Wethersfield Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame
2011 Hall of Fame
Joseph “Joe" Hallisey '43
Joe was an outstanding baseball player for Hall of Fame Coach George Ritchie for 2 years. He was an outstanding hitter playing both 2nd and 3rd base for the undefeated 12-0 1943 WHS team, which also featured Hallof-Famer Ed Nogas and pitching ace Paul “Head” Salling. He led the team in hitting with an outstanding .396 batting average while being one of the 3 homerun hitters.
This outstanding team naturally attracted major league baseball scouts and St. Louis Cardinal Head Scout Ray Dissinger was so impressed with Joe’s play that he invited him to the team’s major league tryout camp. With World War II going strong, Joe instead enlisted in the Army Air Corp.
Joe was discharged in 1946 and enrolled in Catholic University in Washington, D.C. In the era when freshmen weren’t allowed to play Varsity Ball and with a knee he tore up while in the service, Joe played shortstop and 3rd base for 3 years. An excellent fielder and career .300 hitter, Joe was Captain of the team as a Junior and a Senior and selected All-Conference. Joe graduated in 1951 with 2 degrees.
With his college career over, Joe played on the Wethersfi eld AC team in the Farmington Valley Baseball League with many former WHS standouts and in the highly competitive Hartford Twilight League where he was elected to their Hall of Fame.
Joe stills lives with his wife in Wethersfield where he founded Hallisey Engineering Associates. Joe has 6 children and 19 great grandchildren. Like his father, Joe Hallisey, Sr., who was a long time Coach for the Wethersfi eld American Legion Post 23 Team, Joe coached youth teams and imparted his vast knowledge of hitting and fi elding to many young baseball players of Wethersfield.
Arnold Lowe '44 (Posthumously)
Arnie was a Captain of the 1944 WHS Track Team which was 9-1 and the runner-up in the Class B State Championship. He was the State Class B Champ Miler with a time of: 43.4.
At that time, there was no State Open Track Championship. The premier track event at the time was the Memorial Day Greater Hartford Interscholastic. It was at this race that Arnie made a name for himself and Wethersfi eld. With an outstanding effort, Arnie defeated Ed Lemieux, the Hartford Public High mile record holder and 1944 State A Champion Miler aiming for his 3rd consecutive Greater Hartford title. In doing so, Arnie set a new Meet record of 4:28.2, knocking 15 seconds off his best time and setting a WHS record that would stand for more than 20 years.
After graduation, Arnie joined the Army and completed a 30 year career serving from France to Belgium to Germany in WWII and 30 years later to Vietnam, retiring in 1974 as a Command Sergeant Major. Arnie and his late wife Shirley (Bennett) WHS’46 had one daughter, 2 sons, 8 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Arnie had brothers Lloyd and Wendell, WHS ’43, both deceased. Arnie’s sister Elizabeth Stroebel, WHS ’53 lives in Colorado.
Unfortunately for us, Arnie passed away in April, 2010 while residing in Rockledge, Florida.
Frank Ramsay Jr. '50
Told by HOF Coach George Ritchie that he was too small as a sophomore and passed over again as a Junior, Frank, one of many great athletes from Rocky Hill to play for WHS while students here, was “discovered” playing for Coach Joe Hallisey Sr.’s American Legion team in the summer of 1949. Legion team mates WHS HOF Ron Kozuch ’52, Charlie Bossidy ’51 and Gordy Farr ‘51 strongly recommended Frank to WHS Baseball Coach Charlie Strom for the 1950 season.
“Fink” didn’t disappoint Coach Strom as he notched an 8-2 pitching record of the season’s 14 games and setting a new WHS season record with a 104 strikeouts. He led the team with a .429 batting average. In his fi rst high school start he outdueled Woodrow Wilson High’s (Middletown) future major league pitcher Joey Jay. That summer he fi nished up his Legion career with a total of 18 wins. This was enough to attract the attention of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization which signed him to a 5 year contract.Stops in Salisbury, N.C., Mayfi eld, KY, and Bristol, VA were followed by 2 years in the Army and then stops in Brunswick,GA, Baton Rouge and New Orleans and fi nally El Paso, Texas.
