Class of 2017

Class of 2017

2017 Hall of Fame Class

The Bulkeley High School Athletic Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed by the Bulkeley Athletic Department. Nominees must be individuals of outstanding character and proven leadershipskills. They are held in high esteem by their colleagues, former coaches and fellow athletes.

 

2017 HALL OF FAME CLASS

 

JAMES BELFIORE 

JAMES N. BROPHY

FRANK BUDAJ

MARK BUONOME

WILLIAM J. GAGNE, JR.

DR. SEBASTIAN GALLO

AURELIO GIONFRIDDO

JOHN GILBERT

KATHY MEAGHER LAI-HIPP 

ROBERT KNUREK

JAMES C. MURPHY

JAMES J. PINTO

RONALD PIZZANELLO

ALFRED PUGLISI

ANTHONY PUGLISI

JOSEPH F. REILLY

EDWARD SAMOLYK

ALAN STENBERG

REGINA LONG TINDALL

JOSE ANTONIO VAZQUEZ, JR.

SAMMY VAZQUEZ

 

 

2006 Class L State Championship Girls Basketball Team

Screen Shot 2017 10 25 at 1.36.04 PM

On Floor: L-R/ Rachelle Anderson, Jessica Salmon | Kneeling: Chamia Asbury | Standing Players Row: L-R/ Renee Haynes, Samantha Sanchez, Chasity Flores, Isabella Silva, Xiomara Montalvo, Shanice Billington, Patricia Sampson, Chaquaei Baskerville, Alicea Wells, Sherece Huddlin | Back Row: L-R/ Head Coach Al Philips, Asst. Coach Jason Zaniewski, Asst. Coach Christina Philips, Karolina Sikora, Leroy Mouton, Coach Glen Macko, (Not in photo: Farrin Joseph) 

  • CIAC Class L State Champions- First state title in school history
  • First girls basketball championship for a Hartford Public School

School Records

  • Overall season wins, 26-1
  • Undefeated in regular season, 20-0
  • Team scoring average, 69.9 points per game
  • Number one in state polls by the Hartford Courant and New Haven Register
  • CCC South Conference champions
  • Undefeated in conference play for two consecutive years, 20-0
  • Four players named to the CCC-South All Conference Team, two consecutive years
  • City Series champions nine times out of the last ten years

Individual School Records

  • Shanice Billington, most career points scored (1385)
  • Chaquaei Baskerville, most career games played (100)
  • Chaquaei Baskerville, most career rebounds (658)
  • Shanice Billington, single game scoring (36)
  • Shanice Billington, career three pointers (111)

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James "Jim" Belfiore

Class of 1962

JAMES BELFIORE

Jim Belfiore played varsity for two BHS Hall of Fame coaches, Lou Bazzano in basketball and Babe Allen in baseball, earning four letters. Jim was co-captain of the baseball and basketball teams in his senior year, attaining second team All Conference in both sports. In basketball he was selected for the New Haven Register All State second team. The 1962 basketball team is considered one of the best, if not the best, basketball team ever to play for the Hall of Fame coach Bazzano. Jim was a forward/guard on the 1962 Basketball team, which reached the Connecticut State Tournament Finals and the New England Tournament Finals. This team played three games on the parquet floor of the legendary Boston Garden. Bulkeley played Ridgefield Tech in the semifinals at the Boston Garden in 1962, with two players who were 6’7” and one who was 6’8”. In spite of their size, Bulkeley defeated this team, with Bazzano’s methodical give and go offense, and their precision four-corners offense. Bulkeley earned the right to play in the final game for the New England Championship. Bulkeley would face their archrival and nemesis Hartford Public, who defeated them twice in the regular season and once in the State Finals. Jim formed a dynamic scoring duo with fellow Bulkeley Hall of Famer Gene Reilly, and this duo had the best guard to feed the ball to both great scorers, including 2016 inductee BHS Hall of Famer, Joe Hourihan. Jim was elected Captain of the basketball team and MVP in his junior and senior years. He was paired up for three years as a starter on the basketball team with fellow BHS graduate and lifelong friend Hourihan.

JAMES BELFIORE 2

Career Highlights

  • Co-Captain of BHS baseball and basketball teams in senior year
  • Second team Capital District All Conference in both sports
  • All State basketball second team New Haven Register, 1962
  • Played three games in the legendary Boston Garden, high school All New England Championship, 1962
  • Attended Trinity College, 1962-1966
  • Played two sports
  • Elected captain of the basketball team in both his junior and senior years
  • Most Valuable Player in both his junior and senior years
  • Holds the all time scoring record with 1,369 points, breaking former record holder Barry Leghorn of 1,066
  • Holds the single season scoring record for successful free throws
  • Record for most field goals in a game 21
  • Most points in a game, 47 and most points scored in the Trinity Field House
  • Elected to the Trinity Basketball Hall of Fame in 1981 of the Inaugural Class

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 James N. Brophy

Teacher, Swim Coach, Mentor

James N Brophy

It is an honor to nominate Mr. James N. Brophy into the Bulkeley Hall of Fame. He deserves this honor for all his hard work and dedication as a mentor, swim coach and history teacher. He loved to challenge our minds in American History and on the pool deck, demonstrating his passion as a swim coach. Jim was one of the first All American swimmers at Staples High in 1960.

