3rd BHS Athletic Hall of Fame Induction SlatedOct 29, 2021 09:41AM ● By Pamela Johnson
Editor's Note: Because of technical issues, the last 5 paragraphs of this article were inadvertently left out of the print edition. We apologize for the unintentional omission.
On Friday, November 19, the Bellingham Athletic Booster Club, in conjunction with the Bellingham HS Athletic Department, will induct into the Bellingham Athletic Hall of Fame nine individuals in the categories of player/coach/contributor and one team. This is the 3rd induction ceremony of the Hall of Fame with each being held at the Bellingham Coachmen’s Lodge.
Tickets for the event are $50 and, while limited, are still available and can be obtained by emailing Aley Thibault ([email protected]) or Michael Connor ([email protected]). The event includes a cocktail reception followed by dinner and a ceremony.
The Athletic Hall of Fame is located in the athletic wing at Bellingham High School and can be visited after school hours, most notably during athletic events. A brief summary of this year’s inductees follows.
Dennis Baker and athletics at Bellingham High School have been synonymous for more than five decades, covering Baker’s two stints as Athletic Director, 10 years as baseball coach and, most notably, more than 25 years as softball coach, including a state championship team in 2014. During his early years he served as an Adaptive Physical Education Teacher and coordinator for the Bellingham’s Lions Club Special Olympics programs.
A cornerstone lineman of the Blackhawks’ first Superbowl win in 1993, Adam Bernard was a bulldozing defensive lineman and offensive guard who brought new meaning to the term “pancaking” one’s opponent. Listed in the 1993 program at 302 lbs., he earned all-state lineman honors and a full scholarship to URI. Outside of football he was a four-time national power-lifting champion as a member of the BHS POWER LINE IV lifting program and two-time state shotput champion.
A member of the 1,000-point club (1,037 points in a non 3-point shot era) and three-time TVL all-star, Roger Canestrari, Jr. was a sharp-shooting guard for the Blackhawks, graduating in 1983. He scored a career high 39 points in his last regular season game, a season during which his team was TVL champs with a 17-3 record. A three-year baseball starter as a pitcher 1b/3b, he finished with a .350 career batting average. His basketball prowess earned him a full scholarship to Assumption.
Dale Caparaso, known to all as “Coach Cap,” put Blackhawk football on the map.Beginning with his first season in 1991 through his final season in 2003, Coach Cap won 86 games, including four Eastern-Mass Super Bowls. Caparaso established the POWER LINE IV lifting program that was the foundation of his team’s dominating the line of scrimmage. He would go on to a successful coaching career in Florida, where he still coaches today.
The ultimate teammate, T.J. Chiappone excelled in basketball & baseball. In basketball, he was an outstanding defensive player & rebounder, setting school records.
Coach Hutch left a legacy of fond memories and success as Basketball Coach of the Blackhawks 1990–2006, the last seven as Varsity Coach. During his tenure the Blackhawks won their only basketball State Championship, winning the D3 crown in 2003. Known for his intensity on the court and passion for his players, calling them “his kids,” he was named TVL Coach of the Year twice as Varsity Coach. Barry Hutchinson tragically passed away at the age of 47. A basketball tournament is held annually in his honor.
At six-foot-one, 165 lbs., George Laprade was a three-sport athlete competing in cross-country, baseball, and his legacy sport of basketball. He was the 2nd Blackhawk to eclipse the 1,000-point mark in scoring (1962), in an era without 3-point shots, and today with 1,296 points scored (49 in one game alone) still remains the 3rd most points scored for the Boys Basketball team. Leading a team that won three straight TVL Championships, he would average 22 points per game and 12 rebounds.
Arthur Provost, known to student-athletes for nearly a half-century starting in 1968 to 2004 with a brief hiatus in the late 90’s, as “Doc” was a no-nonsense Athletic Trainer. Despite an uncharacteristic old-school demeanor born of a military and boxing background, he was knowledgeable, generous, and kind-hearted. Still today, some twenty years after his retirement he is spoken of with fondness from Blackhawk Coaches and Athletes alike.
The first Lady Blackhawk to join the ranks of 1,000 point scorers, Kim Trites, was a three-sport athlete who finished the 1987 season with 1,062 points and led the Blackhawks to a TVL Championship. Her other sports, saw no less success as the 1986 field hockey team won their first ever TVL Championship team while in softball the team advanced to the state semi-finals, collectively earning Kim Female Athlete of the Year.
Coached by Ron Bonollo, a 2019 inductee in his own right, the 1988 Field Hockey team is the first and only Division ONE State Championship Team in school history. The team played an up-tempo style that resulted in a TVL Championship and a 17-1 regular season record enroute to a 23-1 season record. The playoff run included 5 shutouts and 1 goal against. The team set school records for Most Wins in a Season (23), Most Consecutive Wins (21), Total Goals Scored (85), & Fewest Goals Allowed (10).
If you were a member of the Field Hockey team, teammate of an inductee, player for one of these coaches/contributors, or simply a longtime fan of the Blackhawks this is going to be a great night for Bellingham. Please, consider yourself invited!
Note: Because of technical issues, the last 5 paragraphs of this article were inadvertently omitted from the print edition.