Hall of Fame
A Celebration of Champions
St Joseph High School's Hall of Fame is a celebration and recognition of all those who performed with athletic distinction while at St. Joseph High School, or who have been instrumental in the overall development and success of athletics at the school.
the 2022 Hall of Fame induction ceremony
will take place on
Friday, October 21, 2022
Nominations Are Now Closed for Hall of Fame
The St. Joseph High School Hall of Fame Committee was created in May 2012 for the purpose of recognizing the distinctive and outstanding tradition of excellence in the athletics programs over the past 60 years. Said committee is responsible for collecting and voting on nominations from the St. Joes Community.
The 2022 Class of Inductees will be announced over the summer.
Article II: Players, coaches, administrators, and devoted volunteers, living or deceased, are eligible for induction subject to the following criteria:
- A former St. Joseph High School athlete who performed with excellence and lettered in a Varsity sport and has been out for ten (10) years.
- A former St. Joseph High School coach must have coached ten (10) or more seasons.
- A former Administrator must have served in a long standing role within the athletics program.
- Devoted volunteers or friends of the athletic program must have served a minimum six (6) years.
- The student athlete, coach, administrator, or volunteer/friend, in addition to excellence in his/her sport, instill the Gospel values of the Roman Catholic faith and promote a commitment to family and community, portray high standards, integrity, honesty, self-sacrifice and determination.
- Any person may submit a nomination form. Said nominations must be made in writing and the Hall of Fame Nomination Form must be completed in its entirety, supported by achievements and facts.
Article III: Inductees shall receive an award at an annual event held in the Fall of each year. A plaque commemorating this award will go on permanent display in the school's trophy case.
Article IV: The Committee shall have the authority to review and update the By-laws yearly, adoption of said By-laws shall be a majority vote of Committee members.
2020 Athletic Hall of Fame Recap
Mr Walt Trojanowski '72
Mr Trojanowski may better be known as the very first football player in SJ history to be named First Team All-State. Mr Trojanowski was a two sport athlete at SJ, participating in both football in track, being names captain in his senior year of both sports. In his junior season of football, he was awarded All-MBIAC and Second Team All-State for Defensive Tackle. In his senior season he again earned All-MBIAC honors, this time for Offensive Guard and earned First Team All-State Honors. Additionally, he was named St Joe's Outstanding Senior Athlete 1972.
As a track athlete, Mr Trojanowski participated in the long jump, high jump, and triple jump, adding throwing events into his repertoire as his career progressed.
Mr Trojanowski continued his football career at the University of Bridgeport until the school discontinued the program.
Mr Marty Dempsey '73
Mr Dempsey, who followed Mr Trojanowski as the St Joe's Outstanding Male Senior Athlete in 1973, was a two sport athlete at SJ. Mr Dempsey played four years of both football and baseball and had been named captain in his senior year for both programs.
Despite his success on the baseball field, football was always his true passion. Mr Dempsey excelled as defensive back, defensive end, and outside linebacker, however, it was his offensive role in halfback where he really made his mark. Mr Dempsey became St Joe’s first 1,000 yard rusher on his way to scoring 18 touchdowns. He was selected to the All MBIAC 1st team, All State 1st team and the New York Daily News All Star team.
After graduating from SJ, Mr Dempsey played football at Milford Academy for one year before entering the Merchant Marine Academy where he played for a season before finishing his career playing two seasons with Central Connecticut State University.
Mr Jay Polydys '78
It is said that what Mr Polydys lacked in size, he certainly made up for it with his speed and athleticism. Mr Polydys started at SJ as a three sport athlete, focusing on only football and baseball for his junior and senior years.
In his football career, he played in the positions of return specialist, safety and running back. In his junior year, Mr Polydys earned MVP honors for the Thanksgiving Day Game. In his senior season as tri-captain of the team, he led the team to a 9-2 record, and to the program's first ever trip to the MBIAC championship game.
Mr Polydys really succeeded on the baseball field. He had a tremendous season his junior year batting .422, while stealing 20 bases. His performance earned him First Team All-MBIAC. In his senior year, Mr Polydys was once again named to the First Team All-MBIAC team and was also name Co-MVP of the MBIAC. He was also awarded First Team All-Daily News and was selected to the Connecticut High School Coaches All Star Baseball Game. He batted .373 during the season with 31 hits, 4 home runs and 20 stolen bases. Upon graduation, Mr Polydys held school baseball career records in hits, RBIs, triples, home runs and currently holds the career stolen base record of 65. He went on to continue his baseball career at the University of New Haven.
Mr Bruce Perry '84
Mr Perry was an outstanding football player during his time at SJ, and at the time of his graduation held many SJ Football records. Mr Perry helped lead the Hogs to three state championships and was named captain of the team in his senior year.
