NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Hall of Fame is preparing to usher in the 46th class at its annual induction ceremony.
This year’s inductees are Art Nunes, Gordon Rossi Sr., Frank Meaney, Christine Walsh Aldinger, Gary Diaz and Shannon Mesaros Russell. They will be honored Oct. 21 during a banquet at the Naugatuck Portuguese Club, 110 Rubber Ave.
Tickets are $45 per person. The banquet is limited to 300 guests, and tickets won’t be sold at the door. Tickets can be purchased from any of the inductees, Hall of Fame committee members or by calling Ray Rossi Jr. at 203-525-7193.
The induction ceremony raises funds for the Hall of Fame’s scholarship fund. Sponsorship ads for the banquet and donations to the fund are also being accepted. To purchase a booster ad for the awards booklet, call Kim Pruchnicki at 203-808-6776. To donate to the fund, call Rossi.
Christine Walsh Aldinger
Aldinger was a member of the Naugatuck High girls swim team from 1982 to 1985 and held eight school records when she graduated. She earned NVL Outstanding Senior Swimmer and All-New England honors during her career. She is listed in the top ten all-time leader board at Naugatuck in five events.
Diaz was an excellent hitter for the Greyhounds’ baseball team and was the quarterback for the football team. He batted .483 in 2000 and .507 in 2001. He earned ALL-NVL honors both years and was named All-State in 2001. As a four-year starter on the football team, the Hounds compiled a 32-8 mark. Diaz earned All-NVL status in football in 1999 and 2000, and the team won the Large Division championship both years.
During his days at Naugatuck High, Meaney was known for playing his best during the biggest games. That earned him All-NVL honors four times and an All-State recognition. As the Greyhounds’ left fielder, he helped lead the baseball team to a 19-1 mark and the state tournament semifinals in his senior year. In 1981, as a sophomore, Meaney played defense for the football team, which won the state football championship and was voted New England champions. A captain on the football team in his junior and senior years, Meaney rushed for over 1,000 yards each year.
Nunes coached the Naugatuck High boys soccer team for 21 years and retired after the 2015 season. He won 14 NVL championships during his career and complied a record of 331-50-22. The Greyhounds reached the state tournament each year under Nunes and won back-to-back state championships in 2001 and 2002. His teams went undefeated from 2002 through 2004 with a record of 46-0-2.
Gordon Rossi Sr.
Rossi impacted the lives of youngsters in Naugatuck over many years as a volunteer coach and official. He started as a volunteer coach at Peter J. Foley Little League. After four years, he moved on to Union City Little League. He also coached in the Naugatuck YMCA Little Pal basketball league for 17 years, and coached for the Cotton Hollow teams in the NJFL. He helped start the Hillside Middle School girls softball program and coached the team for 25 years. He also served as an official for the NJFL, Little Pal and the Hillside boys and girls basketball teams.
Shannon Mesaros Russell
Russell was a three-sport athlete for the Greyhounds, playing volleyball, basketball and softball. But it was on the volleyball court where Russell excelled. As a junior, she was named to the All-NVL team and was chosen Most Outstanding Offensive Player. In her senior year, she guided Naugatuck to the NVL tournament championship and was named All-NVL, All-State and Most Outstanding Senior Player by league coaches.