The following are bios of each of the inductees:
Pete Lawlor is probably best remembered for two things- coaching and photography. From 1980 to 2004, Pete was actively involved with Peter J. Foley Little League, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and St. Francis School baseball and basketball. He began coaching in the Minor League and continued on to coach the Major League Orioles. His Oriole team won the championship in 1988.
The Peter J. Foley 10 year old All-Star Tournament was run and coached by Pete. His Major League All-Star Team was the first to win the Newtown Tournament. He then continued to coach Peter J. Foley Little League, Babe Ruth, Senior Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle baseball. In 1991,as the assistant coach to Frank Fazzino and Alan Crosswaite, the team they led won the Babe Ruth Championship.
From 1986- 1990 he coached the St. Francis School
Baseball team. In addition, he coached the JV Basketball team in 1988 and 1989 and continued on to coach the Varsity Basketball team in 1990.
If you’ve ever watched Naugatuck High School athletic events, or caught a UCONN Women’s Basketball game on TV, you probably remember seeing a man on the sidelines with a Naugy hat, a flannel shirt and a camera around his neck. That was Pete pursuing his hobby of photography. Starting in 1990, Pete began taking pictures of NHS athletes and UCONN Women’s Basketball games for the Naugatuck Daily News. All this was done free of charge! He passed on many of those pictures to the athletes, free of charge. As Joe Palladino put it, ”If it wasn’t for Pete, the Naugatuck athletes’ scrapbooks would be mighty thin!”
Because of his volunteerism over the years, Pete was bestowed several honors. In 2005,Peter J. Foley retired the Orioles team as a tribute to Pete . He received the Raymond K. Foley Award in 1997, an award given to someone who has demonstrated outstanding service and unselfish dedication to the betterment of the children of Naugatuck. Pratt and Whitney also recognized him in 2000 with their Community Volunteer Award for his work at Peter J. Foley. And now tonight, he is being honored one more time by the Naugatuck Hall of Fame, a fitting tribute to a man who gave back to the athletes in town.Jesse Cyr
Jesse Cyr and championship diving have gone hand in hand for years. As a stand-out diver for Naugatuck High School, he was a three time CIAC Class L champion and in 1991, the CIAC State Open Champ. As one of the tri-captains in 1991, his diving helped lead the Naugy team to an undefeated NVL Championship. His talent earned him All-State and All-NVL honors in 1989,1990, and 1991, every year except his freshmen year. Quite an accomplishment! Jess’ diving scores also led the Naugy High All Time Best List from his graduation year of 1991 until 1999. He remains on that list until today, now number four by just a few points behind some All-American divers who followed his example, training and work ethic. Jesse then took his talents to UCONN where he continued to excel. In 1995, he was the New England Diving Champion in the both the 1 meter and 3 meter events.
Wanting to still contribute to the sport of diving, Jesse has become a well respected men’s and women’s diving coach at SCSU and SoNoCo Club Diving. He has coached numerous high school and college All-American divers including All- American 2002 High School State and National Champion Brian Mariano, State Champion /All-American Stephan Ettienne from Sacred Heart High School and 2006 State Champion Daniel Mazzaferro, to name a few. Twelve performers from his SCSU team have been named as the Most Outstanding Diver at the Northeast-10 Championships and ten of his divers have been named the Northeast-10 Diver of the Year. Jesse also coached two Notheast-10 Freshman Divers of the Year. As a result, he has been honored ten times as the Northest-10 Diving Coach of the Year.
Karyn Iassogna was a two- sport athlete, playing both volleyball and softball at Naugatuck High School. It was softball, however, that she excelled in. Her career began playing the infield for St. Francis Grammar School and Peter J. Foley Little League teams. She switched to pitching during middle school and then became one of three pitchers on the Naugy JV team. In her sophomore year, she advanced to the Varsity team.
