Congratulations to the 2008 Honorees click name for bios
Kitty (Carlson) Larkworthy
Stephen H. Baumann
William A. Krause, Jr. Humanitarian Award
Stephen H. Baumann, George Albano, William Vornkahl, Louise Hines, Fred Kellogg, Kitty (Carlson) Larkworthy, Tom Owen, Mac DeVito
|All bios written by George Albano, assistant sports editor and columnist at The Hour Newspaper in Norwalk, CT.|
At a school that has produced its share of outstanding field hockey players over the years, the name Louise Hines can be found somewhere near the top of that list. By the time the former three-sport standout graduated from Staples High School in 1982, she had established herself as one of the best all-around female athletes to ever wear a Wreckers uniform. Without question, Hines left her mark on the sport of field hockey where from 1979-81 she scored 59 career goals, earned All-FCIAC first-team honors as a junior and senior, was named co-captain and first-team all-state as a senior, and won the Block “S” Award her final two seasons. She took her talents and a full-scholarship from Westport to Chapel Hill, where she was a four-year starter for the University of North Carolina field hockey team. She made an immediate impact as she was named to the All-American South Regional team as a freshman. As a sophomore, she was named second-team All-American and helped lead the Tar Heels to the first of three straight Atlantic Coast Conference championships. Hines was recognized as a first-team All-American in 1984 and ’85, and she was also named to the All-ACC team as a senior in 1985 when she served as captain of UNC and led the conference in scoring. In fact, her 68 career goals still rank as fourth on the Tar Heels’ all-time list, while her total points are also fourth most in school history. In addition to her exploits at UNC, from 1982-88 Hines was part of the U.S. Olympic Developmental Program. She participated in three straight Olympic Festivals (1985, ’86, ’87), was a member of the U.S. National under-21 team in 1986, and made both the United States National Team and U.S. Pan American Games Team in 1987. The following year, she was named an alternate on the United States Olympic Team in Seoul, South Korera. Field hockey wasn’t the only sport Hines excelled in while at Staples. She was also a two-time co-captain and All-FCIAC East Division selection in girl’s basketball, where one of her teammates was current Sportsmen Co-President, Karen DeFelice. Hines finished with 947 career points and was the recipient of three straight Block “S” awards. Then in the spring, Hines ran track and as a senior helped the Lady Wreckers win the state championship. A three-time all-state pick, Hines ran the 100 and 200 meter dashes, and ran the anchor leg on both the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams that each set new school records. She also received another Block “S” Award as a senior, giving her a total of six in her high school career. Hines also enjoyed a brief, but successful run as an assistant coach in field hockey, winning four conference championships in four years. She spent the 1986 and ’87 seasons at North Carolina when the Tar Heels won the ACC and went to the NCAA Final Four both years, and 1988 and ’89 at Penn State when the nationally ranked Nittany Lions won back to back Atlantic 10 Conference championship. She continues to make field hockey news even after her playing and coaching days. In 2002, Hines was named one of the ACC’s Top 50 All-Time Players, while later this year she will be inducted into the Connecticut Field Hockey Hall of Fame. Also, from 1990-95, she was a high school field hockey official in Connecticut. As a further testament to her athletic abilities, Hines became an accomplished golfer, playing on the Futures, Player West and Central Florida mini-tours. In fact, she won the Transnational Championship in 1993, qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur in 1992 and ’93, and competed in the North-South Amateur Championship from 1992-95. She even scored a hole in one during a Players West Tour event in Arizona. Even in her professional life, Hines has managed not to stray too far away from sports. Now a resident of East Longmeadow, Mass., she is the director of sports marketing for the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. She also worked previously for Golf Digest in Trumbull and New York City, as well as for the United State Tennis Association in White Plains.
