BEACON FALLS — There is one man in the long history of Connecticut high school sports with an athletic résumé that includes 100 touchdown passes in football and 1,000 points in basketball.
His name is Tanner Kingsley.
Exactly one month after he threw his 113th career touchdown pass in the Class S semifinals against Bloomfield to become the state’s all-time leader, Kingsley became the first player in state history to join the 100-1,000 club when he scored 24 points at Holy Cross on Jan. 7.
The milestone point of that game was his last one, which he sunk from the free throw line. The normally cool Kingsley, who stands 6-foot-1, felt the pressure of the moment.
“I knew how many (points) I had,” Kingsley said. “I was thinking at the line, ‘I’m about to do this right now.’ I just wanted to get those points to help us stay in that game.”
Although the Hawks suffered a 51-45 loss that night, Kingsley became the first player in the history of Woodland’s boys basketball program to reach the 1,000-point mark. Three Woodland girls had previously reached the mark, and Kingsley knew early in his career that he wanted to join the club.
“That was definitely one of my goals,” Kingsley said. “It’s pretty awesome. Having my name up on the banner has been all hard work. I’m not the most skilled basketball player, but it’s all the hard work and shooting I put in during the offseason.”
It hasn’t been the easiest of seasons for Kingsley. While he averages 22.5 points per game — good for fourth in the Naugatuck Valley League — and set a school record with 39 points Jan. 23 at Derby, he usually is the target of opposing defensive game plans. He was the only returning starter entering this season and had to help his inexperienced teammates grow on the floor.
“We had a lot of new guys with not much experience, but this team keeps getting better and better,” Kingsley said. “Other teams are keying on me, but we have other guys stepping up when teams go box-in-one on me. Now we’re making a playoff run.”
The Hawks fell 59-55 to Watertown Feb. 11, but rebounded with 55-30 win over Seymour the following night to improve to 7-11 on the year. They need a win in one of their last two games to return to the state tournament, with Derby (home Tuesday) and St. Paul (away Feb. 21) remaining.
Whether or not Woodland makes the postseason, the final two games will give Kingsley a chance to make his career point total one that may never be broken.
After his 11 points Feb. 12 against the Wildcats, Kingsley stands at 1,265 points — breaking Heather Framski’s all-time school record of 1,261 points. He has a shot at reaching the 1,300-point plateau.
Whatever total Kingsley ends with, though, it won’t be his favorite record.
“I have to say 100 touchdown passes,” Kingsley said with a laugh, perhaps realizing that nobody else in state history has been able to choose between the two. “Not many people have done that in Connecticut, and that’s definitely one of my favorite sports moments.”
Basketball isn’t the end of the line for Kingsley, either. He will play his final season in black and gold this spring on the baseball diamond, where he has a chance at a final record.
“Hopefully I get 100 hits, too,” Kingsley said.