Hall of Fame Inductees 2018

Scott Redmen

Scott Redmen ’95 excelled in football and baseball. In football he was a three year starter at linebacker, receiver and place kicker. Offensively he had 15 receptions for 199 yards. He tallied 35 points. Defensively, at linebacker, he had a total of 25 solo tackles, 63 assisted tackles, and had 3 sacks.

Redmen had a tremendous baseball career as a pitcher and hitter at Plainville High School. As a sophomore, in the 1993 semi -finals against Bristol Eastern, he smashed a monstrous home run over the scoreboard at Muzzy Field. It ignited the Blue Devils’ comeback win and propelled them to a trip to the state finals. He was the winning pitcher in the 1994 and 1995 CIAC Class L state championship games. In the 1994 state finals against Holy Cross, he pitched 5 innings of relief to earn the win in ten innings. In the 1995 state final game, he pitched seven strong innings as the Blue Devils routed Maloney to earn their third CIAC state championship in four years.

As a junior he batted .423 with 30 hits, 6 home runs and 31 RBI. On the mound he was 9-1. As a senior he batted ,353 with 26 hits, 6 home runs and 36 RBI. His pitching record was 6-2.

He was All Northwest Conference in 1994 and 1995 and was elected to the CHSCA Class L All State team in 1995. He pitched for the CHSCA All Star team at Fenway Park and played collegiate baseball at Western Connecticut State University.

James “Jim” Graney

Jim was a 1969 PHS graduate who was a varsity starter in three sports during his sophomore, junior, and senior years. His sports career really started when as a ten-year-old boy he sat and watched football practice every day. And on game day he helped carry the quipment onto the field and then would stand by the bench and watch the entire game. As a sophomore he played defensive back and left half-back in football, guard on basketball, and played center field, third base, and first base in baseball.

During his junior year he played the entire offense and defense portion of each football game. In basketball he scored 68 points along with 37 rebounds and 21 steals for the season. In baseball he was the triple crown winner batting .310 with 2 home runs and 9 RBIs.

As a senior he was captain of all three sports. Playing both offense and defense in football he also scored 32 of the teams 124 points for a team that was 1-8-1. In basketball he scored 227 points with 77 rebounds and 19 steals. He was the baseball team’s catcher the entire season and led the team in 7 categories – batting .341 with 14 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, 24 hits, 6 doubles, 1 triple and a .470 on base percentage.

Jim played three years of American Legion Baseball and one year on Ken Kezer’s summer tournament team. He also played three years of fast pitch softball for his U. S. Army MP unit.

Plainville High School Blue Angels

We all know about the Plainville Blue Devils, but did you know that there were Plainville Blue Angels. The Blue Angels basketball teams were the ground breakers for women’s sports teams at Plainville High School from 1945 to 1947. The program, coached by “Coach Mac” was similar to an intramural team where competition was not encouraged, but rather participation and fun were the rules of the games. In fact, much of the competition was against each other because they couldn’t find many schools with similar programs to play against. In spite of the “no competition” guidelines, there was plenty of talent that was able to provide competition within the rules that became a key teaching point in the program.

The Blue Angels did get to practice in the PHS gymnasium, but the rules were much different from the men’s game. The teams played 6 V 6 rather than the standard 5 V 5 and the guards could only bring the ball up to half court passing to the forwards who brought the ball down court to shoot baskets. Games were played against other members of the team until competition like the teachers, alumnae and finally other schools were available to play. The American School for the Deaf was a regular challenger on the schedule while Bristol and Farmington also provided occasional competition. No one is quite sure why the program ended so quickly, but all of the players that we spoke to remember the program fondly.

The team had it’s share of accomplished players like Margaret Bush who was inducted into the Plainville Sports Hall of Fame in 2000, Ann O’Brien Bridgeman Gladys Blackstone Pascus, Henrietta Gacek Zooleck, Barbara Andrews Olsen and Jackie Ferguson just to name a few.

We were so pleased that nine of the team member s accepted our invitation and will be honored at the Induction Dinner. Those attending are Helen Broczkowski Bergenty, Ellen Rivers Stagis, Ann O’Brien, Gladys Blackstone Pascus, Henrietta Gacek Zooleck, Jackie Ferguson, Wanda Riggs Martin, Ruth Trask Mantak and Alice “Dolly” Eaton Chamberlin.