Frank notched 35 wins over the 3 years before hurting his throwing arm and leaving the Pirates organization, having risen to their AA club. The Wethersfi eld Hall of Fame is not the only one in which Frank is honored. In his rookie season with the Bristol, Virginia farm club, Frank and 2 of his team mates threw 5 no-hitters, a record recognized in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
After pitching 2 seasons in the Hartford Twilight League, and after a tryout at Muzzy Field in which he struck 8 in 3 innings, Frank was offered a $5,000.00 bonus by the Boston Red Sox in 1957. After serious deliberation, Frank decided it was time to get an education and a job and attended and graduated from University of Hartford with a BS in Marketing. He had a successful business career and retired from IBM.
In his retirement, Frank devoted his time to Golf and worked his handicap to a 4. Frank currently lives in Newington with his wife Loretta (Covey) WHS ’54. Frank had 2 sons (one deceased) and 2 daughters and 6 grandchildren (one deceased).
David Moore '73
Dave entered Wethersfield High in 1970 and immediately became the starting point guard for the 1970-71 Eagle Basketball team. Known for his pin point passing, fl ashy ball handling and free throw accuracy, Dave averaged 7.1 points per game as a sophomore in an 8-10 season.
Elected Captain as a Junior, he continued his point guard excellence with new back court mate Sophomore future WHS Hall of Famer Larry Ayres who averaged 15 points per game. Dave shot 76 % from the free throw line and led the team in free throws made while averaging 14.2 points per game over 20 games in a 10-10 season in which the Eagles were 2-9 at mid seasaon.
Captain again in his Senior year of ’72-’73, Dave and Larry lead the team to an 11-9 record. Dave averaged 13.5 points per game. He scored 16 points in losing to Norwalk 71-65 in Wethersfi eld’s fi rst round game in the State LL Tournament, the first appearance in the Tournament since the early ‘60’s.
Dave finished his career in 4th place in WHS career scoring with 666 points, behind Hall-of-Famers Jay Beal ’56 (963 from 1953-1956), Ron Morissette ’59 (824 from 1956-1959) and teammate Larry Ayres ’74 (671 from 1971-1973 with one more season to go) and ahead of Hall-of-Famer Billy Stewart ’60 (651 from 1957-1960). This was in the era before the 3-point shot was brought into the game. He fi nished as the career leader in free throws made with 178 and the unoffi cial leader in assists for a game (16), season (102) and career (302). He also holds the distinction of scoring the winning points in the longest game in WHS history, a 70-68 5 OT victory over Bristol Central.
Dave attended Central Connecticut State College and played Freshman Basketball and then transferred to and graduated from Southern Connecticut. He works at Hartford Insurance Group.Dave still is active as one of the most sought after basketball referees in high school interscholastic circles Dave and his wife have 2 children and live in Rocky Hill.
Joseph (Jay) Damato, Jr. '77
Jay had a tremendous 3 year Wrestling career at Wethersfield High. Starting in his Sophomore year in 1975, he had a 9-2 record in the CCIL (Central Connecticut Interscholastic League).
As a Junior, wrestling at 105 lbs., Jay went 17-2 in the CCIL. He followed the regular season with a 2nd Place fi nish in the State Class L Tournament helping the Eagles to a 3rd place fi nish in the Team standings. He then took 3rd Place in the State Open Championship.
Jay saved his best for his Senior year when as Captain he helped lead the WHS Wrestling Squad to the Class L State Title. He had an overall record that year of 32-2, undefeated in the CCIL, winning the Connecticut Class L 119 lb Championship and finishing 2nd in the Connecticut Open Championship.
As a Senior, Jay won the Hartford UNICO Brian Piccolo Award for outstanding athletic achievement. He also won the Joseph F. Cottone Wrestling Award and was selected a High School All-American.
Jay then attended Keystone Junior College in Pennsylvania and wrestled there for 2 years. He works for Westbrook Concrete Block, Inc., in Westbrook, CT. Jay now lives in Deep River, Connecticut with his wife and 2 children.
Troy Erickson '86
Troy enjoyed an outstanding 3 year Varsity Soccer Career as an outstanding Goalie. In his Sophomore year in 1983 Troy made the All-CCIL Team after helping lead the team to a 12-2-1 regular season record, helping the defense give up only 11 goals and recording 6 shutouts. The Eagles lost only to Hall and Glastonbury and fi nished 3rd in the always strong CCIL. This year the Eagles lost 1-0 in the 2nd round of the State Tournament to Bethel.
