Column: Southington Sports Hall of Fame is pulling out the stops

This past summer, the 2011 Male Observer Athlete of the Year, Sal Romano, made three starts with the Cincinnati Reds, but that shouldn’t surprise any of us.

Next year will mark 30 years since Rob Dibble made his major league debut for the same major league baseball team. In fact, three Southington baseball players have been on Reds’ rosters over the past three decades. Since Dibble debuted in 1988, Southington baseball players have played for the A’s, the Brewers, the Cardinals, the Cubs, the Expos, the Indians, the Mariners, the Marlins, the Reds, the Padres, the Twins, the White Sox, and the Yankees.

Since June 29, 1988, there have only been three MLB seasons without a Southington athlete in the majors, and Romano kept that streak alive. During that same 30-year span, there were 13 seasons when there were at least two Southington athletes playing in the major leagues.

John Goralski
Southington Observer Editor

But that’s not the only place that Southington players are setting the standard in sports. Southington High School graduates are coaching all across the state and the nation, from the University of Hartford to California. Southington’s rich sports legacy is respected nationally.

Last year, the Blue Knights reached the postseason in 24 out of 26 varsity sports. A wrestler and a discus thrower won New England titles. Softball and hockey reached title games. Four teams reached the quarterfinals, one reached the semifinals, and five individual sports advanced athletes to the state open or higher. Every year, Southington graduates athletes and future coaches that will—one day—be honored in the Southington Sports Hall of Fame.

There’s still time to buy tickets for this year’s event, at the Aqua Turf, on Nov. 8. Hall of fame officials have promised that this year’s banquet is going to “pull out all the stops.” There’s going to be more pomp and circumstance surrounding Southington’s top stars.

This year’s class includes the 1957 SHS football team, the 1969 Little League All-Stars, Henry Cence, Sal Conti, Cherraine Davis, Leslie Dunn-Carlson, Mat Florian, Jude Kelly, Colleen Klopp-McCaughey, Yvette Mirando-Sima, Mark Sobolewski, and Gerry LaMontagne.

To reserve tickets, contact Jim Verderame at (860) 628-7335 or Val DePaolo at (860) 620-9460, ext. 104.

Hope to see you there.

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