While on the pool deck at Burr School or Hartford Public, Bulkeley on Maple Ave did not have a pool so we had to practice at Burr or Hartford High. He taught us goals that were helpful in swimming and for our educational improvement. The goals that he taught we found out later in life could be used in our everyday lives. Coach Brophy would say “Always start with a short-range goal, and then work very hard to meet your long range goal, if you do not meet your short range goal you know you will have to work harder the next day.” Coach Brophy’s coaching philosophy helped many swimmers to be better students, citizens, husbands, swimmers and just good people.

In 1970, my class was one of the first to be City Champs, Conference champs and we finished third place as a team in the CIAC State Swimming Finals. Coach Brophy compiled an outstanding win and loss record over his tenure at BHS 25 years. Without his dedication, I personally would not have been successful in my life, and many of my teammates feel the same. 

I, Tom Christensen, am proud to have been a BHS “bullfrog.” Coach may you RIP, and thank you.

  • Coached Bulkeley Boys Swimming and Diving Teams 1965-1994
  • Bulkeley High School Swimming Pool was dedicated as the James N. Brophy Natatorium
  • Coached Newington Boys Swimming & Diving 1995-2005
  • Coached 39 years at the High School level
  • Connecticut Swimming Coach of the Year in 1979 and 1994 
  • Won CCC South Conference Championships 1986, 1972, 1976-1994 (18 consecutive years)
  • Founder of the Annual Bulkeley High School Relays that are in their 43rd consecutive year. Twelve area schools participate in this annual event.

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Frank "Budda" Budaj

Soccer Coach

Frank Budaj

From 1972 to 1976, Frank Budaj assembled the best soccer teams ever to play for Bulkeley High School. They are the only teams to win three consecutive City Series Championships and three Conference Championships in the history of the school. 

As of this writing no other team has accomplished this. The team’s greatest accomplishment was winning the 1976 CIAC CLASS L STATE CHAMPIONSHIP FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE 48 YEAR HISTORY. There were six players chosen for the All District All Star Team from this team: Robert Cicero, Giuseppe Capasso, Ricky Motta, Benji Niro, and John Nisyrios. Aldo Pantano received Honorable Mention. 

It is poetic justice that coach Budaj’s team won the state championship in 1976 when 20 years earlier Frank Budaj played in his senior year on the soccer team at Wethersfield High helping to win the 1954 CIAC Class A State Soccer Championship. Most coaches are not privileged to play on a state championship team, and also coach one. The 1954 Wethersfield High Soccer Team was inducted into the 2012 Wethersfield High School Athletic Hall of Fame. 

It is true, life does come full circle and how much fuller could it be for Frank Budaj, that he be inducted into the 2017 Bulkeley High School Athletic Hall of Fame as a coach. Frank Budaj was a teacher and coach for over 30 years at Bulkeley High School. 

Frank Budaj 2

  • Three Consecutive City Series Championships over Weaver and Hartford Public
  • Three Consecutive Capital District Conferences Championships
  • Class L State Championship 1976
  • Total team goals scored in 1976 for 17 games 65
  • Total goals scored by opponents against Bulkeley 7
  • Coach Budaj record for six years, 143 matches won, only 6 losses and 1 tie 
  • Coach Budaj played on his high school 1954 State Championship Team
  • Owner and Successful Building Contractor

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Mark Buonome

Class of 1960

Mark Buonome

Mark was a three-sport letter winner in football, basketball and baseball, and received nine varsity letters. Mark started in football in 1956 as one of the first freshman to start on the varsity. As a freshman he earned praise for his outstanding play at defensive end by legendary Hall of Fame coaches Babe Allen and Ed Korisky, both Bulkeley Hall of Fame coaches. Mark played offensive and defensive end as a sophomore, junior and senior at Bulkeley and was awarded four varsity letters. In his senior year he helped his team to the second-best football record in the school’s history, with seven wins and one loss. Mark was named to the All Conference team in 1958, for his outstanding defensive end play. 

Coach Hank Giardi coach of the East squad said, Mark “was the outstanding end on both offense and defense on the squad.” In the 1960 class book, Mark was named best athlete by the school newspaper, “The Torch.” Mark played varsity basketball for legendary Hall of Fame coach Lou Bazzano, playing on three teams in the Connecticut State Tournament Championships, '57, '58, & '59. He also played on the team that played in the New England Tournament Championship at the Boston Garden in 1958 with the great Carmen Perrone. On January 19, 1959 against Naugatuck at the old Bulkeley High School, Mark pulled down 21 rebounds as his best performance of his high school career, and his highest point total of 18 points. In baseball Mark played for the legendary Babe Allen and received two letters.

Mark Buonome 2

  • Attended and played football at Garden State City College 1960-1961
  • Attended and played football at Central Connecticut State University 1961-62 for one year
  • Pitched a no-hitter in the Archdiocese of the New England Baseball Championship as an eighth grader for the St. Augustine CYO League
  • Played on two Baseball Championship Teams in the Jaycee Courant Senior Division 
  • Tri-Captain of the 1959 football team
  • Co-Captain of the 1959 basketball team
  • Teacher in the City of Hartford for 36 years
  • Coached youth football, basketball, baseball in Bolton CT for twelve years 

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William J. "Gags" Gagne, Jr.

Class of 1962

William Gagne

Bill Gagne played football, for Bulkeley from 1960-1962, receiving three varsity letters. He started on offense and defense at the guard positions during his junior and senior year. In his junior year he was awarded the best lineman blocking trophy from his line coach Felix Karsky, who was inducted into the Bulkeley Hall of Fame in 2015. 

