BARTLETT HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS HALL OF FAME CEREMONY

Nov. 1, 2008

The 2008 inductees are individuals who achieved excellence in athletics while attending Bartlett.

Francis E. Poblocki, Class of 1939

Francis E. Poblocki attended Bartlett High School from 1935-1939 and graduated in 1939. He was an impact player for the baseball, football and basketball teams for each of those years.

Francis played center for the Indian basketball team and was their captain for the 1939 season. Francis was a force under the boards, on both offense and defense. On the baseball team, was the starting second baseman for three years, and played the middle infield position with poise and grit. His hard play and determined attitude enabled him to be a contributing member not only in the infield but offensively as well.

For the football team, Francis was the starting left end and a most memorable play for the Green and White came in the 1938 Thanksgiving Day Classic against rival Southbridge. With Bartlett holding onto a 7-6 lead, he broke through the line to block the extra point attempt ultimately securing a victory for the Indians. At graduation, Francis was awarded the Branch Medal for being a "Three Letter Man," which was awarded to the top Bartlett athlete.

Francis went on to attend the University of Alabama and graduated from Nichols College in Dudley, MA. He continued to be active in athletics and played semi-pro basketball with the Polish Aces.

Francis and his wife, Wanda, live in Vero Beach, Florida and they have three children, Carolyn, John and Michael. He worked for over thirty years for both the Town of Webster Board of Public Welfare and the State of Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare before retiring in 1983. He was a long-term member of both the Webster Lodge of Elks and the Webster Knights of Columbus.

William Puls, Class of 1940

William Puls was an outstanding two-sport athlete at Bartlett High School. In the fall, William distinguished himself on the gridiron and, in the spring, he excelled in the sport of baseball.

A three-year starter on the football squad, William was a big, hard charging lineman. He was an excellent blocker. When Coach Finnegan needed tough yardage he would call the running play to follow William's blocking. On defense, William was a fierce tackler and was relentless in his pursuit of the running back or quarterback. Attitude and toughness exuded from William on every play. His spirit and desire overflowed to his teammates and his encouraging leadership and style enabled his teams to be competitive with anyone who stepped on the field to oppose them.

Baseball was William's top sport. He was a four-year starter at a period in time when Bartlett baseball squads dominated Central Mass play. He was an excellent hitter, with the capability of going long at anytime. William was a topnotch catcher who received many accolades for his defensive skills and his ability to communicate and direct his pitchers. When longtime baseball coach and coaching legend, George Finnegan, named his all-time baseball squad, William's name appears prominently on the list. William captained the 1940 team and was also awarded the Herbert C. Branch Athletic Medal which was awarded to Bartlett's top athlete.

William continued to play after high school. He played semi-pro locally for several years and then for the Navy in Cuba. William was very proud of having served his country during World War II with his Naval service. William studied photo engraving at Effingham in Illinois and used his education and experience while employed at the Telegram and Gazette.

William married Lorraine Gilbert and had two sons, William and Kenneth.

 

Rene Langevin, Class of 1958

Former Bartlett football coach, Frank Kronoff, described Rene as "one of the hardest working athletes" he had coached, "a kid with soft hands and an extreme desire to achieve." Rene's athletic accomplishments, during and after high school, truly do justice to that statement. Rene was a two-year starter in football, basketball and baseball. On the gridiron, he played both as a stellar offensive and defensive end, and in a number of games, he came up with big, game-deciding catches; especially noteworthy was the game-changing grab on Turkey Day morning in his junior year. In basketball he played guard, excelling on defense, and, on the diamond he patrolled the outfield for the Indians. Outside of athletics, he served as a class officer and belonged to a number of clubs.

Rene's prowess did not stop upon receiving his Bartlett diploma. At Nichols College, he played both on the football and lacrosse teams for four years. In his freshman year he received the Outstanding Freshman Athlete Award; in his senior year he captained the football squad and played a solid center midfield for the Bisons. During the 1970s, Rene returned to his alma mater and coached both football and lacrosse, leading both squads to championships, and was also inducted into the Nichols College Hall of Fame.

