Posts Tagged ‘ Southington Sports Hall of Fame ’

Hall of Fame: The unstoppable force-Lisa Matukaitis was a blue collar, blue chipper

August 19, 2016
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Lisa soccer

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR School officials must have been shocked by the crowds at the Kennedy boys soccer game in the fall of ‘82. Even the athletes paused their pre-game rituals as the St. Thomas boys wandered onto their field. Everybody—the fans, the players, and the coaches—scanned the sidelines for the Kennedy girl that dared…

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Hall of Fame: The balancing act–Andy Liseo was hard to take down on the field and on the mat

August 4, 2016
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Liseo wrestling

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR Andy Liseo spun around the first Bloomfield defender like a ninja warrior, bouncing off two fingers to keep his balance, and slipping through a pair of linebackers at the line of scrimmage. Liseo ricocheted off the next defender to find some open space on the sidelines…and it was off to the…

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Hall of Fame–Jumpin’ Jessie: Gianatti was Southington’s perfect 10

July 29, 2016
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Jessica Gianatti sticks her landing at the Class L championship during her freshman year. Southington’s second place finish signaled a turning point for the Lady Knights.

By JOHN GORALSKIEDITOR Jessie Gianatti exploded across the gym like a bullet, and she didn’t waste her time with dazzling spins or corkscrew twists. The collision with the vault seemed to hurtle her like shrapnel into the air and she tucked into a dizzying tumble. When she struck the mat, the singular thump echoed through the…

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Hall of Fame: He was the ‘Tops’–Doug Topshe was one of Southington’s biggest supporters

July 15, 2016
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Former Tops Market owner, Doug Topshe, will be inducted posthumously into the Southington Sports Hall of Fame for his efforts as a booster for local athletes, teams, and leagues.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR It’s been more than three decades, but Al Rousseau can still remember the late Doug Topshe taking a left out of Recreation Park. The owner of Tops Market never even glanced at his rear view mirror as his grocery store—and his home—vanished from view. Instead, Topshe was focused on his young passenger,…

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Southington Sports Hall of Fame celebrates century-long sports legacy

July 6, 2016
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Jimmie Savage broke into the major leagues in the early 1900s, earning a spot as an everyday player with the Pittsburgh Rebels in 1914.

By JOHN GORALSKIEDITOR Commuters racing across town might not stop to think about the origins of Savage Street or the family that lent its name to the Southington landscape. Sports fans, boasting about the town’s rich sports history, might pass over James “Jimmie” Savage when they argue about which athlete launched Southington’s rich sports legacy. That’s…

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Hall of Fame: deFighting Irish: Nicole deFau battled from walk-on to team captain

November 5, 2015
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Nicole deFau, above, was Southington’s first Gatorade Player of the Year in softball.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR It was some time during her senior year at Notre Dame when Nicole deFau found herself alone with her division one coach, and the former Southington standout could see the tears welling up in Deanna Gumpf’s eyes. DeFau was the only senior on that 2004 tournament-bound team. She had outlasted an all-American…

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Hall of Fame: The Bristol Bomber: Russ Laribee battled his way through the minors

October 29, 2015
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Russ Laribee was an outfielder by the time he reached the Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA) in 1981. Above is Laribee’s picture on his minor league baseball card.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR Ted Williams recognized the pitch just before it was released, and he swung around in the Pawtucket dugout to face a wide-eyed Russ Laribee. The legendary hitter began hurling a litany of questions at the Southington star, and Laribee stumbled over himself to try to get out each answer. What do you…

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Hall of Fame: Lumbra-jack: Doreen Lumbra cut down opponents at every level

October 22, 2015
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Doreen Lumbra fires a throw to first base to score an out for the Lady Knights during the early 1980s. Lumbra is just the second softball position player to be inducted into the Southington Sports Hall of Fame.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR The coach of Plainville’s all-star team gathered her players and pointed to Southington’s outfield at the small, under-aged fielder that looked out of place in a squad of teenaged all-stars. Doreen Lumbra wore her age, No. 8, on her chest like a badge of honor, but Plainville coaches saw an opportunity to…

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Hall of Fame: Second to none: Art Secondo’s love for Southington drove him in the media and on the sidelines

October 15, 2015
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Secondo calls a strike during a Parks and Recreation softball game in 2011. Secondo has been umpiring local contests since 1973.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR When Art Secondo strolled onto the Southington football field in the late 1960s, he was hit by a wave of boos and taunts. Each time a Southington player danced into the end zone, he’d throw an angry glare at the young Southington sports writer. Secondo was pushed to the edge of the…

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Hall of Fame: Hitting his stride: Chris Walsh went the distance

October 1, 2015
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Chris Walsh builds some distance at the front of the pack during a Blue Knight track meet in the early 1970s. Walsh went on to gain national success in college and as a high school coach in California.

By JOHN GORALSKI EDITOR Cheshire hearts rose when Chris Walsh’s opponent burst from the start of the two mile race at a dual meet in 1973. The Rams needed a win to capture the track meet, and Walsh was trailing by 10 yards when the frontrunners began their final lap. “Their coach threw his hat up…

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