Karyn finished her three- year varsity high school career with 40 wins and 19 defeats against four other pitchers in the NVL that went on to pitch for Division 1 college teams. At the time, she set the
NHS record for most wins by a pitcher. Karyn’s first varsity season saw her finish with a 12-5 record. Her junior season saw it at 14-8, with her ERA was 0.40. Her senior season finished at 14-6. But it was during the CIAC tournaments that Karyn’s stats speak for themselves, each year pitching her team into the quarterfinals. Her record for CIAC Tournament play finished at 5 wins, 3 losses, with 30 hits over 60 innings pitched, allowing only 7 total earned runs for a CIAC career ERA of 0.81.
During the three games (25 innings) of the sophomore year tournament, she scattered 13 hits and only 4 earned runs (1.12 ERA) and lost to the #1 ranked team of the LL bracket, holding them to no earned runs. During the two days of tournament play her junior year, she scattered10 hits over 14 innings with only 3 earned runs for an ERA of 1.5. This time Naugy lost to the team that eventually won the LL State Tournament. Her tournament stats for her senior year are excellent, considering she was injured just before the tournament. During the three post- season games she gave up a total of 7 hits over 21 innings and no earned runs for an ERA of 0.00! Again Naugy lost to the #1 ranked team in the LL bracket. In this game, Karyn allowed only 2 hits, one of which was a bunt single.
Karyn’s pitching career came to an early end when that shoulder injury sustained near the end of her senior year prevented her from accepting a scholarship to pitch for Division 1 Central Connecticut State University.
Carl J. Herb
In 1964, Carl J. Herb graduated from Naugatuck High School, where he enjoyed a distinguished swimming career. Herbie, as his teammates and friends call him, swam for Naugy from 1961-1964 and served as Captain in his junior and senior years. He was a member of the 200 Medley Relay that broke the State Open Meet and New England Meet records in 1964. During his time at Naugy, he attained All-State, All-New England and All-American honors.
Herbie received a scholarship to swim at Loyola University but ultimately chose to turn this down and attend Waterbury State Technical College where he earned a degree in engineering. He also stayed in town to open Cindy’s Grocery, a business he still owns and operates to this day with his wife.
In his years since high school, Herbie became an avid runner competing in dozens of 5K and 10K road races. He broke the Derby 5K Open Road Race record in the Men’s 50-59 division. He medaled in every road race he competed in between the ages of 50 and 59! He took his love of running and competition to the Naugatuck High track teams, becoming the Head Coach of the boys’ Indoor Track and Field team, the boys’ Outdoor Track and Field Team and the boys’ Cross Country team.
As the third generation of his family to live and raise his children in Naugatuck, he inspired his own children to participate in sports at the high school. Each of them captained the team they played on. Due in large part of Carl’s influence, the fifth generation of Herbs continue to call Naugatuck home and participate in local youth sports.
Sarah Shea Montini
Beginning with youth sports and continuing on through middle school, high school and college, Sarah was an outstanding athlete. She played for Naugatuck Youth Soccer but Peter J. Foley was the beginning of her softball career. As a young player, she was selected to the All-Star Team.
At Naugy High Sarah excelled in three sports- volleyball, basketball and softball, lettering in all three sports all four years. She also was the Captain of all three sports her senior year. Sarah was only the second person in 20 or more years to accomplish this unique feat! Another Naugatuck Hall of Fame inductee, Nancy Bolton, was the other person to earn 12 varsity letters and serve as Captain in three major sports. Not many have done so since.
Sarah earned All-NVL honors in volleyball, basketball and softball. If you remember the years when the girls’ basketball team was on its 100 plus NVL win streak, you remember Sarah playing. She became the school assist leader along the way. You could find Sarah working on her game at various summer leagues all four years. All her hard work earned her a selection to the CHSCA Association All- Star game for basketball. In 1994, as she neared graduation, she was again honored-this time as the NHS Female Athlete of the Year. Sarah then moved on to a college career at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts. Here she played and lettered in both volleyball and softball.
Sarah never forgot the importance of respect both on and off the field or court. She never forgot the people who led by example to mold her into the person she became, both on and off the field and court. One of her best qualities was her ability to be a tremendous mentor to the younger athletes, something she continues to do to this day as an actively involved parent, along with her husband, in her children’s youth soccer and Prospect Little League teams.
