Sports Hall of Fame

Don’t give up…Don’t ever give up; John Salerno was cut from his SHS team, but that was just the beginning

July 26, 2014
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Don’t give up…Don’t ever give up; John Salerno was cut from his SHS team, but that was just the beginning

By John Goralski Sports Writer John Salerno greeted opponents at Mattatuck Community College with a devilish grin and the charm of a back-alley magician. Opponents would swarm into their gym sporting brand new Nike shoes and crisp, colorful uniforms, while Salerno’s squad practiced in the same shoes they wore to class. Teams must have laughed…

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Winning isn’t everything; The 1976 baseball team still ranks as the best that didn’t win

July 12, 2014
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Winning isn’t everything; The 1976 baseball team still ranks as the best that didn’t win

When Joe Fontana addressed his nephew’s team at the postseason banquet, even he was at a loss for words. The former athletic director had been the coach for both of Southington’s previous undefeated baseball teams. If anybody knew what it takes to win a title, it was the former baseball and football legend. So what…

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Launching a sports dynasty; 1986 SHS girls basketball team set the standard for teamwork

July 11, 2014
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Launching a sports dynasty; 1986 SHS girls basketball team set the standard for teamwork

By John Goralski Sports Writer Some might say that the Lady Knights were so angry about losing to Shelton in the 1985 state finals that they chased them across the northeast just to get a rematch. Still smarting from the overtime loss that ended the 85 winter season, the Southington girls jumped on a bus,…

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Hall of Fame officials release Class of 2014

July 5, 2014
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Hall of Fame officials release Class of 2014

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…

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Opportunity Knocks; Mike Ryan blazed his own path to the NFL sidelines

November 10, 2013
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Opportunity Knocks; Mike Ryan blazed his own path to the NFL sidelines

By John Goralski Sports Writer Irv Black’s voice crackled through the speakers at Hartford Public in 1980 as the legendary track official called the play-by-play for the 1500m race at the Colonial Conference Championship. His voice melted into a rhythm with the frontrunner’s steps which included newcomer Mike Ryan. With each step, Ryan matched Black’s…

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The new Testa-ment; Joe Testa was a spark for Blue Knight soccer

November 9, 2013
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The new Testa-ment; Joe Testa was a spark for Blue Knight soccer

By John Goralski Sports Writer Few returning players even knew the name of the new Italian student in 1974 when he strolled onto the Recreation Park soccer field for an early Southington High School tryout. Tall and thin like a blade of grass, the young newcomer waited in the wings for practice to begin. He…

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All for one

October 25, 2013
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By JOHN GORALSKI SPORTS WRITER Ryan Glasper shied away from the Massachusetts press in 2006, so one newspaper had to run a photo taken through a fence when they highlighted the strong safety in an early November issue. Glasper didn’t want any credit for the resurgence of the Boston College defense, but fans were quick…

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The Mighty Mackie

October 25, 2013
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By JOHN GORALSKI SPORTS WRITER Scott Mackie tossed the bat toward the dugout and sprinted to the outfield as if he was trying to beat a throw to first base. You couldn’t tell by the look on his face that the Southington batter was hitless for the day. You couldn’t see any stress on his…

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The Perfect 10; Kristy Dougan launched a dynasty

October 18, 2013
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The Perfect 10; Kristy Dougan launched a dynasty

By John Goralski Sports Writer steadied herself on the diving board and waited for the signal from officials. She had her back to the pool. Fans and coaches held their breath. Dougan hadn’t performed a single dive as she rehabbed her fractured ankle during the regular season, but here she was at the state meet,…

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Just give me the ball, coach; Lenny Clements raised the bar for scoring in the early 1960s

October 5, 2013
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Just give me the ball, coach; Lenny Clements raised the bar for scoring in the early 1960s

By John Goralski Sports Writer The year was 1962. The Southington High School football team was riding an 18-game winning streak, and Lenny Clements made a rare defensive mistake that allowed the Croft quarterback to complete a pass for a large gain. No matter how tough they might have been, the Croft linemen must have…

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