Tramps announce honorees

The Bristol Tramps organization will hold its 47th annual Bristol Tramps Sport Reunion dinner at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington on Friday, April 7. Each April, the Bristol Tramps Sports Reunion honors nine persons, along with one team, that have made significant contributions to sports in the city of Bristol and award three scholarships to area high school seniors. Here is a list of the 2017 honorees:

John Benoit – A longtime head wrestling coach and teacher at Bristol Eastern, his contributions helped the school’s program become one of the best in the state. Over his career, his program produced many All-Conference and All-State performers who have moved on to the collegiate ranks.

Tami Chapman – A graduate of Bristol Eastern in 1976, she earned All-State honors in basketball while also playing softball and volleyball for the Lancers. She averaged 20 points-per-game for the women’s squad at Mattatuck Community College in 1978 and earned numerous awards and honors.

Dave Cichon –  A multi-sports athlete from Bristol Eastern in the mid-1960s, he also played on two Bristol American Legion baseball state champion teams and was selected tournament MVP both years. He was a standout in baseball at Amherst College before playing in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system.

Challenger LL – The program was founded in Bristol by Ed Beardsley, providing equal opportunities for individuals with developmental and physical challenges. The program is part of Little League Baseball and found worldwide. The Ed Beardsley Discovery Program was also extended to basketball and several other sports.

Jason DeCarolis  – An iconic fan, time keeper, and volunteer at Bristol Central sporting events, Jason “Coachie” DeCarolis continues to bring his own unique focus and intensity to numerous scholastic programs at the school. He’s taken part in over 1,000 games, spanning thirty years and counting.

Forestville Little League – The Forestville All-Stars in 1976 finished fifth in the Williamsport Little League World Series. The team was coached by Bob Watson and managed by Don Roman. Team members included Darryl Oakes, Glenn Totten, Glenn Fortier, Kurt Gabrielson, Reinhard Walker, Brian Rooney, George Springer, Dean Lord, Keith Borkowski, Ricky Edwards, Bob Sardilli, Joey Jandreau, Chris Naime, and Tom Policki.

Bob Freimuth – One of the state’s premier baseball coaches, leading Plainville High School to state champions over numerous seasons. His squads captured state titles in 1992, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2006 and 2008, capturing state runner-up honors twice. He was named the CHSCA baseball “Coach of the Year” in 1996.

Malcolm Huckaby – An ESPN basketball analyst, he helped lead the Bristol Central boys basketball team to a No. 20 national ranking and a state championship before playing for a Boston College team that reached NCAA Elite Eight in 1994. He played professionally overseas before joining the roster of the Miami Heat in 1996.

Matt Wilson – A former Bristol American Legion baseball player, he went on to play for Stetson University. He is currently an associate professor of sports business at Stetson and written articles on intercollegiate athletic issues for publications such as Time Magazine and USA Today.

Also being awarded that night will be the Julie Larese Memorial Scholarships. Each of the three high schools in town will be represented at the event. Emily Stadnicki of Bristol Eastern who will receive the Patricia D’Amato Memorial Scholarship, Hannah Jones of Bristol Central will be the recipient of the Frank Scalia Memorial Scholarship, and Brigid Johndrow of St. Paul Catholic will be presented with the John E. Tavera Memorial Scholarship.

“We look forward to a wonderful evening with these honorees, their family and friends, new and long-time attendees, and supporters of our organization” said Sean Moore, Bristol Tramps chairman.

Tickets for the evening are $40and can be purchased by contacting Dan Valerio at (860)490-5128 or Frank Owsianko at (860)302-4133 or owsianko@comcast.net.

For more information on the event, go to the Tramps website at www.bristoltramps.org.