In 1984 Troy again made All-Conference and added All-State honors after helping the Eagles to a 11-2-3 record , losing only to Manchester and Glastonbury. The Team gave up 16 goals while recording 5 shutouts. In the State L Tournament, the Eagles won their fi rst 4 games and ended up Co-Champions with St. Paul’s of Bristol with a 1-1 tie after 2 over-times.
In the 1985 season in his Senior year, Troy recorded 11 shutouts as the Eagles went 11-4-2, fi nishing 3rd in the CCC West behind Hall and Glastonbury. In the State Tournament, the Eagles would lose to Guilford in the 2nd round. Troy capped his WHS Soccer career with All-CCC and All-State honors and a nomination as an All-American.
Troy then attended Duke University and continued his soccer career and was a member of the 1986 National Champion Soccer Team, the fi rst soccer championship in Duke’s history.
Troy is Director of UBS Wealth Management office in Boston. He and his wife Kerry have three children.
Mark Cunningham '95
Mark was a Varsity letter winner in both Golf and Hockey for all 4 years of his WHS career In Golf he held the fi rst spot in both his junior and senior years while being selected Co-Captain both years. He was All-Conference as a Junior and a Senior and made All-State as a Junior, one of five golfers selected. He was a member of the 1994 WHS Team that finished 2 strokes behind the State Division II Champions. He was a medalist in over 15 of his career matches, capturing his first as a sophomore with an even par 35. His career high school low was a 31.
While at Wethersfield, Mark was also Co-Captain of the Hockey Team during his Junior and Senior seasons. Making All-Conference as a Senior, Mark totaled 40 goals and 40 assists during his high school career. He was selected to Team Connecticut in his junior year for that age bracket and played as a Senior in the Connecticut Senior All-Star game.
Mark continued his education and golf career on a golf scholarship to Webber International University in Babson Park, Florida. In his 4 year career, he helped the Team to a #10 National Ranking.
After graduation and going through PGA School in the late ‘90’s, Mark became a Golf Professional in 2000. Playing in the North Florida PGA Section, he won 3 tournaments in both 2001 and 2002. He became a member of the PGA in 2007.
Mark lives in Cumberland, Rhode Island with his wife and 2 children. A teaching Professional, he is Director of Instruction at Golf Town in Seekonk, Massachusetts. In addition he keeps his interest in hockey as an Assistant Coach at Bishop Feehan High School.
Paul Sposito '97
Paul was a 3-Sport athlete at WHS, made All-CCC in each and was Captain of each his Senior year.
He played 4 years on Varsity Soccer, playing midfi eld but played Goalie his Junior year, the season WHS defeated Glastonbury, then ranked #1 in the USA, by a 4-3 score. He made All-Academic for 3 years and All-CCC his Senior year when he scored 15 goals and had 8 assists.
Paul played on the Wethersfield High Hockey Team all 4 years of High School career. His career progressed as WHS went 2-16 in his Freshman year of and improved to 12-7 in his sophomore year culminating with a trip to the State Tournament. Paul was selected a Captain as a Junior and the Team went 10-10 and went to the States. A Captain as a Senior , Paul helped lead the Team to a 16-7 record culminating with a loss in the State Tournament Division II Semi-fi nals 6-5.
Paul finished his WHS Hockey career with 176 career points, 2nd to fellow Hall-of-Famer and current WHS Assistant Coach Bryan Healy’s 179 point. Paul retired as the WHS Career Leader in assists with 104 to Healy’s 2nd place total of 92. Paul played and was Assistant Captain for the 65-4 Springfi eld Junior Olympic/Junior Coyotes organization under the late Coach Kevin Dineen.
Paul played 3 years of Varsity Baseball for coach Ken Soucey, playing 1st Base as a Sophomore and Junior and moving over to shortstop as a Senior. He again made All-Academic for 3 years and All-CCC his senior year when he led Team in hits and batting with a .465 average.
Paul went on to play Division I Hockey at Sacred Heart University where he met his future wife. He is Corporate Sales Manager at ADP and he and Rebecca have a 6 month old son Lucas and live in Rocky Hill.
Jackie Spellman '02
Jackie was a 4 year Varsity Soccer player playing in the always competitive CCC West Conference, playing on teams that compiled a 4 year record of 34-32-4 going to 4 State Tournaments reaching the quarter finals in 1998. After her sophomore season, she and team-mate Sarah Willin were selected to play with the U-16 Eagle Premier Soccer Team which travelled to Europe over the summer of 2000.
