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Warren hall of fame finds home on web
WARREN - If Jay Ferreira ever sets up another website it will never be as important to him as the one he created for the Warren Athletic Hall of Fame. Last week, Mr. Ferreira, a member of the hall of fame committee, unveiled the comprehensive site packed with features from bios and photos of all 86 individual inductees, and 3 sports teams, to information on current events, obituaries and tributes, and interesting tidbits about the hall of fame itself and the talented local athletes it honors.
He had plenty of material to work with.
"When I started on the committee I saw all this information that we had," said the lifelong Warren resident, the associate director of the Information Technology Department at Roger Williams University.
The idea to collect the information then disseminate it to the public festered and grew. In June, he brought the topic before the board and was pleased when hall of fame chairman Jack Flynn said he had been asked several times if a web site was in the works.
That's all Mr. Ferreira needed to hear.
"I did some research into how much it would cost and started accumulating information," he said.
Because his specialty at RWU is software and administrative systems, he was not up to speed on creating a web.
"But I have a lot of contacts," he said.
Biographical information came chiefly from Mr. Flynn who served "as sort of the editor," said Mr. Ferreira.
But Mr. Flynn said credit for the site goes to Mr. Ferreira who "has really gotten onto it. This is going to be such a fantastic addition for us," he said.
For his part, Mr. Ferreira said it has been — and, because it's a work in progress, still is — a labor of love.
Because he will add new information continually, it will never really be finished, he said.
A Warren High School graduate, Mr. Ferreira never participated in sports.
"But I hung around all the athletes," he said, smiling. "And everyone on the hall of fame committee has some sports connection, either through family or friends or they played sports," he said.
The site, which has a web address of www.warrenhof.com, is divided into a number of sections, including the biographies segment which contains a brief overview of the lives and sports careers of the inductees to date.
Another section provides details about the Pete Sepe Scholarship Fund and other current news. Mr. Ferreira, formerly an alternate who became a full-fledged hall of fame committee member when he replaced Mr. Sepe who died earlier this year, said details of the annual hall of fame banquet in April will be posted along with the names and bios of new inductees who will be voted on the first of the year.
Who will be inducted is anyone's guess.
Because it pays tribute to such diverse athletic accomplishments, the Warren Athletic Hall of Fame is different from those in some other towns, said Mr. Ferreira. While football, basketball and baseball players are well represented, also honored are a drag racer, golfer, arm wrestler, sailor and a marathon runner, among others.
Not everyone in the athletic hall of fame is fleet of foot or nimble of limb. Coaches and contributors have earned spots as well.
The hall of fame also boasts a first class museum/exhibit (second floor at Town Hall) that features original newspaper clippings and memorabilia like uniforms, helmets, trophies, autographed baseballs and much, much more.
"I want to let people know that this exists," said Mr. Ferreira, pointing to a framed photographs of the late Charlie Burdge. "It's for Warren and we want to honor our athletes."
Indeed, Mr. Ferreira hopes the web site entices more people to visit the display and, perhaps donate other items. He also welcomes additional photographs for the website, or replacements for poorer quality pictures there now,
In the meantime, he's working on a form that will allow folks to make donations to the scholarship fund on-line. Another plan is to create a link to the hall of fame site on the official Town of Warren website.
Hall of fame and website facts
* The Warren Athletic Hall of Fame was founded in 1998.
* The committee is composed of 15 members.
* To date, there are 86 individual inductees, and three sports teams — the 1939 and 1942 Warren High School baseball teams and the 1972 Warren High School (Class C) Championship Football Team.
* The Hall of fame banquet is typically held in April. The next banquet is scheduled for April 23, 2005.
* New hall of fame members are inducted annually.
* About 10 to 15 athletes are inducted into the hall of fame each year.
* Nominations submitted in any category must include verification of accomplishments. To be inducted, a candidate must receive votes from 70 percent of the hall of fame committee membership.
* Hall of fame website address is www.warrenhof.com
* The website also includes a listing of Warren athletes designated All- State from Warren High School (from 1923-1993), and Mt. Hope High School (from 1993-to present). There are 34 male and female athletes so honored.
