BHS Hall of Fame Announces Inductees
May 31, 2018 06:00AM ● Published by Pamela Johnson
Hall of Fame Inductees Matt Blue and Stacey Blue
Six Players, Two Coaches and Two Teams Selectedwritten by KEN HAMWEY, Bulletin Sports Editor
The first class of inductees for Bellingham High School’s Hall of Fame will include six players, two coaches and two teams.
The individuals include Ricky Santos, Glen Gariepy, Brenna Elliott, Ron Russell and the brother-sister combination of Matt and Stacey Blue. Coaches selected are Ron Bonollo and the late Frank Flynn, and the teams that will be honored are the 1985 state title field hockey squad and the 2003 state champion boys basketball team.
The induction ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 24. The time and place of the event and the ticket availability and price had not been determined at Bellingham Bulletin deadline.
“The individuals and teams that were selected easily roll off the lips of people in the community,” said BHS Athletic Director Michael Connor. “Selecting an inaugural list from the nominations was relatively straightforward. I would expect the community will triple the nominees for year two and beyond now that the inaugural list is in the books.’’
Following is a capsule look at the inductees, listing achievements and pertinent statistics. (Note: The athletes and coaches are listed in alphabetical order and the teams in chronological order.)
MATT BLUE—The 2003 graduate was a four-year competitor on Bellingham’s basketball team, averaging 17 points from his off-guard slot. During his senior season, Blue (pictured right) helped coach Barry Hutchinson’s squad finish with a 25-1 record and a state championship by defeating Bromfield. A three-time Tri Valley League all-star in basketball, Blue also excelled in baseball, hitting .370 during a four-year career. After graduation, he enrolled at St. Lawrence University and enjoyed additional success at the Division 3 level. He averaged 10 points a game and played on three winning teams, highlighted by a 24-4 contingent his senior year that earned an NCAA tourney berth. After college, Blue was quickly hired as an assistant basketball coach at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA. He later moved on to other assistant posts at Lafayette and the University of Hartford. Currently, he’s a player development coach for the National Basketball Association in Jinan, China.
STACEY BLUE—The 1999 graduate of BHS scored 1,000 points in basketball and led Bellingham’s field-hockey team in scoring for three seasons. Blue (pictured right) was a co-captain and team MVP in basketball and field hockey at Bellingham and served as a co-captain her senior year at UMass-Amherst. At BHS, she was a four-time Tri Valley League all-star in field hockey and basketball, and was the Boston Globe’s player of the year in field hockey in 1997 and 1998. A Northeast Region All-American in field hockey in 1998, she hit .300 twice in softball and excelled as a sprinter in track. A key contributor on the 1996 state title field hockey team at Bellingham, she was a dynamic force on a basketball squad that went from 2-18 in her freshman season to the tournament. In softball, she led the Blackhawks in stolen bases, and in track she ran the 100-meter event in 11.3 seconds.
BRENNA ELLIOTT—The 1991 BHS graduate scored 111 goals in field hockey, and that career total elevated her to a No. 7 ranking in the country during the 1990 season. Elliott (left) also was a dynamic competitor in track, establishing a Tri Valley League record in the javelin, throwing it 117 feet, 10 inches. Her all-star recognition included the TVL, Boston Globe, Boston Herald and Milford News. Forty-five of her 111 goals came in her junior year in the fall of 1989. In 1988, she was a sophomore, and the Blackhawks were striving to win a state title. Her goal against Mansfield in tourney play gave BHS a 1-0 triumph, and that victory enabled the Blackhawks to advance and eventually become state champs after downing Southbridge. Elliott experienced a second state crown as an assistant coach. During a four-year stretch, she was Bellingham’s jayvee coach when Joanne Paquette guided Bellingham to its third state title in 1996.
GLEN GARIEPY—Bellingham High’s all-time leading scorer in basketball amassed a four-year total of 2,070 points, a record that has gone unchallenged for 52 years. He averaged 35 points his junior year and 34 as a senior, leading the Blackhawks to the Tri County League title. Also a phenomenal pitcher and power hitter, he won 26 games in baseball, finishing 9-1 his senior year and later going 10-0 for the Milford Legion. In an incredible pitching performance, he hurled all 10 innings of a one-run win over Blackstone, striking out 21 hitters. BHS posted an 18-2 record his senior year (1966) in baseball and was 19-1 his final year in basketball. Gariepy was a Tri County League choice for three years and was named to the Boston Globe All-Scholastic team in basketball. He also was a Bay State Tournament all-star as a freshman when Bellingham won that tourney. He earned a full scholarship to the University of Rhode Island and later returned to BHS, where he taught English and also coached the girls varsity basketball team for 21 years. He also coached jayvee baseball at Bellingham.
