On Saturday, Oct. 16, the Naugatuck Hall of Fame will induct five new members at a 6:30 p.m. dinner in the Continental Room, 1006 New Haven Road in Naugatuck. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by calling Ray Rossi at (203) 729-5063.
Following are brief profiles of the five former student-athletes and descriptions of their various athletic achievements.
Brian Kennedy, a Naugatuck High School graduate and retired teacher and adult education director in the district, was an All-State and All-New England swimmer, Special Olympics volunteer and Naugatuck high School swim coach.
In 1960, Kennedy was the first Naugatuck YMCA swimmer to win the 50-yard butterfly event. The following year, he placed fourth in the CIAC championship meet, setting a new school record in the 100-yard butterfly event.
In 1963, the NHS swimmers lost the state championship dual meet against Sacred Heart, 45-42, but Kennedy, along with fellow Naugatuck Hall of Fame members Rev. James Kane, Wayne Pawlowski, David Pranulis and Coach Charles Bertero, swam the first 200-yard relay team to break the 1:50 mark in New England. A 400-yard relay squad that set a New England and state record in that year also included Kennedy.
Later in life, Kennedy coached the Naugatuck YMCA girls’ swim team to six league titles, four state titles and two New England titles.
He also coached Special Olympics swimmers that performed at a regional event in Boston and volunteered with handicapped children at the YMCA.
Kennedy was also an assistant coach on the NHS boys’ swim team and was Naugatuck’s first girls’ swim coach to participate in the Naugatuck Valley League. He was selected as a Coach of the Year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association and was chairperson of the state High School Girls’ Swim Committee.
Kennedy has also been a top finisher in the Lake Quassapaug biathlon and the Connecticut Masters swim meet.
Doreen Summa, a 1970 NHS graduate who worked as a lifeguard and instructor at the Cross Street School and NHS pools, set state, New England and AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) records throughout her participation in YMCA and Naugatuck Swim Club (AAU) teams in the 1960s, when the high school didn’t have a girls’ swim team.
Summa missed qualifying for Women’s Nationals by seven-tenths of a second in a 1966 200-yard backstroke performance, when she was only 13 years old.
In 1964, Summa established a new state and New England record in the women’s 40-yard backstroke with a time of 27.9 seconds.
A 12-year-old summa in 1965 was named Outstanding Female Swimmer in the Connecticut AAU Senior State Championships and received the Laura Stevenson Memorial trophy.
Also in 1965, Summa shattered the women’s open 110-yard backstroke record by nearly three seconds and the (11-12) 55-yard backstroke by a full two seconds.
In 1966, Summa broke the women’s open 200-yard backstroke record and helped her team break a medley record in the backstroke leg.
She was a member of the Connecticut AAU All-Star swim team for two consecutive years, traveling to Puerto Rico in the first.
Summa was a member and co-president of the Naugatuck High School Synchronized Swim Club and vie president of the Girls Athletic Association.
She was a top-three finished in two Milford Cross-Harbor races and participated in the annual Yale Swimming Carnival.
Allan McClain, a four-year varsity NHS basketball player, went on to play professional basketball in Spain and Portugal for five years and semi-professional football in New Haven (two years) and Denver (two years).
While at NHS, McClain achieved the 1,000-point mark and was named an all-league junior and senior and an All-State senior as well as a McDonald’s All-American as a senior in 1989.
McClain also played for two years at a junior college in Colorado.
Mickey Mantle Fortin was an NHS football and baseball player who was on the NVL-champion 1969 and 1971 football teams and the 1970 and 1971 NVL- and state-champion baseball teams.
The ’70 and ’71 baseball teams went undefeated. In 1971, Fortin, whose father named him after New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle, also was NHS’s team batting champion with an average of .377. He also set the team’s single-season walk record with 22 over 18 games.
Also in 1971, Fortin played center field for both the NVL all-star baseball team and the All-New England team.
In 1970 and 1971, Fortin’s American Legion teams were Zone 5 and state champions.
Fortin participated on baseball teams that won the Waterbury Twi-Met League (1973 Naugy Grads, 1975 Waterbury Timers, and 1978 Shaker’s Cougars) and the Stan Musial League (1973 Naugy Grads CT, 1975 Waterbury Timers CT, and 1979 Shaker’s Cougars CT).
Fortin was interviewed for HBO’s 2005 documentary “Mantle” because of his family’s association with the late professional ballplayer.
Conrad “Buddy” Kudzma was a successful football and baseball player and swimmer throughout his time at NHS, where he graduated in 1961 before pursuing a career with the Hartford Financial Services Group.
Kudzma was a starting fullback as a sophomore, at age 14, and began swimming as therapy after sustaining arm fractures. With no prior experience, he was a first-team diver and butterfly swimmer by his junior year and went on to take a first-place spot in a Tri-Meet Championship and set a 53-point high-school record at a district meet as a senior.
Back on the gridiron, as a junior, Kudzma played fullback, middle linebacker, and end and was named to the First Team All-Valley (1959) as an end.
As a senior, Kudzma was named an all-district fullback and an All-State honorable mention. The coaching staff that year named him the team’s best offensive performer and the leading ground gainer. He scored a touchdown in all but one game.
In the 1960 Thanksgiving game, Kudzma scored the go-ahead touchdown in the third period, ultimately leading Naugatuck to a 41-14 victory over Ansonia. He was named the “game star” and was awarded the game ball by Ansonia’s coach.
As a junior, Kudzma recorded a 6-0 pitching record on the baseball diamond. He had made varsity during his sophomore year, during which he pitched seven innings.
As junior, he was awarded three letters: one each in football, baseball and swimming. The letters were presented by coaches Ray Legenza and Charles Bertero.
Kudzma, a parent of two, has coached and supported local baseball, football, basketball and soccer.