Photo not available Richard “Red” Whalen '28
Richard was voted the Best Athlete in the Class of 1928. A leader on and off the field, he was described as being a “loyal, just and upright gentleman”. As captain of the basketball team, he lead the Eagles to the Central Valley League title, the school’s first basketball championship. Red also starred on the baseball and soccer teams, displaying his skills as an all around athlete and sportsman.
When not participating in sports, Richard was actively involved in the student community. He was a member of the Student Council, Secretary of the Debate Club, Property Manager for the production of the Senior Play and served as President of the Athletic Council.
Richard’s accomplishments as a scholar athlete, the respect and admiration shown him by his classmates and his willingness to contribute to all aspects of high school life represent the qualities upon which the tradition of WHS athletics was founded.
Robert Grabner ‘'56
Robert was one of the early contributors to Wethersfield’s rich tradition of Track & Field excellence. A fine all around athlete, Robert was at his best on the track. While a very good sprinter, he was an outstanding half miler. In 1954, Bob was the outdoor half mile State Champion and as team captain in 1955, he was the indoor half mile State Champion runner-up.
A three year member of the Eagles soccer team, Bob played on the 1954 and 1955 state champion teams.
Bob resides with his family in North Falmouth, MA.
Ri c h a R d he i m g a R t n e R '67
Dick joins his brother, Bob ‘64, as the first siblings inducted into the Hall of Fame. An excellent three sport athlete in his own right, Dick was the consummate team player.
A skilled running back in football, capable of breaking a long run at any moment, Dick helped the 1965 and 1966 teams to winning seasons, including the 1965
CCIL Championship. In 1966, he finished in the Top 10 state wide in scoring and was named to the All-CCIL Offensive Team.
Dick played a major role in leading the WHS basketball team to winning seasons in 1966 and 1967. As co- captain in 1967 and named to the All-Conference team, his play making and scoring helped the Eagles qualify for the state tournament.
On the baseball field, Dick was a solid hitter who contributed to the team’s’ success offensively and defensively. A co-captain in 67, he continued to demonstrate his leadership skills and commitment to excellence. Dick completed his outstanding senior year, by being voted to his third All-Conference team and being named the Best Athlete in his class.
Dick and his wife, Jodie, continue to be long time Wethersfield residents.
Robert Gentino '72
Bob began his superb wrestling career as at Wethersfield in 1969. Wrestling in the
112 pound class and nicknamed the “squirrel” by his teammates, Bob combined speed, strength and technique to compile one of the best career records in school history. He earned three varsity letters and was a co-captain of the 1971-72 squad. At the state championship level, Bob’s achievements included second place in the 1971
State Sectional meet and fourth in the State Open. Bob followed his successful junior season by winning the State Sectional Championship in 1972 and finishing second in the State Open. His only loss of the season coming in the State Open final match.
Bob graduated summa cum laude from UCONN in 1976. Before pursuing his law degree at Cornell, he served as the Plainville High School wrestling coach. In 1980, upon receiving his law degree, Bob moved to California to start his own law firm, where he still practices today. Recently married to Tina Tian, he is the proud stepfather of their daughter, Anita.
John Campanello '‘73
John was an outstanding sprinter on the Eagle track & field team. He holds school records in the 100 yard dash and the 440. He also helped set school records as a member of the 4 x 220 and 4 x 440 relay teams.
In 1972, John won the CCIL Championship in the 440. As team captain in 1973, he won the 220 and 440 CCIL Championships, as well as being crowned the 440 champion at the Greater Hartford Track & Field Meet. He also finished 6th at the State Class LL Meet. John received the Alan R. McGuenes Memorial Award, given to a member of the track team who excels in both leadership and performance.
A two year starter on the football team, on offense and defense, John served at team captain his senior year. He was also a member of the 1970 CCIL Championship team.
John attended CCSU where he was a three year starter on the football team and also earned three varsity letters in track and served as a tri-captain his senior year. He also received the Gladstone Award, voted on by all CCSU coaches and given to the most outstanding senior male student athlete.
John is currently employed by the town of Wethersfield as a physical education teacher and is WHS’s head football coach. He and his wife, LouAnn, reside in Newington.
Steve Grossomanides '‘82
Steve holds the distinction of being Wethersfield’s first soccer player named to the Connecticut Soccer Coaches Association All New England Team. Only six other WHS players have earned this honor.