Rene served as Bartlett's head football coach twice, from 1981-1988 accumulating a 51-25-3 record, and then again from 2003 until 2005. Two of Rene's teams also won Border Conference Championships in 1984 and 1986. His teams were always very disciplined and well-prepared. He led the Indians to two Super Bowl appearances and had an outstanding Thanksgiving record versus Southbridge winning nine out of eleven years.

In 2004, Rene was named as Bartlett's Athletic Director, a position he continues to serve today. His leadership skills in heading up the Bartlett athletic program have been noted by many, and his is considered to be one of the top athletic directors in the Southern Worcester County League.

Rene resides in Webster with his wife, Karen. He has four children, Matthew, Jennifer, Kara, and Ann, and six grandchildren, Justin, Spencer, Kyle, Cameron, Sean, and Annika.

 

Peter Olsta, Class of 1965

Peter Olsta was an outstanding three-sport athlete at Bartlett in the mid-1960s.

In the fall, he was the star quarterback of the highly successful 1964 football squad. He was an excellent passer and decision maker with a complete command of coach Don Ferrari's complex multiple offenses.

In the winter, Peter captained and played power forward for the basketball team. His inside presence was a constant for the Indians. He was one of the team's leading rebounders and scorers, and he was also known for his tenacious defense.

In the spring, Peter had an opportunity to play his strongest sport - baseball. He was a three-year starter at shortstop for the Indians and was named captain in his senior year. He was a terrific defender with excellent range at shortstop and was very adept at turning the double play. On offense, he was one of the squad's top hitters on a very strong District-bound team. His former coach and coaching legend, Ziggy Strzelecki, described Peter as solid offensively and defensively and could be counted on to come up with the big play.

At graduation, Peter was presented the Herbert C. Branch Medal. This award was given to the top Bartlett athlete who epitomized hard work, dedication, and commitment to Bartlett athletics.

Peter worked hard to achieve success at Bartlett, and he continued his athletic career at UMass Lowell. Peter played four years of college baseball earning him the Lester Cushing Award for his outstanding play on the diamond. During his freshman year he batted .415, an average that put him 15th in the nation. Peter also was invited to play in the prestigious Cape Cod League.

Peter and his wife, Carol, reside in Ghent, NY, where he is employed as marketing manager for Pittsfield Plastic Engineering. They have two daughters, Lisa and Michelle.

Michael J. Coyle, 1978

Mike Coyle was one of Bartlett High School's most versatile and well-rounded three-sport athletes and earned ten varsity letters during his stay with the Green and White.

In the sport of football, Mike took over the quarterback chores as a sophomore and was an immediate impact with his strong arm and leadership skills. It was during his junior and senior years that Mike Coyle truly spearheaded the Jim Healy coached Indians. Mike led the Green and White to an 8-2 record as a junior filling the airways with footballs on his way to a 1,000 yard season. In his senior year, again he threw for over 1,000 yards including 195 yards in his last Turkey Day game versus Southbridge. Over the span of three seasons and 30 starts, Mike threw the pigskin for three 1,000 yard seasons.

Basketball season found the crafty Coyle racing up and down the hardwood for both Don Cushing and Bob Paranto. Mike was a three-year starter at point guard on highly successful teams, which recorded a cumulative record of 50-16; three Clark Tourney appearances; three District Tourney appearances; and two Border Conference Championships. Mike would end up as one of the top playmakers and assistmen to ever play basketball for Bartlett High as he recorded over 850 career assists including a single game record of 21 assists. He was chosen to three league All-Star teams and two Telegram and Gazette All-Star teams, including being selected to the prestigious T & G Super Team, and was nominated to the McDonald's All-American High School Basketball Team as a senior.

In the springtime, Mike staked his defensive skills to shortstop on the Green and White baseball diamond where he was a three-year starter. His defense had great range and he put that football quarterback arm to good use on the diamond as well.

Michael was a three-sport captain in his senior year. At his graduation from Bartlett, he was presented with the George Finnegan Award as the top senior male athlete.

