‘Surprised’ 3-sport standout among selections for Hampton hall of fame Class of 2023

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Saturday, September 16, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Former Hampton three-sport standout Joe Raimondi saw the letter from the school’s athletic hall of fame and was unsure what to believe.

Raimondi had suffered a torn ACL in a 2009 WPIAL football semifinal loss, denying him his senior seasons in wrestling and lacrosse, and, as the years went by, he figured a hall of fame induction would never come.

“I was so surprised to get the letter about the hall of fame because (everything) ended on such a down note,” he said. “It was definitely exciting, with a little disbelief. The injury was a piece of it, that I didn’t think it would ever come. Also linemen don’t necessarily get any glory in sports. … When the letter came, it was definitely an honor.”

Raimondi, a 2010 graduate, is part of a five-member 2023 class that also includes two brothers who are joining their father in the Hampton Hall of Fame, one of the top distance runners in school history and a longtime school board member who oversaw multiple facilities improvements.

They will be honored at the hall of fame banquet Sept. 28 at Treesdale and introduced at the homecoming football game against Connellsville on Sept. 29 at Fridley Field.

The DiBucci brothers, Severino and Dante, will be joining their father, Ralph, in the hall of fame. The elder DiBucci, a 1977 graduate, was part of the Class of 2008 (football, wrestling). They are the first father-son pairing to be inducted into the Hampton hall, formed in 2001.

“I always envisioned when I was younger saying that it would be pretty cool to be on some wall that my dad is a part of in the Hampton athletic hall of fame,” said Severino DiBucci, a 2015 Hampton graduate who excelled in football and lacrosse. “And here we are.”

DiBucci was part of Hampton’s WPIAL lacrosse champions as a freshman in 2012 and as a senior in ‘15. In football, he was named first-team all-Greater Allegheny Conference middle linebacker for the conference champion as a senior in ‘14.

DiBucci’s younger brother Dante, who graduated in ‘16, also was a standout lacrosse and football player for the Talbots.

“It’s kind of crazy,” said Severino, 27, who lives in Dallas and works for a large investment firm. “I think it’s going to be a pretty big night for my family.”

The family just got a little bigger for Hampton hall of famer Elaina Balouris Tabb, a former track and cross country star for the Talbots. The 2010 Hampton graduate and her husband Brian welcomed their first child, a daughter, on Sept. 3. Balouris Tabb won the 3,200-meter run as a senior at Hampton and was a two-time top-three finisher at the WPIAL Class 3A cross country championships.

She went on to become a six-time Division I All-American at William & Mary and represented the U.S. on five continents as a professional distance runner. Two years ago, she finished second among all U.S. females in the 125th Boston Marathon.

Balouris Tabb, 31, is a first-year cross country coach and a math teacher at Oakland Catholic.

“Honestly, nothing can compare to high school cross country,” she said. “It was where I really fell in love with the sport, so that’s why it holds such a special place in my heart. It was definitely the most fun time in running, because the stakes were the lowest in high school, comparatively.”

Inducted as a contributor was Mary Alice Hennessey, who participated on the Hampton school board for 12 years (2007-19) and oversaw renovations to Fridley Field and the completion of the high school baseball field.

Raimondi, 31, lives in Columbia, S.C., and does anti-money laundering consulting work for a large accounting firm. He said he will never forget his days at Hampton.

As a junior, he was a WPIAL Class 3A runner-up heavyweight wrestler and part of the WPIAL Class 3A lacrosse champion. As a senior, he was a first-team all-conference lineman as the Talbots rebounded from a 1-8 record in ‘08 to reach the WPIAL Class 3A semifinals as a No. 14 seed with victories over Chartiers Valley and Uniontown.

It all changed with a torn ACL in the first quarter against Rushel Shell-led Hopewell in the WPIAL semifinals. Raimondi competed in two early season wrestling matches with the injury before shutting down and having surgery. But the gratifying memories from Hampton endure.

“Some of us started playing together in third grade and continued playing all the way through senior year,” Raimondi said. “I don’t think there’s an experience like that anywhere else in sports.”

Talbot treasures

Here are the inductees for the Hampton Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2023:

Elaina Balouris Tabb, cross country/track, 2010

Dante DiBucci, football/lacrosse, 2016

Severino DiBucci, football/lacrosse, 2015

Joe Raimondi, football/wrestling/lacrosse, 2010

Mary Alice Hennessey, contributor, 1994 (Crestwood HS)

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