After many years of planning and discussion, Bethel High School is currently seeking nominations for the inaugural class of the BHS Athletic Hall of Fame to come later this year.
"A lot of us believe in recognizing our best athletes and teams," Hall of Fame committee member Lou Valenti said. "By recognizing their accomplishments and honoring them through a permanent place in the high school, they will serve as inspiration for our current athletes."
The Hall of Fame committee, comprised of alumni and staff members, is looking for a variety of nominations across sport, team, era and gender. BHS Vice Principal Chris Troetti said nominees can also includes non-athletes who have made great contributions to the school's athletic program, such as coaches, administration and other members of the community.
"For such a small town, we have such a rich tradition of multiple sports, not just one sport, that's dominated," Troetti said. "Our goal is to recognize every generation, even all the way back to the 40s and 50s."
The first class of Hall of Famers will includes 10 inductees and no more than six in subsequent years. Troetti said nominees who aren't chosen will continue to be considered for future classes. There is also a 10 year, post-graduation requirement for nominees (nominees need to have graduated prior to 2001 for the first class).
"All of their post-scholastic achievements will be considered as well," Valenti said. "We want to make sure that everyone we induct will serve as role models and inspiration to our younger athletes, so we want to make sure they have conducted themselves in a manor that has brought credit to Bethel Athletics. "
Troetti said the inaugural Hall of Fame class will be honored at a fall football game this year, followed by a reception. Within the Hall of Fame committee, an awards committee will research other high school hall of fames to determine what it will physically look like. Troetti said most likely it will be featured in the athletic area of the high school on the lower floor.
Valenti said: "We want to the hall of fame to be unique and to really catch the eye of atheletes in particular. We want to learn about what happened before they arrived at Bethel High School."
The deadline for nominations is Sunday, May 1. Nomination forms are available at the Bethel Public Library, Bethel High School, on the BHS Athletic website and are available for PDF download within this article. Nomination forms can be dropped off at BHS or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions can be answered via e-mail or by calling 203-794-8600, ex. 332.