Celebrating 50 years, Bristol Tramps picks its latest inductees

By MICHAEL LETENDRE SPORTS WRITER

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This year, the Bristol Tramps will celebrate its 50th year of honoring Bristol’s rich sports history.

It’s the golden jubilee for the program and on May 1, the Tramps will induct its latest class at the Aqua Turf in Southington as eight individuals and one team will once again be recognized at the annual event.

With its 50th celebration around the corner, the Tramps will be honoring the following programs and individuals:

Bob “Semo” Siemiatkoski (Raymond “Harp” Broderick Award) – Played basketball and baseball in high school. Winner of several racquetball championships over the years. Siemiatkoski won the International Racquetball Association World Senior Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2000 and has been nationally ranked in the Men’s 55+ and 65+ divisions numerous times. Siemiatkoski is currently the co-owner of Country Manor Reality.

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Pat Tomkil Johnson (Lydia Jabs Bailey Award) – Played on the girls basketball and softball team at Bristol Eastern in the early 1970s. taught physical education at Eastern for 30 years and helped various sports programs over her tenure. Was the longtime cheerleading coach while assisting in girls basketball, girls track and field, volleyball and assisted the indoor track team at Bristol Central under Tamara Stafford-Kirk.

Alison Willette (Ron Choiniere Award) – Played Unified volleyball in high school and was involved in Challenger baseball and Discovery Basketball for nine years. She twice earned the American Citizenship Award and won the Presidential Academic Excellence Award.

David Hernandez (Charles “Chuck” McCarthy Award) – Won eight varsity letters at Bristol Central in football, basketball, and baseball – earning Colonial Conference League and All-State honors in football. Played football collegiately at the University of Connecticut and Mattatuck Community College. He also managed Forestville Little League Softball for eight years, leading the program to three District 5 Championships.

BARC’s Respite Program (Tony Savino “Pay it Forward” Award) -The BARC’s  Recreation/Respite program, directed by Chris Eaton, serves the participants by offering programs such as softball, dances, yoga, Zumba, arts and crafts activities and bingo. These programs are enjoyed by many of the participants.

Doug Jackson (William ‘Bill’ A. Garrett Award) – All-State standout in football in 1970, he moved on collegiately at Columbia, receiving All-Ivy, All ECAC, and All-American honors while winning the Ivy League Player of the Year Award. Played four seasons of NFL football for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants and later coached at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia.

Tom Shopay (Ed Lodovico Award) – Played baseball under Clem J. Roy at Bristol Eastern and helped the 1962 American Legion baseball team to the state championship. He later played collegiately at Dean Junior College and was the squad’s Most Valuable Player over his two campaigns. Shopay played for the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles over parts of seven seasons between 1967-1977.

Bryant Lishness (Coach Dan Valerio Award) – Attended Bristol Eastern, competing on the soccer, baseball, track and field and wrestling teams. He is the director of the Gladiator Wrestling program, is on the board of directors for USA Wrestling in Connecticut and has been the head coach of the wrestling program at Eastern since 2008. His squads have won the last three Class L championships, earning Coach of the Year honors for his efforts during those scholastic seasons.

Bristol American Legion baseball (Julie Larese Team Award) – Countless young men from Bristol have played baseball for the program, helping to team to four Northeast Regional and 14 state titles over 90 glorious years and counting. The 1997 squad made a fourth place finish at the American Legion World Series from Fitzgerald Stadium in Rapid City, South Dakota. Several outstanding coaches took the reins of the program including Jim Bates, Jim Ziogas, and Spec Monico.

This year’s Bristol Tramps scholarship recipients are Mackenzie Pina of Bristol Central (Julie Larese/Frank Scalia Memorial Scholarship), Leah Policarpio of Bristol Eastern (Julie Larese/ Patricia D’Amato Memorial Scholarship), and Jade Udoh of St. Paul (Julie Larese/John E. Tavera Memorial Scholarship).

Tickets cost $50 apiece. For tickets and table reservations, contact Frank Owsianko at 860-302-4133 or owsianko@comcast.net, Dan Valerio at 860-490-5128 or Bristol Tramp committee members Kathy Archibald, Tony Carrier, Lance Chase, Gary Fleming, Dave Greenleaf, Maryellen Holden, Beth Lafferty, John Lodovico, Byron Pierce, Carolyn Ziogas, Lance Pepper, Ryan Broderick, Spec Monico, Bob Montgomery, Chris D’Amato, Sean Moore, Donna Papazian, and Joe Tavera.