Over his three year varsity career, Steve scored 30 goals and was selected to two All-CCIL teams. As an All State and All New England selection, he helped lead the 1981 Eagles to an undefeated regular season record of 13-0-2, the CCIL Co-Championship (with Simsbury), a number 4 state ranking and a berth in the State Class LL Tournament. The Eagles terrific season came to an end in the semi-finals, to arch-rival and eventual state champion, Simsbury 1-0.
Steve is a SCSU graduate, where he played soccer under Coach Bob Dikranian. He moved to south Florida in 1990 and is currently the Owner and President of the Premier Recycling Group Inc. Steve lives in Boca Raton with his wife, Deanna, and their daughter, Ella.
Lisa Kogut Yeaton '‘86
One of Wetherfield’s finest field hockey players, Lisa was a three time All-CCC se- lection and a two time co-captain under Hall of Fame coach, Elaine Boldi. In 1985, Lisa was named to the CT All State first team and helped lead Wethersfield to the state tournament, where the Eagles defeated South Windsor in the first round before bowing out to Enfield in overtime.
Lisa was also an excellent tennis player, who during her four year varsity career competed in singles as well as doubles and as an upperclassman earned all conference honors. In addition, to her performance on the field of play, she was actively involved in WHS student life as a member of the Foreign Language Club, the Leaders Corp and as Secretary of the Student Council.
A graduate of Providence College and currently employed by the Boston firm of Ropes & Gray LLP, Lisa resides in Canton, MA with her his husband, Chip, and their four children.
Lori Santos Rizza '‘88
Among WHS’ many outstanding female soccer players, Lori is considered one of the best offensive players to ever wear a Wethersfield uniform. Named to the All CCC West and CT Coaches All State Teams as a junior and senior, she led the Eagles in scoring and assists both years.
As one of the school’s career leaders in both goals scored and assists, Lori’s performance during the 1986 season, helped lead Wethersfield’s 1986 Hall of Fame team to a State Championship.
Lori continued her soccer career at Keene State College, where she appeared in three Division II Final Four games and two National Finals and was named to the 1990 All-Tournament Team. Following graduation, she went on to serve as an assistant coach for the U of H Women’s Soccer Team that reached the Division I Final Four. Lori proudly joins her father and brother in the Hall of Fame, as they become the “first family of WHS soccer”.
Bob Freitas ‘'91
One of the best guards in the history of WHS basketball, Bob was a three year All Conference Selection. He captained Wethersfield during his junior and senior years and led the Eagles to the 1991 state quarter finals. As a senior, Bob was named to the Hartford Courant and New Haven Register All State Teams.
Bob was a prolific scorer, averaging over 300 points per season while totaling 987 career points. During his senior season, he in moved into second place among WHS’ all time scoring leaders, ahead of Hall of Famer Jay Beal ‘56 and just behind Hall of Famer Larry Ayers ‘74.
He continued his basketball career at St Thomas Moore prep and as Captain led his team to a 25-0 record and the Class A New England Prep Championship. At North Adams College, Bob was a 4 year starter and captained the Trailblazers for three years. He was named to the MASCAAC All Conference team his senior year. Upon graduation, he went onto play professionally in Finland.
Bob is currently the head basketball coach at Springfield Technical Community College and is employed by the Hartford Insurance Company. He and is wife, Elizabeth, reside in Wethersfield with their three children.
Bethany Scata '‘97
Few female athletes have possessed the heart and competitive spirit demonstrated by Bethany during her marvelous career at WHS. A terrific two sport athlete in basketball and soccer, she used her speed, athleticism and knowledge of the game to help her teams succeed.
As a midfielder and back, Bethany was a three year starter on the soccer team. Her defensive skills and desire to excel, played a big part in the 1994 State Championship season.
On the basketball court, Bethany ranks as the girls all time leader in assists. A four year starter and three year All-Conference Selection, she Captained the 96-97 team to the Division Title and a perfect 14-0 regular season record. Her outstanding dribbling, passing, defensive and leadership skills are just some of the reasons Bethany takes her place among the best female basketball players in WHS history.
Bethany went onto Emanuel College in Boston, where she continued her basketball career.
