Nine Comprise RHS Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2014

A mix of former athletes, coaches, and administrators whose contributions extend from the 1940s into the 2000s, comprise the second induction class of the Rockville High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

The second annual ceremonies honoring the nine-member Class of 2014 are scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 14 at the high school.

Comprising the Class of 2014 are Donald P. Berger ’46, Jerry F. Fitzgerald, Christopher J. Green ’81, Kimberly H. Jackle Nadeau ’01, Thomas J. Kelleher ’82, Stephen E. Krajewski ’73, John J. Lusa, Jr. ’49, Joseph J. Van Oudenhove ’65, and Arthur L. Wheelock, Jr. ’68. All except Fitzgerald and Wheelock were selected for induction strictly on their athletic accomplishments. Fitzgerald served RHS as a coach and administrator and Wheelock as an athlete and coach.

Fitzgerald and Lusa will be inducted posthumously.

Berger was a two-sport captain (soccer and basketball) at RHS in the early 1940s and has been associated with the city and school for over 70 years as a supporter and employee. He served as Vernon’s Director of Parks and Recreation for 15 years and was active in starting and developing youth programs in Little League, basketball, and swimming.

A native of Pittsburgh, Fitzgerald served as head football coach at Rockville for 10 years after the program was re-instated in the early 1960s. Upon stepping down from the position in the early 1970s, Fitzgerald held administrative positions at the high school for 16 years prior to retiring in 1992.

Green was a four-year athlete in the sports of soccer, basketball, and baseball, playing basketball under RHS charter inductee Harry Geraghty and baseball under 2014 RHS Hall of Fame inductee Art Wheelock. A centerfielder and the team’s No.3 batter, Green was a senior on the 1981 baseball team which reached the Class “LL” state championship game. Green led the soccer team in scoring as a junior and senior and went on to an All-New England career at Division II powerhouse Southern Connecticut State University, where the Owls reached the Final Four three times.

Jackle Nadeau was a four-year basketball and soccer star who was a member of the successful basketball teams under RHS Hall of Famer Jim Martello, who ranks her as the most talented athlete that he saw in his 40-year association with RHS. Jackle Nadeau gained All-State honors in basketball and is the program’s all-time scoring leader with 1,504 points.

Kelleher played football and basketball and ran track, starring in football for three years as a running back under RHS Hall of Fame coach Tom Dunn. As a senior, he was named the National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athlete-of-the-Year and as an honorable mention All-America before playing collegiately at the College of Holy Cross and two seasons in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.

Krajewski played baseball and basketball, leading the Rams to two conference baseball championships. As a two-sport senior captain, Krajewski was named both the Journal Inquirer’s and Rockville High School’s Athlete-of-the-Year and to the JI’s All-Area Team in both sports. He went on to a Hall of Fame baseball career at Eastern Connecticut State University and has spent the last 37 years as Vernon’s Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation.

Lusa played four sports in the early years of the program, which was under the direction of RHS Hall of Famer Francis E. Geissler. A 6-foot-1 inch pivot in basketball, Lusa led the Rams to a first-round tournament win over favored Middletown HS with 21 points as a junior, and broke his own program records for points in a game and season against LaSalette Seminary as a senior, when he received the department’s Achievement Award.

Van Oudenhove played four years of basketball and soccer under RHS Hall of Fame coach John Canavari and three years of baseball. As a senior in basketball, the 6-foot-3 inch, 200 pounder scored a season record 507 points and gained honorable mention All-America honors when the Rams won the CVC championship and reached the Class “B” state semifinals, finishing 19-4.

After playing three sports for 11 seasons at RHS and two sports at West Virginia Wesleyan College, Wheelock returned to his high school alma mater for a 40-year teaching and coaching career. Wheelock served as head baseball coach for 36 years through 2013, and also assisted RHS Hall of Fame football coaches Jerry Fitzgerald and Tom Dunn and Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach Jim Martello, respectively, for many years. In baseball, Wheelock coached 758 games, winning 433 games and 11 conference championships (six in a 10-year span beginning in 1999), reaching threestate championship games (two in succession) and capturing the 2000 Class “L”title.

Tickets are priced at $35 each and must be reserved by Sept. 5. For ticket information, contact Hall of Fame chairman Scott Smith ’88 at 860-604-6618 or at smithsc33@sbcglobal.net.

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