FHS Alumni News

Hall of Fame Inducts Seven New Members

On Sunday evening, June 26, 2016 the FHS Hall of Fame inducted 7 new members at their annual banquet held at the Century House. The inductees included: (L-R front) Nephi Tyler ‘99, Katie Cozzens ‘95, Debra (Hanson) Almeida ‘72, (L-R rear) Jerry Razon ‘58, David Langlais ‘83 and Raymond Canastra ‘76. (Not pictured: George Cook ‘27). Photo courtesy of Jim Mahaney ‘68.

Joseph (Jerry) Razon  Class of 1958

His athletic accomplishments were massive, football being his strong suit. Razon lettered in his last three years, playing at the center position. His exceptional play at that position helped lead Fairhaven to winning seasons during the Mel Entin era.  Razon was named to the All Bristol County Squad his senior year, and was a member of the 1956 “Twelve Iron Men” football team which was honored for their Memorable Season by the 2010 FHS Hall of Fame.

In baseball, Jerry was a member of some outstanding teams throughout his last three years at Fairhaven High School, competing against much larger schools including New Bedford, Durfee, Taunton and Attleboro High Schools. His athletic endeavors included four years on the football, captain during senior year, two years of basketball, four years of baseball and three years of track.

He was also active in social events in high school. He was homeroom President, Vice-President, and Treasurer and also participated in the Key Club for four years. Jerry also held offices in the traffic squad and was a member of several chorus groups including making the ALL-State Chorus. Jerry Razon was born in New Bedford and raised in Fairhaven, attended Oxford Elementary School and Fairhaven High School, graduating with the class of 1958.

He went on to University of Massachusetts/Amherst for two years then transferred to Stockbridge Culinary School and later graduated from The Culinary School of America in 1962. Jerry then served three years in the Navy. After completing his Navy duties, he worked at the Fort Rodman Job Corp. He ultimately transferred to IBM in New York for twenty-nine years, retiring in 1993. Jerry was Past President of the Fairhaven Varsity Club and a member of the Livesey Club. After moving to Mashpee in 1993, he worked at the Coast Guard Station in Woods Hole from 1993-2002 and currently still resides in Mashpee.

Debra Hanson Almeida  Class of 1972  Lifetime Achiever

Debra Hanson Almeida grew up in, and attended Fairhaven schools, graduating from high school in 1972. She went on to Bridgewater State College and graduated with a B.S. Cum Laude in Elementary Education in 1977 and a Masters in Education in 1986. She then received her CAGS degree from Fitchburg College and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Cambridge College in 2010. As part of her National Board Certification she mentored 15 elementary teachers and traveled to China and Japan in educational exchange programs. She began working at Freetown Elementary School in 1977 but spent the majority of her 34 years teaching at the Sippican School, predominantly grades 3, 4 and 5. 

Retiring in 2014 Debra traveled to Japan in October 2013. As a member of the executive board of the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society, she assisted in making plans to celebrate the enduring friendship of the Fairhaven whaling captain, Captain Whitfield, and the rescued Japanese fisherman Manjiro Nakanahama. A festival is held each year, one year in Tosashimizu, the next year in Fairhaven. 2013 was the year for his hometown to celebrate. Debra was asked to be a judge in the fishing port’s Halloween Costume Contest that was part of the festival. She awarded prizes to the winners and led her traveling companions through the fair suggesting delicious food items to try from the vendors and she purchased handmade items made from kimono fabric to display during her Japanese course offered at WMFS.

Debra continues to teach math and science graduate courses for the Center for Innovation in Education/LMU for over 25 years, traveling nationwide. Because she holds a Masters and Doctorate in education, she is currently an adjunct professor for Cambridge College, teaching local history courses for the Whitfield/Manjiro Friendship Society. Her course also includes whaling history, language lessons, Japanese cooking, and activities to make the cultures come alive for the teachers and their classrooms. Deb offers a wealth of artifacts and books. Her daily displays leave a lasting impression on her students and help her lessons come alive. Deb is involved in many clubs and volunteer groups besides the WhitfieldManjiro Friendship Society: Fairhaven Colonial Club, New Bedford Garden Club, Class of ‘72 Alumni Group, Delta Kappa Gamma (teacher’s group) and was always involved in her children’s PTO groups and sports. Deb holds or has held an officer’s position in all of her groups. She also continues to travel and babysit grandchildren. Debra is married to Dana Almeida, former student, teacher and head football coach at FHS. They live in Fairhaven. They have three children; Tara, Shana, and Derek. They have 6 grandchildren, Layla, Emily, Oliver, Grace, Sage and Roman. They are very proud of their growing family and as busy as they are they still visit each of them often.