Kate O'Keefe '‘00
An excellent all around athlete, Kate earned ten varsity letters, four each in soccer and basketball and two in softball. During her senior year, she captained the soccer, basketball and softball teams, as well as, earning All CCC West Division honors in each sport.
One of Wethersfield’s most honored female athletes, Kate received honorable mention recognition on the Courant All State Soccer Team. She was also named to the CT High School Softball Coaches All Star Team, the New Britain Herald All Region Basketball Team and was named the Best Female Athlete in the class of 2000. An outstanding scholar as well, Kate was a member of the National Honor Society.
Kate continued her education at Fordam University, where she played collegiate soccer. She currently is a special education teacher at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Middletown, CT.
John Hegenbart, Head Football Coach
A 1969 graduate of Springfield College, John began his sixteen year career as Wethersfield’s Head Football Coach in 1989. John followed many of the coaching principles of Eagle Hall of Fame Coach, Joe Cottone. That meant his teams were always well prepared, disciplined, aggressive and competitive.
His organization skills, coaching style and love for his players resulted in a number of Wethersfield’s players making all-conference teams, as well as several all-state teams, including Hall of Fame quarterback, Charlie Bowes.
John amassed over 100 wins as the Eagle Head Coach, including 12 winning seasons in one of the most competitive divisions in the CCC. In addition, his record against arch rival Newington on Thanksgiving Day is unmatched at 11-4-1, including 10 in a row.
After a 35 year career as a teacher and coach, John has retired to Ellsworth, ME with his wife, Barbara.
Boys Soccer Team '49
Boys Soccer Team '75
Bohdan Kolinsky Distinguished
Thomas Gworek DDS ‘51
Born and raised in Wethersfield, Tom has been actively involved in our community since his high school days as a young scholar athlete. At WHS he became an active member of the student council, served as president of his junior class, represented the school at Boys State and was captain of the basketball team.
Upon graduation he attended Tufts College for both his undergraduate and doctoral degrees. Tom went on to serve in the Navy for two years and in 1959 he opened his dental practice in Wethersfield, where he still practices today.
Tom has given unselfishly in variety of areas to the town’s citizens and youth for many decades. He has served as a Cub Scout Pack leader at Emerson Williams, a Little League manager and a youth soccer coach. In addition, Tom was a Board of Education member for seven years and served as president of the Corpus Christi Church Men’s Club. He also is part of a group providing free dental care for low income residents, through the town’s Social Services Department.
His charitable works have also taken Tom to other communities, where he has served as a docent at the New Britain Museum of American Art and has helped serve meals to the homeless at the Immaculate Conception Shelter in Hartford. He has also been actively involved in bringing lower cost dental care statewide through the Dental Practice Association of CT, an IPA he helped incorporate.
Tom resides in Wethersfield with his wife Gloria and together they are the proud parents and grandparents of seven children and eleven grandchildren.
Hall of Fame Scholarship Winners 2013
As a three sport athlete, Daniel captained the Cross Country, Basketball and Track teams his senior year. His excellent performance as a Cross Country competitor, earned Daniel All Conference honors his junior and senior years. In addition to being a fine student, Daniel has volunteered his time in the community to coach boys and girls basketball, refereeing basketball and flag football and umpiring little league baseball. He has been described by faculty members as a role model in both the academic and athletic community. Daniel is attending the Wentworth Institute of Technology.
James R. McDunnah
A student athlete of the highest order, James played football and wrestled. As a wrestler, he won the 2013 Class L Championship and was the 2013 State Open Runner-up. He was named to three Hartford Courant Wrestling Teams and three All Conference Wrestling Teams. In addition to serving as the wrestling team’s captain in 2012 and 2013, he also received the Joseph Cottone Award both years. A member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and the National English Honor Society, James represents the best of WHS’ scholar athletes. He is attending Penn State University.
As class Valedictorian and a champion swimmer, Kristina possesses many of the same scholar athlete qualities her Hall of Fame mother, Maria Kokinis Tougas ‘81’ demonstrated during her career at WHS. A three time All State Swimmer and the 2011 & 2012 Class M State Champion in the 100 Yard Butterfly, Kristy also holds the school record in the 100 Butterfly, 200 Freestyle and the 200 & 400 Freestyle Relays. In the academic arena, she was named a CIAC Female Scholar Athlete, a National Merit Scholar Finalist and a member of the Academic All American Swim Team. Kristina is attending Columbia University.