Inductees - 2003

John Bonee 1941
Swimming
John Bonee, class of 1941, was a champion swimmer in the hey day of HPHS state swimming dominance uner legendary coach Larry Amann.  Winner of 150 yard individual medley, and member of title winning medley relay and 400 yard freestyle relay teams. 
 
He went on to Trinity College and starred there, captaining the 1942 team. 
 
He brought pride to Hartford Public High School as a community, government, educational, and military figure.  He was acting Mayor of Hartford, 1951-1952.  Two term councilman, 1951-1952 and 1953-1954.   He was President Hartford Public Library Corporation.  President Hartford Rotary Club and on and on. 
 
U.S. Navy Lieutenant J.G., World War II, Pacific, South Pacific, and Southwest Pacific areas. 
 
He was Trinity College Class President 1943.  President, College National Alumni Association, awarded Alumni Medal, and first recipient of Trinity Club of Hartford's Person of the Year, 1957.
 
Recieved Greater Hartford Junior Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Man of the Year Award, 1955.
 
Sonia Cruz 1981
Track
Sonia Cruz, class of 1981, is arguably the best ever in the HPHS Girls Track and Field Program. 
 
Sonia was the state 200 and 400 meter champion three straight years.  Set state records in the 200, 25.3, and the 400, 47 seconds.  She was the Capitol District Conference 200 and 400 meter champion,  three straight years. 
 
She was first in the Greater Hartford Invitational, 200 and 400 meters, and 4X400 meters, three years in a row.  And at the New Britain Invitational,  200 and 400 meter champion, thats right, three straight years. 
 
In 1980 was an Honorable Mention All-American in track. 
 
In 1981 was recognized by Connecticut Secretary of State Barbara Kennelly for representing Hartford Public High School and competing in the Puerto Rico National championships, winning 2 gold medals, a silver, and a bronze. 
 
Sonia also ran for four years on the Owl Cross Country team.  
 
John Daniels 1975
Wrestling
 
John Daniels, class of 1975, was a dominant wrestler,  Hartford Public's best ever. 
 
"Pearl" as he was known in high school was a standout,  going undefeated three straight years.  He was coached by Bob Stroh.  He was also an exceptional basketball player and if he didn't wrestle he would have been a solid player on the boys hoops team. 
 
He won three straight CIAC Championships defeating the best of the best in the state,  virtually all by pin.  His senior year he was named All-American. 
 
His success was covered in the who's who section of Sports Illustrated and he was featured on a Wheaties box. 
 
 
Hank Giardi 1934
Football, Basketball, and Baseball
Hank Giardi, class of 1934, is an All-Time great Hartford Public High School athlete.  He also had great success in college athletics and as a coach and administrator.  He was a football, basketball, and baseball star for the Owls. 
 
In football was an All-Stater as a halfback.  He was the District scoring champion with 45 points in 1933 as a senior.   In basketball he was selected to the Greater Hartford basketball team,  1932-1933 and 1933-1934.
 
He went to Holy Cross in Worcestor, MA where he played football, basketball, and baseball.  He was an outstanding running back on Crusader football teams that compiled a three year record of 23-3-2, including a perfect 7-0 record in the 1937 season.  Hank was inducted into the Holy Cross Athletic Hall of Fame in 1977. 
 
Hank was a high school athletic director and coach, 1941 to 1983.  He was A.D. at East Hartford High from 1954 to 1983.  He was the head football coach there 1952-1962. 
 
Everyone knew one thing, Hank Giardi led teams always came to play!
 
Eugene Jenkins 1959
Football, Basketball, and Track
Gene Jenkins, class of 1959, was a very good athlete.  He was at the top of his game wether on the gridiron, the basketball court, or running track. 
 
In football he was named the Most Valuable Player in the 1958 Thanksgiving Day Game with Weaver, a HPHS win.  Following the season he was named Halfback on the Connecticut All-State team. 
 
In tack he won both the 60 yard and the 100 yard dashes in the 1957 Greater Hartford Meet.  And in the New Englands, in 1958, raced off with first place in the 100 yard event. 
 
In basketball he was co-captain of the 1958-1959 club and was named to the All-District team. 
 
Gene went from all that success at HPHS to star for two years in football and track at Lincoln University.  He served 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps and was decommissioned a 2nd lieutenant.  He saw duty in Vietnam and recieved several commendations.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Coleman College in 1994.  Gene Jenkins retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 2002. 
 
