Entering the Berlin Athletic Hall of Fame are athletes: Wally Pajor (Class of 1955; football, baseball, basketball), George Kanupka (Class of 1964; baseball, football, basketball), Andrea Yukna (Class of 1973; field hockey, basketball, volleyball), Lori Mongillo (Class of 1985; volleyball, basketball, softball), Michael Church (Class of 1991; soccer, baseball), Shelly Ravizza Moran (Class of 1993; soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball), Kenneth Bratina (Class of 1998; baseball, football, basketball) and Michael Laroche (Class of 2001; football, wrestling, track).
Also entering the Hall are Marie Siegal (coach), Roy Earley (contributor) and the 1955 BHS football team.
Michael Church was a two-sport participant. He was a four-year varsity starter on the soccer team and was a two-time selection to the NWC All-Conference team, 1989 and 1990. During the 1990 season, he was selected as member of the CHSCA/Hartford Courant All-State team.
Michael was a three-year varsity starter on the baseball team, with the 1990 team winning both the NWC championship and the Class M state championship. He continued his baseball career, first at Western Connecticut State University where has was a member of the 1991 team, then at Central Connecticut State University where he was a starter on the 1992, ‘93 and ‘94 teams, co-captain in 1994 and was an All-ECAC selection as a catcher that year.
He was also an assistant baseball coach and recruiting coordinator at CCSU in 1994 and 1995 before pursuing an amateur baseball career. He played with the Byron Athletic Club out of Fairfield in 1992 and 1993. In 1992, he played in the World Series in Battle Creek, Michigan and in 1993 played in the World Series in Louisville, Kentucky. He then moved on to the New England Collegiate Baseball League in 1994 and was the All-Star game catcher and received the 10th player award.
Michael then started a professional baseball career from 2005 to 2006 during which time he played for the Newburgh Night Hawks in 1995, Waterbury Spirit 1996-1999, Adirondack Lumberjacks in 2000, New Jersey Jackals in 2001, where he was an All-Star catcher, and with the New Haven County Cutters, where he was the assistant manager in 2002 and the manager from 2003-2005 and the All-Star game manager his last year. He then moved on to the Bridgeport Bluefish where, from 2005-2006, he was the director of Player Procurement and Operations.
Michael is the owner of Diamond Kings Baseball and Softball Academy in Bristol, since 2003, and the owner of Parisi Speed School performance training facilities. He is also the founder of Thorium Bat Company.
Mike and his wife Leigh Ann Shields were married in 2009 and reside in Berlin.
Shelly Ravizza Moran, Class of 1993
Shelly Ravizza excelled in three sports at Berlin High School. In soccer, she was a three-year varsity member, co-captain in her junior year, and a Hartford Courant and NWC All-Academic team selection. She was a four-year varsity member of the basketball team. As a freshman, she started playing JV and moved to varsity for tournament play. As a junior she was a starting forward, averaging 19.9 points-per-game, which led the team and was second in the NWC. She was also the leading team rebounder, with 8.2 per-game. She was a NWC All-Conference and All-Academic selection and won the rebounding and coaches awards. During her senior year, she became the program’s all-time leading scorer with over 1,180 points. Again, she was an NWC All-Conference and All-Academic selection receiving the foul shooting and coaches awards. Shelly was also a second team All-State Class L selection.
Shelly also excelled as four-year member of the tennis team. As a freshman, she was the varsity No. 3 singles and a NWC doubles finalist. During her sophomore year she played No. 2 singles, was the NWC doubles champion, mixed doubles finalist, and a member of the all-conference team. As a junior she was a co-captain, NWC singles champion and doubles champion, a NWC All-Academic and All-Conference selection. As a senior she again was a co-captain, NWC singles champion, mixed doubles finalist and received the Coaches Award.
In addition, Shelley was the New Britain Herald “Athlete of the Year: Female underclassman” as a junior, a CT Toyota Student Athlete of the Week Award recipient, CT High School Scholar-Athlete, received the Brian Piccolo Memorial Award and the Donald Bates Award.
Shelly went on to graduate from Stonehill College where she excelled in tennis, playing No. 1 singles and doubles, receiving NE-10 All Conference and Player of the Week honors. As a senior, she was the NE-10 No. 2 singles champion.
She is married to Tom Moran. They have two children, Lily, 7 and Ryan, 4, and a dog, Rosie. They reside in Upton, Mass. Shelly is a fifth grade teacher at Hopkins School in Hopkinton, Mass.
The Hall of Fame induction dinner is scheduled for April 23 at the Aqua Turf, 556 Mulberry St, Plantsville. For ticket information, contact Diane Egazarian at 860-828-0635 or email email@example.com. For more information, visit bhshalloffame.org.