December 2021 Newsletter
Falcon Giving Day Raises Almost $38,000
Thank you to all who participated and donated to empower the Xavier High Falcons on Dec. 3, Falcon Giving Day. On that day 135 people donated almost $38,000. Your gifts of support lift each and every young man enrolled here. No matter what a student studies, or what sport or club he enjoys, your gifts make it happen every day. Thank you for being a part of this extraordinary community of alumni and family. Merry Christmas and best wishes for a joyful New Year.
Liz Whitty, Mercy '75, Director of Advancement
Message From Our Alumni President
Brian Farrell '86, Alumni Association President
Artie Kohs Classic: 2 Nights Of Hoop
$25,000 Cash Raffle Coming Soon
Around The Campus
Remembering Our Brothers
Mark Hetzel, Class of 1974: For his obituary, please click HERE.
Derek Lee LaPlante, Class of 2014: For his obituary, please click HERE.
November 2021 Newsletter
Falcon Giving Day Is Friday
Alumni President's Message
Brian Farrell '86, Alumni Association President
Around The Campus
Cross Country Champions Yet Again
Class of 1972 Reunion
Remembering Our Brothers
In Search Of ...
October 2021 Newsletter
Walk-A-Thon Far Exceeds Goal Of $100,000
The Mercy-Xavier Walk-A-Thon on Oct. 22 was a huge success.
Both schools far exceeded their goals of raising at least $100,000, with Xavier coming in at $120,058.
The money goes to the Xavier Annual Fund, which supports all clubs and activities, academic programs, athletic programs, and the arts.
For 25 years the Mercy/Xavier Walk-A-Thon was a spirited and competitive student fundraiser. This year the tradition was renewed. The campaign kicked off Oct. 1, and culminated with walks around the track by each class on Oct. 22.
“It was just a great day here at Xavier,” Headmaster Dave Eustis said. “After 23 years it was great to be back with Mercy in this event. A huge thanks goes out to all the donors, whether they are alums, parents, students, staff, faculty, people who just want to support Xavier and Mercy. We look forward to next year.”
It was a walk-a-thon and a game-a-thon and an eat-a-thon all rolled into one. Xavier and Mercy students were having a blast, whether they were walking on the track, playing games on the football field, taking advantage of the inflatables out front or taking their best shot at dunking someone in the dunk tank. Not to mention plenty of food vendors.
“Mercy High School was thrilled to welcome Xavier High School back to the Walk-a-Thon this year,” Mercy President Alissa DeJonge ‘95 said. “It is a wonderful event that showcases the collaboration and camaraderie between the two schools. We are blessed to have the support of both communities in making the fundraiser such a success.”
Two schools. One family.
Around The Campus
Helping babies and parents: Recently the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center had a campaign to collect books for parents of babies in the NICU. Enter Aedan Frazer, Xavier Class of 2023, who was an avid reader growing up, and his mother Milena, a NICU nurse at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Aedan led a book drive at Xavier in late September, during which about 430 books were brought in by students, faculty and staff. Aedan also had collected a few hundred outside of Xavier. “It was a good opportunity to help,” Aedan said. Said Milena: "Wow. Aedan and I are overwhelmed with appreciation and we are so proud to be a part of the amazing Xavier family."
National Honor Society Induction: On Thursday night, Oct. 7, 87 students were inducted into the National Honor Society. Along with current students previously inducted the total of NHS students is 188 this year.
Kunzelman An Eagle Scout: In mid-October Kyle Kunzelman ’24 officially became an Eagle Scout. His project at the1960 Reservoir in Wethersfield involved clearing the land, mulching the area and putting out two picnic tables at the recreation area.
Homecoming Football Reception & Game, Nov. 6: Please join us for Homecoming 2021 on Nov. 6. The game is at 6 p.m. at Larry McHugh Field vs. Notre Dame-West Haven. There is a reception in the Xavier Dining Hall at 4 p.m., with some COVID restrictions. The number of guests in the room will be limited but there are plenty of spots available. Masks must be worn when not eating or drinking. There will be hors d'oeuvres plus beer and wine, making it an adult-only occasion. Please RSVP to 860-346-7735, Ext. 737, or to email@example.com.