Michael attended Slippery Rock College in Pennsylvania where he started at quarterback as a freshman. From 1981-86, he proudly served the Marine Corps and graduated from Emerson College in 1990.

Michael is employed as a Sales Manager for a medical company and is married and lives on Long Island with his wife Tammy and two daughters, Emily and Abigail.



Gino Manzi, Class of 1984

Attaining success in Bartlett High School athletics seemed to come easy to Gino Manzi, Class of 1984. Although he was a member of the football squad only in his senior year, Gino's talent was made evident through his individual achievements and season highlights. A two-way starter for the entire season, he scored nine touchdowns and had a record setting eleven interceptions. He was the recipient of the Thanksgiving Day MVP Sabatinelli Award; a Border Conference All-star; and was named to the T & G Super Team. Two of his football highlights standout -- the game changing touchdown punt return versus Shepherd Hill and the game saving interception at the end of the Turkey Day Classic against Southbridge.

Gino's primary sport was basketball. He was a three-year starter who went on to accomplish some amazing individual feats and established a number of season and all-time Bartlett school records. During his sophomore and junior years, he was the team's leading scorer and assist leader. In addition, he was the team's MVP for both seasons. In 1982, Gino recorded forty-nine straight free throws over a seven game period. In his senior year he was elected captain and led the team both in scoring and steals. His 29.7 scoring ranked second in all of Central Mass. Gino was selected as a Border Conference All-Star in basketball for all three years and was named as a Division II All-Star in 1983. In 1984, the T&G named him captain of their Super Team, and he also received recognition from USA Today as honorable mention All-American. Gino tallied 1,328 points, thus breaking the all-time career point total held at the time. He currently holds the record for Bartlett's all-time highest career scoring average (29.7) and scored more than 40 points in a game six times.

While attending Nichols College, Gino continued his stellar play averaging 22 points per game, and established a Nichols single game scoring record of 47 points.

Gino went on to successfully coach Boys Varsity basketball at both Southbridge and Shepherd Hill high schools winning six conference championships in the process.

Gino has worked in the insurance industry for the past sixteen years, and resides in Dudley with his wife Melissa and two daughters, Kayla (15) and Talia (11).

Tara Canty Bennett, Class of 1988

Tara Canty Bennett, Class of 1988, truly made a mark on the world of Bartlett athletics.

Tara was a member of the girls' soccer team her sophomore and junior years, and was named captain her final year. She attained the honor of being named Border Conference All-Star, along with Telegram & Gazette All-Star. Tara was a midfield/striker who currently holds the girls' record for scoring in soccer -- accomplishing an impressive 31 goals in one season.

Tara was an outstanding guard in basketball and had the ability to shoot, pass, and play great defense. Tara proved to be no less extraordinary playing all throughout high school, and captained her teams during her junior and senior years. She earned the title of Border Conference All-Star and Most Valuable Player (two years in a row).

Tara was also named Border Conference All-Star and Telegram & Gazette All-Star for softball, in which she participated throughout her high school career. Upon graduation in 1988, she received the Sigmond S. Strzelecki Athletic Award as the top female athlete. Off the court or field, Tara was a member of the student council in her junior and senior years and took part in the Who's Who program.

Beyond Bartlett, Tara attended Eastern Connecticut State University, where in 1992 she earned a Physical Education degree.

Besides possessing extreme talent herself, Tara has chosen to spread her talents to others. Central Massachusetts awarded her the honor of being coach of the year in soccer. In 1999 and 2000 she took her Oxford High School team to districts where they were the runner-up -- and she did the same for her softball team in 2007.

Tara has spent 15 years coordinating the Jump Rope for Heart program and is a Worcester County Food Bank Harvester Award winner. She is also a six-time tri-athlete.

Tara currently resides in New Braintree, MA with her husband, Michael, and is a physical education teacher for the Town of Oxford.

Marc Arcieri, Class of 1989

Marc Arcieri made an impact in the sports of football, basketball and track during his career at Bartlett High School graduating in 1989.