Jackie was selected to the All-CCC West team as a Junior and capped off her soccer career at WHS in her senior year as co-Captain with Sarah Willin by leading the team in scoring with 12 goals. She again was selected to the All-CCC West Team as well as the All-Academic Team. She was one of eleven players selected to the All-Herald First Team and selected to the All-State L First Team. While soccer was her first love, Jackie was also a hard-working scrappy basketball player for 4 years culminating in being elected a Co-Captain of the 2001-2002 Lady Eagles.
An honor roll student, Jackie attended Northeastern University in Boston for 4 years, graduating with honors with a degree in Business Marketing. At Northeastern, she was a defender for 4 years on their Division I Soccer Team, being selected to the All-Colonial Athletic Association Team in 2005.
At WHS Jackie coached in the youth soccer league for girls and spent time reading to younger kids. She continued this work at Northeastern in the Big Sisters Program. Jackie moved to Houston to take a job with the the NFL Houston Texans. One week later, she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) at age 24. She fought the disease courageously for 14 months before sucuumbing to the disease on April 28, 2009.
Her memory and spirit lives on through the Jackie Spellman Scholarship Foundation, which funds the means to aid students in need of financial assistance due to extreme financial burdens of leukemia within their family. This past July, 12 recipients received awards from the Foundation. Visit “jackiespellmanbenefit.org” for information.
Leah Steinmiller '03
Leah is a 3rd generation WHS student athlete, following her Grandfather Charles Steinmiller ’41, a Varsity basketball player and Dad Gary Steinmiller ’72 , an All-CCIL 3rd baseman. Aunts, uncles, cousins and her brother Mark ’05, another golfer, were also WHS athletes.
Deciding to play golf over softball as a Freshman in 2000, Leah played in the top spot all season, leading the Lady Eagles to a 6-1 CCIL record, losing only to Hall High. The Eagles fi nished 13-4 with Leah being medalist in half of the 12 matches she played. With a 49 average, Leah made All-State 2nd Team.
As a Sophomore, Leah dropped her average to 45, finished 2nd in the State Tournament and 7th in the New England Tournament. She attained All-State First Team honors. In her Junior year her average would drop to 42. Finishing 7th in both the State and New England Tournaments, Leah was named Connecticut High School Girls Golf League Player of the Year and once again was named to the All-State First Team. That summer she won 3 Canon GHO Junior Series Tournaments, shooting a 73 at Tunxis Plantation CC. She won the CWGA Girls Junior Championship at Watertown Golf Club, shooting a 2nd round 76 to win the tournament by 2 strokes. She then capped off her WHS golf career in her Senior year by winning the first ever CIAC sanctioned Girls Golf State Championship, shooting a 6 over par 78 at Avon CC and once again earned All-State First Team honors.
At Central Connecticut State, Leah was named NEC (Northeast Conference) Player of the Week 5 times during her Varsity Career. She was named to the All-NEC Team in both 2005 and 2006.
Leah is married to Chuck Nowicki, a Golf Superintendent for American Golf at Manson Ridge in New York. She is working toward PGA Teaching Professional status and working at AppleRidge in New Jersey.
Robert “Rob" Brickley '05
Rob was an outstanding soccer player on some outstanding soccer teams in his 4 year WHS Varsity career. He holds the school record for assists. He scored 25 career goals, 16 as a Senior in 2004, the second State Champion Team he played on, the fi rst being the 2002 Team.
With All-State Recognition as both a Junior in 2003 and as a Senior in 2004, he was also selected to the All-New England team both seasons. In addition to being named 2004 Connecticut Junior Soccer Association Player of the Year, Rob was named a 2004 Scholastic All-American and also to the 2004 NSCAA All-American Team. After a year at Loomis-Chafee, Rob red-shirted as a UCONN freshman.
As a Freshman in 2007, Rob was named to the Big East Academic All-Star Team. As a Sophomore , Rob played in all 22 games, making 19 starts. As a Junior, he played in all 19 games, making 17 starts and again earning Big East All-Academic honors. As a Co-Captain of the 2010 squad, Rob played midfi elder and led a tremendous defense for the Big East Champions who rose to #6 in the national rankings, but lost on penalty kicks in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament.
A 2011 UCONN Honors Graduate, he was a member of the 2011 “4.0 Athletic Club”. Rob graduated with a BCE Degree---Bachelors in Civil Engineering. Rob’s Mom, Ann Miller Brickley, WHS ’72, was an outstanding Gymnast and co-Captain of the fi rst WHS team with a winning record.
