Our Story   The Tops Award   Host a Hockey Hero   Native-Born Hockey Award   Unsung Hero Award   Membership 

The Unsung Hero Award

The R. I. Reds Heritage Society and the Rhode Island Interscholastic League established the "Unsung Hero" Award in 2011 to recognize high school hockey players, in both Girls and Boys Divisions, who consistently contribute to their teams' success. Each year, six awards are presented, to the goalie, defensive player and offensive player in both divisions. The three categories are named in honor of former Reds? greats Gil Mayer (goaltender), Ferny Flaman (defense) and Chuck Scherza (forward).

2014 Award Recipients

2014 Girls Division, Gil Mayer Award

Abbey Torres, Cranston Co-op

Abbey has set the standard for women goalies in Rhode Island. She has earned numerous personal accolades for her steady and consistent play including: being named 2013 first team all-state; twice selected Rhode Island Interscholastic Athlete of the Month; and several all-division awards. Her four-year career save average is 91.9% and she has stopped more than 1,600 shots in her career at Cranston West. Abbey is an honor student and she volunteers twice a week with the Providence Junior Friars Learn to Skate Program.

2014 Girls Division, Ferny Flaman Award

Olivia Lucas, Barrington

Known to many in her community as ?Ms. Barrington Hockey? because of her strong leadership and love of the game, Olivia is always the first to help a discouraged, struggling, or injured player. She hasn?t missed a practice or game in her four years. After losing both her father and her grandfather before her senior season Olivia dedicated her senior season to their memory. Her character, leadership, and talent - along with her dedication to the team and the sport helped her to excel despite her personal losses. Younger players regard her as both personal and hockey mentor. Opposing coaches and players respect her as one of the top women defensemen in the state.

2014 Girls Division, Chuck Scherza Award

Kelly Kraunelis, Barrington

Kelly exemplifies quiet leadership by example. The Barrington senior consistently demonstrates a genuine respect for officials, coaches, and opponents. Kelly?s unselfish style is evidenced by the fact that she is her team?s assist leader and one of the top ?set-up? forwards in her division. Her coach?s evaluation is echoed by numerous coaches and players representing opposing teams. Kelly also represents a continuous flow of family excellence in sports. She, her father, uncles and brother all follow the athletic prowess of her late grandfather Leo Kraunelis, one of Rhode Island?s all-time greatest sports heroes.

2014 Boys Division, Gil Mayer Award

Matthew Wilson, Mount Hope

?Win-Loss? records don?t always tell the whole story of a goalie?s effectiveness. Matt is proof of that. On a team in the throes of a down season, Wilson has earned the respect of opponents in all divisions of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League. His performances in losing games illustrate his talents: 44 saves against Prout; 53 saves against Lincoln; 47 saves versus undefeated Cumberland. He has amassed more saves that any goalie in the state in divisions II and III. Despite his team?s record Wilson has established himself as a symbol of strength for the young Mount Hope team and its ?no quit? attitude.

2014 Boys Division, Ferny Flaman Award

Dylan Gastel, Wheeler 

Dylan, the senior co-captain of the PCD/St. Raphael/Wheeler co-op team sparkles both on and off the ice. In addition to being a 2013 All-State cross country selection Dylan excels on his school?s lacrosse and squash teams and he has been selected to participate in the Rhode Island Hockey senior showcase skills event. The multi-talented Gastel has played both forward and defense. Dylan is ranked near the top of his class and is headed to Yale University next fall. Giving back to the community is also important in his life. He has given more than fifty hours to Habitat for Humanity; is a volunteer for Special Olympics; and he is president of the Hope Scholarship fund which raises funding for underprivileged secondary girls in China.

2014 Boys Division, Chuck Scherza Award

Rudy Branca, Cranston East/West Co-op

Rudy has been described by his coaches and teachers as ?. . . a true student-athlete leader with a social conscience.? Despite being diagnosed as hearing impaired at an early age he has overcome several obstacles in sports, the classroom and community. The senior captain is an active volunteer in the Edgewood Youth Hockey League?s learn to skate program. Additionally, he demonstrates his social commitment to the community and school by donation his time at local soup kitchens and participates in numerous church activities. He has been inducted into the National and Rhode Island Honor Societies and has an overall Grade Point Average of 3.30. Coach Matt Brannon emphasized that ?Rudy exemplifies what a Rhode Island schoolboy hockey and student-athletics is all about.?