Bill was an outstanding lineman, and his line coach had this to say about Bill: “I only had to tell Bill something one time and I knew the assignment would be done perfectly. He was smart, quick, strong for his size, and pound for pound he packed a thump when he blocked someone.” In 1962 Bill was a co-captain of the football team along with Pabich and Joe Hourihan, a 2016 Hall of Fame inductee. In Bill’s senior year, he was awarded a football scholarship to Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA, where he lettered three years, 1963-65. He started every game for his junior and senior years on offense and defense at the guard position. During his attendance, Susquehanna University’s team had one of the longest winning streaks in the country with 14 consecutive wins. 

In Bill’s senior year at Susquehanna he not only was a captain on the football team , but also became a coach halfway through through his senior season when head coach Jim Garrett and his staff were fired in 1965. The University put the captains in charge of the team to coach for rest of the season. Gagne coached the varsity offensive line for Loilca. In 1968, Bill enrolled at Suffolk University Law School and received his Juris Doctorate with honors in 1971.

William Gagne 2

  • Selected to the All City Team First Team, 1961
  • Selected to the All CDC (Capital District Conference first team) 1961
  • Co-Captain in Senior year 1961
  • Received football scholarship for football at Susquehanna University 1964
  • Was a two way starter for three years on offense and defense
  • Won the game ball vs Alfred University 1964 
  • Won the Senior Leadership Award 1964
  • Won Leadership award in 1965
  • Coached at Central Connecticut State University as the Varsity Line Coach 1966-67
  • Went to Suffolk University Law School and recived the Juris Doctorate, with honors 1971
  • Elected to the Law Review
  • Received the Alumni Fund Scholarship and was on the Dean’s List
  • Has established the Law Offices of J. William Gagne, Jr. & Associates, PC

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Dr. Sebastian "Subby" Gallo

Class of 1950

Sebastian Gallo

When I entered Bulkeley High School form Burr Junior High in September 1947, my plan was to try out for the football team. As I stood in line for my physical, I was approached by Coach “Flash” Atlin who asked what position did I think I was going to play. I replied that I could be an end, run out, beat the defender, catch passes and score touchdowns.

Coach Atlin looked skeptically at my 5’9”, 110 pound frame and said, “If you can run, then get in that line,” which was for Cross Country. A friend from Washington Street beckoned me and I thought I would give it a try. The three years was great experience and one I have never regretted.

In 1949 and 1950, Subby, Tony Bray, Ray Blasko and Tom Leonard ran the Two Mile Cross Country Relay and finished first place both years. Subby and his teammates received Gold Medals as State Champions. In his senior year, Subby ran in the New England Championships and the Maroon and White placed eighth out of seventeen teams. Tommy Leonard and Subby Gallo placed 5th and 13th, respectively.

Sebastian Gallo 2

  • Earned 6 Varsity letters in Cross Country and Outdoor Track, 1948, 1949 and 1950
  • Gold Medalist for the CT State Championship Two Mile Relay Team 1949, 1950
  • Placed 10th in the CT State Cross Country Championship 1949
  • Placed 13th out of 127 runners in the New England Invitational Cross Country Championships
  • Graduate of John Hopkins University, 1954 with a BS in Biochemistry
  • Graduate of University of Maryland Medical School in 1957, MD Degree 
  • Internship and Residency in Pathology at Hartford Hospital 1958-1962
  • Staff Member at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown CT 1962-1999
  • Director of Laboratories, Middlesex Hospital 1975-1998
  • Chairman of the Department of Pathology 1975-1998
  • Past President of CT Society of Pathologists
  • CT Delegate, College of American Pathologists 1978-1980

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Aurelio "Rel" Gionfriddo

Class of 1962

Aurelio Gionfriddo

Aurelio Gionfriddo, known to his friends as “Rel,” came from a football family. Rel’s two brothers, Paul (‘56), and Frank (‘61), also played for Bulkeley. In 1956, Paul was a running back for Hall of Fame football coach Babe Allen. Hartford Courant sports writer wrote that “Paul would be carrying the ball a lot more if he was not playing on the same team as Joe Meucci.” Frank was a running back for Hall of Fame coach Ed Korisky. Rel broke into the starting offensive/defensive lineup at center and linebacker positions in his junior year. As a senior, he started and ended every game on offense and defense, never coming out of a game, and received varsity letters both years. His linebacker coach, Hall of Famer Felix Karsky said: “He is smart, quick, had a nose for the ball, and could hit like a truck, he was just too valuable to be taken out of the game.” In his senior year, Rel was selected to the all Capital District Conference as a center on offense and linebacker on defense. His friends, guard spots Bill Gagne and Charles Stoppa played by his side. In 1962, Rel was accepted to Southern Connecticut State University supported by a glowing recommendation from his high school coach, Felix Karsky, and his college coach Jess Dow called Rel the “biggest surprise of summer camp!” Rel was MVP in the homecoming game against Montclair State in his first varsity year, and attributes his success as a college linebacker to Karsky. In Rel’s junior year, SCSU was scheduled to play the undefeated Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). Rel defended CCSU’s All New England wide receiver and best receiver in the conference, resulting in SCSU winning the game 56-6. Rel would repeat his performance as a senior, guarding the same person and resuting in a similar outcome, with SCSU defeating CCSU 40-20.

