Three Individuals & One Xavier Team Inducted into the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame

Three individuals and one Xavier team were inducted in the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday, April 21. Football standout Shea Dwyer '06, baseball infielder Paul Kostacopoulos '83, wrestling head coach Mike Cunningham, and the LL State Champion 2005 football team were enshrined during the 30th annual induction ceremony.

Shea Dwyer '06 was a standout two-way football player at Xavier. He factored on both sides of the ball during his junior season in 2004 and helped guide the team to an undefeated campaign which included a State Championship in 2005. As a senior, he ran for 503 yards and six touchdowns, highlighted by a 128-yard performance in the state championship game against Southington. During the 2005 season, he also had seven sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception. Following his graduation from Xavier, he starred on the gridiron for Wesleyan where he set several program records. 
Paul Kostacopoulos '83 was a key member of Xavier’s baseball program during his time as a Falcon. During his junior season, the team captured a Hartford County Conference championship and finished the year with a 14-6 record. During his junior season, he set a new program record in hits. After graduating from Xavier, he went on to play at Providence College. Later, he went on to coach collegiately for 34 years, amassing a total of 1,027 wins at Providence College, the University of Maine, and the Naval Academy. 
Coach Cunningham has set a standard of excellence for his wrestlers at Xavier for more than two decades. He has led the Falcons to 13 Southern Connecticut Conference (SCC) Championships, six State titles, and four State Open crowns. His 2023-24 squad finished the season No. 1 in the state polls for the third straight year. This past winter, he earned his 400th career win as a head coach and he has been recognized as the SCC Coach of the Year three times. He has mentored Raekwon Shabazz to back-to-back National titles. Cunningham was also named to the Connecticut chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2022. 
The 2005 Xavier football team, coached by Sean Marinan, won the school’s first state football championship in the CIAC playoff era. The Falcons had six All-State performers on the team and finished the season undefeated. Captained by Justin Bazzano and Coree Moses, Xavier defeated top-ranked and previously unbeaten Southington, 45-30, in the State Championship. 
The Middletown Sports Hall of Fame and Museum was created to honor the numerous outstanding athletes and other sports minded individuals, and to preserve the deep and rich history of sports in the life of the City of Middletown.
Xavier, a Tradition of Excellence