Six new members of the Fairhaven High School Hall of Fame were inducted in a well attended ceremony at the Century House in Acushnet of Sunday evening June 29, 2014 to conclude a terrific Homecoming Weekend in Fairhaven. Pictured from Left to right are: Greg Davis ‘00, Jessica Orlando (accepting on behalf of her grandmother Sylvia (Cummings) Orlando ‘53, Kelly Fitts-Ferreira ‘01, Mike Thomas ‘87 and Robert W. Foster ‘66 (Lifetime Achiever). Photo courtesy of Jim Mahaney ‘68
Greg Davis may have been small in stature but he was definitely huge in ability and determination. A four time captain, Greg led by action and example. He was a super star in both soccer and baseball and helped lead the basketball team to the South Coast Conference Championship as a point guard.
Lettering all four years in soccer, Greg set the school record for single season goals in 1998 with 34 and amassed a total of 90 for his career. Forced to miss nine games after tearing a calf muscle three games into his senior season, Davis scored an incredible 14 goals in his last three games to finish with 29 in what for him was only an 11 game season. He was a South Coast Conference All-Star in ’98 and ’99 and was named the Conference Offensive MVP in ’98 by a unanimous vote which very rarely happens. Greg was a Standard Times All-Star in both ’98 and ’99 and A Boston Globe and Eastern Mass All-Star in’99. That year he also earned the FHS and SCC MVP award.
During his basketball career, Greg was a three year letterman and point guard for the Blue Devils where his defense was phenomenal and his ball handling skills sent him to the free throw line many times where he was an absolute rock. He earned Honorable Mention All-Star status both in ’99 and ’00, and was a huge part in that SCC Championship team.
Greg was a four year letterman in baseball and helped lead his team to the South Coast Conference Championship in ’00 and The MIAA South Sectional Finals, ultimately being name “The Standard Times Baseball Player of the Year”, along with All-Star status both on the SCC team and the Standard Times Team. He loved playing baseball and it showed both during games and most impressively on the practice field. His timely hitting and superb base running made him an excellent ball player but it was his defense that made him stand high above the rest. There was no better second baseman than Greg….ANYWHERE!
A FHS Scholar Athlete, Greg earned the US Military Recognition Award for Scholastic and Athletic Achievement. He went on to pursue his passion for soccer, playing for the Semi-Pro Bashley Football Club of Southampton, England in 2000 and then the European Professional Soccer Club of Provo, Utah in 2001. He attended Division 1 Bradley University, playing in ‘01, ‘02, ‘03, earning BU Braves Dean’s List Honors all three years. He finished his college degree at UMass/Dartmouth and played his final college soccer there, also earning UMass Scholar Athlete Dean’s List Award. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History with a minor in Education, Magnum Cum Laude, then went on to earn a Masters of Education with concentration in History, Summa Cum Laude, both from UMass/Dartmouth. He is currently a teacher of History and Psychology and also coached soccer, basketball and tennis at Fairhaven High School. He has participated in many athletic endeavors including a 60 mile Ultra Marathon finishing 2nd overall and 1st in his age group, 4 marathons, many road races, sprint and Olympic triathlons and he is currently the top ranked singles tennis player in the Fairhaven Tennis Association.
Greg resides in Fairhaven with his beautiful wife of three years, Jessica and their young son Hudson.
Kelly Fitts-Ferreira was an outstanding 3 season/4 sport athlete having earned a varsity letter in each of the 3 seasons from her freshman through senior years. In the fall Kelly excelled on the soccer field. As captain of the team, she was a two time South Coast Conference All Star. In her senior year she set the FHS single season scoring mark with 35 goals and 11 assists making her the leading scorer in the South Coast conference and 5th leading scorer in the state. She was also chosen as the Standard Times Player of the Year honoring the area’s best player.
Winter moved Kelly indoors where she was captain of the basketball team. In her junior year she switched to indoor track to facilitate the rehab from knee surgery and earned her varsity letter that year before moving back to the hardwood for her senior season.
Kelly’s most prolific season was spring. After lettering her first two seasons with the softball team, she may have made her best move ever by switching to outdoor track. She was the area’s best in the Javelin for two years. In her senior season she was South Coast Conference Champion, won first place at the State Coaches Meet, was State Class D Champion, and placed third in the State Meet. She was awarded Best Female Athlete of the SCC Meet and was named to the Standard Times Super Track Team.
