13 Former athletes inducted into NNHS Hall of Fame

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The Newtonite

by Blake Krantz and Andrew Mannix
Last Saturday, 13 former North athletes were inducted into the Newton North/Newton High School Athletic Hall of Fame at the 10th annual Induction Ceremony at the Needham Sheraton Hotel.
Athletic director Tom Giusti said that North is “very proud of all of our student-athletes,” and that it is great to be able to honor “everything they have accomplished.”
Each inductee gave a short speech, many crediting their teammates, coaches, and family for their success, as well as other people who have influenced their lives.
The 2015 inductee class had athletes from five different decades, four brothers, and a current teacher at North.
Brothers Russell ’ 63, William ‘66, Robert ‘66, and Richard ‘67, Martin were the first athletes inducted as a group in the event’s ten year history. All four brothers were starting varsity gymnasts at North for at least three years.
Russell excelled at the parallel bars and the rings and he won honors at the 1963 State Championship, his senior year at North.
Twins Robert and William helped the Tigers win Suburban League Titles in 1965 and 1966. In 2013, William became the head coach for the boys’ gymnastics team at North.
The youngest brother Richard won gold in the high bar, all-around, and parallel bars at the League Championships in 1966 and 1967.
The brothers attributed their success to their coach George Jessup, saying “he made us want to live in the gym. He taught by example, using his love of life and respect of the individual as the basis of communication to all of us.”
Icons for gymnastics at North, the brothers also mentioned that it is “sad that gymnastics has fallen down” lately as a sport, especially relating to the number of teams at the college level.
Special education teacher Brian Rooney, ‘91, was inducted as a former three sport athlete at North. Rooney was a starter for soccer, basketball and baseball. Rooney was elected twice to the league All-Star team for soccer, won varsity letters twice for baseball, and received All-Star honors for basketball. He was also part of the first couple to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining his wife Debbie of the 2012 class.
Rooney said that it is an “unbelievable honor to be up here with so many athletes,” and that he “knew some of the other athletes and what they have done” for North Athletics.
The other inductees consisted of Daniel Doucette, ‘96, Jacqueline Kinsella Duffy, ‘85, Peter Laskaris, ‘74, James Marino, ‘98, George Maxcey, ‘89, Jason Riffe, ‘06, Ernest Savignano, ‘36, and Noah Stockman, ‘97.
Doucette, who was a two sport star at North, excelled in both hockey and lacrosse. In his senior year he set a record for most assists in North ice hockey history with 44 to go along with 32 goals. He earned Bay State All-Star status twice and Boston Globe All-Scholastic Honors as well. For lacrosse, he was a League All-Star twice.
Duffy was a three sport Suburban League All-Star in soccer, basketball, and softball. As the captain for two years, Duffy earned Suburban League All-Star status twice for soccer.
Duffy was a also three year varsity starter for basketball and was named a Suburban League All-Star her final year. She was captain of the softball team her senior year. The Boston Globe honored her as an All-Scholastic and she was twice a Suburban League All-Star. Duffy also won the Helene Breivogel Award, at her graduation, which is awarded to the most outstanding female athlete.
Throughout her success at Newton North, Duffy appreciated her great teammates and coaches, saying that “in team sports, you are only as good as the people around you.” Duffy also mentioned that team sports “opened many doors” for her, like her four years as an athlete at Providence College.
Laskaras was a star in both football and basketball. In basketball, he was the Suburban league MVP in his junior and senior years, and was named an All-Scholastic by the Boston Herald and Boston Globe both years. Laskaras helped the Tigers to two League Championships.
As the Tigers’ tight end and wide receiver, Laskaras led them to their first Super Bowl appearance and received all-star and all-scholastic status. During his speech he said “it was a great experience playing” for the Tigers, and that he “loved every minute of it”.
Marino played football, hockey, and baseball for the Tigers. According to his hockey coach Jake Heavy, he was “the kind of complete athlete that college coaches value and speak about regarding the advantages of playing multiple sports.”
Marino was the captain of the hockey team and was named a Bay State All-Star. As for baseball, his favorite sport, he was named the League’s MVP as a senior captain and won the Bill Hamill Award as the most outstanding baseball player in Newton. He was the varsity starting catcher for the Tigers all four years and was an all star his final two years, and was a Boston Herald All-Scholastic in 1998.
Marino gave credit to his brother, saying that he was “always on his heels, pushing him to be better.”
Maxcey was a three sport athlete at North playing football, hockey, and baseball. He was a captain his senior year for football and was credited by coach Peter Capodilupo, who loved “the heart, soul, skill and passion he gave to his teammates on a daily basis”. He was also a senior captain for baseball and a four year varsity catcher. He was named a Bay State All-Star his senior year.
Maxcey explained how “many people helped influence him, and shape him” as a person, something he is very grateful for during his time playing for the Tigers.
Riffe was a captain for the football and basketball teams at North. He was an All-Star linebacker and an All-Scholastic in football. Riffe was a star of the basketball team, leading the Tigers to a combined 69-7 record over three years. According to coach Paul Connolly, he will “go down as one of the top three-point shooters in the program’s history.” He also helped the Tigers clinch back to back State Championships.
During his induction speech, Riffe said that “growing up watching his brothers was unbelievable,” and that he had always “hoped to do something like them.”
Savignano, the “man for all seasons” at North, whose award was accepted by his son, was a three sport athlete at North, playing football, basketball, and baseball. He was named a first team quarterback by the News Tribune and was an All-Star.
Stockman, who was the final person to be inducted, was a soccer and lacrosse star at North. In soccer, he was a three time Bay State All-Star, leading the Tigers to a combined 48-6-7 record. He allowed .48 goals a game and was named the News Tribune Soccer Player of The Year and was a Boston Herald All-Scholastic.
As for lacrosse, Stockman helped the Tigers win back-to-back State Championships in 1995 and 1996 . As a senior captain he was a Boston Herald All-Scholastic his senior year when he had 29 goals and 25 assists to go along with a 64 percent face-off percentage.
Many of the inductees also took the time to express the honor it was to be chosen for the Newton North/North High Athletic Hall of Fame.