Mr Perry's list of accolades during his career included that of All-MBIAC, Co-MVP for the MBIAC, All-CT Post and New Haven Register and CHSCA All-State. At the time of his graduation Mr Perry held the record forvMost TDs in a game, Most TDs in a season, Most TDs Career, Most Rush attempts, Most points in a game, Most points in a season, State record of Most TDs in a season. Most of these records were held for almost 30+ years.
Ms JoElle LePardo Anderson '85
Ms LePardo Anderson was a two sport, four-year varsity athlete while attending SJ, having been named captain for both sports her senior year. As a four-year softball pitcher, she led the team to 4 MBIAC titles, and 2 state titles. She was All-MBIAC all 4 years and League MVP 3 years, as well as All-State. Twice Ms LePardo Anderson was named to the NY Daily News All Star team.
On the basketball court Ms LePardo Anderson was three-time All MBIAC, and in her senior season All-State, League MVP, and named to the NY Daily News All-Star Team. She led the team to MBIAC championships in ’83, ’84, & ’85. The team set a St Joe's girls basketball season record of 24 consecutive wins that year. During her career at SJ, Ms LePardo Anderson amassed a career total of 1,030 points. She was named Outstanding Senior Athlete in 1985.
She was recruited in 1985 by the University of Hartford for softball. She started every game as their shortstop for all 4 years. She was co-captain her senior year.
Mrs Jennifer (Luzietti) Spana '87
Mrs (Luzietti) Spana was quite the elusive three-sport athlete during here career at SJ. Accumulating 12 varsity letters during her time, Mrs (Luzietti) Spana co-captained all three sports her senior year, having previously been captain in basketball her junior year as well.
Mrs (Luzietti) Spana participated on teams that earned State Championships in 1984 for Volleyball and 1984 for Softball. She earned numerous awards in the ACC conference and MBIAC in all three sports. She finished her basketball career with 1226 points. In addition to SJ she made the Junior Olympic basketball team for the state of CT in 1986. She had also earned honors in the National Honor Society, St Joe's Female Scholar Athlete, the CASS-CIAC CT State Scholar Athlete Award, and the Federation Umpire Association Scholar Athlete Award in 1987.
Mrs (Luzietti) Spana continued her basketball career at Johns Hopkins University.
Mrs Jessica (Schloth) Sgalardi '10
As a member of one of the most successful programs at SJ, Mrs (Schloth) Sgalardi emerged as one of the most decorated athletes from the program. A four year varsity player, she helped lead the team to two State Championships and the first ever FCIAC Championship for the program. In her playing career at SJ, she was named a two-time All-American, three-time All-New England, and three-time All-State and first team All-FCIAC. As a junior and senior, she earned Coca Cola, ADIDAS, Gatorade and CJSA Coaches Connecticut Player of the Year titles, and recognized as the most valuable player of the FCIAC Tournament in 2008 and the Class M state championship in 2007. She was the St Joseph High School Female Athlete of the Year in 2010, and in 2016 she was inducted into the Connecticut Girls’ Soccer Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
In addition to soccer, she played on the basketball team her freshman year and on the Varsity Women’s Tennis team her freshman, sophomore and junior year. Mrs (Schloth) Sgalardi went on to play for the Yale Women's Soccer team.
Mr Craig Avery
Mr Avery was a constant figure at St Joe’s since the early 90’s. He was active in many organizations at the school. He began as a part of the Northeast Basketball Classic Steering Committee, which helped bring in many of the top Catholic HS basketball teams around.
He was a member of the TD Club for many years and served on hiring committees to bring in new coaches in all sports as well. He was active in fundraising, on field set up and overall field projects for the betterment of the St Joe’s campus.
Mr Avery supported all students and athletes at St Joe’s and was often seen watching practices out on the football field and baseball diamond as well as inside the gym.
He was everyone’s friend. He was ever encouraging to all students and athletes and was adored by all who came in contact with him. He always had kind words and positive thoughts to help everyone get through a tough day.
1980 Baseball Team
Coach Ed McCarthy’s 1980 baseball team entered the season with a lot of Senior experience, good pitching depth and high expectations. While Coach McCarthy noted that the team was in good shape on paper, he also noted that “baseball is funny, sometimes the teams that look stronger on paper don’t come out.”
The team finished with a final record of 21 wins and 5 losses. The 21 wins is a school record (tied with the 2011 team), and the 5 losses were each by one run. The team’s pitching staff was arguably its strength. The starting pitchers were a combined 19-4 with a combined earned run average of 1.20.
