Class of 1953
Dick Volinski, Class of 1953, was a three-sport athlete whose exploits, particularly in basketball, helped Green Wave teams to numerous successes and, along the way, etched a memorable NMHS sports career for young athletes to emulate.
Lanky and athletic, Dick was among the Green Wave’s key players during the final seasons of six-man football at NMHS. He was remembered by teammates as an excellent pass receiver and versatile enough to throw the decisive touchdown pass in a 28-26 win at Bethel in the fall of 1951. Dick also had a field day as a receiver during the Green Wave’s 38-6 victory over shoreline rival Guilford.
Playing home basketball games on the cozy NMHS court at what later became known as the Lillis Administration Building on East Street, Dick’s superior height and especially his talent in the paint enabled him to shine for AHOF inductee coach Joseph Wiser’s teams. His efforts helped propel the Green Wave into the state tournament twice and to an overall 27-16 record over three varsity seasons.
During his junior year, Dick’s respective 28-point performances boosted the Green Wave past Newtown, 64-60, and Washington, 72-39, and lifted him to an 18.3 per game scoring average.
Then as a senior during the winter of 1952-53, Dick wasted no time demonstrating his value to the Green Wave, scoring 30 points during a early-season, 48-44 win over Bethel. Dick soon highlighted a run of strong games with a school-record 36 points to spark a 60-44 win over Newtown, in the process breaking AHOF inductee Alfred “Sonny” Zaloski’s school record of 33 points in a game.
Dick lowered the curtain on his final NMHS basketball campaign with 293 of the team’s 635 points for a 22.5 average, still believed to be the Green Wave’s best ever. His 773 career points stood as the NMHS standard until fellow ’23 inductee Tom “Tucker” Burke finished 17 years later with 948 points.
Come springtime, Dick was a three-year starter for coach Joe Wiser’s Green Wave baseball teams, remembered by peers as a first baseman and third baseman who often contributed key hits.