Polish Falcons regain championship form on the felt

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Members of the Polish Falcons Nest 65 pool team from left Lucas Hehl, Vic Kloc, Mike Schmitt, Brian Howard Jr., Bruce Kirk, Al Terry Sr. and Francis (Frenchie) Gagnon. PHOTO BY KEN MORSE
The Polish Falcons pool team reclaimed the billiards championship by edging out Southington.

Nest 65 of Naugatuck won the title in 2008 and this year earned 59 victories to Southington’s 51 wins for its second title in the last four years.

The billiard league representing Polish Falcon Nests throughout Connecticut is a spirited rivalry with 12-player teams competing in doubles and singles competition.

This year, the championship came down to the final match of the season when Nest 65 earned a 9-3 win over Meriden to take the crown.

“We knew going into the final match that if we held our own we would win the title,” Nest 65 coach Brian Howard Jr. said, who came on board about four years ago and has been player-coach ever since. “We play six doubles matches and six singles and I think the strength of this team is in our singles competition.”

“Frenchie” Francis Gagnon leads the team.

“Frenchie is our go-to guy,” Howard said. “He is usually matched up against the opponent’s best player.”

Along side Gagnon is Al Terry Sr., Howard, club secretary Al Litke, club president George Carlson, club vice president Dave Howell and old timer Vic Kloc as the seasoned veteran along with newcomers Lucas Hehl, Mike Schmitt, Bruce Kirk and Dennis Cotrell.

“We have some new guys that gave our roster a little bit of a boost,” Carlson said. “I was on the roster but they didn’t use me as much. But it’s all in fun. It’s about the guys coming together having a good time and supporting the community.”

The Polish Falcons, located on School Street in Union City, began its chapter in 1905 and has been serving Naugatuck as a non-profit charitable group for over 100 years.

The Polish Falcons will be celebrating its 105th Anniversary in April with a recognition awards ceremony for 13 of its members. One of its members will be receiving the Gold Level Award the highest honor presented among all of the Falcon organizations.

“The April 30 event is for Falcon members only and of course we can’t divulge the award winners at this time but this is going to be a very monumental event for the club,” Carlson said. “To have one of our own being awarded with the highest honor by the organization is a very special occasion for this memberership.”

Nest 65 has donated and supported local organizations throughout the town of Naugatuck including the Union City Little League, the YMCA Little Pal basketball league, Leever Regional Cancer Center, American Heart Association, Ecumenical Food Bank, St. Vincent DePaul Mission, Ronald Mc’Donald House and a host of other organizations in town.

The Polish Falcons organization has chapters throughout Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania—stretching as far as the Midwest.

“It’s all about making a difference in the community,” Carlson said. “And we are proud to celebrate our 105th year in existence this year.”