BARTLETT HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS HALL OF FAME CEREMONY

SATURDAY, OCT. 23, 2004

The 2004 inductees are individuals who achieved excellence in athletics while attending Bartlett.

 

Walter "Chief" Kosnoski, Class of 1927. Walter "Chief" Kosnoski is among Bartlett High School's early three sport stars.

Chief was a three year starter in baseball, basketball and football.

His baseball exploits include a career batting average of nearly .400, and is considered to have been one of the best fielding first basemen of his time. While competing on the Indian teams in the mid to late 1920's, Bartlett lost less than 10 games, according to a report. He was named to the all time Bartlett Baseball Team, by the late George Finnegan, who served as coach and Athletic Director.

In basketball, he played center forward, while in football he lined up at end and quarterback.

Included in his memorable gridiron memories is his scoring two touchdowns against Mary Wells High School in Southbridge.

After leaving high school, Walter played on numerous semi pro baseball and basketball teams through the 1930's. He also coached semi pro baseball and basketball teams.

In addition, he became actively involved in Webster Little League, coaching and umpiring for several years. He umpired in the Mass. LL All Star games throughout the state in the 1960's

Before his retirement, Walter was active in labor unions, serving as president for many years and on several union committees across the state. He participated in numerous workshops and courses concerning labor laws, bargaining and negotiaions at Holy Cross College.

 

Joseph White, Class of 1932, is renowned as one of the most explosive offensive basketball guards of his era, specializing in long range two hand set shots.

He lettered in basketball, baseball and football during his career at Bartlett. He served as team captain for the basketball and baseball teams in his senior year.

It was in basketball where he excelled, to the delight of the fans.

The 1932 basketball team, coached by George Finnegan, broke a school record when they won 20 games for the first time in a season. The Indians finished with a 20-3 record and won the Southern Worcester County League Championship. The team, nicknamed the Basketball Five consisted of Anthony Wojciechowski, Edward Terlecki, Bernard Bazinet, Bennie Kozlowski and Joe White. The quintet remained lifelong friends, reuniting on a regular basis. During that 1932 season, Joe scored 347 points, breaking both the school and league record. It was a significant achievement since teams in those days rarely scored more than 40 points a game. There were several games where Joe out-scored the entire opposing team combined.

Joe was highly recruited by Holy Cross and several Boston area colleges. However, he decided to play at Nichols for what he reportedly said was due to the friendliness of the coach. His family suspects, however, that he wanted to stay close to his sweetheart. Marguerite Patenaude, who he was married to for 59 years before his death in 1994. At Nichols, Joe played all three sports, and was captain of the football and basketball team, and in 1976 was inducted into the Nichols Athletic Hall of Fame.

Joe was a WWII veteran, and owned and managed the family real estate business, White, Inc. Joe leaves two sons, Joe, Jr. and Bruce.

Nellie (Twardzik) Thompson, Class of 1937, gained national recognition in the 1930's as the only girl in the USA to play on a high school boys' baseball team.

When the Bartlett sophomore announced her candidacy for the team, controversy followed. However, her skill at first base was recognized early by Coach George Finnegan who reportedly said "Nellie can throw across the diamond better than any player on the squad, and fields the position better than most boys."

Newsreels and both local and national newspapers praised the skill and natural athleticism of the sensational first baseman. Nellie played for Bartlett baseball teams as a sophomore, junior and senior, receiving letters all three years. As a senior, she was inducted into the Sportsmanship Brotherhood.

Nellie was also a top guard on the Bartlett girls' basketball team, again lettering all three years.

In addition to sports, she was a member of the Footlights Club, Glee Club, Junior Executive Committee, Jr. Prom Committee and Student Council as Vice President.

After graduation she became assistant director of the Crawford Field Playground, as well as co-director and coach in the newly formed Dudley Lassie League.

Nellie's extraordinary career includes being named recipient of the 2004 Stasia Czernicki Sportswoman Award sponsored by the Patriot Newspaper. Also, copies of her scrapbooks constitute the "Nellie Twardzik File" in the National Baseball Library at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

Nellie has two daughters, Patricia Biron and Joanne Avery, and a son, Joseph Thompson. A daughter Mary Ellen, died in 1957, and another daughter, Kathleen Bazinet, died in 1983. She has five grandchildren and a great granddaughter.

