Hall of Fame – Athletics

* m. (married name)


Antila, Heimo Ilmari

Heimo Ilmari Antila

Class of 1929

Student #3213

1989 Athletic Hall of Fame

A native of Massachusetts, Heimo Ilmari Antila, known as “the Hun,” played excellent basketball at ASD from 1926 to 1929. He was the playmaker on the 1929 basketball team that won the grueling round-robin deaf basketball tournament at Fredrick, Maryland. After graduating from ASD, he attended Gallaudet College.

We are privileged to induct Heimo Antila into the 1989 ASD Athletic Hall of Fame. Heimo made himself an all-around athlete and captained the 1932 football and 1934 basketball teams. An avid sports fan and a strong supporter of ASD and Gallaudet College sports teams, he never lost touch with his alma mater – ASD.

Bouchard, Joseph Williams

Joseph Williams Bouchard

Class of 1915

Student #2794

1989 Athletic Hall of Fame

As legend has it, Joseph W. Bouchard always respected Walter Rockwell’s athletic abilities. Mr. Bouchard’s generation labeled him as one of ASD’s noted athletes. Mr. Bouchard excelled in football and basketball at ASD. During his years at Gallaudet College, he was a member of the football, basketball, and track & field teams. He was named on Frederick Hughes’s own all-time Gallaudet College football and basketball teams.

It is with honor that Joseph Bouchard is inducted into the 1989 ASD Athletic Hall of Fame. While coaching the ASD boys’ basketball team, his 1929 team won the Eastern States Schools for the Deaf Tournament. Mr. Bouchard was instrumental in building ASD’s first matched-size gymnasium, now part of the old gym.

Kelley, Harold James

Harold James Kelley

Class of 1925; Left ASD

Student #3122

1989 Athletic Hall of Fame

Harry J. Kelly was a household name in the Waterbury area. He excelled in any sport in which he participated. A natural athlete, he would play in any position in any sport and excel in every game.

A leader who inspired others to do their best was Harry’s trademark. From 1924 to 1927, ASD was noted with excellent teams in football and basketball in the greater Hartford area. When Harry completed his studies as a student at ASD, many silent and hearing clubs sought after him to play basketball, baseball, and softball on their team for many years. It is an honor to induct Harry Kelly into the 1989 ASD Athletic Hall of Fame.

Marino, Anna Marie (m. Fronczak)

Anna Marie Marino (m. Fronczak) 

Class of 1919

Student #2886

1989 Athletic Hall of Fame

Anna Marie Marino (m. Fronczak) was very active in ASD sports. She began as a member of the ASD women’s basketball team and later became a coach. Anna proved to the school administration that sports were not only for boys. Anna was a pioneer in organizing sports for girls, and she was a member of the first ASD group to play competitive sports with hearing high schools and Y.W.C.A. girls. The ASD Alumni Association is happy to induct Anna Marino (m. Fronczak) into the 1989 ASD Athletic Hall of Fame.

Martino, Raphaelena "Rae" (m. DeRose)

Raphaelena “Rae” Martino (m. DeRose)

Class of 1927

Student #3314

1989 Athletic Hall of Fame


Rae Martino (m. DeRose) was a great all-around athlete, a leader, a playmaker, and an inspiring woman. Whichever sport she participated in, she performed very well. Her schoolmates had unanimously agreed that she was one of the greatest female athletes of her generation. Recordkeeping in her day was inadequate, but our information has shown us her outstanding ability as a female athlete. The ASD Alumni Association is happy to enshrine Rae Martino (m. DeRose) into the 1989 ASD Athletic Hall of Fame.

Maulucci, Mary (m. Zack)

Mary Maulucci (m. Zack)

Class of 1931

Student #3174

1989 Athletic Hall of Fame

Mary Maulucci (m. Zack) was Rae Martino (m. DeRose)’s understudy. She took over where Rae left off. Mary was a great athlete, agile and quick. A fighter to the end and a team leader. Losing a game was unheard of in her day. In 1931 her basketball team was undefeated, winning all 19 games. They were all winning years while Mary was at ASD. Mary was truly a great athlete. We are proud to induct Mary Maulucci into the 1989 ASD Athletic Hall of Fame.

Two youths narrowly escaped drowning Saturday in March when pinned beneath an overturned utility truck in a small pond near Brown Street in Bloomfield, CT. Mary saved two boys, aged 14 and 9, from drowning. She was the first person to reach the scene of the accident. She helped hold the heads of the boys above water until additional help arrived. The boys were then pulled to safety. Only the youngest suffered minor injuries. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Rockwell, Walter Clinton

Walter Clinton Rockwell

Class of 1909

1989 Athletic Hall of Fame

Walter Clinton Rockwell is the most famous athlete to come out of the “Old Hartford.” Many believed Walter paved the way for the Deaf to participate with hearing people in any sports. He was a leader and playmaker that inspired his generation to excel in sports competition and is considered the most outstanding all-around athlete at Gallaudet College (now Gallaudet University). He received an offer to play with the Philadelphia Athletics, but he turned it down because he preferred to play with deaf athletes. As a coach, between 1935-1941, his teams were considered the best in Hartford County. As an ASD alumnus, we have Walter Rockwell’s name inducted first into the ASD Athletic Hall of Fame.


Bellmay, Edward Francis

Edward Francis Bellmay

Class of 1929

Student #3114

1992 Athletic Hall of Fame

Edward Francis Bellmay was another household name in the Waterbury area. He excelled in any sport and game in which he participated. He was a role model who inspired others to do their best. 

From 1925 to 1929, ASD was noted for its excellence in basketball in the greater Hartford area. Ed was one of the first members of the ASD basketball team to win the Eastern Deaf Schools basketball tournament. Upon his graduation from ASD, Ed played sports for many silent and hearing clubs.

Chenevert, Andrew

Andrew Chenevert

Class of 1938

Student #3339

1992 Athletic Hall of Fame

Andrew captained the great 1937 football team. He was the backbone of the team, along with Simons, DiCapua, and Reynolds. He had the uncanny skill to predict the opponent’s offense to call others into defense, and the 1937 football team allowed only 6 points the whole season. 

After graduation, he played semi-pro football with the Hartford Blue Ridgers in his specialized position as a guard. Despite his deafness, he became an outstanding player and a valued and respected teammate.

DiCapua, Victor

Victor DiCapua

Class of 1941

Student #3554

1992 Athletic Hall of Fame

Victor was named as an All-American guard by “The Cavalier,” a newspaper for the deaf, in 1938. As a guard, he was the other half of the wall with Andrew Chenevert on the excellent 1937 football team. A sportsman par excellence, he never lost his temper in a game and gave encouragement and spirit to the team in every game played.

Flamio, Filomena (m. Stone)

Filomena Flamio (m. Stone)

Class of 1935

Student #3258

1992 Athletic Hall of Fame

Wetherbee’s greatest basketball players. She was especially good at rebounding and playmaking, making the ASD Basketball Teams the powerhouse in the Greater Hartford Area. 

Filomena could have been a prolific scorer, but Coach Wetherbee felt that putting her on defense would enable Filomena to rebound and play defense to get the ball back to the team’s offense. Sportsmanship and teamwork were also her forte.

Harris, Priscilla (m. Wood)

Priscilla Harris (m. Wood)

Class of 1930

Student #3135

1992 Athletic Hall of Fame

Along with the first woman inductee into ASD Hall of Fame, Mary Maulucci (m. Zack), in 1989, Priscilla was a scoring leader for a few years as a basketball forward. She was the 1930 team captain whose team had outstanding players. 

Priscilla was a leader, and she demonstrated good sportsmanship and hard work for the 1927 to 1930 basketball teams. In addition to the 1930 team record, it won 17 out of 19 games she played. Priscilla was a truly exceptional player.

Kaczynski, Sophie (m. Kolenda)

Sophie Kaczynski (m. Kolenda)

Class of 1939

Student #3383

1992 Athletic Hall of Fame

Sophie Kaczynski was one of Beth Wetherbee’s all-time great players in women’s basketball rules. She was a sharpshooter that rarely missed the basket. Sophie was a gifted playmaker that assisted her teammates to follow plays that led to winning games. Sophie was credited for making points before the whistle blew in otherwise tied games.

Kosinski, Laura B. (m. Guiffre)

Laura B. Kosinski (m. Guiffre)

Class of 1924

Student #2988

1992 Athletic Hall of Fame


A natural athlete, a come-on playmaker, Laura led her ASD team to many triumphs. 


Laura was a great basketball player as a forward in ‘men’s basketball games. It was not until several years later the girls changed to woman’s basketball rules. 


Laura was a born leader, and from her schoolmates who knew her best for what she did as an athlete, she has earned a place in ASD’s Hall of Fame.


