2015 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
They would win New England championships, set school records—and national ones—and go on to play at Yale, Columbia, Boston College, or Williams College. They would be given such titles as best small college halfback in the East, Massachusetts Player of the Year, or Eastern Seaboard Champions and would compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials, with the Harlem Globetrotters, and with the New England Mutiny.
On Saturday, June 6, these five outstanding athletes, two amazing teams, and one beloved coach will garner one more honor: as inductees to the Williston Northampton School Athletic Hall of Fame.
The fourth class of athletic superstars included pro basketball player Anthony “Tony” Lavelli ’45; the 1986 girls basketball team; the 1992 boys golf team; pro soccer player Katie Coffey ’04; All-American swimmer and football player Harlow “Chip” Ide Jr. ’55; All-American basketball player Roger Walaszek ’65; record-setting swimmer Jim Edwards ’65; and Coach Sue Curry Barnett.
The inductees were nominated by their friends, families, classmates, and teammates and then chosen by a Selection Committee.
Nominations are now being accepted for next year’s Athletic Hall of Fame here. Eligible nominees who were not chosen this year will be automatically added to the list of candidates for next year.
Nominations are accepted until December 31 each year. The next induction ceremonies will occur during Reunion on May 13-15, 2016.
Anthony “Tony” Lavelli ’45
A phenomenal athlete with a love of music, Tony Lavelli came to Williston Academy as a post-graduate. He was elected captain of the varsity basketball team and led the team to a 14-0 record, scoring 307 points out of the team’s 672 total, before moving to tennis in the spring.
At Yale University, Tony scored 1,970 points (a school record that stood for 35 years) and, in his senior year, led the nation in (averaging 22.4 points per game).
Tony was named second team All-American selection in 1946 and 1948 and a first team All-American selection in 1949. He was also named the College Player of the Year. In February 1949, Life magazine called his hook shot “the most spectacular offensive weapon in college basketball history.”
Tony was the number four overall pick of the Boston Celtics in the 1949 NBA draft. In his rookie year, he averaged 8.8 points per game; he was traded to the NY Knicks the following year.
Tony had a great love of music, so he had it written into his contracts with the Celtics and Knicks that he could play the accordion at halftime to entertain the crowds. After his first year with the Knicks, he quit the NBA to pursue a career in music at The Juilliard School. Tony then returned to play for the Harlem Globetrotters, where be was named captain of the College All-Star team and the Globetrotters musical director. Tony went on to release two albums and had a long career as a songwriter and musician.
Tony was the Veteran’s Committee selection for the 2015 Athletic Hall of Fame. His award will be presented by Jake Ross ‘16 and accepted by his sister, Ginny Lovett.
1992 Boys Golf Team
The 1992 boys golf team started a mini-dynasty at Williston Northampton by going 15-1 under the leadership of longtime faculty member Bob Blanchette.
That year, the team had wins over Loomis Chaffee, Northfield Mount Hermon, the Williams College junior varsity team, Deerfield, Choate, and Suffield.
With captains Jeff Brunelle ’92 and John Swierzewski ‘92, the team won the prestigious Kingswood Invitational Tournament (the New England championship) with an impressive score of 407. Jeff Brunelle led the way by medaling with a 74.
Following graduation, the team travelled south to take on top prep schools in the Eastern Seaboard Championships, where they took home the title in the 3-Man Division with a final score of 475.
Team members included seniors Brunelle, Swierzewski, junior Greg Knight, and sophomores Paul Burns, Chris Shields and Aaron Uschmann.
At the official Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the boys golf team award was accepted by Jeff Brunelle ’92.
Harlow “Chip” Ide, Jr. ’55
A three-sport athlete at Williston Academy, Harlow “Chip” Ide used his speed and competitive nature to excel on the gridiron, in the pool, and on the track.
An All-American swimmer in the 50 Free, Chip helped set national prep school records in the medley relay, 200 free relay and 400 free relay. In 1954, he was a member of the 400 free relay team that placed fourth at the AAU National Championships.
After his senior year at Williams College, he was presented with the Richardson Medal for the best swimmer. On the Williams football team, he averaged over 8.1 yards per carry, played in the 1959 All-America Bowl, and was honored with the Brooks Memorial Medal, given to the best small college halfback in the East.
Chip Ide’s award was presented to him by Joel Schiavone ’54.
Jim Edwards ’65
During his two years at Williston Academy, Jim Edwards was a 12x All-American swimmer in six different events (50, 100, 200, 400 free, 200 relay and 400 relay) while setting 10 national records.