Thanksgiving Family Mass, Sunday, Nov. 28: Join us at Xavier for a 10 a.m. Mass as we give thanks for who we are and all we have been given. Families of all faith traditions are welcome. Please RSVP to Suzanne Berry at 860-346-7735, Ext. 727, or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 18th Arthur M. Kohs Christmas Tournament, Dec. 27-28: The yearly event is back after last year’s tournament was canceled because of COVID. The schedule -- Monday, Dec. 27: Waterford-Glastonbury, 5:30 p.m.; Valley Regional-Xavier, 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28: Consolation game, 5:30 p.m.; championship game, 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29, will be used as a snow date if necessary.
Jim Cannata '85 works in Marketing in Charlotte, N.C. After Xavier he majored in Art at Jacksonville University in Florida. Upon graduation he landed in Atlanta and worked for a few ad agencies before moving to Charlotte in 2009. Back in 1974, after Xavier beat Mercy, raising more money in the Walk-A-Thon, Cannata and classmates Mark Catania and Jim Connolly rigged up Cannata's 1974 Chrysler with a cardboard Falcon head, tail and articulating wings. They drove over to Mercy to gloat.
Scott McGuinness '05 recently walked the stage for commencement exercises at the University of Rochester. He earned a PhD in counseling and counselor education in 2020. Ceremonies were delayed for close to a year and a half by COVID. He is an assistant professor at the school and the son of Bob McGuinness ’73.
Ben Chase '06 will have his first book of poetry, "Here To See It," published this summer. Chase said it has been a goal of his for about 15 years. He has a Masters of Fine Art and is the English Department chair at Christian Heritage School in Trumbull and a Seton Hall adjunct in American Literature.
Greg Marino ’10 works for iCapital Network in a finance merger and acquisition function. Marino also worked at Cantor Fitzgerald for a while. That organization lost 658 employees in the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City, one of those lives being Peter Gelinas ’86. “Cantor always was a somber place on 9/11, and all the lives lost was always hard to wrap your head around,” Marino said. “I have a lot of friends who have a deep connection to Cantor and it'll be one of those things that sticks with me forever.” Recently, on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, he went to the site and paid his respects.
Calvin Platt '14 is a Senior Account Sales Executive with the 2021 NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks had not won the title in 50 years. They were the 1971 NBA champs, led that year by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson.
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From The Archives
Soccer then ... The newspaper clipping has the date – 9/28/63 – written in the left corner. The headline: Xavier Wins First Soccer Contest, 5-1. Since this was the first year of the school, there were only freshmen on the team. The Falcons beat the Valley Regional junior varsity team. The coach was Artie Kohs. Seb Emanuele had three goals for Xavier, and Gerry Kosicki and Mike DeBaise had one each.
And soccer now ... Xavier just completed an unbeaten season at 14-0-2 and is the top seed in the SCC playoffs, which start Saturday. The Falcons are ranked No. 1 in the CSCA large school poll and are the top-rated team by the CIAC in Class LL.
SCC Champs Yet Again!
Different year, same results: For the sixth straight year and the 14th time overall, the Xavier varsity runners brought home the SCC title on Oct. 20. In the day's championship race, Eamon Burke '22 led the way with an individual title in a blazing 15:35.20 to pace the team to a 21-point victory over Daniel Hand. Burke's time was a personal best. Fittingly, in a season in which he continues to make his presence felt, he was named the SCC Cross Country Runner of the Year.
Brody Santagata '22 also had a big race, finishing in 16:19 for fourth place. Other top finishers for Xavier, which placed six runners in the top 18 on its way to scoring 52 points, were Josh Lesniak (14th, 16:50); Jacob Kirejczyk (16th, 17:02); Alex Ushchak (17th, 17:05); and Sam Simko (18th, 17:08). Next up: the Class L Championship on Saturday.