Rob has just started a job that will take him to Nigeria. He will be involved in a program that will interview and test and prepare high school age soccer players for a program that will help them receive a college education in the United States through scholarships so that they can return to their country and in turn help others.
Monique Hodges 'O5
Monique started her Track career at WHS in the fast lane and finished even faster. In 2003, as a sophomore, she fi nished 1st with a time of 11.8 in the 100m in the 72nd Greater Hartford Invitational at Trinity College and then finished 3rd in the State Open and 2nd in the New England Meet . She made All-CCC, All-Herald, All-State and All-Academic. As a Junior in 2004, Monique won the 100 m in the New England Meet with a time of 11.90 to Wilbur Cross’ star runner Shantea Calhoun’s 11.91, setting a WHS school record. Her success continued in her Senior year as she was selected again All-CCC, All-State Class L and All-New England as she won the 55m in all 3 races with a school record of 7.11. She also holds WHS records in the 100m (11.9), 200m (25.02) and as a member of the 4 X 100 relay (49.7).
Monique attended UCONN on a full 4-year track scholarship. She had an outstanding career there on some Big East, New England and ECAC Championship teams.and holds the 3rd fastest 100m women’s dash time (11.6). the 2nd fastest 4x200 relay time and the school record for the 4x100 relay team. Her other best times there were 60m (7.43), 200m (24.57), 4x100m (44.42). She was Senior Captain of the Indoor and Outdoor Track Teams, was awarded the Senior Athlete Award and was named to the Big East All-Academic Team.
Monique graduated from the UCONN School of Business as a Marketing major. She livesin Wethersfi eld and works as a K-12 Account Manager for CDW, an industry leading solutions provider.
Coach Jeff Schumann '74
At Wethersfield High, Jeff was a 3 year member of the Swim Team and Captain in his senior year. He attended the University of Rhode Island where attained All-New England and All-East recognition in both Swimming and Water Polo.
He returned to Wethersfield High as a teacher and a Coach and had an overall record of 99-20-2, a winning percentage of .832. Jeff was the Boy’s Varsity Swim Coach from 1980-1984. During that period, his teams had a record of 45-13 with 3 CCIL Championships. He coached over 40All-CCIL swimmers, over 15 All-State Swimmers, 3 of whom were State Champions and 2 who were State Record Holders. Included in this group was also one All-American Swimmer.
In 1983, he took over coaching the Varsity Girls Swim Team. His 5 year record was 44-7-2 including one undefeated season and a 23 meet winning streak over parts of 2 seasons. Under Jeff’s coaching, the Team won 2 CCIL Championships. He had over 45 All-CCIL and over 25 All-State Swimmers.
After a 17 year career in Wethersfield, he left to pursue opportunities in Newington where he has served as the high school Vice-principal, middle school Principal and currently serves as the Deputy Superintendent of Schools. He earned a PhD in Educational Leadership at UCONN and he was recognized as the 2010 Outstanding School Administrator by the NEASC School of Education and Governor Jodi Rell.
Jeff lives in Newington with his wife Joan (Von Achen) a WHS Graduate and former WHS teacher. They have 4 grown children.
Millard H. Mason '45
Mill was a 3 sport athlete at WHS playing 4 years of Varsity Soccer, 2 of Basketball and 3 of Baseball, all for HOF ( Hall of Fame) Coach George Ritchie. His WHS basketball and baseball careers were cut short when Mill left school to join the Army Air Corps during WWII in November, 1944. As a junior, Mill and fellow HOF Bob Parsons ’45 each scored 4 goals leading the Wethersfield Soccer Team to a 7-0-2 record. As a senior, Mill and Ed Kalmin and Bob Priddy each scored 7 goals with Parsons chipping in with 6 leading WHS to a 9-1 record in 1944. He played guard on the Basketball Team helping his team mate Parsons to a record setting 255 points for the season during his Junior year of 1943-44.
It was baseball, however, that was Mill’s favorite sport. As a sophomore on the undefeated 12-0 1943 WHS squad, he played 1st base while fi elding 1.000. and hitting .300. With pitching aces HOF Ed Nogas and Paul “Head” Salling each recording 5-0 records, Mill pitched 20 1/3 innings giving up 9 hits and 8 walks and striking out 19 and recording a 2-0 record. In his Junior year, Nogas and Salling having graduated, Mill became the ace of the staff recording a 9-0 record leading Wethersfield to an 11-1 record in 1944. Mill was elected Captain for the 1945 Squad.
