Sports Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame: Uncharted Water: Matt Crispino is still making waves in his sport

July 23, 2015
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Matt Crispino explodes out of the gate during a varsity race in his senior season.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR Matt Crispino slipped into the pool like a Navy Seal and clawed his way toward the frontrunners at the 1999 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) conference meet. All around him, scholarship swimmers were straining to find an edge in the water, but Crispino—a freshman—was matching them stroke-for-stroke. He shot into the turn as…

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Hall of Fame: It takes a village to raise a banner, the 2002 Lady Knight soccer team rallied around a common goal

July 16, 2015
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The 2002 Lady Knight soccer team is the only Southington soccer team to capture a state championship. Front, from left, Kelly Walsh, Meredith Wholley, Lauren Lattanzio (captain), Lauren Forgione (captain), Lauren Dziedzic (captain), Kaitlin Quinn, Shannon McKernan. Middle, Shivan Wheeler, Corina Adaskaveg, Brandi Groglio, Kristina DiGirolamo, Meghan Butler, Megan Fuller, Erica Waltz. Back, Assistant Coach Steve Risser, Kamila Zysk, Sam Morrissey, Lorraine Mobarak, Stephanie Kowalec, Jill Cocco, Beth Meccariello, Brianna Ondriezek, and Coach Sal Penta. Missing from the photo is Assistant Coach Joe Blaszczyk.

By JOHN GORALSKIEDITOR Sal Penta can still remember stopping at midfield during his first preseason soccer practice in 2002 and watching the scene unfold in front of him like a choreographed dance. Players, drenched in sweat, were shuffling through drills. An assistant coach pointed to a group of defenders sprinting toward loose balls. Another one turned…

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Hall of Fame: Going the distance and taking the hill, the 1984 cross country team put Southington at the top of the running world

July 9, 2015
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The 1984 cross country team, above, still stands as the only Blue Knight team to capture the Class LL and CT State Open titles. Front, from left, Marty Burns (captain) and Tim Theriault (captain). Second row, Joe Carta, Art Mitchell, Jeff Cavaliere, Rick Black, Jerry Cavaliere, Mike Early, Mike Krar, and Ed Beaupre. Third row, Tom Mullaney, Bill Lesler, Tom Fusciello, Kristen Stanek, Mario Malpica, Bruce Vagts, Bart Lipetz, and Coach Wayne Nakoneczny. Back, Jeff Brunoli and Alex Becking. Missing from the photo: Sean Boyle.

By JOHN GORALSKIEDITOR Queen Street drivers must have been skeptical in the fall of 1984 to see the Blue Knights gather at the base of the Loper Street hill for the start of cross country practice. The runners would flock around their coach for final instructions before being ushered into formation. At his signal, they’d take…

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Hall of Fame officials release the Class of 2015: Southington’s 6th class continues to break barriers

July 1, 2015
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Hall of Fame dinner

This may be the sixth class to be inducted into the Southington Sports Hall of Fame, but 2015 will be remembered as a year of firsts. This week officials announced the 2015 inductees, but the selection committee continues to delve deeper and deeper into Southington’s rich sports history to find those pioneers, superstars, and people…

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Hall of Fame: The thrill of victory

November 7, 2014
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By JOHN GORALSKI SPORTS WRITER Kristin-Wilcox Astiasaran didn’t know much about women’s sports when her grandparents dragged her to the state championship game in 1982, but she watched it unfold before her like a Hollywood film. For the first three quarters, Westhill High School deliberately constructed a 15-point lead. In the final eight minutes, the…

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O’No, it’s O’Connell; Greg O’Connell battled a few steps from the NBA

October 30, 2014
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Greg O’Connell attacks the rim during a varsity contest in the 1960s. O’Connell went on to play and coach for almost 35 years after graduation.

By John Goralski Sports Writer Nobody must have batted an eye when Greg O’Connell strolled into the high school gym in 1962 because nobody could have seen the scrawny 13-year old as much of a physical threat. At 5-foot-9, the freshman forward didn’t turn many heads. At 118 pounds, O’Connell wasn’t going to push around…

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Dawn’s early light; Dawn Lantiere lit up the Lady Knights

October 27, 2014
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Dawn Lantiere

By Jon Goralski Sports Writer Who knows what was going through that knobby kneed hitter when he trudged to the plate in the early 1980s. Scouts had little information on the tiny preteen that glared at him from the pitcher’s mound. Maybe he thought it would be easy to face a young girl on the…

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Serial Koeller; Jim Koeller was deadly on the Southington mound

October 4, 2014
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SP Hall of Fame Koeller

By John Goralski Sports Writer Jim Koeller’s shadow seemed to strike fear in the hearts of batters when the hard-throwing big man took the mound in 1976. Just to foul off a fastball was reason to celebrate. Koeller was as good as anybody that’s ever set foot on a Southington mound, and every credible short…

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A true team player; Pete Meade put winning before glory

September 13, 2014
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COURTESY OF SOUTH CAROLINA ATHLETICS
Pete Meade was a three-sport captain for the Blue Knights in the mid-1980s, and he went on to pitch at South Carolina University.

By John Goralski Sports Writer For two years Pete Meade paid his dues as a backup quarterback while the Blue Knights clawed their way to .500 records. Fans were looking forward to seeing Meade behind the center when Southington stormed onto the field in the fall of 1984, but the senior co-captain had other plans.…

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Dizzy Poryzdy; Greg Poryzdy made opponents’ heads swirl at every level

September 5, 2014
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By John Goralski Sports Writer Greg Poryzdy seemed almost embarrassed as he poured through his career statistics on a small table in his backyard. More than three decades have passed since he scored his last basket for the Blue Knight basketball team. Although his name still hangs on a banner in the Wesleyan University gym,…

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