Submitted by the Bedford Athletic Association
All photographs (c) Clive Grainger, 2017 all rights reserved – double click each image to see it at full resolution
Three generations of excellence on the playing fields and courts of Bedford High School and beyond were represented by the induction of 11 new members of the BHS Sports Hall of Fame Saturday night.
Friends, family members, and a few legends packed American Legion Post 221 for the biennial ceremony, including retired football Coach Armand Sabourin, part of the original Hall of Fame class of 2006.
Especially powerful was the induction of David Ahern ’06, a two-sport star at BHS who became one of Babson College’s greatest baseball players.
Dave passed away unexpectedly on September 4, 2016 at age 28. More than 50 friends, relatives and former teammates and coaches attended the posthumous induction. His brother Joseph and friend Derek Johnson spoke about his achievements.
Two sets of twins were also among the inductees. Rich and Alan Tomczykowski, Class of 2001, were stars on what is arguably the high school’s premier soccer team. Both also played at Sacred Heart University. Fellow soccer alumni Eric Berman and Craig Gelormini spoke for the brothers respectively. (Alan wasn’t able to attend because of flight delays from his home in Raleigh, NC.)
Kristen and Kevin Cangiano, who graduated in 2010, were the youngest inductees. Both were multi-year, multi-sport all-stars at BHS. Kevin was introduced by his teammate Mike Dirrane III. Kristen’s presenter was Coach Dave Wilson, also a member of the Hall of Fame.
The senior inductee was Bruce Winslow, class of 1964, who was a three-sport varsity athlete and also starred in two of the earliest BHS musicals. He was one of the top receivers in eastern college football at Bates College, and a couple of his records there still stand. John Herrling, a friend since kindergarten, presented him, and among his classmates who came home for the event was former Bedford Selectman Robert Frenier, now a Republican state representative in the Vermont Legislature.
Sarah Collins ’02, whose athletic excellence at BHS was followed by a record-setting collegiate career in softball at Quinnipiac, noted that she was recruited to catch a high school summer league team in Bedford at age 10. Sarah was introduced by her stepfather, BHS graduate Tim McManus.
Rob Emerson, a 1981 graduate who was a three-sport captain at BHS and played football at the University of Lowell, saluted Coach Sabourin and Assistant Coach Bob Petrillo, who was also at the event. Rob, a teacher in Burlington, was introduced by friend and teammate Tom Mulligan, a member of the Bedford Recreation Commission.
Pamela Wetherbee-Metcalf ’83, a two-sport multi-year all-star at the high school, went on to play on a national championship basketball team at Salem State College. She is now senior associate athletic director at Northeastern University. Pam was introduced by Hall of Fame member Lois (Farrell) Koering ’82, who recalled that their soccer coach called Pam the “pillar” because of her height.
Mark Lane ’72, cheered by a cluster of teammates and classmates, was honored for his three-year varsity hospital career, his college hockey accomplishments at Babson, and his years as BHS hockey coach in the 1980s. Mark’s brother Michael introduced him and spoke of the value of family and community. Mark’s mother Betty was in attendance, along with teammate Charlie Stefanelli and Charlie’s father Duke.
The final inductee had some of the funniest lines in his acceptance remarks. Bob Schwelm ’77 played several sports in high school and was a goalkeeper for the Franklin & Marshall College soccer team. But his real distinction is as a distance runner: he qualified for two Olympic marathons, was ranked first in the world in the master’s class in 2009, and is one of only 37 people in the world to have run a sub-three-hour marathon in five different decades.
Bob said BHS cross-country Coach Jake Sullivan confronted him in 10th grade and declared, “You could be a great runner.” That started it all, Bob said, adding, “Several years later I found out he said that to everybody!” Bob spoke of the challenges of growing up on isolated Dudley Road, spending countless hours “playing football by myself, throwing, kicking and tackling myself.” He added, “I once pitched back-to-back nine-inning shutouts against the side of my house.” Bob was introduced by friend and teammate Ross Hosking.
The Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Bedford Athletic Association and actually is in the hall that leads to the office suite adjacent to the BHS gymnasium.