Ken’s Quiz: Some Hall of Fame Possibilities
Kevin Grupposo led the meetings that were held to try to establish an athletic hall of fame
Two years ago, there was a move to start an athletic hall of fame at Bellingham High. After three or four meetings, it became evident that the concept, which had the support of then school superintendent Ed Fleury, was losing steam.
The meetings, which were led enthusiastically by Kevin Grupposo, a longtime youth league volunteer and the Blackhawks’ freshman basketball coach, lost some of their initial supporters and interest waned, even though a sub-committee worked tirelessly to adopt rules and regulations dealing with the bylaws for nominating and inducting prospective candidates.
Perhaps it’s time to re-ignite the flame and see if anything has changed. Starting an athletic hall of fame, however, takes time and effort—and a group of dedicated people willing to roll up their sleeves. Finding a venue for the induction banquet, fundraising to cover the cost of the event and the selling of ads for a program booklet are just three areas that need chairmen.
Sub-committees also must be formed to handle publicity and the nominating process and promote ticket sales. It’s a lot of work and, unfortunately, the maiden voyage to get a hall of fame for Bellingham up and running encountered a detour—a barrier that put the entire idea on ice.
This quiz is designed to rekindle interest in a hall of fame as your correspondent puts forth 10 people who would be outstanding inductees if voting were to occur now. We’re acutely aware of the many athletes, coaches and contributors who might not be on this list but who no doubt warrant serious consideration for induction. Players like Megan Cook (softball), CC Rogers (softball), Eric May (ice hockey), Bob McManus (ice hockey), Jim Bonollo (basketball player/coach), Roger Canestrari (basketball/baseball player and coach), Barry Hutchinson (basketball coach), Stacey Blue (basketball/field hockey), Ron Bonollo (field hockey coach), Cassandra Thibault (lacrosse) and Matt Blue (basketball) are names that would garner votes. Remember, my 10 choices are strictly opinions and don’t count for much until a Bellingham Athletic Hall of Fame becomes a reality.
- He played football and led Bellingham to a pair of Super Bowl triumphs. At the University of New Hampshire he set a plethora of passing records and finished his career playing in the Hula Bowl and having his number retired at UNH. He played professionally in Canada, mostly for the Montreal Alouettes, who won two Grey Cups (Super Bowls) and provided this Bellingham native with two title rings. His uniform number has been retired at Bellingham High.
- He is Bellingham High’s all-time scoring leader in basketball, connecting for 2070 points during a four-year career when there was no three-point shot. His scoring ability was well-known, and it even drew former Celtics great Bob Cousy to Bellingham to scout him as a potential prospect for Boston College. He got a scholarship to play at the University of Rhode Island, but his college career was nothing like his days as a Blackhawk. He sparked BHS to tourney berths and was also a superb pitcher in high school and with the Milford Legion.
- She was an offensive machine in field hockey, scoring 111 goals in her career and helping Bellingham High win a state championship. Her 111 goals at one time put her No. 10 nationally in most goals scored at the interscholastic level. Aggressive, hard-nosed and intense, she was one of coach Ron Bonollo’s primary weapons who helped the Blackhawks roll to Tri Valley League championships.
- She set 11 Bellingham records in track and cross-country and was voted the Tri Valley League’s MVP six times. Running primarily the 800, 1000 and mile events, she won methodically at the Division 4 and All-State meets and competed nationally in New York and North Carolina. Playing soccer and basketball first, she later turned to a running career that led to a scholarship to Virginia Tech.
- He was a standout infielder and hitter who earned a full scholarship to play baseball at Brandeis University. A Tri Valley League all-star who hit .400-plus, he signed a contract to play professionally with the Texas Rangers. He played double-A ball in the Florida Coast League, where he was a teammate of Sammy Sosa.
- He was a player and a coach for Bellingham High’s hockey team. A goalie, he had a 1.82 goals-against average, and he led the Blackhawks to a 15-5-1 record in 1980, good enough to get to the quarterfinals of the Division 2 tourney at Boston Garden. He coached for 16 years and led BHS to a pair of Tri Valley League titles. His best record as a coach came during the 1996-97 season, when his squad posted an 18-3-2 record, the finest mark in the school’s 38-year history of hockey.
- He’s Bellingham High’s all-time scoring leader in ice hockey—88 goals and 78 assists, good for 166 points. The wing-center was a two-time captain and a three-time Tri Valley League all-star and was Bellingham’s MVP. A nose tackle in football, he was a member of the Blackhawks’ Super Bowl title squad that defeated South Boston in 1998.
- He coached Bellingham High to four Super Bowl appearances (1993, 1998, 2000 and 2001) and his teams won all four games, downing Marian, South Boston, Martha’s Vineyard and Tyngsboro. Arriving in Bellingham in 1991, he immediately installed a weight-lifting program, which put the Blackhawks ahead of the curve in strength and conditioning. He’s now coaching his fourth team in Florida.
- She was a standout goaltender in field hockey, leading the Blackhawks to a pair of Tri Valley League championships in 1992 and 1993 and the South Sectional crown and the Eastern Mass. title in 1995. Although she didn’t play on a state championship squad, she at one time was ranked No. 2 nationally in career shutouts (49). She earned a scholarship to the University of Rhode Island.
- He was the first eighth-grader to play ice hockey at the varsity level. Transferring to Mount St. Charles after his sophomore year, he became a captain as a senior and led the Rhode Island school to a state crown. A walk-on at Clarkson, he later became a scholarship player and the Golden Knights’ captain his senior year. He scored 46 goals and had 68 assists for 114 points at Clarkson. Tragically, just days before he was to sign a professional contract to play in Finland, he died in a construction accident at the age of 24.
- Ricky Santos.
- Glen Gariepy.
- Brenna Elliott.
- Sarah Edwards.
- Ron Russell.
- Brian Sherlock.
- Justin Park.
- Dale Caparaso.
- Jaclyn Pizzi.
- Mike Morrison