Posts Tagged ‘ Southington Sports Hall of Fame ’

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

July 12, 2014
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The 1976 Blue Knights went 18-0 but lost to Shelton, 3-2, during a 16-inning contest in the state championship game. Front, from left, Al Fracaso, Mike Boissoneault, Pat DeSorbo, John Falzarano, Jim Koeller, Al Rousseau, Tom Bussett, Gary Burdette, Jim Gugliotti, Dan Hahn, and Joe Lembo. Back, Coach John Fontana, Bob Dudrow, Tom Banner, Ed Murawski, Dan Freer, Russ Barry, Jim Swain, Larry Jardine, Jim reeves, Rich Topshe, Dave McArty, and Mgr. Mark Bourcier. Missing from the photo: Mgr. Mike Grazioso and pitching coach Dallas Shields.

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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The 1986 girls basketball team relied on teamwork and chemistry to orchestrate a Class LL state championship and launch a four-year dynasty in girls basketball. The team included co-captains Maureen Forgione and Angela Spagna, along with Jill Pelrin, Tracy Ciosek, Tina Micacci, Kris Mach, Allison Dinsmore, lisa Matukaitis, Kim LaPorte, Lori Wilcox, Melinda Silva, Kristin Wilcox, and Katie O’Neill.

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

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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Photo courtesy of the Jacksonville Jaguars
NFL trainer Mike Ryan, a former SHS track star, helps a player off the field during a recent Jacksonville Jaguars game.

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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Former SHS standout Joe Testa offers some tips to a player as his Wilcox Tech team prepares for the upcoming postseason.

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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The Perfect 10; Kristy Dougan launched a dynasty

October 18, 2013
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File photo

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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LaPorte to step down from parks board

October 12, 2013
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By Lisa Capobianco Staff Writer After serving on the Board of Park Commissioners for more than 30 years, Joe LaPorte has decided to step down. LaPorte served on the board from 1979 to 1984 before taking a five-year hiatus, and became the chairman from 2000 to 2009. He also served on the Town Council for…

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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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1963 CHRONICLE YEARBOOK COURTESY OF THE SOUTHINGTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Lenny Clements crashes through the defensive line during the 1962 season.

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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Passing the test; Scott Otis defied the odds to make the NFL

September 20, 2013
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Photo courtesy of Glenville State College
Scott Otis didn’t turn heads with his high school statistics, but his work at Glennville State College led to a postition in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens.

By John Goralski Sports Writer Scott Otis felt a twinge of satisfaction as he stood in the shadow of Fontana Field while track officials scrambled to measure his javelin throw at a cold spring meet in 1991. For three years of varsity football, he maintained that his arm could beat most teams. This throw certainly…

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Founding Father; Bob Wittneben launched a program and set the standard for wrestling

September 13, 2013
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1977 CHRONICLE COURTESY OF THE SOUTHINGTON LIBRARY
Coach Bob Wittneben greets a Blue Knight fan during his team’s 16-2 campaign in 1977. In just his third varsity season, Wittneben’s Knights captured the Colonial Conference title.

By John Goralski Sports Writer When Bob Wittneben entered the high school in 1973, the Blue Knights were already established as a baseball and football power. Golf had already claimed its first state title, and softball was ready to launch a dynasty. Sports were already well-established in the blue collar town, but Wittneben had something…

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