Inductees - 2008

Gene Bergin 1950
Football and Baseball
Gene Bergin, class of 1950, was a star football and baseball player at Hartford Public. 
 
For those who remember Glenn Davis and Felix "Doc" Blanchard were known as Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside.  They were the two dynamic running backs of the Black Knights of West Point.  They made West Point a national power in the late forties under Coach Ed Blake.   The 1949 Owls continued the tradition of dynamic running backs through Gene Bergin, Mr Outside, and Jack Hanley, Mr. Inside.  That year they led the Owls to a 6-2 record,  City Title,  and wins over Weaver, Bulkeley, and New Britain.  Gene earned All-State that year and set a school scoring record.  Also, he was MVP of the Thanksgiving Day win against rival Weaver in 1949. 
 
In baseball Gene was a catcher and in his senior year received the "Bill Savitt Trophy".   Gene played on strong baseball teams that won the City and Conference Titles in 1949, 1950, and 1951 under HOF Coach Bill Loika.  Those teams went 25-12. 
 
Gene Bergin was also at the beginning of Nascar and he drove the first modified Pinto race car.  He won several races at various tracks and was inducted into the New England Racing Hall of Fame in 1998.
 
Richard Bethel 1947
Football and Track
Richard "Dick" Bethel, class of 1947, was a star athlete at Hartford Public, in two sports.
 
In 1946 Dick earned New Haven Register All-State honors as a guard for the Owls under legendary coach Johnny Newell.  He also was on the track team under coach Larry Amann.  He held the school record in the 40 yard dash for over 20 years.  He was also All-City and All-District in football.
 
Dick Bethel was the first black football captain in Connecticut. 
 
He recieved the Clarence Horace Wickham Award as the best athlete of the class of 1946 exemplifying good sportsmanship and achievement in athletics. 
 
Dick was a consumate musician and was a member of the school band, orchestra, choir and a member of the Inter-High orchestra.  He was president of the National Honor Society, president of the Monogram Club, and a member of the Class Book Business Board. 
 
Dick Bethel was a New York City Fire Fighter for 35 years.  He founded and coached the first African American Football team in Queens, the "Queens Falcons"  which were inducted into the NYC Football Hall of Fame.  Dick was also a reading and math tutor for children in Bunnell, Fla.  He also volunteered his skills at the John Jay College gym in New York City to prepare students for careers in the NYC police and fire departments. 
 
Dick Bethel died May 25 2008.
 
Sam J. Cirullo 1947
Football, Swimming and Baseball
Sam Cirullo, class of 1947, was one of the real greats in Hartford Public High School athletic history.
 
Sam was a three letter athlete, participating in football, swimming, and baseball. He excelled in all three sports.  His coaches are now all HPHS Hall of Famers.  Johnny Newell in football, Larry Amann in swimming, and Woodie Woodworth in baseball.  In baseball he lettered three years and was captain his senior season.   He played football three years and lettered four years as a swimmer.  He was awarded a sweater by the athletic association for lettering in three sports.   
 
After graduation he entered Suffield Academy and played football and baseball there.  He signed a professional baseball contract with the New York Giants and was assigned to their farm system. He played one season but had to return home due to an illness in the family. 
 
Sam's favorite sport was baseball and he continued to play in the Industrial Baseball League for years, with SNET, where he worked for 39 years.  He was active in the St. James Parish men's club and served as their baseball coach for seven years.  He coached youth baseball programs in Rocky Hill for the Hartford Courant Juniors and Little Leagues. 
Joseph Cosgrove 1947
Footbal, Basketball, and Baseball
Joe Cosgrove, class of 1947, was a very accomplished athlete at Hartford Public. 
 
In 1946, he was named honorable mention All-State by the New Haven Register.  He played football and basketball at HPHS for three years and baseball for two years.  In those three sports he earned a total of eight letters.  Joe also made first team, All-District, in football. 
 
After graduation Joe played semi-pro football with the Manchester Merchants team and the Ashley AA team.  He also played baseball with the Our Lady of Sorrows Senior League.  He coached youth in Little League baseball, softball, and midget football. 
 
