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St. Mary’s High School adds Hall of Famers

Posted By September 16, 2016 | 12:24 pm | Featured Article #3

St. Mary’s High School, with its long history of excellence in athletics and academics, has inducted a second class into its Hall of Fame. The school marked the occasion Saturday, Sept. 10, with a Mass at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, a tour of the school and dinner at the school followed by the inductions ceremonies.
This year honorees were chosen from athletic, educational and artistic fields.
Honored for individual athletics were: Joseph (Kosciusko) Koz (posthumously), Class of 1960; Gretchen Wolosz-Savaria, Class of 1995; and John Patraitis, Class of 1994. In addition, two teams were inducted: The 1959-60 boys basketball team that went undefeated at 23–0, and the 1972-73 boys basketball team state champions.
Honored for their educational achievements were:  Robert L. Zukowski, Ph. D.; Carol Misiuk Fedyk, (posthumously), and Patricia (Recko) Smith.
Joseph Fusco, III and Brittney Smith were inducted into the Hall of Fame for excellence in the performing arts.
The group joins the 1964 Boys New England Basketball Champions who were the first to be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2014.
“We have wonderful diversity in our honorees this year,” said Adam Cormier, principal at St. Mary’s. “From our undefeated boys hoops from back in 1959-60, to our first female inductee, and to more recent notable achievers in athletics and beyond, it will be a great way for St. Mary’s to start the second one hundred years in its history.”

The 2016 inductees:

(Late) Col. Joseph (Kosciusko) Koz
St. Mary’s High Class of 1960
Basketball and Baseball Standout

•    Widely considered one of the greatest athletes to ever come out of Worcester
•    He scored 1,699 points for the Eagles’ basketball team and led them to an undefeated season in 1959-60 at 23-0.
•    He was a Catholic High School All-American, made the Worcester All-City team twice, and was selected as the city’s outstanding player as a senior in 1960.
•    In 2009, Joe was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
•    Joe entered West Point in July 1960, completed “Beast Barracks,” and then transferred to Holy Cross College where he played basketball in 1960-61. He then transferred back to West Point and became captain of its basketball team and pitcher on its baseball team.
•    Joe led Army to the semifinals of the NIT twice and served as team captain in 1964-65, when the head basketball coach, Tates Locke, said Joe was, “pound for pound, the toughest individual with whom I have come into contact.”
•    As a cadet, in addition to his prowess on the basketball court and baseball diamond, Joe was known for being, “ever cheerful and optimistic” and for his rare ability to unfailingly put everyone around him into a good mood.
•    On Jun 9, 1965, Joe was commissioned in the Air Force and began a distinguished career. of service for 30 years, retiring as a colonel in 1995. Highlights of that career included two tours as a fighter pilot in Vietnam, where he flew 350 combat missions and was awarded five Distinguished Flying Crosses, 26 Air Medals and a Bronze Star. During his time in the Air Force he flew 27 types of aircraft and earned two master’s degrees (Sociology and Social Sciences) and a Ph.D. (Social Psychology) from American University. He served as deputy commandant of the U.S. Air Force Academy, the Defense Attache to Israel, and commandant of the Air Force Institute of Technology.
•    Following retirement from the Air Force, Joe served as the executive vice president and provost at Valley Forge Military Academy. Then he spent a tour as the President of St. John’s North Western Military Academy, Delafield, WI.
•    After two years at St. John’s, Joe started a new career, founding New Horizons International, a corporate consulting firm.
•    Joe also was an accomplished athlete in golf and tennis, and he spoke several languages fluently. Always a world traveler, Joe’s residence for the last four years of his life was aboard the ocean liner “The World,” from which he conducted business while circumnavigating the globe.
•    Joe was considered a great American and one of the best basketball players ever to play on the Army Team. Like many of his classmates, Joe suffered from exposure to Agent Orange during his heroic service to our country in Vietnam. He died of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a result of that exposure, on April 21, 2010, in San Diego, Calif.

Gretchen Wolosz-Savaria
St. Mary’s High Class of 1995
Standout player at St. Mary’s from 7th grade through senior year.  Gretchen helped the Eagles to many post-season berths as a shut-down pitcher in softball, soccer goalie, and basketball shooting guard.
•    One of St. Mary’s 1,000 point scorers in basketball
•    6-year varsity soccer – goalie, varsity basketball – guard, and varsity softball – pitcher
•    As pitcher, led St. Mary’s softball team to Division III semifinals three years
•    As guard, led St. Mary’s basketball team to District Playoffs four years
•    1994 and  1995 Telegram & Gazette Basketball All-Star, 1995 Greater Media Cable Gregory J. Collins Memorial Athlete of the Year, and 1995 District E Athletic Directors Award
•    1994 Wendy’s National High School Heisman Athlete of the Year Regional Finalist
•    Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association All-State Academic Team
•    1994 Red Auerbach Youth Foundation High School State Semi-Finalist Free Throw Championship
•    1995 St. Mary’s Class Co-Valedictorian
•    1990 Leading Scorer on New England Jr. High Basketball Championship Team