After his discharge, Mill continued his athletic career while attending Springfi eld College where he played both Soccer and Baseball and was Captain of both teams. He graduated with a BS Degree in 1952 and taught and coached in Milo Maine for one year before becoming Athletic Director and Coach at the new Wethersfi eld High School until his retirement in 1986. Mill is already in the Hall of Fame as a Coach .
Mill and his late wife raised 5 children in Town. He has 10 grandchildren and one great grand child.
1970 CCIL Championship Football Team
The glory days of the power house football teams of the ‘60’s with records of 5-2-1 in the inaugural season of 1960, 6-2 (1961), 8-0 (1962), 6-1-1 (1963), 7-1 (1964), 7-1 (1965) while “slipping” to 5-3 (1966) and 4-4 (1967) were becoming vague memories in Wethersfield. The 1968 Team suffered through eight consecutive losses and the 1969 Team recorded another seven losses before winning their last game of the season. It would have been easy for the the members of the classes of ’71 and ‘72 who suffered through this bleak period of Eagle football to just give up. They didn’t give up or give in.
With veteran Coach Joe Cottone hospitalized before the fi rst game, a group of young assistants took over, Joe Klinger, John Hegenbart and WHS Legend and Trinity MVP Mike Cancellieri, with an occasional visit by another Eagle Legend and Indiana star, Kevin Duffy.
The offense was high lighted by the running and passing of QB “Duke” Byrne, the running of co-Captains All-CCIL Fitzgibbons and Settino, Fields, Burton and Bob Piacentini and the pass-receiving of“Snake” Buersmeyer and Mattison behind the blocking of Tom Piacentini, Kolakowski, Czaja, Wilcox, DellaRipa, Lombardo, Gregg and Franchi who was lost for the season after blowing out his knee in the Hall game. This offense controlled the clock with long time consuming drives. The stingy Eagle defense, the signature of Coach Cottone’s teams of the past, lead by All-CCIL players Martin and DellaRipa and Czaja, Pasternak, “Tonga” Vicino, Downing,O’Keefe, Kennedy, Cassasanta, Bordieri, Lipes, Settino, Buersmeyer, Salerno and Berthold, who was later lost to injury, held 5 teams to one TD while creating numerous turnovers. Their ability to never give up and come from behind in their last 5 games was key to several victories especially Win #5, scoring in the final 39 seconds of the Bristol Eastern game to win 30-27. The signature moment, however, in the last game of the season with the return of their beloved Coach Cottone. Down 8-6, the Defense held Platt at the Eagle nine yard line and then undertook “The Drive”—a 91 yard march down the fi eld culminating in a Byrne TD and a Fitzgibbons 2 point conversion to make the score 14-8 with 4 minutes to play. The Defense stepped up and a Bordieri interception stopped any chance for Platt. The Eagles had returned to the top—they were CCIL Champs for the 5th time in 11 years.
1945/46 Class B State Championship Track Teams
The State Championship run of the first WHS State Champion Track Team started with the 1944 State “B” runner-up team which featured outstanding State Mile B and Greater Hartford Invitational Champ, Hall of Famer Arnie Lowe ’44 and State B Shot Put Champ Cliff Maynard ’44 (42’1”) and High Jump Champ Don McKelvie ’45 (5’8”). Coached by Harry McKniff and Captained by Don McKelvie (high jump, shot put and discus) and Howie McKee (broad jump and sprints), the 1945 WHS Track Team went down to Yale University and won the State B Track Championship. They did it the hard way though as many of the 1945 graduating seniors had already left to enter the Armed Forces, among them Broad Jumpers Fred Gunn, the the 4th place finisher in the 1944 Greater Hartford Invitational as a Junior, and Howie McKee, who left with 2 meets left in the season after jumping 22’ ½”, just 6” short of Hall of Fame’s Anthony Fon Eisen’s record. Don McKelvie (Shot-42’6 ¾”), Al Root (Pole Vault-9’9”), McKelvie and Eddie Lyman (High Jump-5’9”), Dick Rouse (880-2:06.2), Don Wolford (Mile-4:42.4) and the 880 Relay Team all were 1st Place fi nishers in the State Meet, while Root, McKelvie, Bob Priddy, Joe Ventura, Royal Ramsdell who would set the 440 State B record in 1947, Ray Chouinard and Carver Standish all placed in other events to help the Squad win its fi rst State Title.. In 1946, under new Coaches Larry Wilson and Charley Strom and with Wolford besting the B Meet Record set in 1935 in the mile with a 4:36.1 time and Hall of Famer Richard Ruglio taking fi rst place in the Broad Jump, the Squad had to depend on a lot of strong finishes by others. Ventura, Ramsdell, John Blunt, Bob Korten, Priddy,Ruglio who set a new WHS javelin record with a toss of 156’ during the regular season, Bill McKelvie who broke his brother’s WHS discus record with a throw of 114’11” during the regular season, and the 880 Relay Team all came through to give WHS the State Title by a mere point.
