This year’s inductees to the Old Rochester Regional Athletic Hall of Fame were officially honored on Saturday, June 24, during the induction ceremony at ORR High School.
Susan Lake, Class of 1978: Recruited from the junior high school in 1973 as a seventh grader, Susan Lake was a three-season athlete. A solid starter on the softball diamond and a talented ball handler and shooter in basketball for the Lady Bulldogs, playing six years at the varsity level, she acquired numerous awards for her outstanding infield base play.
Earning the team’s MVP award during her freshman, sophomore and senior years, along with league and Standard Times all-star awards, Susan was a force to be reckoned with. Susan, also a four year starter and captain for basketball and field hockey, was again awarded team MVP for three consecutive years, in both sports.
After attaining 14 letters and demonstrating her athletic talent and ability to compete at the varsity level during the mid-1970s, Susan certainly set the bar high for all future ORR female athletes.
Joshua Mechler, Class of 2000: A four-year starter in soccer, he was considered one of the premier players in all of Massachusetts. He was asked to play for the Division 1 post season all-star game his senior year. Josh was an SCC All-Star for four years, an Eastern Mass All-Star for two, leading scorer for three years, MVP for two years, and team captain for three years. Josh also played basketball for four years at ORR.
Josh went on to play soccer at Merrimack College on a scholarship, graduating with a degree in Biochemistry. He is married with three daughters and coaches youth soccer still.
Brian Tonelli, Class of 2003: Old Rochester’s Brian Tonelli was a three-sport captain in Winter and Spring Track and Field and Football. A tenacious lineman, his Coach Craig Sherman called him the best lineman he had coached in his capacity as Head Coach for ORR Football.
Brian started varsity football from 2000- 2003. Statewide, he was a member of The Boston Globe All Scholastic Football Team and was chosen to play in the “Spring All-State Shriner’s Football Classic” football game in Worchester.
In Track and Field, Brian excelled in the shot put. Brian also was a State Meet qualifier for the prestigious Glenn D. Loukes Memorial Games for high school track and field athletes from around the country held in White Plains, NY.
Brian went on to play football at Central Connecticut State University. Brian currently works in his own barbershop in Worcester, MA.
Stephanie Reusch, Class of 2007: Stephanie excelled on the track like few before her. While the hurdles were her favorite, she could and did run anything from the 55 dash all the way up to the 1000-meter run. She owned nine ORR Girls Individual school records before she graduated. She still has some of the fastest times in state history in the 55-meter, 60-meter, and 300-meter hurdles.
In 2007, she was undefeated in the 300-meter hurdles winning each meet including the SCC Championships, the Division 4 Championships, the All State Championship and the New England Championship. Her fastest time was 43.65 achieved at the New England Championship when she won by almost a full second.
She was an SCC Champion at track all eight seasons and she was the Division 4 Indoor 55-meter hurdle champion in 2007 at 8.40 seconds.
Paul Timkham, Class of 1981: Paul Tinkham, “Tink” (81’), was as fine a two-sport athlete that Old Rochester ever produced. Named to The Buddy Thomas 20 for 50 roster in both football and baseball, Tink was a game changer whenever he was on the field. Known for toughness and as a “banger” on the gridiron, Paul excelled at running back on offense and linebacker on the defensive side of the ball. So respected, Paul was named captain in both 1980 and 1981. Offensively, he had a nose for the end zone, scoring in nine of his last 10 games in high school. He was also the SCC Division 3 scoring leader his senior year scoring 102 points that year.
Paul’s toughness carried over to the baseball diamond. And tough he was moving behind the plate, Tink’s quickness allowed him to handle the duties for a tough and talented pitching staff. His rocket arm and quickness would often surprise opponents attempting to steal. Batting .339 his senior year, he drove in 13 runs and scored 23 times from his middle of the order slot. Paul was always an offensive threat. Baseball was always Paul’s passion. He was honored to be named team captain his senior year and thankful for having been recognized as one of the areas best through multiple all-star teams.
Paul was fortunate enough to be able to continue his baseball career. He played for the UCONN Huskies for four years and was picked to be on the “All New England” squad in 1983. He also was chosen to play in the prestigious summer Cape Cod Baseball League from 1982-1984.
