Bettencourt, Braz, Nizwantowski Among 21 to Join Tanners' Hall of Fame

Twenty-one Tanner greats from all eras will be inducted into Peabody High's Athletic Hall of Fame this year.

They were some of the best Peabody athletics had to offer, and now 21 more Tanner greats will be inducted into the Peabody High Hall of Fame this year.

Jean Hallinan, chairman of the hall of fame, on Friday released the list of inductees into the 2012 class. That list spans several eras and several sports and includes some Peabody grads who have continued to influence Tanners' athletics through coaching or giving back to the community in other ways.

Among the 2012 class are three individuals with family names well known for their prowess in Peabody sports. Helder Braz and Kevin Bettencourt will both join their siblings in the Hall of Fame and Amy Nizwantowski joins her father there.

Braz, a track standout, was undefeated in cross country during his junior season and played three sports. His older brother Fernando, who had his own stellar high school career, is the current track coach and a teacher at Peabody High. The brothers got a chance to run together during Helder's freshman year. After graduation, he went on to UMass-Dartmouth.

Bettencourt joined the 1,000-point-club on the court, recording 1,810 total points and surpassing brother Ted who had 1,428. He also first made captain as a sophomore, went on to win the league title with the Tanners his senior year, and racked up a couple of MVPs that year as well -- team Most Valuable Player and league MVP. He went on to a successful college career at Bucknell University.

Nizwantowski was another three-sport athlete and garnered the MVP award twice in field hockey, going on to the University of New Hampshire. Her father is legendary football and baseball coach, and former Tanner himself, Ed Nizwantowski (Class of 1964). He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.

Here's what Hallinan had to say of the other 18 to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in November:

The 1970s brought much notoriety to Peabody High School athletics across a variety of sports. William “Bill” Elwell was a stalwart on the golf team. He was chosen MVP in his junior year and was named to the Salem News All Stars for both his junior and senior seasons. Several key contributors to the success of Arthur Adamopoulos’ football program throughout the early '70s will be honored: Multi-sport athlete Rich Kiley was awarded the Billy Dexter Award in 1971 and also went on to compete in the Agganis showdown in 1973 in football and was a key contributor to the basketball program. Anthony Ferreira started on the 1969 Class “A” State Championship team that went undefeated. Anthony was also named MVP of field events in both indoor and outdoor track during his senior year. Chuck Tobey also played a key role on the ’69 team in addition to dominating the boards, contributing to the success of Rick Weitzman’s basketball program. Matt Funchion captained the 1975 Tanners' football team and received a full scholarship to Boston College. He attributes all of his success to the discipline that Coach Art Adamopoulos instilled in him.

Phil Mitchell was an outstanding pitcher and guided the Tanners to the Eastern Mass. baseball finals birth in his senior year. Phil continued to give back to the sport either via coaching, playing or sponsoring a team. The North Shore Baseball League inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 2005. Monique (McHenry) Drumheller’s defensive intensity was instrumental to the Lady Tanners' basketball success in the early ’90s. She was part of two GBL championship teams and along with three-sport star Kerry (Newhall) Heath contributed to the Tanners' undefeated (16-0) league record during the 1990-1991 seasons. Sherri (Cove) Zerfoss was a three-sport athlete who not only started for the 1985 State Championship basketball team, but got it done at the plate in softball, averaging .522 in her junior year and .480 her senior year. She also earned the GBL scoring title in her senior field hockey season. As Athletic Trainer from 1992-2000, Molly Foster’s contribution to the success of all Peabody High Athletics is immeasurable. Countless hours on the sidelines of games, in addition to meetings with coaches, parents, doctors and athletes helped keep all athletes physically and mentally in the game.

Other inductees include soccer standout Michael Ring who recorded 20 shutouts in two years as the Tanners' net minder. He was undefeated in his senior year, allowing on six goals for a .36 goals against average. Jonathan Harris was an exceptional swimmer who scored over 100 points in each of the four years that he swam for Coach Ken Leawood. Speed and agility are two common words used to describe the next two inductees. Frank (The Flash) Candela ran for over 3,300 yards and scored 64 touchdowns in just two seasons of football at PHS and was named All-Scholastic by both the Boston Globe and Herald. Ted Grevelis, a two-sport athlete who averaged 100 yards per game in football during his senior year, is best noted for his track prowess. As a junior he set the record for high hurdles and was undefeated in both the high hurdles and high jump the following year. Another multi-sport athlete, James May was a two-way starter on the 1990 State Championship football team and recorded the most points scored by a defenseman in lacrosse during his senior year.

Rounding out this year’s class are: Andrew Thain, a 1950 multi-sport graduate who went on to coach at both Higgins and Kennedy Junior High Schools, along with William Crean, who was an All Star on the 1921 State Championship football team that lost to Charleston, South Carolina in the postseason and Herbert Lawrence, captain of the 1919 North Shore League championship football team and a Salem News All Star in baseball.

Hallinan says all 21 new members of the Hall of Fame will be introduced before the kickoff of Peabody's Thanksgiving Day game. The formal ceremony occurs Nov. 23 with a gala banquet at the Danversport Yacht Club.

Tickets are available to the public at the PVMHS Athletic Director’s office or by calling 978-536-4752.


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