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BHS Hall of Fame Effort Takes Major Steps Forward

Sep 28, 2017 06:00AM ● Published by Kenneth Hamwey

Bellingham Athletic Director Mike Connor

written by KEN HAMWEY, Bulletin Sports Editor

The effort to start an athletic hall of fame at Bellingham High is off and running after the adopting of bylaws and the naming of a selection committee.

Michael Connor, the BHS athletic director and chairman of the selection committee, conducted meetings on Aug. 15 and Sept. 7 to review bylaws and formalize the selection committee. Members comprising the committee are Kevin Grupposo (Vice Chairman), Aley Thibault (Treasurer), Dan Haddad, Rich Blue, TJ Chiappone, Ken Hamwey, Doug Houston, Dan Ranieri, Chris Remillard, Bob Sampson, Rick Smith and Michael Thibault.

To be eligible to serve on the selection committee, an individual must meet three of four requirements: be a graduate of Bellingham High School; be a resident of Bellingham for more than 10 years; be at least 30 years old; and be willing to work in collaboration with others.
“We have a committee with great numbers and the interest to see a hall of fame get off the ground,” Connor said. “All agree that this is long overdue and that it’s important to recognize all the Blackhawks dating back 50-60 years.”

The mission statement of the BHS Hall of Fame states that “the Bellingham High School Athletic Hall of Fame was established to recognize and honor BHS student-athletes, coaches and teams for their outstanding achievements as members of the BHS athletic program.”
Those eligible for induction include administrators, contributors, athletes, coaches, and teams that demonstrated outstanding contributions to BHS athletics.

To be selected, all must have participated in, or contributed to, the BHS athletic program; an athlete or a team may be eligible for nomination 10 years after graduation; a coach may be eligible for nomination after having coached at the varsity level at BHS for a minimum of four years and be retired for five years; selection of athletes should focus on athletic achievements in a varsity sport at BHS, and consideration should be given to athletes’, coaches’, and teams’ sportsmanship, integrity, character and success; selection should not be based on one single athletic event or play, but rather on an accumulation of several events and plays; and selection should not be based on personal sentiment or popularity.

The election process states that up to four athletes may be inducted each year, with the exception of the first three years that involve induction ceremonies. During that time, six will be allowed. One team may be inducted each year, and one coach may be inducted each year, with the exception for both being the first three years, when up to two will be allowed. One  contributor/administrator may be inducted each year except the inaugural year, when up to two will be allowed.

A point system will be used for electing candidates. “The selection process will be a three-tier approach,” Connor said. “All the nominations will be reviewed and the list will be cut by 50 percent. Then, the list will be cut to 15. The third and final part of the process is to identify those who’ll be inducted that year.”

A Hall of Fame committee member whose name appears on the ballot as a candidate will not participate in the final voting process. An advisory committee will be formed that will include former athletic directors, principals, coaches and players who span several decades.
Any individual may nominate a candidate for induction. The nomination process will begin on Jan. 1 and will end on March 31 each year. Nomination forms will be available on the BHS athletic web page and at various athletic department events. All who are nominated and meet all selection requirements will remain on the ballot for five years, but may be nominated again in future years.

Only nominations with a completed form will be considered. They can be submitted to Bellingham High School Athletic Department, 60 Blackstone St., Bellingham, MA, 02019, or to Helen Whiting, the Hall of Fame secretary, at Hwhiting@bellinghamk12.org.
“To fully establish the hall of fame we likely will have an induction ceremony for several consecutive years, then consider alternating the years,” Connor noted. “We’re planning to have the first ceremony in November 2018.”
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