Congratulations to the inaugural members of the Wheeler Athletics Hall of Fame! Two Warriors sports icons, MaryAnn “Mama” Farroba and Julie Baldwin, as well as two historic championship teams, 1985 Boys Soccer and 1988 Field Hockey, were inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the 2021 Reunion and Homecoming festivities.
Farroba, Athletics Director Sean Kelly ’02 remembered, “created a remarkable resume and a lasting legacy for Wheeler Athletics and our community as a whole. As a physical education teacher, coach, and referee, MaryAnn Mama Farroba not only positively impacted the experience of generations of Wheeler student-athletes, but her work laid the groundwork to the development and growth of girls sports in the state of Rhode Island.”
Baldwin was a foundational figure in the history of Wheeler field hockey, coaching five championship teams in the 1970s. She was “a major catalyst in building the school’s Athletics program from the ground up,” Kelly said. “Her work was not just limited to the boundaries of Wheeler’s city and farm campus either. Much like Mama Farroba, Coach Baldwin actively promoted the progression of female sports in Rhode Island through action and voice.”
The 1985 Boys Soccer team, which was coached by longtime Wheeler Athletics Director Jon Donahue, kick-started Wheeler’s dominant stretch in boys sports in the late 1980s by winning the SENEISAA Division II Championship and becoming the first Wheeler boys program to win a tournament championship.
The 1988 Field Hockey team captured the Rhode Island State Championship and finished the memorable season with an impressive 17-2-2 record.