Joe served in the U.S. Air Corps for four years and retired from Aetna Life Insurance after 43 years of service.  Joe Cosgrove died on 2012.   
George A. Guiliano 1959
Football and Baseball
George Guiliano, class of 1959, was excellent on the football and baseball fields.
 
George played both sports all four years.  He started at quarterback for HOF Coach Ralph Worth from 1956 through 1958.  He was co-captain his senior year.  Those were strong teams and the 1958 squad was 7-1 losing only to New Britain.  After the season George was named starting quarterback for the All-Star Nutmeg Bowl Game and recieved the "Jim Brown Best Back Award" for his extraordinary play.  He graduated from HPHS with Honors. 
 
George won numerous awards including National Scholar Athletic Honor Society Membership,  the Clement C. Hyde Book Prize,  the 1923B Good Citizen Prize,  the Frank J. Preston Prize,  the Jacob L. Fox Scholarship Prize,  and the 1958 Outstanding Football Award. 

George also recieved the Clarence Horace Wickham Award as the best athlete of the class of 1959 exemplifying good sportsmanship and achievement in athletics.
 
He attended Trinity College and played quarterback and later defensive end for the Bantams.  As a freshman, playing quarterback, he led the Trinity freshmen to an undefeated season. 
 
After graduating from Trinity he played for the Hartford Charter Oaks as a backup QB.  From 1965 to 1969 he was a pilot for the U.S. Strategic Air Command and flew 130 combat missions during the Vietnam conflict.  He recieved the Air Medal, six Oak Leaf Clusters, and attained the rank of captain.   
 
James R. Griffin 1947
 James Griffin, class of 1945, was a versatile athlete, playing football, basketball, and baseball.  And all with vigor and success. 

He played baseball three years, basketball three years and fottball for two years.  He was captain of the baseball and football teams.  He played for legendary, and Hall of Fame coaches, Woodie Woodworth and Johnny Newell.  

In his senior year he was named the MVP of both the Bulkeley and Weaver football games.  Jim Griffin played in the "Golden Era" of Hartford Public High School sports.  Their stories were in the Hartford Courant and Hartford Times written by well known writers of the era, Bill Newell, Frank Keys, Harold Ogden, Sam Gunse, and Joe Cassano.   All of them wrote similar quotes as Harold Ogden's headline once read, "Griffin Brilliant as Hartford Wins".  That was in reference to HPHS beating Weaver 12-6 with the help of Griffin's Don Hutson pass to Owl Ed McTeague with 8000 spectators looking on at Municipal Stadium. 

Many of the athletes that Jim Griffin played with are already Hall of Fame inductees. That list includes  Harold Heintz, Leo Pinsky, Bill Pitkin, Jack Scully, Bat Castellani, and Joe Heavey. 

Jim continued his love of sports by playing baseball in the Industrial League, baseball in the Twilight League, and football with the Spartans. 
Denise Jones 1976
Swimming and Track
Denise Jones, class of 1976, was a star swimmer and track and field athlete at Hartford Public. 
 
She competed in swimming and track for three years. In 1976 she broke several girl's HPHS swimming records.  She broke the 100 yard free style record along with the 50 yard and 100 yard breatstroke records.  She also was a memner of the synchronized swim team for three years in addition to track.  Her coaches are HPHS Hall of Famers, Betty Gunn in swimming and Joella Marshall in track. 
 
Denise went to Trinity College where she competed in swimming.  She was All New England three years and All-New England and All-American as a senior.  She was undefeated her senior year, breaking the 50 yard breaststroke record, and was captain for two years.  Denise was the Trinity College MVP in swimming.  At Trinity she also competed in track and softball.
 
After graduation Denise kept active playing in the Greater Hartford Softball League. She was named MVP of the league when her team won the championship in 1987.  She was Vice President with CBT\Fleet Bank from 1985 to 2001.  She also served as the Director of Constituent Services for the Governor of Connecticut,  Jodi Rell.
 