George M. Cook  Class of 1927

He was a coach and teacher but George Cook’s main claim to fame at Fairhaven High School was his prowess as an athlete. Unique probably was the best word to describe this all-around athlete during the mid-to-late 1920s, because that’s exactly what he was. That uniqueness came to life in December of 1926 when, after being awarded a varsity “F” in recognition of his winning the Greater New Bedford Junior Tennis Championship the previous summer, he became the only five-letter athletic winner in the high school that year. Cook had won and would also win letters in football, basketball, baseball and track. By winning the tennis title Cook became just the sixth student/athlete at Fairhaven to earn five varsity letters in the same year. John Hawkins, Raymond “Peanut” Waterman, Hilton Holland, Carlcy Holland and William Q. “Biff” MacLean ’54 were the others. Cook was a man for all seasons. He was a consistent ground-gainer as a running back in a powerful Fairhaven backfield in 1926, captain of a track team where he was a key member of the Blues’ talented relay team, a captain and guard on the basketball team and an infielder with the baseball squad. At the end of his senior year, Cook was awarded the coveted Sparrow Cup which was awarded annually to the athlete “who performs with the most meritorious service.”

But as good as he was in those four sports, Cook’s most memorable headlines came in the summer of his junior year when he defeated fellow Fairhaven athlete Al Andrews, to win the Greater New Bedford Junior Tennis title in a five-set marathon match held at the Country Club of New Bedford. The match took three hours and 30 minutes before it went to Cook, 6-2, 7-5, 3-6, 3-6, 10-8. Away from the athletic arenas, Cook served his senior class as President.

George was also president of the school’s athletic association and was the assistant to the school newspaper The Huttlestonian. Cook was an A/B student throughout his high school years and at the University of New Hampshire where he won a varsity letter in football and was the school’s inter-fraternity tennis champion in 1930 and 1931. Cook later returned to Fairhaven where he taught English and served as the school’s tennis coach for six years before moving to Brockton where he taught English at the high school. Except for tennis, Cook’s competitive days as an athlete ended after college. He later moved to Tennessee where he became a tennis professional at the John Rogers Tennis in Memphis. He returned to Brockton in 1960 where he resumed his classroom teaching. In 1966, he said “he got tired of wasting time measuring and drawing lines for true-false, multiple choice and completion tests for high school English studies” and decided to do something about it. That something was acquiring a patent of a plastic clear template that enabled a teacher to lay out an objective test that normally took seven-to-eight minutes to prepare in less than a minute. Cook was married to the former Bertha Rohr of Essex, N.H. and the couple had two sons, William and George Jr. A 1966 newspaper article said the Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UNH and English teacher was enjoying his role as an inventor. “Primarily because it saves time for me,” Cook was quoted as saying. It’s also presumed he was spending time remembering those unique days at Fairhaven when he was one of only six student/athletes to earn five varsity letters in one single year.

Raymond Canastra  Class of 1976

A three season athlete at Fairhaven High School, Raymond Canastra played football, and ran indoor and outdoor track. A three season athlete Ray gained the most notoriety on the football field. Ray was a mighty anchor of both the defensive and offensive line for Fairhaven High School football in the years 1974 and 1975. During this time Fairhaven High School won back to back Southern Massachusetts Conference Division II Championships. Along with achieving team success, Ray was also recognized for his personal achievements. Ray was selected by the Standard Times as all-Southern Massachusetts Conference All-Star, selected by the Taunton Gazette as an All-Star, and also selected by The Courier to the South Easter Massachusetts Conference All-Star squad. He earned each of these honors in both his junior and senior seasons. Ray was also selected as a captain of the football team during his senior year.

Upon graduation, Ray has spent his time on the New Bedford waterfront. In 1994 Ray established the Whaling City Seafood Display Auction. The auction provided an orderly open market giving fisherman with more exposure to buyers and the buyers a more predictable supply of seafood. Later in the same year Ray created BASE an electronic auction house. This business connected buyers and sellers from different locations opening the seafood market. Ray also contributed his time with numerous local youth sports. He not only sponsored many teams and organizations, he also helped run St Mary’s Catholic Youth Organization basketball program, as well as coaching many other youth sports teams.

