Fairfield Prep announces 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
About the 2019 Inductees
Coach Joe Brosley
Coach Joe Brosley was an educator first and foremost, but he found considerable success on the sidelines as well. He coached football and baseball for Prep from 1947 until his promotion to Athletic Director in 1965.
An assistant under both Fella Gintoff and Tom Seymour, Brosley took over as head football coach in 1956. His inaugural team went 8-0, one of two undefeated and untied teams under his tenure (the other was the heralded 1960 title team that was inducted en masse into the Prep Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017).
Ted Drury '89
Ted Drury was as decorated a hockey player to have ever played for Fairfield Prep.
The older of the Drury brothers (younger sibling Chris is also a Prep Athletic Hall of Famer who played in the NHL) skated for the Jesuits from 1986-1989 and was a three-time All State selection (1987-89).
Emil Garofalo '45
Emil Garofalo was one of the first star athletes for Fairfield Prep. After spending his freshman year at Ludlowe High in Fairfield, he transferred to Prep when it opened in 1942.
Garofalo played three years of basketball and baseball for the Jesuits and was a two-year captain in both sports. He was a talented guard in basketball who was heralded by one veteran observer as the premier backcourt player in Connecticut.
Mike Sprouse '92
Mike Sprouse was one of the premier tennis players not only at Fairfield Prep but nationally as well.
He was so dominant as a singles player that he was undefeated in all four regular seasons for Prep. In fact, Sprouse did not lose a set from the quarterfinals of the state tournament as a freshman until the state final as a senior, a span of more than three years.
Chuck Berke '70
Charles (Chuck) Berke might be the most decorated swimmer to ever compete for Fairfield Prep. He a three-time state champion who set a host of school and state records.
Berke was in the pool from 1967 through 1970, co-captained the team his senior season and helped lead Prep to three consecutive MBIAC titles from 1968-70.
He was a three-time state champion in the 100 butterfly, setting state records in that event in 1969 and 1970. He also won the state title in the 400 freestyle as a sophomore (1968), the 200 freestyle as a senior and was part of the champion 400 freestyle relay team as a junior.
Upon graduation, he earned a scholarship to Maryland, where he swam for four seasons, co-captained the team in 1973-74 and was the school’s record holder and a multiple ACC champion in the 200 butterfly.
1969 State Championship Basketball Team
The 1968-69 Prep state championship basketball team, the first in school history, was not only No. 1 in Connecticut that season, it is widely regarded as one of the best teams in state history.
Under the direction of Athletic Hall of Fame coach Bob Sylvester and anchored by All-American and Athletic Hall of Famer Jim Fitzsimmons, the Jesuits finished with a 23-1 record and were ranked No. 1 in New England.
- Bob Skoronski '51
- Jim Lyddy '63 & Tom Lyddy '67
- Roger Ratchford '51
- Jack Ringel '54
- Ed Rowe '59
- Bob Sylvester
The Ansonia native and former Derby resident became the first Prep graduate to play in the NFL. The left tackle and offensive captain of the Packers under legendary coach Vince Lombardi played 11 seasons, all with Green Bay, and was a member of the first two Super Bowl winners in 1967 and 1968, respectively. The 6-foot-3 Skoronski played center and linebacker in his senior year as Prep went 5-2-1 in 1950. He then played three seasons at Indiana before being drafted by the Packers in 1955. He was selected as the center on Prep’s All-Decade team from 1942-1951.
Jim Lyddy '63
The 6-foot, 170-pound guard has the distinction of being the school’s first All-State selection in basketball. At the time of his graduation, Lyddy was Prep’s all-time leading scorer with 1,308 points and was named to a pair of All-MBIAC first teams. He was also a two-time All-MBIAC selection in baseball. Lyddy played college basketball at Georgetown, where he captained the Hoyas his senior season.
