Hall of Fame

Mascenic inducts inaugural class

Class of 2013: Athletic Hall of Fame begins with 15 athletes, two coaches, one friend of sport and a team

The night was reserved for some of the brightest and most decorated athletes in Mascenic history.

The inaugural class of the Mascenic Athletic Hall of Fame was inducted on Saturday night at the high school as part of the annual homecoming festivities.

“It was a blast from the past,” said Shannon Cunningham Kelly, a 1995 graduate who scored over 1,000 points and won two state javelin titles. “And it was quite an honor.”

In all, 15 athletes, two coaches, a friend of sport and a team were part of the first class that spanned the years since Mascenic first opened its doors in 1968.

“It was really cool to have that many people back from all the different age groups,” said Jay Starr, a 1999 graduate and member of the 1998-99 boys basketball championship team.

Many of the athletes helped bring home state championships, either as part of a team or individually, while the two coaches, Lloyd Sheehan and Bob Caswell, led Mascenic teams to 19 state championship game appearances.

“I knew of or knew who each person inducted was,” said Mascenic Athletic Director Kevin Rines, who was also inducted for his athletic accomplishments. “It was nice to see all the people who came out.”

Leo Alix, the friend of sport, worked at the high school as a custodian and was a huge fan of Mascenic athletics. He attended countless games prior to his passing, but would also help any team in any way, including opening the gym at all hours of the day and night.

The 1984-85 volleyball team that won back-to-back state titles was the lone team to be honored after going 33-2 over the two-year span that included an undefeated campaign in the second year.

Helen Henault and Dean Salmonson were the earliest inductees, having graduated in 1977, while the likes of 2003 graduates Chris Henault and Sarah Peltokangas, who was part of the only two field hockey state championships, were the youngest of the 15 athletes.

“To go into this class, the first one, is quite an accomplishment and honor,” said Rines.

The 1990s were the most well represented decade, having seven honorees. The 1970s and 80s each had three inductees.

“It certainly means a lot to be part of that inaugural class,” said Jeff Alix, a 1997 graduate. “Growing up in the community, there were people being inducted that I looked up to.”

Sheehan spoke toward the end of the night and captivated the audience much like he did during his coaching and teaching days.

“I was anticipating seeing Mr. Sheehan because he impacted so many lives,” said Missy Salo, who played on the volleyball team inducted. “He was such a huge mentor in my life.”

Sheehan won five volleyball state championships and made it to six other finals. He also won two softball titles and coached in four other championship games, while spending more than two decades at Mascenic.

“When I heard that Mascenic was going to have a hall of fame, I said the first person that needs to go in is Mr. Sheehan,” said Salo.

Caswell spent 10 years at the helm of the school’s baseball program and quickly turned it around. He took over a one win team and had the Vikings in the state finals two years later.

“I was part of some really good teams because of some really good coaches and teammates,” said Alix, who played for Caswell.

For Starr, who is the Mascenic boys varsity basketball coach, making the hall of fame in the first year was a big honor, but being able to go in with his classmate Jeff Ambrosini and Caswell made it even more special.

“It brought back a lot of memories,” said Starr.

Rines was not the only one from his family to be inducted, as his cousin Jim and sister Missy were also recognized.

The list of inductees included four members of Mascenic’s 1,000-point scorers club, as well as two state players of the year in Chris Henault and Lisa Berry.

“It brought back a lot of good memories,” said Kelly, who graduated with Berry. “It was really wonderful to go back to a stage in my life that was so much fun.”

Bret Cartwright won back-to-back Class M-S cross-country titles and finished runner-up in the state twice. Heather Shaw is the all-time leading scorer in the basketball program’s history.

Peter Moorman won five club volleyball titles, while Mike Cullinane and Salmonson won multiple team MVP awards.

“Everyone that was there was a well accomplished athlete,” said Rines.

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