Posts Tagged ‘ Southington Sports Hall of Fame ’

A league of her own; Jen Gombotz-Mikowski raised the bar for every athlete at Southington High School

October 26, 2012
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By John Goralski Sports Writer Coach Joe Piazza said he’ll never forget Jen Gombotz-Mikowski’s first at bat against varsity pitching. It came in the mid-1980s during a summer travel game against Wallingford. With only eight players, he scanned the sidelines for a volunteer. “There was no way that we were going to forfeit that game,”…

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Follow the Lleader; Joe Llodra went from the O-line to the sideline

October 19, 2012
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by John Goralski Sports Writer Defenders knew that Southington would come out throwing in the mid-1950s, but nobody could stop them. Opponents knew that Southington’s runners would be circling around the off-balanced line, but no one could contain them. Southington’s opponents knew who they had to reach to stop the single-wing offense. The question was,…

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All in the family; John Fontana’s legacy goes well beyond the wins

October 12, 2012
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By John Goralski Sports Writer John Fontana voice caught in his throat as he began to talk about his first heart surgery and the overwhelming helplessness he felt as he scanned through channels on his tv. But a loud knocking at his front door drew his attention, and he craned his neck to see who…

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Southington’s strongest man; Frazer Pehmoeller started with the shot put and finished with a stone

September 28, 2012
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By John Goralski Sports Writer The thunder from 30,000 cheering fans seemed to fade into white noise as Frazer Pehmholler took his first step across the New Hampshire field. His arms strained from the 670-pound load that hung from his clenched fists. His vision narrowed to his eldest daughter in the distance as she waved…

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The Leader of the Pack; Rick Black set the pace for a cross country title

September 21, 2012
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By John Goralski Sports Writer The Greek god Hermes was said to streak across the heavens in a barely visible blur. The Romans called him Mercury and lent his name to our fastest planet. In paintings and sculptures, he’s shown with wings upon his feet. In myths and poems, he’s described as having the wind…

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Representing the town; Andy Meade was a true team player

August 29, 2012
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By John Goralski Sports Writer Rifling through an old picture album, Andy Meade brushes past the headlines to point out his teammates in the photos. He brags about them one by one, and the list reads like a Who’s Who of Southington sports. Of course, he fails to point out that it’s his name that’s…

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Perfection; Tracy Ciosek-Beloin never lost as a Lady Knight ace

August 22, 2012
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By John Goralski Sports Writer Tracy Beloin—or Tracy Ciosek as she’s remembered by Lady Knight fans—almost missed the 1986 championship basketball game because of a severe back problem that had plagued her all season, so nobody expected her to carry the team on her shoulders in the final minutes of the game. Rockville’s game plan…

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Majestic Majeski; Dave Majeski still loves the challenge

August 22, 2012
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By John Goralski Sports Writer It’s been a little more than 25 years since Dave Majeski called John Fontana back to third base after their discussion during a regular season game, but the former high school coach still smiles when he tells the story. Majeski topped a baseball but beat the throw to first base.…

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If he builds it, they will come; Joe LaPorte has spent 4 decades building youth sports

August 8, 2012
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One question can change your life. Just ask Joe LaPorte. In the late 1960s, he was standing in the shadows at Memorial Park, minding his own business while his son Dan raced around the bases during a Little League tryout. The coach sidled up to LaPorte with a devilish grin. “Can you help out?” he…

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Blitzing Bobby; Rob Thomson was hard to stop in high school, college, and coaching

August 3, 2012
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By John Goralski Sports Writer It’s hard to believe, but the Blue Knights had gone almost a full decade without back-to-back winning seasons when coaches welcomed the sophomore class in 1983. That didn’t escape the notice of coaches as they surveyed  prospects during a preseason drill. Suddenly, a deafening crash echoed across the field, and…

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