North Haven High School Sports Hall of Fame Inducting Seven All-Time Greats
The North Haven High School (NHHS) Sports Hall of Fame will be officially inducting the members of its Class of 2020 this week. The induction ceremony was originally scheduled to take place on March 28, 2020, but was canceled one week prior as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony will now be held as a brunch at the Wallingford Country Club on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 11 a.m. The inductees are Chris Conte, Marino Crocco, Jennifer Cruver, Thomas Drury, Marilyn Gillo, Marian Rockwell, and Jennie Setaro.
Chris Conte (Class of 1979)
Christopher R. Conte was an exemplary student-athlete who played for the boys’ soccer and baseball teams at NHHS. Conte was a member of the National Honor Society who ranked in the top five percent of his class. He also participated in a number of clubs and school activities.
Conte was the recipient of the Harvard Book Prize, Social Studies Award, Spanish Achievement Award, Special Education Service Award, the North Haven Kawanis Club Book Award, and the Italian-American Civil Rights League Scholar-Athlete Award. He was also the recipient of the DAR Good Citizens Award.
Conte maintained equally high standards as an athlete, earning seven varsity letters for North Haven. Conte played four years of varsity soccer for Hall of Fame coach Joe Janush, in addition to playing for Hall of Fame coach Bob DeMayo on the baseball field. In soccer, Conte holds school records for career goals (54), assists (73), and points (127).
Conte made the All-Housatonic Second Team in his freshman year and then earned All-Housatonic First Team accolades for his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons. He earned All-State honors as a junior and a senior, serving as a captain for North Haven in his senior campaign.
Conte also competed at a high level for the baseball team. Conte was an All-Housatonic Second Team selection in his junior year and made the All-Housatonic First Team as a senior. He played on two teams that won the Housatonic League championship and also led North Haven deep into the State Tournament as a captain in his senior season.
After graduating from NHHS, Conte attended Brown University, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology in 1983. Conte also played soccer at Brown for three years. In 1988, he received his law degree from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America.
Conte became an associate at Steptoe & Johnson, LLP in Washington D.C. and worked for nearly 17 years in the Division of Enforcement of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, eventually becoming a senior officer and an associate director. In 2010, Conte returned to Steptoe & Johnson and is now a partner in the firm.
Conte and his wife Meredith live in Washington D.C. They have two children, Alex and Bill.
Marino Crocco (Class of 2006)
Marino J. Crocco is a 2006 graduate of NHHS who earned three varsity letters for Hall of Fame coach Federico Fiondella. He was also a regular on the honor roll.
Crocco earned a spot on the All-Oronoque Division Team in his junior and senior years. Crocco had a huge senior season that saw him score 18 goals on his way to finishing with 28 goals for his high school career. Crocco also made the All-SCC Team, the Class L All-State Team, and the New Haven Register All-Area Team as a senior. He played in the Connecticut Senior All-Star Game and was named North Haven’s Most Valuable Player.
Crocco went on to attend Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) and competed for the men’s soccer team for four seasons, earning a starting position for both his junior and senior years. Crocco was a member of the 2006, 2007, and 2009 teams that participated in the NCAA Tournament. In his freshman year, SCSU made it to the NCAA Elite 8.
Crocco earned his bachelor of science degree in education with concentrations in Spanish and Italian at SCSU. Crocco then attended the University of New Haven, where he served as an assistant coach for the men’s soccer squad from 2011 to 2013, before receiving his master of arts degree in education for K through 12.
Crocco works clinics for Everson Soccer Academy and Ginga FC and has coached many Premier youth teams for the past seven years. Crocco also continues to play soccer in a men’s open league and also in the Shoreline Adult Soccer League with Club Napoli.
Crocco is currently an ophthalmic account manager for Sun Pharmaceuticals. He lives in East Haven with his wife Brittney and his son Gianni.
Jennifer Cruver (Class of 2009)
Jennifer Lynn Cruver earned four varsity letters in softball and two varsity letters in basketball before graduating from NHHS in 2009. Cruver also made the honor roll, served as a student ambassador, was a member of the Future Teachers Club, and also a student representative for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges evaluation process.
Cruver was the starting pitcher for the North Haven softball team beginning in her freshman year and led the program to four-consecutive State Tournament appearances. Cruver was an All-Oronoque Team selection all four years and made the Register All-Area Team three times. She received All-State Honorable Mention in her senior season and made the All-State Special Team as a junior.
