The West Haven Hall of Fame Committee has announced its newest inductees to be honored, Saturday, Dec. 15 at Cielo, West Haven Italian-American Club, 85 Chase Lane. With six members and an entire hockey line added to the prestigious club, there are now 172 inductees since the start in 2000.
Included in the Class of 2018 are Vin Nitido, Rick McInnis, Dave Anquillare, Alison Karosas, Tracy Bagnoli Guyette, George DeMaio, and the line of Dave Depew, Steve Balaban, and Frank Longobardi.
“This is another great group of recipients,” West Haven Hall of Fame chairman Jon Capone said. “It is an honor to include them with our past inductees. We will cover over 50 years in this year’s induction. Each inductee is very deserving.”
Nitido is a 1951 graduate who played three years of football and was also a three-year member of the swim team and track team. Nitido has also been a mainstay in his dealings with the support of the local community.
During his time in high school, Nitido was a fullback under legendary and Hall of Fame coach Whitey Piurek, playing for some very good teams.
In the pool, Nitido specialized in the freestyle events (50 and 100) under coach Jerome Jermain, and ran the 100 and threw the discus and javelin for Tom Bowie’s track and field teams.
Nitido has made his mark in the community, coaching in the West Haven Little League and serving as the league’s President. Nitido also coached West Haven Biddy Basketball and Ray Tellier Midget Football.
McInnis graduated from West Haven High School in 1969, playing football for four years, from 1965 to 1968.
McInnis was a safety on the 1968 team which became the undefeated Connecticut state champions that year, was ranked number one in New England and number five in the United States. The Westies scored a total of 526 points in nine games, and the defense only allowed 94 points total in those games.
The games were won by 89 points, 70 points, 56 points, 38 points, 36 points, 34 points and the closest game of the season was a 15-point win over Stamford High School.
During his high school years, McInnis had the honor of being coached by Hall of Fame members Joe McHugh, Tom Hunt, and Babe Amendola. Some of his teammates from the 1968 football team who became Hall of Fame members are Bert Siclari, Harry Conlan, Ted Williams, and Ed Francis.
In 2008, the 1968 West Haven High School Football Team was inducted into the Hall of Fame, becoming the first time a team was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
McInnis joined Hall of Fame coach Jim Eagan from 1983-1995 as assistant girls basketball coach at West Haven High School. During his 12 seasons coaching with Eagan, the girls basketball team reached the state tournament 11 times and won 142 games.
In 2017, McInnis was inducted into the New Haven Tap Off Club Hall of Fame, honoring his 37 years of being a high school basketball official.
A 1989 graduate, Anquillare joins his father John and brother Mike in the West Haven Hall of Fame. A solid high school career for Anquillare ended in impressive fashion personally and team-wise as Anquillare was named to the All-District team his sophomore and senior seasons, while also being selected to the All-Area and All-State teams as a senior.
For his career, Anquillare, who was also part of the 1988 team which won the state title, finished his career under legendary and Hall of Fame coach George Hanchette first in walks (70), second in total hits (83) and on base percentage (550), and fifth in total at bats (208) and stolen bases (19).
As a sophomore, Anquillare hit .424 with an on base percentage of .567, while finishing with 25 hits and 20 runs batted in. After hitting .330 as a junior, Anquillare led the way his senior year as he hit .470 with a .608 on base percentage, including four doubles, four home runs and 19 runs batted in.
After his playing days at West Haven High, Anquillare made a name for himself at both Southern Connecticut State University and the University of New Haven.
As a freshman at Southern, Anquillare was named the NECC Rookie of the Year, while also placing on the NECC First-Team, He was a Second-Team NECC selection as a sophomore, before moving over to UNH, where he was again a second team selection after leading the team in doubles, home runs and walks. He finished his collegiate days with a .346 career batting average.
Karosas is a four-year volleyball, basketball and track star at West Haven. A solid player in all three sports, Karosas averaged 13 points a game in basketball and held the high jump record at 4’-10”, while also coming in sixth in the state in the pentathlon in 1978.