Lost And Not Yet Found
September 2021 Newsletter
Another Successful Alumni Golf Event
The Mercy-Xavier Walk-A-Thon Is Back!
The Mercy-Xavier Walk-A-Thon is back on the calendar after a long hiatus. For 25 years, starting in 1974, the walk-a-thon was a competitive schoolwide fundraising event that helped both schools. This year at Xavier, instead of the Ad Drive, we renew this tradition. The goal at Xavier is to raise at least $100,000. The money supports all of Xavier's clubs and activities, academic programs, athletic events, and the arts. The 2021 campaign culminates with a walk on the Xavier track, activities, food trucks, music and much more. If you are interested in a sponsorship, please contact Associate Director of Advancement Greg Jaskot at email@example.com. You can also visit https://tinyurl.com/4z8nt68y to support Xavier for this year’s Walk-A-Thon.
Message From Alumni Association President
Your Alumni Association kicked off the year with our first meeting that included three new Board members. We are proud to welcome Mike Edelson '08, Sal Nesci '14 and Troy DeLeon '16 to the Board and look forward to their contribution to our membership, with a focus on developing the Young Alumni Committee. Our first Xavier Motorcycle Ride provided great weather, excellent roads, and great company, ending in everyone arriving safely for a warm cup of coffee at Perkatory, a Xavier/Mercy-owned business. We have exciting programing this year to support fellow alumni and current students. Consider yourself invited to be a part of this year’s socials, Speaker Series, Career and College Fairs, and much more. We hope this year provides opportunities to get our membership together.
-- Brian Farrell '86, Alumni Association President, firstname.lastname@example.org
Open House On Oct. 17
Xavier is having an Open House from 1-3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17. If you know of any families that might be interested, please pass on the word. Registration is at xavierhighschool.org.
Around The Campus
- The Opening Of School Mass celebrated by the Most Rev. Michael Cote, Bishop of the Norwich Diocese, was on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Bishop Cote reminded the students that the start of the new school year is a time to come with “expectant faith. We come with open minds and hearts to learn and grow. We are an ordinary people chosen by God to do extraordinary things. Because of God’s grace all things are possible for us.”
- Aidan Higgins ’22 has been named a National Merit semifinalist. Each year, approximately 1.5 million students entered the National Merit Scholarship program by taking the PSAT in their junior year. Of those students, approximately 16,000 were recognized nationally as semifinalists for their outstanding performance. Higgins is now eligible to become a finalist.
- Seven named Commended Students: Andrei Abarientos, Adam Chasse, Stephen King, Matt O’Connor, Mario Pugliese, Will Schneider, and Liam Sheeley, each a member of the Class of 2022, have been named Commended Students in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
- Xavier opened the school day on Friday, Sept. 10, by remembering all who died in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Included among those was Peter Gelinas '86. It was the 20th anniversary of that horrible day.
- The Grandparents Mass was celebrated on Sunday, Sept. 12 in the gymnasium with many families attending. The family Mass is one of the most popular events on the calendar.
- The Xavier cross country team's opening meet on Friday, Sept. 10, was extra special as the Falcons kicked off the 2021 season with their 50th consecutive victory, a streak that started on Oct. 19, 2015. That streak hit 56 as the Falcons headed into Saturday's SCC Divisional Championships.
- The Xavier soccer team is unbeaten at 5-0-1 after knocking off Fairfield Prep 3-1 on Tuesday. Prep entered the game 7-0 and ranked first in the GameTimeCT boys soccer poll. Xavier was ranked sixth. The Falcons play Friday night at 7 on the road against Shelton.
- The Xavier football team was ranked No. 8 in the GameTimeCT preseason high school football poll and won its first two games by a combined score of 87-31. The Falcons are now 2-1 with a big game Saturday night at home at 7 p.m. vs. St. Joseph.