Tiffany Jawor, Class of 1993: Tiffany Jawor is, unquestionably, one of the best athletes to come out of ORR’s accomplished track and field program. She started early, as a coach for the Mattapoisett Track Club, from age 13-18. She also competed in the Bay State Games every summer. She graduated in 1993, amassing local, state, and national accolades for her record-breaking discus and shot put throws. In four years of winter and spring track, she went undefeated in conference meets in both events. She broke the South Coast Conference record in the shot put with a throw of 38’3” and the Class D Massachusetts state record in the discus with a throw of 122’ 8”.
Tiffany anchored a state record breaking discus relay team her senior year. Her athletic prowess is perhaps best illustrated, though, by highlighting her success on the national stage. She is the only ORR athlete to be crowned champion at the Loucks Games. She won this national meet not just once, but three times consecutively (discus in 1991, 1992 and 1993), putting her in exceedingly rare company. She placed in the shot put all three years as well.
An injury after graduation derailed her plans to continue with competing in track, at college and beyond.
Tiffany’s presence struck fear in opponents every time she attended a meet, truly one of the greatest track athletes Old Rochester has fielded! Tiffany’s work ethic and competitive spirit have served her well in her career as a designer and as a marketing professional. She currently lives in Taunton with her husband, Todd.
Patrick O’ Connor, Class of 2004: Patrick O’Connor has to be considered one of the elite athletes ever to attend Old Rochester, earning a total of 11 varsity letters in football, winter track and baseball through his high school career. On the football field, he was the focal point of the offense for three years. He set (at the time) the single season rushing record with 1402 yards and broke the single season touchdown record with 20, leading the Bulldogs to an 11-0 record and a Super Bowl berth in 2003.
As good as he was on the gridiron, Patrick really excelled on the diamond. He was a three-time all-star and a four-year starter. His sophomore year he hit an outstanding .373 with five home runs. That was just the start; he followed that up his junior year with a .400 average and six home runs. He saved his best for his senior year when he hit .460 with seven home runs. He had a gaudy .794 slugging percentage and an on base percentage of .510.
Patrick was a four-year baseball starter in college. Spending his freshman and sophomore years at Wheaton College, he helped them go to the Division 3 World Series losing in the conference title game. He transferred to Bryant University for his junior year competing in Division 2. In his senior year, Bryant transitioned to Division 1. He currently is the Director of Business Development for LeaseQ out of Burlington, MA. He follows his older brother Bob who was inducted in 2013.
Ed Walsh, Significant Contributor 2017: Ed Walsh taught in the Old Rochester Regional School District from 1966 until 2003 after graduating from Stonehill College. With a 5.0 teacher rating, he helped make attending the district schools a successful experience for thousands of our youth. Ed taught, coached, and mentored many students, athletes, and young teachers to become the best that they could be at whatever endeavor they pursued. He was an outstanding assistant coach who touched many young lives and families through his selfless mentoring with his time, expertise, and wisdom. Ed and his wife Edna are currently enjoying their retirement years at home in Mattapoisett. The ORRAHOF is honored to thank Ed with this recognition as a “Significant Contributor” to the student athletes and programs at ORRHS.
Andy Santos, Coach and Contributor: Andy has been a staple of Old Rochester since he first started here in October of 1972 as both the school business manager and assistant to the superintendent. He has been a key component to getting the school and athletics to thrive over his time here. He has always considered sports a building block towards success and was a key contributor to getting girls equal footing with the boys and helped build Old Rochester into the sports powerhouse it is today. After retiring from the school in December of 1998, he realized he couldn’t stay away long from being a Bulldog. He returned as Interim AD from October 2001 until September of 2002 and kept the Bulldogs going strong. He jumped onboard with the golf team as an assistant in 2004 and took over as head coach for 2005. He created a force to be reckoned with and kept it going through his retirement after the 2012 season.
With Andy at the helm, Old Rochester golf went 119-17-3 and captured four SCC Championships, won the SCC tournament five times and made it into the post season many times over. He has coached many of the best golfers our school has ever produced from Anderson to Mills, Coucci to Oldham, Hickok to Augustine. He has coached the best. And with that, he has left an indelible mark on both our past and present school and athletics.
All of this information and more can be found on the ORR Athletic Hall of Fame website at www.orrathletichalloffame.com.