FRAMINGHAM – Six outstanding athletes will be inducted into the inaugural Flyers Hall of Fall this fall.
All played or coached at Framingham High School, Framingham North High School, or Framingham South High School.
The inductees include a Stanley Cup champion, an athlete who played at Fenway Park, two star lacrosse players, a Boston College hall of fame hockey player, and an amazing coach who has a Cup named after him.
The Flyers Hall of Fame committee requested nominations for the Hall of Fame earlier this year, with a deadline of June 1.
Scores of male and female athletes and coaches were nominated. To be considered, an individual/team must be at least 5 years out of school. Coaches were eligible immediately upon retirement.
The 9-member Hall of Fame Committee voted on their top choices and selected seven athletes.
Melanie Baskind, a Framingham High soccer and lacrosse star, who later was named the 2012 NCAA women’s lacrosse Division 1 National Scholar-Athlete of the Year at Harvard University, was unable to attend the 2018 induction ceremony, and will go into the Hall of Fame with the 2019 class.
(All nomination received by the Committee in 2018 will be considered by the Committee for four more years.)
Inducted in the first year will be:
- Blake Andre Bellefeuille: Blake played on what the Boston Globe called the best hockey line the state will ever see in 1995-96. He led the state in scoring with 92 points his senior year. He was the MVP for the hockey team all four years and his 302 career points was a state record. After Framingham, he was recruited to play four years at Boston College. He was inducted into the Boston College Hall of Fame in 2016. After college, he played both in the NHL and spent eight years in the minors. His high school number – 13 – was retired, and now he will be a part of the Flyers Hall of Fame. Bellefeuille played baseball at Framingham High, and also his freshman year at BC.
- Tanner Guarino: Tanner, who swam for 3 years, played basketball, and was a cheerleader for a year, was a star lacrosse player at Framingham High. She was a lacrosse All-American. She was a three-sport captain her senior year – swimming, basketball, and lacrosse. She was Bay State Conference champion in two events her senior year in swimming. Guarino was named MVP of basketball and swimming her senior year. She earned 12 varsity letters while at Framingham High, and was chosen athlete of the year all four years at Framingham High. After graduation, she played lacrosse for four year at UMass. She is a professional lacrosse player and the current Natick High girls lacrosse head coach.
- Kristin Igoe: Kristin was a 2-time high school All-American in Lacrosse. She was captain of the Flyers team that went 50-0 her final two season, winning back-to-back state championships in 2006 & 2007. She was a three-sport captain her senior year – lacrosse, basketball, and soccer. The 2007 Framingham High graduate was a member of the USA women’s national team from 2010-2014. In between high school and the national team, she was a star lacrosse player for Boston College. She is a professional lacrosse player now, and the coach of Franklin High’s girls lacrosse team. She was named the Boston Globe coach of the year in 2016.
- Lou Merloni: While Lou was a soccer player, a hoopster and a golfer at Framingham, he is known for his baseball career. After college, he player four year for Providence College, where he was named the 1993 Big East Player of the Year. He played professional baseball from 1998 to 2003, including several years with his hometown team the Boston Red Sox. He is now an analyst on Red Sox Radio and a co-host of a WEEI sports radio show.
- Peter Anthony Taglianetti: Peter was a star hockey player for Framingham, who then played four years at Providence College. His senior year, he played in the inaugural Hockey East season and backboned the Friars to an appearance in the 1986 NCAA Championship game. He played professional hockey from 1984 to 1996. He went on to win two Stanley Cups as a defenseman with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992. The star Framingham hockey player, even brought the Cup back to his hometown for a famous tour.
- George Wheeler: George was an outstanding and highly respected athlete, teacher, coach, who taught physical education and health in Framingham for 31 years. He coached both boys and girls varsity soccer teams that won several Bay State League Conference Titles and one state title. Wheeler died in 1994 following a tough fight battling lymphoma and later leukemia. An annual soccer game between Natick and Framingham is now called the George Wheeler Cup.
The induction ceremony is scheduled for October 19 at the Sheraton in Framingham.
Tickets, for what is expected to be a sold out event, will go on sale in September.
Framingham Public Schools eliminated athletic fees for all Framingham High athletes this year.
Proceeds from the first-ever Flyers Hall of Fame ceremony, and subsequent induction ceremonies, will benefit the Framingham High athletics department.
Editor’s Note: In full transparency, I am a member of the Committee.