Marino, Joseph P. "Jack"

Joseph  P. “Jack” Marino

Class of 1936

Student #3284

1992 Athletic Hall of Fame

Joseph P. Marino, better known as Jack to the Deaf community, was a hard-nosed football while an ASD student. He lent his leadership and intelligence to his teammates on the gridiron. 

Jack was the 1935 football captain, and the opposing teams knew the ASD football team was not to be reckoned with. Jack and his teammates played many, many great games.

The Greater Hartford area always knew that when playing against an ASD team, the opponent needed to put forth all the effort and preparation possible, and the hard-fought games were a tribute to Jack’s love for the games.

Phelon, Melva Merella (m. Marino)

Melva Merella Phelon (m. Marino)

Class of 1932

Student #3197

1992 Athletic Hall of Fame

Girls Basketball team for several years. During her senior year, Melva reached her potential as an excellent basketball player even though she had been a good player for several years before her last year at ASD. Melva was both an outstanding defensive and offensive player depending on ASD’s opponent.

Reynolds, Charles

Charles Reynolds

Class of 1938

Student #3288

1992 Athletic Hall of Fame

Charles Reynolds was an all-around athlete during 1934-1938 at ASD. Coach Walter Rockwell, an ASD Hall of Famer, labeled Charles as his greatest quarterback ever to play for him. He was a talented ball-handler and passer and was able to use the right players. Charles’s team was undefeated in 1937, 7-0. His last year at ASD. 

Likewise, he was a good basketball player, a guard in his own right. He was a playmaker and a good defensive player on the court. Charles’ team was the first team to beat the Kingswood football team, and from that time on, Kingswood dropped ASD from its playing schedule.

Rzewsnski, Steve aka Steve Renick

Steve Rzewsnski aka Steve Renick

Class of 1943

Student #3455

1992 Athletic Hall of Fame

Steve was an all-around athlete and a basketball star. He was the highest scorer of all schools in Hartford County in 1942, a great end on ASD’s football team, and a great baseball player. After graduation, he played basketball for the New Jersey Club of the deaf, and for a while, he was an outstanding player for the Washington D.C. Club of the deaf.

Savastano, Mary (m. Johnson)

Mary Savastano (m. Johnson)

Class of 1939

Student #3426

1992 Athletic Hall of Fame

Mary Savastano (m. Johnson) was very active in ASD sports. She was short in stature, but her ability and speed compensated for her height and contributed to her excellence as a member of the Girls Basketball Team. She was the captain of the 1938-1939 Basketball squad. Excellence in playing various sports was her trademark, and Coach Beth Wetherbee labeled Mary as one of the greatest players ever to play on the basketball court. Mary’s team had several years of excellent records, suffice it to say that in her four years as a varsity player, the team won at least 70 games and lost no more than ten games, which was quite a feat.

Simons, Joseph "Joe"

Joseph “Joe” Simons

Class of 1938

Student #3327

1992 Athletic Hall of Fame

Joe was a great athlete in each sport in which he participated. He is best remembered as a great halfback on the 1937 football team. Small in stature but pound for pound, Joe was dynamic. He was a great runner that was hard to tackle, and he was able to make many touchdowns for ASD’s football team. 

Joe was one of the backbones of the 1937 football team, along with Chenevert, Reynolds, and DiCapua.

Wetherbee, Beth

Beth Wetherbee

ASD Coach

1992 Athletic Hall of Fame

Beth was a woman who involved herself in many male sports. After graduating from Arnold College, she majored in Physical Education. Beth coached track and basketball teams at the University of South Carolina. She followed her executive husband to Hartford, became the girl’s coach in 1922, and stayed until her retirement in 1950. All those years, Beth coached winning teams. Beth was a great golfer, and she has won many amateur golf tournaments.


Boniewski, Sophie (m. Chilaravallo)

Sophie Boniewski (m. Chilaravallo)

Class of 1942

Student #3551

1995 Athletic Hall of Fame

Leonard Damilowski played football at both the halfback and quarterback positions. He had unlimited energy as a ball carrier, carrying the ball several Sophie “Bonnie” Boniewski (m. Chilaravallo) played on several great A.S.D. girls’ basketball teams. She was a sharpshooter, an aggressive ball handler, and a great rebounder. She was full of pep in every game she played and was therefore named co-captain of the 1941-1942 basketball team. She was an all-around athlete, playing softball, tennis, archery, and track.

Damilowski, Leonard

Leonard Damilowski

Class of 1946

Student #3836

1995 Athletic Hall of Fame


Leonard Damilowski played football at both the halfback and quarterback positions. He had unlimited energy as a ball carrier, carrying the ball several times in succession and wearing out the opposite team. He was also a tremendous forward passer and threw for many touchdowns. He was an equally great basketball player, and he led the ASD team in scoring in almost every game he played. He was an outstanding softball player at ASD as well, but his heart was in baseball. After graduation, he continued playing ball and ultimately reached the minor leagues.



Dardis, James

James Dardis

Class of 1949

Student #3686

1995 Athletic Hall of Fame

James Dardis started out playing center but was later transferred to tackle, where he excelled. He was compared to the seven mules of Notre Dame, blocking punts and causing the visitors to fumble frequently by his hard-charging and tackling. He was only 5’9″ in height and 168 lbs. but played as if he was much larger. He was named to the All-American Schools for the Deaf Football team, first as Second Team and was a First Team All-American Tackle. His ability to block the opposition was an inspiration to the A.S.D. group that he was named Captain of the A.S.D. football team in 1947.

Halberg, David Hillard

David Hillard Halberg

Class of 1948

Student #3643

1995 Athletic Hall of Fame

David Halberg was named to the All-American Deaf football team as an end in 1945 and was captain of the ASD football team in 1946. He began his career as a guard and then switched to end, where he excelled. He also played halfback and quarterback. He was admired for his ability to keep calm under pressure and to play hard at all times. He also played basketball (guard) and baseball (pitcher and catcher) during his ASD years. He continued to excel in college, participating in football, wrestling, and track at Gallaudet College. He co-captained the 1952 Gallaudet football team and won a silver medal in the 1953 National AAU wrestling tournament. After college, he began the ASD wrestling program.

LaGier, Robert

Robert LaGier

Class of 1944

Student #3484

1995 Athletic Hall of Fame

Robert LaGier is on Walter Rockwell’s list of great ASD football players. He captained the 1942 and 1943 football teams. He started out playing center in 1938 and then switched to halfback for the rest of his career. He was also a dynamic, playmaking guard in basketball. He captained the 1944 ASD basketball team and was selected best all-around sportsman in the 1942 ASD basketball tournament.

Pelser, Reeda (m. Rex)

Reeda Pelser (m. Rex)

Class of 1935

Student #3285

1995 Athletic Hall of Fame

A great female athlete, Reeda Pelser (m. Rex), never experienced a losing basketball season. She played guard and forward and was very successful at both positions. When the team needed points, she played forward, and when A.S.D. needed to stop the opposition’s high scorer, she switched to guard. She played in 67 games between 1931 and 1935. A.S.D.’s record in those games was 62-5. Her experience and knowledge of the game made her a fine leader and led to her being named captain of the 1934-1935 girls basketball team.

Rudnicki, Stanley Joseph

Stanley Joseph Rudnicki

Class of 1957

Student #4192

1995 Athletic Hall of Fame

Stanley Rudnicki was an outstanding football player, playing both offensive and defense in every game he played. He was large in stature and was an ideal football player to play for A.S.D. Both the Silent Worker and N.F.S.D. named him to the Deaf Football All-American team in 1956. He was also named to the Deaf Basketball Second Team by the Silent Worker in 1956-1957. He was a big scorer on the A.S.D. basketball team; leading the team in points in most of the games he played. A natural-born athlete, he inspired his teammates to do their very best.

Szablinski, Thaddeus

Thaddeus Szablinski

Class of 1940

Student #3402

1995 Athletic Hall of Fame

Was on Walter Rockwell’s all-time great list and was very versatile. He was an excellent running back, an excellent forward passer with more completed passes than in-completed passes, and a terrific placekicker. He had an aggressive playing style, and he was a great catcher and hitter on the ASD baseball team. He also played basketball from 1935 to 1939.

Zaharevitz, Ann

Ann Zaharevitz

Class of 1935

Student #3370

1995 Athletic Hall of Fame

Ann Zaharevitz was on Coach Beth Wetherbee’s list of all-time great female basketball players. She played both the guard and forward positions and was an outstanding sharpshooter. As a guard, she was a great playmaker and an inspiration to her teammates. Also, she excelled in track and swimming. After leaving A.S.D., she played in the women’s Industrial Basketball League for several years. Coach Wetherbee named Ann as the best all-around player for 1934-1935. One reason was because of Ann’s system of guarding, which was virtually impregnable.