When the Staples High School football program transformed from rags to riches in the late 1990s, perhaps no player symbolized the Wreckers’ resurrection better than Mac DeVito. Prior to DeVito’s arrival, the Wreckers had gone through eight straight losing seasons, winning only 11 games during that time. DeVito took over as the starting quarterback his sophomore year in the fall of 1995 and promptly led the Wreckers to a 5-5 season while earning first-team All-FCIAC honors. He also set new school records for most rushing touchdowns in a season with 17 and most points scored with 102. He was named all-conference again his junior year as well MVP of The Hour Newspaper’s All-Area Football Team as Staples improved to 8-3, the program’s first winning season in 12 years. DeVito is best remembered for the 1997 season when the senior captain led the Wreckers to a 12-2 record, including a 21-18 win over Darien in the FCIAC championship game at Boyle Stadium to give Staples its first conference crown in 22 years. In fact, after losing its non-league season opener to Newtown that season, the Wreckers won 12 straight games and went undefeated in the FCIAC before losing their only other game, 14-7 to Daniel Hand in the Class L state final. DeVito completed just under 50 percent of his passes (61-for-123) that season for 1,312 yards and a school-record 22 touchdown passes, while rushing for another 563 yards on 97 carries (5.8 yards per carry) and scoring 11 TDs. He also set a new school mark with five touchdown passes in a game, while his 37 career TD passes was also a Staples record. DeVito held seven school records in all when he graduated, including most career touchdowns scored with 41 and career points with 246. DeVito’s outstanding season didn’t go unnoticed by coaches around the league and state. He was named All-FCIAC first team for the third straight year, and first-team All-State, becoming the first Staples player selected to the New Haven Register all-state football team in 25 years. He was also selected as MVP of The Hour’s All-Area Football Team for the second year in a row , named the Connecticut Post Offensive Player of the Year, and made the Madison Square Garden Network All Tri-State first team. While at Staples, DeVito also played baseball and as a sophomore center fielder he led the Wreckers with a .328 batting average to earn All-FCIAC Central Division honors, and make The Hour’s All-Area team. As a junior, he was named a co-captain and received All-FCIAC Honorable Mention after another solid season. He decided not to play as a senior, however, so he could concentrate on football. DeVito went on to play college football at Temple University in Philadelphia, where in addition to playing quarterback, he saw some time as a wide receiver and as a punt returner. During his freshman season in 1998, he was named the ECAC Rookie of the Week after engineering a 34-33 comeback win against Pitt on the road. As a senior in 2001, DeVito was named a captain, and one of his two most memorable games that season was leading the Owls to a thrilling 17-14 upset win over West Virginia at Mountaineer Stadium. The other game DeVito points to with pride was beating UConn 56-7 in his final game at Temple. Even after his playing days were over, DeVito remained close to football as a coach, serving as a graduate assistant at Temple for two years before returning to Staples as an assistant coach on the Wreckers’ back-to-back Class L state championship teams in 2004 and ’05, which went a combined 23-2. He returned to the Philadelphia area in 2006 as an assistant coach with St. Joseph’s Prep High School, which went 8-3 and finished runner-up in the Catholic League Red Division. Then in 2007, DeVito joined the coaching staff at Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, Pa., which went 11-2 and advanced to the district semifinals in the Pennsylvania state tournament. DeVito, who turns 28 today, now makes his home in Holland, Pa.
One can only imagine what Kitty Larkworthy would have been able to accomplish in the athletic arena had Title IX been around when she was playing sports. Unfortunately, the federal law that assured gender equality in athletics didn’t become a reality until seven years after Larkworthy graduated from Staples High School in 1965. But that didn’t stop the Texas-born Kitty Carlson, as she was known back then, from competing, and excelling, in a variety of sports. Even before she called Westport home, Carlson was leading the Gregory Jr. High School girls basketball team to three straight New Orleans city championships from 1960-62, serving as team captain and being named most valuable player. She also ran track and was the New Orleans city championship in the 50 and 220 yard dash three years in a row. As she prepared to enter high school in the fall of ’62, Carlson’s family moved to Westport, and New Orleans’ loss was Staples’ gain. She played three years of basketball for coach Beverly Dorman and was named captain her senior year when she led SHS to a 9-1 record. In fact, Carlson became the first player in Staples history to score 400 points in a three-year period, graduating as the school’s all-time leading scorer. Carlson also competed in track and field at Staples and ran the 50, 100, 220, the hurdles and the relays, setting several state records in the process. She also played field hockey in