St. Joseph High announces 2019 Hall of Fame inductees

St. Joseph's 5th annual Hall of Fame ceremony will take place on March 30.
St. Joseph's 5th annual Hall of Fame ceremony will take place on March 30.

St Joseph High School announced today the names of eight individuals and one team to be added to its 2019 Athletics Hall of Fame.

All inductees were submitted to the school through a nomination process which was open to the public. SJ’s Athletics Hall of Fame Ceremony recognizes individuals and teams who performed with distinction while at St Joes, or who have been instrumental in the overall development and success of athletics at the school.

The inductees are (athletes) Barbara Zito-Madden ’67, Jeff Sargent ’82, Bob Ventresca ’84, Marvin Saddler ’88, Mark Tomey ’90 and KrisAndra Pekar, ’93; (volunteers/coaches/friends) Ken Mayo and Kevin Morey; (teams) 1992 girls volleyball.

Dan Donnelly and Jeanmarie Vocalina, co-chairs of the Hall of Fame committee, were impressed by the many great nominations that were submitted this year. Choosing the nominees for the 5th annual event was no easy task.

“This is the fifth annual Hall of Fame Ceremony,”  said Kevin Butler, Assistant Principal of Athletics. “We are so proud to honor the accomplishments of these athletes, coach, friend, and team, for all they achieved over their careers. This induction class spans over fifty years of service and contributions to their teams, coaches and the greater SJ community. They have always represented the school with the highest level of class, integrity and sportsmanship and we are thrilled to welcome them back home.”

The 2019 Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 30, at 6 p.m. at St Joseph High School. The event is open to the public and tickets (as well as program sponsorships) will soon be available online at


Zito-Madden was a leader and pioneer for women’s athletics at St Joseph. As a member of the class of 1967, the second graduating class in school history, she played for two of the first athletic teams. At that time, basketball and softball were the only girls’ sports available for participation and Zito-Madden was a captain for both teams all four years. She also was a Scholar-Athlete and member of the National Honor Society all four years and student council president her senior year. During the summer months, Zito-Madden played softball with the Raybestos Robins, the farm team at the time for the women’s fast-pitch softball world champion Raybestos Brakettes.


When thinking about St Joseph swimming, Sargent’s name is one that immediately comes to mind. As a four year varsity swimmer, Sargent was a three-time All-MBIAC selection, All-State selection, and CIAC State Open Meet qualifier. In his sophomore season, he was both MBIAC champion and state-runner up in the 100 backstroke and state runner up in the 200 IM. In his junior season, he was MBIAC and state champion in both events. In his senior year, aside from being appointed co-captain, Sargent won his third straight MBIAC championship in the 100 backstroke and second straight in the 200 IM. He also won the state title for the 100 backstroke and was runner up in the 200 IM. During the 1981 and 1982 seasons, Sargent went undefeated in individual races and dual meets. He was the first high school swimmer in the state to break 54:00 in the backstroke. In his senior year, ranked top 25 in the country, he was the first SJ swimmer to be named All-American honorable mention, specifically in the 100 backstroke. Sargent currently holds the school record for the 100 backstroke, a feat he accomplished in his sophomore year. He formerly held records in the 200 free, 200 IM, 100 fly, 500 free and 100 breaststroke. He was also a part of the record setting 200 medley relay and 400 free relay teams. He also at one point held records in Class S and the MBIAC for the 200 IM, 100 backstroke and 200 medley relay. Sargent is currently a member of US Masters Swimming.


Ventresca, a two-sport athlete at St Joseph, was a member of three state championship football teams during his career. Ventresca had been a three-year starter on the team and a two-year starter at quarterback. He quarterbacked the 1982 championship team — the only SJ football team to be ranked No. 1 in Connecticut. In his two years as starter in quarterback, Ventresca went undefeated at 22-0. He was awarded second-team All-State in his junior season and first team All-State his senior season, along with first team All-MBIAC. Ventresca was also a starter on the varsity baseball team from 1982-1984.