Angeline, Anna

Anna Angeline

Class of 1941

Student #3548

1998 Athletic Hall of Fame

Anna was built low and stocky but a born natural athlete. She was on the ASD varsity basketball team for five years and captain 1940-1941. Anna knew all the tricks as a forward and was often put in guard against the opponent’s sharpshooter. She was one of Coach Wetherbee’s all-time great players.



Chilvin, Albina (m. Palka)

Albina Chilvin (m. Palka)

Class of 1940

Student #3337

1998 Athletic Hall of Fame

Albina was a steady, dependable guard against the opponent’s shooters; to block each throw, she had an uncanny skill and inspired her teammates. She was listed as Coach Wetherbee’s all-time great guard and played on ASD girls’ all-time great teams of 1937, 1938, and 1939. Albina captained the 1939 ASD undefeated team.

Hafferty, Edward Joseph

Edward Joseph Hafferty

Class of 1934

Student #3259

1998 Athletic Hall of Fame

Edward was the first ASD athlete named All-American (in basketball) when the All-American committee was organized in 1933. His height accounted him as one of the best guards on the ASD basketball team, and he was a leading playmaker. He was a tough and aggressive player on Walter Rockwell’s 1930-1933 football team.

Ryan, Russell

Russell Ryan

Class of 1940

Student #3324

1998 Athletic Hall of Fame

Russell was one of the best football centers in ASD history. He played center on varsity football for seven years. In one year, Russell was out of the team due to an injury, and in the five games that followed, none of the other players were as dependable as Russell. He played on two undefeated ASD football teams, 1937 and 1939. He was the captain of the 1939 football team and on Walter Rockwell’s all-time great list. He also played basketball from 1935 thru 1938 and baseball in 1939.

Saboslai, Edward

Edward Saboslai

Class of 1939

Student #3471

1998 Athletic Hall of Fame

Edward played fullback on ASD’s 1936, 1937, and 1938 football teams. He was an outstanding fullback on ASD’s 1937 undefeated team as a hard-hitting running back. He was an expert ball handler in basketball and excelled as a guard and forward on the 1936 thru 1939 basketball teams. Edward was one of Coach Rockwell’s all-time picks.

Shimkus, Charles

Charles Shimkus

Class of 1941

Student #3457

1998 Athletic Hall of Fame

pint in whatever he participated. He played quarterback and halfback in 1937 – 1940; on two great undefeated football teams (1937 and 1939) and co-Charles was nicknamed the “half-pint” player because of his tiny stature, but he played a full pint in whatever he participated. He played quarterback and halfback in 1937 – 1940; on two great undefeated football teams (1937 and 1939) and co-captained the 1940 football team. He played forward on the ASD basketball team and was also an outstanding baseball player.

Shirley, Oscar

Oscar Shirley

ASD Coach

1998 Athletic Hall of Fame

From his home state of South Carolina, after graduating from Gallaudet College, he came to ASD in 1952 and coached in football, basketball, and baseball from 1952 thru 1966. He was the first to begin the “midget” football program at ASD, which helped develop the kids into outstanding athletes. While coaching boys’ basketball, his team of 1960,1961, and 1963 won the Eastern States Schools for the Deaf tournaments. As for football, his 1960 team was undefeated and voted as the #1 best team in all national deaf schools. He was chosen as the “Coach of the Year” three times in basketball and twice in football. He also coached for the Hartford Deaf Club basketball team. As a coach, he was inducted into the NEAAD Hall of Fame in 1975 and the American Athletic Association of the Deaf (AAAD) Hall of Fame in 1981.

Tartonis, Edward

Edward Tartonis

Class of 1934

Student #3255

1998 Athletic Hall of Fame

Edward was one of Rockwell’s all-time picks in football. He played quarterback and halfback and was a leader on the field.  After three years on varsity, Edward captained the 1933 basketball team and was known as a feeder in ASD basketball teamwork. He excelled in track specialized in the high jump, board jump, and pole vault.

Wages, Ronald Henry

Ronald Henry Wages

Class of 1953

Student #3757

1998 Athletic Hall of Fame

Ronald is remembered as one of the great halfbacks in ASD football history. He was only 5′ 6″ and weighed 150; his toughness and hustle often sparked ASD to victory with his brilliant flashy running. Ronald was co-captain on the football team in 1951. He had shown his greatness by repeating long touchdowns. His last year, he made 14 touchdowns in six games to tie the record for National Deaf schools and made eight touchdowns in three games to set a record. He closed a memorable football career by scoring four touchdowns at his last game. He was named to the Frat All-American football team in 1952. He also excelled in basketball and baseball. He played good defense at third base for Hartford Deaf Club and was inducted into the NEAAD Hall of Fame in 1988.

Weller, Helen Elise (m. Dardis)

Helen Elise Weller (m. Dardis)

Class of 1950

Student #3710

1998 Athletic Hall of Fame

Coach Wetherbee always put Helen as a guard against the opponent’s sharpshooter. With her height, fast footwork, and aggressiveness, Helen was able to block many shots. An expert ball snatcher, Helen, threw the ball over the “line” to ASD forwards. She captained the 1947-1948 and co-captained the 1948-1949 Girls’ basketball team. She also led the Girl’s Cheerleaders from 1947-1950. Helen was also a champion tennis player for ASD.


Crowe, Thomas

Thomas Crowe

Class of 1939

Student #3499

2001 Athletic Hall of Fame

Thomas was a talented athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. In baseball, he played at third base and was the leading hitter for four years. Thomas started many double plays, from Crowe to Sallai to Donahue. In football, he was a running halfback, and in a game against NJSD, he made two touchdowns and intercepted the opponent’s forward passes. In basketball, he was an all-around player and captained the 1939 ASD, basketball team.

Cyr, Donald

Donald Cyr

Class of 1940

Student #3399

2001 Athletic Hall of Fame

Donald started as a halfback, but after an injury against the Kingswood School, Coach Rockwell decided to put him on left tackle. He played outstanding defense against Fanwood and Mt. Airy. Donald was also a one-person show against Admiral Billard Academy, the most powerful team ASD had ever played against. He gave his full measure of hard and spiritual play in all games. He also was a great basketball player.

Greco, Sebastian

Sebastian Greco

Class of 1950

Student #3659

2001 Athletic Hall of Fame

Sebby was known as a great basketball player. He did most of his shooting from 3 different positions, and in playing games, if he got the ball at any one of the positions, he would shoot the ball, thereby becoming ASD’s sharpshooter. Sebby also made points from other positions and was always an aggressive player. He also excelled in football as running halfback. He was one of Coach Jack Wise’s great athletes.

Peterson, Arvilla (m. Kennedy)

Arvilla Peterson (m. Kennedy)

Class of 1944

Student #3507

2001 Athletic Hall of Fame

Arvilla was a scholar-athlete who excelled in the classroom as well as on the basketball court. She was always a hustler for the girls’ team. An all-around basketball player, she captained the girls’ basketball team in her senior year. She also excelled as a tennis player and was an excellent archer.

Frith, Edward George

Edward George Frith

Class of 1954

Student #3859

2001 Athletic Hall of Fame

When Edward was a young boy, he did not participate in any sports because he was very skinny. When he volunteered as the manager for all sports, Coach Jack Wise noticed Edward physically growing more muscular. His balance had improved considerably, and the ability to play all sports. He became the co-captain of the football team in 1953. He was an outstanding football end, a good defense, and a super blocker on offense. He was also an exceptional scorer in basketball besides Frank Rarus. He was named to the Frat’s All-American football honorable mention team as a lineman in 1952 and the second defense team of the National Observer All-American football team in 1953. The “Southerner,” a deaf publication in North Carolina in 1952, also named him to the All-American Honorable mention team as football end for the Schools for the Deaf. He was inducted into the New England Athletic Association of the Deaf (NEAAD) Softball Hall of Fame in 1992.

Jones, Mary Louise

Mary Louise Jones

 Class of 1959

Student #3905

2001 Athletic Hall of Fame

Mary was an all-around athlete, and during the years she was at ASD, no outside competition was played, and all were intramural sports. In basketball, she was a natural and won every game. She was best at playing tennis, and no one could beat her. Her role model was Althea Gibson, the first black woman professional tennis player to win the Wimbledon tournament and having met her became lasting friends.


Simons, Mary Louise (m. White)

Mary Louise Simons (m. White)

Class of 1947

Student #3575

2001 Athletic Hall of Fame

One of Coach Beth Wetherbee’s all-time picks for basketball, Mary excelled both at defense and offense. As a defensive player, most of the time, and when necessary to beat the opponent, she played offensively to pile up points. Coach Beth used Mary as a role model for newcomers after many of ASD’s great players had graduated.


