BRISTOL – Bristol Central boys basketball coach Tim Barrette has one heck of a program to be proud of.
Barrette, the coach and mentor of the boys team over the past 12 years, runs a very well-rounded program and he expects his players to give 100-percent effort to the team, to the school, and to each other.
There’s something called accountability and Barrette preaches that to his players.
And that’s not just an on-court thing but an off-court concept as well, something his players can follow even after their playing days at Central are over.
That’s one of the reasons the Bristol Central boys basketball program earned the 2018-19 Central Connecticut Basketball Officials IAABO Board #6 Sportsmanship Award.
Central Connecticut Basketball Officials Pete Palermino and Dave Raponey, a 1969 graduate from Bristol Central, were the representatives from the CCBO to present the award to Barrette at the school on Thursday, April 18.
“This sportsmanship award is a pretty prestigious award from our organization,” said Palermino. “We give one out every year to a boys and girls team.”
Bristol Athletic Director Chris Cassin, Bristol Central principal Pete Wininger, and Bristol Central athletic coordinator Hal Kilby also were on hand to witness the event.
“It’s an honor, obviously,” said Barrette. “I’d first like to thank my staff. This wouldn’t be possible without my entire staff, from my athletic coordinator to my athletic director, to my principal. This whole school has a great vibe. This is a school award. I know it goes out to boys basketball, but everybody I’ve been running into, I talk about our school atmosphere and we don’t have the problems a lot of schools are having because of our leadership.”
“Kudos to principal Wininger, my staff, and my kids.”
Central was honored off the performance of the past winter scholastic schedule. It was the second such honor for boys basketball program in the 21st century as Wininger – the coach before Barrette at Central – saw one of his outstanding teams earn the award as well.
“It is a reflection on a number of things that’s portrayed by the high school, starting at the top with the principal, the athletic director, and obviously the head coach,” said Palermino.
There was criteria Barrette had to meet which included going to the preseason coach’s meeting, voting for officials to qualify for the state tournament, and not having an ejection this year.
Barrette checked off all those boxes.
Both Palermino and Raponey have officiated Barrette’s games in the past and know the level of sportsmanship and professionalism the Central program exhibits.
“Having done games in the past with Tim, he’s very professional before the game, and during the game,” Palermino said. “He asks questions and will listen to us. [There’s always] good dialogue so it really starts there. Obviously, the players follow the coach…so it’s all about interactions with officials, how we’re treated form the time of arrival, to the games and the whole nine yards. And that includes the fans too.”
When Barrette was younger, he watched commercials from such basketball stars as Charles Barkley proclaim “I am not a role model” but never subscribed to that kind of example.
And fast forward to 2019, there’s more of that kind of negativity than ever on TV and the like.
That can make Barrette’s job teaching those youngsters on the court even more challenging.
“The one thing I’ll say is sportsmanship is getting harder and harder because our youth watches what they see on TV,” said Barrette. “It’s getting more difficult for me as coach to have to coach some of the behaviors because they saw it on TV. Professional sports are ruining sportsmanship and that’s one thing we stress in our program.”
Barrette had an excellent mentor during his playing days at Bristol Eastern – in both basketball and baseball – in the form of head coach Mike Giovinazzo.
Later on, he got to work and coach with Giovinazzo, side-by-side, and continued to see how a model program should be run from a management side.
He took that model to heart and made it his own at Bristol Central.
“Nowadays, the type of sportsmanship that’s out there, it’s all over the place,” said Palermino. “And it’s leading to more officials not wanting to officiate in all sports, not just basketball. So we’re really honored, Rap and I on behalf of Board 6, to present [the award] to [Barrette]. It’s a pretty straight forward award. It’s all about sportsmanship and about what your school has done.”
And Raponey echoed the same positives of the program at Bristol Central.
“Congratulations [to Barrette] and I’m proud of my alma mater,” said Raponey. “And the kids are great, and it’s all starts from the coach, and the principal and the athletic director. But really, as soon as we walk in the door, we’re treated well.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Michael Letendre, email him at MLetendre@BristolObserver.com.