The Class M Championship game was played at Palmer Field in Middletown against a spirited team from New London. Despite having his Senior pitchers ready and rested, Coach McCarthy kept his promise by giving the ball to underclassman Czajkowski, and the Junior took care of what needed to be done. He pitched a masterful one hitter with no earned runs while striking out 12, over seven and a third innings before giving way to Palo to finish out the game. The offense did its part as well by knocking out 8 hits, with Palo hitting a two-run homer and Donnelly adding 2 hits and 2 RBIs. The result was an 8-1 victory and the Class M Championship.
For the entire State tournament, the pitching staff gave up only 2 earned runs over 36 innings pitched and held the opposing teams to a combined .085 batting average while striking out 36. The offense was led by Donnelly with a .429 batting average, Palo with 5 RBIs and Paoletta with 4 stolen bases.
11 players from this squad played baseball at the collegiate level.
Ms Barbara Zito-Madden, Class of 1967
Ms Zito-Madden was a leader and pioneer for women’s athletics at St Joseph High School. As a member of the class of 1967, the second graduating class in school history, she played for two of the first athletic teams for the Cadets. At that time, basketball and softball were the only girls’ sports available for participation and Ms Zito-Madden was a captain for both teams all four years. She also was a Scholar-Athlete and member of the National Honor Society all four years and student council president her senior year. During the summer months, Ms Zito-Madden played softball with the Raybestos Robins, the farm team at the time for the women’s fast-pitch softball world champion, the Raybestos Brakettes.
Mr Jeff Sargent, Class of 1982
When thinking about St Joseph swimming, Mr Sargent’s name is one that immediately comes to mind. As a four year varsity swimmer, Mr Sargent was a three-time All-MBIAC selection, All-State selection, and CIAC State Open Meet qualifier. In his sophomore season, he was both MBIAC champion and state-runner up in the 100 backstroke and state runner up in the 200 IM. In Mr Sargent’s junior season he was MBIAC and state champion in both events. In his senior year, aside from being appointed co-captain, Mr Sargent won his third straight MBIAC championship in the 100 backstroke and second straight in the 200 IM. He also won the state title for the 100 backstroke and was runner up in the 200 IM. During the 1981 and 1982 seasons, Mr Sargent went undefeated in individual races and dual meets. He was the first high school swimmer in the state to break 54:00 in the backstroke. In his senior year, ranked top 25 in the country, he was the first SJ swimmer to be named All-American Honorable Mention, specifically in the 100 backstroke. Mr Sargent currently holds the school record for the 100 backstroke, a feat he accomplished in his sophomore year. He formerly held records in the 200 free, 200 IM, 100 fly, 500 free, and 100 breast. He was also a part of the record setting 200 medley relay and 400 free relay. He also at one point held records in Class S and the MBIAC for the 200 IM, 100 backstroke, and 200 medley relay. Mr Sargent is currently a member of US Masters Swimming.
Mr Bob Ventresca, Class of 1984
Mr Ventresca, a two-sport athlete at St Joseph, was a member of three state championship football teams during his career. Mr Ventresca had been a three year starter on the team and a two year starter at the quarterback position, one year of which was the 1982 Football championship team - the only SJ football team to be ranked #1 in Connecticut. In his two years as starter in quarterback position, Mr Ventresca went undefeated at 22-0. He was awarded second team All-State in his junior season and first team All-State his senior season, along with first team All-MBIAC. Mr. Ventresca was also a starter on the varsity baseball team from 1982-1984.
Mr Marvin Saddler, Class of 1988
Mr Saddler, a three-time basketball state champion, which included captaining the ’87-88 induction team, holds a position on a number of St Joseph’s basketball records. He is currently second in career rebounds and career blocked shots. He is listed third in points scored and rebounds in a season. In his four year SJ career, Mr Saddler was twice named first team All-State and three times All-Conference. In his junior year, he was named MVP of both the ACC and Class M Championship games. He was named an All-American honorable mention his junior year and was a McDonald’s All-American nominee in his senior year. He was also listed on various All-Area and All-State rosters including the Hartford Courant, Daily News, and New Haven Register. He went on to continue his career at Big East member school, Providence College.
Mr Mark Tomey, Class of 1990
Athletic prowess runs in the Tomey family, as Mr Tomey is the second member of the family to be inducted into the SJ Hall of Fame. Mr Tomey excelled at St Joes in both football and baseball, lettering in both sports for three years. As a member of the football team, Mr Tomey was a part of the Class S Championship teams in 1988 and ’89, being named a captain of the latter team. He was named Offensive Player of the Year, was a CT Post and NY Daily News All-Regional selection, and New Haven Register All-State Selection during his career. In the sport of baseball, Mr Tomey twice earned All-Area accolades. He also was named a New Haven Register All-State Selection and to the CIAC All-State team. Mr Tomey chose to play baseball at the collegiate level at Providence College.