Albert, Roger William

Roger William Albert

Class of 1961

Student #4161

2005 Athletic Hall of Fame

Roger was an outstanding wrestler and a marvelous football player as an offensive center and defensive end. He was on the first intramural wrestling team that Mr. David Halberg started in 1955. Roger was also a member of the ASD wrestling team that won the first championship at the Eastern States Schools for the Deaf wrestling tournament at Gallaudet University in 1956. He won first place 130 lbs. class twice in this tournament in 1956 and 1958. Roger was undefeated in 1958 and 1961. He qualified to participate in the Connecticut Interscholastic Wrestling tournament in 1960 and 1961 and was favored to win 1st place. He had tough luck with a severe ear cauliflower injury in 1960. In 1961 in the semi-final during overtime, the official awarded his opponent the victory based on his performance. However, the coaches felt that Roger should have won. In the third/fourth place contest, he won easily. Roger was co-captain during his senior year. He was a member of the USA Deaf Olympics Wrestling team in 1961. His wrestling style was steady with his fierce strength that wore down his opponents. He was one of the best wrestlers during his four years at ASD.

Carnute, Jennie Rose

Jennie Rose Carnute

Class of 1954

Student #3768

2005 Athletic Hall of Fame

When Jennie was a student at the American School for the Deaf, she was known as an all-around athlete and cheerleader. She was co-captain of basketball (1952-1953), played softball from 1946-1952. Jennie played tennis from 1948 to 1950 and won the championship in 1949. She participated in archery and swimming. Jokingly, she did want to participate in school football but was not allowed to by the coach.

Darby, Albert William

Albert William Darby

Class of 1955

Student #3858

2005 Athletic Hall of Fame

During his time, there was a lack of big players needed on a football team. There were only seventeen players. Al was a skinny, freckle-faced kid of 125 lbs. Coach Jack Wise had no choice but to place Al on the offensive and defensive line. Al struggled to play against heavier opponents, but he developed his skills to become a great lineman with super blocking techniques and good defensive capabilities. Running plays were frequently called for Al. Al was one of the reasons that helped Hall-of-Famer Ronald Wages’ brilliant rushing career, breaking several records in the process. The coaches and a defensive demon hailed Al a great leader. He was given Honorable Mention in Frat in 1951, 1952, and 1953. Al played basketball as a guard and a great playmaker who helped Hall-of-Famer Frank Rarus break ASD’s point records. Al was also a good defenseman.

Dlugskecki, Arthur J.

Arthur J. Dlugskecki

Class of 1942; Left to work

Student #3746

2005 Athletic Hall of Fame

Arthur is remembered as a great basketball player at ASD during the years 1940-1942. He received the varsity letter for basketball three straight years and was tri-captain in his final year at ASD in 1942. Arthur was a sharpshooter from long range and a clever playmaker. He was frequently the leading scorer on the team during regular-season games and the annual Eastern Basketball Tournament for the Deaf schools, including several competitive schools from the Northeast corridor. World War II cut his playing career at ASD when he left his junior year. Arthur was a champion on the golf links, having won the annual Connecticut State Deaf Golfers Association title eight times from 1959-1970.

Fitts, Leroy Arthur

Leroy Arthur Fitts

Class of 1951

Student #3656

2005 Athletic Hall of Fame

Due to his height, 6’5″, playing basketball came naturally for him. At that time, being 6’5″ was unheard of during the late 1940s/ Captain of his basketball team during his senior year, he made 35 points in one game and the total points made during 1950-1951 season was 431 points. The records are made to be broken. He witnessed his 35 points in one game and total points in a season broken a few years later. Leroy congratulated the players who broke his record. Leroy played football as an offensive and defensive end. The quarterback at that time had an easy time passing the ball to Leroy due to his height. As tall as he was, Leroy did well in football.

Krajewski, George Maurice

George Maurice Krajewski

Class of 1948;  Left to work

Student #3651

2005 Athletic Hall of Fame

George was a great athletic player as a fullback in football games. He almost always made 3rd conversions, even a couple of touchdowns in less than 15 yards to goal/ Opponent teams had a hard time stopping the “Gallop Horse” through the line. George only had one fumble in the many games he played. Even sometimes, he had put online for defense whenever necessary. He showed sportsmanship and always was a gentleman in every football game.

He always played well for us.

Spaccaluti, Dolores Josephine

Dolores Josephine Spaccaluti

Class of 1959

Student #3895

2005 Athletic Hall of Fame

Dolores was an all-around athlete during 1955-1959. She was an outstanding player in intramural sports such as tennis, basketball, and volleyball. Her team won many games at the Annual Girls’ Sports Night.

Dolores was considered good enough to be on the boys’ basketball team. Her former coach, Mrs. Twomey, believed Mary Louis Jones and Dolores, her most outstanding basketball players.

Dolores was also a cheerleader. She always participated in every sport she could and always gave 100 percent effort. Even though she was usually elected team captain, Dolores played as a team player and supported her teammates. She deserved recognition as an athlete Hall of Fame inductee.

Taylor, Robert J.

Robert J. Taylor


ASD Staff

2005 Athletic Hall of Fame

Robert J. Taylor, the former assistant superintendent, and maintenance department head, was born in County Armagh, Ireland, and moved to West Hartford in 1930. He worked with the American School for the Deaf for many years, retiring in 1971 but continuing part-time work until his death. The American School for the Deaf has been his life. Never a person to neglect a task and a non-adherent of the conventional eight-hour day, Bob was always what our modern generation emphasizes, “involved.” Beginning his career as the school bus driver, moving up to Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, in recent years, he was assistant to the Headmaster for Business Administration, mainly in charge of purchasing. But Bob’s most special forte is still the flexible “green thumb. “Bob’s involvement extended into many spheres. He has always been an ardent supporter of the school’s athletic programs, and his interest and warm friendship with the Alumni are known far and wide. Always ever present to assist anyone in emergencies of any kind, be it staff member, former employees, students, deaf or hearing high or low.

Wade, Donald Wallace

Donald Wallace Wade 

Class of 1961

Student #3966

2005 Athletic Hall of Fame

Don was a coach’s dream as a football and basketball player. He did everything in football, and basketball asked of him. Don had an intense desire to win despite the game being out of reach, and he put in 100 percent effort during a practice session. He was a starter in football and basketball for four years. He was one of the leading scorers with 20-point average during his junior and senior years and broke total rushing yards with 2,138 yards during his four years. The most remarkable run he ever made was on the opening play with an 80-yard touchdown during the 1960 homecoming. The PSD got four tacklers on him, but they could not stop him. During one run, they had to tackle him from the bench to do it. Don was selected on All-American football and basketball teams in both the Frat and Silent Worker. He was a team player even when he was injured. He was one of the best football and basketball players based on his four-year performance during his time.

Wade, Robert Sparrow

Robert Sparrow Wade

Class of 1962

Student #3967

2005 Athletic Hall of Fame

Bob was a lanky athlete who excelled in all three sports at ASD. Even opponent teams had a lot of respect for Robert’s athletic skills. When the Fitchburg High School (Mass.) football team learned Bob was killed in an automobile accident, they asked for a few moments of silence for Bob. The Fitchburg team never forgot Bob’s excellent play against them the previous fall. Bob was a fullback and a powerful runner. His long legs were hard to tackle, and his long arms showed them, would-be tacklers. He was a terror as a defensive middle linebacker. Basketball was his other outstanding performance on the court. He was great in rebounding, defense, and shooting as well as a good playmaker. It was no surprise he was an All-American deaf football and basketball player among the deaf athletes around the country. Had he lived longer, he would have done well on the deaf club sports teams. Bob was a fun-loving young man who enjoyed playing and life in general.

Wise, John Jack

John Jack Wise



2005 Athletic Hall of Fame

Jack was ASD’s third coach for football, basketball, and baseball and a physical education instructor. If one only viewed his coaching records, one may not be impressed. However, if we look deeply into his endeavors, his original feats had merits worthy of our consideration.

Wise started the Physical Education Program at ASD. He encouraged and pushed a few non-athletic boys to join sports, and a few of those boys have already been inducted into the ASDAA Hall of Fame. 

Not only was he a coach, but also a teacher he was! He established a baseball team. He showed us many other points of interest, too. He established midget and pony football teams.

During away football games, especially to New York School for the Deaf or New Jersey School for the Deaf, he educated us by showing us the locations of West Point Academy, the Bear Mountains, and Polo Grounds, the Homes of New York Giants. He then would talk to us about their significance and history.

Because of the first three items above, the ASD sports programs became a powerhouse around the eastern states from 1956-1975. What he established; other coaches carried on. 

The committees are proud to endorse Jack Wise as the new inductee of the ASDAA Hall of Fame.


Diot, Barbara May (m. Krostoski)

Barbara May Diot (m. Krostoski)

Class of 1950

Student #3672

2007 Athletic Hall of Fame

Barbara was an outstanding ASD athlete. She played basketball for four years (1946-1950); and served as co-captain and captain. She also played softball for three years (1947-1950), when ASD’s softball team competed with hearing schools. A natural leader, Barbara, along with Helen (Weller) Dardis, Kathleen (McCollum) Griffin, Betty (Spellman) Dunn, Sandra (Kohler) Kraut, and Diane Church, set up the cheerleading group during her first year at ASD.