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Girls Division, Gil Mayer Award

Ashley Devolve, Cumberland/Lincoln's goalie

Her teammates have referred to Ashley as “Miss Blank” because of her diving acrobatic saves. Besides her academic prowess she has been involved in numerous extra-curricular activities including field hockey, lacrosse, girl scouts, school band. As an accomplished member of the jazz band she has travelled the country extensively for both performances and competitions.

2013 Girls Division, Ferny Flaman Award

Victoria Piccirillo, La Salle Academy

Victoria is a four-year varsity letter winner who has distinguished herself in the classroom by earning a four-year 93 overall average. Victoria's “team first” attitude, contributes to her recognition as a team leader.

2013 Girls Division, Chuck Scherza Award

Lindsay Hadfield, Cranston

In four years, she hasn't missed a practice or a game. She was named a 2012 second team “all-division” player by the league's coaches.

2013 Boys Division, Gil Mayer Award

Connor Finn, East Greenwich

As captain and four year starter, Connor is also among the top students in this year's graduating class while participating in several sports. Connor co-founded the “Give Back Program” which raises funds for less-fortunate families at holiday times. He also volunteers with Rhode Island Special Olympics.

2013 Boys Division, Ferny Flaman Award

Nicholas Migliore, LaSalle Academy 

Migliore has distinguished himself as a four-year defenseman for the Rams. Coach Mike Gaffney stated that Nick's contributions go far beyond the x's and o's and that his influence and leadership over the younger players cannot be overstated.

2013 Boys Division, Chuck Scherza Award

Brian Belisle, Mount St. Charles

David has distinguished himself as a role model and leader even during a period when he could not play after sustaining a concussion in the first game of the season. After being cleared to practice and play Brian scored seven goals and six assists in Mount's final seven games. Brian was also the state scoring leader and a first team “All State” selection as a junior in 2012.


2012 Award Recipients

2012 Girls Division, Gil Mayer Award

Marissa Golda, Bay View Academy

Marissa stepped up this year for a team that was hit hard by graduation Marissa did not even make the team her freshman year, but came back and made it as a sophomore and junior with very little playing time. As a senior she volunteered to change position to goal tending to help the team. She helped stabilize Bay View as a consistent performer. Besides her hockey and classroom accomplishments, Marissa works part time and volunteers regularly at the St. John the Baptist Soup Kitchen.

2012 Girls Division, Ferny Flaman Award

Jenna Pari, La Salle Academy

Jenna has been best described as a "throwback" defenseman who plays with a great deal of intensity and physical play. Despite employing her aggressive approach, Jenna plays within the rules and is well-respected teammates, competitors, and opposing coaches. She serves as both a co-captain and role model who leads by example. Jenna participates in a number of community service venues such as youth hockey, little league baseball, and the LaSalle Chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD.) A model student, Jenna has earned high honors and high honors with distinction all four years at LaSalle. She is currently working towards obtaining an appointment to one of the United States Service academies.

2012 Girls Division, Chuck Scherza Award

Hannah Decelles, North Smithfield High School

Hannah personifies the characteristics of sportsmanship and dedication. She has endured, and overcome the agonies of a painfully serious spinal condition. Hannah recently stated that ". . . Enduring the pain is worth playing the game of hockey." Because of the small squad size, Hannah regularly is on the ice for 75-80 percent of the time. Veteran coach Bill Nangle stated that she is "the backbone" of the team in every way. As an officer of the school's lettermen's club Hannah spends a lot of her personal time on community service projects such as the distribution of Thanksgiving dinners to the community's poor. She also spearheaded a coat and clothing drive for the homeless. Hannah is currently coordinating a team service project to support the Special Olympic Winter Games. She has done these things while taking a rigorous advanced placement and honor class schedule.