John Patraitis
St. Mary’s High Class of 1994
At St. Mary’s was three-sport athlete in
Basketball 4 years; Baseball 4 years; Soccer 3 years
•    Scored 1,292 points at St. Mary’s
•    Second leading scorer in the state of Massachusetts senior year.
•    In one game senior year, scored 50 points
•    Won the 1994 Div. III District title senior year
•    Made T&G super team junior year and senior years
•    Reached district finals in baseball in junior year
•    Scored 16 soccer goals in senior year.
•    Played college basketball and baseball for four years at Anna Maria, starting all four years in both sports
•    Was second in nation among Division 3 colleges in scoring senior year at Anna Maria College averaging 29.9 points per game
•    Has his basketball number retired at Anna Maria College
•    Inducted into New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013
•    Currently guidance counselor, boys varsity coach, and athletic director at Grafton High School

Dr. Robert L. Zukowski
Dr. Robert L. Zukowski  has been a lifelong educator in the greater Worcester area.  After spending a few years at the elementary level , he transitioned to higher education, including Dean and Chief Academic Officer at Anna Maria College.  In his retirement he continues to teach in the MBA program at Assumption College and the online MPA program at Anna Maria.  He has been chair of the Bay Path Regional Vocational High School Committee and chaired its $74 million renovation project.   Since March of 1973 he has hosted a weekly radio Polish Polka program and is a life member of the International Polka Association.

Carol Misiuk Fedyk

As St. Mary’s begins its second hundred years this year,  Carol Misiuk Fedyk (posthumously) literally spent 46 of those first 100 years affiliated directly with St. Mary’s  – first for 14 years as a student then 32 years as a member of the faculty.  While the recipient of a variety of professional awards and accolades, we recognize the person Carol Fedyk was and how she shared not only her academic expertise but more importantly she shared “herself” with her students and the members of the St. Mary’s community.

Patricia (Recko) Smith

Tradition is the word that comes to Pat Smith’s mind when she thinks of St. Mary’s.  She has had a lifelong affiliation with the parish with her father being instrumental in the design and construction of our outdoor shrine and her mother one of the devoted women who served the parish tirelessly whenever need.   She along with so many of you is the product of St. Mary’s Elementary and high schools.
The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth had a large influence on Pat’s choice of a career.  Sister Mary Veronica, her sophomore year biology teacher, inspired her to continue her studies in Biology at Anna Maria College.  After graduation Pat taught Biology at Oxford High School.
In 1999 Pat returned to her senior homeroom to teach Grade 5 at St. Mary’s.  After 5 years of teaching, Fr. Ted asked her to become principal at St. Mary’s Elementary, the first lay person to do so.  Pat continues to serve St. Mary’s, Our Lady of Czestochowa  and the diocese with the same generosity of spirit that her parents had.
She has provided a quote which I think really sums up who all who are affiliated with St. Mary’s are and can be:
“Under the guiding hands of the Reverend Sisters, we rapidly progressed along the cultural and scholastic road to success.  The lofty standards that they set for us will be a constant challenge to us for we shall ever strive to achieve this goals.

Joseph Fusco III  and Britney Smith.

In addition to athletic and academic excellence, St. Mary’s drama program provides students with the annual opportunity to perform in musical productions.  Joseph Fusco III and Britney Smith will be recognized for their work in Annie, The Sound of Music and Oklahoma.

Members of the 1959-60 undefeated boys basketball team are:
(Late) Joe (Kosciusko) Koz, Ed Gorak, (Late) Ron Molis, (Late) Bob Kopacz , Bob Baniukiewicz,  Richard Kuchnicki, Rick Waszkiewicz, Richard Milaszewski, Bob Karwiel, Dick Kaminski, Bob Demarski, Bob Benoit (team mgr.), Dr. Steve Rojcewicz (team mgr.), (Late) Bill Ferris, head coach, Charlie Hall, assistant coach,  (Late) Father Chet Janczukowicz (deceased) athletic moderator – and founder of St. Mary’s Boosters.

Members of the 1972-73 boys basketball state champions are:
Steve Sargent, Ed Bauer, (Late) Dave Meehan, Bob Reidy, Steve Koperniak, Bob Marmat, Mike Kalinowski, Larry Midura, (Late) Ted Koperniak, Marty Bania, Larry Waskievich, Jeff Kusz, Rich Mrugala, team manager Ed Dymek, team manager, Ted Vriga, head coach and Father  Stanley Lipinski, athletic moderator.