Todd Hennessey began what would become a stellar baseball career like many other Naugatuck kids- at Peter J. Foley Little League. He was a member of the All-Star team and was the League Batting Champ while playing there. He continued on to play for Naugatuck High School and Eastern Connecticut State University. In his post- college years, he played for Champs Softball of Waterbury from 1993 -1996 and Thermco/Easton Softball Club (Yarmouth, Massachusetts) National Traveling Team from 1996-1998.
At Naugy, Todd was a 4 year player who started at Shortstop for two years and lettered in 1986 and 1987. In his junior year, he had the most hits, runs and RBI’s combined for all players. He also had the highest batting average (.437), which broke the school record and stood for 10 years! As a senior Captain, he earned All-NVL Shortstop honors, again had the most hits, runs and RBI’s combined, again had the highest batting average on the team, was named the top pitcher and was selected to the CIAC High School All-Star team.
All these accomplishments in high school earned him the right to play for Eastern Connecticut State University’s outstanding baseball team. Again he continued to excel as a four-year player who lettered in ‘89, ‘90 and ‘91. During his sophomore year, he won the Most Improved Player Award, had a .340 batting average as the lead-off batter, and led the team in hits and assists. The only player on the team to do so, he started all 41 games. Todd helped the ECSU team become Runner-up New England Regional champs and was selected Second Team All-New England Second Baseman for his outstanding play.
In his junior year, Todd started 30 games. ECSU went on to win not only the New England Regional Championship but the NCAA National Championship as well. Many remember following ECSU on its quest for the National Title and were proud of the Naugatuck player who was a big part of it.
Senior year saw Todd leading the team as its Captain, starting 43 out of 44 games at Shortstop. This year he batted second in the line-up. The team was runner up in the Northeast Region, with Todd batting .428 in the 7 game Regional Tournament. As a result, Todd was voted First Team All-Northeast Shortstop. He became a member of the 60 Hit Club with 62 hits his senior year (16th highest total at the time). The Joe Wojick Coach’s Award was bestowed upon Todd who finished at ECSU with 146 career hits (18th highest all time) and a 118 win-56 loss record during his four years.
The end of college did not see the end of Todd’s playing days. From 1994-1996, he was the starting Shortstop for Champs Softball out of Waterbury. In ’95, they won the ASA Class B World Tournament in Atlanta, Georgia. In ’96, they won the USSSA Class C State Championship, with Todd being named the MVP. The team then went on to finish 2nd in the New England Regional, 16th place in the National ASA Class B Tournament, and then played in the Triple Crown Class C National Tournament in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Todd’s next team, Thermco/Easton Softball National Traveling Team, was based out of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The Sponsor/Coach put up between $75,000 to $100,000 per year for Todd and the team to play against the best competition throughout the country. Easton would give each player his own bats, gloves and bags to maximize their logo/brand at each tournament. This team, made up mostly of players throughout the Northeast, would fly out on Thursday and fly back on Monday for 2-3 weeks each summer and fall month, almost always ranking in the top 5 teams nationally throughout the mid to late ‘90’s. Todd had the opportunity to play in over 25 states with all expenses (flights, rental cars, hotels) paid for by the generous sponsor. Todd was the starting 3rd Baseman for this prestigious team.
In 1996, the team was the Regional Champ in Baltimore, and won the World Qualifier in Nashville. Not done there, they won the Class B USSSA World Championship in Tuscan, AZ with Todd being named to the All-World Team and also named the All-World Defensive MVP. In the LE-PIF in Montreal, his team finished 4th. 1997 saw more wins and awards. They were the NSA Class B World Series Qualifier Champs, with Todd named the MVP. In Petersburg, VA they were the USSSA Qualifier Champs and the Qualifier Runner-up in Hermosa Beach, CA, with Todd named to the All-Tourney team in CA. Todd’s team went on to play in both the NSA World Championship in Alabama and the USSSA Class A World Championship in Texas. In 1998 Todd played in the Triple Crown Major Nationals in Florida, and the USSSA Class B World Championship in Florida. In 2001, he played in the Class B Worlds in Las Vegas. Naugatuck is proud of the outstanding career of this fine young man.