Leonard Kostek 1962
Basketball and Baseball
Len Kostek, class of 1962, was a multi sport star and a starter on two of the great teams in Hartford schoolboy basketball history. 
 
Len earned a total of seven letters.  Three for basketball and four in baseball.  He started in basketball on the famous 1961 and 1962 teams that went a combined 43-7 winning two City Titles,  two CDC titles, one State runnerup, one State Class A title and two New England Titles.  The 1961 New England win was 68-62 over nemisis Wilbur Cross and then in 1962 47-39 over cross town rival Bulkeley, the 4th time beating the Southenders. Those great teams were an illustrious group that included Eddie Griffin, Paul Copes, Bill Jones, Brian Smith,  Stan Poole, and Pat Burke.  HOF Coach Joe Kubachka was at the helm.  It was a star studded era in men's basketball for Public. 
 
Len was also a star baseball player.  As a junior in 1961, he struckout 16 batters while twirling a no-hitter against East Hartford in a 5-0 win.  Len was All-CDC in baseball and Honorable Mention All-State as a basketball player. 
 
Len served as President of the HPHS Athletic Association and President of the HPHS Lettermen's Association.  Len also was captain of the 1962 basketball team.     
 
Roland LeBlanc 1949
Swimming, Diver, and Baseball
Roland "Lefty" LeBlanc, class of 1949, was an All-Time great diver at Hartford Public and a star on the ballfield too. 
 
Hall of Fame Coach Larry Amann said of Roland "he is the best diver I ever coached".  That proved to be true when he won the CIAC State diving championship in 1948.   He was on the swimming team four years.  Lefty's win in the diving event helped the Owl tankers win the CIAC swimming championship.   Lefty also was All-New England. 
 
Lefty played baseball for three years.  Lefty had a quick bat and was a flawless fielder.  Those teams, coached by HOFer Bill Loika routinely won city and conference titles.   He also competed in Cross Country for one season. 
 
He then went to the University of Connecticut earning a BA there and his MED at the University of Hartford.  From 1950 to 1953 Lefy served in the U.S Coast Guard on Guam during the Korean conflict. 
 
Lefty taught in the Hartford school system for 35 years.  He also coached divers at HPHS and Trinity over the years.  He was active with the Red Cross Heart Association for many years. 
 
Antonio J Lopes 1979
Soccer
Antonio Lopes, class of 1979, was an All-Time great Owl soccer star. 
 
Antonio was a varsity player for all four years and was captain for three years.  He was a key player on the 1977 Class LL State Champion team under Coach Joe Amaio.  He was one of the best players in the state and earned All-State honors as a senior.  He was All-CDC for three years running. 
 
After graduation Antonio entered the University of Bridgeport where he continued to play soccer at the Division One Level.  He became their leading scorer in 1983.  He graduated from Bridgeport with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. 
 
After college Antonio played semi-pro soccer in both Connecticut and Massachusetts.  Soccer America magazine named Antonio Lopes one of the best professional prospects in America.  He played on the Hartford Portuguese squad that won the Connecticut State Cup.  He remained involved in soccer for many years and coached youth soccer clubs in New Jersey, where he resides. 
 
Antonio worked at Raytheon Electric as an electrical engineer and for Sikorsky as part of their radar division. He also has designed and built four luxury homes.
 
Ira Lynch 1995
Football, Basketball, and Track
ira Lynch, class of 1995, was a unique and successful athlete at Hartford Public. 
 
From 1994 to 1995 Ira had the distinction of being a vital part of three different Hartford Public High School state championship teams.  In 1994 the basketball team went 27-0 and won the Class LL title under HOF Coach Stan Piorkowski.  In the fall of 1994 the football team went 9-1-1 and won the Class LL title under HOF Coach Jack LaPlante.  The Owls and Ira made it three titles winning the track and field championship in the spring of 1995 under HOF Coach Lindy Remigino. 
 
Individually,  Ira was twice named Hartford Courant All-State as a linebacker.  In 1994 he was named All-State on defense by the New Haven Register.  He started three years on the football team and was an All-CCC East selection three years running. 
Dennis M. Moynihan 1956
Football
Dennis Moyniha, class of 1956, played the game of football with absorbing enthusiasm and intensity. 
 