Paul Deary, Class of 1941. Paul's love and dedication to basketball ranks him among the all-time leaders in that sport at Bartlett High School.

He was a varsity team member for three years, from his sophomore year through his senior year when he was team captain.

It was during that senior year, 1941, when he scored 288 points for the season. The forward helped lead the team to a 21-3 mark during the '41 campaign. The team registered two wins apiece over Fitchburg, Worcester Commerce, Tourtellotte, St. Louis and traditional rival, Mary Wells of Southbridge.

At the end of that most impressive season, the team was invited to play in the Western Mass. Tournament. The Indians beat Adams High 44-27, in the prelims, but barely missed the title game when they dropped a close encounter to Drury High, 37-35 in a semi final round game.

Paul also used his athleticism on the gridiron and diamond, playing varsity football in his junior and senior years and varsity baseball in his senior year.

He was rated by legendary basketball coach, George Finnegan as a Finnegan "First Team Player" during the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's at Bartlett High School.

After graduation, Paul attended Worcester Academy for a year, and had plans to attend college. However, he surprised his family one day by telling them he had signed up for the Army Air Corps, and that he would be leaving soon for training.

Paul became a lieutenant and navigator of a B-17. Tragically, he was killed in action over Germany during World War II when his plane crashed on Nov. 21, 1944.

 

Robert "Rocky" Miller, Class of 1949, excelled in three sports while at Bartlett. He is considered to be one of the school's top all-around three-sport athletes.

Rocky played football for 2 years, basketball for 3 years, and baseball for 3 years, He was a captain in football and baseball in his senior year.

In football, he scored the first touchdown under the lights at Memorial Athletic Field. Two other memorable gridiron achievements were an 85-yard punt return against Milford, and three touchdown passes in a 25-0 win over Northbridge.

In basketball, Rocky played guard where he excelled at scoring and rebounding. A memorable achievement was when he hauled in a dozen rebounds against Tourtellotte to help break their 30-game win streak.

In baseball, he was an outstanding defensive outfielder and hitter. He has the distinction of hitting two home runs in one inning, and also a triple in the same inning against Southbridge, thereby holding the record with 11 total bases in one inning. He hit .520 in his senior year. During high school summer, he played outfield for the St. Joseph's semi pro baseball team.

Rocky was offered a bonus from the St. Louis Cardinals to play baseball, but joined the US Marine Corps instead.

After graduation, he had collegiate offers from UMass, Boston College and Boston University. While in the Marines, he made the All Marine football team, and flew in a two-seat jet with Ted Williams while stationed in North Carolina.

Rocky now is retired from the Norton Company. He and his wife Theresa have two sons, Robert and David, and three daughters, Sandi, Joanne and Maryann.



George Muzea, Class of 1956, a three sport athlete at Bartlett High School in the mid 1950's is best remembered as a gridiron stalwart during his four year football career.

He was quarterback on Bartlett's undefeated 8-0 football team in 1955, which included a 34-12 victory over Thanksgiving Day rival Mary Wells of Southbridge. He scored a touchdown in that game.

Among his athletic honors was receiving a Sportmanship Award in football.

George also played basketball for three years and baseball for four years, lettering in both sports.

After graduation, he continued his football career at the University of Bridgeport. He was captain of the freshmen team and a three year letterman as quarterback on varisty. He was the starting QB his junior and senior years. He also was senior class treasurer and chairman of the student council.

George served as an officer in the US Navy for 3 years and received a commendation from John F. Kennedy for efforts in the People to People Program.

His personal achievements include being listed in America's Top 100 Stockbrokers in 1984, and he is the author of "The Vital Few vs. The Trivial Many".

In addition, George had his own television show on insider trading in Southern Florida for eight years. He has been a guest on CNBC, CNN and FOX, and has written columns for Forbes, Fortune and the Wall Street Journal.