the fall, and still laughs when she thinks back to her sophomore year and her first few days at Staples when she asked coach Jinny Parker if she needed ice skates to play field hockey. “I had never seen it played before,” Larkworthy explained more than 40 years later. “Needless to say she laughed and encouraged me to try out for the team.” She made the varsity team as a sophomore and junior, but had to sit out her senior year while recovering from mono. Parker was also Carlson’s coach in track and following her graduation from Staples she joined a Westport AAU girls track team that Parker coached. In 1966, this team of five won the National AAU Junior Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship in Poplar Bluffs, MO. Carlson set a national junior record in the 80-meter hurdles with a time of 11.5 seconds, and she was also a member of the 880-yard medley relay that also set a national junior record with a time of 1:51.7. The team flew to Missouri, but because of an airline strike it was forced to ride the train all the way back to Westport. “I can remember carrying our trophies on the train and eating peanut butter sandwiches because the food was so expensive on the train,” Carlson recalled. The following summer Carlson placed second in the 80-meter hurdles in the Quantico relays in Virginia and sixth at the 1967 National AAU Women’s outdoor track and field meet. Her sixth-place finish qualified Carlson as an alternate on the Pam Am National team. At one point, Carlson also held the national record in the 220-yard hurdles, and during her three summers with the team, her times in the hurdles ranked her as one of the top 10 hurdlers in the world. Carlson would have likely excelled at the collegiate level as well, except no school in the nation had a women’s track program. But that didn’t stop her. When Carlson enrolled at LSU, she was the only woman who trained with the men’s track team everyday and ran in exhibition events in the men’s meets during the spring of 1966. She would eventually transfer to the University of North Carolina and graduated in 1969. She fulfilled a personal dream when she taught Physical Education for two years at a Long Island high school, although there were still no opportunities for girls in team sports at the high school level. After marrying, Kitty Larkworthy moved back to her native Texas in 1971, and stopped teaching to become a fulltime mother. When the youngest of her three children entered kindergarten, she returned to the workforce as an interpreter for Deaf Ed. While doing this, Larkworthy became interested in teaching Special Education and went back to school to become certified to teach elementary school and Special Education. She went on to teach both for 12 years in the Conroe Independent School District in Texas. Then in 2000, Larkworthy returned to school and became certified as an educational diagnostician, while earning her Masters Degree in Special Education from Sam Houston State University in 2002. She is currently in her sixth year as an educational diagnostician with Spring ISD. A resident of The Woodlands, Texas, Larkworthy and her husband Lloyd have been very active in their community. They organized the first community-wide Thanksgiving dinner for Interfaith in The Woodlands and did that for five years, serving up to 300 people. Larkworthy also served on the board of Literacy Volunteers of America for five years, and she currently helps facilitate a women’s Bible Study at Faith Bible Church, where her husband serves as an elder. Larkworthy apparently passed on some of her athletic genes to her children. Her son Lyle was an all-state football player in Texas and played at West Point. Her oldest daughter Jenny played basketball in high school and graduated from TCU, while her youngest daughter Carrie played four years of basketball at Harvard. Kitty and her husband, Lloyd also have five grandchildren; Andrew, Meredith, Kayla, Zachary, and Bingham.
No matter what season it was or what sport he was playing, Stephen Baumann always excelled in a Staples uniform. In fact, the former three-sport athlete was a team captain, a letter winner, an All-FCIAC first-team selection, and a Block “S” award winner in every sport he played between 1967-70 for the Wreckers. But there’s no question what Baumann’s favorite time of the year was during his days in Westport. As a three-year letter winner in the fall, he helped lead the Staples soccer team to three straight appearances in the state championship game, winning the crown in 1967 and ’69, and being named MVP of the 1969 state tournament. The Wreckers also won three straight East Division titles and a share of the 1968 FCIAC crown during Baumann’s career, in which he was named first-team all-conference all three years and led Staples to a sparkling 43-3-3 record during that time. Baumann went from an All-FCIAC forward in soccer to an All-County guard in basketball where he won two more letters and was named first-team All-FCIAC as a senior, the same season he was selected MVP of the 1970 Staples Holiday Tournament. In the spring, Baumann played center field for the Staples baseball team, earning two more varsity letters – giving him seven total in his career – and All-County first-team honors for the fifth time in his three years. It certainly came as no surprise when Baumann was selected as the recipient of the 