Torrington Hall of Fame adds six to the rolls.
Members of the 2011 Torrington Hall of Fame on the steps of the Cornucopia Banquet Hall on Sunday evening. (Left to right) William Nataro, Jay Reginatto, Caitlin Turina-Lee, Claude Perusse, Ron Frazier. Not pictured: Michael Scacca.
TORRINGTON: I always call this the easiest story I write all year. After all, talking about what went on at Torrington’s biggest family reunion (expect for maybe the Thanksgiving football game) is never hard to do.
The Torrington Hall of Fame inducted six new standouts to their prestigious club that was formed 15 years ago.
Ron Frazier, Jay Reginatto, Michael Scacca, Caitlin Turina Lee, William Nataro and Claude Perusse made the grade on where honored in front of family and friends.
As Torrington athletic director, Janet Giampaolo said just before the formal ceremony got under way, “It’s great to see everyone talking, laughing and having a great time, I hate to break it up with a ceremony.”
True, the camaraderie that started when each of those who were inducted started playing sports together has not lost a bit of it’s edge. To most, it seems like almost yesterday they did battle on the field or the court.
For every athlete or coach that ever did the work that it takes to get to this level, there was a stellar support group behind them.
Ron Frazier (Class of 1987) thanked his father for all those days he would come home after a long day at work and play catch his son.
“Dad would catch me in the dirt with no pads,” Frazier said, “He was always there for me.”
Frazier would go on to get drafted by the New York Yankees in the 12th round of the 1990 draft and played 13 years in the minors, reaching Triple A in 1994 and 1995.
He had the misfortune of being bumped by a pitcher in the minors who was destined to do great things. One Mariano Rivera.
His career in the minors saw him post a 99-66 record and he was named the Most Valuable Player while playing in the Carolina League.
Frazier was clearly happy to be back in Torrington and joked how on Long Island, Lacrosse was big but not as big as baseball was in T-Town.
Nataro was heralded for his dedication to the youth of Torrington for over two decades as both a coach and then later as a referee.
Perusse joined his father-in-law, Omar Pollick, and son Joseph in the Hall and has been a stalwart volunteer for numerous Torrington programs.
There was one theme all night, as there usually is. The gratitude and sense of honor that radiated from each inductee was obvious; this is as good as it gets for a Torrington contributor.
Caitlin Turina Lee, from the Class of 2001, was a dominant swimmer during her time at THS and beyond.
For Turina-Lee, the lessons she learned from her coaches and family prepared her well for life, especially when things may not go your way.
After suffering a shoulder injury, Turina-Lee decided, with help of her coaches, to stick with the team and not miss any time, despite the risk and pain.
Sitting with the Turina family, it still was hard to imagine that Turina-Lee was out of the pool and THS for 10 years. Seems like only yesterday.
Still looking in game shape, Reginatto had it hit him the day before the banquet.
“It just hit me yesterday as I was thinking about this dinner,” Reginatto said, “To be honored with all the greats in the Hall is something I will never forget.”
Reginatto brought with him a sweatshirt with the number 55 on it with his name across the back, a shirt worn by Team Reginatto for more than a decade.
I think Reginatto made a three pointer while he was in the room, but I’m not sure.
He was know for his ability to hit the trey ball on the court and once sank nine in a row during a Raiders game.
Michael Scacca, who could not make it up from his home in Nebraska, was a stellar football star during the 1970’s and also played college football and baseball at Wesleyan University.
Also a standout in baseball, Scacca sent his best to a group he held deal, even from afar.
Before it started, it seemed, it was over. Always feels that way at a family reunion, doesn’t it.
Until next year, congratulations to six remarkable folks who are now part of a very special club.
NOTES: Special thanks have to go out to the Hall of Fame Committee who include Giampaolo, Pat Fairchild, Toni Tavano, Joanne Aresego, Nancy Famiglietti, Marylynn Morin, Pat Strawson, Gerry Carbone, Patrick Finn and Scott Langenheim. These folks always put on a great evening that let’s people celebrate what is good in high school and the sports people play.
Great job by my table mates, Beth and Joe Mazza for toughing out a trying week trying to get in better shape. Hang tough guys. Also to Jason Lee for doing his best up in Hartford as a detective.