of 1987, is well remembered as a game-breaking defensive back and wide receiver whose clutch performances keyed Green Wave football to unprecedented success, as well as an excellent sprinter in track & field.
Jack made waves as a freshman in track & field, but he bided his time until his sophomore year to coach Mike Oshan’s Green Wave football team. A starter as wide receiver and defensive back, Jack scored five touchdowns for the 5-5 NMHS grid squad in the fall of 1984.
If quiet efficiency could describe his sophomore season, his junior campaign might best be touted as explosive and historic. While leading the Green Wave to a 6-4 record, the most ever wins to that point by the Green Wave, Jack made key plays, either offensively or defensively, or both, to help swing five of those six victories in the Green Wave’s favor.
The junior standout’s 40-yard interception runback for touchdown contributed to a 13-0 win over Central Catholic; his TD reception gave the Green Wave the lead in a 17-9 win over Pomperaug; Jack’s three interceptions, highlighted by a 70-yard runback to paydirt, keyed the Green Wave’s first victory over Newtown since 1967; he scored all three NMHS TDs, including a 55-yard punt return with five minutes to play in a 21-14 win over Weston; and his end zone interception with 40 seconds to play clinched a 13-6 triumph over Joel Barlow.
In addition, Jack returned two other punts for touchdown, including a school-record 85-yarder, and hauled in four additional TD passes.
By the time the gridiron dust had settled in November ’85, Jack had intercepted 12 rival passes, almost certainly a WCC record, and earned team MVP and all-WCC honors.
As a senior, his pass-receiving exploits and shutdown defense helped Jack again earn team MVP and all-WCC honors, as well as the Green Wave’s coveted Michael Rosato Memorial Trophy and ‘Who’s Who in American High School Football’ recognition.
Come springtime, Jack ranked for four years as one of the WCC’s best sprinters and a perennial state contender for a strong Green Wave track & field squad.
Jack’s frosh season was highlighted when he teamed with fellow AHOF inductee John Ndukwu and two other teammates to win the WCC 4 x 100 relay. That quartet later raced to strong finishes in the state ‘L’ meet and the state open.
By his sophomore year, Jack had drawn notice with sixth-place finishes in the WCC meet 100 and 200 and as anchor to the Green Wave’s 4 x 100 relay.
In the spring of ’86, Jack served as junior captain for a Green Wave that built an 11-1 record and won the WCC championship. Individually, he raced to second place in both the WCC 100 and 200 and anchored a fourth-place 4 x 100 relay.
Jack also placed fourth in the state ‘L’ 200 and showed his versatility by placing in the shot put. His efforts earned the NMHS junior qualification for the state open in both events.
He climaxed his Green Wave athletic career as senior captain for an unbeaten WCC championship squad. Jack celebrated in style in the 1987 WCC meet by winning the 100, sharing first place in the 400 and earning second in the 200.
His state class ‘L’ meet resume included second in the 400 and fourth as anchor for the Green Wave 4 x 400 relay. Jack’s final competition produced a career-best 50.6 for seventh in the 400 and ended as anchor for NMHS’ 4 x 400 quartet.
His high school years a vivid memory, Jack then proceeded to excel as a wide receiver for the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, where he earned a National Football Foundation Hall of Fame scholarship and helped the Crusaders win back-to-back Patriot League football titles.