1970 Staples Athletic Cup. It was also no surprise when he continued to excel on the soccer field at the collegiate level, taking his talents to the University of Pennsylvania, where once again he was a three-year letter winner. The standout forward also helped the Quakers win back to back Ivy League championships in 1971 and ’72, and reach the NCAA quarterfinals all three years he played. Baumann was named All-Ivy League first-team as a junior and senior, as well as first-team All-Middle Atlantic both years, and as a senior was selected to the 1973 All-America first team. He also served as team captain his senior year and played in the 1973 Senior Bowl. The Quakers’ record during Baumann’s three varsity seasons was a glossy 40-6-1. Counting his three years at Staples, his teams went a combined 83-9-4 in six seasons. Baumann graduated as Penn’s all-time leading scorer with 30 goals and 39 assists, which some years later earned him a spot on the University of Pennsylvania’s All-Century Team and a well-deserved place in the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He even won a fourth letter at Penn as a kicker on the varsity football team in 1971. But it was Baumann’s collegiate soccer career that caught the attention of the North American Soccer League Miami Toros, who made him a first-round draft pick following his graduation from Penn. He didn’t waste any time making an immediate impact as he was named the NASL Rookie of the Year in 1974. After three more seasons with the Toros, Baumann, who earned his Masters degree at the University of Virginia, spent the next 10 years as an elementary school teacher in Virginia. He also coached soccer for two years at James Madison High School in Vienna, VA., followed by eight years at James Robinson HS in Fairfax, VA, where he compiled a 78-29-11 record. He also spent one year as an adjunct professor in the School of Education at George Mason University in Virginia. In 1987, Baumann returned to his alma mater to coach the Penn soccer team for six years while also serving as an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Education at Rosemont (Pa.) College. Baumann left the coaching ranks after the 1993 season to begin a new career as a museum executive. He spent the next seven years at the Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia, then was vice president of education and programs at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J., and served as executive director of the Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena, Calif., from Feb. 2004 to June 2007. But in August of 2007, Baumann returned to his favorite sport when he took over as president and chief operating officer of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum in Oneonta, N.Y. Baumann and his wife, Karen Appy Baumann, now make their home in nearby Cooperstown, N.Y., and they have two children, Keith and Amy Baumann.
In a coaching career that has spanned three decades, this year’s Sportsmen Coaching Award recipient can proudly count himself among the all-time leaders at Staples High School with 14 state championships. Thirteen of those state titles Tom Owen has led the Wreckers to have come with the Staples ski teams while the other was in boys golf. While the 1974 SHS graduate is best known as the school’s longtime golf coach, Owen never played the sport while in school. Instead he was a catcher and outfielder on the Staples baseball team during the springs of 1972-74, serving as the Wreckers’ captain his senior year for coach Brian Kelley. Owen was also a running back and defensive back on the Staples football team all three years, also being named a captain his senior year by head coach Paul Lane. He was also captain of the ski team that year, giving him the rare distinction of being a three-sport captain in high school. While at Ohio University, Owen, who was born in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, became involved in a new sport as he played on the rugby team from 1975-79. Following his graduation, he joined the Westport School System and began his coaching career in the fall of 1979 as an assistant football coach at Long Lots Junior High School. He did that for two seasons, during which time the team went 10-4. In the fall of 1981, Owen returned to his alma mater and former team as co-head coach of the Staples freshmen football team with Pat Smith. After four seasons with the freshmen, Owen was promoted to varsity assistant in 1985, a position he held for three years, including the final two years of Lane’s 25-year head coaching career at Staples. After Lane stepped down following the 1986 season, Owen may have been a candidate for the head coaching position. But he and his wife Deborah had a two-year old and another on the way, and Owen decided it was also a good time for him to step down from coaching football following the 1987 season. He continued as head coach of the Staples boys ski team, which he began doing in 1980, the same year he became a professional Level III ski instructor and staff trainer at Okemo Mountain Resort. Owen led Staples to undefeated seasons his first four years as coach and five of his first six as the Wreckers won the Connecticut state championship all six years while compiling a remarkable 58-1 record. Owen’s 1986 team went 14-2 and finished runner-up in the state, but the Wreckers went 17-0 