2001 State Championship Girls Gymnastics Team
Coached by Hall of Fame Coach Ginny McNamara and former WHS Gymnast and now Assistant Coach Kate Gorman ’93, the 2001 Gymnastic Team culminated an outstanding 3 year run with an undefeated season. In 1999, the Team fi nished 3rd in the State Championship, followed by a runner-up finish in 2000. In 2001, they put it over the top by winning the State Championship. The 3 Seniors on the Team, Tessa Truex, Liz Napolitano and Carey Haslam lost a total of 2 meets in their 3 year careers.
Erica Forrest was consistently strong on beam and floor, Kaitlin Long’s strength was the bars, Emma Mullen was strong on vault while Lauren Muscarella could be counted on in both vault and bars. The strength of the Team was that 5 members, Annie Bordieri, Casey Corcoran, Ashley Diana, Liz Napolitano and Truex competed all-around. They went into the competition seeded #1 which gave the team Olympic rotation, i.e., they got to compete last on the floor exercise, their best event.
While also winning the CCC West Title, the Team captained by Truex set a school scoring record of 141.3.
Attaining All-League honors were Bordieri, Corcoran, Diana, Kaitlin Long, Emma Mullen, Liz Napolitano and Truex.
Named to the All-State First Team was Bordieri, Corcoran and Liz Napolitano, while Diana, Mullen and Truex were named to the All-State Second Team.
Bordieri went on to participate in gymnastics in college, while Truex concentrated on diving. Ashley Diana is the current WHS Gymnastics Coach and just recently Lauren Muscarella married Hall of Famer Andrew Salak ’00, an outstanding tennis player inducted in 2006.
"Bohdan Kolinsky" Distinguished Alumni Award presented by Jill Kolinsky
Edwin H. May III '66
Ted is the son of Ed May , WHS ’42, a 3-sport athlete who was inducted into WAAHOF in 2002. Ed was one of the founders of the Insurance City Open Golf Tournament (ICO) in 1952. That Tournament has raised more than $28,000,000 for Connecticut charities thru the Greater Hartford Jaycees.
Ted was a member of the WHS Golf Team under Hall of Fame Coach Rod Cyr. A member of the National Honor Society and active in student government and activities, he attended Williams College where he was Co-Captain of the Golf Team his senior year when the Team won the New England Championship and qualifi ed for the 1970 NCAA Championship held at Ohio State University.
After graduation, Ted worked for Phoenix Insurance and later started his own insurance business. In 1985, he formed May, Bonee & Walsh, an insurance and financial services company in Glastonbury.
Ted continued his father’s charitable works in the mid-70’s by becoming a volunteer at the GHO Tournament . He was Chairman of the Tournament in 1983—“The Last Blast”—and helped facilitate the move to TPC River Highlands in Cromwell. Since 1982 he has served on the Tournament Management Committee and now the Greater Hartford Community Foundation and has served as the Liason between the PGA’s Tour and and Connecticut’s PGA Tour events. He has been recognized along with several others as being key people in keeping the Tournament in Cromwell, thus ensuring funding for the Jaycees’ charitable works.
Active since the ‘80’s in national PGA Tour activities between Tournament Sponsors and the PGA and the players, in the 1990’s he originated The First Tee of Hartford, Inc. First Tee is a statewide non-profi t youth development organization that uses golf instruction as its vehicle to teach life skills and character development to children. More than 50,000 youths have benefitted from the in-school instruction, group lessons, regional teams and scholarships that First Tee sponsors.
Ted and his wife Debbie live in Wethersfield. They have 2 sons and a daughter and recently became grandparents of twins Cormac James and Reece Hyland.
