The athletic legacy of Pasquale J. “Pat” Monti continues to grow.
The former Barrington High School great was recently named one of 12 athletes, coaches, officials and administrators, to be inducted into the Rhode Island Interscholastic League High School Athletic Hall of Fame-Class of 2017.
The induction ceremony will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m., at the Crowne Plaza, in Warwick. Ticket availability will be announced soon.
When informed that he would be joining such an illustrious group of sports figures, Mr. Monti, 71, stepped back for a moment and reflected on this enormous achievement. You have to remember, being elected to the Interscholastic League’s High School Hall of Fame is the crème de la crème of high school sports.
“I want to thank Barrington High School Athletic Director George Finn, and BHS Hall of Fame member, Mike Raffa, for nominating me,” he said. “I've been selected to the BHS Hall of Fame three times (once individually and twice as a team member) but this is a much bigger honor. I believe I am the first ‘athlete’ from BHS to be selected. Our dear friend, Coach Frank Murgo, was honored a few years ago.”
Arguably the greatest three-sport athlete in Barrington High School history, Pat Monti was a coach’s dream. He was a star performer on the Eagles’ 1964 state championship baseball team, and helped Barrington to three Class C titles in basketball. He also was one of the premier ends in football during his varsity career. In all, he played on seven championship teams out of the nine sports he competed in, and was a First Team All-State selection. To cap it off, he was named the 1963-64 Rhode Island Schoolboy Athlete of the Year.
Later in life, he would once again show his athletic versatility…this time on the golf course, both here in Rhode Island and in Florida, where he now resides. He’s been considered one of the finest senior amateur golfers in both states for a number of years now.
Mr. Monti, who was also heavily involved with YMCA work in the area for many years, has never forgotten his roots, and remembers one of Barrington’s most renowned icons…former BHS head football coach and athletic trainer, Frank Murgo.
“I was always a ‘team first’ athlete in high school,” he noted. “All I ever thought about was championships. I was very fortunate to play with so many good athletes during my three years. They deserve to be a big part of this honor. Winning seven championships out of the nine teams I played on afforded me the opportunity to be recognized often. My teammates bought into the team concept which was very important.”
He continued, “I also have to thank my coaches, and in particular, Coach Murgo. I played football, basketball and baseball for him my freshman year and of course, three years of football in high school. He was more than a coach to me. He was a role model and later a very good friend. I still visit him in the RI Veteran's Home every time I return to Rhode Island. I love the man. It is especially sweet and humbling to be recognized after so many years of being out of the limelight. It's nice to be remembered.”
Mike Raffa, one of Mr. Monti’s biggest supporters, says Pat has always been a class act and is most deserving of RIIL Hall of Fame honors.
“He’s had a great athletic and professional career,” said Mr. Raffa. “He was a leader by example.”
Barrington High basketball was at its zenith during the early to mid-1960s, and point guard Mike Raffa was its triggerman.
Playing with Pat was a real treat,” he recalled. “The bigger the game, the better Pat played. He was the consummate team player. Pat treated everybody with respect.”
Pat, who has resided in The Villages, Fla., for the past 14 years, is the son of Eva Monti, 92, of Barrington, and the late Pasquale J. Monti Sr. He is married to the former Joan Vitecha (celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary next July), and the father of two children, Steven Monti and Jill Ingham, both of Barrington. He also has three grandchildren, Dylan Ingham, a senior at Barrington High School, Andrew Monti, a sophomore at Barrington High, and Liliana Ingham, a seventh grade student at the Barrington Middle School.
Pat started playing golf competitively in 1991 and qualified for 8 RI State Amateurs but never made it to match play in the Amateur ("a goal I set for myself when I started playing).
His best finish in the RI Senior Amateur was a third place finish in 2001. He was the Senior Club Champion at Crestwood Country Club in 2001 and 2003.
He has qualified for two Florida Senior Amateur Championships since moving to Florida in 2003, and won the Gold Medal in the Florida Senior Games this past spring.