David Langlais  Class of 1983 He may have had a bitter-sweet high school athletic career, but when it was time to “spring” into action, David Langlais jumped to the top of Fairhaven’s all-time productive list. A three-sport athlete for the Blue Devils, the 6’2” Langlais was a man for all seasons, participating as an offensive end for the football team in the fall, playing a key role with the basketball team in the winter and, over his last two seasons, dominating the spring as the baseball team’s two-time pitching ace. Langlais earned his stripes as a football player during the 1982 season midway through the schedule when he caught a pass from quarterback Steve Caron and turned it into the only touchdown of his varsity career which proved to be the difference in a 27-20 victory at Wareham. It would be just the third win of the season for the Blue Devils and it was also the team’s only win on the road. It would also be the team’s last victory of the season as Fairhaven would drop its final four games and finish with a record of 3-7.

Langlais then began preparing for what he hoped would be better result for him and the basketball team in the season ahead. Half of those hopes were realized. Unfortunately, the Blue Devils would win just five games in the 1982- 83 campaign but nobody was blaming Langlais for the team’s struggles. Getting his feet wet in his first full season the year before by scoring a total of just 60 points, the gangly forward showed promise in his previews of coming attractions by scoring 14 and 12 points, albeit in losses to New Bedford High and Bishop Feehan. The Blue Devils won only seven games and failed to qualify for the tournament in his junior season, but bigger and better things were expected in Langlais’ final winter season. While the team didn’t meet that expectation, the all-around play of Langlais clearly did. The 6-2 veteran was the only Fairhaven player that season to score 20 or more points in a game and he did it in nine different games – including a string of four games in a row – to keep a mediocre team competitive in the Southeastern Massachusetts Conference, Division 2 race. The Blue Devils won just five games that season but 11 of the 14 losses were by a total of 36 points with seven by three points-or-less. After scoring a total of 12 points through his first three games, Langlais finally found the scoring range and tallied twin-digits in 13 of his next 14 outings including the 20-plus streak of four-in-a-row (23, 28, 24 and 20) to start the second half of the schedule. Langlais finished with a total of 236 points in 19 games for a team-high average of 12.4 a game.

But his breakout season was just weeks away and for the second straight spring, Langlais was about to spring into action. The year before, the junior right hander helped pitch Fairhaven to the SMC, Division 2 championship. This time he would carry the team to a repeat effort as a senior. He finished the season and his high school regular season career with a record of 8-2 and ranked among the top pitchers in the entire SMC (all divisions) in Earned Run Average. He also played a major role on offense by banging out 26 hits in 62 at-bats for a .419 average and led the team in runs batted in with 18. But it was his ability to dominate on the pitching mound that set Langlais apart from the average pitcher. “The key to his pitching this year has been his ability to change speeds,” head coach Allen Duarte was quoted as saying. That effort earned Langlais a spot on The Standard-Times and SMC, Div. 2 All-Star teams. David received his BS in Management Science at Bridgewater State, and played baseball there, graduating in 1988. He also earned a BS in Nursing from UMass Dartmouth, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1999. He is currently Senior Manager of Global Pharmacovigilance Quality Assurance. He is happily married to his wife Cheryl and together they have two children, Jillian 13, and Jack 9.

Katie Cozzens  Class of 1995

Katie Cozzens began running competitively at Hastings Middle School where she finished first in the mile. As a freshman, she posted the fifth fastest time ever by a girl on the Fairhaven course and finished first in the freshman division of both the Brown and Peter Jewell Invitational. She was eighth against all competitors in the South Coast Conference meet and ninth in the Freshman-Sophomore division of the State coaches Meet. Katie capped her first season by finishing 14th in Division 3 of the Eastern Massachusetts meet and was the only freshman on both the Standard Times and South Coast Conference All-star teams. Among the highlights of her winter track season was a fifth place finish in the mile in the Auerbach meet in Boston. At the South Coast Conference spring meet, Katie was second in the mile. As a freshman, Katie had the opportunity to attend and participate in the 1992 TAC Junior Olympics in Walnut, California. Cozzens competed in the 800-meter and although did not qualify, she came back with a wealth of experience.

