Bristol Sports Hall of Fame Inducts New Members

Zysk was a coach at Bristol Eastern, first with boys cross country then with boys tennis, from 1971-2013. His tennis team won conference championships from 1980-2013.

“I’ve been lucky to have had an opportunity to work with so many wonderful students and so many great guys in the tennis world and coaching,” Zysk said. “The peers that I had at Bristol Eastern have become my life-long friends. This is just a reflection of all of that that makes it worthwhile. “

Fiondella is known for fostering sports in Bristol and on a larger scale. He was instrumental in the formation of the Bristol Boys and Girls Club and brought girls softball to the area, where it has thrived.

“It’s just gratifying that the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame would also acknowledge people who have done a considerable amount to broaden the opportunity of sport for kids in this town,” Fiondella said. “I happen to think sports is an important ingredient in anybody’s development and education. You learn lessons in sports that you can’t learn in the classroom. ”

A basketball and baseball captain his senior year at Bristol Eastern, D’Amato was also being inducted for his coaching history. As the coach of the Bristol Eastern softball team from 2004-2012 he earned a 177-38 record and his team won the 2007 state championship.

“It’s extremely humbling to be inducted with all the names that are in it already and a lot of coaches that I’ve played for that are already in it,” D’Amato said.

Ghiglia became known to the Bristol sports community through his play on the soccer field. In 1988, he captained the Bristol Eastern boys soccer team and set multiple goal-scoring records, including most in a season (63) and most in a season (23).

“It’s a great honor,” Ghiglia said. “So many great athletes have come from Bristol and great sports traditions. So to be a part of that is a tremendous honor.”

The most recent graduate of the Bristol schools in this Hall of Fame class, Houle was a three-sport athlete at Bristol Eastern. In 1998, she earned All-State honors for softball and volleyball, in addition to playing basketball for Eastern. She went on to a successful college softball career at UMass.

“It’s a complete honor to be thought of as worthy enough to get an award like this,” Houle said. “[With] the community and the family and the hard work and the dedication that all these athletes and coaches and fans [have], to be in here is a pretty cool honor.”

O’Brien was a star basketball player at Bristol High School in the late-1950s. He still holds the school record with a .428 field goal percentage. He went on to play basketball at Providence before returning to play semi-professional basketball in the Hartford Insurance League.

“It’s quite an honor to be associated with the best in sports history of Bristol,” O’Brien said. “Especially since my brother is also a member of the [Bristol] Sports Hall of Fame,  that makes it really special. Just a special night.”

Holden was a member of the 1940 class from Bristol High. He was an All-State football player, as well as a member of the basketball and baseball teams. After high school he became the starting quarterback at Columbia and received his medical degree in 1947, served in the Army and returned to be the chief of staff at Bristol Hospital.

Brophy acted as the manager of the semi-professional Bristol West Ends in the 1930s. He was also an integral in bringing professional baseball and football teams to play exhibition games at Muzzy Field.

The Bristol Sports Hall of Fame gained an outstanding group of eight individuals who greatly impacted and improved the sports community in Bristol.

By Josh Kestenbaum

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