in 1987 and 17-1 in ’88 and won two more state titles, giving him eight in nine years. His 1989 ski team (18-2) and 1990 squad (17-1) both finished second in the state, giving Owen eight state crowns and three runner-up finishes his first 11 years as coach. He stepped down as head coach after the 1998 season, and in 17 years compiled a career record of 214-44. In 1984, Owen also took over as head coach of the Staples girls ski team and promptly led the Lady Wreckers to three straight undefeated seasons and state championships. In fact, his success mirrored that of his first six years as boys coach as he also led the girls team to undefeated seasons in five of his first six years with an identical record of 58-1 during that span. He would coach the girls team for eight years, 1984-91, winning five state titles, finishing runner-up the other three years, and accumulating a 79-3 record. Counting his run as boys ski coach, Owen went a combined 293-47 with 13 state championships. The year after he stepped down as boys coach at Staples, Owen, a resident of Redding, took over as the boys ski coach at Joel Barlow High School, where his son would soon attend and ski. His first team in 1999 went 15-3, while his 2000 squad finished 19-1 and came in second in the state. The following winter, the Falcons went 18-0 and won the state championship, Owen’s 14th overall. In eight years at Barlow, from 1999-2006, Owen went 105-36. Owen thought he was done coaching ski teams, but in 2007, Staples needed an assistant coach for both its boys and girls teams and he answered the call. Then this past winter, he took over as head coach of the Staples girls ski team again and led the Wreckers to a 12-2 record. Between the Staples boys and girls, and the Barlow boys, Owen’s overall record in skiing is 410-85 for an .828 winning percentage. But skiing isn’t the only sport Owen has coaching success in. Although he never played golf while in high school, he joined the Staples team in 1988 as an assistant coach for the final two years of head coach Joe Folino’s hall of fame career. When Folino retired, Owen, who describes himself as “a recreational golfer,” took over as head coach in 1990 and in his second season led the Wreckers to a 17-1 record and a runner-up finish in the FCIAC. The following year, 1992, Staples went 20-3 and again finished second in the conference as well as runner-up at the Division I state championships. Then in 1997, Owen coached the Wreckers to a 12-1-1 record and another runner-up finish in the FCIAC, but they captured the Division II state championship. His 1998 team went 12-0 and placed third in the state, while in ’99 Staples went a perfect 18-0 and came in second at the state tournament. Owen is currently in his 19th year as the Staples boys golf coach, and came into this season with a career record of 231-89-6, and with 641 total victories in two sports. He has also been chairman of the annual Chappa Memorial High School Golf Tournament at Longshore since 1990. The Staples teacher and his wife Deborah reside in Redding and have two children, Patrick and Alexa.
Whoever coined the phrase “Everyone loves a parade” must have met Bill Vornkahl the day before. This year’s Westport Sportsmen Citizenship Award recipient has certainly never met a parade he didn’t love, and he’s traveled to all 50 states and seen parades in most of them. There’s no question which parades are his favorite: The ones right in his hometown of Westport. In fact, Vornkahl has had a lot to do with the success of local parades for more than three decades. He’s been chairman of the Westport Memorial Day Parade and Services since 1972, and was the Grand Marshall in 1969. In 1995, he received a certificate of appreciation from the town of Westport for organizing the Memorial Day Parade for 25 years. Vornkahl’s passion with parades and honoring war veterans dates back to his own time in the U.S. Army from 1953 to ’54, which included 14 months on the Island of Hokkaido, Japan in the 1st Cavalry Division, 13th Signal Corps as a high speed radio operator. Upon returning home, Vornkahl joined the August Matthias Post 63 American Legion in 1954 and has been a member ever since, including serving as Commander of the Post from 1967-69. He’s also been the adjutant and finance officer of Post 63 since 1970, chairman of the American Legion Drum Corps for seven years, and in March 2005 received a 50-year certificate of continuous membership from the American Legion. In addition, Vornkahl has been a member of the Westport Veterans Council since 1961, serving as president in 2002. He’s also been chairman of the Westport Veterans Day services since 1977, and a member of VFW Post 399 since 1968. Vornkahl’s involvement with parades isn’t restricted to just veteran groups, however. A member of the Westport Italian Society, he has been chairman of the Italian Festival parade since 1985 and was its Grand Marshall in 2001 The 77-year-old lifelong Westport resident and 1930 Staples High School graduate has been actively involved with a number of other civic groups in town. He received the Unsung Heroes Award from the American Red Cross in 1998, the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Westport Sunrise Rotary in 2003, and a Certificate of Award from the Westport News in 2004. He also served as treasurer of the Westport Historical Society. Vornkahl also