Wethersfield Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame
2009 Hall of Fame
Robert Allen ’58
Bob was a 4-sport athlete and class leader. Coached by Mill Mason, as a sophomore, he started at halfback on the Class B Co-Championship Soccer Team with the “uncomparable Artie Couch” and fellow Hall-of-Fame inductee Dave Rushforth ’58. This trio was described as “the team’s greatest asset.” He continued at halfback his Junior year when WHS lost 2-1 in the 1956 State Finals and in his senior year when the team, in its first season in “A”, completed an 11-1-1 record and won the 1957 State Championship. This championship game was “…Strong tearing through the Newington defense…scored all three goals…the fine defensive play of Landers, Rushforth and Allen was also the highlight of an overall team effort.”
In basketball, as a smooth outside shooter, he was the leading scorer on a 7-11 team in 195657 and was subsequently elected Co-Captain with Dave Traut of the 1957-58 Team that won the CCIl Title in their first year with a 10-2 (12-6 overall) record for Coach Mason.
Leaving the track team in 1956 due to injuries, Bob became the Captain of the first ever WHS Tennis Team in 1957. Bob lead them to a 7-2 record. As Captain again in 1958, the team went 7-7, under Coach Joe Cottone.
John Cagianello ’01
John was an outstanding 2-sport student athlete earning All-CCC and All-Academic CCC as well as All-State recognition in both basketball and golf. As a senior, he was Captain of the Basketball team averaging 23.5 points per game, leading the CCC in scoring and finishing in the Top Ten in scoring in the State. He was MVP in the Doc Hurley Basketball Tournament in both 2000 and 2001.
In Golf, John shot a 72 to tie for first at the State High School Open and led his team to a 2nd Place finish in Division II.
John continued his education at Loomis-Chaffee and then Union College, where he started for 4 years and holds the Union Career Scoring record with 2006 points. After graduation, he played professionally in England with the Manchester Magic Basketball Club. As Captain and leading scorer, he led them to their first National Cup final and first ever National Cup Championship in the only year he played there.
John, the grandson of the late Al Mooney, former Bulkeley High and University of Notre Dame athlete, still lives in the area and works for Omar Coffee.
Theodore Coia '65
Ted was a 3-year Varsity letterman on the Wethersfield Golf team sporting a record of 36-9, winning 80% of his matches. In his Junior year, in 1964, he was 11-1 and won the CIAC Division I State Championship under Coach Rod Cyr. In addition to being an excellent golfer, Ted was also on the WHS Wrestling team, coached by Joe Cottone.
Ted attended and graduated from Fairfield University in 1969 with a BA in Economics. In 1967, he was a member of the Metropolitan Collegiate Championship team (NY) and in 1969 a member of both the New England Collegiate and Connecticut State Championship teams. In 1973, as a member of Wethersfield Country Club, he was on the Connecticut State Association State Championship team.
Ted lives in South Carolina, where he works for IBM. He’s married with 3 children, a son and a daughter who have graduated college and a son who is a sophomore at the University of South Carolina.
Kristen Drayton DeFranco ’92
Kristen participated in Gymnastics, Diving and Track and Field in her WHS career. It was in Gymnastics that she truly excelled. She was consistently high scorer for the team in each event throughout her high school career, earning All-Conference and All-State honors each year. As a freshman in the 1989 WHS State Championship season, she set school records in the vault, bars, beam, floor and all-around. She continued to reset these records throughout her career. She was the leading scorer on the strong undefeated teams of 1989 and 1990. Kristen placed 2nd All-Around 3 years in the State Class M tournament and finished 4th, 2nd, 4th and 2nd in the four State Opens of her high school career. She was a medalist at the Nutmeg Games and was co-Captain of the 1991-92 WHS team with Julie Mancuso.
Kristen graduated from Boston College with a BS and Masters in Education and lived in Southern California and taught 5th grade for awhile. The grand-daughter of the late Felix Babel, long-time WHS administrator and football official, and the daughter of Ann Babel, former Eagle cheer-leader, Kristen now resides in Glastonbury with her husband and four children.
Anthony Fon Eisen ’35
Anthony was a phenomenal track star, way ahead of his time. As a member of the Wethersfield High Track team, he set a school record of 22’7” in the long jump, a record that still stands today, 74 years later! To put that in greater perspective, his jump would have won the 2009 CIAC State Open Track Meet by almost a half foot.
Tony later went on to a long career in quality control with the Heublein Company and, as an avocation, was a successful author with the published novels “Storm, Dog of Newfoundland”, “The Prince of Omeya” and “The Magnificent Mongrel” among others. Anthony was married, had 2 sons and lived in West Hartford.