Sports trivia teaser
In order to engage the public and promote interaction, Warren Hall of Fame website creator Jay Ferreira has included a triivia question/answer section.
Here it is:
All the answers to these trivia questions can be found on this website.
If you would like the answers to these questions or want to take a shot at answering them. You can email me and I will forward you the answers. My address is firstname.lastname@example.org
How many can you answer correctly?
* Name the only Warren Hall of Fame member to play in the NFL.
* Name the only Warren Hall of Fame member to play major league baseball.
* Name the only Warren athlete to make All-State in back-to-back years playing for different high schools.
* Which Warren cross-country star never lost a race?
* Which Warren hall of fame member was know as the "Queen of Baseball"?
By Denise Kinney Warren Times Gazette
Warren Athletic Hall of Fame now posted on the Web
01:00 AM EST on Friday, December 31, 2004
According to Warren Athletic Hall of Fame Committee member Jay Ferreira, the Web site was designed to give people a chance to see and digest the many accomplishments of some of the greatest athletes to come out of Warren.
"This is Jay's idea, his work, his everything," said John W. "Jack" Flynn, chairman of the hall of fame committee. "I don't think there's another town that has a list like this. It's a lot of work."
Other area halls of fame seem interested in following Warren's lead.
"They [Warren] have only been around for six years and look at that, they already have a Web site," said Richard C. Sousa, vice chairman of the Bristol committee, whose hall is 26 years old. "Their site is very impressive. I think it's about time we had our own Web site."
It takes a while to fully appreciate everything the Warren Athletic Hall of Fame Web page has to offer. Flynn, author of the popular book, A Diary of 101 Years of Warren Athletics, of course, has been able to feed Ferreira a great deal of invaluable information.
"Jack gave me all of the content," Ferreira said. "I looked at other hall of fame Web sites from across the country to get some kind of idea on how to put this thing together, but I created my own Web page. This is my own doing."
With approximately 200 hours of work already put into the project, Ferreira says, "It's always ongoing. I call it civic duty. In a sense, it's a complement to Jack's book and the amount of work the Hall of Fame Committee puts into this."
The new Warren Athletic Web site includes a handsome page depicting the legendary Pat Abbruzzi, 1909 Silk Hats baseball stars "Beany" Ryan and "Biddy" Smith, a color photo of Warren Town Hall, and of course, the familiar "Warren Redskin" mascot.
Ferreira's labor of love also includes a comprehensive listing of every Warren Athletic Hall of Fame inductee to date, complete with photos. Also listed are current members of the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, the obituaries of Hall of Fame founder Peter Sepe and former Warren baseball great James E. Barry, as well as current news events.
There's also a section on the new Pete Sepe Scholarship, which Flynn and Ferreira profess will be one of the Web site's most important additions.
Sepe, who lived in Warren for more than 50 years, served the town as recreation board chairman from 1979 to 2002. He was a founder of the Warren Athletic Hall of Fame, where he had been serving as treasurer since its inception in 1998. He passed away last July at the age of 80.
A $250 scholarship will be awarded to a male and female Mt. Hope High School student from Warren. The recipients will be acknowledged at the Warren Athletic Hall of Fame banquet April 23.
The Web site also encourages people to visit the Warren Athletic Hall of Fame Museum on the second floor of Warren Town Hall.
The museum includes plaques, pictures, banners and artifacts such as Hall of Famer Henry Correia's umpire's mask, "Coco" DeBlois' glove, which he used on Warren High School's 1939 state championship baseball team, Jack Simister's Warren uniform from the 1920s Providence Amateur baseball league, and Pat Abbruzzi's 1953 URI game ball from the Rams' 19-13 victory over UConn.
A 1975 graduate of Warren High School, Ferreira, associate director of information technology at Roger Williams University, didn't actually compete in any sport during his high school years, but starred later in the local softball league.
"I've been a former Warren Softball League commissioner and director of East Bay USSSA Softball," he said. "I've been a sports nut my whole life."