Katie’s first Olympic competition was in the New England Regionals in Taunton where she won the 800-meter event with a time of 2:28.0. She then traveled to New York for the East Regionals and finished second with a time of 2:27.0, 3 seconds shy of first! In her sophomore year, Katie won the Freshman-Sophomore mile in 5:29.6 and rallied the Blue Devils to a victory in the 2-mile relay at Greater New Bedford VocTech Invitational. Her winning mile time shattered the meet records by almost 12 seconds. Within an hour of this first victory, she ran the anchor leg for Fairhaven’s 2-mile relay team where she made up a half-lap deficit on ORR. The Devil’s winning time of 10:24.9 broke the meet record of 10:32 set by New Bedford in 1991. These two victories earned her the Perfection Player of the week in 1993. At the time she stated that she prepared for her races by listening to “Eye of the Tiger” and “Rocky” and she always kept a lucky charm with her – a track foot fastened to her running shorts given to her by a friend! As the senior captain, she won five of seven dual meets for the Blue Devils. Katie’s best time was a 15:03 on the Fairhaven course in Cross Country and she placed second in the Apponequet Invitational. In her High School career, Katie listed her biggest athletic thrill as “breaking school records” during her senior year in the 800, 600, 4x400 and 4x800, she was the anchor leg of both relays and also being part of the 1994 and 1995 Indoor track team that won the SSC Championship those two years consecutively, a great team effort!

Katie went on to graduate from UMass Dartmouth, Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management. She considers her biggest accomplishment being the “Mom” to her two sons, Tanner and Tucker.

Nephi Tyler  Class of 1999

At the start of Tyler’s first freshman race for FHS, a nearby brush fire had filled Bourne’s outdoor track with the smoke of burning scrub oak. The acrid air burned the eyes and lungs of those racing, but it didn’t stop Tyler from winning the two mile that day. Be it wildfires, wind, rain or cinder mud, not much could keep Tyler from the winner’s circle his next four years at FHS. Tyler was the last of the runners at FHS to fly circles on the Round Gym track or kick up dust around cinder stadium track. In his first season of cross country, he won the sophomore race at the Peter Jewell Invitational in a time which would have won the senior division that day. Sophomore year he was 4th at the SCC championships and junior year he was 2nd in a torrential down-pour. By senior year he would go on to set course records at Martha’s Vineyard, Wareham, ORR and Fairhaven. Tyler also went undefeated in the SCC, winning one particular race on a flooded Apponequet course where the deluge was knee deep in some sections. Tyler won the SCC Championship meet and SCC Runner of the Year honors. He also won the Bay State Invitational at Boston’s Franklin Park, and placed 2nd at the State Coaches Meet, with a personal best 16:03 5k at Franklin Park. Junior year, he ran a two mile best 9:46, placing third at the Loucks Games. As lead-off leg on the distance medley relay, his team set the Class D state record. By senior year he focused solely on the mile in championship races.

Tyler greatly valued the dedication of coach Bob Demanche and teamwork of Bryan Silveira as they pushed each other to break the FHS mile record held by former FHS runner, David Crabbe. Steve Bender, a longtime FHS coach and expert motivator, put the challenge to Tyler that he “wouldn’t be able to handle the workouts Crabbe did.” Those words lit the fuse on a conflagration of wins and records that would define Tyler’s senior year. As anchor leg at the SCC Indoor Relays, Tyler was more than a full lap behind rival Seekonk before the exchange. Tyler took the baton with a cool hand and tracked down his prey, unleashing a crowd roaring final kick to win by a lean at the line. At the Falmouth Relays, Tyler again took the baton 100m behind the leaders. A calculated fury over the next two laps gave him another leaning win at the line and a sprint medley school record. In major competition, Tyler won the Loucks mile in a school record time of 4:20. He also set the 800m school record in 1:59. At the SCC Championships, Tyler won the mile in 4:23. At the Class D State Championship he won the mile in 4:21, holding off a last lap attack from his Seekonk arch rival. That time would stand as a Class D state record for the next 10 years. At the All-State meet Tyler placed 4th in 4:20, the winner being the top ranked miler in the nation that year. Tyler earned an athletic scholarship to the University of Utah where he was captain and set school records in the 1500m (3:43) and DMR (10:05). He won the1500m at the Oregon Invitational and at the NCAA Indoor Div. I Championships he placed 11th in the mile. He graduated with a degree in journalism and ran several years under the legendary Arkansas Razorback coach, John McDonnell. He placed 22nd at the USA Cross Country Championships, ran bests in the mile (4:03), 800m (1:50) and 3000m (7:57) which ranked him 12th professionally in the US.

Tyler has coached cross country at the college level, was an assistant editor/researcher of a national best seller, and works in research as an Advanced EMT. He races competitively in cross country skiing and enjoys alpine skiing in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah.

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