Karosas was an outside hitter/middle blocker who played since her freshman year under Hall of Fame coach Chris Santoro. Her aggressive style helped lead the Westies to many memorable wins.
Karosas was a forward on the basketball court and an all-around solid participant in track and field under Santoro, participating in sprints, javelin, discus, shot put, high jump and the long jump.
A 1979 graduate, Karosas took her talents to Northeastern, earning a full athletic scholarship in volleyball. Northeastern was good to Karosas as she graduated with an accounting/finance degree and is where she met her future husband Al.
Bagnoli Guyette is a 1987 graduate who starred on the volleyball, basketball and softball teams. Bagnoli Guyette was a three-year starter on the softball team, and captain of the volleyball team her junior and senior campaigns.
As a junior, Bagnoli Guyette was the most valuable player of the volleyball team with the best serve percentage, and was an All-District selection in both softball and volleyball. As a senior, Bagnoli Guyette was also again selected on the All-District teams for both softball and volleyball.
Bagnoli Guyette played for Santoro on the volleyball court and made her presence felt as a hitter, despite playing anywhere on the court.
Bagnoli Guyette also played for another Hall of Fame coach, Jim Eagan, on the basketball court as she was an effective player as a forward on some tough teams coached by Eagan.
The 2018 Hall of Fame inductee finished her trifecta of playing for Hall of Fame coaches under Frank Biondi on the softball field.
Under Biondi, Bagnoli Guyette started as a freshman, before making a home in the outfield. In her final two years, Bagnoli Guyette hit third in the lineup and was an All-District selection.
Depew, Balaban, and Longobardi formed one of the most feared lines on the ice in the 1970’s, putting up phenomenal numbers. As a result, the trio becomes the first complete line of a hockey team to enter the West Haven Hall of Fame.
As a junior, Depew and his squad helped snap Hamden’s 32-game winning streak against state teams as he scored the winning goal. Depew led the team in scoring with nine goals, 20 assists and 29 points, receiving All-County Honorable mention.
The following summer, Depew, Longobardi, and Balaban spent two weeks in Europe playing against high-caliber players, learning how to work together and develop their talents.
Depew was elected the team’s captain as a senior, and along with Longobardi and Balaban, the three were in the top three in points all season. The trio was nicknamed the G.A.P. line, goal a period, as the team set a school-record in goals scored with 152, surpassing the prior record of 102.
Depew, Longobardi and Balaban set a school line record of 80 goals, and a school record in wins with 18. With the G.A.P. line finishing one, two, and four in the state in scoring, the team advanced to the championship game against Hamden.
The three had their roles as Depew had the hockey sense, Balaban the talent, and Longobardi was the grinder, getting to all the loose pucks.
Balaban and Longobardi went on to play three seasons together at the University of Connecticut.
DeMaio is a 1966 graduate of West Haven High who played basketball and baseball for the Westies. He was named the West Haven High School Athlete of the Year in 1966, before setting a path which now recognizes him as one of the legendary voices the area has ever seen.
DeMaio was a fifth-grade teacher at Thompson School in West Haven until 1974, when he moved on to SNET. In 1983, DeMaio became the Sports Director at KC 101, and was awarded not soon after.
DeMaio received the Meritous Service Award from the Walter Camp Football Foundation in 1985, and the Foundation’s Award of Merit in 1986 and 1987.
In 1991, DeMaio was chosen for The Voice of High School Award by the Branford Lions Club, and was a Connecticut Scholastic and Collegiate Softball Hall of Fame inductee in 1995. He was also a Sal Tinari Biddy Basketball Hall of Fame inductee in 1997.
DeMaio has been recognized by the Southern Connecticut Conference, New Haven Football Foundation, College Football Hall of Fame, and New Haven Tap Off Club to name just a few.
DeMaio was a Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee in 2001, a New Haven Gridiron Club Hall of Fame inductee in 2007, and was given the William E. Keish Media Recognition Award from the Walter Camp Football Foundation in 2013.
DeMaio broadcasts high school sporting events through the efforts of 960 WELI and ESPN Radio from September to June.