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All-time East Haven basketball and baseball player Patrick Paulson was selected as a member of the Class of 2020 for the East Haven Alumni Association Hall of Fame. (Photo courtesy of Steve Narracci )
In his four years playing for East Haven’s baseball and boys’ basketball teams, Patrick Paulson earned numerous accolades and set records that still stand to this day. For his efforts on the diamond and the court, Patrick was named a member of the East Haven Alumni Association Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2020.
“To be forever associated with such incredibly talented people such as Frank ‘Coach’ Crisafi, Steve Narracci, Al Carfora, and Joe Glenn to name a few is a tremendous honor,” says Patrick, a 2007 graduate. “I’m forever grateful to everyone who has helped along the way.”
Patrick is the latest member of his family to get selected for induction into the East Haven Hall of Fame. Patrick’s father Pat was inducted in 1994, and his brother Billy went into the Hall of Fame in 2018. Patrick feels honored to be joining his fellow family members and says that he grew faster as an athlete by learning from a pair of inductees. Patrick also gave a ton of credit to his mother Kathy, who recently retired from the FBI after working there for 42 years.
“It’s very special for us to share this accomplishment. Being able to grow up and learn from two Hall of Famers gave me quite the advantage over the competition,” Patrick says. “And though my mother will never be in the East Haven Hall of Fame, she was always the most worthy of recognition in our family.”
Patrick and his brother started playing sports “around the same time we learned to walk.” Patrick’s father was always passionate about sports, and throwing a baseball around in the backyard or shooting hoops in the driveway was a common occurrence in the Paulson household. The two brothers’ love for sports came naturally, and they enjoyed playing Biddy Basketball at the old East Haven High School and Little League baseball down at The Pit.
When he reached high school, Patrick joined the Yellowjackets’ baseball and boys’ basketball teams. He went on to become a four-year starter for both squads. On the diamond, Patrick was named to the American Legion Dream Dozen Team and selected to play in the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) All-Star Game.
On the court, Patrick led the Easties in scoring, rebounding, and blocks in all of his four seasons, serving as a captain during his senior year. He named All-State Second Team as a junior and senior, earned Southern Connecticut Conference All-Division honors in his sophomore, junior and senior years, and was also selected for the CHSCA Senior All-Star Game. Patrick’s 1,393 points scored is second all-time in team history, while his school record totals of 527 made field goals and 86 games played are still standing.
“East Haven will always hold a special place in my heart. I am blessed to grow up with a great group of friends that have always supported me and molded me into the man I am today,” Patrick says. “I am also very thankful for my teachers and coaches over the years who continued to motivate and encourage me in and out of the classroom.”
Following graduation, Patrick earned a scholarship to play baseball at the University of New Haven. He was slated to be the Chargers’ starting center fielder before he needed to undergo surgery on his right elbow during his freshman year.
Patrick would subsequently transfer into the Branford Hall Career Institute’s professional fitness trainer program. He graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average and became certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, holding certificates in nutrition, corrective exercise, and performance enhancement.
Patrick spent five years working as a personal trainer for the Edge Fitness Club before starting his own personal training business based out of West Haven in 2020. Exercise has always been a passion for Patrick, and that he was able to take that passion and turn it into his career.
“Exercise and going to the gym has always been a huge part of my life since I was young,” says Patrick, who lives in Milford. “I wanted to be bigger, faster, stronger. It’s a passion of mine, and I love continuing to better myself and learn how the body works.”
During the past year, Patrick has started his own business, proposed to his now fiancée Emily, and been elected to the East Haven Hall of Fame. As he moves forward, Patrick knows that sports have helped him learn numerous life lessons and shaped him into the person that he is today.
“There are so many life lessons in sports. I played a lot of games in my career to learn many of those lessons, such as how to be a good leader, how to be patient, and how to be gracious,” Patrick says. “I think it was the competition that I loved the most—putting it all on the line and seeing who is best. That still sticks with me today and drives me to always do better than the day before.”