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Athletic history revived through Hall

By Jason Yoffe
Published: December 2009

“Stick to the ground! Passing has ruined the game, former South football and wrestling Coach Art Kojoyian, a devoted supporter of running the football, shouted to the crowd. An uproarious laughter followed his bold statement.

Kongie, as he was called by his former wrestlers and football players, had once again evoked the same pleasure he had during his 18-year tenure at the school.

His acceptance speech was completely in character, reminding those who played for him why he was one of the greatest coaches in South history.

Kojoyian was one of four former South coaches who were honored on November 27 as part of the first inaugural class of the new Hall of Fame. The class also included six former South athletes.

“All of the people we picked were more than deserving, Athletic Director Scott Perrin said.
According to head of the Booster Club Jon Frieze, 50 years of South’s athletic programs have produced a large group of Hall-worthy alumni.

“There have been a lot of deserving people, he said.

Perrin and the other members of the Hall of Fame Committee will primarily focus on three-sport athletes, with multiple All-American honors.

“What some athletes today don’t realize is that playing multiple sports makes them a better athlete, Perrin said.

Athletes become induction-eligible five years after graduating.

Perrin did say that student-inductees do not have to be captains to join the Hall of Fame.
The athletic department joined the Booster Club to organize the Hall of Fame, which they held at the Newton Marriot.

The Village Bank contributed to the efforts with a sizeable donation to the Booster Club.
Despite being the eve following Thanksgiving, the crowd almost doubled from the estimated 80 people to 160 attendees.

“It was so successful, Frieze said of the turnout. “I wouldn’t be surprised if [the Hall of Fame] was every year now.

Perrin and the Committee expect to convene over the winter to decide plans for the Hall of Fame in future years.

The inductees of the Class of 2009 were dominated by gridiron stars. Four of the six athletes, and half of the coaches were a part of high school’s most revered sport, football.
Leading this group was Seth Hauben, a graduate in 2001.

“Seth was one of the best athletes to ever come out of here, Perrin said.
Playing basketball and lacrosse in addition to football, Hauben received nine varsity letters and seven Dual County League (DCL) All-Star nominations.

The accolades extended to a national level. Hauben was a basketball phenomenon, a McDonald’s All-American, a member of The Boston Globe’s Super Team, and a member of The Boston Herald’s Dream Team during his senior year.

This past summer, Hauben played on the US Men’s Basketball Team at the 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel.

There, he led his team to a Gold Medal, with a double-double (20 points, 12 rebounds) in championship game.

Katrina Antonellis, currently part of the faculty at Charles E. Brown Middle School, was the lone female athlete in this year’s class of inductees, with 12 varsity letters in soccer, basketball, and softball.

Antonellis is currently the South’s all-time leading scorer in basketball, with 1,436 points.
She was awarded with the DCL Most Valuable Player Award her junior year. In a game that season, Antonellis racked up 28 points, which amounted to more than half of the team’s baskets.

Bruce MacLean was the only inductee to continue his athletic career at a professional level.
Major League Baseball’s Saint Louis Cardinals drafted the graduate in the 1966 inaugural draft. He spent five years in the Cardinals’ minor league system.

MacLean posted a solid 2.29 earned run average in 78 appearances in Class-A.

The coaches however, were not acclaimed for their accolades as much as for their impact on their players.

Some of Kojoyian’s athletes lost their fathers at a young age. For Frieze, who was one of those players, Kojoyian played a greater role than just a coach.

“Kongie was a strong, disciplined, tough guy, he said. “He was a great role model for us as kids.

Although the coach had some success during his 11-year tenure at South, he netted a losing record overall.

“It’s not every day that you see a coach that has a losing record in a Hall of Fame, Head football coach Ted Dalicandro said.

Dalicandro especially admired the fact that Kojoyian held his players “accountable and responsible and used “tough love.

Kojoyian was not the only coach to extend his or her influence beyond the fields.
“You see a caring for kids that goes beyond wins and losses, Dalicandro said of the coaches inducted.

Football coach and former Athletic Director George Winkler initially established a dominant girls’ athletic program after the advent of Title 9.

According to Frieze, the Hall of Fame may continue to expand its reaches from just single athletes and coaches.

There is a possibility that the Hall could honor entire teams in the years to come.
“There’s no shortage [of potential inductees], Frieze said. “There’s a great history at Newton South.

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