IPSWICH — Growing up in Ipswich, David Bialek’s father John taught him everything there was to know about sports. After all, his late father was a three-sport athlete at the high school and was the co-founder and president of both Ipswich Little League and the youth hockey program in town. David too went on to lead a successful athletic career at Ipswich High as a four-year varsity player for hockey and baseball.
Last night, David, John and seven other honorees become the newest members inducted into the Ipswich Athletic Hall of Fame. Family, friends and the Ipswich community gathered at the Hellenic Center for the school’s special event.
“This night means so much to me,” said David Bialek (Class of 1970), whose father was inducted posthumously. “Ipswich High School has had many outstanding sports teams and individual student athletes over the years and it’s an honor to be mentioned in the same breath as some of these people here.
“The highlight of my evening is that my father is being inducted as well. He was the finest man I’ve ever met and a tremendous athlete. My father started me out in sports, while he was coaching Little League. He would be out on this Ipswich River during the winter playing hockey and when I was old enough, he had a pair of skates on my feet as well.”
John Bialek graduated in 1933 and went on to play hockey at Northeastern University, where he was the leading scorer for three seasons.
The other seven inductees included five athletes, Chris Bromby (Class of ‘1993), Venetia Constantine (’76), James Larochelle (’71), J.J. Milette (’86) and Edward Sklarz (’53), one coach David Whipple (’54) and one meritorious recipient Angelo Perna.
Coach Whipple (1967-’78) guided the boys basketball team to three postseason appearances at the Boston Garden, won 33 straight games between 1969 and 1970 and finished with the highest number of program wins (172) at time of retirement.