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Committee

President:
Frank Beneski
Vice President:
Kathy Bielonko
Secretary:
Sheila Beneski
Treasurer:
David Padegimas
Members:
Tara Beaulieu
Walter Beck
John Bertolini
Mike Bosworth
Cookie Bromage
Hillary Cahn
Lou Casinghino
Heather Casinghino
Bob Cecchini
Paula Cervione
Art Christian
Tim Geary
Michael Johnson
Dennis Kinne
Larry Krogh
John Kulas
Barbara Novak
Bruce Remington
Joe Sinicrope
Danny Sullivan

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TOWN OF SUFFIELD

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Class of 2006
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 Frank Beneski

Frank Beneski

Frank Beneski was an outstanding three-sport athlete at Suffield High School from 1958 to 1960. He was a member of two state championship teams—1958 soccer and 1960 basketball. Frank and his teammates compiled exceptional winning records highlighted by his senior year when in the sports of soccer, basketball and baseball, they won a total of 47 games, lost but 7, and tied 2. The team’s leading scorer in basketball, Frank was selected to the State All-Tournament First Team in 1960 and was Honorable Mention All-State in both his junior and senior years. In addition to athletics, Frank was a student leader who was elected to several student government positions and was a consistent honor roll student and member of the National Honor Society. He earned a full academic scholarship to the University of Hartford where he continued to shine in academics and played two years on the basketball team.

Following high school and college, he umpired Little League games and ultimately coached several teams in a 13-year career.

For the past 30-plus years, Frank and his wife, Sheila, have been attending high school basketball games. They now routinely attend about 125 games per year and have established themselves as the #1 fans in Connecticut. They have been honored by individual teams, referee associations, and in 2002 were honored by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference in appreciation of their support. Numerous newspaper articles and television appearances have heralded their devotion to the game.

In 2001, Frank in concert with the Suffield Sports Council, became the driving force behind the establishment of the Suffield Athletic Hall of Fame. An ardent follower of sports and possessing an historian’s sense of Suffield athletics in particular, he was a natural for the task. Frank has been the chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee since its inception and he, along with Sheila, remain two of the biggest proponents of the celebration and preservation of Suffield athletic history.

 

John Bertolini

Some student athletes have the good fortune to play for a state championship once in their high school career…John Bertolini did it every year! Four years of high school and four state championship games. In his freshman year, he was a starting defenseman on the ice hockey team that went on to win the Division II State Title. In the fall of his sophomore year, Suffield played its way to the Class M soccer finals but lost to Farmington by a 2-1 score. They went to the championship game again the following year but lost the Class M title game to St. Paul. In John’s senior year of soccer, his team finished the regular season with a 13-0-3 record and bested Valley Regional 1-0 in the finals to win the Class M crown and complete an undefeated season.
Playing his career primarily in defense-oriented positions, John nonetheless amassed a multitude of individual honors for his outstanding play. He is one of only a few athletes in SHS history to be named to All-State teams in two different sports, ice hockey and soccer. In ice hockey, he was voted the team’s best defenseman for three straight years, was named to the Journal Inquirer All-Area 1st Team for the same three years, and earned Division I All-State accolades (two third team and one second team selections). The senior team captain and MVP was also selected to play in the prestigious Connecticut-Rhode Island All Star Game.
In soccer, the fullback was voted the most improved player as a sophomore and, as a senior, was voted team MVP and selected to the NCCC All-Conference and JI All-Area 1st Teams and Class M All-State Team. John also lettered in baseball for three years, batting .416 as senior MVP, and had a career total of 42 stolen bases. The three sport MVP earned 10 varsity letters and was named the SHS Meade Alcorn Outstanding Athlete in 1982.

Routinely making the honor roll in high school, John went on to Merrimack College where he was a two-year soccer starter and co-captain of the team for one year. Following college, John returned to Suffield High to coach hockey and was the varsity coach from 1986 to 1988. In both years, his teams made it to the Division II State semi-finals.

John currently resides in Suffield with his wife Melanie and their two children, Michael and Kellie.

 

Marty Demers

From the time he was a young boy going to Hartford Whalers games, Marty Demers was fascinated by hockey generally and officiating specifically. At Suffield High School, Marty began his playing career as a sophomore in the fledgling varsity ice hockey program. Despite the relative newness of hockey to the school, the talent pool was deep and in his junior year, Marty’s team went all the way to the state semi-finals. In his senior year, they won it all and were the State Division II Champions. Marty had an outstanding career and in his senior year was named to both the Journal Inquirer All-Area Team and the First Team Division II All State.

Wanting to continue his association with the game, Marty enrolled in the Western New England Officials School. Impressed by what they saw in young Marty, his instructors encouraged him to tryout for a linesman position in the American Hockey League.

In 1979, he began his long and illustrious career in the AHL but his talents as a linesman led him to numerous assignments beyond his League responsibilities. In December 1979, he was asked to work the Lake Placid Invitational Tournament and, as a consequence of his flawless calls, was selected to be a linesman in the XIII Winter Olympics held in February. The following year he was picked to handle 10 games at the World Championships in Sweden, including calling the Gold Medal Game. In 1986, he did the first of many NCAA Men’s Division I Hockey Championships and later that year worked the US Olympic Festival. Working as a linesman in an NHL game in 1990, he was even called upon to fill in for an injured referee! At other points in his career, Marty worked in the International Hockey League, the ECAC Hockey Finals, and the prestigious Boston Beanpot Tournament.

In the AHL, he worked the Calder Cup Championship 15 times, called the AHL All-Star Game in Philadelphia, and in 2003, was the recipient of the Michael Condon Memorial Award for Outstanding contribution and service to the American Hockey League.

