Wethersfield Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame
2006 Hall of Fame
Richard Breed: An outstanding golfer at WHS, Richard played the number 1 position and was captain for three years. He was elected to the all State Golf Team during his sophomore, junior and senior years. His career record at WHS was 63 wins, 6 losses and 1 tie and was undefeated his senior year. He was the youngest winner of the Wethersfield Country Club Golf Championship at 15 years of age. Among his many accomplishments, he was a two time winner of the Connecticut State Junior Championship in 1986 and 1987. He received a 4 year golf scholarship to Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas where he was team captain his junior and senior years. His college career included many top ten finishes. Among his many other golf accom-plishments, he was the low amateur in the 1990 Nitro Texas State Open Championship in Houston, Texas and winner of the illustrious 1994 Charlie Coe Invitational Tournament in Castle Pines, CO.
James Gorman '70: Jim was an excellent soccer and baseball player. During his soccer career, he played center halfback and was co-captain his senior year. He was selected all League and his team made it to the final four of the State Soccer Tournament. In baseball, he was a catcher and batted clean-up with a .350 average. He was captain of the team his senior year and selected first team All League. The baseball team also made it to the final four of the State Tournament. He continued his athletic career at Southern Connecticut State University where he participated in baseball all four years. At Southern, he played left field, batted .300 and was selected captain his senior year. He and his wife Mary reside in Rocky Hill and have two adult children.
Richard Ruglio '47: An all-around athlete, during his high school career, he excelled in soccer, basketball and track. He also was a captain in all three sports. In soccer, he was goalie and the team captured the Class B State Championship in 1945 and 46. In basketball, he was the starting guard. He also was an outstanding track and field athlete. He competed in the broad jump, high jump, javelin, 440 and on the relay team, consistently placing first and second in these events. In 1947, he broke the javelin record with a throw of 169 feet. This record was held for seventeen years. He also represented Connecticut in the New England Track and Field Championships in 1947. In 1952, Richard was given the distinct honor of being selected to participate in tryouts for the World Olympics. Unfortunately, the world Games were cancelled because of the Korean War. Richard was hearing impaired but his desire to achieve, not seeing himself having a disability and never being treated differently by his peers, led him to master his natural talents.
Andrew Salek '00: Andrew was an outstanding tennis player achieving many individual and team honors. He won three consecutive Class MM individual State Championships. In his senior year, he had a record of 21-0, won the Class MM individual championship and went on to win the State Open as a singles player. He also served as captain of the team. He was a member of the teams that won the Class MM title in 1997 and the Class M title in 1999. At the age of 17, he attained a #5 ranking in New England and competed in the International Hard court Championships in New Jersey. He received a scholarship to Fordham University and their #1 singles player during his college career. He also was a member of the All Academic Team. During the 2005-2006 year. He has played in six professional tournaments and the tennis coach at the Siasconset Casino Tennis Club on Nantucket Island, Mass. When in Wethersfield, he also helps instruct the members of the boys and girls tennis team.
Cheryl Simoni: A very dedicated cross country and track and field athlete, Cheryl started her running career at the age of 12 as a participant in the 6th grade race at Hamner School. She continued to pursue her love of running at WHS by participating on the cross country and track and field teams. She became the first four letter winner in cross country receiving a blanket award for her accomplishment. During her senior year, Cheryl won the Greater Hartford Open cross country Championship and set several cross country records. She also finished third in the 3000 meter event at the State Open Championships in Track. For all her athletic and academic achievements in high school, she was honored with the Brian Piccolo Award. She received a full scholarship to Manhattan College where she continued to participate in their Division I cross country and track and field programs. Cheryl still holds the Manhattan College records in the 3000 and 5000 meters and has been elected to the Manhattan College Hall of Fame. Recently married, she has returned to WHS as a teacher where she hopes to pass on to her student’s encouragement, advice and lessons about life and English.
Earl Martel '49: Earl was voted Best Athlete in his class. During his high school career, he participated in soccer, basketball and baseball. In his senior year, he played center forward and was the leading scorer on the soccer team. When Wethersfield High won their first State Soccer Championship, Earl scored both of goals in a 2-1 victory. He was also the leading scorer in basketball where he was the first Wethersfield player to use the one handed jump shot. He was considered an outstanding athlete and a superior sportsman. He attended American International College where he played basketball. He also continued his baseball career playing in semi pro leagues. A veteran of the Korean War, Earl has been an outstanding Wethersfield citizen and businessman for the past 50 plus years always giving back to the community. He resides in Wethersfield with his wife Mary Ann and has five adult children.
Joseph Klinger: Joe has served the Wethersfield Community as a baseball and assistant football coach for many years. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1972 where he played football and lettered for four years. He started his coaching career in Wethersfield as an assistant football coach under the late Joseph Cottone serving in that capacity for 32 years. In 1998, he was voted the Outstanding Assistant football Coach in the State of Connecticut M Division. He also served as head baseball coach for 23 years compiling a record of 216 wins. His 1993 baseball team won the CCC West League Championship. His baseball teams made 24 appearances in the State Tournament reaching the Quarterfinals seven times and the semi Finals twice. He also was chosen as the coach of the CHSCA All Star Team Division IV. In 2004 after 35 years of service, Joe retired from teaching elementary physical education and coaching. He attributes any success has had had to the fine young men he has been honored to coach. He and his wife Pat have three children, all of whom graduated from Wethersfield High school and seven grandchildren.
1957 Soccer Team: The 1957 Soccer team captured the State Championship by beating Newington High School 3-0. Tom Strong scored all three goals in this victory. The team ended their season with a record of 11-1-1. During the season, they scored 43 goals and while only giving up 5. During the State Tournament, they did not have a goal scored against them.
"Bohdan Kolinsky" Distinguished Alumni Award: Jude Kelly: The distinguished Alumni award is being presented to 1970 Alumnus Jude Kelly. Jude graduated from Southern Connecticut State College with a degree in physical education. At Southern, he served as a graduate assistant in football for two years and then was a full time assistant line coach for three years. He continued his football coaching career at East Catholic High School in Manchester Connecticut. In his nine year tenure at East Catholic, his teams won three State Championships. He moved onto Southington High School where he successfully coached for seventeen years including a State Championship. He is presently the football coach at St. Paul High School in Bristol, Connecticut. He attributes his interest in coaching to the late Joseph Cottone, his high school football coaching at Wethersfield. Coach Cottone greatly influenced Jude’s desire to pursue a coaching career when he graduated from college. Jude does not view his coaching career in terms of wins and losses. Instead, he feels the main purpose of sports in education is the teaching of values to our young people. The most meaningful part of his coaching experience has been the relationship he has shared with all the kids.