Hall of Fame 2017-18 Inductees
Coach Francisco "Chico" Barata - Boys Soccer Coach 1991 - 2010
Coach Barata, otherwise known as “Chico”, served as Immaculate High School’s boys soccer head coach from 1991 to 2010. Coach Barata led his team to state championships in 1996 and 1997 and several league finals. He has over 35 years of coaching experience at the youth, club and high school levels. Chico has trained professional athletes in the United States and abroad, including players that have earned All New-England and All-American status, as well as training many travel programs and club teams.
He is currently a member of the NSCAA and holds a USSF and CIAC license. Coach Barata has earned many accolades at the premier and competitive level including several tournament and state championships. He is known for being a wonderful soccer coach and working at the game’s highest levels for many years. Chico is currently working with his son and IHS Hall of Fame 2011 inducted athlete, John Barata in Massachusetts to help bring his passion to the kids in the Easton Soccer Community. IHS alumnus and Hall of Famer John Barata comments on his father’s career saying, “He has taught the beautiful game of soccer and helped develop quality citizens. He gave of himself and poured his heart and soul into each and every player he coached at Immaculate and elsewhere.” Chico worked for decades at Kanthal (Sandvik) in Bethel, CT. Coach Barata is currently a Senior Staff Coach with the Beautiful Game Soccer Academy.
David Bonilla '00 - Cross Country, Basketball & Baseball
David was a talented multi-sport student-athlete at Immaculate High School. He participated in cross country, basketball and baseball, was a member of the National Honor Society and held high/distinguished honors throughout all four years of high school. David was a team captain his senior year for all three sports and was Immaculate’s Student Council President as a senior.
While on the varsity cross country team for four years, David was a three time All-SWC and two time All-State recipient. David was a three-year varsity starter in baseball and basketball. In basketball David led his team in assists for three years and in 2000 was named to the All-Patriot division, All-Area Honorable Mention and CHSCA Academic All-State. The IHS baseball team which David was a captain of was runner-up in the Class S State finals. David represented Immaculate on the American Legion Team in 1999.
David went on to graduate from Boston College in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Operations and Management. He then received an Academic Leadership Scholarship at Suffolk Law School. This award is given to the top five students per division for the first year of law school. He finished in the top 10 percent of his class and was later admitted as an attorney to the Iowa Bar.
David is currently the Vice President of Sales for an Iowa manufacturer. He lives with his wife of seven years, Renee Vaillancourt, in Ridgefield, CT with their two children Vivienne and Landon.
Nikki (Weiss) Conte '07 - Soccer & Basketball
Nikki was a dedicated and decorated athlete for the Mustangs. She played three years on the Varsity Women’s Basketball team and four years on the Women’s Soccer team. During her time at Immaculate, Nikki was in the National Honor Society, while also achieving many soccer awards and honors. Nikki earned All-SWC and All-State ‘03 - ’06, All-New England ‘05 & ‘06, and All- American in ‘06. Nikki was named SWC Tournament MVP in ‘04 & ‘05, and helped her team win the SWC Championship both years. As the team’s goalie, Nikki helped her team win four Class S State Championships, with no goals against the Mustangs in the ‘05 or ‘06 campaign. Nikki was IHS’s Women’s Soccer Captain in ‘06 & ‘07, while being named the Class S State Tournament MVP in 2006. In 2007, she was the HOBY Leadership Award Recipient and won the SWC Leadership Award. Nikki was on the US Under 15 National Team and US Under 16 National Pool. She participated in the Olympic Development Program, representing the Connecticut State Team from 2000-2006. While in ODP, Nikki traveled to Europe with the Region 1 Team, playing with Adidas U17 All-Star Team which toured Scotland, Holland and Germany in 2006. She also toured Brazil in the Spring of 2007 where she was a member of the first women’s team to play in the legendary Maracanã Stadium. Nikki played for Connecticut Football Club and earned state titles from 2005-2007, including making it to the USYS Region 1 Semifinal in 2006 and 2007.