  • Two way starter on offense and defense
  • His high school coach said, “he was too valuable to be taken out of the game”
  • Selected to the All Conference First Team his senior year as a center and linebacker 
  • Two varsity letters
  • Attended Southern Connecticut State University, received his degree
  • Played football for the legendary Hall of Fame Coach, Jess Dow
  • Received the MVP trophy in his sophomore year for the best defensive player vs Montclair State 
  • President of Falcon Paving Company 1980-2000
  • Formed AG Construction Services LLC 2000 to present

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John "Jackie" Gilbert

Class of 1959

John Gilbert

Jackie played three sports for three hall of fame coaches: football for Ed Korisky (1959); basketball for Lou Bazzano (1958-59); and baseball for Babe Allen (1956-59). All three coaches were inducted into the inaugural Bulkeley Athletic Hall of Fame class in 2015. It is said that Hall of Fame coaches know how to develop Hall of Fame Athletes. Korisky was known as a master motivator and an outstanding classroom teacher; he taught Anatomy and Physiology. 

Ed convinced Jackie to come out for football in his senior year contrary, to Bazzano’s objections. Bazzano had a ball and chain around all of his players necks, and did not want his players going out for football and getting injured. In the 1958 Turkey Day game between Bulkeley and New Britain, Jackie caught the winning touchdown pass from quarterback Peter Belasano. There was a picture in the newspaper of Jackie and John Chmielewski going up for the ball, and Jack catching it. In the huddle a pass play was called by the offensive end quarterback - John, Jackie’s basketball teammate. The story was told to this writer that Jack jumped in front of his teammate, to catch the ball. Jackie was called the “toy bulldog” by some sports writers. He played in 1958 with the great Carmen Perrone, and wrote in Carmen’s Class Book, “To the greatest high school player I ever played with, my friend Carmen Perrone, Signed, Jack Gilbert 1958”. Jackie was voted second team All Tournament in 1958 & 1959. He played three years for Babe Allen’s baseball team, earned three letters and was co-captain. Jack was All Conference in baseball 1958-59.

  • Earned three varsity letters in baseball and two in Basketball
  • Co-Captain baseball 1959
  • All Conference honors baseball 1958-59 
  • Received the Casey Medal for sportsmanship and excellence in sports
  • Played on three championship teams in the Semi Pro Hartford Twilight League in Hartford, St Cyril’s, 1960, Hueblien 1962, Moriarty Brothers 1965
  • Drafted by professional major league scout Ed Buckie of the San Francisco Giants 
  • Played Professional Fast Pitch Softball for “Conn’s Kings” as a player coach.
  • Won the best blocker award in football 1959
  • Received the Babe Allen Trophy, as the outstanding player in the Thanksgiving Football game 1959.
  • Led the Basketball teams in assists in 1958 & 1959
  • Co-captain in basketball 1959
  • Basketball career, scoring points 126
  • All Tournament second team in basketball 1958-1959

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Kathy Meagher Lai-Hipp

Class of 1978

Kathy Meagher

Kathy was a three-sport varsity letter winner at Bulkeley High School, participating in swimming, basketball and tennis. She is considered one of the best long-distance swimmers in Bulkeley’s history. Kathy still holds school records in the 500-yard Freestyle, 200-yard Freestyle, 200 yard Individual Medley, and 100 yard Butterfly. In addition, she placed 2nd in both the 500-yard Freestyle and the 200-yard Freestyle in both the Class Open and the Class L Championships for three consecutive years, ‘75, ‘76, and ‘77, earning All State honors in both events. High school academics were also important to Kathy. She was elected to the National Honor Society and was honored as a High School All-American Student Athlete. Kathy spearheaded the campaign at Bulkeley to have the girls’ varsity letter size changed to be the same size as the male athletes. The girl’s varsity letters prior to this change were the size of a junior varsity letter. 

The Hartford Board of Education agreed and all three high schools in the city changed the size of the female varsity letter. Kathy was the first female from Bulkeley High School to receive an athletic scholarship to college. At the University of Rhode Island, Kathy continued to set school records and led the women’s swim team to victory. After college, she returned to Hartford and has been a high school science teacher for the past 30 years. Kathy found time to coach before and after raising her two children. At HPHS she was an assistant coach for swimming, and track and field assistant coach (89-92). Her love for sports combined with the insight of being a student athlete was of value to the young people she coached. Finally, keeping it in the family, Kathy is the niece of our own great athlete and Hall of Fame inductee 2016 Charles Wrinn.

  • Current school record holder in four swimming events
  • 500 Freestyle, 200 Freestyle, 100 Butterfly 200 Individual Medley
  • High School All-American Student Athlete
  • National Honor Society Member
  • State Open and Class L Runner-Up 500 yd Freestyle, 75,76, 77
  • State Open and Class L Runner-Up 200 yd Freestyle, 75,76,77
  • Science teacher at Hartford Public High School for 30 years

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Robert Knurek

Class of 1967

Robert Knurek 

Bob was an outstanding athlete for Bulkeley High School in football and track. He was awarded seven varsity letters, four in track and three in football. Bob played basketball as a freshman, and scored 42 points in a game against East Catholic High School. 

Hall of Fame Coach, Felix Karsky said, “Bob had speed and agility that made him very difficult to tackle in the open field.” He scored at least one touchdown in every football game he played in his senior year except for one. He scored three touchdowns and had over 200 yards against Notre Dame of West Haven. Bob also started on offense and defense in his junior and senior year in high school. He played four years of football and was co-captain of the football team in his senior year. As a junior at BHS, playing on the same team with 2015 Inaugural Inductee Robert Sullivan, Bob was a key player in defeating New Britain High 28-0, in his junior year. The last time Bulkeley previously defeated New Britain was in 1958, Karsky’s first year as an assistant coach in football. New Britain football coach Tony Apisso said, “Knurek’s 70-yard interception return for a touchdown was one of the most fantastic returns” he had ever witnessed as a high school coach. 

