Wethersfield Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame
2008 Hall of Fame
Michael Paul Fitzsimmons '77: Mike excelled in both ice hockey and baseball. An outstanding hockey player, he was a team captain his senior year and led the team in scoring. He was named to the All-League ice hockey team for all 3 years. In baseball, he was the team’s leading pitcher, compiling a three year record of 15-4. He also had a 1.84 ERA and averaged 9.6 strikeouts per game. His career batting average was .370. He was a gold key recipient in both ice hockey and baseball.
Matthew Gorman '74: A three sport athlete at Wethersfield High School, Matt played football, basketball and baseball. Matt was the starting quarterback of the football team his junior and senior year. As co-captain his senior year, he led the team to a 6-3-1 team record beating Buckley in the school’s first Thanksgiving Day game. He was named to the All League Team his senior year. In basketball, he was the starting point guard his senior year as the team posted a 13-7 record qualifying for the State Tournament. He was also an outstanding performer in baseball attaining All League honors his junior and senior year as a pitcher. In his senior year, he had a 5-4 win-loss record as a pitcher with a .98 ERA. He also played the outfield and was co-captain of the team. In his senior year he was honored as a scholar athlete by the Northern Connecticut Chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame. He continued his baseball career as a pitcher for Princeton University, co captaining the team his senior year.
Sheryl (Basque) Grills '81: Sherri was an outstanding three sport athlete at Wethersfield High School. In field hockey, she was a three year starter as a midfielder. In her senior year, the field hockey team won the State Championship and she was named to the All-League First Team. She was a starting forward on the girls basketball team which was the League runner-up her senior year. In softball, she played centerfield and was an outstanding clean-up hitter. She was named to the All-League Team her senior year. She captained her field hockey and basketball teams in her senior year. She continued her athletic career at Mitchell College where she was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association All New England Team in field hockey and softball. IN 1983, she was honored as the Outstanding Female Athlete at Mitchell College.
John L. King '51: During his High School career he played three sports: soccer, basketball and baseball. In soccer, he was starting forward on the 1950 State Championship Team. He ended the season leading the team with 12 goals. In basketball, he excelled at guard and his 1951 team won a record 16 games during the season. The team ended up being ranked 4th in the State in Class B. He was a catcher on the baseball team and had a .300 batting average in his junior and senior season. John had a full scholarship to Nicholas Junior College where he continued his athletic career. He played forward and was co-captain of the soccer team setting a school scoring record of 19 goals as a freshman. He averaged 10 points per game as a guard on the basketball team and was catcher and co-captain of the baseball team with a batting average of .325. After college, he continued playing basketball with the Fort Hood team, the Wethersfield Merchants, Goodwin Park and in the Industrial Park League where he was a teammate of “Bobby Knight:.
Kelly (Isleib) Pannofino '92: Kelly was a three sport athlete. During her athletic career at Wethersfield, she had the distinction of lettering in all three sports for four years. In soccer, she was primarily a defensive player who scored a 50yard goal in a 2-0 tournament game against East Lyme. In her senior year, she was tri captain of her team and was selected to the Girls All State Soccer Team. In basketball, she was a power forward who was very quick and aggressive. One of her most memorable moments was having to guard former UCONN standout Nykeshia Sales in one of her games. In track and field, Kelly ran the 100 meter, 200 meter and the anchor leg of the 4X100 relay. In 1991, at the Class L Championships, she was the 200 meter dash with a time of 26.6 seconds. She also placed 3rd in the 100 meters and 4th in the 4X100 relay. During her senior year she was elected captain of the track team. After high school she continued to play indoor soccer at Oakwood.
Robert N. Parsons '45: Bob played four years of varsity athletics including soccer, basketball, baseball and ran track in 1942. In soccer he earned three varsity letters and tied for goals scored in 1944. He also served as game captain and was named Honorable Mention All-American in 1944. In basketball, he was captain of his team and broke the existing scoring record with 255 points during the season. He led the team in rebounds his junior and senior year. In baseball, he hit over .400 his junior year and .370 during his senior year. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1949 having played two season of baseball and soccer.