George lives in Reno, Nevada, with his wife, Maria, where he is self employed. He has a son Marcus, 41, and a stepson, Darin, 14.

Ronald Pokraka, Class of 1956, a three sport All-star at Bartlett, was another stalwart member of that 1955 undefeated football team.

As a running back on that squad, which went 8-0 for the season, Ron scored 74 points, setting a Bartlett scoring record at that time. He was noted for his many game breaking long runs.

In basketball, Ron was a leading scorer in his junior and senior years.

At graduation in 1956, Ron received the BHS Athletic Medal for being the school's top athletes.

His extracurricular activities included serving on the Prom Committee and a Band Booster.

The 1956 edition of " The Chronicle" notes "Perhaps the most admirable of all Pokie's character traits is his modest attitude in the face of the praised heaped on him for the unprecedented number of scoring plays he had made this year in football."

After graduation he received an athletic/academic scholarship to Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He lettered in football all four years. He was also a four year letterman in baseball and was a co-captain for the 1960 team.

While at WPI, he served as class president in 1956 and 1957, and was a Dean's List student. He graduated with a degree in electrical engineering.

Professionally, Ron was involved in technical sales and received the Meyer Million Dollar Club sales award.

A personal achievement occurred in August 2002 at the Falmouth Road Race, where he received the Michael Denmark Award for overcoming a handicap.

Ron is retired and lives in Falmouth with his wife Claire. They have three sons, Glenn, Gregg and Gary and two daughters, Cheryl and Caryn.

 

Jesse Rulli, Class of 1961, certainly lived up to his favorite saying during his Bartlett academic/athletic career.

"Do the best you can" is the inscription above his Class President photo in "The Chronicle" for 1961.

His best included starring on the diamond, court, gridiron and in the classroom. Jesse played baseball for three years, seving as co-captain in his senior year. He also played three years of basketball, named captain in his senior year. He played on Indian football teams for the same three years.

Achievements in those three sports earned him the Bartlett Athletic Award and American Legion Citizenship award in his senior year.

Jesse was class president all four years and was a member of the National Honor Society. In addition, he was a member of the Alpine Club, Student Council and Classical League.

After high school, Jesse continued to perform at high levels at Nichols College. He played baseball for three seasons, serving as co-captain in his senior year. He was a three year member of the Bison basketball squad, senior captain and named MVP as a junior and senior.

In 1965, Jesse was elected to the Nichols College Justinian Council, and in 1974 he was elected to the Nichols Athletic Hall of Fame. He attained his Master's Degree from Western NE College.

Jesse received a commission as second lieutenant in the US Air Force. He retired as a Lt. Colonel in 1987.

Jesse now lives in Beavercreek, Ohio with his wife, Virginina. They have two sons, David and Richard.

 

Robert Rulli, Class of 1964 was a genuine two sport star for Bartlett.

He was known as "six feet of fun, likeable wit, a jovial boy, not one to quit" according to the 1964 "Chronicle".

Bob received three letters for playing varsity basketball and baseball. He served as basketball captain his senior year.

In basketball, he was the leading scorer and rebounder in both his junior and senior years.

His baseball exploits include being named MVP in his senior year when he batted .415 as the squad's leading hitter. During that season he registered 35 RBI's, six home runs and had 34 hits. When not playing third base, Bob took to the mound where he compiled a 10-2 record his senior year. Another pitching highlight occurred when he struck out 20 batters against Milford. Bob was class president for three years, president of the Senior Student Council and member of the Senior Choir for four years.

While at Nichols College, he received the Trustees Trophy for Overall 4 year achievement, was named in Who's Who in American College, received and Excellence in Baseball award, and was inducted into the college's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1980.

Bob is a Vietnam veteran who received the Gallant Cross Award.

He is the owner of Bob Rulli's Consignment House.

He and his wife, Paulette, live in Dudley. They have two sons, Jason and Jaimie, and one grandson, Tyler.

 

Gerard Kunkel, Class of 1965. Gerry Kunkel's intensity, desire and talent place him amond Bartlett's all time three sport athletes.

His career included football for four years, receiving three letters; basketball three years with letters for each and captain of the team junior year; 3 years baseball, receiving letters each year.

