Erin Scoccia Womer described herself as growing up looking into the trophy case outside the gym of the old Brookfield Middle School on Grove Street.
“Looking at the players, the teams, the trophies,” she said during her acceptance speech at the Brookfield Warrior Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Nov. 2. “I did this all the time. I didn’t know why I did, but I was infatuated with that trophy case.”
Womer cemented her place in that trophy case – which was moved to the new school in 2011 – with a stellar athletic career that included four letters each in cross country and track and three in the sport that she is best associated with, basketball.
Womer played on the 1989-90 hoop team that played for a state title, and made the A.P. All State Tournament Team.
The 1990 graduate was truly a product of the Brookfield basketball organization, starting in fifth-grade when she played intramural ball and the school was abuzz with the first girls basketball team to win a district championship and make it to the regional.
She learned from those players and the younger ones who would stop in at her team practices to demonstrate jump shots and rebounding, and coaches like Tim Filipovich and Tim Taylor and their slogans such as “There’s no ‘I’ in team.’”
“Tonight, I’m saying thank you to this wonderful community,” said Womer, who lives with her husband and two sons in Tampa. “I’m very proud of being from Brookfield.”
April Vansach Elwood, three years older than Womer said playing softball, volleyball and basketball at Brookfield “taught me how to deal with adversity. I learned winning was great but losing was just as important if you wanted to continue to grow.”
She continued to grow as an athlete playing softball at Hiram College, where she was inducted into the Hiram College Athletic Hall of Fame for her stellar pitching.
“Sports helped create and shape the family that I have now,” said Elwood, of Atlanta. “My husband and I met playing coed recreational softball. My son, Ryan, plays competitive soccer. My daughter, Hailey, plays on a travel softball team and her high school feeder team.”
The 1987 graduate noted the influence that her individual family members and coaches, starting at the youngest levels, had on her as an athlete, and as a person.
“For me, this award is not just about sports, but about sportsmanship, teamwork and life,” Elwood said. “I could not have accomplished what I did without what people like to quote, ‘It takes a village.’ I will continue to share this wisdom with my two children and the young athletes that I now coach myself.”
The hall of fame also inducted Ernest Bremick, class of 1959, a football quarterback who amassed a 25-2 record in three seasons, and co-founder – with brothers Fred and Gary – of the Midget Football Club, later known as the Brookfield T.D. Club; Ross Tice, class of 2007, an All Trumbull County wrestler from 2004-07, three-time high school state tournament qualifier, and four-year starter at Kent State University; and a posthumous award to James Haun, class of 1952, a three-sport player who led the basketball team in scoring in 1951-52, and continued playing hoops at Westinghouse and in the army, where he squared off in a German armed forces tournament against Farrell’s Julius McCoy.