Even after his own children Matthew and Sarah graduated several years ago, Peter Getz continued to serve as president of the Canton Athletic Booster Club Inc.
School district officials and many parents said Getz has been a constant supporter of the student athletes, spending countless hours attending games and working to better sports programs.
As he is stepping down from the position after 10 years, he was honored at the recent Canton High School Spring Sports Awards Night.
"Peter has been a tireless worker for the student athletes here at Canton,” athletic director Dee Stephan said.
Principal Gary Gula agreed.
“He’s devoted endless hours to this position,” Canton High School principal Gary Gula said. “He’s so dedicated to the community.”
Getz said the booster club, which supports both middle and high school sports, has always been about the kids, adding that it has advocated hard work on the teams and in the classroom.
“The bottom line is the kids,” Getz said. “We have so many gifted kids both in the classroom and on the field.”
As a former police officer in Hartford, Getz said Canton is fortunate and he feels that athletics is one strong way to support youth.
The booster club, through efforts such as collecting cans and bottles at the town transfer station, selling apparel and hosting fundraisers, has purchased much equipment over the years.
According to its website, it has given more than $20,000 in recent years for items such as field hockey goals, headseats for football coaches, floor refinishing and an electronic scoreboard in the gym, baseball equipment, a softball pitching machine and solo throw, ImPact concussion testing equipment and more.
The club has also purchased apparel for state championship teams over the years and supported students with scholarships and sponsored events such as the annual substance free graduation party.
Getz said he’s especially proud of the athlete of the month awards the club gives. Those aren’t always about who scores the most goals and gets the most home runs, he said but rather take into account academic performance and sportsmanship. As a result, it’s been a huge boost for esteem and college resumes, Getz said.
The booster club has also fought for many things over the years, Getz said. One was the Warriors logo, or mascot. While he acknowledged the Warrior logo was controversial, Getz maintained that it was important for the school to have one.
And as he steps aside, Getz said Canton is at an important crossroads in its athletic program. With numerous sports now at the school, there are also many different booster clubs working independently. While Getz said all are doing great things and should continue to support their sports, he feels it’s time to coordinate those efforts under one umbrella and move to a different system. In the end everyone would benefit, he said.
“Everyone has to get on the same page,” he said.
Getz said he feels with a recent athletic survey, the work of Stephan and the attention of administrators, that it will happen.
Although he plans to stay involved in some capacity and attend many sporting events, Getz also feels it’s time to let someone new help guide the changes and bring fresh ideas to the table.
Canton sports need to rise to the level of other exemplary programs at the schools, such as culinary and music, Getz said.
“We have to bring sports up to the level they should be,” Getz said.