Kelly continued her athletic career in college at UMD where she played soccer and threw the javelin. She competed at Nationals three times in the Javelin and was inducted into the UMD Hall of Fame. Having received her degree in Finance from UMD with a 4.0 GPA, Kelly currently works as a Finance & Accounting manager and lives in Fairhaven with her husband, Shaun, and her two daughters, Sophie and Blair.
Robert W. Foster
Robert W. Foster graduated from Fairhaven High School in 1966. He was a member of the high school basketball team from 1963-1966 and was the recipient of the Walter Wood Award for Outstanding Achievement in History and Social Studies. He attended college at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree and then continued his education even further by receiving his Master’s degree and C.A.G.S from Bridgewater State College. He has been a lifelong resident of Fairhaven and has given back to the town in several ways. He has served on several elected and voluntary positions, including Fairhaven School Committee (1971-1983), Board of Selectman (1983-1986), Town Meeting Moderator (2000-2005) and most recently the President of the Fairhaven High School Alumni Association since 1999.
Since retiring from his teaching position as Director of History/Social Studies in the New Bedford Public Schools in 2006, Bob has devoted much of his time to enhancing the status of the FHS Alumni Association. He developed a website, a bi-monthly newsletter with over 1,200 subscribers and a Facebook page which has helped strengthen connections with alumni of all ages. He maintains an FHS Alumni database and spends countless hours keeping it current. Since 2010, Bob has served as a tour guide for walking tours that he established at FHS in the summer, fall and winter seasons in cooperation with the Fairhaven office of tourism. Due to his leadership as President of the Board of Directors of the FHS Alumni Association, the school building, students and staff have all been the beneficiaries of scholarships, mini-grants, funding of peer mediation programs, a new computer room and renovations to the clock tower at the high school. All of these efforts and achievements helped Bob, along with his wife Nancy to earn the titles of Fairhaven Man and Woman of the year for 2010. His love of the community and the high school, demonstrated by his dedicated service and contributions over the past 40 years have earned him the title of Lifetime Achiever.
Bob continues to reside in Fairhaven for half the year and Florida for the other half. He and his wife Nancy have four grandchildren, two currently attending Fairhaven High School. His daughter, Kelly is a math teacher at Fairhaven High School.
By his own admission Mike Thomas will tell you he was never a great high school athlete. But ask the people and coaches who have played with and against him and you will hear one thing, Mike Thomas was a winner and that winning was contagious in virtually every sport he played. All you have to do to verify this is to look at his senior year.
Having played basketball and baseball in his first two years at Fairhaven, Mike planned to continue on that same two sport path, but when he was approached by a man named Sam Galvam, Mike’s training habits changed dramatically. Galvam , coach of the school’s newly-formed boys’ soccer team was busy scouring the halls of the high school on a scouting mission. Mike was an athlete but he wasn’t very interested in a sport he knew very little or even cared about. But Mike did know and like Galvam so, reluctantly; he agreed to fill a roster spot. Galvam told Mike he wanted him to be the goal-keeper and, on opening day, Mike was the starter. Galvam opted to play the first in the varsity level and with a band of one or two legitimate soccer players and a “dozen-or-so athletes”, soccer made its varsity debut in time for the 1986-87 season.
Fairhaven finished the regular season with a record of 7 wins, 3 losses and 2 ties. One of those wins was a 3-0 victory over GNB Voc-Tech that locked up a share of the conference title for these 2 teams and a trip to the postseason tournament. Mike was a big part of that success. Only once in those dozen regular-season games did Mike allow more than two goals and in 10 others he allowed no more than one. Overall, Mike averaged an incredible 21.5 saves a game and authored five shutouts, including the big one against the powerful Bears. In a South Sectional Div.3 Tournament game against a potent Sandwich team, Fairhaven was eliminated in a 1-0 loss despite 23 mostly acrobatic saves by Mike. His overall performance that year earned him a spot on both the South Coast Conference and Standard-Times All-Star teams and Honorable Mention on the Boston Globe team.
Picking up where he left off in soccer, Mike played a key role in the basketball team’s drive toward a state championship which fell one win short of a title. In his second full season with the varsity, Mike played the role of sixth man and came off the bench to replace a big man. He was the leading scorer off the bench, averaging six points a game. He also averaged four rebounds and finished the season as the team’s best free throw shooter, converting 80 per cent of his foul shots. The basketball team finished the regular season with a record of 18-2, won five of six tournament games and captured SCC, South Sectional and Eastern Massachusetts championships before losing to undefeated Frontier Regional in the State Division 3 title game.
