MONROE, CT — Masuk High School has a long list of great players, coaches and championship teams in its storied sports history. Basketball star Mike Gminski went on to be picked by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the NBA draft, legendary Masuk Girls Basketball Coach David Strong led teams to state championships, and Ann Odoy was dominant in girls field hockey and basketball.
All three are among the first class of 22 honorees to be inducted into the newly established Masuk Athletic Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Tashua Knolls Golf Course on Oct. 12. All honored guests will also be recognized during halftime of the Panthers’ football game against Joel Barlow the following night.
“It’s really important to have a Hall of Fame so you can connect the history of Masuk’s past with the present,” said Craig Semple, the school’s athletic director.
He said Masuk will hang banners in the gym for each inductee.
The class includes 18 former players, three coaches and one honorary supporter. Semple said the Hall of Fame will also recognize Masuk’s state championship programs, starting with last year’s boys volleyball and ice hockey and girls softball teams.
“Along with this recognition, our hope is to honor athletes, coaches, administrators, community members, and supporters who made significant contributions to the school’s continued tradition of excellence, specifically in the field of sports,” a Masuk Athletic Hall of Fame press release says.
This year’s inductees are:
- Annie Duffy Arnett, track ‘03
- Danielle Robinson Briand, track ‘97
- Edmond Butler, coach
- Maria Magoulas Collins, basketball ‘77
- Michelle Florin Custis, basketball ‘95
- Katie Duffy, track ‘03
- Paul R. Fenaroli, football, wrestling ‘07
- Tony Gardner, basketball ‘74
- John F. Giampaolo, coach
- Mike Gminski, basketball ‘76
- Jeffery Hourigan, baseball ‘01
- Tyler John, track ‘12
- Jill Addesa, swimming ‘88
- Jennifer Magoulas, cheerleading, track ‘12
- Thomas Milone, baseball, football ‘13
- Ann Odoy, basketball, field hockey ‘84
- Debra Olson, field hockey, softball ‘80
- Jennifer Parsell, Honorary – Unified Sports
- David Strong, coach
- Gail Strumpf-Cheney, basketball ‘97
- Bob Terry, track ‘83
- Keith Webster, basketball, football ‘83
Semple, who started a Hall of Fame for Daniel Hand High School in Madison nine years ago, followed the same blueprint for Masuk after Paul Mengold, a Masuk alum suggested it.
“I didn’t think I would be able to do it right away, but I was able to connect with some very hard working, detail oriented people who also believed in the same vision — and it took off,” Semple said.
The effort began in January with a group of current and former Monroe coaches, along with current administrators, community members, and former athletes, who joined together to begin developing a Masuk Athletic Hall of Fame.
Among the committee members, Semple singled out for praise were Strong, Town Attorney Frank Lieto, who helped with the legal aspects, Kathleen Foley, Amanda Forte and Odoy.
“Amanda has been the driver, I would say the major driver, of this. She’s setting a tone of getting the work done,” Semple said, adding “Anna Odoy was instrumental to the effort.”
He said Odoy is “probably the single most accomplished female athlete to come out of Masuk High School.
The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to recognize and promote the unique and extraordinary tradition of athletic prowess at Masuk High School.
The Masuk Athletic Hall of Fame has a website, which is currently being updated. “As years go by, that will be filled up with a lot of really good history,” Semple said.
All respectful comments with the commenter’s first and last name are welcome.