In football, he rushed for over 1,000 yards in his senior year and was the sixth leading scorer in Worcester County.

In basketball, he averaged in double figures in points and assists.

In baseball, the second baseman and outfielder batted .325 as a junior and senior.

Gerry was a member of the Student Council and was Freshman Class VP.

He attended Cushing Academy after graduating and was a three sport starter in football, basketball and baseball. He led the basketball team in assists and was named the most outstandng defensive player. He was also the leading hitter on the Cushing baseball team.

Gerry then went to Southern Connecticut University, where he graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

While at Southern CT, Gerry was a three year starter at running back and wide receiver in football. He set three pass receiving records in his senior year. He was honored by the New Haven Gridiron Club as the Southern Ct. Most Outstanding Player in a game against AIC.

He also played on the college lacrosse team for one year where he led the squad in scoring.

Gerry is corporate officer of Park 'n Shop supermarket. He and his wife, Sandra live in Webster. They have two sons, Scott and Lee.

 

Ronald Magnant, Class of 1972. Sparkplug, student-athlete, all star, great personality are some of the attributes of Ron Magnant, a three sport Bartlett standout.

Many justifiable accolades come from his play making, scoring and leadership on the basketball court, whether it be for the Indians or later at Southeastern Mass. University.

Ron also starred on the scorer pitch as a forward, and the baseball diamond as an outfielder-infielder for Bartlett. He played three years on varsity teams in all three sports, receiving letters in each and was team captain in baseball and basketball his senior year.

Ron's honors and recognitions while at Bartlett include the George Finnegan Sportsmanship Award; in basketball Central West MVP and Border Conference AllStar. He was the first athlete ever at BHS to be selected to the Worcester T & G Basketball Super Team All Star two years; MVP at Providence College Basketball camp and MVP at Bartlett for his junior and senior years.

In 1992, Ron was inducted into the UMass-Dartmough Hall of Fame for his basketball achievements. He graduated from the college with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management/Education. While at college, he made the Dean's List and was general manager of the college radio station.

Ron lives in San Diego where his is the owner of San Diego Hot Tubs.

 

Donald Ceminski, Class of 1974 is said to be the best boys' cross country runner in the history of the sport at Bartlett.

He served as captain for three years. As a junior, Don finished first in seven of the eight races he entered, with a 1:11 margin of victory. As a senior, he placed first in 14 of the 15 races he entered, with a 1:35 margin of victory.

Don was a member of the Bartlett varsity basketball teams for two years. The Indians were crowned Clark Tournament champs both years.

He also played one year on the baseball and golf teams.

Don's high school athletic honors include Cross Country MVP for three years.

Academically, he received the George Hodges English Award. He was a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council.

After graduation he continued his athletic academic career at Worcester State College. He was the recipient of the Outstanding Freshman Award for Track. He was a member of the Worcester State College mile relay team and participated in the NCAA championships in Ohio.

For the past 17 years, Don has been a certified orthopedic technician for Fallon Clinic. Professional recognition includes Employee of the Month, Gold Star Award and Platinum Award.

Personal achievements including finishing seven marathons including five Boston marathons with a personal best of 3:03.

Don and his wife Dori has a son, Gregory, and a daughter Kimberly.

 

Noel Lefebvre, Class of 1974. Noel literally burst onto the Bartlett athletic scene as a sophomore becoming known as "the bowling ball" for his remarkable performances in breaking tackles en route to long gains on the gridiron.

In his junior year, he was named Webster Times Football MVP, received the Bartlett Outstanding Offensive Back Award, and won the Vincent F. Sabatinelli MVP Award for his performance on Thanksgiving Day against Southbridge. It marked the first time a player on the losing team received that award, as well as the first underclassman to receive it. During that season he rushed for 898 yards, caught passes for 130 yards and scored six touchdowns. As a linebacker, he made 45 unassisted tackles.

In his senior year, Noel rushed for 1,062, recorded 149 yards in pass reception, scored 8 touchdowns and was credited with 62 unassisted tackles. He became the first player to win the Sabatinelli Award two years in a row.