Marc played three years for the varsity football team playing middle linebacker, guard and tight end. Using his strength, size and athleticism, Marc helped guide the Indians to seven wins and a thrilling 9-6 victory over Southbridge on Thanksgiving Day his senior year.

In basketball, Marc was known for his excellent hustle on defense, and was also one of the team's top rebounders. He was described as being "tough and athletic" by his former coach Don Cushing.

However, it was on the track that Marc really showed his athletic abilities. He was a member of the track team for six years. In his junior year, the team had a record of 9 and 4. Marc was entered in 36 events; he finished first in 20 of them for a winning percentage of 55. He competed in the long jump, 100, 200 and in the javelin he was undefeated.

His senior year was nothing short of remarkable. The team went 12-1. Marc competed in the long jump, high jump, 100, 200 and 400 meter relay. Marc competed in 51 events his senior year, finishing first in 49 of them for a 96% winning percentage. Thirteen times he finished first in the long jump, 200 meters, and in his specialty, the javelin. He set the school record of 177' 3" in the javelin, a mark that still exists today. He also finished first in the 4 events he was entered in at the League meet. He placed third in the javelin at the District State Qualifying Meet and placed 15th in the State. During his last two years of high school, Marc was entered in 86 track and field events; he placed first in 69 of them for an 80.2% winning percentage.

Marc works in the steel industry and currently resides in Rhode Island with his wife Patricia and their son Oliver.


Karen Bergstrom, Class of 1992

Karen Bergstrom proved herself to be a highly regarded member of the Bartlett athletic program, making her mark in the varsity sports of soccer, basketball and softball during her six years at Bartlett High Junior/Senior High School.

Earning a position on the varsity soccer team in the eighth grade, Karen went on to become a Worcester Telegram & Gazette, as well as Border Conference, All-Star for the next four years. She very well would have made those same all-star teams for a fifth year, however, she suffered a soccer career ending knee injury at the start of her senior year.

In soccer, she was a tremendous talent. She was an outstanding scorer on the forward line and was moved to defense on many occasions to bolster that phase of the game as needed.

When it came to basketball, perhaps her strongest sport, Karen did not hesitate to make an everlasting impact. She began her varsity basketball experience in the seventh grade. Throughout her next six years, Karen was a Worcester Telegram & Gazette All-Star three years and was a Border Conference on four occasions. She was an outstanding point guard and passer and was very exciting with her ball handling and dribbling skills. In addition, she was a scoring machine from all angles of the floor.

She recorded her 1,000th pont in her career as a junior and concluded her career with 1,616 points and became the leading scorer in the history of Bartlett basketball.

Karen was also a significant member of the varsity softball team for three years. Karen was one of the team's leading hitters as well as performing as a standout catcher with a strong throwing arm.

Upon graduation, Karen had earned thirteen varsity letters.

Karen faced many obstacles and challenges, whether it was on the soccer pitch, court, diamond, etc. However, ultimately, she overcame those roadblocks and went on to make her family and friends extremely proud.

Colleen Nasis, Class of 1993

Colleen Nasis, a 1993 Bartlett graduate, played three sports for the Indians. She was a tenacious and dedicated member of the soccer, basketball, and softball teams.

Colleen was a four-year defensive starter for the girls' soccer team and was known for her toughness and constant hustle. In her senior year, she was named captain and was also named a Border Conference All-Star.

Colleen continued through the winters as a member of the varsity basketball team for three years, playing both point and shooting guard. On defense, she was a tenacious defender. In her senior year, she was named one of the tri-captains.

Once spring rolled around, Colleen would dust off her glove and gear and head out to the softball diamond. She was a four-year starter for Coach Jack Joyce, playing both outfield and catcher. Colleen was a captain her senior year and was awarded the Unsung Hero Award for both her sophomore and senior years, three Border Conference All-Star awards and earned the BHS Sportsmanship Award. Particularly noteworthy was the fact that she only committed one error over the year period.

Colleen attended Nichols College where she continued to play soccer and softball for the Bison. She was named to the Northeast Women's Athletic Conference Athletic All-Star team her freshman year and was a three time member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference All-Star team. In softball, she made the CCC All-Star team for three years as well, and was recognized with the Nichols College Outstanding Junior Athlete Award.

