Hall of Fame Inductees 2008
Kevin graduated from Plainville High School in 1981. Kevin was the silent teammate who’s efforts in competition spoke volumes to his teammates and the opposition. Kevin was a multi-sport star in baseball and football. On the football field, Kevin used his speed as a defensive back. Baseball has always been Kevin’s arena to display his skills as a fleet footed outfielder who patrolled center field for the devils and a prolific hitter leading the offensive. Kevin earned ALL STATE honors batting .418 in his senior year. He was recruited to ECSU where he established school records in batting as the only player in school history to have consecutive 60 hit seasons. He is also the only player to total at least 200 hits and 100 walks, twice earning NCAA Division III All- American honors. He was a key member of two Division III College World Series teams and the 1982 Division III National Championship team. Kevin also played two years for the Hyannis Mets in the Cape Cod Baseball League and was inducted in the ECSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
Matt Buckler is the recipient of the 2008 Plainville Sports Hall of Fame John E. Toffolon Memorial Distinguished Service Award. Matt has been a special supporter of Plainville sports and sports throughout the state of Connecticut for more than forty years. Matt is a 1970 PHS graduate who was manager and statistician in football, basketball and baseball for three years for the devils. Matt started writing for the Plainville News, covering Plainville Sports in 1969. Matt was the public address announcer for PHS football from 1971-77 and covered Plainville Midget football during the same period. Matt moved on to cover sports for the Manchester Herald and Bristol Press 1975-78 and moved to the Manchester Journal Inquirer in 1978 covering local sports and is currently the television and radio editor at the Journal Inquirer. Matt served 5 terms as President of the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance and won the Arthur McGinley Award for meritorious service in 2003. He is currently the voice of Stafford Motor Speedway, Thompson Speedway and Waterford Speed Bowl and host of NASCAR New England on NESN and TV59.
Greg or “Boxhead” graduated from Plainville High School in 1976. Greg was a multi-sport star in football (4 years) basketball (4 years) and track (4 years). Greg was a two sport captain who would lead by example. He was a tri captain of the football team as a hard nosed running back who would punish defenders with his strength and speed. On the hardwood, Greg used his athleticism to provide offense in bunches and solid defense and as tri captain of the track team, Greg used his strength and speed to be a consummate winner in the 330 yard intermediate hurtles, 220 yard dash, 100 yard dash and as anchor of the 4X110 yard relay team. He was member of the National Honor Society and went on to Dartmouth College where he played football and track, earning the Doten Award as an outstanding football player.
Louis Mandeville Jr.
Lou graduated from Plainville High School in 1985. Lou played baseball at PHS for his four years earning ALL STATE honors in his senior year. He was a member of the undefeated 1983 State Championship team and 1984 State Champions, playing left field. After high school, Lou dedicated himself to Plainville sports. Lou is possibly the most decorated coach in PHS history as an assistant coach for 4 Baseball State Championships and 1 Girls Basketball Championship. Lou was honored as the 1995 CT High School Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year. Lou was also been instrumental in the formation of the JC Courant baseball program and is currently overseeing the Jr. and Sr. American Legion baseball program while coaching the Plainville Sr. team. He has been the voice of PHS football for the past twenty years and is a fixture at most PHS home sports events.
Jim graduated from Plainville High School in 1959. Jim was a two sport athlete who was a member of the 1959 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP basketball team with fellow Hall of Fame members Steve Vargo, John Gacek and Brian Brooks. Jim was a tenacious rebounder and strong defender. On the baseball diamond, Jim was a hard throwing lefty who as ace of the staff had a 6-1 record in his senior season and also contributed with a .375 batting average. Jim went to CCSU where he played basketball and baseball. After graduation he started his 32 year teaching career at Platt HS and finally coming back to PHS in 1966. During his tenure at PHS, Jim demonstrated his diverse coaching skills as an assistant basketball coach under Joe Dehm, head coach of the girls basketball team, assistant baseball coach and head coach for girls softball. He also worked as a supervisor at Norton Park in charge of intramural basketball and baseball programs.
Amy Van Zandt
Amy graduated from Plainville High School in 1989. She gained prominence in swimming during a period of unparalleled success for the girls swim team with a four year dual meet record of 52-5. Amy lost only one event during her four years at PHS. She established five individual records,50 yard Freestyle, 100 yard Freestyle, 100 Yard Butterfly, 100 yard Breaststroke and 200 yard Individual Medley. She was also a member of two relay records in the 200 yard Medley Relay and 400 Yard Freestyle Medley. Amy earned ALL STATE honors four times and was a member of the Class S record setting 400 Yard Freestyle Relay team. Amy also participated in the YMCA national swim meet. Amy established a school record for the discus in track and placed third in the state competition. Amy was a member of the National Honor Society and continued her swimming career at Wesleyan University where she established the team record in the 50 Yard Butterfly.
Peter Van Zandt
Peter graduated from Plainville high School in 1985. Peter was a multi talented athlete who was a member of the PHS golf, soccer, tennis and track teams in addition to his swimming accomplishments. During Peter’s PHS swimming years, the Blue Devils achieved a dual meet record of 56-6. Peter twice earned ALL STATE honors. Peter established four individual school records in the 200 yard freestyle, 500 yard freestyle, 100 yard freestyle and 100 yard backstroke and was a member of two relay records in the 200 yard medley relay and 400 yard freestyle relay. As a senior, he placed 1st in the Class S state meet. The Plainville News characterized Peter as “one of the finest swimmers ever to compete for Plainville High School”. Peter was also the YMCA New England Champion in the 100 yard backstroke in 1984 and 1985. Peter was a member of the National Honor Society and was named a Cornell University National Scholar where he continued his swimming career.