Cruver led North Haven to a division title in her sophomore season and then helped the team post an undefeated divisional record on its way to claiming the Oronoque Division title in her junior campaign. Cruver also helped North Haven win the Class L state championship that season. In her senior season, Cruver served as a team captain and helped North Haven win another division title.
Cruver finished her high school career by being selected to the Federation Softball Umpires of Greater New Haven Senior All-Star Softball Team. She pitched against the Connecticut Brakettes in the Connecticut High School All-Stars Game. Cruver was recognized as one of the top 25 softball players in the state for the second-straight year and named North Haven’s MVP for the third time as a senior.
Cruver posted a record of 56-23 during her high school career. She had 481 strikeouts, gave up just 90 earned runs, and held hitters to a .180 batting average.
After graduating from NHHS, Cruver went to Salve Regina University, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in special education and a bachelor of science degree in elementary education. Cruver also continued to excel athletically as the primary pitcher and center fielder for the softball team. Cruver was elected captain her junior and senior years and received the 2012 Commonwealth Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year Award, leading her team to Eastern Collegiate Athletic Confernece New England Championship Tournament. She was named to the Commonwealth Coast Conference Team and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Academic Team.
Cruver earned a master of science degree in special education, as well as her educational leadership certification from Southern Connecticut State University. She has volunteered for many years both on the high school and youth levels, providing pitching clinics, working in winter clinics and summer camps, and also serving on the board of directors for the North Haven Girls’ Softball League.
Cruver lives in Syracuse, New York and currently works at OCM BOCES as a special education teacher.
Thomas Drury (Class of 1969)
Thomas Joseph Drury graduated from NHHS in 1969. During his tenure, Drury earned three varsity letters in football while playing for Hall of Fame coach Mike Vanacore, as well as two varsity letters for Hall of Fame baseball coach Bob DeMayo.
Drury was presented with the Sportsmanship Award for the North Haven baseball team in his senior season. Drury also captained the football squad to a successful season in his senior year, earning a spot on the All-Housatonic Team, along with the team’s MVP Award.
After graduation, Drury attended Laurelcrest Prep School in Bristol, where he played football for one year, garnering All-League honors. He went on to major in accounting at the University of Rhode Island (URI). Unfortunately, in the fall of his sophomore year, Drury suffered a career-ending knee injury after he had been slated to start that season as a defensive back.
Drury made the dean’s list while matriculating at URI and also served as head of the dean’s advisory board for the College of Business in his senior year. In 1974, Drury completed his bachelor of science degree in accounting. He earned his MBA from the University of Wisconsin in 1983 and received his certificate in managing innovation from Stamford University in 1986.
Drury’s professional career featured positions with companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Graham Medical, National Patent Medical, Tolland Development Company, Hollister, and Essity. In 1987, Drury created the children’s health & beauty aids retail category with the introduction of Mickey Mouse Band-Aids.
In 1997, Drury founded Hydrofera, LLC, a medical device company currently headquartered in Manchester. In 2020, Hydrofera was recognized as the top wound care solutions provider in North America on the success of its Hydrofera Blue Wound Dressings. Drury is the holder of several patents and the recipient of several industry marketing and innovation awards.
Drury has coached youth soccer and baseball from the tee-ball to American Legion levels in Tolland. He also his coached U-14 softball team to the national semifinals. Additionally, Drury managed the Tolland High School softball team, recording seven-straight winning seasons. In 2012, Drury coached the Connecticut High School All-Star softball team at DeMayo Ballfield in North Haven.
Drury and his wife Catherine reside in Narragansett, Rhode Island. They have two children, Matthew and Amanda, and a grandson, Noah Thomas Silva.
Marilyn Gillo (Service Award)
Marilyn R. Gillo and her late husband Anthony lived in New Haven for a short time before moving to North Haven in 1956. They looked for a town that had good schools and was a nice place to live and found North Haven. Together, the Gillos raised five children who all graduated from North Haven.
Gillo pursued a position at NHHS. In the span of 25 years, she worked with three athletic directors: Lou Preziosi, Marge Dolan, and Todd Petronio. All three describe Gillo as loyal, an excellent communicator, a problem solver, and a multitasker.