Bob was a four-year letterman in track, and was co-captain of the track team in 1967. He ran the 100-yard and 220-yard events, with a best 100-yard dash time of 10:3. After high school Bob attended CCSU and graduated in 1971 with a BS Degree in Business and Marketing. Bob was not able to play football in college due to a recurring knee injury.

  • Selected as an All Star for the Nutmeg Bowl Football Game 1967
  • Selected to the second team, CDC football squad (Capital District All Conference) 
  • Selected to the Honorable Mention Football Team by the New Haven Register 1967
  • Voted to the All City Team in Football 1966
  • Four year Letter winner in Track at Bulkeley
  • Co-Captain of the Football team and Track Teams at Bulkeley
  • Scored 42 points as a Freshman Basketball player
  • Coached by the Inaugural 2015 Inducted Hall of Famer Felix Karsky
  • Graduated from CCSU
  • Has been a successful real estate agent for 35 years in the Metropolitan Hartford area for the past 35 years, and recognized as the top agent East of the River more than once.

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James C. "Murph" Murphy

Class of 1951

James Murphy

Jim played three years of football, two years of basketball and two years of track for Bulkeley High. He started and lettered in his junior and senior years, in all three sports. 

He was a Tri Captain in his Junior year on the 1950 Undefeated State Champions Football Team, alongside Hall of Fame players Felix Karsky and Mule Skelly. Jim was named to the Hartford Courant’s All District Team in his junior and senior years, and received an Honorable Mention on the New Haven Register All State Team as a Center. Jim played offense and defense; offensively he was an outstanding long punt snapper, defensively he was one of the hardest hitters, as his opponents will attest. It is said by one running back, John Kunz from Hartford Public that, one of the hardest hits he ever received in football was from Murphy, who said his “biggest fear was getting hit by Murphy." 

Murph was the defensive captain calling the defenses. His line coach, Ed Korisky said, “Jim was one of the best lineman he had ever coached.” He was a superior linebacker and had a nose for the football, a true leader on the field and a gentleman off the field. He could defend the pass and he was a sure tackler. Jim was a part of history when he was a junior because he played on the 1950 team that defeated New Britain for the first time in eighteen years. He was also part of history because the team’s mascot name was changed from the “maroon and white” to the “Bulldogs.” Prior to 1950, the sports writers referred to the teams and the athletes as the maroon and white. Jim also played basketball and ran track two years each.

James Murphy 2

  • Honorable Mention All State Center 1950
  • Voted by Hartford Courant to the All District Team 1949, 1950
  • Played on the 1950 Undefeated Football Team and State Champions 
  • Tri Captain in his senior year 1950
  • Coach Ed Korisky called Jim a “born Leader”
  • Received a Football Scholarship from Georgia Tech
  • One of the founding fathers to start the Pop Warner Midget Football Organization in the South-end of Hartford. Along with his school and football friends, Bill Skelly '51, Don Scott '47, Danny Simeone '47, Frank Barry '47
  • Jim received his BS degree in Business Administration from the University of Conn. as a part time student.
  • Jim played Semi Pro Football for the Hartford Spartans. 

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James J. "Jim" Pinto

Class of 1952

James Pinto

Jim played three sports for Bulkeley - basketball, baseball and golf. Jim excelled in golf, for which he has a passion and was his strongest sport. He received three varsity letters in golf at Bulkeley. 

Jim’s good friend Paul Marianella who played with him on the golf team, said that Jim was dedicated to his craft. Another great Bulkeley golfer who was recently inducted into the 2016 Bulkeley Hall of Fame, Fred Kask, said: “ Jim was a fine golfer and Fred always enjoyed playing with and against Jim.” 

Marianella, Pinto and Fred Kask were considered top amateur golfers in the 1950’s and it was said that they all had the potential to play professional golf. 

After high school Jim attended the University of Hartford and played four years on the varsity Golf Team. In his senior year at the University of Hartford, Jim competed in the final round of the ECAC (Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference) golf tournament. Prior to this tournament, Jim won individual honors in an ECAC tournament held at Dartmouth that allowed him to be eligible to play in the University ECAC tournament. Jim won two Hartford University golf titles.

James Pinto 2

  • Runner Up in Hartford District Amateur Golf Championship 1966
  • First Place Hartford District Amateur Championship 1972 score of 64
  • Won six Club Championships at Rockledge Country Club 
  • Won six Club Championships at Goodwin Park Golf Course
  • Five Central Connecticut Golf Tournaments, 1970,71,81,82,85
  • TPC Club Championship 1984
  • CSGA (Connecticut State Golf Association Championship 1971 & 1975
  • Four Senior Club Championships, Ellington Ridge, 1970, Rockledge C.C. 1980, 1990, Goodwin Park, 1966 
  • University of Hartford Golf Coach 2000-2005
  • Received Coach of the Year four times in American East Conference 
  • Received Athletic Directors Award from University of Hartford

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Ronald Pizzanello

Class of 1972

Ronald Pizzanello

Ron is one of the very few youth baseball players who ever experienced playing for the Connecticut Little League All Stars and won the Connecticut State Championship. Ron was the starting catcher for the team. When Ron entered Bulkeley he tried out for the football team and due to an injury his football career was cut short. Ron was the starting catcher for Pete Kokini’s varsity baseball team for three years. Ron was All City selection in 1971 and 1972 and was also selected for the CDC (Capital District Conference) team in 1971-1972. In his senior year Ron was selected as a Tri Captain for the varsity. As a three year wrestler for Coach V (Vertefeuille) as he was called, Ron was selected second team, All Conference. After graduation, Ron went on to attend Eastern Connecticut State University and played baseball for three years as the starting catcher for legendary coach Bill Hollowatty. In Ron’s senior year he was elected tri-captain. He was nominated to the New England second team as a catcher. Ron batted in his senior year .245 and garnered three home runs, and a total of 28 RBIs. 