Bryan Healy ’86
Bryan is one of the most outstanding hockey players to suit up for the Eagles. In a 3-year Varsity career, he was All-league each year and All-State his Junior and Senior years. The all-time leading scorer at WHS with 198 points, Bryan was the leading scorer on the 1985 team that lost to Conard in the semi-finals of the State Tournament. Bryan was the MVP of the CIAC Division I State Tournament in 1986 when Wethersfield, captained by Dennis Deleo, the last in the long line of 4 brothers who played at WHS, with Bryan as assistant captain, lost in the Championship Game 8-7 to Immaculate in over-time, after going 15-4-1 during the regular season under Coaches Roger Thomas and Ray Mahoney.
Bryan also lettered in Football for 2 years as a receiver. Upon graduation, he attended Bridgeton Academy, a Division I prep school and then Merrimac College. He has been an assistant coach for the WHS Hockey team since 1992.
He is married and still lives in Wethersfield, in the house in which he was born, and has four children, another hat trick plus one.
Maria Kokinis Tougas ’81
Another member of the Hall of Fame 1980 State Champion Field Hockey Team, coached by Dot Meerbach, Maria joins team-mates Sherri Basque and Debbie Rumley and Monique Petty in the Hall of Fame. Maria was the team’s leading goal scorer in both 1979 and 1980. A three-year Varsity letter winner in Tennis, she was the team’s #1 singles player all three years. In 1981, she was a semi-finalist in the Class l State Tournament.
Maria continued her tennis career at Bowdoin College lettering in varsity Tennis all four years, high-lighted by being undefeated in #4 Singles and winning the Maine State Doubles Championship as a freshman. She also played Varsity Squash for four years.
The daughter of former Bulkeley and Springfield College athlete, Coach and former Wethersfield Athletic Director Pete Kokinis and WHS Cheerleading Coach Priscilla Kokinis, she carried on the tradition by, among other things, coaching in the George Ritchie Soccer league. A practicing attorney, she remains active in sports including running in the Boston Marathon twice. Maria still lives in Wethersfield with her husband and three children and was just elected to the Wethersfield Board of Education.
Donna Moylan Bennett ’88
Donna was a four-year record setting machine on the WHS Girls Swim Team, some records still standing today. She was All-Conference for four years and All-State for three of those years. As a freshman, in 1984, she finished 5th in the 200 m freestyle and 4th in the 400 m freestyle at the State Open. In 1985 in the State Class M Championship Meet, she finished 2nd in the 200 freestyle and 4th in the 500 free-style. In the State Open that year, she finished 2nd in both the 200 free-style and 500 free-style with WHS record setting performances in both. As a junior, she finished 5th in the 200m freestyle and 3rd in the 500 freestyle. These records still stand today. In addition, she still holds WHS Freshmen records in the 200 and 500 free-styles and the 200 IM. Donna was coached her first three years by Jeff Schumann with assistant coach Donna Verasco and in her last year by Sue Kearney.
Donna continued her education and swimming career as a scholarship swimmer at the University of Kentucky where she was Captain and graduated with a double major in History and Psychology. She lives outside Cleveland, Ohio with her husband and three sons.
Jeffrey Paterno ’92
Jeff was an outstanding runner on the WHS Cross Country, Indoor Track and Track and Field teams for 3 years. As a sophomore, he was on the State Class M Championship Indoor Track 4 X 800m relay team and by his senior year he held 7 school records. As a Junior and Senior, he was a Captain of all 3 sports, earning All-CCC honors in all three and All-State and All-New England honors in Indoor Track..
Jeff continued his education at Holy Cross where he was the New England Indoor Champion in 1000 meters. He graduated in 1996 and has taught Social Studies at Somerville High School for the past ten years. He was an Assistant Coach in track and field at MIT for four years. He became the Cross Country Head Coach at Somerville High in 2007 and for 2 years the team went undefeated and was Greater Boston league Champs for those years. He has coached 10 Greater Boston All-Stars in those 2 years.
George Roane ’53
George was a 3 year athlete in soccer and basketball and also lettered in track in his sophmore year as a high-jumper and long jumper. He was the youngest son of six boys and four girls in the large family of leon “Moe” Roane, the well-known long time owner of Duffy’s Cottage Restaurant in Old Wethersfield. From 1933 to 1953, there was always at least one Roane at Wethersfield High. George was a fast and solid defender playing on Coach Bob Burford’s outstanding soccer teams of 1950 that lost in the State Finals, of 1951 that lost 4 games and of 1952 that had a 9-2-1 record. George also excelled in basketball. He was a starter on the 1951-52 team, again with Coach Burford, that lost in the State Class B Championship game. For the 1952-53 season, George was Captain and leading scorer (273 points) on a team that featured fellow Hall-of -Famers Doug Raynard ’53 (240 points) and Bill Brew ’54 (213 points). Not just a great scorer, he was a great defender and passer and a ferocious rebounder. He was the consummate team player.