Ms KrisAndra Pekar, Class of 1993
Ms Pekar, a multi-sport athlete at St Joes, earned letters in the sports of volleyball, basketball, and softball. In her four year varsity volleyball career, Ms Pekar was a member of the 1989 Class M Championship team and both undefeated Class M Championship teams in 1991 and 1992. In her junior and senior seasons, she was named to the all-area, all-conference, and Hartford Courant All-State teams. Additionally, in her senior year she was named Connecticut-Post Co-Athlete of the Year (along with teammate Kristen McCarthy), CIAC Scholar-Athlete, and McDonald’s Scholar-Athlete. In 2015 Ms Pekar was inducted into the CT Women’s Volleyball High School Hall of Fame. She was also awarded All-Conference honors in her senior seasons of basketball and softball. In college, Ms Pekar walked-on to the University of Delaware volleyball team her freshmen year. She red-shirted in her first season and then went on to letter for the next four years and earned a full scholarship.
Mr Ken Mayo
St Joseph High School and Mr Mayo are synonymous with one another. In his 38 year history with St Joes, Mr Mayo served in a myriad of roles including Religion Teacher, Chair of the Religion Department, Football Coach, Baseball Coach, Club Moderator, Dean of Students and ultimately, Principal. Mr Mayo had retired for a period of time following his post as Dean of Students, however, when the school found itself in an unusual predicament of being without either a permanent Principal or President for the upcoming school year, Mr Mayo selflessly came out of retirement to take the reins. In the realm of athletics, starting in 1971 and spanning roughly 15 years on and off, Mr Mayo coached various team levels in the sports of baseball and football. Mr Mayo, as Defensive Coordinator, served a vital part of the 1989 and 1990 football championship teams. His motto had been that “Learning happens on and off the field”. Mr Mayo’s greatest satisfaction always came from helping students achieve more than he or she ever dreamed possible.
Mr Kevin Morey
Mr Morey has been an invaluable member of the SJ community as an alum (’70), coach, parent and friend for over five decades. He first started coaching under fellow SJ Hall of Famer, Christy Hayes, in the fall of 1986. He rejoined the staff under current head coach, Joe DellaVecchia until the fall of 2014. In his almost 20 year coaching span, he was Defensive Coordinator, Offensive Line Coach and Special Teams Coach. In 1999, Mr Morey was named the CHSCA Assistant Coach of the Year for his dedication to the program. Despite no longer officially being on staff, Mr Morey can still be seen at just about every game during the season, helping in whatever capacity he can. In 1988, Mr Morey started the SJ Boys Lacrosse Program and stayed on as head coach for five years. The Boys Lacrosse program now boasts 5 State Championships, including the 2018 Class S Championship. Mr Morey’s contributions reach much farther than his coaching career. He was a staple figure at St Joes while two of his three daughters attended the school in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. He was known to volunteer to scout basketball games for Hall of Famer Coach Vito Montelli, as well as work the score clock and book for home games. He was a part of various fundraising efforts held for the school each year. Most recently, Mr Morey was the chair of the Hall of Fame committee that inducted the first three Hall of Fame classes. The St Joes community is so grateful for Mr Morey’s impact.
1992 Girls Volleyball
The 1992 Girls Volleyball team, under direction of St Joes Hall of Fame Coach George Green, was led by a group that was no stranger to success. The reigning Class M Champions from 1991 achieved their preseason goal of going a perfect 22-0 on the season, making it their second straight undefeated season and compiling a total record of 44-0 over the two seasons. The ’92 Girls Volleyball team, whom attributed their success to their camaraderie both on and off the court, defeated Foran 3-0 in what Coach Green considered “the most exciting and dramatic match [he has] have ever seen” to win their second Class M Championship. In addition to going undefeated, the team was ranked #1 in Connecticut.
2018 Hall of Fame Intros
Ms Janet Misencik-Monroe
Class of 1980
Ms Misencik-Monroe, the 1980 St Joes Female Athlete of the Year, was a three sport standout, lettering and earning All-MBIAC awards in volleyball, basketball, and softball. Ms Misencik-Monroe earned many accolades for her contributions to the girls’ basketball team. She was the first female to score over 1000 points in her career, she was selected to the All-MBIAC team three out of her four years, and also earned the title of MBIAC MVP. In addition to league honors, she also was awarded All-State honors two years and was an NHSACA Honorable Mention. Ms Misencik-Monroe went on to continue her basketball career at Yale University.
Ms Jill Lynne (Plukas)
Class of 1982
Ms Lynne was a four year letter winner and standout playing co-ed tennis. She was a four-time Girls State Singles Champion and was the first person, male or female, in state history to attain such a feat. Ms Lynne was also a member of the 1981 and 1982 Class S Girls Tennis Championship team. She earned co-ed All-MBIAC honors three out of her four years of competition. Ms Lynne was awarded a tennis scholarship to continue playing at the University of Jacksonville.
