The Berlin High School Athletic Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 is: Steve Baccaro (Class of 1947), Phil Perretta (Class of 1961), John Steurer (Class of 1980), Cynthia Gozzo Dastoli (Class of 1990), Robert Manzo (Class of 1990), Allison Murphy Semenuk (Class of 2002), Matt Carasiti (Class of 2009), and the 1999 and 2000 BHS wrestling teams.
The Hall of Fame induction dinner scheduled for Sunday, April 26 has been postponed.1999 BHSwrestling team
The 1999 BHS wrestling team was the Class M state champion, setting a new record for points scored in a state tournament with 261.5, surpassing the record of 234 points scored by Berlin’s 1986 Class S state championship team.
The 1999 squad became the sixth Redcoat team to capture a state championship. The team had six finalists and placed sixth or better in 12 of the 14 weight classes. Berlin also captured the Northwest Conference championship that year and had a dual meet record of 23-2, surpassing the record 22 matches won by the 1986 team.
The 1999 Redcoats also had a number of other achievements that season, such as winning the Berlin Invitational and finishing as runner-up in the Danbury Tournament, the Art Powers Duals, the Eagle Classic tournament and the New Fairfield Duals.
Berlin was led by Jason Siegal, Rob Levesque, Jeremy Osakowicz, Adam Nogiec and Anthony Reynolds. Those seniors led the Redcoats to 76 career dual meet wins during their four years, tieing the 1989 class for most wins in a four-year period.
As a group, the seniors won more than 450 individual matches in their careers.
Reynolds was undefeated in dual meets in 1999 and compiled an overall record of 44-0. Reynolds and Joe Cleary were Class M champions and Reynolds went on to win the State Open.
Other key contributors on the 1999 team were Peter Egazarian, Matt Moran, Michael Laroche, Matt McCormack, George Primich, John Szymanski, Aaron Trusty, Derek Aivano, Bill Aust, Anthony Carlino, Jim Punkunus and Kristi Artigue.2000 BHSwrestling team
The 2000 BHS wrestling team continued the success of the 1999 squad, repeating as Class M state champion. The Redcoats completed a perfect dual meet season (19-0), becoming the program’s first-ever undefeated team.
The 2000 team won the inagural Art Powers Duals and the New Fairfield Duals. Also, the Redcoats captured the Northwest Conference championship and the Millennium Madness championship and finished as runner-up in the Eagle Classic and Berlin Invitational.
Berlin had three individual state champions in 2000: Joe Cleary, Matt Moran and Aaron Trusty, and three State Open champions in Cleary, Michael Laroche and Trusty.
The Redcoats had four wrestlers finish their careers in the top 14 in career wins at BHS: Cleary at number six with 97, Moran at number seven with 95, Laroche at number nine with 92 and John Szymanski at number 14 with 84.
Other key contributors on the 2000 team were Peter Egazarian (29-9 record), Matt McCormack (20-10), Carlo Pistritto (15-16), Derek Aivano (32-12), Bill Aust (33-7), Mitch Egazarian (13-9), Jim Punkunus (29-9), Alex Barwokowski (21-14), CJ McCormack (28-11), BJ Madey (11-7), Rob Facey (6-6) and John Russo (6-6).