Doucette, Reno Wilfred

Reno Wilfred Doucette

Class of 1954

Student #4126

2007 Athletic Hall of Fame

Reno Doucette was the second Player of the Month selected by ASD coaches because of his fighting spirit and key tackles during games. During a match with New York School for the Deaf, he saved ASD from being beaten by stopping several threats of first downs and touchdowns. He was elected All-American in 1953. He played right tackle in football and was noted for his defense. The 185-pound stellar guard made four key tackles. Known as the “IRON MAN,” he never missed a play, offense, or defense. He was an outstanding defensive stalwart with all offensive backs sharing the glory.

Larson, Betty Ann (m. Blanchard)

Betty Ann Larson (m. Blanchard)

Class of 1952

Student #3825

2007 Athletic Hall of Fame

Betty was the quietest girl in class, but she was a star in basketball. She was a shorter player for basketball and a forward. Betty was a speedy player and skilled at stealing the ball. She always put the team’s success first and was known for her excellent teamwork. Betty never hesitated to pass the ball to other players to help ASD win a game. Betty always focused on TEAMWORK, and because of her influence, the other players did, too.

McGill, John "Jack"

John “Jack” McGill



2007 Athletic Hall of Fame

John McGill began coaching football at ASD in 1955. He was a skilled and effective coach and an outstanding physical education instructor. John served as the official timekeeper for the ESDAA basketball tournaments and acquired much information on the playing style of championship team players. By analyzing the players, he was able to help strengthen the ASD team. He was an essential part of our athletic teams’ success during his years at ASD.


Osgood, Richard "Ricky" Thomas

Richard “Ricky” Thomas Osgood

Class of 1963

Student #4453

2007 Athletic Hall of Fame

Ricky was an All-American star in three different sports: football, basketball, and baseball. He was co-captain of the varsity football and varsity basketball teams and was a fine athlete and fearless player in any sport. During a football game against NYSD Fanwood, Ricky helped ASD win with his athleticism. The game ended at 38 to 6, which the Tigers scored two more quickies on Ricky’s 28-yard run on an intercepted pass. He received an outstanding football sportsmanship trophy for his excellent sportsmanship, leadership, and exceptional play during the season. Ricky was also one of the best pitchers in ASD history as well as an outstanding basketball player.

Peterson, Paul

Paul Peterson



2007 Athletic Hall of Fame

Paul was the founder of the ASD Midget Football team and coached the team for eight fun and productive years. After learning how to play football under Paul’s guidance, the little boys grew into excellent players for ASD’s Junior Varsity and Varsity football teams. Paul also served as wrestling coach for Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Elementary teams for 13 years. Thanks to Paul’s coaching, ASD star wrestler Angel Rivera went on to compete in the Deaf Olympics.

Rivera, Angelo Dimas

Angelo Dimas Rivera

Class of 1961

Student #4373

2007 Athletic Hall of Fame

Angelo Rivera was an outstanding wrestler during his four years at ASD. He enrolled at ASD in the fall of 1957 with no wrestling experience at all. By the end of his first-year wrestling, he demonstrated remarkable skills. During the 2nd Annual Eastern States Schools for the Deaf Wrestling Tournament, Angel won a gold medal against much older and more experienced wrestlers. Having natural skills, he was a fast learner. At the 3rd ESSD Wrestling Tournament in 1960, he won second place and first in the state tournament – the first time ASD won first place on the state level. He lost only four matches in his four years competing. He was co-captain of the wrestling team in 1960 and 1961. In 1961, he participated in the World Deaf Games in Helsinki, Finland. Despite being a high school wrestler, he placed fourth place against the much older wrestlers in Helsinki. He participated in the USA Roman-Greco style in the 1973 World Deaf Games. He won a gold medal in the National Master Wrestling Tournament at the University of Pennsylvania in 1985 and the AAU Wrestling Tournament in 1988. After 27 years, he finally retired as a wrestler. He was a volunteer coach with the University of Pennsylvania wrestling team for twenty years and the PSAD wrestling team for four years. He deserves to be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame.

Shepard, John Edward

John Edward Shepard

Class of 1955

Student #3869

2007 Athletic Hall of Fame

John is the third member of the class of ’55 to be enshrined in the ASDAA Hall of Fame. Of the three, John was the most versatile athlete, as he was involved in all the sports (football, basketball, and baseball). John was patient and dedicated and strived to be the best he could be in all sports. He spent long hours of practice on the football field as a running halfback as well defensive halfback. Weekends at ASD found him on the basketball court for hours, shooting baskets and tuning his defensive skills. He was a marvelous first baseman and a good hitter, with an average hovering around .300.

Weighing only 150 pounds, he played as a halfback during his junior and senior years at Gallaudet University. The coaches were impressed by his work ethic enough to give him a lot of playing time. He was also on the wrestling team and did well. After graduating from Gallaudet, he played basketball and softball for the Greater Hartford Club of the Deaf for many years.

For his tremendous athletic skills of days long ago, John joined the elite Class of 1955 inductees Frank A. Rarus and Albert W. Darby in the ASDAA Athletic Hall of Fame.


Smith, Beatrice (m. Desrosier)

Beatrice Smith (m. Desrosier)

Class of 1951

Student #3723

2007 Athletic Hall of Fame

Beatrice learned to play basketball from her brother. She played on the ASD basketball team from 1946-1950 and was the tallest female player. Beatrice was an excellent forward and an outstanding player. The other players passed the ball to her with confidence, knowing that she would make the baskets. She was known for her excellent teamwork and dedication to the team. Her goal was always to help the team win.

Sugiyama, William "Bill" Tadao

William “Bill” Tadao Sugiyama 

Class of 1954

Student #4104

2007 Athletic Hall of Fame

Although William Sugiyama entered ASD in 1950 without previous football experience, he became the first captain to lead the ASD eleven for two successive seasons. Despite his slight stature, the smiling, Hawaiian-bred senior first learned the defensive role and then was placed in the fullback slot. Later he was placed at quarterback by Coaches Rockwell and Shirley. Coach Rockwell had high praise for Bill’s field generalship, which made the most of limited reserves, and his cooperativeness and a good influence on the players. He was a fleet scatback and a dangerous passer and took the hard knocks of heavier opponents without complaint. He was ASD’s 1953 football leader. Bill also excelled in basketball game and was the high scorer for ASD.

Taglia, John Anthony

John Anthony Taglia

Class of 1960

Student #4241

2007 Athletic Hall of Fame

John played three different sports: football, basketball, and baseball. He was an outstanding athlete in all three sports but was genuinely excellent in basketball and baseball. On the ASD baseball team, he was both pitcher and third baseman. His team played against hearing schools. On the basketball team, he was a leader, and Coach Oscar Shirley greatly appreciated John’s control of his team. John’s basketball team was called the “Flying Tigers.” They took a lofty 16-1 season’s record into the tournament, the last 14 being straight wins. Thanks to John and the other players, the ASD basketball team won the Eastern States Schools for the Deaf championship at the 28th annual tournament in February 1960. It was the first time ASD won the championship since the 1930s, and the “Flying Tigers” winning streak was the longest in ASD History.


Vinci, Ernesto Guy

Ernesto Guy Vinci

Class of 1938

Student #3291

2007 Athletic Hall of Fame

Ernesto Vinci was an excellent football player, used as a defensive end at left end. He was known as the most improved player on the team. He had not been a strong player the year before, but he became a valuable player with hard work and commitment. He played a steady, and at times flashy, game and went through the so-called drudgery of clearing the way that won the commendation of many observers. He was always one of the first to show up for practice and was never content to rest during those infrequent lulls in drills but insisted on joining another squad being sent through their paces in some far corner of the field. He deserved to be recognized by the Athletic Hall of Fame.


Clark, Loren Emory

Loren Emory Clark

Class of 1962

Student #3938

2010 Athletic Hall of Fame

Loren Clark was one of Coach David Halberg’s great wrestlers. He did not have the body and looks of a physically muscular wrestler; however, he knew how to block, bar, and use a lever to stay on top of his opponent and had all the rudiments, especially one of his favorite tricks was to use Whizzer to half nelson and crotch to pin most of his opponents. He was a perfect gentleman on the mat, and most of the fans enjoyed watching Loren’s graceful movements while wrestling.

Crowley, William

William Crowley

Class of 1945

Student #3839

2010 Athletic Hall of Fame

William “Bill” Crowley was one of the most fearless tackles in the 1940s. In 1942, when Bill was only fourteen years old, a hearing woman in his hometown approached and encouraged him to attend the American School for the Deaf by showing him a yearbook about ASD. He still did not want to go there, but once he saw a picture of the ASD football team, he decided to attend ASD that following fall.