Dr Mick Tomey
Class of 1988
Dr Tomey was a four year letter winner in the sports of football and baseball. Dr Tomey started his football career as an integral part of the 1984 Class S Championship team, handling place-kicking duties throughout season. Later in his St Joes career, he was a two-time All-ACC selection and All-State selection in addition to being named the 1987 CT Post Player of the Year and 1987 New Haven Register All-State team selection. Nationally, Dr Tomey was an honorable mention selection to the National HS Football All-American team and USA Today honorable mention. In his baseball career, Dr Tomey was a member of the 1985 Class M Championship team. He was selected to the All-ACC team twice and selected to the All-State team his senior season. He was also awarded a spot on the 1988 New York Daily News High School All-Star team. Dr Tomey went on to play baseball at Auburn University.
Mr Doremus Bennerman
Class of 1990
Mr Bennerman’s name can be seen a few times in the St Joseph basketball record books. During his four year career, Mr Bennerman scored 1,318 points, ranking sixth currently on the school all-time score list. He also currently holds the third place record on the school’s all-time steals list with 265 and is ranked fifth with all-time assists. He was a significant contributor coming off the bench for the 1987-88 Championship Basketball team. Throughout his career, Mr Bennerman was selected to the 89-90 All-State team, All-League team, and All-Area team. Mr Bennerman went on to have an illustrious basketball career at Siena College and also continued on to play professionally in Europe.
Mr Stephen Neugebauer
Class of 1998
Mr Neugebauer was a two sport athlete during his time at St Joseph, lettering in football for four years and indoor track for two years. Mr Neugebauer’s stellar football career included being selected to multiple All-State and All-FCIAC teams in a different position each year. His sophomore year he was awarded All-FCIAC and 2nd team Class M All-State for defensive back, his junior year he was selected to the 1st Team Class S All-State and All-FCIAC at running back, and his senior year selected to the New Haven Register All-State team, 1st Team Class S All-State and All-FCIAC as linebacker. Mr Neugebauer held the school record for career tackles at 325 only to be broken in 2007 by 2017 Hall of Fame inductee, Tyler Matakevich. Mr Neugebauer also earned accolades for this performance in indoor track. His junior year he earned 1st Team All-FCIAC team, while in his senior year he earned a spot on both 1st Team All-State and All-FCIAC teams. He was also a part of the Sprint Medley Relay that held the Class S Title and record in the event, a record that stood for 10 years. Mr Neugebauer went on to letter in football and track at Villanova University and is currently a member of the St Joe’s football staff.
Ms Adriana Spears
Class of 1999
Ms Spears, the 1999 St Joseph Female Athlete of the Year, was a four year, two sport athlete, lettering in basketball and volleyball. Ms Spears finished her basketball career as the school’s then leading scorer with 1400 points. As a senior, she was named the 1999 Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year, a USA Today Honorable Mention All-American, a member of the New Haven Register All-Area team, and a member of the Connecticut Post Super 15. She was also selected to the All-State and All-FCIAC teams twice in her career. Ms Spears’ had very similar success during her volleyball career. She was named the Most Valuable Player of the team that had won the 1997 State Championship. She was an All-FCIAC selection one year in her career and an All-State selection during her junior and senior years. She was also selected to the CT Post Super 15 and New Haven Register All-Area teams. Ms Spears continued her basketball career at the Division I level at Boston College.
Ms Jen Russell
Class of 2007
Ms Russell lettered in two sports during her career, two years in volleyball and four years in softball. Ms Russell posted a 61-11 career pitching record and posted a record of 45-3 during 2006 and 2007 State Championship seasons, with an ERA of 0.07 in 2007. Additionally, in 2007 Ms Russell was named captain of a team that not only won the FCIAC Championship in addition to their second straight State Championship. Ms Russell earned All-FCIAC and All-State accolades in her junior and senior seasons. She was named to the New Haven Register All-Area team and named Connecticut Post MVP. She was the MVP of the 2006 and 2007 State Championship games and FCIAC Tournament MVP in 2007. Ms Russell continued her softball career at Sacred Heart University.
Mr Richard Dalling
Mr Richard Dalling is a tremendous friend of St Joes. In the early 80’s, Monsignor Shea and Dick Dalling had an idea for some of the extra dirt coming off the construction of Route 8. Today, we call it the Dalling Sports Complex. Today, 800 students play on the football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, baseball, and softball fields, as well as the tennis courts that the Dallings built.
Dick and Mary Ann Dalling sent all five of their children and their children’s children through St Joes. In honor of his son Tom ’89, the Dallings established a memorial scholarship to St Joes, given to St Catherine of Siena grad to ensure a connection that is now 40 years in the making. The Dallings are a legacy at St Joes. Through their sweat, blood, and bricks, the Dalling name will always be a blessing at St Joes.
