Quabbin Regional High School

Class of 2022 Inductees

Quabbin Athletic Hall of Fame to induct next class on Nov. 12

BARRE – The Quabbin Regional High School Athletic Hall of Fame has announced its next class of hall of famers to be inducted on November 12 at a banquet being held at the Hartman’s Herb Farm in Barre beginning at 5:30.

Seven exceptional athletes, an outstanding contributor and a state championship wrestling team will be honored at the ninth induction ceremony. Dating back to the first one held in 2006, this will bring the total number of inductees to 63.

Those Quabbin alumnae selected to the next induction are as follows:

Walter Podbelski (Class of 1972)
A three-sport standout, he backboned the defense for a pair of Western Mass. championship soccer teams in 1970 and 1971 for which he was co-captain both seasons and Most Valuable Player his senior year. On the basketball court he was a member of the first Quabbin team to qualify for the Clark Tournament in 1971. In 1972 was named to the all-star team of the Monson Christmas Tournament and helped the Panthers to a district berth. He was a durable catcher and MVP of the baseball team his junior season where he led the team with a .328 average. As a senior in 1972, co-captained the first Quabbin team to advance to the district finals. He will be joining his brother Ed (QRHS ’75) in the Quabbin Hall of Fame.

Mike Richard (Class of 1974), Outstanding Contributor
A record-setting wrestler while in high school, he returned to Quabbin from 1978-89 where he was an English teacher, coach and class advisor. He was a founder and one of the prime movers of the Quabbin Athletic Hall of Fame since its inception in 2006. He has documented the school’s sports history through stories in The Gardner News, Barre Gazette and Telegram and Gazette. He planned and organized athletic team reunions and oversaw the 50th Quabbin alumni reunion in 2018.  He has also created the Facebook site “Panther Pride,” keeping alumni, faculty and staff apprised of news and perpetuating Quabbin memories of the past. He will join his brother Bob (QRHS ’81), an inaugural inductee, in the Quabbin Hall of Fame.

Thomas “T. J.” Mertzic (Class of 1992)
He was one of the top goal scorers and point-getters in Quabbin soccer history, currently second on the all-time career scoring list. During his senior year he led the Panthers to an 18-2-1 record scoring 21 goals and 15 assists for 36 points. He was team co-captain and Most Valuable Player that season, as well as Mid-Wach MVP and scoring leader in the fall of 1991. He was selected a Central Mass. and Telegram & Gazette All-Star. On the varsity baseball team, he was an excellent pitcher and was on the mound for Coach Mike Dymon’s 300th career victory. He was named team MVP of the baseball team his senior year, and is joining his sister Marissa (QRHS ’96) who is also being inducted into the Quabbin Hall of Fame.

Carrie (Kuprycz) Consalvi (Class of 1995)
A standout performer in two sports, field hockey and softball, she was a co-captain, MVP and league all-star. She was a rugged defender with the field hockey squad where she was team co-MVP as both a junior and senior, a Mid-Wach League All-Star and team captain both seasons. On the softball diamond, she was varsity catcher all four years and a three-time Mid-Wach League MVP from sophomore year on. She was the team leading hitter as a sophomore with a .528 average and was also a four-time Mid-Wach All-Star and a Telegram & Gazette All-Star. She was invited to play in an All-Division High School Invitational Softball All Star Game at the University of Mass-Amherst in 1995.

Marissa (Mertzic) O’Connor (Class of 1996)
One of the all-time leading scorers in Quabbin field hockey history, she concluded her four-year high school varsity career in the fall of 1995 with 64 goals and 89 points. She was named Most Improved Player as a freshman, and then was team captain and Most Valuable Player her final three years with the Panthers. She was Mid-Wach B MVP in 1995, was a two-time Telegram & Gazette All-Star and named to the Mass. State Field Hockey Association “Best of 60” Senior All-Star. As a softball player, she was named Most Improved Player as a junior and during her senior season she was captain and recipient of the Coaches Award. She is being inducted into the Quabbin Hall of Fame with her brother T.J. (QRHS ’92).

Sean Nye (Class of 2004)
A two-time All-State wrestling finalist, he was a Mass. State Champion in 2004 in the 130-pound weight class, co-captaining the state championship team. That season he also finished fourth in the New England’s. He was also selected a two-time Mid-Wach League All-Star in 2003 and 2004. He was team MVP in 2004, placed first in the Agawam Holiday Tournament, the Springfield Central “Golden Eagle” Tournament, the Gardner Invitational, the Division 3 North Sectional Tournament and the Division 3 State Tournament. He also placed second in both the Milford Invitational and the Massachusetts All-State Tournaments.

Kyler Hengst (Class of 2004)
He was a three-time state champion 2001, 2002 and 2004 and in 2004 the 119-pounder was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Division 3 State Tournament. A two-time Division 3 North champion in 2002 and 2004 he was also a two-time sectional runner-up. A four-time Mid-Wach League All-Star, he was an automatic inductee into the Mass. State Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004 by virtue of his three state titles. Co-captain and league all-star with the 2004 state championship team, he placed first in the Division 3 North Sectional Tournament and Division 3 State
Tournament. He was also a soccer standout, named to the Telegram & Gazette Super Team and a Central Mass. Coaches All-Star. He will enter the Hall of Fame with his brother Kraig. 

Kraig Hengst (Class of 2006)
A four-time state finalist, he was a three-time state wrestling champion in 2003, 2004 and 2005. He was a four-time Division 3 North or Division 2 Central sectional champion and a four-time Mid-Wach League All-Star, as well as the Outstanding Wrestler of 2006. With three state championships, he earned automatic induction into the Mass. State Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2006.  In 2004 with the state champ team, he placed first in the Agawam Holiday Tournament, the Springfield Central Golden Eagle Tournament, the Division 3 North Sectional Tournament and the
Division 3 State Tournament. He also placed second in the Gardner Invitational and third in Milford Invitational. He will enter the Hall of Fame with his older brother Kyler.

2003-04 Wrestling Team
The second-ever state championship team, the 17-0 dual meet champions follow the 1986-87 State Champs into the Quabbin Hall of Fame. Championships won by the team that season included the Agawam Holiday, the Springfield Central Invitational and the Gardner Invitational tournaments and the Sectional championship. The team produced eight wrestlers named to the Mid-Wach All-Star team (out of 14), and qualified nine for the All-State Tournament, which is a standing state record. At the All-States, six Quabbin wrestlers were state finalists with three champions, three runners-up and three fourth-place wrestlers. The squad was ranked fourth of all New England teams by USA Wrestling magazine. In addition, head coach Fran Cranston was named state Coach of the Year.    Members of that team included seniors Joe Brown, Kyler Hengst, Josh Kaijala, Matt Laundis, Sean Nye, Nik Olendzki, Colin Taylor, Will Thorng, Nate Werner; juniors Mike Case, Matt Pearson, Ricky Rice, Mark Tashjian; sophomores Dave Correia, Ryan Dahlberg, Ryan Goodwin, Kraig Hengst; freshmen Ethan Dickson and Zack Stacy.  The team was coached by Fran Cranston and assisted by Dick Hengst, Brent Bolger and Dave Fleming.

Banquet tickets are available from Hall of Fame chairman Ted Gumula (413-277-9504, 413-348-0414) or through the mail by contacting the Quabbin Regional High School, Hall of Fame Committee, P.O. Box 874, Barre, MA 01005. Tickets are $50, checks are payable to: QRSD.