Tom Lyddy '67
Another multi-sport standout, Lyddy played football, basketball and baseball at Prep, but his prowess on the gridiron made him stand out. The late end/defensive lineman was named All-MBIAC, All-State and Catholic All-American his senior season. He received a football scholarship to Maryland, but a severe knee injury curtailed a promising career. He transferred to Fairfield, where he starred in baseball before graduating in 1972.
In a stellar career that spanned 40 seasons (1966-2005), the venerable golf coach racked up an astounding 690 victories, presided over five state championship teams and was named CHSCA Coach of the Year in 1983. Although he never had an undefeated season, seven of Ratchford‘s squads finished with only one loss. In 1998, a second-place finish in the Division I state championships derailed Prep’s shot at a perfect season (25-1).
Jack Ringel was talented enough to play four seasons of varsity football and baseball at Prep. A bruising 6-foot-1, 185-pound fullback, Ringel was co-captain of the Jesuits’ first undefeated and untied team (8-0) in 1953. He set a Prep and regional scoring record that season with 128 points and was an honorable mention All-American. Ringel then went on to play three seasons of varsity football and baseball at Holy Cross. With Ringel in the outfield, the Crusaders finished third in the 1958 College World Series.
Except for a one-year sabbatical in 1978, Ed Rowe was synonymous with Prep baseball. From 1968-77 and then from 1979-2005, Rowe guided the Jesuits for 36 seasons, compiling a 477-326 record with 11 league championships and two appearances in the state championship finals. Rowe had three seasons of 20 or more victories and his teams made 28 state playoff appearances, including a run of 21 straight. He was named Daily News Coach of the Year in 1983 and CHSCA Coach of the Year in 2000.
If nothing else, Sylvester’s legacy as Prep basketball coach was validated when he delivered the school’s long awaited first state championship in 1969. That team, featuring Prep Hall of Famer Jim Fitzsimmons and the late Hal Smith, went 23-1, was ranked No. 1 in New England and came to be regarded as one of the Connecticut’s all-time best. It was Sylvester’s only title, but for 16 seasons at the helm, he was overwhelmingly successful. From 1961-62 until his retirement following the 1976-77 season, the 2006 New England Basketball Hall of Fame inductee compiled a 286-114 record, a 71 percent winning percentage. From 1966-67 through the title season of 1968-69, Sylvester’s Jesuits went a phenomenal 64-6, winning three MBIAC titles and reaching the state championship game each season.
Chris Drury is arguably the most decorated athlete in Prep's history. From 1991-1994, Chris set numerous scoring records while at Fairfield Prep. He was a 2-time All-State Player in 1993 and 1994 and Connecticut's Division 1 Player of the Year in 1994. Chris helped Boston University reach the Frozen Four three times and won the NCAA Championship in 1995. He was a finalist for the top player in collegiate hockey three times, winning the award in 1998. After college Chris played 12 seasons in the NHL and won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1999. Chris is currently Assistant General Manager of the New York Rangers.
Jim Fitzsimmons has the distinction of being the only basketball player in school history to be named All-American. "Fitz" still holds the school record for career points and points in a single game. He was league MVP and won the State Championship in the '68-'69 season. After first going to Duke, Fitz transferred to Harvard and is still the school's single season scoring leader. Jim was inducted to the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Paul may be the most talented all-around athlete in school history. A two-way player in Football (Quarterback and Safety) helped lead Prep to a MBIAC Championship in 1973. In addition to football, Paul excelled on the basketball court and started at shortstop for Prep's baseball team for three seasons. In 1974 he was the MBIAC Baseball MVP. After Prep, Paul attended Harvard and led the Ivy in interceptions his senior season and was a three-year starter on the Crimson's baseball team. Halas won Harvard's Scholar Athlete Award and graduated with honors from Harvard and Harvard Law School.
Earl Lavery was the face of Fairfield Prep Football for 28 years. "The Duke" coached five unbeaten teams, won or shared 13 MBIAC titles, won three State Championships and had 14 teams finish in the state's Top 10. Earl was elected to the Connecticut High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 1991, received the prestigious Gold Key Award from the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance 1996 and entered the Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.