At first, he rode a train to Hartford and waited outside at the station anticipating someone from ASD to pick him up. He was about to return home after waiting too long. Finally, a man tapped on his shoulder, asking if he was Bill. After getting into a blue ASD bus, he found all the deaf students signing with each other. Bill did not know any signs. 

One day he saw a football team on the practice field. Steve Renick, a captain, called him to join the team. After the first two games, he played first string as a left tackle in defense and offense from 1942 until 1945 under Head Coach Walter Rockwell.

Before his last game against heavy favored NYSD Fanwood at ASD, he rode in a public bus with ASD alumni as they talked about Fanwood players. They felt that it was time for Fanwood to win a big victory over ASD after losing five or six in a row. They made a bet on who would win this game. Bill then could read their sign language. He knew that he would have to play hard against this team.

Just before the game on Saturday afternoon, he told the team that he needed good teamwork to win this game. He could not win by himself only. A large and heavy player named Jackson got the ball after the very first kick-off and ran through ASD players. The only one player left to tackle him was Bill. He tackled him, preventing him from making a touchdown. His two teeth were broken. His helmet with a homemade rim did not help him. ASD fans thought that Bill would walk away from the game for good, but he did not. He also intercepted the ball and ran to about fifteen yards left to a touchdown. It helped ASD score after a few plays. He played to the end of the game, and ASD won the match by 20-6. He was a fearless player as well.


Diot, Truman Emile

Truman Emile Diot

Class of 1952

Student #4099

2010 Athletic Hall of Fame

Truman Diot was born in Albany, New York, and attended the Rochester School for the Deaf for ten years. Then he transferred to ASD in 1950 for two years. He loved football and tackled 2-3 players because of his large size and height. Truman helped the football team win many games. Truman also loved basketball, and he was a hoop leader for the team. He received awards and pins in both sports.

The April 1951 issue of the American Era stated, that “Truman Diot, who displayed a great deal of improvement last season, will lead next year’s [basketball] quintet.” Also in the March 1952 issue, on page 59, there is a good team picture of the 1951-1952 Basketball teams, with Truman holding the basketball. 

In April 1952, at the 3rd annual sports banquet, Truman received awards for football and basketball. He graduated from Gallaudet College with a BA degree in 1959. He was employed as a school counselor at the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf, West Trenton, New Jersey, at the time of his passing in February 1988.



DuMond, Dennis Thorne

Dennis Thorne DuMond

Class of 1959

Student #3925

2010 Athletic Hall of Fame

Dennis was named to the All-American Schools list in two straight years 1957 and 1958 football team in Silent News. He was one of three co-captains for the team and received awards from 1955 to 1958. In 1957 Dennis broke the record to beat New York School for the Deaf (Fanwood). He started playing football in 1949 and continued to love the game to 1958 and never missed one. His coaches were Walter Rockwell, Oscar Shirley, David Halberg, Thomas Desrosier, and John McGill.

McGee, Peter Michael Gerald

Peter Michael Gerald McGee

Class of 1962

Student #3964

2010 Athletic Hall of Fame

Peter was known as a sturdy tackler playing both offense and defensive lineman. While playing offense, Peter knew only one thing to do – “do it fast,” blocking to open the hole to allow the player with the ball to gain yards. During the early ’60s, ASD had a very unusual group of young athletes. They were boys with lightning and speedy backs, and they were Albert Cauthen, Donald Wade, Angelo Rivera, Robert Wade, and Robert Shepard. Peter had powerful blocking skills that helped the boys go flying down the field on their way to the end zone for a touchdown.

On the defense line, Peter held his ground to make sure the opponents did not run through. In addition, he was excellent in pass-rushing!

He was a hard-nosed lineman in both offense and defense. He was one of many excellent football players during his time that caught the eyes of the ASD Alumni and local newspapers. Many deaf schools and their alumni remember these special years of the ’60s. They claimed that the ASD football team was a powerhouse in the early ’60s. Peter was very motivated, if things did not go well, he would jump up and down and wave his hands to get the players motivated, helping them feel positive and gain energy, and he also got the crowd to cheer for ASD to help win the games.

Shepard, Robert Raymond

Robert Raymond Shepard

Class of 1961

Student #4332

2010 Athletic Hall of Fame

Robert Shepard was an outstanding basketball player, especially during his last three years at ASD. When Robert enrolled as a 15-year-old student, he had no sign language skills. It was when he entered the gym for the first time that he exhibited his basketball skills. That talk began on campus, and he had a legacy as an all-around basketball player ever since. Donald Wade and Robert Shepard were the key players to win two straight championships in the Eastern States Schools for the Deaf Athletic Association Basketball Tournament in 1960 and 1961. They were high scorers on the team from 1959 to 1961, and Robert set a new school record with 21 rebounds in a single game. One of his best performances in the first quarter of the ESDAA Basketball Tournament Championship game in 1961, he made 12 out of the 14 team points. The final score was 60-26 over MKSD (New Jersey). Robert was selected to the All-Star team during that tournament. His scoring average during his three years was over 18 points and over 12 rebounds on average. He also played fullback on the football team for two years and was a member of the 1960 undefeated team.

Quoted from Mr. John McGill in the American Era March 1960 issue: “Robert Shepard – High Scorer, and deft ball handler par excellence. In-game after the game, his ball-handling and eye-filling shooting was a beauty to behold. He was quick as a cat and had springs in his legs which gave ASD center – full control on most occasions and rebounds. Most of the time, he was in the right spot at the right time, and when he was not, he would recover quickly to make an impossible shot. Ball games are won with plenty of baskets and foul shots; this boy had no equal in both departments.”

Woods, Richard James

Richard James Wood

Class of 1959

Student #4025

2010 Athletic Hall of Fame

Richard came to ASD in 1946 at the age of 8 and graduated in 1959. During his time here, Richard played all sports. In his junior and senior years, Richard was captain of the football, basketball, and baseball teams. Football was his favorite sport, in which he excelled. Upon graduating from ASD, his hometown asked him to join their semi-pro team where he played for two years.

Yaeger, Frederick John Jr.

Frederick John Yaeger, Jr.

Class of 1964

Student #3988

2010 Athletic Hall of Fame

Fred Yaeger was an outstanding All-American in football and basketball. He was on the National list as a great player.

He managed 15 touchdowns during football season during senior year frat and has a 25-point average for three years in basketball. He accomplished three All-Stars in the Eastern States Schools Tournament for the Deaf during his sophomore, junior, and senior years. Fred was also an accomplished baseball player with an average of over .300 for three years. He played two positions, pitcher, and shortstop. He passed away in 2021.



DonAroma, Paul Frank Jr.

Paul Frank DonAroma, Jr.

Class of 1963

Student #3990

2012 Athletic Hall of Fame

Paul was a three-sport athlete at the American School for the Deaf (ASD), where he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. He played quarterback and was chosen as a co-captain of the football team in his senior year. On the basketball team, he played forward and helped ASD to win the Eastern States Schools Championship in 3 of his four high school years.

Paul played several positions on the baseball team, including pitcher, catcher, and first baseman. In addition to his on-field accomplishments, he earned multiple student/athlete honors, including the first Robert Wade Athletic Trophy.

Off the field, he served his classmates as a member of the Boys’ Athletic Association, plus other activities. Paul was an avid sports fan, cheering for his beloved Cleveland Browns, UCONN Huskies, and New York Yankees.


Furman, Robert Stephen

Robert Stephen Furman

Class of 1965

Student #4127

2012 Athletic Hall of Fame

During the football season, fans and sports announcers called Robert a “Monster Bob Furman” because he was a very aggressive player in defense. He played football from the midget team to Varsity as an offensive and defensive lineman. He got All-American and Achievement awards in 3 years for defensive, having made 28 tackles a game. Also, he was Co-captain of the team. He was called “Big Bob Furman” during the basketball season because he was an excellent rebounder. Bob played varsity basketball for three years, and also, he was Co-Captain. He earned an award for the Eastern Tournament Championship. In addition to his football and basketball skills, Bob was a great Varsity baseball player, and his batting average was around .300 for four years.


Hallaway, Sammy

Sammy Hallaway

Class of 1962

Student #4052

2012 Athletic Hall of Fame

Sammy was a tough wrestler who controlled every move the opponents made and railroaded them to easy pins. Some of his opponents were tough, but he had the power to beat them.


Rinas, Daniel "Danny" John

Daniel “Danny” John Rinas

Class of 1970 

Student #4371

2012 Athletic Hall of Fame

Danny Rinas shattered all kinds of school scoring records in basketball at ASD, when he averaged 25.2 points per game during his junior season (1968-1969) and senior season (1969-1970). He was one of the purest clutch shooters of all time as he was known to shoot anywhere from the court (long 25–30-foot shots). There were no 3-point shots during his time. Danny played for the JV team during the 1967-68 season when he broke a record by scoring 32 points on February 12, 1968.          

