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Torrington Hall of Fame adds five greats to the rolls. Will be celebrated on April 29.

POSTED April 16, 2018
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


Andrew Pace

Andy Pace participated in four sports at Torrington High School, playing baseball, basketball, football, and running track. However, it is his service to the sports community over many years that has contributed to his being inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame.

As a founding member of the Varsity Athletic Cub, he helped build the club into a strong force in the Torrington sports community. He was an officer in the club until he was 80 years old. He and Hall of Famer Frankie Russo started and ran the basketball league for many years. This league provided an athletic opportunity for thousands of Torrington youngsters.  He also coached in the league for about 20 years as well as being a Little League coach. As a member of the VAC, he started the girls’ basketball program and started and coached the boys’ travel team.

He initiated the Varsity Alumni Scholarship program which has given hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of college scholarships to Torrington athletes. Many a recipient of this scholarship remember the answering of questions section at the awards banquet.

Andy was the driving force behind the installation of the then “new” track at THS. Through the Varsity Alumni Club, he raised numerous funds that were used to support many Torrington athletic teams and facilities. (Legion baseball for an example). For his efforts throughout the years, he received many accolades and honors such as Man of the Year by the Varsity Alumni Club, the Police Athletic League, the UNICO club, the Elks, and the Litchfield County Basketball Board.

Because of his many years of active involvement in promoting sports in the Torrington community, Torrington High School and its athletes benefitted greatly. He leaves a wonderful sports legacy to all of us.

Raoul Rebillard

Raoul graduated from THS in 1961 as an accomplished swimmer. A four-year letter winner and captain of the team, he set many school records in the 100 Butterfly, 160 Individual Medley and the 200 Medley Relay. In 1961 as a senior, he was State Champion in the 100 Butterfly and State Record Holder in the 400 Medley relay at the Yale Carnival in 1961.

He went on to attend and swim at the University of Maryland. A four-year letter winner, as a freshman, he set a record in the 100 Butterfly. His varsity records included: the 100-yard Butterfly, the 500 Freestyle, the 400 Medley Relay, and the 400 Freestyle Relay. He briefly held the 200 butterfly and 500 freestyle ACC records. He served as captain of the team in 1964-65 and was the freshman coach in 1965-66.

Raoul and his wife, Priscilla, reside in Wilmington, North Carolina, retiring there 14 years ago. They celebrated their 55th anniversary this year.  They have two sons, David and Mark, and have two grandchildren. He is an avid boater and enjoys fishing and birding.

Bruce and Eleanor Fox

While each held different positions at Torrington High School, Bruce and Ellie Fox shared one commonality:  their ardent support of THS athletics. Bruce served as principal of THS and Ellie was an instructor in Family and Consumer Science (Department Chair). They attended most THS sporting events and, monetarily, supported many fund-raising endeavors of the various teams. Both are recipients of the Gold T award for their support of THS athletics.

Bruce was part of an Ad Hoc committee of the Board of Education which led to the formation of the THS Booster Club in 1991. He and Ellie continue to support the efforts of this club, now in its 27th year. Ellie was an advisor to the Raiderettes and the Cheerleaders.

When the Athletic Hall of Fame was initiated 22 years ago, Bruce and Ellie came on board with their support and have been attending and participating in every induction banquet. Bruce has been delivering the Invocation and Benediction at the banquets as part of the Hall of Fame tradition.

In retirement, Bruce was an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University and Ellie worked in the Quinnipiac bookstore. Both served as co-administrators of the John and Sylvia Workman Home. Both serve as liturgical assistants of Trinity Episcopal Church and Bruce is a Sr. Warden of the church.  Bruce is on the Board of Directors of the Torrington Historical Society and Hillside Cemetery, as well as a Corporator of the Torrington Library. Ellie serves as a Moderator for elections in Torrington.

They are the parents of two sons, Anthony and the late Steven Fox and the proud grandparents to two grandchildren. They enjoy traveling, especially to Maine, Florida, South Carolina, Aruba, and taking international cruises.

Thomas Soja Sr.

Tom Soja is being inducted into the 2018 Torrington High School Athletic Hall of Fame as an outstanding athlete in the sports of basketball and baseball. He was a member of the 1951 baseball team to become NVL champs.  For his athletic prowess, he was named to the ALL-CENTURY TEAM in which THS honored its top 20 players in the 100 years of Torrington High School basketball.

After THS, from 1952 to 1954, Tom played baseball with the Eldorado Oilers (Arkansas) in the Cotton States League., the Baton Rouge Redsticks (Louisiana) in the Evangeline League, and the Jesup Bees in the Georgia State League. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and from 1954 to 1956 he spent 17 months in Germany where he played basketball and fast-pitch softball. In the 50’s and 60’s, he played softball for various factory teams.

Tom has been a member of the Torrington Elks Lodge for 58 years and served on its Youth Activities Committee for 6 years. He is still bowling duckpins at the Elks, doing this from 1995. He continues to participate in golf leagues. He spends a lot of his free time watching all Torrington sports, boys and girls, at the high school, enjoying seeing the play of children of people he coached through the years.

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