WAAHOF Wethersfield Distinguished Citizen Award Judy Keane
Judy Murphy Keane, a lifelong resident of Wethersfield, is the widow of Richard Keane, one of the almost 3,000 victims who died in the 9-11-2001 Attacks. Dick, a Vice President at Marsh & McLellan died in the collapse of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Judy, a mother of 5 boys, four of whom are WHS graduates, and a nurse by training, has taken this senseless tragedy and turned it into something good for her Town of Wethersfield and more importantly for the children of Wethersfield.
With the memory of Dick’s love of sports and the countless number of Wethersfield kids he coached in various sports over the years, Judy and her Committee raised over $1,500,000 and spent countless hours to turn such a negative happening into a tremendous positive for her Community. What has been created is the 9/11 Memorial Sports Center honoring the memory of Dick and two other Wethersfield residents who died at the World Trade Center, Jeffrey Bittner, 27,and David Winton, 29.
The Center is located in this very building in which we are honoring Judy and the others—the Pitkin Community Center. The Sports Center was created from a dilapidated shell into a thing of beauty. In addition to the gymnasium and fitness room, there are computers and meeting rooms for special education and studying. Everything is there with the aim of helping children to help themselves to improve and to have a sense of worth. Judy isn’t one who just gets something going and then walks away. She is very hands on and it is not unusual to see her at the Sports Center 40 hours each week.
Thanks Coach Cottone from the 1970 CCIL CHAMPIONSHIP EAGLES FOOTBALL TEAM
Growing up in Wethersfield, many of the 1970 WHS Football Team recall watching the early 1960’s powerhouse WHS teams winning 4 CCIL Titles while compiling a .774 winning percentage for their first 8 seasons thru 1967. Coach Joe Cottone was the Founding Father and guiding force behind these great teams, highlighted by “….my best team ever…” the undefeated 1962 8-0 CCIL Champs.
In 1968 and 1969 with declining student athlete interest, WHS Football teams lost 15 consecutive games, one more than the total losses for the fi rst 8 years, before fi nally winning the last game of the 1969 season. Still displaying the great sportsmanship and integrity that he was known for, Coach Cottone kept preaching his “never give up” philosophy. Coach encouraged the players of the upcoming 1970 Team to work hard in the off season and that that hard work would translate into success.
Despite all the hard off season work, the 1970 Eagles found themselves in serious trouble, when just before their first game of the season, Coach Cottone was hospitalized. The media questioned how could WHS defeat their rival Conard, which had defeated them the previous 2 years 51-0 and 35-6.
With Assistant Coaches Joe Klinger, Mike Cancelliere and John Hegenbart taking over, the Eagles knocked off the Chieftans 15-6. Immediately after the game, the team went to the hospital to tell Coach Cottone the good news. He flashed them his famous “victory smile “ that hadn’t been seen in a while.
The joy didn’t last long the Eagles lost that game and the following one against Manchester. Things did not look good until the Eagles won the next game against Windham to even their record at 2-2 and gain 2 nd place in the CCIL.
The reinspired Eagles then won their next 3 games against Maloney and Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern to fi nd themselves in 1st place going into their fi nal game against Platt on November 14,1970.
With Coach Cottone back on the sidelines, the Eagles found themselves down 8-6 at halftime. Coach Cancelliere, then gave “a memorable explicit pep talk”, and the Eagle defense then went back and shut out the Platt offense while the Eagle offense scored another TD to go ahead 14-8. With less than a minute left, the crowd was chanting, “We’re #1” for the fi rst time in a long time.
Coach Cottone’s philosophy that he taught that “…football is the game of life…you’ll get knocked down many times and each time you have to get back up and get back in the game…never give up…” was the guiding light. Coach Cottone had his 5th CCIL Title in 11 seasons.
The 1970 Team reversed a horrendous 2 year trend in WHS football. They could have just tired of losing and just quit, but they chose the harder path and fought back. As Coach was quoted in the press, “I’m proud of this team, they went from rock bottom to first place.” They set the path for Coach Cottone’s next 3 seasons when his teams won at a .629 percentage thru 1973, his final season and helped him end his WHS career with a record of 72-41-3, a .637 winning percentage.
Coach Cottone coached with the same integrity thru great seasons and bad and imparted the same values of dedication, hardwork and sportsmanship to all his teams and players. The 1970 Football Team representsCoach’s values to the maximum and they in turn proudly dedicate their Induction to him, his family and his memory. He was a great Coach, a great Teacher and a Man of great integrity.