Joe Kubachka
Basketball Coach
Joe Kubachka was a highly successful boys basketball coach at Hartford Public from 1951 to 1966. 
 
He took the Owls to unprecedented heights.  The 1960-1961 team defeated Wilbur Cross New Haven in Boston Garden to win the New England Championship, the first official title in basketball in school history.  That team finished 22-3 and was led by Hall of Famers Griffin, Poole, and Kostek. 
 
The 1961-1962 team won the CIAC Class A Title defeating cross town rival Bulkeley in the final,  67-64.  Then, in the New England Final defeated Bulkeley for a 4th time that year,  47-39, to win the New England Championship for a second consecutive year.  This group finished with an overall record of 21-4. 
 
Kubachka compiled 209-93 record at HPHS, the wins second to Stan Piorkowski's (HOF) total of 249.  His teams won seven city titles (four outright) and eight conference titles (four outright). 
 
He coached many of HPHS's best players ever and they earned various honors such as All-City, All-Conference, All-State, All-New England, and All-American.  Some of those greats include Eddie Griffin, Stan Poole, Jim Benedict, Sonny Thomas, Stan Egnat, Tom Karanda, Bill Jones, Patrick Burke, and Len Kostek. 
 
In 2003 Joe Kubachka was inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.   
 
 
Ed Lemiuex 1944
Track and Cross Country
Ed Lemieux, class of 1944, excelled as a distance runner and was an Owl great.
 
He won both the 1943 and 1944 state one mile championships, and his 4:32.5 set the indoor record at the Hopkins Street gym, breaking the old mark of 4:49. 
 
Also, in both 1943 and 1944 he won the state cross country championship,  setting a record time of 13:14 over UConn's 2.7 mile course, and his 12:30 established a Keney Park 2-mile course record that stood for 52 years. 
 
The HPHS great then moved on to be a star runner at First Worcestor Tech, then Trinity College.  A 9:51 at WPI took first place in the New England two mile run, while in cross country he won successive New England championships, and his 17:54 set a course record over 3.5 miles. 
 
At Trinity his top performance included a school record 9:57 in the 2 mile run. 
 
He officated at HPHS meets for over 50 years!
 
Joella Marshall
Coach
Joella Marshall a  Hartford Public Physical Education Teacher, 1964-1994. 
 
She was founder of the Girl's Gymnastics team.  She coached track and cross country teams.  Joella Marshall was also a longtime advisor to the cheerleading teams.
 
Her 1976-1977 and 1977-1978 girls track teams won state championships.  They were the first ever from a Hartford school.  Her track teams won six consecutive City Championships.  Her Cross Country teams won in 1981 and 1985. 
 
Tributes to Joella Marshall include:  The Hartford Public High School Athletic Scholarship is named after her "The Joella Marshall Scholarship Award" and is given to the female athlete.  Also, the Girl's Mile run in the Hartford Invitational Track was called the "Joella Marshall Mile".   
 
Paul Mazzarella 1948
Football, Basketball, and Baseball
Paul "Muzzy" Mazzarella was a three sport star, class of 1948,  football, basketball, and baseball.  He was All-District in football in 1947 as the Owl quarterback. 
 
Paul went on to become a three sport star at Suffield Academy.  In 1950, at the Uconn branch he was captain of the baseball team.  He played in the Hartford Twilight League, for the Irish American Club, and Chevrolet, 1949 and 1950.  He was an All-Star on the U.S. Army Baseball team 1951-1953. 
 
Paul was a physical education teacher in the Hartford School System for 34 years.  He coached elementary school baseball abd basketball at New Park, Hooker, Webster, and Kennelly. 
 
Paul was also associated with the City of Hartford Parks and Recreation for 44 years.  Paul was always conducting events for City of Hartford youth in basketball, track, softball, and cross country to name a few. 
 
Today, many adults still thank Paul for his coaching and guidance he provided them over the years, in many cases being the father figure that they needed.    
 
Recieved the Clarence Horace Wickham Award as the best athlete of the class of 1948 exemplifying good sportsmanship and achievement in athletics. 
 
Leo Pinsky 1944
Football, Basketball, and Baseball
Leo Pinsky, class of 1944, was a well respected person, educator, and coach.  He played three sports for HPHS, football, baseball, and basketball. 
 
Leo served as a Marine in World War II.  He then attended the University of Connecticut where he starred in football and baseball.  He followed that up with a long and distinguished coaching career. 
 