Roosevelt Cunningham, a transfer from Alabama, played for the Varsity team during the 1967-1968 season. Since Roosevelt was overage for the ESDAA Tournament held in NYSD (Fanwood), New York, George MacKinnon, the Varsity coach, decided to add Danny, a sophomore varsity team for the tournament, and George said that it was the best decision he ever made. Although Danny played a total of 14.5 minutes for three games, he made the All-Star Tournament team. He played the last 1 minute and 32 seconds in the 1st round against West Virginia on February 22, 1968, and scored six straight points, including two free throws in the final seconds, to give ASD a 51-50 win. In the 2nd round against NYSD (Fanwood) on February 23, 1968, substitute Danny came off the bench at the start of the 4th quarter and turned a close game into a rout. Leading by a score of 48 to 46 when he appeared on the scene, ASD won, going away as he poured all 17 points in the final 8 minutes of action as ASD won by a score of 73-61. He could not miss as he went 7 for 7 in field goal and 3 out of 4 in from the foul line.

Danny tied Frank Rarus’ record by scoring 40 points on December 17, 1968, and later broke the record by scoring 49 points on February 21, 1970. This record still stands. At the ESDAA Tournament held on February 19, 1970, he scored 34 points, and on February 20, 1970, he made 49 points.   He still has the ESDAA record for points in 3 games and one game and the ASD record for 49 points. Given his basketball skills, he was named to the All-American Team when he was picked annually among schools for the Deaf. He also made the All-Star ESDAA Tournament team for three years (1968-1970) when he scored at least 31 points or more nine times during his Junior and Senior years.  

In addition to basketball, Danny was the men’s softball umpire from 1985 to 2015 for both deaf and hearing players. He also established and coordinated a weekly Deaf 3 on 3 Basketball League for over twenty-five years.

Stein, Judith Ann (m. Cronlund)

Judith Ann Stein (m. Cronlund)

Class of 1963

Student #3975

2012 Athletic Hall of Fame

As a native of New Haven, Connecticut, and a student at ASD, Judie had played in all the sports offered by the school and has won several awards in several sports events: basketball, volleyball, badminton, speedway, and softball. She was involved as a cheerleader for about three years and a solo dancer during ASD graduations for many years.

Judie was the first girl student from ASD to be a part of the 1961 Summer Deaf Olympic held in Finland. She joined Deaf United States women’s swim team at the IX International Games of the Deaf. She performed well, winning a silver medal in the 4 X 50 meters freestyle relay and winning 6th in the 100 meters freestyle.

Judie graduated in 1962, even though she was in the Class of 1963. Everyone called Judie an “athletic girl” because she always played very well in every sport. As quoted by Mr. David Halberg in Judie’s yearbook, “Judy, you have been winning all events so far.”

Timko, Edward Robert

Edward Robert Timko

Class of 1955

Student #3880

2012 Athletic Hall of Fame

Despite his height of 5’5″, Ed Timko was a good basketball player. He “always” stole the balls from other players and would pass them to Frank Rarus and get many points. His position was offensive guard and feeder (passer).

Ed became involved with the JV football team, with Jack Wise and Vancott as his coaches. Because of his weight, about 90-95 pounds, Coach Jack would not let him play football. So, Ed ended up as team manager/water boy with Rocco Fiorino. Finally, he was able to play some football as a substitute as guard and tackle guard. For a short guy, Ed even made some touchdowns! He enjoyed numerous long trips with the football team.

Ed also played tennis, horseshoes, and wrestling, having received medals in wrestling and horseshoes. He won the Best All-American Athletic Award for the 1954-55 season with Coach Oscar Shirley.   


Fenner, Shirley (m. Turner)

Shirley Fenner (m. Turner)

Class of 1965

Student #4080

2014 Athletic Hall of Fame

Shirley was born and raised in New Haven, CT. She attended ASD at a young age and grew up to be an outstanding basketball player. Shirley played as a center and was able to steal away many balls and score many points for the girls’ ASD basketball team. It was challenging for the players to get to the ball from Shirley as she was 6’1″ tall. During one season, the girls’ basketball team was successful in winning seven games and losing three. This season would not have been successful without the help of Shirley with her good passing and as a true team player. She loved playing basketball and was always very cheerful.

Macner, Mary Emily (m. Pollard)

Mary Emily Macner (m. Pollard)

Class of 1968

Student #4429

2014 Athletic Hall of Fame

Mary Macner was born in Poland and immigrated to the United States of America in 1959 at 11. She was enrolled at the American School for the Deaf in February 1959 and quickly became well known for her athletic prowess. As a freshman, Mary became a member of the girls’ basketball team and continued her leading role throughout her years at ASD. She was selected as the basketball team captain in her junior and senior years. Being a multi-sport player, Mary was the badminton champion and was the Co-captain of the softball team in her freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years. After graduation from ASD in 1968, Mary went on to play basketball, volleyball, field hockey, and badminton at Gallaudet University and was a perennial badminton champion. After graduating from Gallaudet, she competed in cross country and alpine skiing and as a cross country skier in the Deaf Olympics at Lake Placid, New York, in 1975. Mary now lives in Silver Springs, Maryland, working for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, bowling, and spending family time with her grandchildren.

Stone, Raymond Dewey Jr.

Raymond Dewey Stone, Jr.

Class of 1966

Student #4045

2014 Athletic Hall of Fame

Raymond (aka Ray) was born and raised in West Hartford, CT. He attended ASD from Kindergarten to High School and obtained his diploma in June 1966. He had to leave his “second home,” but his spirit always remained here upon graduation. Ray had participated in many sports, for which he received praise and encouragement from his coaches and parents as he was a lad of action. During his high school years at ASD, he played football, basketball, and track. His mother, Filomena Flamino, also received the Athletic Hall of Fame award in 1935 at ASD. 

Ray proposed that a new track team be established at ASD. He strongly encouraged all boys to participate. The track team was founded by Mr. Richard Dirst, a former ASD teacher and coach. The first track practice was held in one early spring. He started practicing his jumps in the old gym, using floor mats for approximately three months before the first game in June. On the day of the first meet, he remembered that the weather was perfect for his jump. He had the combined speed, strength, and agility in his attempt to leap as far as possible from the take-off point. After he made his first jump, he made his personal best jump record of 20 feet and 11 1/4 inches. This record has not been broken for over 48 years. Ray had chosen Richard Golebiewski to relate this piece of history because he had witnessed the jump that he made on that day. Richard was a part of the track team as a manager during that year.

West, Harold Joseph

Harold Joseph West

Class of 1966

Student #4308

2014 Athletic Hall of Fame

Harold West was born in Massachusetts and raised in West Hartford, CT. Dr. Edmund B. Boatner, former ASD Executive Director, and his wife, Maxine Boatner, adopted and raised Harold. He grew up at the American School for the Deaf from kindergarten to high school until June 1966. Harold was a strong boy, quick to learn all the blocks, hold, reverses, and tricks in wrestling that his coach David Halberg taught him. He was one of the best wrestlers, always counted on by his coach to win almost all of his matches.


Backofen, Robert Grey

Robert Grey Backofen

Class of 1969

Student #4835

2017 Athletic Hall of Fame

Robert won the 1 mile and 880-yard dash in Track & Field during his junior and senior years in all meets. He is the record holder at ASD in the 1 mile run at 4:41 and the 880-yard dash at 2:06. In the First National All-American team, he ranked 1st in the high school mile run.

Barham, Beverly Denise (m. Boateng)

Beverly Denise Barham (m. Boateng)

Class of 1974

Student #4538

2017 Athletic Hall of Fame

Beverly was the 4-time basketball team Captain during her years at ASD and was the best defensive player and rebounder. She was the 1973 Homecoming Queen and in the cheerleading squad for one year. Beverly served as Vice President and Secretary in the Girls Athletic Association Club for two years. Also, she earned an orange “A” letter into the Athletic Hall of Fame. 

Berrigan, Tony Edmund

Tony Edmund Berrigan

Class of 1994

Student #5551

2017 Athletic Hall of Fame

Tony and his soccer team won the 1991-93 National Championships, the ESDAA Championships in 1992-93, and the All-American Team with a two-time undefeated season (11-0-3 in 1991) and (14-0 in 1993). He won the 1993-94 ESDAA All-Star and the All-American Team Championships in basketball after scoring 1,125 career points and 36 points against MSSD. In addition to soccer and basketball, Tony also won the Track and Field in the 1992-94 ESDAA Championship, the 1994 National Championship, and the 1993-94 All-American Team. He still is the record holder in the high jump and triple jump.

Bianco, Alice

Alice Bianco

Class of 1972

Student #5095

2017 Athletic Hall of Fame

Alice was a sharpshooter, an All-Round player in basketball, and an All-Round player in softball in 1969; she won the All-Star Award in 1970 and the ASD best Athletic Award in 1971.