has a warm spot in his heart for volunteer fire departments in Westport. He has been a member as well as secretary/treasurer of the Greens Farms Volunteer Fire Company since 1950, a member and vice president/treasurer of the Saugatuck Hose Company No. 4 since 1999, and president of the Westport Volunteer Fire Company from 1979 to 1993. Vornkahl has also been a part of the local political scene over the years. He was elected to the Westport Representative Town Meeting in 1977, elected to the Westport Republican Town Committee in 1996, and named a delegate to the Connecticut Republican State Gubernatorial State Convention in 1998. Despite his busy schedule, Vornkahl even found time to mix a little sports in with all he has done, beginning in 1953 when he was a pitcher with the 13th Signal Corps fast-pitch softball team. He was also a coach for 20 years in the Westport Little League, and for another nine years in the Westport Recreation Basketball League. He also served as treasurer of the Westport Babe Ruth League. One of his biggest thrills came in 1979 and ‘80 when he played on a co-ed softball team with his four children in the Westport Recreation League. The following year, he was the catcher on the Fairfield County CBT Bank softball team that won the state tournament. And for many years, he was part of the sideline crew that worked the chains at both home and away Staples football games. In fact, Vornkahl has been so actively involved and done so much in the community that this is the second time the Sportsmen of Westport have presented him with its Citizenship Award, 18 years after he was honored in 1990. Vornkahl spent his professional career in the banking business, including 29 years, from 1947-75, at Westport Bank & Trust Co., where he held a number of titles including assistant vice president. He then spent 13 years, from 1975-87, as a branch manager and assistant vice president at Westport National Bank (later CBT). Vornkahl and his wife of 54 years, Linnea, have four children – William Vornkahl IV of Oxford, Susan Meineke of Ansonia, Edward Vornkahl of Westport, and Diane Malone of Wallingford. They also have seven grandchildren; Allison, William, Kelly, Jennifer, Karalyn, Brian, and Jamie.
If there’s a PAL event going on somewhere in Westport, you’re very likely to find Fred Kellogg there. Whether it be the Minute Man Race last month, the Special Olympics this month, or the Fourth of July fireworks, this year’s Sportsmen of Westport PAL Award recipient is busy working at all of them. And when there’s not a PAL event going on, Kellogg is usually doing paperwork in his role as secretary of the Westport PAL for the last decade. Kellogg came to Westport by way of New Canaan, where he grew up and attended pubic schools. After short stays in Norwalk and Long Island, Kellogg and his family moved to Westport in 1950 and he enrolled at Staples High School, graduating in 1954. During his high school years, Kellogg played CYO basketball in Westport, but while that was the extent of his involvement in organized sports, he could usually be found in the middle of neighborhood games. “The Mitchells were our next door neighbors and they were into sports,” Kellogg recalled. “So I used to play with Jack Mitchell and his brothers all the time.” Following his graduation, Kellogg served in the U.S. Navy from 1954-57 and was a 2nd Class Petty Officer stationed in Barcelona, Spain and Norfolk, Va. Then in 1961, Kellog began a long and distinguished career in law enforcement at the Westport Police Department. “I was living in Westport and I knew a lot of cops,” he said. “So I thought I’d give it a try.” He must have liked it because he stayed with the department for 35 years, working in the patrol and marine divisions, and in supervision, before retiring in 1996 as a sergeant and training officer. In fact, Kellogg still hasn’t left the force completely. Since his retirement, he has continued to work part-time as a special police officer in Westport as well as run his own home security business. During his years with the WPD, Kellogg enhanced his career by earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Law Enforcement from Iona College in New Rochelle in 1976, while also taking law enforcement courses at Babson College in Massachusetts and at the State of Connecticut Police Academy in Bethany. He also earned an Associate Degree in Business and Accounting from Norwalk Community College in 1976. It was through his work with the police department that Kellogg became involved with the Westport PAL program in town and has been a tireless worker ever since. “They always need volunteers so I thought I’d get involved,” he said. “It’s all strictly volunteers.” And while Kellogg is at almost every PAL event, he admits the Fourth of July Fireworks is his favorite. “I’ve been doing that for years,” he said. “It’s a two-day job, actually more to set it all up. But I enjoy working on that every year.” While the fireworks are his favorite, however, Kellogg finds the annual Special Olympics in Westport the most fulfilling. “The kids really enjoy it and it’s great seeing them smile,” he said. “We get over a hundred kids showing up every year and everyone gets a prize.” Kellogg has also been active over the years with the Westport PBA and the Knights of Columbus. Now 71, Kellogg has called Westport home for the past 58 years.