After graduating, Colleen moved on to coach the soccer and softball teams at Nichols College. She now resides in Dudley and is a teacher and varsity softball coach for the Green and White of Bartlett High School.

Kelly Neff, Class of 1997

Kelly Neff, Class of 1997, was a true three-sport star in her years at Bartlett High School. She earned an impressive twelve varsity letters during her time. She took part in soccer, basketball, and track and field, and became a reliable athletic leader throughout her high school years.

She was a member of the Lady Indian's soccer team and basketball team when she was still in junior high. She was named captain of both teams during her senior year. In soccer, she was an outstanding stopper who played a major role in propelling the Lady Indians into the State finals. Kelly was also named soccer Border Conference All-Star. In her sophomore year, Kelly joined the track and field team and was their captain in her junior and senior years.

Kelly's greatest accomplishments took place on the basketball court where 1,000 seemed to be her magic number. Kelly became a 1,000-point scorer and was responsible for over 1,000 rebounds by the end of her basketball career at Bartlett High. Kelly's team captured the District title two years in a row and competed in the State Tournament as well. She is a member of the 1994-95 Girls' Basketball Team, which is also being inducted with this year's Hall of Fame class. Her achievements were not limited to the court or field, but to the classroom as well. In addition, she was a member of the National Honor Society during her senior year.

At Assumption College, Kelly continued to play basketball throughout her four years there. She was a four-year varsity player for the Greyhounds and was named the most coachable student-athlete during her sophomore year.

Kelly is now an account executive for the Staples Corporation and lives in Millis with her family.

Paul Lango, Coach

Paul Lango was a coach at Bartlett for 34 years. He coached the cross country, track and golf teams where he compiled an outstanding record of 410 wins. His knowledge, ability and style enabled him to be an influential coach and teacher who impacted thousands of lives.

He was the 200 meter and long jump champion at Bridgewater State College. Coach Lango began coaching the Indians in 1973. The cross country team began a run of victories for Paul that today seem untouchable. Paul and his teams had 254 victories and, in 1979 and 1992, his teams were undefeated.

In 1980, Paul took over the Bartlett track team and continued with his winning ways and attitude. He turned average athletes into great ones. Many young men achieved personal successes and accomplishments because of Coach Lango's contribution to the sport. Paul guided the track team to 149 wins in the 27 years, including four undefeated seasons and two District Class Meet Championships.

Paul's hard work and dedication to his teams and the BHS athletic family has been remarkable. The amount of success he has attained is coveted and may never be duplicated.

Paul taught students and athletes numerous life lessons. The enthusiasm and support that he put into each meet and season encouraged other coaches around him to be better and was no doubt a factor in his completion of two Boston Marathons. Paul's coaching technique and style can never be duplicated. What each athlete has taken from Paul is a sense of pride and a great deal of honor. The legacy he has left at Bartlett will be unmatched.

Paul retired from Bartlett in 2007 and is now teaching and coaching at Marianapolis Prep in Connecticut.

John Katori, Class of 1949, Contributor

John Katori seems to have changed each community in which he has been a member. His dedication and commitment to the local, educational, and athletic communities are unparalleled. A 1949 graduate of Bartlett High School, John's roots and loyalty have been expressed through his contributions spanning almost sixty years.

In high school, John played football, basketball and baseball. His success may not have been put up in stats or numbers, but was equally as valuable and evident with being awarded the American Legion Good Citizen Award in 1949.

Upon graduation, John enlisted in the US Army where he enjoyed success on both their basketball and baseball teams. In 1955, John found himself earning his first of many degrees from Nichols College in Dudley. In 1958, the professional contributions to his local community began. For over thirty years, he served on the Nichols College Hall of Fame Committee and is responsible for championing and ultimately beginning the Bartlett Athletic Hall of Fame. John saw an overdue need for Bartlett athletes to be recognized and celebrated for their athletic contributions. Due to John's extensive legwork and thorough research, past and future Indian athletes can be honored and remembered.

