Bishop Hendricken inducted six new members to its historic athletic hall of fame at Warwick Country Club on Monday evening.
The group was headlined by Colin Briggs ’07, who was a three-time All-State selection in lacrosse and would go on to play for the University of Virginia and then professionally. Others included cross country standout Darren Rojas ’79, Steve Cirella ’74, Christopher Holt ’90, Clifton Lawrence ’96, and Neil Koenig ’96.
“These types of awards, this type of honor, it puts everything in perspective and reminds you of all the people that have helped you in your career. I’m truly grateful for Bishop Hendricken, I’m grateful for the honor, and I’m grateful for them providing the foundation for me to get to where I am today. It helped me make some great friendships and laid the foundation to go to college and be successful,” said Briggs of his induction.
Holt, who helped guide the Hawks to a swimming state championship and was named the RI Swimmer of the Year in both 1987 and 1990, was honored to be part of the class, especially as a swimmer.
“It’s nothing that I ever imagined that I would be a part of, being inducted into this hall of fame. To do it as a swimmer, it’s really gratifying. You look at some of the names, I would have never expected it since those are some of the people that you look up to the most during your time at Hendricken,” said Holt. “I remember the camaraderie with the team, we were all very focused on winning a state championship. We were able to do it my senior year and now they’ve won 23 since.”
Cirella, who went on to become the winningest baseball coach in Salve Regina history, was excited to see his name added to the list of other Hendricken legends.
“It’s a humbling experience. When you’re 18 years old you never really think about this moment, and it’s something very special. To be honored tonight is a dream come true, it’s really hard to explain the feeling when you’re inducted into a hall of fame. Ray Pepin, he coached me. Don Hickey, he coached me. I played with Jeff Ryan, I played with Dave King, I coached Rocco Baldelli, the names go on and on and somewhere along the line they all touched me and made this special,” said Cirella.
Cirella also remembers the friends he made at the school, and is also impressed by the recent growth and success of the athletic program.
“I remember the guys. I remember people used to say that they wouldn’t want to go to a school with all guys, but to be with the people you knew, the friends that you knew, to build those friendships was incredible,” said Cirella. “The brothers were great when they had an order of brothers back them, they were strong and worked hard, they knew that athletics and academics went together and you see how much the school has grown both academically and athletically.”
Here is a look at the other members of the class of 2019:
As captain and an All-State football and track star, Koenig led Hendricken to Super Bowl championships in 1994 and 1995 and earned back-to-back first place honors in the javelin in the RI State Championships in 1995 and 1996. Neil also finished 2nd in the New England Invitational his senior year.
A High School All-American, Rojas, dominated the regional cross country scene in 1978 and led Hendricken to Rhode Island and New England championships. He was the individual champion of the Rhode Island Injury Fund, Kent County Championship, Class A Championship, Rhode Island State Championship and the New England Championship where he set a course record.
Lawrence was an All-State running back and member of the 1994 and 1995 championship football teams for the Hawks, and was also an All-State sprinter in track and attended Fordham University on a football scholarship.