87-88 Boys Basketball
The 87-88 Boys Basketball Championship team is certainly a memorable one. This group, led by captains Tom Montelli and Marvin Saddler, accomplished the impressive task of capturing its third straight ACC Title and Class L State Title. Prior to its sole loss of the season, the team had been on a 39 game win streak, the longest streak in the state of Connecticut at the time. They bounced back to win not only the conference title, but also edged out Harding High School with a score of 69-66 to win the state title. At the completion of the season, the team was ranked #1 in Connecticut, #1 in New England and #14 nationally in the USA Today poll. 2015 Hall of Fame Inductee, Coach Vito Montelli, also secured his 400th career win with this group of athletes. Five members from the championship team went on to play basketball collegiately at the Division I level.
2017 Hall of Fame Intros
Mr Christy Hayes
Coach Hayes football coaching career included 5 State Championships in varsity football with 103 victories. Coach earned one State Championship while coaching girls’ varsity basketball and had a career record of 150 wins to 25 losses in girls’ basketball. Coach Hayes also coached varsity baseball during his tenure and finished with 120 victories and one FCIAC Championship. Coach Hayes was inducted into the CT HS Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014.
Mr Richard Shea
Class of 1975, West Hartford, CT
Mr Shea lettered in three sports, while earning the title of captain for basketball and baseball during his career. In his senior year, Mr Shea earned 1st Team All-MBIAC honors for both sports and All-State, All-Fairfield County-Bridgeport post, and All-Tournament Class S for basketball. He also led the basketball team to their first state championship his senior year. Mr Shea continued his basketball career at the collegiate level, playing for Yale University for four years.
Mr Dave Donnelly
Class of 1978, Miami, FL
Mr. Donnelly was a captain and All-MBIAC player in three sports his senior year; Football, Swimming, and Baseball. He had also set various school records during his time at St Joe’s including 4 touchdowns in a game, 39 yard field goal, scoring 27 points in a football game, 100 yard backstroke, 4x100 yard Medley Race, and career walks in baseball. Mr Donnelly went on to continue his baseball career at Sacred Heart University where he was a three year starter.
Mr Brian Barker
Class of 1983, Monroe, CT
Mr. Barker was a four year letter winner in Boys Tennis. He was the Class M Singles Champion all four years he competed. He also went on to win the State Open Championship in both ’82 and ’83. Brian was named ALL State all four years in Class M. Throughout his high school career, Mr Barker’s overall record was 92-1. After high school he went onto play for the University of South Carolina where he was named team MVP two years and was captain his senior year at South Carolina.
Mrs Liz Barker Balanis
Class of 1990, South Bend, IN
Mrs Balanis, like her brother Brian, was a four year letter winner in Tennis. She won the Class M Girls Singles Championship in both ’87 and ’89. The following year, she won the Class M Boys Singles Championship. Mrs Balanis went onto to be a four year starter at Wake Forest in the ACC. As a sophomore she won the ACC flight championship at No. 3 singles and closed out her career with an 87-56 singles record and 85-38 doubles record. Mrs Balanis continued with tennis in the coaching ranks as the women’s assistant coach at the University of Notre Dame.
Mr Manny Torres
Class of 1995, Bridgeport, CT
Mr Torres was a two sports athlete, participating in basketball for three years and shining as a pitcher in baseball for four years. He was selected as an All-ACC player his sophomore year and earned All-State honors the following two years. In his senior year, he also earned CT Gatorade Player of the Year, CT Post Player of the Year, Hartford Courant Player of the Year, and USA Today CT Player of the Year. In 1995 he was drafted in the 28th round of the MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers and then went on to have a successful college baseball career at the University of Alabama.
Ms Alexandra Uscilla
Class of 2008, Westport, CT
Ms Uscilla, known as the first female All-American in school history, boasts an illustrious career over her four years at St Joes. She was a 4 year varsity soccer starter, earning All-FCIAC honors every year. In addition, she was a 3-time All-State honoree, All-New England selection, and All-American selection. In 2007, Alexandra led the girl’s soccer team to their first State Championship in school history. In that same year, she earned the NCSAA Player of the Year award in Connecticut, as well as, Gatorade and Coca-Cola State Player of the Year accolades. Ms Uscilla went on to continue her career at the University of Hartford.
