Orono inducting second Hall class

Posted Oct. 07, 2009, at 10:31 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — Four Orono High School graduates will be inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame when the Red Riots’ football team faces Dexter during homecoming Friday night.

Jen Pelleriti, Jeff Paul, Steve Abbott and the late Jim Veno will represent the second class to be inducted into the Orono High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Pelleriti, a 1991 OHS graduate, captained the 1990 Red Riots’ field hockey team that won the program’s only Class B state title.

The two-time All Maine selection and two-time Penn Motto/USFHA high school All-American went on to Northwestern University where was a three-year starter and part of the school’s 1994 Big Ten title team. During that season she earned NCAA Regional All-America honors as well as being selected to the NCAA Final Four all-tournament team.

Pelleriti went on to coach college field hockey coach at Washington & Jefferson, Syracuse, Brown, Colby and Northwestern before recently taking a teaching position at Tantasqua Regional Senior High School in Massachusetts.

Paul is a 1980 graduate who played on four straight LTC championship football teams and two state championship teams as an all-conference quarterback and defensive back. Beginning with his sophomore season, the Red Riots never lost another game, the start of a 48-game streak that remains a state record.

In basketball, Paul helped Orono reach the Eastern Maine tournament three times, earning a trip to the regional final as a sophomore.

The three-time All-PVC choice in baseball helped the Red Riots win the 1978 Class B state title as well as another EM crown in 1977.

Paul went on to the University of Maine where he had a career .342 batting average and helped the Black Bears earn four trips to the College World Series, highlighted by a third-place finish as a sophomore.

The 1984 UMaine graduate currently is the assistant principal and athletic director at Glenburn Elementary School.

Abbott was a four-year starter on a Red Riot football team that went 38-0 and won four straight state titles. The 1981 OHS graduate also was a three-year basketball starter who helped Orono win the 1981 Class B state title, and played first base on the 1978 state championship baseball team.

The 1981 Maine Sports Hall of Fame scholar-athlete award recipient went on to major in history at Harvard, where he helped the Crimson win Ivy League football titles in 1983 and 1984 and captained the squad as a senior.

A 1991 graduate of the University of Maine School of Law, Abbott has been chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins since 1997.

Veno, a 1962 Orono graduate, was an All-Maine basketball player as a senior and twice was All-LTC in football. In track and field, he was the state record holder in the javelin for more than a decade.

In 1962, Veno accomplished a feat that has never been matched, winning the state schoolboy golf title, the Maine Amateur Golf Championship, and the Maine Open Golf Championship.

Veno won the Maine schoolboy championship five times, the Maine Junior golf championship once, the Maine Amateur twice, and the Maine Open once — all by age 19. His first schoolboy golf title came as an eighth-grader in 1958 at age 15.

He turned pro in 1964 and then added a second Maine Open Title in 1965.

Veno was inducted into the Maine Golf Hall of Fame in 1994.

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