READING, MA — Austin Preparatory School in Reading will induct five individuals and one team into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 11.
This will be the fifth induction ceremony for the school. The event honors athletes from five decades of Austin Prep athletic history, from the school’s origins in the 1960s through the 21st century.
The induction ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Wyndham Andover hotel in Andover. Tickets are $60, which includes dinner and a cash bar. To purchase tickets, please go to www.austinprep.org/hof.
The inductees are:
Michael J. Ciampa, Class of 1976
Inducted for: Baseball
Currently lives: Wilmington, Mass.
Formerly lived: Reading, Mass.
Achievements at Austin Prep: Two-time Merrimack Valley Conference All-Star as centerfielder. Holds eight single season and career records in baseball. After graduating, he attended Westfield State, earning All-American status and inducted into the college’s first 1994 Hall of Fame class. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox, playing four years in their minor league system. Outstanding high school hockey referee the past 16 seasons.
Thomas F. Birmingham, Class of 1967
(former Massachusetts Senate President)
Inducted for: Football, Basketball & Baseball
Currently lives: Chelsea, Mass.
Formerly lived: Chelsea, Mass.
Achievements at Austin Prep: School’s first three-time letterman in football, basketball and baseball. Two-time Catholic District League All-Star. After graduating, he attended Harvard and played basketball. He was a Massachusetts State Senator from June 1991-2003, and served as Senate President from 1996-2003.
David E. Nelson, Class of 1981 (posthumous induction)
Inducted for: Men’s Ice Hockey
Lived in: Burlington, Mass. (His brothers – Alfred Nelson III, Class of 1973, and Ronald Nelson, Class of 1975 – will be accepting the award.)
Achievements at Austin Prep: Four year career in ice hockey. Captain in his senior year, 1981, led the varsity to its first League Championship and to the state tournament Division 1 Semifinals. Set school records for single season and career scoring by a defenseman. Austin’s MVP in 1981, chosen Lowell Sun Player of the Year and HNIB Catholic All-Scholastic. Awarded a scholarship to play at the University of Lowell. He passed away just before graduation. His hockey jersey, No. 10, is the first and only number to be retired in the history of Austin Prep sports.
Tara L. Williams-Cahill, Class of 1996
Inducted for: Cheerleading & Swimming
Currently lives: Reading, Mass.
Formerly lived: Billerica, Mass.
Achievements at Austin Prep: Graduate of the first four year co-educational class at Austin Prep, chosen as the All-Around Athlete in the class of 1996. Founder of the co-ed swim team as a sophomore, three-time MVP and two-time regional All-Star. Set eight of 11 event records that stood for 12 years. Four year cheerleader for football, and co-captain for two years. Graduated from Boston College.
Nathan F. Sherr, Class of 2007
Inducted for: Football
Currently lives: San Diego, Calif.
Formerly lived: Lynnfield, Mass.
Achievements at Austin Prep: Four year varsity football starter, three-time Catholic Central League All-Star, three-time Boston media All-Scholastic and two-time League MVP. Set 17 single season and career team records. Chosen All-Around athlete of the class of 2007. After graduating from Austin, he played football at the University of Connecticut, before ending his career at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
George “Matt” Miller (posthumous induction)
Inducted as a Contributor
Lived in: Reading, Mass.
Achievements at Austin Prep: Miller came to Austin Prep as a teacher in 1969 and stayed for 43 years, retiring in 2012. He was a teacher of English and theology, librarian, department chair and Director of Student Activities, overseeing the athletic program. His life was a fixture in the classroom, library and athletic sidelines. He was a great champion of Cougar sports, and more importantly, a great champion of its student-athletes. In April, 2012 a scholarship in his name was established to benefit students and honor his teaching memory. He passed away in December, 2013.
1985-1986 Men’s Ice Hockey Team
Under head coach Ed McColgan and assistant coach Steve Arnold, the team won the school’s first Massachusetts High School Hockey Championship. They won their first Catholic Central League Championship, and earned both the Division 2 North and Eastern Mass. Championships. They ended the season on a school record 21 game winning streak, and set a sports record with nine league All-Stars.
(Press Release provided by Austin Prep)