RON RUSSELL—The 1981 BHS graduate was a three-year varsity starter in football and baseball. A tri-captain in football on the 1980 squad, he was a receiver and cornerback who sparked that team to the school’s first winning season. Russell had seven interceptions and four fumble recoveries that year. Baseball, however, is where he excelled. A co-captain on the 1981 team, the pitcher/third baseman hit .400 and was named a Tri Valley League all-star. A two-time MVP for the Ashland Legion, he also played for the prestigious Milford Town Team. He earned a full scholarship to Brandeis University, where the captain pitched and played third base. Drafted by the Texas Rangers, he played two seasons in Double-A baseball in the Florida Gulf Coast League, where he was a teammate of future Major League star Sammy Sosa. He later served as an assistant coach for Brandeis and the Ashland and Westboro Legion squads.
RICKY SANTOS—A three-sport star at BHS, Santos (left) quarterbacked the Blackhawks to a pair of Super Bowl crowns that included victories over Martha’s Vineyard and Tyngsboro. He also played on the 2003 state title basketball squad that downed Bromfield in the championship game. Twice selected as the Tri Valley League’s MVP in football, Santos twice captured the Football Player of the Year Award in Division 5. He later became a Division 1-AA All-American at the University of New Hampshire, throwing 123 touchdown passes for 13,212 yards. He led New Hampshire to four straight berths in the 1-AA playoffs, passed for 165 yards and a touchdown in the Hula Bowl and had his number (2) retired at both BHS and UNH. Santos won the Walter Payton Award as a junior at UNH, the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy at the 1-AA level. The 2003 BHS graduate later coached the wide receivers at UNH but now is the quarterbacks coach at Columbia University.
RON BONOLLO—A superb athlete at BHS in basketball and baseball, Bonollo will be inducted as a coach for leading the Blackhawks to state championships in field hockey in 1985 and 1988. The 1985 Division 2 crown was the first state title at BHS in the modern era, and the 1988 title was achieved at the Division 1 level. BHS beat Murdoch in Division 2 and Southbridge in Division 1. Bonollo’s field hockey records at two schools were dynamic. He was 84-14 at Franklin High (three Hockomock League titles) and his Bellingham teams compiled an 86-13 record. At Bellingham, he transformed field hockey from a deliberate possession game to an up-tempo style. What followed during his five years at the helm were Tri Valley League, Sectional and State championships. Induction into the BHS Hall of Fame will mark the third time he’s been a hall of famer. He was inducted into the Mass. Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Dean College Hall of Fame in 1980.
FRANK FLYNN—A three-sport coach (basketball, baseball and cross-country), Flynn enjoyed a 14-year career that ended with a 70.5 winning percentage and an overall record of 560-234. His basketball teams went 242-76, his cross-country squads compiled a 212-80 mark, and his baseball teams went 106-78. His 1957-58 basketball team won the Bay State Class E championship, and his 1958-59 squad won the Bay State Class D title. He coached some of Bellingham’s finest athletes, such as Ron Bonollo, Jim Bonollo, Glen Gariepy, George LaPrade and Roger Canestrari. Flynn enlisted in the Army in 1942 and served in the infantry for two-plus years in the European Theater, earning the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. A terrific educator, Flynn not only taught and coached, but he also served BHS as an assistant principal and as acting principal. After leaving BHS in 1965, he became a high school football referee. A year later, he suffered a fatal heart attack while refereeing a game between Arlington and New Bedford. He was 42.
1985 FIELD HOCKEY TEAM—This squad was the first to capture a state championship at BHS in the modern era. Coached by Ron Bonollo, the Blackhawks finished their regular season at 16-2 and were runners-up to Hopkinton for the Tri Valley League title. When the Sectional Tournament got underway, BHS defeated, in order, Sandwich, Harwich, Cohasset and Bishop Stang (3-1) for the crown. A 1-0 victory over Triton gave the Blackhawks the Eastern Mass. Title, and they wrapped up a Cinderella season by downing Murdoch, 3-1, at Boston University for the Division 2 state crown. The players included Beth Thornton, Lisa Payne, Mandi Coady, Marci Coady, Tammy Coady, Lisa Beals, Kim Trites, Tammy Kosmas, Barbara Deziel, Lisa Colbreath, Heather Fontaine, Sheila Hastey, Michelle LaPlante, Sarah Powers, Diane Loff, Christine Fleuette, Carol Brennan and Jill Morrell.
2003 BASKETBALL TEAM—Coached by the late Barry Hutchinson, this squad finished with a 25-1 record, rolling to four triumphs in the Sectional then two more in the state playoffs that led to the Division 3 state crown. During the tourney run, the Blackhawks defeated, in order, Westwood, Wareham, Norwell, Rockland (for the Sectional title), Watertown and Bromfield (for the state championship). The starters included captains Ben Belcher and Matt Blue in the backcourt, Jeff Cammarata and Ricky Santos at forward and Dorien Brown at center. Rounding out the squad were Wil Spont, Andy Melchiorri, Jermaine Jordan, Mike Claffey, Kevin DeGray, Adam Remillard, Cyril Heinricher and Brad Jones. Assistant coaches were Dave Hutchinson, TJ Chiappone and Rob Evans. The trainer was the late Arthur “Doc’’ Provost. The only close call in the tourney was the game against Rockland, which ended with Bellingham winning, 59-57. BHS captured the only state title the school has in boys basketball by downing Bromfield, 49-40, at the Worcester Centrum.