Hall of Fame Inductees 2010
Mike Lantiere has received many individual awards because of his involvement in sports, especially Little League Baseball. In 1995 when he was one of the umpires for the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. Lantiere worked in 20 of the 30 games and was part of the umpiring crew that worked the championship game. And this year he added something new to his resume-he was one of the replay officials at the Little League World Series. Mike is the head umpire of the East Region, which extends from Maine to Maryland. He has won the Little League’s President’s Award for outstanding volunteer. He also has been honored by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association as assistant coach of the ear for his work with the Southington baseball team. He is also a member of the Southington High baseball Hall of fame and received the Good Sport Award form the Connecticut Sports writers Alliance.
Lantiere, however, puts the people he’s met along the way far ahead of the plaques. He started making those friends when he played baseball, football and basketball at PHS playing with Hall of Famers such as Earl Jackson, Bill lasher, John Gacek, Steve Vargo and Rusty camp. Mike played on the 1961 state championship basketball team. He played quarterback on the football team and was a four year letter winner in baseball. Lantiere played shortstop as a senior tri-captain and went the entire season without making an error.
Victor Paradis had it drummed into his head at an early age how difficult it was to be a three sport athlete. “All I heard is that it’s easy to be good in one sport. But it’s challenging to be really good in all three sports”. Paradis pulled it off. He starred in three sports at PHS-football, basketball and baseball-to earn a ticket into the Hall of Fame. As a football player, he played tight end and led the team in catches and receiving yards as a senior. In basketball, he played on Plainville’s Colonial Conference Championship team. As a back-up during his junior year and was a starter as a senior, averaging 18 points per game. He led the team in field goal percentage (62 percent) and foul shooting percentage (88 percent). His best sport was baseball. He batted .320 as a junior and made the All Conference team. He was even more productive as a senior. He batted .438 with a team leading 23 RBI’s. He was first team All State and first team All Conference and was the starting catcher for the Connecticut All Star game.
Victor went to UCONN on a baseball scholarship and won the starting catching job as a freshman during the fall season. A shoulder injury, however, ended his baseball career. Two years later when the shoulder healed, Paradis changed sports and became a basketball player at Valley Christian College in Pennsylvania, a NAIA school. He set eight records that still stand today and as a senior, was second in the nation in scoring and 11th in rebounding.
He said his experience at PHS was the perfect foundation for success in college. “Plainville sports did nothing but positive things for me, Paradis said. “I took a lot of what I learned and applied it to academics and to business.”
Jim Salomone’s first exposure to PHS athletics came courtesy of his brother John, the captain of the 1960 football team. “He used to bring his football buddies home with him, Salomone said, and they were all heroes to me”. Jim was the quarterback of a football team that won its first eight games, winning the Class B Merit Award, which was the equivalent of a state championship. His most memorable moment took place against Torrington, when he led a dramatic comeback to give Plainville its eighth straight win. The only blemish on that season was a loss to Southington on Thanksgiving Day. He carries that momentum into the basketball season and was the captain and staring guard of a team that advanced to the championship game of the Class B State Tournament before losing to East Catholic of Manchester in the title game, 59-52.
Salomone made All Central Valley Conference team as a senior and in basketball he made All Conference in both junior and senior years. He was also regarded as one of the best foul shooters in school history. Following high school, Jim became a pilot in the Air Force for 12 years.
On land, Sara was just another athlete. But put her in the water and she became a star. She has the accomplishments to prove it becoming one of the most celebrated swimmers in the history of PHS. Not only did she compete for four years, she was All State for those four years and was the MVP of her league, the Connecticut Valley Conference, for four years. In state meet competition, she set the Class S record in the backstroke in 1991 and broke her own mark in 1992, a record that stood for 14 years. She set school records in the 100-yard backstroke, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle and the 200-medley relay. Sara qualified for the state open meet in all four years.
In her senior year, she qualified in the 100-yard backstroke with an All-America time of less than 58 seconds. As a sophomore, she pulled off perhaps one of the most dramatic anchor legs in school history, giving Plainville a win in the 400 freestyle relay and the league title. The crown was significant because Plainville only had 14 swimmers on the team.
Sara was on the all-academic team for four years and was the school’s top student athlete in 1992. She continued her swimming at St Bonaventure University where her team won the Atlantic 10 Title her senior season.
Racking up 21 quarterback sacks in a nine games season is an impressive statistic. Here’s something that makes that stat even more impressive – Michael Debboli accomplished all those sacks as a defensive tackle or nose guard – not the defensive end or outstanding linebacker positions where most sacks come from. Mike was All Central Valley Conference as a sophomore, All Colonial Conference as a junior and All Conference and All State a senior as a football player and the best defensive player on a team that recorded 10 shutouts. His coach, Jim Lynch, called Debboli the best defensive player he ever coached. Debboli averaged 10.5 unassisted tackles a game his senior year and 7 assists. He also sacked the quarterback 21 times, blocked four punts and recovered five fumbles. Mike averaged 2.3 sacks per game, a stat that takes your breath away.
Debboli also was a member of the track team, winning the league title in the shot put. Mike continued his football career as a linebacker at Maine Central Institute and Boston University.
Brian was a key member of Plainville’s 1992 Class L State Championship and No. 1 ranked team in the Hartford Courant state baseball poll. In his sophomore year, he hit .328 with 19 runs batted in. As a junior he batted .333 with 17 RBIs and was one of the toughest players in the NWC to strike out. As a senior, he batted 392 with 17 RBIs and made the Class M All-State Baseball team. Brian achieved All Northwest Conference status for 3 years. He was regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in the state. He played in the coaches’ All-Star game.
Brian was the starting goalkeeper for the Plainville soccer team and was an Honorable mention All State selection his senior year.
He was also a member of the National Honor Society and was a winner of the Nutmeg Games Scholarship Award. Brian continued his baseball career at the University of Hartford.