After college Ron played professional baseball in Italy in 1977 for the Colombo Nettuno Baseball Team. He also played in the Hartford Twilight Semi Pro League, from 1978-90. Ron gave back to his community the fundamental skills he learned as a baseball player and coach, and taught youth in South Windsor as a little league coach, J.C. Courant coach, and an American Legion Coach. What greater gift can anyone give to their community but their time and expertise to the youth of the community?

  • Hartford All Stars Little League Connecticut State Champions
  • All City Baseball Catcher 1971-72
  • All Conference 1971-72
  • Tri-Captain Bulkeley Varsity Baseball
  • All Conference Wrestler, Second Team
  • Received a degree from Eastern Connecticut State University
  • Starting varsity catcher, ECSU 1974-76
  • Elected Tri-Captain ECSU 1976
  • All New England Second Team Catcher
  • Played Professional Baseball in Europe
  • Played semi-pro baseball in the Hartford Twilight League in Hartford
  • Coached, youth baseball and American Legion baseball in South Windsor

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Alfred "Al" Puglisi

Class of 1961

Al Puglisi

Al received seven varsity letters in track and cross country (this is an anomaly). Al participated in the State CIAC high school Cross Country Championships in 1961 and was captain in his senior year for coach Flash Atlin’s cross country team. Al was awarded a four-year scholarship to the University of Hartford for athletics and academics. He was nominated into the National Honor Society, and was also president of the thirty-two club and president of the boys club.

Al was a member of the Junior Achievement club at Bulkeley High School and at the University of Hartford he was elected Co-Captain in his Junior year for the Cross Country team.

Al was the first freshman to compete in the New England Division III NCAA Cross Country Championships. He earned three varsity letters in cross country at University of Hartford and one varsity letter in outdoor track. Al was elected captain of the first Outdoor Track Team in his sophmore year at the University of Hartford and anchored the 4x4 100 relay team in the New England Small College Division III Championships for the Track Team in his senior year.

  • Four letter winner on the Bulkeley High School Cross Country Team
  • Received seven varsity letters in Cross Country and Outdoor Track for Bulkeley High School
  • Elected captain in Senior year for the Cross Country Team at Bulkeley High School
  • Awarded a four year scholarship to the University of Hartford, for track and academics
  • Selected to the National Honor Society
  • Received three varsity letters in Cross Country at the University of Hartford
  • Captain in his Junior year of the Cross Country Team for the University of Hartford
  • Anchored the four by four 100 relay team for the University of Hartford
  • Youth Coach for the Palm Beach Gardens FL Recreation League 1977-1987
  • Coached youth T-Ball, Atom League Baseball and Girls Softball
  • Coached Little League Baseball, Boys Soccer, Boys Basketball and coached Mens Softball teams
  • Coached Cross Country and Track & Field teams to the regional and State Finals
  • In 1966, Al ran a half marathon at the age of 66 (nine months after quadruple open-heart bypass surgery)

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Anthony "Pug" Puglisi

Class of 1967

Anthony Puglisi 

Tony Puglisi was awarded seven varsity letters in three sports - cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. He was captain in his senior year in 1968. 

In May 1968 Tony was Athlete of the Month and was awarded the Fitch High School Invitational MVP. He also was the recipient of the Dalenta Award for the most valuable track runner in 1968. That year the Bulkeley High School newspaper, “The Torch” declared Tony the athlete of the month. If not the best track star in the history of Bulkeley, Tony Puglisi is no doubt the most colorful. But it was not his personality that won Tony the MVP trophy for the May 18 Invitational Track Meet. He received the award for placing first in two events and close second in another against opponents from six other schools. It is a fitting tribute to “Pug” who had performed with amazing consistency all season long. 

Pug took first place in three events (the maximum an individual is allowed to enter) in nearly every meet while amassing an awesome point total. Tony’s specialties were the long jump and low hurdles, in which he recently shattered the long-established existing school record for the 180 yard low hurdles in 20.6 time. Tony was a dedicated team captain. Despite his outstanding achievements, “Pug” was not satisfied because of the lack of success of the team effort, sporting only one win to date. He hated to lose, either as an individual or as a team member, and Coach Feeley wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Outdoor Track school records:

  • 120 yd. High Hurdles time of 15.7
  • 180 yd. Low Hurdles time of 20.6
  • Most points for one season 171

Indoor Track school records:

  • Sixty yd dash 6.9
  • Sixty yd High Hurdles 8.0
  • Cross Country Coach at Manchester Community College1971-1972
  • Participated in the NCAA regional finals and placed third place in the long jump with a leap of 22’ 11-1/2" 1968-70 at CCS

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Joseph F. "Joe" Reilly

Class of 1957

Joseph Reilly

Joe was a four-year starter for Hall of Fame basketball coach Lou Bazzano and played three years for legendary Hall of Fame coach Babe Allen on the baseball team. As a sophomore Joe was second team All CDC (Capital District Conference) in basketball and captain in his senior year. As a basketball player Joe was an outstanding point guard and foul shooter. 