Biskupiak, Daniel Chester

Daniel Chester Biskupiak

Class of 1979

Student #4645

2017 Athletic Hall of Fame

Daniel was named the Football Offensive Player of the Week in 1976-78, All-Round Player in 1976-78, All-Round Player of the Week in 1977-78, plus Top Tackler with 22 tackles and in Frat’s All-American 1st Team and 2nd Team in 1977-79. He did well in basketball, winning the 1978-79 ESDAA first and second All-Star Championship teams, scoring over 800 points, 800 assists, and 800 rebounds.

Giordano, Joe

Joe Giordano



2017 Athletic Hall of Fame

Joe Giordano won the National Basketball Coach of the Year Award twice in 1974 and 1979; the ESDAA Basketball Championship in 1979. He was a Reading teacher and Physical Instructor for nine years at ASD.


Hobbs, Lewis Robert

Lewis Robert Hobbs

Class of 1966

Student #4202

2017 Athletic Hall of Fame

Lewis was the 3-time wrestling team Captain and one of the greatest wrestlers in ASD history, having competed in the Connecticut Wrestling State Championship three times and was placed 2nd in all of the championship games. In addition to wrestling, he was a Captain of the football team. 


Imme, Nicholas "Nick" Jon

Nicholas “Nick” Jon Imme

Class of 1965

Student #4073

2017 Athletic Hall of Fame

Nick Imme was named the Football Frat’s 2nd Team All-American MVP Running Back with nine touchdowns in 5 games. In basketball, he led the team in high scoring during his senior year.


Laaser, Reinhard

Reinhard Laaser

Class of 1975

Student #4747

2017 Athletic Hall of Fame

Reinhard was the Football Team Captain where he was the best kicker, an excellent defensive and offensive lineman. In 1975, he won the New England Prep Championship as First Team in ASD’s history. Reinhard was the Wrestling Team Captain and won the Interscholastic Wrestling Tournament. He received the Hugh Pachard Trophy for the most pins and least amount of time on the mat. In Track & Field, he was an excellent shot putter and discus thrower.


McDevitt, Wilmonda

Wilmonda McDevitt

Class of 1990

Student #5459

2017 Athletic Hall of Fame

Wilmonda and her team won the 1988 ESDAA Volleyball Championship, the 1988-89 ESDAA All-Star, and the 1989 All-American Championships. In basketball, she was the 1988-89 ESDAA All-Star and the 1990 All-American. She was the 1st player to make 3-pt during the 1987 ESDAA tourney when American high schools adopted the 3-pt line nationally and scored 32 points in 50-48 (4 overtime) victory against Austine School for the Deaf. In addition to volleyball, she was named the Softball 1988-90 All-American. She threw no-hitter and 11 strikeouts against Southern Catholic, winning the game by 16-0. Again, she threw no-hitter & 12 strikeouts against Masters, winning the match by 13-3. Her all-time high was 14 strikeouts, and she went 5 for 5 (4 singles & 1 double) in another game against Masters, ending in a 16-3 win.

McLennon, Ruth Sandra

Ruth Sandra McLennon

Class of 1974

Student #4506

2017 Athletic Hall of Fame

As a freshman at ASD, Sandy, in the 1971 Junior AAU Olympics for long jump in Track & Field, jumped 17 ft. and ½ inch. In 1973, she received the Connecticut Championship Long Jump Award and the Kiwanis Aids Athletic Player Award. She was the only girl in all Boys’ Track & Field teams where she broke the school record in the long jump of 16 feet and 45/64 inches. In 1974, she was the Girls Athletic Association President, Secretary, and SBG Representative. She received the Best Athletic Player of the Year Award.


Pratt, Edward

Edward Pratt

Class of 1969

Student #4896

2017 Athletic Hall of Fame

Edward Pratt received the ASD Certificate award in football. In 1968-69, he won the All-Stars Tournament Championship and, in 1968, the All-American Championship in basketball. In Track & Field, he won 1st place in the 880 yards relay, 2nd place in the 220 yards dash in 1969.

Ritchie, Kevin Robert

Kevin Robert Ritchie

Class of 1973

Student #4985

2017 Athletic Hall of Fame

Kevin won the 1972 Football National Championship. In basketball, he averaged 21 points in his senior year and scored 39 points in a game against Putnam Catholic. He won the ESDAA first-team All-Star, and 2nd team All-American Championships.

Wetzel, Donald G.

Donald G. Wetzel

Class of 1945

Student #3565

2017 Athletic Hall of Fame

In 1946, Donald ran in the Cross-Country team for one year at Gallaudet College; he was the first alumni from ASD to participate in the 1953 World Games of the Deaf in Brussels, Belgium, where he won a medal in basketball. In addition to cross-country, he also played basketball and track & tennis. 

He played badminton from 1989 to 2014 and won 7 gold and five silver medals at the Connecticut Senior Citizens Badminton Tournament.


Demovick, James Frank

James Frank Demovick

Class of 1957

Student #3840

2018 Athletic Hall of Fame

James Frank Demovick was born and raised in Bridgeport, CT. While at ASD, he played for two years in each sport: football and wrestling. The main reason was that his parents did not want him to get hurt, but his coaches noticed that he was a good player and eventually changed their minds. 

Wrestling was introduced as a new sport in 1955, in which James decided to be a wrestler, even though his weight was 147 pounds. He made his first trip to Gallaudet College, with his coach David Halberg, as a participant in the wrestling tournament and was thrilled to meet many good wrestlers from different Deaf schools. In 1957 he and his team won the Wrestling Championship.  

As Co-Captain in the football team, James played halfback and fullback under the training of Coach Oscar Shirley.

Kolpa, Patricia "Patti" Claire

Patricia “Patti” Claire Kolpa

Class of 1970

Student #4307

2018 Athletic Hall of Fame

Patti’s exceptional athletic accomplishment at ASD was playing in the Women’s Basketball team for four years and was Captain for one year and Co-Captain for one year. She also played in the Women’s Softball team for four years. Also, she was the ASD cheerleader for the football team for four years and was Homecoming Queen.  

She firmly believed that ASD students should participate in multiple sports in the school, which allowed greater exposure to build their self-esteem and confidence. 

Lynch, Charles Larkin

Charles Larkin Lynch

Class of 1973

Student #4844

2018 Athletic Hall of Fame

Charles came to ASD from North Carolina in 1966, where he played all varsity sports for four years. He played as a halfback in the football team and made over 1,000 rushing yards in 1971-72. Charles won the Deaf Football National Championship with his team in 1972 and earned the MVP Award. In wrestling, he played for seven years, and due to his weight, he was fit to play against his opponents. For four years, he also played in Track & Field. He was selected as ASD’s Athlete of the Year.


Walla, Albert Anthony Jr.

Albert Anthony Walla, Jr.

Class of 1970

Student #5917

2018 Athletic Hall of Fame

As a student at ASD, Albert’s main athletic interest was swimming, which he swam every day in the pool.    In his sophomore year, he participated in the Berkeley Tryout and earned nine medals. After graduation from ASD, he attended the Deaf Olympic Events twice in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1969, and Malmo, Sweden in 1973, receiving nine medals in both tournaments. He became one of the greatest Deaf swimmers of the 1970s.  

Albert joined the RIT Swim Team after graduating from ASD in 1970, in which the team won second place in the State Championship with a perfect 16-0 record. Then, he was transferred to Gallaudet College (now Gallaudet University), where he broke the records every time he swam. 

He received two Hall of Fame awards from Gallaudet College in 2012 and RIT in 2015. He retired from teaching deaf and hearing students for 44 years in June 2018. He is currently living in Minnesota and is involved with different organizations as an activist and active CDI. He has two sons, a daughter, and a beloved grandson.

Whitney, Jessica Lynn (m. Duhon)

Jessica Lynn Whitney (m. Duhon)

Class of 1995

Student #5985

2018 Athletic Hall of Fame

Jessica was mainstreamed to ASD from Massachusetts and was a student for five years: 1990-1995. She excelled in all three sports: basketball, volleyball, and track. Jessica played for four years in basketball, winning the ESDAA Championship in 1993, and was the first female player to get over 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in the New England Private School All-Star game. She was Captain of the basketball team for two years.

In volleyball, she also played for four years and was Captain of the team for one year. The team won both the ESDAA and National Championships in 1994. 

Jessica excelled in Track & Field, in which she played for four years in the team and was Captain of the team for four years. She still holds the record for 4X100 meters (1994) and 4X400 meters (1992) in the All-Star State Meet, which she has held for many years. 

She received many awards for excellence in all sports (All-Star and MVP) and was inducted into the first New England Basketball Hall of Fame. All the awards and honors that she received were because the coaches and school had taught her determination and perseverance.

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