The Torrington Hall of Fame Dinner. Part Induction Ceremony, Part Reunion.
TORRINGTON: If anyone every needed a reminder of the greatness that can come out of Torrington High School, said person need only to attend one of the school’s best organizations dinners to be sold on the home of the Raiders.
On Sunday evening, the THS Hall of Fame welcomed five more members to their illustrious ranks at Chatterley’s Banquet Facility at an event that is part celebration of the inductees, part school reunion party.
Roger Bruttomesso, Kimberly Longobucco, Ben Power, Scott Barnsby and John Strawson are the latest to join an organization that celebrates the best of the best at the home of the Raiders.
It’s a night that goes by far too fast but while you are in the middle of it, the smiles, hugs and story telling never ends.
I have been attending these gatherings for some time now and can’t get enough of it. You run into the heart and soul of Torrington and Torrington High School, a learning institution that sometimes gets a bad rap, something we fight to remedy every day.
23 past recipients came back to celebrate with four of the newcomers (Bruttomesso was unable to attend) who each had their own unique story to tell about their time at THS, but a common theme was wrapped inside each story.
Family, friends, coaches and teammates.
Many of them were on hand to celebrate with the recipients as the room took on a school and family reunion feel, as it does every year.
The honorees were impact players during their time in high school and have each gone on to impactful individuals as adults.
Longobucco was a “team of one” during her time as an exceptional gymnast at THS at a time at which there was not a team.
Did that stop her? Heck no.
She excelled to the point of earning First Team All-State honors in 2001 and went on to become a coach and a terrific one at that, garnering honors that included the 2013 CIAC State Gymnastic Coach of the Year and the CT Post Gymnastic Coach of the Year.
She’s helping shape the next generation of leaders in her current position of principal at Newtown High School.
Bruttomesso was a two-sport athlete during his time at THS, before he graduated in 1954.
His prowess came on the baseball diamond and the basketball hardwood, earning All-Naugatuck Valley pitchers in 1953 and 1954.
He went on to attend Dartmouth before joining the powerful firm of Price Waterhouse where he retired a partner in 1997.
Power and Barnsby were both member of the original Torrington Twisters team in 1997.
Power played soccer, basketball and baseball and helped the Raiders baseball team win the 1995 NVL Baseball Championship.
After graduating in 1995, Power attended the College of Holy Cross where he continued his outstanding baseball career for the Patriot League team and set a single season home run record (7) and career home runs (20).
Barnsby was the quarterback for the Raiders during his time but baseball was a remains his true calling.
He still holds the record for most wins in a season with 11 and earned All-State and All-NVL honors during the 1997 campaign.
He was drafted by the LA Dodgers in 1998 and after hanging up the spikes became a professional scout, a job he continues in today.
Strawson, now a fixture at The Forman School in Litchfield, was a three-year starter for the Raiders basketball team and helped lead the 2005 team to Class L semi-finals while winning 20 games that year.
His awards at The Forman School are adding up quickly with three straight New England Preparatory School Athletic Council Coach of the Year awards between 2013-2015, something never accomplished before.
Each of the honorees mentioned coaches who had helped shape their character during their years at THS and beyond.
Another remarkable night with some of the best people you will find in our city.
See you the last Sunday in April (the 26th) of 2020 when we do this again.