Gillo made numerous contributions to the North Haven athletic family. This included doing things like working the concession stands for the softball team, making sure that game personnel were in place, and helping out coaches and teachers throughout a busy day.
Gillo continued to volunteer after retiring in 2012. She reads to elementary students in Wallingford, volunteers at the church fair, golf tournaments, and the concession stands for high school games, in addition to volunteering at the Hope Barn Sale in Hamden.
Gillo has seven grandchildren, including some who graduated from NHHS and a few who are now employed by the North Haven school system. She also has five great-grandchildren.
Marian Rockwell (Class of 1971)
Marian L. Kulick Rockwell is a 1971 graduate of NHHS who set high standards for herself in both the classroom and the athletic arena. Rockwell was on the honor roll throughout her high school tenure and graduated in the top 10 of her class of more than 400 students. As an athlete, she earned four varsity letters in gymnastics and four varsity letters in track and field.
Rockwell played for coach Marilyn Grennon as a member of the North Haven gymnastics team. In her senior season, she served as a captain for a squad that claimed the state championship. Rockwell placed first in the all-around at the state meet on her way to earning All-State honors.
During the spring, Rockwell competed for coach Lauren Anderson with the girls’ outdoor track team. Rockwell led the team as a captain in her senior year. She also took third place in the hurdles and the 800 at the State Open that season.
Rockwell went on to attend the University of Massachusetts after she graduated from North Haven. Rockwell was a member of the women’s gymnastics team at UMass and earned a bachelor of science degree in public health in 1975. Rockwell helped the gymnastics team win regional and national collegiate championships, and she also co-captained the team in her senior year.
Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Rockwell continued her interest in physical education. While earning her master’s in physical education at the University of Connecticut, she coached the women’s gymnastics team. During that time, she also ran several marathons and rode her bicycle across the country.
Rockwell taught and coached at Southwest Missouri State University while maintaining her passion for running, including completing an ultra-marathon up and down Pikes Peak. After two years, Rockwell moved back east and took a teaching position at the United States Military Academy at West Point. She takes great pride in having played a part in the success of West Point’s first class of graduating women.
Rockwell taught courses in close quarter combat, swimming, bicycling, obstacle courses, gymnastics, aerobics, and cross country skiing. In her spare time, she earned her black belt in martial arts, raised money for local charities, and helped with youth programs.
Rockwell currently resides in Fort Montgomery, New York in a home that she and her husband built together.
Jennie Ruth Setaro (Class of 1996)
Jennie Ruth Setaro graduated from NHHS in 1996. Cetaro earned four varsity letters in field hockey and four varsity letters in golf at the high school. She also excelled in the classroom as an honor roll student for four years.
Setaro primarily played on defense during her field hockey career, but also scored plenty of goals on penalty corners. Setaro finished her career with 36 goals and 18 assists. She was named North Haven’s in 1994 and 1995, serving as a captain in her senior season. Setaro made the All-Conference Team all four years and was a three-time All-State selection. In her senior year, Setaro was selected to the New England All-Star Team and went on to be named the 1996 Class Athlete for her senior class.
In the winter, Setaro played ice hockey for the Connecticut Polar Bears and Yale Youth Hockey. She also attended the women’s ice hockey Olympic Training Camp in 1993, 1994, and 1996.
Setaro led the North Haven golf squad as a captain in her sophomore, junior, and senior seasons, winning the team’s MVP Award as a sophomore. She qualified for the New England Women’s Tournament in each of those three seasons and also played in the Connecticut State Tournament in 1994 and 1995.
Following high school, Setaro attended Northeastern University, where she received an athletic scholarship to play ice hockey. Setaro played as a defender for the women’s ice hockey team for all four years. She helped her teams win the Beanpot championship in 1997 and 1998 and the ECAC title in 1997. In 1998, her team took third place in the Division I National Championship.
Setaro was named team captain in 2000. At the end of her career at Northeastern, the team had amassed a record of 100-31-11. She holds sixth place all-time in scoring among Northeastern defenders with 86 points.
Setaro earned a bachelor of science degree in sociology in 2001. In 2016, she graduated with honors from Fairfield University, receiving her master of arts degree in clinical mental health counseling. Setaro works as a licensed professional counselor/psychotherapist and athletic liaison at Wesleyan University.
Setaro and her partner Giovanna Setaro live in Wallingford with their children. Finley, Logan, and Hudson.