Nicholas ‘Nick’ Macellaro

Nick capped an outstanding baseball career at Plainville High School pitching a no-hitter in the 1999 Class M Championship game to defeat Noonewaug 3-0. It was the fourth State Championship in the 1990’s for Plainville.

Nick was a smooth fielding, consistent, clutch hitter, and a great competitor throughout his baseball career at Plainville High, Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), and with the Florence Freedom Baseball Team.

He received numerous baseball honors. As a high school senior, he was All-State, All-Conference, Team MVP, and a USA Today Honorable Mention All-American. Nick was the recipient of the Plainville Athletic Backers Male Athlete of The Year. He was selected to the CT All-Star baseball team to play the MA All-Stars at Fenway Park. His senior statistics were outstanding including a .462 BA, 7 HRs, 34 RBIs, and a team leading 36 hits in 78 at bats.

In addition to baseball, Nick played soccer and was a member of the Indoor Track Team at Plainville High School. He was Captain of both the soccer and baseball teams.

Nick received a full Baseball Athletic Scholarship to CCSU. He left CCSU as the All-Time leader in hits with 223 and top 10 in BA at .326, at bats with 684, 131 Runs, 115 RBIs, 40 Doubles, and 279 Total Bases. Nick was All Conference as a third baseman in 2001 second team and in 2003 first team.He received the Frederick Gladstone Male Scholar Athlete Award from CCSU in 2003.

After college, he signed and played baseball for the Florence Freedom in the Independent League.

Nick, his wife Brittany and two children live in CT where he works for the State of Connecticut as an Adult Parole Officer for the Department of Correction.

Distinguished Service Honoree Ken Gnazzo

Ken Gnazzo and his entire family have been the consummate “behind the scenes” supporter of sports and civic causes for as long as any of us can remember. Ken Gnazzo personifies what it means to be genuine, caring and supporting of youth sports as well as a supporter of the town of Plainville. Gnazzo Food Center and the Gnazzo family has and continues to support youth soccer, football, little league baseball and PAL basketball as well as the PHS varsity sports teams and the Athletic Backers Club. “Gnazzos” as most of us know it, has been supporting the youth of Plainville financially for more than 40 years in addition to the moral support and guidance that Ken has shared with the student athletes that worked at his store. Most of the Gnazzo family contributions are not public, but anyone who has been to our little league complex, can’t help but notice the William Gnazzo field, in honor of Ken’s father.

Ken and now his son Keith, continue to support Plainville and the entire youth sports community in Plainville in many different capacities. Whether it was the ”Gnazzo Food Center” Robins in Little League, supporting the parent groups and Athletic Backers Clubs of today’s teams or offering words of support and encouragement, Ken and his family are gems of Plainville and deserving to be this years Distinguished Service Award honorees.

Lawrence Amara

Lawrence graduated Plainville High School in 1964 as a two sport athlete in football and track and field while earning the role of captain of the football team. Larry was a versatile football player and was feared by other schools because of his strength and quickness.

During the three decades encompassing what would be considered his peer group era of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s Larry recorded some of the finest numbers as a running back on the PHS football teams. Larry was elected Captain of the team in his senior year which shows the amount of respect he garnered from his teammates and coaches during his football career. He is ranked 15 in 1000 yards rushing, he averaged 17.8 yards on kickoff returns, 11.3 yards in pass receptions. His total yards rushing 1617 puts him 17th on the all-time rushing list of 1500 minimum. He was the first player to carry the ball over 200 times (278) a recorded that lasted for 34 years.

Larry also excelled as a member of the indoor and outdoor track and field teams as one of the fastest sprinter at PHS during his era. Because of his speed he ran the first leg of the 880 relay with a time of 1:34:04 seconds. In 1963 He tied the 60-yard dash record at the Connecticut State Open Meet at Yale University with a time of 6.5 seconds. He ran the 100 = 10.3 seconds, 220 = 22.5 seconds, 440 = 54.0 seconds relay. He was a member of the 1964 Class B state Champions held at Yale University.