Saddler, a three-time basketball state champion that included captaining the ’87-88 induction team, holds a position on a number of St Joseph’s basketball records. He is currently second in career rebounds and career blocked shots. He is listed third in points scored and rebounds in a season. In his four year career, Saddler was twice named first team All-State and three times All-Conference. In his junior year, he was named MVP of both the ACC and Class M Championship games. He was named an All-American honorable mention his junior year and was a McDonald’s All-American nominee in his senior year. He was also listed on various All-Area and All-State rosters including the Hartford Courant, Daily News, and New Haven Register. He went on to continue his career at Big East member school Providence College.


Athletic prowess runs in the Tomey family, as Mark is the second member of the family to be inducted into the SJ Hall of Fame. Tomey excelled at St Joes in both football and baseball, lettering in both sports for three years. As a member of the football team, Tomey was a part of the Class S championship teams in 1988 and ’89, being named a captain of the latter team. He was named Offensive Player of the Year, was a CT Post and NY Daily News All-Regional selection, and New Haven Register All-State Selection during his career. In baseball, Tomey twice earned All-Area accolades. He also was named a New Haven Register All-State selection and to the CIAC All-State team. Tomey chose to play baseball at the collegiate level at Providence College.


Pekar, a multi-sport athlete at St Joes, earned letters in volleyball, basketball and softball. In her four-year varsity volleyball career, Pekar was a member of the 1989 Class M championship team and both undefeated Class M championship teams in 1991 and 1992. In her junior and senior seasons, she was named to the all-area, all-conference, and Hartford Courant All-State teams. Additionally, in her senior year she was named Connecticut-Post Co-Athlete of the Year (along with teammate Kristen McCarthy), CIAC Scholar-Athlete and McDonald’s Scholar-Athlete. In 2015, Pekar was inducted into the CT Women’s Volleyball High School Hall of Fame. She was also awarded All-Conference honors in her senior seasons of basketball and softball. In college, Pekar walked-on to the University of Delaware volleyball team her freshman year. She redshirted in her first season and then went on to letter for the next four years and earned a full scholarship.


St Joseph High School and Mayo are synonymous with one another. In his 38-year history with St Joes, he served in a myriad of roles including religion teacher, Chair of the Religion Department, football coach, baseball coach, Club Moderator, Dean of Students and ultimately Principal. Mayo had retired for a period of time following his post as Dean of Students, however, when the school found itself in an unusual predicament of being without either a permanent Principal or President for the upcoming school year, he selflessly came out of retirement to take the reins. In the realm of athletics, starting in 1971 and spanning roughly 15 years on and off, Mayo coached various team levels in baseball and football. Mayo, as defensive coordinator, served a vital part of the 1989 and 1990 football championship teams. His motto had been that “Learning happens on and off the field.” Mayo’s greatest satisfaction always came from helping students achieve more than he or she ever dreamed possible.


Morey has been an invaluable member of the SJ community as an alum (’70), coach, parent and friend for over five decades. He first started coaching under fellow SJ Hall of Famer, Christy Hayes, in the fall of 1986. He rejoined the staff under current head coach Joe DellaVecchia until the fall of 2014. In his almost 20-year coaching span, he was defensive coordinator, offensive line coach and special teams coach. In 1999, Morey was named the CHSCA Assistant Coach of the Year for his dedication to the program. Despite no longer officially being on staff, Morey can still be seen at just about every game during the season, helping in whatever capacity he can. In 1988, Morey started the SJ boys lacrosse program and stayed on as head coach for five years. The program now boasts five state championships, including the 2018 Class S title. Morey’s contributions reach much farther than his coaching career. He was a staple figure at St Joes while two of his three daughters attended the school in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. He was known to volunteer to scout basketball games for Hall of Fame coach Vito Montelli, as well as work the score clock and book for home games. He was a part of various fundraising efforts held for the school each year. Most recently, Morey was the chair of the Hall of Fame committee that inducted the first three Hall of Fame classes.The St Joes community is so grateful for Morey’s impact.


The 1992 team, under direction of St Joe’s Hall of Fame coach George Green, was led by a group that was no stranger to success. The reigning Class M champions from 1991 achieved their preseason goal of going a perfect 22-0 on the season, making it their second straight undefeated season and compiling a total record of 44-0 over the two seasons. The ’92 team, whom attributed their success to their camaraderie both on and off the court, defeated Foran 3-0 in what coach Green considered “the most exciting and dramatic match [he has] have ever seen” to win their second championship. In addition to going undefeated, the team was ranked No. 1 in Connecticut.