Marty continues to be an outstanding linesman in the AHL and is closing in on calling his 1000th game, an unprecedented feat in the League.

 

Lisa Lumbruno

Lisa Lumbruno and her two younger sisters formed the nucleus of the East Granby Angels, a traveling soccer team coached by their father, Dick. When she entered East Granby High School, however, they did not have a girls soccer team. Lisa transferred into the Vo-Ag Program at Suffield High where, in 1978, her varsity soccer career began on Suffield’s newly formed team. A pioneer in the sport, she was an outstanding player and lettered in her three years at SHS while earning All Conference and All State honors as well. A prolific goal scorer, she led the team to the NCCC Title as a senior and to two appearances in the state open soccer tournament. That conference title was the first ever league championship for a SHS girls team. Lisa also played varsity basketball for three years, one year of varsity softball, and two years of track and field.
After high school, she attended the University of Connecticut from 1981 to 1984 and played on the women’s soccer team. The Lady Huskies went to the Nationals in all three of her seasons there. In 1981, the last year of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, the team finished third. In 1982 and 1983, UConn moved to the NCAA Tournament where they placed third and fourth respectively. During her tenure at Connecticut, the team had an overall record of 52 wins, 6 losses, and 3 ties…an outstanding run! In 1982, she played on the first women’s national team.

Lisa coached the State of Connecticut Integrated Soccer Team in 1987 when they played in the 7th International Special Olympics Summer Games in South Bend, Indiana. More than 70 countries participated, the largest amateur sports event in the world! From 1999 to 2004, Lisa played soccer with a women’s team in the Nutmeg State Games that routinely won the gold medal, even qualifying for the National State Games in 2003. She competed in a rigorous Ironman Triathlon in Lake Placid in 2002, consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.

Lisa is currently a Program Supervisor for the Connecticut Department of Children and Families and resides in Mansfield.

 

1998 Girls Soccer Team



1998 SUFFIELD HIGH SCHOOL CONNECTICUT STATE CLASS “S” GIRLS SOCCER CHAMPIONS

Top Row (L-R): Coach David Sullivan, Kristin Bridgman, Amy Claughsey, Angela Stafford, Britney Hinckley, Elizabeth Peake, Jane Christian, Lisa DePaolo, Tracy Naida, Jill Bizeau
Middle Row (L-R): Kelly Kannen, Kelly McEleney, Jamie Bielonko, Erin Horanzy, Tracie Zavisa, Bonny Davidson, Michaela Seccareccia, Nicole Augusto, Garyth Evans
Sitting (L-R): Heather Beaudoin, Kristal Crowe, Kara Goodman, Courtney Merrell, Andrea DeMaria, Lauren Naida

The 1998 Girls Soccer Team was the first girls team ever to capture a State Championship at Suffield High School. It was not an easy task. Girls soccer was definitely a sport on the way up at SHS where, since 1995, the team had either won, tied, or were runners-up for the NCCC league title. With teams like E.O. Smith, Tolland, Avon, and Granby in the mix, the NCCC was one of the premier leagues in the State for girls soccer. But even before the 1998 campaign began, Suffield’s leading scorer, Lauren Naida, was out for the season with a knee injury. Add to this the fact that Suffield had a new coach, David Sullivan, and a very young team (7 sophomores starting) and the team’s once bright prospects were markedly dampened.

The team got off to a rousing start, however, as they won their first five games in convincing fashion. Next up was arch rival and undefeated E.O. Smith, a team they had consistently battled for league supremacy. Suffield beat them 4-0 to take over the NCCC league lead. They ran their streak to 9-0 before meeting up with always tough Tolland. Despite giving up only one goal and outshooting the Lady Eagles, Suffield lost its first game of the season. After two more wins, the team suffered its second defeat of the year in another 1-0 loss, this time to Granby. The Lady Wildcats finished the regular season on a three game winning streak and won the conference title outright. They entered the state tournament with a 14-2 record and the #3 seed. With a first round bye, they met Tourtellotte in the second round and were forced to go to penalty kicks before prevailing in overtime. Wins over Rocky Hill and Avon set up their finals match up with unbeaten Lewis Mills. In a back-and-forth, closely contested game, Suffield outscored Mills by a 3-2 count to win the State Class S Crown.

Throughout the season, Suffield was led in scoring by Jill Bizeau and Tracy Nadia with key contributions from Erin Horanzy. The defense, starting with midfield, was substantially anchored by several more of the “sophomore seven” that earned starting positions at the beginning of the year. Krystal Crowe, Kelly McEleny, Michaela Seccareccia, and Tracie Zavisa matured and prospered during the 1998 season and were instrumental in shutting down the offenses of NCCC opponents. Their effectiveness can be seen in the fact that only 4 goals were scored against Suffield in the last 13 games of the regular season. The last line of defense in front of the goalkeeper was sweeper Kristin Bridgman. It was her job to erase any defensive breakdowns that may have occurred before the opposition could get to Kelly Kannen. As a sophomore starter in goal, Kelly Kannen had several sensational games. Notably, it was her key saves in the tournament semi-finals against Avon that kept Suffield’s championship dreams alive. Senior leadership in the person of tri-captains Andrea DeMaria, Courtney Merrell, and Lauren Nadia along with Lisa DePaolo and Libby Peake unquestionably played a prominent role in countering the several pitfalls that inevitably faced the inexperienced Lady Wildcats.

In finishing with a gaudy 18-2 mark, Suffield outscored its opponents by a 68 to 11 margin and racked up 9 shutout victories along the way. Coach Sullivan and the entire Town of Suffield couldn’t have been prouder of this young team that stared adversity in the face and would not be denied.



 
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