SOUTHINGTON—The induction classes continue to get smaller, but the list of deserving athletes doesn’t seem to get any smaller. The debates are becoming more and more spirited as the Southington Sports Hall of Fame selection committee continues to play catch-up against neighboring towns.
All that debate and research paid off for fans this week as officials announced the fifth class of inductees to its roster. Southington Sports Hall of Fame Chairman Dennis Stanek, Jr. said that the current class stands up to previous years with nine athletes representing a good cross-section of local programs, along with a decorated booster and a former high school and college coach.
“Some of the members of this induction could have—and probably should have—been inducted over the last few years. They are that good,” said Stanek. “As a town, we’re probably 20 years behind others at putting players into a hall of fame. We need to take our time. We can’t rush it. We understand that we are only five years old, and there are going to be some folks that could easily be inducted right now, but this is a really, really good group of men and women.”
Male athletes represent almost every varsity sport with Jim Koeller, Wayne Chopus, Sr., Larry Liseo, Peter Meade, Greg O’Connell, and Greg Porydzy. Once again, Southington’s female athletes are well-represented with a trio of multi-sport competitors. Denise Archacki-Ingriselli, Kristin Wilcox-Astiasaran, and Dawn Lantiere will be honored in the Class of 2014.
Over the past few decades, Stephen Daniels has served as statistician and supporter for as many as four different programs, and the late John Salerno has already been recognized by halls of fame in the region. These 11 individuals will join the 1976 Blue Knight baseball team and the 1986 Lady Knight softball team as the Class of 2014.
“Some of these folks played in different eras. Some of them were so good that they could have been put in a couple of years back,” said Stanek. “As a committee, we’re finding it more and more difficult to separate the athletes and judge them on their abilities, but this is a good, verifiable group of athletes, coaches, and teams.”
On Wednesday, Nov. 12, they will be honored in an induction ceremony at the Aqua Turf in Plantsville. Tickets will be available soon and will cost $50. Contact Jim Verderame at (860) 628-7335 to reserve tickets.
“Without fail, every athlete that has been inducted has been extremely grateful about the recognition,” said Stanek. “After every induction ceremony, I personally get a number of emails or phone calls from folks saying how great an event this is. It’s long overdue. There’s a lot of emotion, and it’s great to catch up with old friends.”
The committee has already begun compiling statistics for next year’s induction class, and they continue to welcome nominations from the public. To nominate a team, player, booster, or media member, send a request along with supporting documentation and contact information to: Mike Boissonneault, 115 Panthorn Trail, Southington, CT 06489, (860) 628-5225, email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southington Hall of Fame Committees
Chairman – Dennis Stanek
Legal – Tony Denorfia
Team Selections – Rob Thompson, Mike Forgione
Media/Research – Bryant Carpenter (email@example.com), John Goralski (firstname.lastname@example.org), Art Secondo, Joe LaPorte, or Stephen Daniels.
High School Wall and Plaque – Bill DellaVecchia, John Fontana
Awards – Mike Prairie, Matt Florian
Charter Member – John Fontana, Mike Fasulo, Mike DeFeo, Joe LaPorte, Art Secondo, Dennis Stanek
Program (Advertising) – Ralph Campocharo, Mike DeFeo
Tickets – Jim Verderame, Barry DePaolo
Nominations – Mike Boissoneault