Joe was a leader on and off the court and was highly respected by Lou Bazzano. Joe played three years for Babe Allen on the baseball team and played third base and was a pitcher. 

He was awarded the Casey Medal as the outstanding senior athlete. Joe served in the US Marine Corps and was known as the “tough guy with the buzz cut.” Joe had a highly successful coaching career in high school basketball from 1964 to 1998 and also a highly successful career in coaching baseball. He coached for 27 years at South Catholic high school and won his fifth State Championship in 1991 two days before it was announced that the school was closing. He coached two seasons at Bloomfield and five at Newington before he retired in 1998. It has been said that Joe was the clone of Lou Bazzano. If you saw Bazzano coach and then saw Joe you could see the similarities in their styles. Methodical, disciplined, and both prided themselves on teaching defense. Both Bulkeley and South Catholic were known for their defense. One of the reasons both coaches won 80% of their games was due to the fact they shot 80% as a team from the foul line.

  • 34 years as a head basketball coach at South Catholic High School, Bloomfield High School and Newington High School
  • Coached five South Catholic Teams to 5 CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference) State Basketball Championships
  • Received the Bulkeley High School Casey Athletic Medal as the outstanding athlete in the senior class
  • Career record 515 wins and 290 losses
  • Won five CIAC State Championships
  • Won 85 CIAC State Tournament Games
  • Inducted into the New England High School Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Inducted into the Connecticut Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Inducted into the National High School Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame
  • Received the State of Connecticut Gold Key Award voted on by the Sports Writers in Conn

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Edward Samolyk

Class of 1948

Edward Samolyk

Ed was an outstanding letter winner in three sports: football, basketball and baseball. Ed played for the legendary Babe Allen. Ed was the Co-Captain on the 1947 football team, and was voted the best athlete by his classmates. He was an outstanding running back for the Maroon & White. Most people do not realize that prior to 1950, the athletic teams (mascot name), were known as the Maroon and White, not the “Bulldogs.” 

The name Bulldogs came in the fall of 1950, after a survey was taken in the school to change the name to the Bulldogs. Babe Allen said Ed was one of the best athletes he had the privilege to coach. Ed played in the semi-pro baseball league in Hartford with the Hartford Cubs of the Hartford Twilight League. Ed was signed to the St. Louis Cardinals to a major league contract.

His career was cut short by Uncle Sam when he was drafted into the US Navy during the Korean conflict during the 50’s. 

While Ed was stationed at Bainbridge Maryland Naval Base, he starred on the baseball team and helped to win the Fifth Naval District Championship. After he was discharged from service Ed played one year in the farm system with the Cardinals. Ed then returned to Hartford and played in the Twilight League. He was inducted into the Hartford Twilight League Hall of Fame alongside his longtime friends “Chooch” Mazurek and “Big” Wrinn. Life does go full circle and all three friends are in the Bulkeley High School Hall of Fame. Mazurek was inducted in 2015 and Wrinn was inducted in 2016.

Edward Samolyk 2

  • Nine athletic varsity letters in three sports
  • Served in the US Navy
  • Signed to a major league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Batted .417 for the Bainbridge Naval Baseball Team | Naval Base Champions
  • Attended University of Connecticut
  • Letter from the Congress of the United States, House of Representatives, January 7, 1950, accepted to take the Civil Service examination for acceptance into the US Naval Academy 
  • Inducted into the “Semi Pro” Hartford Twilight League

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Alan Stenberg

Class of 1950

Alan Stenberg 

Bulkeley High sports notables run the gamut from major league ball players, big name football stars, professional basketball players and New England amateur golf champions, but the only All American is still in school. 

He is Alan Stenberg, a 17-year old south end senior, holder of the Connecticut diving championship and selected on the 1949 High School All-American Swimming Team. 

Al was the only athlete from 1926 to 1949 to be selected to the National High School All American Swimming Team from Bulkeley High School. His swim coach, Pavvo “Flash” Atlin had this to say about Alan: “The boy is a coach’s dream. He’s a self made diver with fine possibilities and a bug on physical conditioning.” 

Al is the captain of the swim team and he was undefeated in dual and triangular meets. Al won the Connecticut State Diving Championships, and missed winning the New England Championships by three-tenths of a point. Al not only could dive but he could also swim, and was highly proficient in the backstroke. Because of a district swim rule, Coach Atlin could only use a swimmer in two events, and Al could have swam in other events. “There is no doubt in my mind that he would have won them also,” Atlin said.

Alan Stenberg 2

  • All American National Swim Team 1949
  • State of Connecticut Diving Champion, 1949
  • All District Diving Champion three consecutive years, 1948-50
  • Undefeated in Dual Competition
  • Undefeated in Triangular Competition
  • Second Place in the New England Diving Championships 1949, missed first place by three-tenths of a point.
  • New England Prep School Diving Championships 1951
  • North Carolina State South Conference Diving Champion 1952
  • Won thirty-eight Consecutive diving competitions in High School and Prep School. 