In baseball, Mike played centerfield and capped his three-year diamond career by leading his team in hitting (.403) and was among the better defensive players in the South Coast Conference. Overall, he played three years of baseball and basketball and one—the first—of soccer.
After graduating from UMass Dartmouth, Mike went into sports writing and currently is the sports editor of the Fall River Herald News. Born in Acushnet, Mike currently lives across from the street where he was born and grew up and he is the father of two girls, Lily (10) and Abigail (8) who, like their father, are both athletes.
Beginning with the 1936 spring season, Stanley Allen’s reputation as a quarter-miler continued to grow. By the end of the ’38 season, it had swelled to record proportions, culminating in a State Class C quarter-mile victory in a record time of 51 seconds and a victory in the Class B competition a week later. The efforts slapped an exclamation point on a brilliant high school track career and permanently erased the question mark that had threatened his love for the sport a year earlier. His junior year, Allen was hoping to cap a successful spring season with a big effort at the Rhode Island State Interscholastic Meet. He may have won, had he been able to finish. Allen was among the leaders when, without warning, disaster struck. Somewhere, somehow the Fairhaven flash was bumped, knocked down and trampled, leaving him with severe face lacerations and unable to finish. Some questioned whether the wounds would scar his enthusiasm for the sport and force him to turn his back on his senior season. But, like his wounds, any lack of enthusiasm was temporary as Allen faced his final high school track season head on, determined to be better than ever, and that, he was, earning the Allen Whitworth Trophy as Fairhaven’s outstanding track performer.
Allen was among the most popular students at Fairhaven, both in and out of the classroom. As a freshman he was named to the Freshman Executive Committee and as a sophomore and junior he was voted president of his home room. As a senior, he was voted president of his class, was a member of the student council and, for the third consecutive season was a starting end on the school’s varsity football team. Athletically speaking, Allen’s main sport was track and after leading by example in his junior year, he was named captain of the spring team in his final season.
His next venture was at Moses Brown where he excelled in both the classroom and athletic arenas for the next two years, where he played quarter back for the Quaker’s football team and set the 300-yard record in the Private School Association. This led to interest from Brown University where he attended and in 1942 he set a school record of 34 seconds flat in the 300-yard sprint in a dual meet at Northeastern University. He received his degree in 1943 and went on to work with the Insurance Company of North America after an Honorable discharge from the Navy. One year later he married Shirley Buckingham Weise and had two children, Douglas and Susan. Unfortunately at the age of 29, Allen was diagnosed with polio and the speedster’s life changed forever. A true fighter, Stanley continued his work at the Insurance Company and ultimately became secretary of the company. He is to be remembered as one of the fastest men ever to graduate from Fairhaven High School.
Sylvia Cummings Orlando “Gremlin”
Sylvia was born and raised in Fairhaven and attended Rogers Elementary School and Fairhaven High School. Sylvia was an outstanding athlete and her nickname “Gremlin” was indicative of her athletic prowess. Unfortunately, she came along at the wrong time for girls’ sports to be funded and recognized as worthy of the same accolades as boys. This didn’t happen until the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and portions of the Educational Amendments of 1972, 1975, and 1988, which included Title IX for equal treatment in all activities in primary, secondary and higher education. That is too bad because most of her accomplishments were only know now by “word of mouth”, other than the fact that she was voted “Most Athletic” in her class yearbook. Sadly, newspapers were just not following the women back then.
Sylvia was very active in high school and found time to participate in many activities in addition to sports, including chorus - 1,2; Freshman and Junior home room treasurer, French Club - 4; Allied Youth - 4; Publicity Manager – 4; Girl’s Athletic Association (GAA ) – 1,2,3,4; and GAA President – 4.
Sylvia excelled in basketball – 2,3,4; cageball – 1,2,3; tennis – 3,4; softball – 1,2,3,4; and was the J.V. football games sports writer. All sports except basketball (which was part of the Narragansett League), were organized and sponsored by the GAA as High School Club Sports.
Sylvia was married to Angelo Orlando of Medford, MA and is survived by their children, Nancy Pawlowski of Omaha, Nebraska; David Orlando of Boston; and John Orlando of Medford.