As a senior he was co-captain of the Owls football team.  He was a 2nd team All-Stater as a junior and a senior for his dynamic play.  Led by Dennis's strong play, and under HOF coach Ralph Worth, the 1954 team won the city and district championships.  That year the team beat rivals Weaver, Bulkeley, and New Britain.  It was the fourth straight year the Owls had accomplished that feat.   Dennis also was named All-Conference for his strong play. 
 
Dennis recieved the Clarence Horace Wickham Award as the best athlete of the class of 1956 exemplifying good sportsmanship and achievement in athletics.
 
Dennis attended the University of Connecticut, playing football there from 1956 through 1959.  The Huskies were Yankee Conference Champions in 1958 and 1959.  In the years 1956 through 1959 UCONN was undefeated in Yankee Conference play.
 
After college Dennis played for the Hartford Saints football team.  He also coached youth football in the Friendship Bowl in Kissimee, Fla, in 1983.   Dennis continued to coach youth football for many years.  The National Football Foundation honored him for his "Outstanding Contribution to Football".
 
James Nealy Jr. 1977
Track
James Nealy, class of 1977, was a track and field "All American Hurdler". 
 
Jim won 11 CIAC hurdle state championships in his track career at HPHS.  Many of his school records remain unbroken in high hurdles and intermediate hurdles.  In his senior year he was invited to two prestigious track meets, the Golden West Invitation in Sacramento, CA and the All-American Invitation in Chicago.  Jim's rank on the U.S. charts and the invitations to these two meets gave him "All-American" status.  His records in the CIAC high hurdles and intermediate hurdles stood for over 20 years. 
 
Jim also was an All-State sprinter, in 1976 winning the 60 yard dash and the 60 yard hurdles, which tested his resilience because they are run back to back.  In 1977 Jim captained the track team.  He also lettered in football in 1976 and was awarded the Best Student Athlete award his senior year.   
 
Jim recieved the Clarence Horace Wickham Award as the best athlete of the class of 1977 exemplifying good sportsmanship and achievement in athletics. 
 
Jim attended Central Connecticut State University and became an All-American in the 440 yard hurdles, in 1980 and 1981.  He also broke the CCSU 440 yard hurdle record.  He earned All-IC4A in 1978 and 1981 and was All-New England for 4 years. 
 
In 2007 as a state trooper he was awarded the Distinquished Service Award. In 2006, he recieved the trooper, Mentor of the Year High School Award. 
 
Jim has retired from the state police and now is on the HPHS HOF Board. 
 
Diane L. Nappier 1969
Multiple Sports "Our Athletic Forerunners"
The Nappier triplets, (Donna, Denise, and Diane) were members of the Hartford Public High School class of 1969. 
 
These women along with many others were pioneers in women's high school athletics in Hartford prior to the enactment of Title IX.  Demonstrating their athletic excellence and sportsmanship throughout their years at HPHS the Nappier sisters were members of the first HPHS track and field team and the first gymnastics team coached by Joella Marshall.  Together the Nappier sisters helped win 4 consecutive City track championships.  Here is a summary of accomplishments. 
 
1966-1969 Gymnastics Free Floor Excercise-Third
1965-1969 Track and Field 440 yard dash First, 880 yard relay-First, Running Long Jump first
1965-1969 Volleyball
1968-1969 Table Tennis
1967-1969 Cheerleading
 
Tennessee State University Class of 1973
 
1969-1973 Cheerleading
 
MA: Central Connecticut State University
West Hartford and Suffield Schools Health and Physical Education
Coach-Basketball, Track and Field, Cross Country
 
Diane Dappier died September 6th, 2002.
Denise L. Nappier 1969
Multiple Sports "Our Athletic Forerunners"
The Nappier triplets, (Donna, Denise, and Diane) were members of the Hartford Public High School class of 1969. 