Upcoming Alumni Events
Nov. 6: Homecoming Football Game vs. Notre Dame-West Haven, 6 p.m. There is a reception in the Dining Hall at 4 p.m., but due to COVID that part of the event is restricted to the first 100 who reply with an RSVP to a recent invitation by email. Masks are required at the reception. Hors d'oeuvres, wine and beer are served, which makes it an adult-only event.
Nov. 28: The next Mass for the extended community is the Thanksgiving Family Mass. RSVP's will be requested. Watch for an invitation by email.
Dec. 2: SFX and Heritage Society Reception, Griswold Inn, by invitation only. Watch for an invitation by email.
Class of 1976 Reunion Postponed
The Class of 1976 Reunion has been postponed until summer 2022.
Preston Zdrojeski '17 graduated from the Connecticut State Police Academy in ceremonies held at Dunkin Donuts Park in Hartford in late August. Preston is a member of Troop C in Tolland. His father Rob also is a State Trooper and pinned the badge on his son at the graduation ceremonies.
Corey Fagan '07 is a civil engineer for the U.S. Coast Guard. He is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Connor Dwyer ’19 is a junior at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business. He is the Director of Analytics for the Fordham baseball team and in March was chosen to be part of the first analytics and player development department in Independent Professional Baseball. He spent the summer working in Florence, KY, for the Florence Y’alls.
In each monthly newsletter we will remember those in the Xavier community that have passed away that month and others that have come to our attention. We remember:
Stephen G. Cobb, Class of 1967: For the obituary please click HERE.
Robert Tringali, Class of 1974: For the obituary please click HERE.
John D. McKeown, Class of 1978: For the obituary please click HERE.
Richard Michael Shafrick, Class of 1980: For the obituary please click HERE.
Lost And Not Yet Found
In each month's newsletter we will list some alumni for whom we do not have contact information. If you know how to reach them, please have them email email@example.com one or more of the following: phone number, email, address. Thank you. This month's names: Sean Zisk '81, Richard Zipoli '68, Ryan Ziolkowski '91, Joseph Zinkiewicz '82, Michael Zinkiewicz '80, Richard Zawisa '83, Anthony Zasciurinkas '82, Jason Wyer '90, Brendan Wood '78.
Alumni newsletters are archived on our website, xavierhighschool.org, under the Alumni & Giving section. If you know of an alumni who is not getting the newsletter, please have them email firstname.lastname@example.org with their name, address, email address and phone number. You also can email email@example.com with any alumni news or news tips.
Xavier has two websites, xavierhighschool.org, for general school news and content, and xavierfalcons.com for sports content, from schedules and results to team rosters and news.
August 2021 Newsletter
A Message From Our Alumni President
I hope you enjoyed a safe and happy few months as the beginning of the school year closes the summer of 2021. Your alumni committee remained active and sponsored an alumni social on July 18, and as a true mark of success, we had nearly all decades of Xavier alumni represented, and everyone stayed until the end of the event.
We have a great year ahead and I hope you will take an active part. As we commit to bringing alumni together this year, we will sponsor social events and reach as many interests as possible. To that end, on Sunday, Sept. 19, we will have a motorcycle tour beginning and ending at Perkatory Coffee Roasters in Middletown (alumni-owned business). We will meet at 7:30 a.m. for a 50-mile ride, arriving back for coffee at around 9 a.m. You are welcome to ride or join us for coffee. We are open to your ideas and energy, and you are always welcome to let us know your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Brian Farrell '86, Alumni Association President
Our Simplicity Prayer
The Xaverian value for this school year will be “simplicity,” and Brother Philip Revell, C.F.X., has written a prayer to be utilized throughout the 2021-2022 academic year:
“Loving God, look upon us with kindness and draw our hearts to you, that we may treasure your love and goodness above all else. In simplicity of heart and mind keep us in the way of your beloved Son who taught us to seek your Kingdom above all created things. Fill us with the generosity that sees the face of Jesus in all whom we meet. Give us a spirit of generosity to respond to the needs of the poor and afflicted and help us to live simply so that all people may share in the bounty of your creation. Amen.”
Thirty-Eight Years Later ...
