English announces 2019 Hall of Fame inductees

LYNN — Principal Thomas Strangie and the Lynn English Athletics Hall of Fame Committee have announced the 2019 inductees. The 2019 class includes Joel Abramson (1964), Douglas Anderson (1968), Shawn Bleau (1988), Gary Bogart (1966), Raymond Brown (1942), James Down (1969), Kevin Franklin (1978), Peter Holey (1981), Joyce Knappe (1968), Donald Lucia (1955), Joseph O’Connor (1980), Michael Pazik (1968), Christine Pierce (1978).

“As a whole it’s a class filled with outstanding people,” English Athletic Director Dick Newton, a member of the committee, said. “You always look to get quality people and have them get the recognition they deserve.” 

Strangie agreed.

“It’s a lot of great people,” Strangie said. “We’re always looking for what they did in high school and since they graduated. Some people have given back to the high school and they all give back to their communities.”

Newton, an English Hall of Fame member himself, enjoys the process of adding to the hall of fame every few years.

“Every three years I look forward to our selection and ceremony,” Newton said. “I’m an English graduate, (Strangie) is an English graduate, we love Lynn English. My experiences here have been fantastic. I’m athletic director here because I want to be here. I like to see these people recognized because they’ve earned it.”

Sometimes the process can take some time but this years’ nominees include a number of standout alumni.

“Sometimes it can be tough,” Newton said. “But we put 13 people in and most of the time it’s not. I’ve been around a long time and I wasn’t inducted until 2013. It takes a long time sometimes.

“You look and we have Mike Pazik, Peter Holey, Joe O’Connor some guys I graduated with,” Newton said. “Kevin Franklin is a semi-pro basketball coach in Texas and he’s done a lot of good down there. Christine Pierce, she’s at Columbia Insurance and they do a lot behind the scenes. They do a lot for kids at Lynn English. Doug Anderson was a great hockey player, Shawn Bleau was a great hockey coach and gives a lot back to the community.”

Each member of the 2019 class is a perfect example of what the committee looks for when considering nominees.

“You have to look and see first what they were like in high school if there’s people around in the community that knew them,” Newton said. “Then we look at what they’ve done as a professional and what have they done to help people.”

What inductees do to help their community can vary locally but each one has had an impact however they can do so.

“Obviously there’s people who give back to English specifically but not everyone has the means to do that,” Newton said. “Kevin Franklin is a perfect example of that. Living in Texas there isn’t a whole lot he could do here but in his community there he does a lot. 

“Then there’s people who have done a lot for the English community,” Newton said. “Look at Peter Holey who was a longtime football coach here but he helped more people behind the scenes. Not just coaching kids. He’s helping them out after they graduate too.”

The 13 English graduates will officially be inducted in a ceremony Tuesday, October 8 at Spinelli’s Function Hall in Lynnfield.

More Stories From Lynn