He was Farmington High's baseball coach for 30 years.  His teams won three state championships and won 411 games.  One of his star players, Dick McAuliffe, was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1965 and had a long career in the majors playing with the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox. 
 
In 1980 was the National High School Coaches Association Baseball Coach of the Year for District One. In 1986 was named to the Hall of Fame for Greater Hartford Jewish athletes. In 1988 recieved the Baseball Coach Gold award from Scholastic Coach Magazine and in 1989 was inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame. 
 
Hank, in 2003, recieved UConn's "Red" O'Neill award, citing his character, leadership, athletic ability, and success in his career. 
 
Bill Pitkin 1943
Football, Basketball, and Baseball
Bill Pitkin, class of 1943, is described best as a top student and excellent athlete.  He starred in football, basketball, and baseball for the Owls. 
 
After High School he attended Trinity College where he was a standout in the three sports, earning nine varsity letters.  He later played professional basketball with the Hartford Hurricanes. 
 
In his professional life his field was recreation and his accomplishments and affiliations where many and varied and they included. 
Member of the Hartford Parks and Recreation Department
Town of Wethersfield, first Recreation Director, 29 years,  1960-1989
Served three times as Wethersfield's acting Town Manager
President,  CT Recreation Society, 1966
Member of the New England Recreation and Parks District Committe of National Recreation and Parks Association.
Distinguished service award, Connecticut Recreation Society, 1970
 
In 1989 the Wethersfield Community Center was named the William J. Pitkin Community Center. 
 
Bill Pitkin died in 1989. 
 
Stan Poole 1961
Basketball
Mention the temendous Hartford Public Basketball History and the name Stan Poole, class of 1961, comes to mind. 
 
In the 1960-1961 season,  as team captain, Stan led the Owls to the New England Championship with a 68-62 win over state rival Wilbur Cross. Officially it was HPHS's first basketball title ever.  He scored 13 points and grabbed 18 rebounds battling the taller Cross frontline in the championship game.  His play earned him the Most Valuable Player Award by the sportswriters covering the action.  That group finished 22-3. 
 
Stan was All-CDC and All-State his final two seasons,  1959-1960 and 1960-1961.  He was on the All Hartford Times and the All Courant teams his final three seasons. 
 
Recieved the Clarence Horace Wickham Award as the best athlete of the class of 1961 exemplifying good sportsmanship and achievement in athletics. 
 
Stan played semi-pro for the Hartford Capitols, 1968.  He was a member of the U.S. Army Championship team, Ft. Sam Houston, 1970-1971. 
 
Attended Wilberforce University, B.A. Degree 1968.  Was Who's Who among students in American Colleges and Universities, 1966.  U.S. Army Veteran Served in Vietnam 1969-1970 
 
 
 
 
 
Pete Sala 1956
Baseball
Pete Sala, class of 1956,  was a terrific left handed pitcher, in the mold of many of the great pitchers HPHS produced over the years. 
 
He pitched the 1956 Owls to the City Championship, they went 4-0 in City play.  He was named All-City and All-Conference (CDC).  His most memorable game in high school was a ten inninng, 17 strikeout prformance in a 1-0 win over New Britain and 100 mph fastballer Steve Dalkowski.  A week after beating New Britain, he shutout Bulkeley 1-0, extending a scoreless inning streak to 27. 
 
He signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates and pitched in their system for many years. 
 
Pete was a longtime star in the Hartford Twilight League.  In 1964, pitching for Moriarty Brothers against the East Hartford Merchants he pitched a perfect game, winning 10-0 in a Twilight battle.  
 
Pete is a member of the Hartford Twilight League's All-Time All-Star team.  In June of 1984 he was voted into the Hartford Twilight League's Hall of Fame.   
 
Arthur L. Spada 1950
Football
 Arthur Spada, class of 1950, was a top student and an outstanding football player at Hartford Public High School. As a student he was a member of the National Honor Society, 1948, 1949, and in 1950.  He was also a lineman on strong HPHS football teams. 

Arthur went onto Wesleyan University, graduating with high honors, in 1954.  Was a member of the football teams at Wesleyan in 1951, 1952, and 1953. Team captain and most valuable player of the 1953 team. He recieved the prestigious Bacon Award for his service to the football team. 

Other honors included Look Magazine "Little All-American", 1951; Boston Post's All-New England small college team, 1951; All-Connecticut small college team as selected by the Connecticut Sportswriters Alliance, 1951, 1952, and 1953; Member of Wesleyan's 1953 Little Three (Trinity and Amherst) championship football team.