These women along with many others were pioneers in women's high school athletics in Hartford prior to the enactment of Title IX.  Demonstrating their athletic excellence and sportsmanship throughout their years at HPHS the Nappier sisters were members of the first HPHS track and field team and the first gymnastics team coached by Joella Marshall.  Together the Nappier sisters helped win 4 consecutive City track championships.  Here is a summary of accomplishments. 
 
The Honorable Denise L. Nappier 1969
1966-1969 Gymnastics Free Floor Excercise-Second
1965-1969 Track and Field 880 yard relay-First, Standing Broad Jump, Running Long Jump First and Second
1966-1967 Modern Dance
1967-1969 Cheerleading

Virginia State University Class of 1973 BS Degree Political Science

MS Degree University of Cincinnati City Plaanning
Honorary Degrees Trinity College and Teikyo Post University
 
Denise is currently the State Treaurer of Connecticut
 
Donna L. Nappier 1969
Multiple Sports "Our Athletic Forerunners"
The Nappier triplets, (Donna, Denise, and Diane) were members of the Hartford Public High School class of 1969. 

These women along with many others were pioneers in women's high school athletics in Hartford prior to the enactment of Title IX.  Demonstrating their athletic excellence and sportsmanship throughout their years at HPHS the Nappier sisters were members of the first HPHS track and field team and the first gymnastics team coached by Joella Marshall.  Together the Nappier sisters helped win 4 consecutive City track championships.  Here is a summary of accomplishments. 
 
1966-1969 Gymnastics Free Floor Excercise-First
1965-1969 Track and Field 100 yard dash Second, 880 yard relay-First, Running Long Jump Third, Standing Broad Jump-Second
1966-1967 Volleyball
1967-1969 Cheerleading

Virginia State University Class of 1973
Health and Physical Education BS Degree

1969-1973 Gymnastics Floor Excercise-First
Also a Cheerleader and played Field Hockey

Graduate Studies: University of Hartford
 
 
 
 
 
 
Frank P. Scelza
Athlete, Teacher, Coach and Administrator
Frank Scelza had a remarkable career,  one that touched and spanned all three city high schools. 
 
His career started as an athlete at Bulkeley High, playing for the legendary Coach Arthur "Babe" Allen.   He played football, basketball, and baseball there and was captain of two of them, football and basketball. He was All-State in football and basketball too.  After graduating he went to Springfield College where he played football, basketball, and golf. 
 
In 1952 Frank started his career at HPHS as a physical education teacher and coach of the baseball team. He teamed with coaching legends Larry Amann, Joe Kubachka, Joe Cirone, and Lindy Remigino in boys physical education classes.  Frank began a streak of never missing work,  in 37 and 1/2 years.   He coached HPHS HOF players Nick Koback and Pete Sala.  Koback later played in the majors for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Other HPHS standouts during his tenure where pitchers Mike Heneghan, Mickey Grabeck, and fielders Rich Grabeck and Dennis Casey. 
 
In 1957 Frank moved to Weaver High and became a highly successful basketball coach. Hhe coached 12 years recording a record of 166 wins and 66 losses a .716 winning percentage. 
 
Then back to Bulkeley, Frank served as vice principal from 1969 through 1989. 
 
Frank has recieved many honors.  He is in the Connecticut High School Coaches Hall of Fame, the Connecticut Football Officials Association Hall of Fame and has recieved the Basketball Merit Award.  He also has recieved the National Football Foundation Leadership Award and a Life Membership by Wampanoag Country Club. 
 
Frank A. Tedeschi 1955
Swimming
Frank Tedeschi, class of 1955, was a strong swimmer in the highly successful Hartford Public swimming progam. 
 
In 1955 Frank won the CIAC State Championship in the 100-yard butterfly event. His coach, HPHS HOF legend Larry Amann, admired his work ethic and named him captain for the 1955 season swimming season. Frank was a versatile swimmer competing in the individual medley, which is comprised of all four strokes. In 1953 and 1954 Frank placed fifth in the individual medley in the State meet.  He later placed fourth in the New England butterfly qualifying him for All-New England status. 
 
Frank was a member of the National Honor Society and a National Scholar Athlete.  After graduation he continued to teach swimming and life saving courses for over fifty years.