In those days, Wethersfield had a semi-pro soccer team playing other Town teams but mostly teams sponsored by ethnic clubs. Although most players were in their 20’s, George was recruited right out of WHS and the team won the State Championship that year with George playing a big role.
George was a long time employee of the US Postal Service as well as the Connecticut Company. He was married with a daughter, who was quite a scholar and athlete in her own right, and a grandson.
Bob graduated from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.
David Rushforth ’58
Dave was a 3 sport athlete in soccer, basketball and baseball. Soccer was where he truly excelled as a starting halfback for Coach Mill Mason on the 1955 Class B State Co-Champions, as Co-Captain with John Budaj of the 1956 9-2-2 team that lost 2-1 in the State Finals and as Co-Captain with Tom Strong of the 1957 11-1-1 State Championship Team that allowed only 5 goals all season and none in the State Tournament. Hugh Greer, the UConn Basketball Coach and one of the soccer referees of the 1957 Championship Game, in an interview with Bob Steele of WTIC, called Dave “the best high school player he had ever seen.”
In basketball Dave was known for his quick hands and in baseball he was a hard-hitting 3rd baseman for Coach Mason’s teams.
After graduating WHS, Dave attended Bates College where he played and coached the club soccer team. The club team did so well against College teams such as Colby and Bowdoin, that it was made a Varsity Sport at Bates, but not in time for Dave as he graduated and headed for University of Pennsylvania Medical School.
Still in practice as a radiologist in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where he served on the Board of Selectmen for 6 years, Dave is married with 2 children and 2 grandchildren.
Victor Santos, Jr. ’93
Victor was an outstanding scorer for the outstandingly talented WHS teams that had a 39-7-2 regular season record from 1990 to 1992. He garnered All-CCC honors each year as he led the Eagles in scoring each year and the CCC in 1991 and 1992. In 1991, as Tri-Captain with Ryan Roslonek and goalie Kevin Hickey, he scored the winning goal in the Class l State Championship game. That year, the Eagles finished with an 18-1-1 record, shutting out 13 opponents, and ranked 2nd in the State and 20th in the USA . In the 1992 season, as Tri-Captain again with Hickey and also Frank Natale, the Eagles were again Champs of the highly competitive CCC-West going 15-0-1 and at one point in the season being ranked #1 in the USA finishing with a 17-1-1 record with 12 shut-outs.
Victor continued his education and soccer career at Quinnipiac University. He is married, has a four year old son and currently works in the family business, The Hungry Tiger, in Manchester.
Robert Treat ’82
Bob was an outstanding 3-sport student athlete at WHS. In his senior year, as a straight-A student, he was All-CCIl in Soccer, Basketball and Baseball. He was the goalie on Coach Bob Lander's 1981 13-0-2 regular season team and recorded 10 shutouts, allowing only 7 goals. That year, the team lost in the semi-finals to eventual champion Simsbury after shutting out their first three opponents. As co-Captain with Brendan Molloy and point guard on the 1981-82 Basketball team, Bob averaged 22 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds in attaining All-State honors. As tri-Captain of Coach Joe Klinger’s 1982 Baseball team with John Hills and Greg Sticka, he was the shortstop and switch-hitting leadoff batter. leading the team in on-base percentage and steals, he hit .290 with 2 homeruns.
Bob graduated from the University of Hartford and works at Pratt & Whitney as an Engineering Manager. He’s married with one son and still plays in the Wethersfield Men's Softball league.
Jeff is married and he and his wife live in Malden, Massachusetts.
Team - 1967 Tennis
Coached by Hall of Fame Coach Bob Hansen, the Tennis Team had a 16-0 regular season record in 1966, finishing 3rd in the State Tournament. The players continued their excellent play the following year and the 1967 Team had another perfect regular season finishing 14-0, winning the CCIl and going on to win the CIAC State Championship. Some of this 1967 Team would continue on in 1968 winning 12 more matches before a loss ended a remarkable streak of 44 straight consecutive dual match victories. Despite the loss, the 1968 Team repeated as both the CCIl and State Champions.
Tim Reid ’67… 1967 14-0 #1 Singles record…1967 CIAC Doubles Champ…1967 Hartford Invitational Class A Singles Champ…1966 and 1967 All-CCIl…Central Connecticut State College…CEO of a tennis court construction company.