Larry spent 35 years as an educator guidance counselor and principal in the Plymouth school system. He coached several high school and youth groups including Track and Field & Cross Country and Little League. He was active in various Bristol civic and educational groups including chairman of the Bristol Board of Education.

John Andros

John Andros was an exceptional baseball player, an inspirational teammate and respected by all. He and was an intense competitor in a quiet way. He played in four CIAC state championship games. He was state champion in 1992, ’94, ’95. On the baseball field and in the classroom, he did everything well.

Andros was an outstanding defender and a superb baserunner. He was dynamite offensively! As a junior, he batted .354 with 19 RBI. In the 1994 CIAC state tournament, he had 6 hits in 17 at bats and had 8 RBI. In the 1994 CIAC state final against Holy Cross, his home run at Palmer Field sparked the Blue Devils to a come from behind victory and a state title.

As a senior captain in 1995, he put up incredible offensive numbers. His batting average was .658! At one point in that season he had 30 hits in 41 at bats! As a left handed batter he had a classic swing. You could not get him out! In 1995 after 24 games, he had 48 hits, 26 RBI, and an on base percentage of .746. That year the Blue Devils defeated Maloney for the 1995 CIAC L state championship.

He was chosen All Northwest Conference in 1994 and 1995 and earned CHSCA all state honors in 1995.

He played collegiate baseball at Marist College, played in the 1997 NCAA Regional, and was named team captain in 1999.

Andros also played football in 1993 and 1994 and led the team in receptions.

Erin Soli

A graduate of 2001, Erin Soli was captain of the softball and wrestling teams, but wrestling is where she stood out. During her years at Plainville High School her accolades include PHS Sportsmanship award, Joe Dehm physical education award, and Northwest Conference sportsmanship award. Her teammates describe her as having heart, dedication, and perseverance on the wrestling mat. Most of her matches were against males, but in the women’s competition is where she earned her distinction. Erin earned 4th place in the Northwest Conference championship in the 119 weight class. In 1999, she earned 1st place in the Women’s New England Championship. In 2001, Erin placed 1st in the Mid Atlantic Championship and 4th place in the North American National Championships and also being named an All American by USA wrestling. After receiving a scholarship to wrestle at Missouri Valley College, she medaled and placed in college and international championships as well as being ranked 3rd amongst women’s college wrestlers in 2003.

1958 Plainville High State Championship Track Team

Coach Dino Iorli’s team was undefeated in dual meets en route to a Central Valley Conference championship followed by Class B title in outdoor competition.

The track program had just recently ended a 5 year lapse in interscholastic track competition with promises of better facilities at the “new high school”. The championships were a testament to Coach Iorli and his hard working team lead by Captain Ron Pavano.

During the season, several school records were established by the team. Ron Pavano paced the record setters and completed four years of running holding the school’s 100 yard dash mark, 220 yard run mark, and as a member of the record setting 880 relay team. Pavanao alsoo established records in the 60 yard dash at the Hartford invitational meet and the UCONN state meet and the 100 yard dash for the Central Valley League at CCSU. Other records include John Gacek in the broad jump, Pavano, Gacek, Gil Gauthier and Tom Graney in the 880 relay, John Gacek in the 220 run and Roger Roy in pole vault.

Twenty members of the team qualified for the State tournament including Roger Bieryta, Richard Bonczek, John Cavaliere, Bob Dalke, John Gacek, Jerome Gamache, Gil Gauthier, Tom Graney, John Karoliozyn, Paul Maskery, Dick Mahoney, Ray Minella, Fred Mooers. Bob Osgood, Ron Pavano, Roger Roy, Steve Vargo, Pete Visser and Felix Varrichone,

Another Hall of Fame member best describes the track program. “Our coaches developed so much talent that they were able to position people like it was a chess game. They were able to put players where they best needed them. There were no selfish people. You took the egos out of it and you can get off on an ego trip in track very easily. That’s why we won a lot.”

The school finished up the undefeated regular season with a 61 ½ to 42 ½ victory over Glastonbury and celebrated by throwing coach Iorli into the school showers fully clothed. A few days after that victory, the Blue Devils won the Class B State Championship at Yale University. The winning tradition had started and continued for many years.