Athletes inducted into ORR Hall of Fame
MATTAPOISETT — The Old Rochester Regional High School Athletic Hall of Fame recognized five standout athletes and one record-breaking team on Saturday, June 8.
The Hall of Fame held its 2019 Induction Banquet at the Knights of Columbus Hall, and honored Amy Beaulieu and Mike Barros of the class of 1982, Scott Vandament of 1986, Keith Pina of 1989, Dena Xifaras of 1995, and the Girls’ Spring Track team of 1998.
Athletes, teams, coaches, and other contributors to the school’s athletic program are nominated by community members and inducted by the Hall of Fame’s Board of directors.
The eight-member board looks at criteria such as media recognitions, championships, contributions to the athletic program,school records, and being elected “most athletic” of a nominated athlete’s class to vote on inductees.
Beaulieu earned the honor for her success in volleyball, softball, and basketball. She contributed to the basketball team’s 1978-82 run that included four straight league championships, and an overall record of 75-16. In her senior year she was team captain, and part of the Standard Times’ Super Team.
Beaulieu was also the first girl to play little league baseball in Rochester.
The Athletic Hall of Fame picked Barros for his dominance on the ORR basketball team. Barros transferred from Old Colony and played in his junior and senior years. In two years, he scored 900 points, averaging 15 rebounds per game. His team only lost 5 games in the time that Barros played for ORR. After high school, he played for Stonehill College, and was drafted into the Continental Basketball Association
His ORR teammate, Mark Reeves, said that in the days before the shot clock was implemented in the game, some teams would try to hold on to the ball as long as possible to prevent Barros from having the chance to play on offense.
The Athletic Hall of Fame honored Vandament for his accomplishments in track and field. The two-time team MVP held school records in the 50, 100, and 200 yard dashes. In his acceptance speech, he reflected on going through tough times in high school. His father suffered a heart attack in his junior year and was frequently in and out of the hospital. He also lost both of his grandmothers shortly after his father’s heart attack.
Vandament said his teachers kept him grounded during his challenging high school years. He recalled that his mother was often present at his track meets, and his father joined when possible, even if he could only wait in the car.
His former coach said he “kicked the tar out of anyone he raced” and never looked back to see his opponents. Instead, he routinely veered off to the right of the track, unbothered by his competition.
A football, baseball, and basketball captain, Pina was joined by his father, and fellow hall of famer Domingo “Dingo” Pina. The elder athlete said he was proud of his son for his accomplishments and playing with his heart in any sport he participated in.
Keith Pina paid homage to his father when he played football at ORR by wearing the number 32 jersey. “I came back to life seeing him play with my number,” said Domingo Pina.
Xifaras was a varsity starter in basketball, track, volleyball, soccer, and tennis. She is currently part of the executive team at a national non-profit organization called Preservation of Affordable Housing. She said sports shaped her as a person, developing her work ethic and teaching her how to work in teams.
In her acceptance speech, she said sports were a blessing in her childhood and now aims to give those same blessings to others less fortunate.
The 1998 girls’ spring track team broke school records in the shot put, discus, triple jump, long jump, 300 meter hurdles, and 300 and 800 meter races. Long distance coach, John Alves attributed part of the team’s success to the “cringeworthy” level of difficulty in their training.
Captain Mandy Byers said the athletes put the team first. Rather than having one superstar, they were a team full of all-stars.
Board member Steve Heath said that deciding on older nominations is especially difficult due to limited records on their performance. Board members may spend up to 8-10 hours looking through microfiche hoping to find old newspaper articles on past athletes. The oldest athlete to be inducted into the hall of fame was Charlie Jefferson, class of 1962.
2019 Inductee Dena Xifaras is also the treasurer of the Board of directors. She said her “jaw hit her chest” when she found out she was nominated by long time friend and basketball co-captain, Amy Hartley. Xifaras abstained from voting on herself, to ensure fairness.