Twice voted New Hampshire Male Athletic of the Year, Jim appeared in Sports Illustrated, competed in the 1964 US Olympic Trials (missing the squad by 0.1 sec), and was a member of the AAU squad that competed in Germany in 1966, an event in which he finished third in the 100 Free and second in the 400 Medley Relay.
While at the University of North Carolina, Jim set American records in the 110 free and the 4×220 relay, and a world record as the anchor of the 440-yard free relay.
Jim Edward’s award will be presented to him by Kevin Hoben ’65.
Roger Walaszek ’65
Roger Walaszek was such a strong athlete, that when varsity basketball and baseball were not enough of a challenge, he added varsity soccer to the mix. That was while earning academic marks high enough to put him in the Cum Laude Society, too.
Although he only spent two years at Williston Academy, Roger was elected both captain and MVP of the basketball team as a senior, earning All-New England honors. At graduation, Roger was awarded the Denman Cup.
He would continue his basketball career at Columbia University, where he played first on the freshman team, and then for three years at the varsity level. Roger earned All-Ivy League status in his sophomore and junior years and Honorable Mention All-American status as a senior.
Featuring such future NBA stars as Jim McMillan, Dave Newmark, and Heyward Dotson, Roger’s Columbia team was ranked as high as seventh in the nation. Roger was drafted by the NY Knicks of the NBA and the New York Nets of the ABA in 1969, but opted to attend law school instead, and earned his JD from Columbia School of Law in 1973.
In 2006, Roger was voted into the New England Hall of Fame, along with another Williston Academy alumnus (Ray Brown ’55). Both of Roger’s daughters, Emily and Rebecca, also attended Williston Northampton School.
Roger Walaszek’s award was presented to him by Rick Francis.
1986 Girls Basketball Team
Led by Coach Ray Brown ’55 (who was inducted into the 2013 Athletic Hall of Fame) and assistant coach Chris Edler, the 1986 girls basketball team posted an 18-3 record. That was en route to capturing the school’s first New England Championship in girls basketball.
The team was led by co-captains Connie Wilson and Mindy McLain Karakula. Missy Babyak was named New England Tournament MVP and Wilson was named all-tournament team.
Among the players were three of the top 12 scorers in Williston Northampton girls basketball history: Holly McBurnie Kissane (#6), Babyak (#8), and Wilson (#12). The team’s average margin of victory was almost 18 points.
In the 1986 yearbook, the team is described as an “experienced and well balanced group of athletes.”
“High scores Missy Babyak and Holly McBurnie teamed with Anne Woomer to form a strong rebounding nucleus. Chris Trinceri, Devra Weisman, and Jen Hatch anchored a bench that was useful in giving the team quality minutes throughout the season.”
The 1986 team consisted of seniors Wilson, McLain Karakula, Trinceri, Weisman Kingman and Lisa Watroba DeVoie; juniors Woomer Bartoszuk, Babyak, McBurnie Kissane, and Penny Duda; and sophomores Jennifer Hatch Gubbins and Sue Colina.
The girls basketball team award was accepted by Connie Wilson ’86.
Sue Curry Barnett
Sue currently holds the Williston Northampton record for career wins in softball with 85 (54 losses). Even after she stepped down as the head coach, Sue continued to work with the team as an assistant. Even now, she can be spotted cheering the team on from the sidelines.
Sue Barnett’s award was presented to her by the Rev. Mary Conant ’74.
Katie Coffey ’04
Arguably one of the greatest female athletes to attend Williston Northampton, Katie Coffey excelled in three sports during her six years at the school.
A four-time letter winner in track, Katie was the New England Champion in the 200m and a bronze medalist in the 100m in her freshman year, earning team MVP honors. At the time of her graduation, she held school records in the 100m, 200m, and 4×100 relay.
Katie earned six varsity letters in basketball and was co-captain in 2003 and 2004, earning all-League honors in 2004 and a Team MVP award.
But it was in soccer that Katie experienced the most success. A five-time MVP, Katie also earned five All-league selections, four all-State honors, and three All-New England selections. This culminated in Katie being named the first girls’ soccer All-American as well as the 2003 Massachusetts Player of the Year and All-East Region selection.
Following graduation, Katie played at Boston College (earning All-Freshman Northeast Region honors) and at Amherst College. She also played for the New England Mutiny of the Women’s Professional Soccer League.
Katie Coffey’s award was presented to her by Michael ’02 and Kelly ’07 Coffey.