Nikki continued her academic and athletic career at the University of Notre Dame. She helped her team become Big East Regular Season Champions from 2007-2010 and Big East Tournament Champions in 2008 and 2009. Nikki was awarded Big East All-Tournament Team in ‘09 and Big East All-Academic Team ‘09 -’10. With Nikki as goalie, the University of Notre Dame became NCAA National Champions in 2010. They also reached the semi-finals in ‘07 and ‘09, and the finals in ‘08. While playing soccer at Notre Dame, Nikki set a Big East record with a .15 GAA in conference play, and posted the second-best save percentage in school history at a .876! Nikki graduated from the University of Notre Dame in May 2011 with a Bachelor in Business Administration (Marketing Major). She now resides in Danbury, CT with her husband Anthony Conte ‘01, son Dominic, and daughter Quinn.
Chris Haddad '00 - Basketball & Baseball
Chris, formerly of Danbury, CT, was an accomplished basketball and baseball player for Immaculate High School, known for his tremendous competitive spirit. In basketball, he had a career high of 34 points, including 8 three-point field goals in the opening round of the Class S State Tournament. In Chris’s junior year he was an All-Patriot Division and NewsTimes second team All-Area selection. Chris was the team’s captain his senior year, and named to the All-Patriot Team, NewsTimes’ First Team All-Area and the State of CT Senior All-Star game. Chris made the winning three-point shot at the buzzer in a game against Stratford, and again in the Class ‘M’ State Quarterfinals against Kolbe Cathedral.
In baseball, Chris earned All-Patriot Division and State Class S Runner-Up honors in his sophomore year. During his junior and senior year, the baseball team was First Team All-SWC, All-State, Newstimes’ All Area and Chris was named team MVP. He was the CT Senior All-Star game selection and played in the CT vs. MA All-Star game at Fenway Park. Chris was named CT Post’s Top 15 Players in the State and was the John Giampolo award winner for Most Outstanding Senior in the SWC Conference.
After graduating from Immaculate, Chris attended Salve Regina University and continued his baseball career. In just his freshman year, Chris was named Commonwealth Coast Conference Rookie of the Year. His team won the CCC Championship his first year and they were First Team All-CCC consecutively in each of his four years. Chris was named two-time Division III New England Player of the Week his sophomore and junior year. He was then National Player of the Week in his junior year. Chris was named New England and National Player of the Week after pitching doubleheaders in CCC conference semifinals his junior and senior years, winning both games in both years. Chris ended his baseball career with many more achievements during his senior year, including being team captain, receiving Rawlings First Team DIII All-New England, ESPN Honorable Mention DIII All-American and CCC Champions titles, and was selected to play in the All-New England Collegiate All-Star Game at Fenway Park. He was third all time in hits, second in RBIs, third in runs scored, first in complete games pitches, first in strikeout to walk ratio, second in wins (pitching) and first in fielding percentage at shortstop in all of Salve Regina’s history. Chris was also the only player in program history to reach conference finals every year of his career.
Chris currently lives in Orlando, FL and is the Manager of Member and Golf Services at The Golden Bear Club in Windermere, FL. He currently plays on the Florida Professional Golf Mini Tour.
1986 State & WCC Championship Ice Hockey Team
Immaculate’s 1986 Ice Hockey team won both a conference and state championship with only two seniors, Gerry Vincent and Scott Prokop on the roster.
Often competing with three lines, this young team had a lot of depth and made their mark in the conference and state. The hockey program at Immaculate began just three years earlier. The 1986 season marked the team’s second straight year as the top ranked Division II team in Connecticut. They completed the regular season with an undefeated WCC schedule, losing only one game to non-conference opponent Westhill for a 19-1 overall record heading into the state tournament. The team competed in Division II state tournament semi-finals at Hamden High Rink, defeating Glastonbury with a 7-5 victory and then went on to defeat Wethersfield at the Hartford Civic Center in a sudden-death overtime, 8-7 come-back victory to earn the Division II state title.
Student-athletes on this memorable team included Mike Bonelli, Bob Bong, Scott Brown, Steve Brown, Raymond Conta, Chris Dacunto, Zach Dargaty, Paul Dumas, Tim Ganse, Ed Hovey, Chris Linkowski, Brian McGovern, Shawn McLean, Mike Pizzo, John Power, Phil Pretto, Gene Previdi, Scott Prokop, Lou Tocco, Gerry Vincent, Mike Walsh, and Dave Zandri.