Many football observers consider Noel's senior year performance on Thanksgiving Day as the best performance ever in the rivalry. In a losing effort, Noel scored 20 of the Indians' 21 points and recorded 25 tackles while playing nearly the entire second half with a broken nose.

Noel played football for two years at Nichols College where he was named to several ECAC teams, including All Conference and Player of the Year. He was also named to the NE Football Conference All Star Team.

Noel is a retired US Air Force Master Sergeant, who served in Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

He and Cynthia have been married for 24 years, and they have two sons, Dillon and Mark.


Jo Ann (Pierangeli) Guglielmo, Class of 1980 had a highly impressive athletic career at Bartlett, which was highlighted by being named to All Star teams in three sports.

During the 1978, '79, and '80 sports seasons, Jo Ann received all star recognition in basketball, softball and field hockey. But her most prestigious award came in 1980 when she was chosen the Telegram & Gazette Female Athletic Achiever.

Other sports performances notwithstanding, it was basketball where JoAnn was most brilliant. During her senior year in 1980, she set many Bartlett records, including scoring 399 points to reach the 1,000-point plateau for her career. She averaged 28 points a game during the 14-game campaign. The career-scoring achievement becomes more noteworthy when it is revealed that the 3-point basket was not in existence yet. She was the first female to score 1,000 points at Bartlett.

Jo Ann played three years on the varsity basketball team, serving as co-captain in her senior year. She was named a Border Conference All Star all three years and was conference MVP in her junior year. Jo Ann also was named to the T&G all star teams.

She played three years on Bartlett varsity softball teams, serving as a co-captain in her senior year, and was named to two Border Conference All Star teams.

JoAnn played field hockey for two years, and was named to the Border Conference All Star team in her senior year.

After graduation, she attended Becker College on an athletic scholarship. She coached the Bartlett 7th and 8th grade basketball team from 1996-2000.

JoAnn is the owner of The Hair Zone in Dudley. She and her husband Mark have two daughters, Tara, and Nicola.

 

Jason Miglionico, Class of 1988 has the distinction of being the only male player in Barteltt basketball history to register more than 1,000 rebounds for a career. That chimes quite nicely with his membership in the 1,000 point scoring club for a career.

His actual career totals were 1,355 points and 1,014 rebounds during his four year tenure on the court and he is generally referred to as the best big man (6' '7") to ever play for the green and white.

Jason was a two time Telegram and Gazette Super Basketball Team member, received four letters, and captained Indian teams twice. He also was an honorable mention high school basketball listing in USA Today.

Jason played a key role in Bartlett's court successes during the 1980's. During that four year span the Indians won three Border Conference titles, one Clark Tournament championship and three district Tournament championships. The team also played in one state final game.

"Migs" scored more than 30 points and grabbed 15 rebounds a number of times in games during his career.

His best offensive game came in his last regular season contest against Tourtellotte. Migs scored 53 points, and pulled down 28 rebounds. He averaged 28 points per game in his senior year.

Jason went on to play and graduate from Franklin Pierce College. He captained the basketball team, scored 1,000 points for his career, was named Bentley College Holiday Festival MVP; received the Coach's Award and was MVP in 1991-92; and received the Athletic Achievement Award in 1993.

Jason has a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice from Western NE College. He is an Auburn police officer. He and his wife Bonnie live in Dudley with their son Nathan.

 

Abby Charbonneau, Class of 1997. Talent notwithstanding, desire and the will to succeed led Abby Charbonneau to a remarkable two sport career at Bartlett, and those same attributes later led to her fulfilling a dream.

Abby had four knee surgieries throughout her high school and college careers in order to complete her quest of playing Division 1 college basketball.

She remains the only Bartlett basketball player to ever receive a Division 1 basketball scholarship, in this case, to Providence College.

Abby played Bartlett basketball from grade 7 through her senior year when she was team captain. Three times she was named to the Border Conference All Star team, was MVP of a Christmas basketball tourney in her freshman year, and was a T & G Super Team selection as a sophomore. During her four year career, she averaged 16.9 points per game, eight assists per game, three rebounds per game and six steals per game.

