Amity students, athletes, teachers, staff and parents all seem to adore Amity Hockey Coach Gary Lindgren.
The soft spoken, caring coach found out he had cancer at the beginning of the Hockey season and battled the disease valiantly, just as his beloved Spartans Hockey Team fought to win the CIAC state title. Gary attended as many games as he could, even coming out to support his players during the tournament after undergoing chemotherapy treatments earlier in the day.
Before the season Gary appointed assistant coach Mike “Scooter” Richetelli as interim coach. As most Orange Live readers know, Richetelli was named SCC Hockey Coach of the Year and brought the Spartans all the way to the championship tournaments.
Richetelli and assistant coaches Todd Dandelske, Don Linley and Brian Gonsalves never gave up hope that Gary would return to the team full-time and stood by their head coach through good days and bad.
Gary’s wife, Laura was his rock and along with their daughters Erika and Carly offering him all the help and encouragement he needed to get through his ordeal.
How It Began
Nine months ago, Gary was playing softball in the playoffs of the over-50 league in which he played shortstop. A ball bounced up and hit him in the mouth, breaking his jaw and knocking out a tooth. His doctor noticed a bump on his neck that turned out to be a cyst.
Surgeons discovered a cancerous tumor in his lymph nodes on Nov. 20 which led to surgery in early December to remove 29 lymph nodes and his tonsils, all of which contained cancer.
Relay for Life
Gary is this year’s honoree at the BOW Relay for Life. He will be recognized at the opening ceremonies at 6 p.m.
The Relay committee is encouraging anyone who’s life was touched by Gary (athletes, fellow coaches, students, friends) to come out and support him on this very special occasion.