At Barrington High School in football, he was All-State junior year and senior Year, All-New England Scholastic Magazine Senior Year.
In basketball - All Division junior and senior years.
In baseball - All Division junior and senior years and All State senior year.
Played split end in football, forward in basketball, and shortstop (sophomore and junior years) and centerfield senior year.
This year's class
The following people will be inducted into the Rhode Island Interscholastic League High School Athletic Hall of Fame — Class of 2017:
• Denise Armstrong-Florio — A three-sport star at Cranston West in the late 1970s, Ms. Armstrong-Florio remains one of the best female athletes ever to play for her school, earning All-State honors in basketball, volleyball and tennis.
• Brian Boucher — Before playing 13 seasons in the NHL and then becoming a television analyst, Mr. Boucher established himself as one of the best goaltenders ever to play for Mount St. Charles, backstopping the Mounties to their 29th state championship in 1994.
• Meghann Carney— A three-sport star at North Kingstown in the mid-1990s, Ms. Carney was an All-Stater in both field hockey and volleyball, as well as being named Gatorade R.I. Volleyball Player of the Year in 1996, while also earning All-Division honors in basketball.
• Shelley Zanfagna Cavanaugh — A three-time All-Stater, Ms. Cavanaugh dominated the diamond when the RIIL added fast-pitch softball in the mid-1980s, hurling North Providence to three of its first four state titles and finishing with 381 career strikeouts.
• Jim Doyle — One of Rhode Island's most successful high school coaches in any sport, Mr. Doyle's coaching career spans more than three decades, first at St. Raphael and now at Bishop Hendricken. During that time he has coached his teams to a total of 52 state championships — 18 in cross country, 22 in indoor track-and-field and 12 in outdoor track-and-field.
• Virginia "Gini" Duarte (posthumous) — A longtime elementary teacher in East Providence, Ms. Duarte worked closely with Alice Sullivan beginning in the late 1960s to develop girls' high school sports in Rhode Island. In addition to being an original member of the RIIL's Sub-Committee for Girls High School Sports, she coached at East Providence High School and was a girls' basketball and volleyball official.
• Katherine (Johnston) Itacy — A three-time All-State selection outdoors, twice indoors, as well as a three-time Gatorade R.I. Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year, Ms. Itacy set state records in both the 4K hammer throw and 20-pound weight throw en route to winning many titles while competing for Warwick Vets in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
• Catherine Lanni — An All-Stater and 1983 McDonald's High School All-American honorable mention, Ms. Lanni was one of the greatest girls basketball players ever to play at North Providence High School. After serving as an assistant coach at CCRI, she went on to coach for seven years at Shea High School, leading the Raiders to their program's first divisional and state titles.
• Julie Maguire — A graduate of North Kingstown where she a member of the Skippers' 1983 state championship field hockey team and also played basketball, track and field, volleyball and softball, Ms. Maguire has been coaching at her alma mater ever since graduating from the University of Rhode Island. Over the last 27 years, she has guided the North Kingstown field hockey team to 10 Division I titles and 22 Final Four appearances.
• Pat Monti — The 1963-64 Rhode Island Schoolboy Athlete of the Year, Mr. Monti starred in football, basketball and baseball at Barrington High School, leading the baseball team to the 1964 state title and the basketball team to three Class C Championships. He also coached the swim team at his alma mater and was an RIIL baseball umpire for 10 years.
• Michael Reeder — A boys and girls basketball official for more than 40 years, Mr. Reeder has served as president of both boards, as well as a rules interpreter, and has been honored numerous times for his service and dedication to the profession.
• Tony Torregrossa — A member of a state championship wrestling team and two state championship football teams at Mount Pleasant High School, Mr. Torregrossa has spent the past 51 years at Smithfield High School, working as a physical education teacher and athletic director, while also coaching football, wrestling and softball and amassing an impressive collection of league, divisional and state championships.