Ryan Sadosky had no idea why he was called out of his English class at Thursday afternoon, and told to report to the main office.
Outside the office, he was greeted by principal Tom Duffy and escorted inside, where a small group was waiting for him.
Sadosky, a senior, had in the shot put with a toss of 46 feet, 8 inches during a track and field meet in Stafford on April 24. Coordinator of Athletics Barry Bernstein arranged for a plaque to be made commemorating his achievement.
Duffy, Bernstein, coaches Todd Cunha and Tom Thompson, and assistant principals Steve Sargalski and Andrew Longey were assembled to witness the presentation, and then came the real surprise.
A gentleman unknown to Sadosky stepped forward to hand him the plaque. That man was Ray Giguere, whose record heave of 46 feet, 2 inches in 1972 stood for four decades.
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone every day with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
Now a financial services business owner who resides in Burlington, Giguere said he was thrilled with the prospect of meeting the young man who shattered his longstanding record.
"I was stunned to find out my record had lasted as long as it did, and I got to thinking that I feel old," Giguere told Sadosky during the presentation. "I've heard so many great things about you, and I know how hard you've had to work to get to that level of performance."
Sargalski said, "Not only is Ryan a phenomenal athlete, but he also exemplifies the best character and integrity. He's a phenomenal young man."
"He's a great athlete and a great student, but even a better person," Cunha said. "Everybody that comes in contact with him absolutely loves him, so he's an easy person to root for."
Following the ceremony, Sadosky and Giguere sat down in the principal's conference room to chat with Enfield Patch.
Giguere recalled achieving his record throw on his final attempt in his final meet of his senior year.
"I had been flirting with 46 feet all year, which was the qualifying number for states," he said. "I didn't assume I had set a record at that point; I didn't find out until afterward. We had drawn an arc in the landing zone at 46 feet, and I remember going absolutely crazy when I saw the chalk pop up and I knew it had landed on the 46-foot line and I was going to the state championships."
Sadosky said he has known about the record from constantly seeing it on a plaque in the school's awards showcase.
"At the state indoor meet, I threw a 46, and I'd never even thrown a 45 before at that point," he said. "That's when I thought I really had a chance at getting this record. I worked between the indoor and outdoor seasons and set three goals for outdoor: the school shot put record, nationals in javelin and winning the conference for shot put."
He achieved all three goals, qualifying for the New Balance Nationals with a javelin toss of 156 feet, 3 inches. He will be competing in the Emerging Elite division in Greensboro, NC on June 14.
In the fall, Sadosky will be attending the University of Connecticut, where he hopes to make the track and field squad as a walk-on. The Storrs campus is another common bond between Sadosky and Giguere, who is a Husky alumnus.
"I played three years of football at UConn from 1972 to 1974," Giguere said. "I graduated in 1976, and spent six years as a teacher and coach (at Granby and East Catholic high schools). I went back to the university for some graduate work in the mid-1980s, and was a part-time coach on the football staff from 1986 to 1988."
Giguere said his top sports idols growing up were football offensive linemen, such as Jerry Kramer of the Green Bay Packers.
Sadosky, who broke his own shot put standard with an effort of 47 feet, one-and-three-quarter inches in the Class M state meet on May 29, listed basketball legend Michael Jordan as his biggest sports hero.
"He didn't make the high school team, but he never gave up," Sadosky said. "Keep doing what you love and keep following your dreams."