She played varsity soccer for three years, serving as team captain as a junior. Three time she was named to the Border Conference All Star Team, and as a sophomore was named to an All State Soccer team as well as the T & G Super Team. In addition, she was named the Central Mass. Soccer Tourney MVP as a sophomore.

Abby also played tennis in her senior year and finished the season undefeated in doubles.

She was the recipient of the Stasia Czernicki Award in 2001 sponsored by the Patriot newspaper, for contributions to women in sports.

While at Providence, she received the Coach's award in her freshman and senior years. Abby was a tri captain for the Friars in her senior year.

After graduating from Providence College, Abby served as assistant woman's baskeball coach at St. Leo University, a Division 2 college in Florida.

 

Donald Cushing, Athletic Director and Coach. Excellence is the key word when revealing the accomplishments of Don Cushing's 35 year career at Bartlett which began in 1966. Whether it was in teaching, coaching or administrator positions, this affable, knowledgeable personality instilled Indian pride in BHS student athletes.

Don, perhaps, is best remembered for his teams' successes on the basketball court. During 26 years of varisty coaching, his teams compiled an outstanding 405-162 record. Included during that span were four district championships, three Clark tournament Championships, finalist in the state tournament, an unequaled 10 Cervini-Hardy Central Mass. Sportsmanshp Awards and 15 league championships.

He coached soccer at Bartlett for 17 seasons as the Indians compiled a record of 143-87-33 and one District Championship.

Don began his career at Barteltt as an English/Social Studies teacher. He also served as Guidance Department Head/Director of Athletics for 10 years and Assistant Principal/Director of Athletics for nine years.

While at Bartlett, he coached the Nichols College baskeball team for five years and men's tennis for two years. He retired from Bartlett in 2001.

Since 2002, he has been an assistant coach for Worcester State men's basketball.

Don has received much recognition for his achievements. Included are Central Mass. Soccer Coaches Assn. and Basketball Officials Assn. contributor; Mass Secondary Schools Athletic Directors Assn. Award of Merit; and induction into the Worcester State College Athletic Hall of Fame. In November, he will be inducted into the Mass. Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.

During "retirement" Don works part time for Worcester State College alumni Office; serves on the Clark Tournament Basketball Comm.; is a soccer referee; officiates track and field events; conducts basketball camps, and is a State Soccer Tournament director.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1941 Bartlett Undefeated Baseball Team.

Bartlett High School baseball has a proud tradition, which may well have really begun in 1941. It is generally conceded, especially by historians, that the 1941 squad was the best ever. The Indians won 14 games without a loss, for the school's first undefeated baseball season.

This team was made up of outstanding athletes, who were ambitious and enthusiastic. They went on an unbelievable offensive rampage that season, compiling a .396 team batting average.

Andy "Kubba" Jarzabski topped the list, and holds the all-time school batting average with .531. Sam Cowitz hit .500.

Some other averages were: John Horniak, .466; John Stefanik, .400; Ed Kaczmarek, .359; Ray Gagnon, .357; Bernard "Pinky Penkala, .345; Chet Starzec, .290; and Paul Deary, .263.

The team had two aces on the mound, with Horniak compiling an 8-0 record, and Gagnon finishing with 6-0.

According to the 1941 Chronicle, other team members were Ray Carrier, Tom Gorski, Walter Sterczala, Alex Borodenco, Earl Evans, Francis Jeneral, Paul Gareau, Tony Maisto, Arthur Sak, Lennie Gadoury, Lionel Nadeau, Robert Nadeau, Edgar Scheffler, Ken Smith, and Wilfred Pelletier. George Finnegan coached the team, and Charles Leigh was team manager.

The Indians scored 172 runs while opponenets managed 48 during the 14 game season. Bartlett was crowned Worcester county Champion for its amazing season.

Six regular were selected to the Webster Times Big Three High School all star team. They were team captain Cowitz, Jarzabski, Gagnon, Horniak, Stefanik and Penkala.

Cowitz, Stefanik and Deary have, as individual athletes, been inducted into the Bartlett High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

 

 

 


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