For the past three and a half decades, sporting events, milestone moments and athletic achievements by local teams, athletes and coaches in the town of Westport have been captured and chronicled by this year’s William A. Krause Jr. Humanitarian Award honoree. George Albano, longtime assistant sports editor and columnist at The Hour Newspaper in Norwalk, and a friend of the Sportsmen of Westport, becomes the fourth recipient of the humanitarian award named in honor of Billy Krause, the former Sportsmen president and for years one of the driving forces behind the annual Dinner of Champions. Albano has been writing about sports in Westport since 1974 when, as a sophomore journalism student at the University of Bridgeport, he began his career as a part-time sports writer at The Hour covering high school events. He eventually joined the Norwalk newspaper as a fulltime staff member in 1979, the same year he first began writing his column. Albano remained at The Hour until 1985 when, with the birth of his second son, he decided to take a break from the night shift and left the paper to join the media relations department at the University of Bridgeport as Director of Sports Information for his alma mater. He was at UB for two and a half years, but kept his fingers in the newspaper business as a freelance sports writer for The Stamford Advocate newspaper, where he wrote a weekly boxing column and other sports features. He also wrote several freelance stories for national and international magazines. In the fall of 1987, Albano returned to The Hour as an assistant sports editor and is now in his 21st year in that capacity, and 32nd overall during his two tenures at the newspaper. For the past 12 years, he has also written for several weekly newspapers, freelancing for the Greenwich Post, New Canaan Advertiser, Darien Times and Ridgefield Press in the Hersam-Acorn Newspapers chain, as well as for a number of New Jersey weeklies owned by Greater Media Newspapers in Freehold, N.J.. During his 34-year career, Albano has been honored with several awards for his work in the sports writing field. In 1979, the received the Media Award presented by the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference for outstanding sports coverage. While working at UB, he received an Award of Merit in the sports marketing category from the International Association of Business Communicators in the U.S. District I 1986 Awards Competition. Since returning to The Hour, Albano received a 1995 honorable mention award from the Connecticut branch of the Society of Professional Journalists in its annual statewide contest for a feature story he did on a local wrestler. He also won second place in an editorial contest sponsored by Suburban Newspapers of America in 2002 for a freelance story he wrote for the East Brunswick (N.J.) Sentinel weekly. Albano was also the recipient of the News Media Award from both the Connecticut Girls Soccer Coaches Association in 1995 and by the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Ralph DeSantis Fairfield County Chapter in 2001. A lifelong Norwalk resident and 1973 graduate of Brien McMahon High School, Albano has also been actively involved in his community during his sports writing career. He is a current board member and past president of the Norwalk Old Timers Athletic Association, where he is chairman of the scholarship and publicity committees. He is also a voting member with the Fairfield County Sports Commission and chairperson of its Norwalk Sports Person of the Year committee. He is also a member of the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance. For the past four years, Albano has assisted the Sportsmen of Westport with publicity and the program book for its annual Dinner of Champions. In addition, Albano has been involved with a number of local projects in Norwalk. He led the drive to have one of the softball fields at Calf Pasture named after longtime local sportsman ‘Chick’ Ciccarelli. He also spearheaded the moves to have the softball field at Norwalk High School named in honor of longtime coach Ray Barry, and to have the road entering Veterans Memorial Park named “Buschbaum Boulevard” in honor of Norwalk’s No. 1 sports family. He also helped organize and co-chair testimonial dinners for Norwalk boxer Travis Simms when he won the world title in 2004, for Ray Barry when he retired from NHS in 2005, and last year for longtime amateur boxing trainer John Harris Sr. Albano is also a past officer with the Norwalk Athletic Association and Norwalk Senior Babe Ruth League, a past member with the Boxing Writers Association of American and U.S. Tennis Writers Associaiton, and is a past member and chairperson on the Board of Deacons at the United Church of Rowayton. The 53-year-old Albano and his wife Diane have two sons, A.J. and Georgie, both former athletes at Brien McMahon who are now in the education field and coaching high school sports.
Nancy R. Coley
Bob & Ann Driscoll
Staples Class of ’49
John Bieling “JR”
Joe & Lorraine DeFelice
John & Lucille Chacho
Junior & Carol Bieling
Iain Bruce & Family
June & Jerry Bieling
JoAnn & Fran DeLuca
Joan Romano & Family
Mary & Ritchie “Bobo” Romano
Angelo “Cookup” Veno
Buddy & Joan Perrottelli
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Kondub
Marty & Celeste Rogers
Peter & Roz Palmer
Jeff & Cathy Arciola
M & M Shoe Repair