JHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony set for Oct. 22

Johnston Sun Rise ·

It’s the highest possible honor for former Johnston High School student-athletes.

It’s a place in the tradition-rich history book for only those prolific panthers who have achieved numerous sport successes during their undergraduate days on Cherry Hill.

It’s officially named the Johnston High School Athletic Hall of Fame, which was founded by the late Gary Victor Mazzie back in 2011, to acknowledge and honor the contributions of its many excellent athletes who have participated in Rhode Island Interscholastic League sports teams since the school’s inception back in 1960.

It was also created to preserve traditions and accomplishments of these athletes for all time, and to create memories that the community of Johnston can be proud of.

Thus, on Sunday afternoon – Oct. 22 – the prestigious JHS Athletic Hall of Fame will add the names of seven individuals, as well as the Tony Centore-coached 1991 undefeated Panthers Super Bowl championship team, to its long and distinguished list.

“We’re really excited about the Class of 2017,” James “Jim” Hopkins, who succeeded the late Mazzie as the group’s chair, said earlier this week. “It’s always a special time when we honor our legendary athletes and coaches.”

Hopkins announced that the annual Induction Ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. inside the Edward L. DiSimone Gymnasium at JHS on 345 Cherry Hill Avenue, and the post-awards presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m. at famed Cranston Country Club.

“Both ceremonies are open to the public and we’d like to have a full house at both locations,” said Hopkins. “There is absolutely no charge for the Induction Ceremony and dinner tickets – which are priced at $35 per person – are still on sale.”

He said dinner choices are as follows: Chicken Marsala, Baked Scrod or a Kids Meal for those children age 12 and under. People who would like to reserve dinner tickets should contact jhshalloffame@gmail.com.

The complete list of inductees is: Michael Morsilli, ’93, basketball; Patrick Ryan,’70, football; Victoria St. Angelo, ’11, softball, soccer; Brittany Valentine, ’10, soccer; Pete Fontaine, contributor, journalist; and the 1991 Class B State Championship football team.

Hopkins also noted “We’ve got a new award for this year’s Hall of Fame Induction and that announcement has been met with tremendous approval from a number of notable alumni.”

Matthew DiIorio, Class of ’99, will receive the first-ever Gary V. Mazzie Lifetime Achievement Award that will recognize former Panther athletes who have dedicated themselves to the improvement of others. DiIorio has raised thousands upon thousands of dollars for FARA (Friedreich’s Ataxia Research).