2012 Boys Division, Gil Mayer Award

Derek Hagopian, Cranston West

When Derek tried out as a freshman, there were two all-division calibre goalies already in the program and seven others trying out. He stuck as the third goalie, and now serves as the team's top goal tender. He is among the Rhode Island Interscholastic League's leaders in number of saves, save percentage, goals against in Division I. He has been a consistent honor student and recently received national honors recognition in Italian. One of his family's traditions has been the procurement and delivery of turkeys to South Providence Ministries so they can be distributed to families in need. He also volunteers as a goalie instructor for young players in the Edgewood Youth Hockey Program.

2012 Boys Division, Ferny Flaman Award

Susan Cavanaugh, Pilgrim High School 

It's not often that a female is chosen to play in the boys varsity division. Susan not only earned a spot on the Pilgrim High School team - she has distinguished herself and proven that she is a gifted athlete. The all-state field hockey player and all-state golfer is in her third year as a regular on the boys’ varsity. As a center on the second line, she also serves on the power play and is a top penalty killer. She is regarded as one of the top defensive players in her division

2012 Boys Division, Chuck Scherza Award

T.J. Lynch, South Kingstown High School

Besides being a two-year first team All-Division II player, T.J. has had to work hard to overcome a number of personal and physical obstacles. He is generally regarded as an intense performer who serves as a role model and leader for his teammates; especially the younger players, both athletically and academically.

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Girls Division, Gil Mayer Award

Kathryn Varone, LaSalle Academy

Kathryn is a third year goalie who also serves as captain. She has been described by Coach Dick Ernst as the unsung hero of her team. She has been the back-up goalie much of her career, but has maintained the highest level of enthusiasm, dedication, and hard work. She is currently an honor student earning first honors. She also serves as a catcher/third baseman on the varsity softball team and is a member of the school?s theater production crew. 

2011 Girls Division, Ferny Flaman Award

Caitlin Bray, Mount St. Charles Academy

Caitlin is a four-year member, and this year?s captain, of the varsity hockey team. Besides her sports interests Caitlin excels in the classroom by taking six advanced placement courses as well as several honors courses ? maintaining a 4.0 average. She serves as a girls? youth hockey coach in Burrillville. 

2011 Girls Division, Chuck Scherza Award

Kerri Nadeau, Ponaganset High School

Kerri began playing hockey at an early age, playing on several boys teams in the RIAHA. When she arrived at Ponaganset there was no girls? hockey team so she tried out ? and made ? the boys? varsity team. She was one of the leaders in petitioning the Rhode Island Interscholastic league to allow Ponaganset to join with Burrillville as a Co-Op team in the girls? division. In addition to being selected as her team?s captain, she has consistently been among the Interscholastic League?s top scorers.

2011 Boys Division, Gil Mayer Award

Daniel Foster, Mount St. Charles Academy

After three junior varsity years, Dan was elevated to the varsity on Coach Bill Belisle?s squad. His strong work ethic and persistence are his hallmark. As he stated ?It?s an honor to step on the ice and see the red, whit, and blue banners.? Playing for pride is a great motivator, according to Dan. During the Spring season, Dan serves as captain of the golf team. When away from school, he conducts nursing home visits, works on the school?s yearbook staff, and referees youth hockey. Dan is a National Honor Society student who has been on the honor roll every term in grades 9-12. In 2009 he received the Mount St. Charles Citizenship Award.

2011 Boys Division, Ferny Flaman Award

Shane Studley, Barrington High School 

Shane has been characterized a ?respectful, unwavering leader. . .? both on and off the ice. He has been a starting defenseman all four years of his high school career. He was also a starting defender on the 2010 RIIL soccer team. Shane has dedicated the past two winter breaks travelling to Jamaica to work with handicapped orphans. Locally, he volunteers regularly at local soup kitchens, and coordinating his peers in performing yard work for shut-in disabled home owners in the community. His classroom performance is equally impressive despite a very challenging work load.

2011 Boys Division, Chuck Scherza Award

Timothy Ryan, LaSalle Academy

Tim?s coach, Mike Gaffney, characterized Tim Ryan as a player who works hard to be the best that he can be and who loves the game of hockey. Gaffney stated ?You don?t have to be the best player to be the most valuable.? His spirit and example have made him a role model for underclassmen. Tim has been a four-year member of the LaSalle varsity.


R. I. Reds Heritage Society
PO Box 504 Lincoln, RI 02895
Telephone: 401-230-5905
email: RIREDS15@gmail.com