This is the second in a multi-part series highlighting the newest inductees into the Plainville Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremonies will be held Saturday, November 20 at Hawk’s Landing in Southington.
Dabrowski graduated from Plainville High School in 2004. She scored 1,060 points despite playing with a torn ACL her entire senior year. A four-year varsity starter, she guided the team to a Class M State Championship as a freshman. A phenomenal athlete, the teams won 60 games during her career. Her dribbling skills dazzled the crowd as they chanted, “She’s a freshman,” with vigor. Her perfect 6-for-6 shooting from the foul line during the waning minutes of the championship game sealed the victory. The consummate point guard, she could dribble, drive and shoot. As a result, she was a four-time All-Northwest Conference selection. A true scholar athlete, she garnered All-Academic honors as well.
Said Coach Mandeville: “If I was starting my own All-PHS basketball team, I would start with Jennifer at the point. She wasn’t the fastest or the quickest (although she was both), or even flashy, but the more you watched her play, the more you appreciated what she did for the team. Her basketball IQ was tremendous. She knew when to pass and when to shoot. She was just as good defensively too and fun to watch. On fast breaks, she drifted backward and defended the ball without fouling. It wasn’t something that was taught. It was Jen being Jen.”
After graduation, she attended Western New England College. There, she continued her dominance on the hard court. Throughout her collegiate career at WNEC, she scored 1,545 points. Among Dabrowski’s accolades in college were WNEC’s Rookie of the Year, three-time All-Conference First-Team and two-time Coca-Cola Female Athlete of the Year. After her final season, she was selected to the first-team All-Northeast Region and named the Conference Player of the Year. Dabrowski was inducted into Western New England College’s Hall of Fame in 2016.
TJ Ferguson was a dedicated and tireless swimmer and diver whose incredible work habits were the impetus for his unique ability to accomplish the rare double feat of being named Class S All State twice with two third place finishes in the 100 yard breaststroke in 2000 and 2001, a second place finish in the 200 yard freestyle relay in 2001, a fourth place finish his junior year and a state championship finish during his senior year in one meter springboard diving as well. During his incredible career at PHS he established school records in both events.
While competing in the 2001 CIAC State Open, his time of 1:02.90 in the breaststroke created a new mark, and his score of 301.35 while diving at his home pool set the standard that still exists today. Additional accolades include his being a two time CIAC State Open participant in both the 100 yard breaststroke and one meter springboard diving events, finishing second in 2001. He was selected by the Northwest Conference four times for academic achievement in swimming, a three time All Nutmeg Conference in swimming and two time All Northwest & Nutmeg Conference in diving. Ferguson twice achieved the PHS Most Valuable Swimmer Award and the All New Britain Herald Award for both swimming and diving.
Amazingly, Ferguson only began diving in 2001, his junior year at Plainville. He practiced twice a day, swimming during the afternoons in Plainville and diving at night at Wesleyan University in Middletown. His commitment to his diving excellence afforded him the opportunity to achieve the perfect score of 10 on one of his final high school dives.
After graduating in 2001, he became a team member on the prestigious Fort Lauderdale Hall of Fame U.S.A. Diving Team. Subsequently, Ferguson accepted an athletic scholarship to NCAA Division I North Carolina State University. During his collegiate career he competed in both the one and three meter springboard diving events and platform as well. After two years Ferguson transferred to the University of Connecticut where he broke and established a new school record in three meter springboard diving.
Tickets for the induction ceremonies may be purchased at Modern Barbershop, Angelo’s, Gnazzo’s and The Central Connecticut Dental Group (Dr. Rusty Camp). For additional ticket information, visit plainvillesports.com.