Two 1983 grads recently caught up with each other: Paul Kostacopoulos and Michael Lombardo. Kostacopoulos is the head baseball coach at the U.S. Naval Academy and Lombardo is a 1987 Naval Academy graduate. Kostacopoulos will begin his 17th season as the Navy coach in 2022; he is the program’s second-winningest head coach with 481 victories. In 30-plus years as a head coach at the college level he has a record of 985-652-7 (.601). Lombardo's son, who is in high school, was playing in a travel baseball tournament and had games at Navy. Lombardo is an Assistant Vice President at Valkyrie Enterprises, in the Washington, D.C., area.
Around The Campus
More than 100 incoming seniors attended the The 50th Xavier Leadership Institute (XLI). The banners they built to welcome the freshman class hang in the gym. Last week, our freshmen came here for the annual Falcon Blast in which seniors participated. This week orientation for sophomores was Monday, for juniors on Tuesday. Tomorrow (Sept. 1) freshmen and seniors are here. First day of classes for everyone is Thursday (Sept. 2).
Xavier senior Drew Kron represented high school students and student-athletes by speaking at a recent joint press conference between the CIAC, the state's high school sports governing body; and the Connecticut Department of Health. The press conference was to promote vaccinations for all high school students and was attended by many dignitaries who also spoke, including Gov. Ned Lamont and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz. Part of Kron's message: "To all my fellow student-athletes out there who have not been activated yet, I encourage you to sign up and stay in the game." Kron, 17, who plays football and baseball at Xavier, has already accepted a scholarship to play baseball at the University of Connecticut.
Gabe Chavez '23 has made the U-17 Peru National Soccer Team. Chavez played at Oakwood in Glastonbury and then for an NYCFC program. NYCFC is New York City Football Club, a pro team in MLS (Major League Soccer), which has various youth programs and academies. From there he caught the eye of the soccer federation in Peru and made their U-17 National Team.
After one year of “retirement,” Ms. Jayne Vitale is back. She will be teaching art classes in a part-time roll and moderating the art club. She retired after the 2019-2020 school year after 34 years at Xavier but has returned, a benefit to the school and its students. She impacted a lot of lives in those 34 years. Wrote one person on Facebook after we had written a story in 2020 on her retirement: “Hands down, one of the best souls I have ever encountered!” Always present and always involved in all things Xavier. She has shaped many young men over the years and each of us is better for having her as a teacher and mentor.”
Sept. 10: Alumni Golf Classic, Portland Golf Course. ... First football game, vs. Norwich Free Academy, 7 p.m., Larry McHugh Field, Xavier.
Sept. 12: Grandparent's Mass, 10 a.m., reception, 11 a.m., at Xavier (all are welcome; please RSVP to Suzanne Berry at 860-346-7735, Ext. 737, or to email@example.com.
A Few Reminders
July 2021 Newsletter
Remembering Brother Houlihan
This is from a eulogy by Brother Robert J. Green, C.F.X., who was at Xavier from 1979-1985 and is the Director of Xaverian House in Danvers, Mass., where many Xaverian Brothers now reside. "Living with Bob Houlihan was as you'd imagine it to be: not particularly quiet and monastic, but welcoming, and marked by energy and laughter and disagreements and discussions. Houli was never unkind nor a man of few words, and he would have us believe his opinions were most often correct. He loved being with the Brothers, and relished times at home on Orchard Street and at other North Shore sites with family members, neighbors and friends."
Click HERE for Brother Houlihan's obituary.
Walk-A-Thon & Other Campus Happenings
Upgraded Furniture, Thanks To Class Of '21
Each year senior class representatives reach a consensus on a senior gift idea that will help students for years to come. A letter is then sent to all seniors and their parents. Since this was the Class of 2021, the request was for each student to contribute $20.21.
This year the money went toward new furniture to replace the existing furniture that needed upgrading. Due to the generosity of the senior class and the students' parents, there are 17 new chairs in the front foyer and outside the Dining Hall to serve students as a place to study and socialize before and after school. The furniture has power outlets and USB ports.