John Katori was a professor emeritus and coach at Nichols College for over forty years. He served on various committees, began numerous successful organizations, and gave his time, effort, and support to his community for over sixty years. He has impacted thousands and will continue to do so. His contribution to BHS is unmatched and his spirit and pride seems to be in those current Indian teams who wear the Green and White.

John retired from Nichols a few years ago and lives in Charlton with his wife Barbara. They have two children Kevin (36) and Kristina (31).

 

 

 

 

 

 

1994-1995 Girls Varsity Basketball Team

Bartlett High School Girls Basketball has a very proud tradition, which was redefined by the 1994-1995 Girls Basketball Team. It is general consensus, especially among the fans, that the 1994-1995 team was the best ever. The Indians were 16-1 in the regular season, capturing the Border Conference title for two consecutive years, winning their second consecutive District Championship and finishing the year with an overall record of 20-2, losing in the State Championship game.

The team was composed of outstanding student-athletes who were not only teammates but also friends. These girls were tough! Their defense was suffocating! Coach Tony Paranto, a 2006 BHS Hall of Fame member, was quoted, "we will run and hopefully take 90 shots a game." The 1994-1995 team averaged 72 points per game while holding their opponents to an average of 42 points per game. The team's average margin of victory was 30 points.

The 1994-1995 Lady Indians were led by senior tri-captains Courtney Halloran, Jennifer Chauvin and Sara Hilton along with the sophomore trio of Kathy Neff, Kelly Neff and Abby Charbonneau.

Besides averaging 72 points a game, this team was also known for it's stifling defense, running, and outright hustle all over the floor. Every loose ball seemed to be theirs! The defensive pressure exerted by the '94-'95 team was relentless and led by Amy Ostrowski, Danielle Cabral, Mara Lounsbury, Laurel Downey, Lisa Surozenski, Lisa Melendez and Maurissa McGeary. Pulling down rebounds for the Indian squad were specialists Shelby Saad and Erin Halloran. Making sure that the girls received everything they needed from ice to tape was Trainer/Manager Christine Martin.

Assistant coaches Dick Chauvin and John Daniel gave the girls the knowledge, basics and introduction that helped Coach Paranto pull their tenacious attitudes out of them and throw it on the court. Coach Paranto could substitute at will and this team could just keep running!

The team's overall record from the 1993-1994 and 1994-1995 seasons is an astonishing 40 wins and 5 losses. The entire community felt the electricity that they brought to each practice and game. Their accomplishments are deserving of Hall of Fame recognition!

 

2008 Sports Hall of Fame Committee

John Mrazik, Chairman
Don Cushing, Past Chairman
Kathleen Lipski, Secretary
Rene Langevin, Treasurer
Philip A. Charbonneau
Jack Joyce
Paul Lango
Mike Majewski
Gerry Nadeau
Chris Nasis
Colleen Nasis
Anthony Paranto
Bob Pepka
Kristy Fisher (program assistance)

The athletic department seeks the input of all graduates of Bartlett High School to ensure that the Hall of Fame, established in 2001 by a vote of the Webster School Committee, is successful.

Requirements for selection to the Hall of Fame include:

1. Individual athletes must be a graduate of Bartlett High School.
2. Eligibility is based upon recipients having graduated a minimum of seven years before receiving the award.
3. Anyone who has made an outstanding contribution to Bartlett High School athletics in any capacity, shall be eligible.
4. Eligibility shall not be based primarily on the athletic prowess of the individual in a varsity sport.
5. Selection shall be made on the basis of playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and the athlete's contribution to the team or teams on which he or she played, and to Bartlett High School in general.
6. Selection shall not be made on one athletic event or one spectacular play.
7. Selection shall not be made on the basis of sentiment or popularity in order to protect the validity and exclusiveness of the Hall of Fame.

Contact the Bartlett High School Athletic Director (52 Lake Parkway, Webster, MA 01570; 508-943-8552) with information pertaining to the candidacy of an individual, or individuals, for future consideration for the Bartlett High School Sports Hall of Fame.

 


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