Mr Tyler Matakevich
Class of 2011, Stratford, CT
Mr Matakevich is arguably one of the most successful athletes to come out of St Joes. He was a four year letter winner in Football and a 3 year letter winner in Baseball, as well as a captain in each sport. As a football athlete, Mr Matakevich accumulated 414 rushes for 2494 yards, 95 receptions, 400 tackles, 366 points, and 61 TDs in his career. He holds the school record for 5 TDs in a game, and scored 4 TDs in a game twice. Among his many football accolades, he was a 3-time All-FCIAC selection, 2-time All-State selection, CT Post 2009 Athlete of the Year, 2010 MVP on the State Championship. He was also an All-State selection for baseball. Mr Matakevich went on to have a prosperous collegiate career at Temple University, he was then drafted 7th in NFL to the Pittsburgh Steelers and went on to become the first athlete in St Joes history to play in an NFL game.
Mr Joseph P Della Vecchia
Class of 2011, Stratford, CT
Mr Della Vecchia was an outstanding athlete and captain in two sports, Football and Baseball.As a football athlete, he had over 8,000 passing yards, 85 passing touchdowns, a 63% completion rate, and rushed for over 10,000 total yards in his career. These accomplishments were all state records that have currently been upheld since his graduation. He was a 2-time All-FCIAC and All-State selection. In 2010, Mr Della Vecchia earned the “Old Spice” CT Player of the Year award and Class “S” MVP of the state championship game. He continued his football career at Stonehill College.
The ceremony recognizes nine outstanding individuals and one team who were nominated for performing with distinction or having been instrumental in the overall development and success of athletics at St Joseph High School.
Mr Christy Hayes
Coach Hayes graciously accepted his Hall of Fame nomination and will be recognized with this year's 2015 Hall of Fame Class and will receive his award at the next Hall of Fame induction ceremony which will be scheduled for September 2017. Coach Hayes football coaching career included 5 State Championships in varsity football with 103 victories. Coach earned one State Championship while coaching girls’ varsity basketball and had a career record of 150 wins to 25 losses in girls basketball. Coach Hayes also coached varsity baseball during his tenure and finished with 120 victories and one FCIAC Championship. Coach Hayes was inducted into the CT HS Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014.
Mr George Green
In November of 2010, Coach Green was inducted into the Connecticut Volleyball Hall of Fame. He coached volleyball for 32 years at St Joe’s and compiled a 554-124 all-time record. His 538 wins earned him a place in Connecticut high school volleyball history. Coach Green brought home five State Championships in Girls’ volleyball during 1984, 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1997. Coach Green’s Boys’ volleyball teams won State Championships in 1993, 1995 and in 1996. During Coach Green’s tennis coaching tenure his Girls’ teams took home State titles in 1981 and 1982, while his Boys’ tennis teams garnered State titles in 1986, 1987 and 1989. His record also includes 14 league championships. Coach Green was named coach of the year by the CHSCA for Boys’ tennis in 1988 and Girls’ volleyball in 1992.
Mr Jim Driggs ’68
Known for being Captain of three SJ teams in 1968 including Football, Baseball and Basketball, Mr Driggs scored the legendary first varsity football touchdown in school history against Crosby High School of Waterbury in an 8-0 victory. He also scored the first winning touchdown over Trumbull High School and was named the MVP of that Thanksgiving Day game. As Basketball Captain, he set scoring records in both his junior and senior years and was the 3rd leading scorer in the metro Bridgeport area. During Baseball he lettered for three years and started as a short stop.
Mr Rick DiCicco ’73
Basketball is what Rick DiCicco is known for at St Joes. He was a leading scorer with 1,666 points and leading rebounder with 1210 rebounds. He also had 433 rebounds in one season which is a record at St Joe’s. He received All American Recognition during his basketball career and was All State in 1972 and 1973.
Mr Mike DellaVecchia ’80
Mr DellaVecchia was both Captain of Football in 1979 and Baseball in 1980. As a quarterback in 1979 he made all MBIAC, 2nd All State, and MBIAC Player of the Year. While Mr DellaVecchia was Captain of baseball from 1979-1980 he was awarded all MBIAC, All State, MBIAC Player of the year and was part of the 1980 State Championship team. In 1980 he was named St Joseph High School Male Athlete of the Year. Mr DellaVecchia continued with baseball at Fairfield University and was Captain of their baseball team in 1984.
Mr William Kurtz ’84
Mr Bill Kurtz is remembered for his leadership as a student athlete. He was Captain of the football team in 1983 and Captain of the baseball team in 1983. During his four years at St Joe’s, our football team was at 42-2, which included four State Championships. Mr Kurtz continued onto Northeastern University where he was Captain of the football team, which at the time was 3rd in all of New England.
