JHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony set for Sunday

Johnston Sun Rise ·

The Edward L. DiSimone Gymnasium has had many memorable moments – and hosted hundreds of standout athletes – in its 50-year history.

Sunday, yet another chapter in the gym’s illustrious history will be written when the Johnston High School Athletic Hall of Fame holds its annual induction ceremony beginning at 3 p.m.

James “Jim” Hopkins, who played and coached inside the storied gym, this week, issued a town-wide invitation for people to come to the induction ceremony and help honor people who have in one way or another distinguished the Panthers’ tradition-rich sports history.

“There’s no charge for anyone who comes to the (induction) ceremony,” Hopkins announced. “We welcome everyone and would love to have the gym filled.”

Once the Class of 2017 is officially inducted into the prestigious Athletic Hall of Fame, people will make their way to Cranston Country Club for the always-interesting dinner that will get underway at 5:30 p.m.

The JHS Athletic Hall of Fame was founded in 2011 by the late Gary Victor Mazzie, a long-time teacher, coach and athletic administrator who lost a battle with cancer. Hopkins then assumed the chairmanship to keep his “best friend’s name – and memory – alive.”

Headlining the JHS Athletic Hall of Fame that will add the names of seven individuals will be the Tony Centore-coached 1991 undefeated Panthers’ Super Bowl state championship team.

The list of inductees includes: 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.

Also, the Gary V. Mazzie Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Matthew DiIorio, Class of ’99, and Michael Crawley, who have dedicated themselves to the improvement of others in the form of raising thousands upon thousands of dollars for FARA (Friedreich’s Ataxia Research).