Deborah (Rumley) Byrne '81: Debbie was an all-around athlete. She excelled in field hockey, basketball and was an outstanding pitcher in softball. She earned three varsity letters in each sport. In field hockey, she played forward and was a captain her senior year. This team went on to place second in the CCIL and win their first State Title in field hockey. In basketball, Debbie was one of the team’s talented guards. During her senior year, the team compiled a 15-4 record, second place in the CCIL and runner up in the Class L State Championship. In softball, she was one of the best pitchers to play for Wethersfield High School. She continued her softball career at Eastern Connecticut State College where she was voted the most improved player on her team which captured the Division III National Championship. Debbie is a special education teacher in Wethersfield.
Richard St. Pierre '62: Richard was a starting offensive and defensive tackle earning first team All-CCIL honors his junior and senior year. He was co-Captain of the 5-2-1 Eagles and was selected to the 1962 Nutmeg Bowl Football Team. At the 1962 Awards Presentation, Coach Joe Cottone made a statement that Rich was the best football player he had ever coached. He also participated in track and field for three years setting the school shot-put record in 1962 at 52’6” and was a member of the 1962 weight man’s relay. He was the very first Division I scholarship player from Wethersfield High School. He continued his football career at Colgate University, playing on the offensive and defensive line for three years.
Lauren (DeGray) Thompson: Lauren was a three sport athlete at Wethersfield High. She excelled in swimming competing in distance events and the relay team. She attained All-Conference honors for four consecutive years and was also named to the All-State Swim Team for four years. She was an All-American swimmer in 1997 and 1998. She played varsity and was named to the All-Conference Team in her junior and senior year. She had the distinction of being a captain in all three sports. She was also named to the “All Academic Team” during each sport season. She was one of the Hartford Courant’s featured athletes and appeared on the Fox network as an outstanding athlete. She continued her swimming career at Providence College and is now a special education teacher in Rhode Island.
David McOmber: Dave is being inducted into the WAAHOF as a coach. Dave has coached swimming at Wethersfield High School for 19 years. As coach of the boy’s swim team, he compiled a record of 145 wins and 75 losses, a winning percentage of 65.9%. His boy’s teams have won three CCC-West Conference titles and was the 1995 Class “M” Division runner-up. In 2007, he was selected as the 2007 Connecticut High School Boys Swimming Coach of the Year. His girl’s teams overall record was 169 wins-25 losses-1 tie and a winning percentage of 87.1%. He won seven CCC-West Conference titles and was the 1995 & 1996 Class “M” Division runner-up. In 1999 he was selected as the Connecticut High School Girls Swimming Coach of the Year. In 1968, as a member of the Wethersfield High School swim team, won the High School State Diving Championship.
1961 Basketball Team: This basketball team, coached by Mil Mason, compiled an outstanding 15-1 record with their only regular season loss coming to Manchester in the final seconds of overtime. One the basis of an excellent record, they were ranked first in the state for the CIAC State Tournament. The team advanced to the quarter-finals losing to a tall Norwich Free Academy team. They were the first team to win a CIAC tournament game. Their teamwork, sheer hustle and the desire to win led them to a fine season. Members of the team were Bob Johnson, Greg Fay, Richard Slade, Scott Woodburn, Robert Gilbert, Tom Lyons, William Duggan, Doug Russell, and Todd Russell.
"Bohdan Kolinsky" Distinguished Alumni Award: Edward Lynch: The Bodham Kolinsky Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented this year to Edward Lynch. Ed is a 1964 graduate of Wethersfield High School where he participated in baseball, track and cross country. He continued his education at East Tennessee State and has advanced degrees from CCSU and the University of New England. Ed has been an educator in the Simsbury school system for 36 years. He is the soccer and golf coach at Simsbury High School. In soccer, he has led the Trojans to a 259-85-36 varsity record to the present. His soccer team has won three state championships. In golf, he has compiled a record of 689-50-9, including eight state titles. He has the distinction of being the nation’s winningest golf coach in high school history. He also started the girl’s golf team and was their coach for four years. He has been named Connecticut Coach of the Year in both golf and soccer. In 2007, he was inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Hall of Fame. Ed has also been a basketball referee for many years and is now commissioner for 85 schools from the high school down to elementary. Although he has retired from teaching, he continues to coach both soccer and golf at Simsbury High School.