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Regina "Reggie" Long Tindall

Class of 1986

Regina Tindall

Regina, (or Reggie as she was called) attended Bulkeley High School from September 1982-June 1986 as one of the outstanding female athletes. She was a three sport athlete in basketball, softball, and swimming. As a varsity swimmer, Reggie holds two records: as an individual in the 100-yard breaststroke; and the Medley Relay Team. Reggie played varsity for four years on the basketball team, ladies softball team, ladies swimming team, and synchronized swim team. In her freshman year, she was a manager and kept the scorebook for the softball team when something unexpected happened. After her coach dismissed one of the starting varsity players, Reggie was promoted to varsity first baseman. As a freshman Reggie batted .688, and was ranked fourth in her graduating class. She was voted Most Outstanding Female Athlete and the Most Outstanding Scholar Athlete in her senior year. After graduation, Reggie attended Brown University, where she majored in Public Policy and American Institutions and played three years of basketball. After graduation she returned to Hartford and attended UConn School of Law. Her first job after graduating was as clerk at the Connecticut Supreme Court for the Hon. Justice Richard N. Palmer. She later worked at Day, Berry & Howard, and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for Connecticut. After five years she took time off to raise six children. Reggie resides in South Orange, NJ with her husband and currently works in the Legal Affairs Office at Hunter College. Reggie says she owes a debt of gratitude to her coaches, Mr. Brophy, Ms. Callis, Mr. Phillips, Mrs. Duval, and Mr. Raffalo. “Their guidance, nurturing and leadership in the pool, on the court, on the field or in the classroom helped me to mature into the person I became, and helped me find my own identity.”

  • Holds two school swimming records, one individual in the 100 yard breaststroke and one team, for the Medley Relay
  • Holds the record for the highest girls softball batting average in one season .688 as a freshman
  • Played three sports and received 12 varsity letters
  • Voted in senior year as the Most Outstanding Female Athlete, by all the coaches
  • Voted the Female Scholar Athlete with the highest grade point average of all female athletes
  • Graduated fourth in her class
  • Attended Brown University
  • A Law degree from the University of Connecticut
  • Happily Married, with six children

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Jose Antonio "Pepe" Vazquez, Jr.

Class of 1976

Jose Vazquez

Jose “Pepe” Vazquez Jr. was born in the Bronx New York, to Julia Guzman and Jose Antonio Vazquez Sr. of Hartford. Pepe, who died in 2005 at age 48, lived in Hartford most of his life and was a graduate of Bulkeley High School. Pepe served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was a former Marine “All Boxer.” Pepe went on to become a professional boxer after his discharge. Pepe retired from boxing and became a trainer for those in the welterweight division. 

One of the welterweights Pepe trained was champion Marlon Starling, as well as John Scully. Pepe was an instructor for the Defense Tactics Protection Training School. He was also a member of the Hartford Fire Department. Jose graduated from Bulkeley High School in 1976. Jose went out for wrestling in his freshman year and was coached by the Hall of Fame Coach, Roger Vertefeuille also known by his wrestler’s as Mr. “V”. Roger did not know what to think of this undersized small framed young man, of no more than 100 pounds. What Mr. “V” did not realize was that this 100 undersized athlete would achieve what no one could possibly imagine in a 100 years," said coach Vertefeuille.

  • High School National All American 1976
  • Undefeated in three dual seasons 51-0
  • Best record in fours years dual matches 60-2
  • 53-6 in AAU free style events
  • Professional boxer
  • Trained Marlon Starling, welter weight champion from Hartford, CT
  • Sate Open Champion 1975 98 pound class
  • State Open Champion 1976 105 pound class
  • State Class “L” Champion 105 pound class
  • State Sectional Champion 1974-76
  • Served in the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Marine All Boxer

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Sammy Vazquez

Class of 1979

Sammy Vazquez

“He is a fine young man and especially, a hard worker,” said Coach Roger Vertefeuille. Bulkeley High School wrestler Sam Vazquez was chosen to receive the Bill Newell Memorial Leadership Award.

The award, named for the former Sports Editor who died in October 1977, was presented by the Revitalization Corps of Hartford. The award is given in “recognition of perpetuating the ideals of Bill Newell by showing excellent character and leadership” in the field of sports.

Vazquez, a 119-pounder, compiled a 61-4 match record in his four years of wrestling at Bulkeley High School. During his last three seasons, Vasquez won 51 straight matches and also captured the Class L and State Open championships in his senior year. He was tri-captain of his team, which finished with a 12-3-1 record and was runner up in the Class L state championship. Vazquez, who planned to attend the University of Florida at Gainesville or the University of Rhode Island, also received a check for $200 from Revitalization Corps Director Ned Coll. Sammy was State Class L Champion in the 112-119 pound class and Open Champion in the Class L Division in 1978 and 1979. In 1976 in the State Open Class L Championships 119 pound division, he finished 3rd. In 1979, he was nominated and received National High School All American honors. Sammy also played on the Bulkeley High School Tennis Team in his senior year. His tennis coach Bob Raffalo said, “making the adjustment from running and wrestling to tennis takes a person with natural ability to make this transition from one sport to another.”

Sammy Vazquez 2

  • Undefeated in dual meet competition for 3 years 53-0
  • Career dual & tournament pins 43
  • Four year dual season record 62-7
  • Career record 112-7
  • Best record in dual seasons:
  • 1st year 18-0 | 2nd year 35-0 | 3rd year 53-0 | 4th year 62-7
  • Scored 93 points in 1978 dual season
  • National High School All American

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