Miss Christine DellaVecchia ’09
Miss DellaVecchia has an amazing sports history at St Joseph High School. She was the Girls Varsity Basketball Captain in 2008 and 2009 as well as Captain of Girls Varsity Softball in 2009. For 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 she was All State for Softball and All FCIAC for Softball in 2007, 2008 and 2009. She holds the most hits record and stolen bases for her career and seasons at St Joe’s. She was named a Gatorade Player of the Year Finalist. She was also basketball All State in 2008, 2009, All FCIAC in 2008 and 2009 as well as a Connecticut Post Super 15 All Star in 2007, 2008, 2009. Miss DellaVecchia was the St Joseph High School Female Athlete of the Year in 2009. She continued with her softball career at UMASS as a 3 year starter and Captain of the softball team.
Mrs Michelle Pagliaro Haywood ’90
Mrs Haywood was All-state in three sports her senior year; volleyball, basketball, and softball. She was the only female athlete in the state to be all-state in those 3 sports at that time. She also captained all 3 of those sports her senior year. She was USA Today's CT Female Athlete of the Year in 1989-1990. She scored her 1000 point in basketball and a total of 1159 points in her career. Her volleyball team won the state championship and ACC in 1989-1990. She was the first junior in St Joe's history to be Captain of a softball team. She was inducted into the Brown University Athletic Department Hall of Fame competing in basketball and softball for the Bears.
Mr Thomas Roach
Mr Roach was a constant fixture at St Joe’s for more than 30 years. During his tenure he served as head Coach of Golf, Baseball and Softball, as well as assistant Basketball coach. After leaving the coaching ranks Mr Roach continued to serve SJ Athletics in many capacities. Two decades of St Joseph Athletes and Coaches always find comfort in seeing Mr Roach on the sidelines. Mr Roach also held positions in Administration at St Joe’s as Dean of Students and Assistant Principal…and will go down in history as the “best bus driver at St Joe’s ever!”
The 1982 St Joseph High School Football Team
They were the 1982 State Champions and the Number One team in Connecticut. The team was ranked #3 in New England, held a school record 30 game winning streak, and were the 3rd team of 5 consecutive state champions.
"In the Beginning"
Celebrating 50 years of St Joseph High School Athletics
May 11, 2013
Sister Catherine Fanning, SSND
Sister Catherine is a cornerstone of St Joseph High School spirit. For over twenty years she wore many hats including those of Vice Principal, chemistry teacher, Student Council moderator, cheerleading coach, and supervisor of student activities. She remains a model to be followed and a true example of what it means to be dedicated. From the depths of her own secret hear, many of her students came to realize that goals in life have few insurmountable roadblocks, that success often comes out of momentary failure, and that true faith has no boundaries.
Mr Edward McCarthy
Coach McCarthy began teaching and coaching at St Joseph High School in 1970 and enjoyed thirteen years at the school. He taught physical education and was the Head Coach of football and baseball for many of those years. During that time, he led the baseball team to its first state championship in 1976. Coach McCarthy coached back-to-back state championships in 1980 for football and baseball. Overall in his career, Coach McCarthy has won seven state championships in football (three at St Joes, four at West Haven HS) and two in baseball at St Joes. He earned 316 wins, which was the second All-time in Connecticut.
Mr Vito Montelli
Coach Montelli was the first Athletic Director of St Joseph High School when it opened in September of 1962. During his fifty-year tenure, Vito as a faculty member, Athletic Director, Director of Development and Alumni, and, of course, the only basketball coach to guide its team. As Connecticut’s winningest high school basketball coach, Coach Montelli’s teams have won eleven state championships and finished as runners-up on six other occasions. He has received numerous awards over the years including the 2011 National High School Boys Basketball Coach of the Year, the inaugural “Fran Bacon Award” from University of Bridgeport symbolizing “Lifetime Achievement in Coaching, the Swaffield Sportsmanship Award, and the ESPNHS National High School Boys Basketball “Coach of the Year” Award. He was inducted into the FCIAC League Hall of Fame and received the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the Morgan Wooten Award for Lifetime Achievement in Coaching High School Basketball.
Rev Monsignor Richard Shea
Monsignor Shea joined the St Joseph High School family in September of 1966 as the Spiritual Director and Director for Guidance and Counseling. After a decade, he moved up into the role of Principal and he remained in that position until 1991. During Monsignor’s tenure, he was head track and cross country coach. He led the cross country team to its first State Championship win in 1977. During that time, it was evident that the school was in need of growth. With a clear focus on the institution, a major project was set forth. Within the first few years of leadership, a new wing was added to the building. In the years that followed, Monsignor shaped fifteen acres of wetlands into the much-needed playing fields. It is a telling tribute to him that, even today, the students are benefitting from his vision.
1975 Boys Basketball
1977 Cross Country
1979 Girls Basketball
1981 Girls Tennis
1984 Girls Volleyball
1986 Boys Tennis
1993 Boys Volleyball
2007 Girls Soccer
2009 Boys Lacrosse
2009 Boys Hockey
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