Arthur also recieved the distinquished American Award presented by the Northern Chapter of the National College Football Foundation. 

Civic and Community Roles included 1st Lieuenant, U.S. Army Reserves 1957-62.  Arthur served as a judge in the Connecticut Superior Court 1977-2000.  He has also served as a trustee at the Hartford Public Library. 
Also he is a member of the YMCA Board of Directors and served as President of the Unico National Hartford Chapter,   Lastly he served as the Commissioner of Public Safety in Connecticut for many years.
 
 
 
 
Dwight Tolliver 1967
Basketball
Dwight Tolliver,  class of 1967, is one of the All-Time greats in HPHS Hoop history. 
 
He was a four year starter.  He was All-City and All-State in the 1965-1966 and 1966-1967 seasons.  In his senior year,  he also made All-New England and All-American.  His last two seasons the Owls went 38-3 and in the 1966-1967 season lost the LL Final to Wilbur Cross to finish 21-1.  That was the first unbeaten regular season in school history. 
 
He went on to star at the University of Rhode Island, earning All-Yankee Conference honors in 1972. 
 
He was the boys and girls basketball coach at Weaver High for 18 seasons, his 1990-1991 boys team winning the Class LL CIAC title. 
 
Dwight was selected by the Greater Hartford African American Alliance in 1997 as one of the 3 male role models in Hartford.  Also, in 1997, was cited by the city and the state general assembly for devotion and commitment to youth in Hartford's Public School System. 
 
Recieved the Clarence Horace Wickham Award as the best athlete of the class of 1967 exemplifying good sportsmanship and achievement in athletics. 
 
Ralph Viola 1949
Baseball, Swimming, Football & Coach
Ralph Viola, class of 1949, is a well respected Hartford Public High School athletic figure, both as a player and a coach. 
 
He was awarded ten letters, baseball, 4 as a pitcher outfielder on dominat baseball teams.  He earned four on the swmming team and was captain his senior year.  In swimming was the state freestyle champion all four years. The swimming teams won the state championship all four years.  Football he earned two and was quarterback his senior season. 
 
He was President his senior year, HPHS athletic association. 
 
Recieved the Clarence Horace Wickham Award as the best athlete of the class of 1949 exemplifying good sportsmanship and achievement in athletics. 
 
Highly successful swimming head coach for 18 years.  Baseball for 7 years.  Assistant football coach for 9 years.  Compiled a winning percentage in all three sports. 
 
He was the HPHS aquatic director 16 years.  He was a driving force in making swimming mandatory at 9th and 10th grade levels in the schools physical education curriculum. 
 
On December 26th, 2015, the Hartford Courant published a story about Ralph Viola and focused on his 75 years involved in swimming as an athlete, an official, and a coach.  
 
Fred Ware 1934
Basketball and Baseball
Fred Ware, class of 1934, long regarded by fans and opponents alike, as an outstanding baseball and basketball player. 
 
Played four years of basketball, 1930-1934; First Black Captain; All-State as a Junior,  All-City every year;  Lettered in baseball four years, playing second base and the outfield. 
 
Fred excelled at the semi-pro level in both basketball and baseball.  He played for such teams as the Savitt Gems, the Hartford Dovers, the Hartford Reniassance, and with the Wiremold in the Industrial League. 
 
Fred was a very popular figure in Hartford and for over 50 years with the Hartford Parks and Recreation Program.  He coached many championship teams.  Over the years Fred could always be seen at various sporting events offerring encouragement and praise.  
 
Fred worked at Wiremold for over 40 years, retiring as safety director.  Fred died in 1996. 
 
Ralph Worth, Sr
Coach
Ralph Worth, head football coach, 1952-1962.  He led many strong Owl teams in an excellent era of HPHS football. 
 
Ralph's career record was 54-32-5.  His teams dominated City play winning eight City Championships and tying for a 9th. His teams were 9-2 versus cross town rival Weaver.  Against Bulkeley 7-2-2. 
 
He coached the East team in the 1959 Nutmeg Game, garnering a 35-13 win over the West.  He served as the first President of the Hartford Coaches Association; chairperson of the CIAC Committee on Football, 1956. 
 
Ralph was head coach of the University of Hartford Club football team, 1966-1972, compiling an overall record of 36-7. 
 
He was the two time president, Northern Connecticut Chapter, National College Football Foundation. 
 
Recieved "Contribution to Football" award from the National Collegiate Football Foundation and Hall of Fame.