Bob Wolf ’67… 1967 7-0 #3 and #4 Singles record…1967 Hartford Invitational Doubles Champ…1967 CIAC Doubles Semi-finalist…1966 WHS Soccer Tri-Captain, All-CCIl and CCIl scoring champ with 11 goals…Davis & Elkins College (W.Va) soccer… NAIA National Champs 1968 and 1970, 1969 runner-up… professional soccer…lived in Old Wethersfield on Belmont Street, a hotbed of WHS athletes…was high school English teacher…owner of a golf-cart company.
Chuck Washer ’68… 1967 14-0 #2 Singles and #1 Doubles record…1967 CIAC Doubles Champ…1967 Hartford Invitational Class B Singles Champ…1966 and 1967 All-CCIl…Central Connecticut State College…teacher/coach at Granby High…son of former WHS teacher Ed Washer.
Dick Palmer ’68… 1967 11-0 #3 Singles record…1967 CIAC Doubles Semifinalist…1968 CIAC Doubles Champion…1967 Doubles and 1968 Class A Singles Hartford Invitational Champ…1967 and 1968 All-CCIl…Trinity College tennis player…also played squash there…Connecticut Supreme Court Justice.
Greg Reid ’68… 1967 6-0 Singles record…undefeated at #2 Doubles…1968 CIAC Doubles Champ…1967 Class D Singles and 1968 Class A Doubles Hartford Invitational Champ…University of Notre Dame…retired accountant.
Bill Gentino ’69… 1967 # 6 Singles…undefeated Doubles player…1968 #3 Singles on 1968 CCIl and CIAC State Champs…Southern Connecticut State College …Travelers Insurance Company.
Coach Bob Hansen… Coached 20 seasons at WHS…240-60 record…1968 StateTennis Coach of the Year… Wethersfield Hall of Fame Coach…Teams won 4 State Doubles Championships, 2 State Team Championships, 4 CCIl Championships and 3 straight Hartford Invitational Tournaments.
Coach - Victor Santos, Sr.
Victor Santos, Sr., a member of the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame, had an outstanding career as a player before starting his coaching career. He coached the Wethersfield Soccer Club from 1974 to 1994, winning 12 State Championships. He started at WHS as the Freshman Coach in 1983, before moving up to the Varsity in 1986, finishing with a 3-year record of 39-5-3. In his 7 years as Varsity Coach, his record was 78-28-8, winning the highly competitive CCC-West twice, being named CCC-West Coach of the Year in 1991, and coaching his team to the Class l State Championship in 1991, ranked 2nd in the State and 20th in the US. His 1992 squad was at one point in the season ranked #1 in the USA. Carrying on the tradition of an outstanding soccer program at Wethersfield, Vic developed and coached some outstanding players, helping to ensure Wethersfield’s place as a state-wide soccer power.
While coaching several other Town clubs, he was named Head Men’s Soccer Coach at Quinnipiac College. He remained there from 1993 to 2001, leading the team in transition from Division II to Division I.
From a career beginning in the Connecticut Soccer league in 1961 at age 14, going through Weaver and Hartford High Schools, Vic continues to give back to a sport he loves. He still lives in Wethersfield with his wife and besides his son also has a daughter, lori Rizza.
Distinguished Alumni Award - William Poirot ’63
Billy was an exemplary student athlete and team player while at Wethersfield High. Four years on the Student Council and numerous extra-curricular activities preceded the remarkable achievement of a perfect 1600 score on his SATs. A member of the Track team and the first ever Wrestling team under Coach Joe Cottone, Billy started the 1962 Football season as the 2nd string center. A pre-season injury led to his stepping up to starter and he ended up as the All-CCIl center on the first and only undefeated, untied Eagle Football team. He was a true friend to his teammates and maintained and valued those friendships throughout his life.
Billy continued his education at Bowdoin College where he played football for four years and did graduate work at Duke University. His first and only job was working at the Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts, first as a teacher and finally as an assistant head master. It wasn’t enough to help his students, Bill wrote articles aiding students everywhere on how best to achieve acceptance at the colleges of their choice.
As a young teacher, he was asked to help coach a football team that was in danger of folding. Before the season was over, the head coach was gone and Billy was the new head coach in addition to his teaching duties. Not knowing anything about coaching, he drew on his experience at WHS, especially the inspiration he received from his mentor, Coach Cottone. He stayed on “helping to coach” as Head Coach for 33 years with 2 undefeated seasons on his record.
Bill was the 2nd oldest son of a family of five sons, whose parents were active in the Town of Wethersfield. With his academic ability and record, Bill could have chosen and been a success at much more financially rewarding professions. Although not in Wethersfield, he followed the example set by his parents and coaches by giving back to his community. He chose to enter a field where he could truly affect young people in a direct positive way as he had been. Bill was married and had a son and a daughter.