Job: Manager

AJ Hendrickson

Born and raised in Meriden, CT, AJ graduated from Maloney High School in 2015 where he played as well as the Meriden Legion Post 45. He walked on as a pitcher/infielder at Endicott College and played for one year before transferring to UConn, graduating in 2019. He began playing in the GHTBL as a sophomore in high school and has since become a staple of the Expos lineup, being awarded the GHTBL Hal Lewis Most Versatile Player award five times and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2022. AJ took over the Expos from longtime manager and still-teammate Charlie Hesseltine, and was awarded the Brian Peer Award for Sportsmanship and Leadership his first year in the role. AJ currently works as a bank examiner for the State of Connecticut and resides in Middlefield, CT with his wife Mia and son Miles.

Jason Valliere

Born and raised in Lebanon, CT, Jason graduated from Lyman Memorial High School in 2018 where he played second base and was a member of the 2017 state runner-up team. He then attended Three Rivers Community College before transferring to Eastern Connecticut State University, graduating in 2023. Jason began his coaching career in 2019 as the assistant coach under Steve Starr at Lebanon Middle School. Since 2020 he has been an assistant under legendary coach Marty Gomez at Lyman Memorial High School. At Lyman, Jason has helped the Bulldogs to a 45-26 record since 2020 and a state tournament semifinal appearance in 2023. He also coached as an assistant for Tri-County American Legion15U and 17U from 2020-2023, both programs winning their zone in 2021. He began playing in the GHTBL in 2021 under manager Tyler Repoli. On the Graphics, Valliere is one of 13 members on the roster who previously played for Tri-County legion. He took over as manager of the Graphics in 2023 and led them to a 1st place regular season finish for the first time in over a decade. Jason currently works in the athletic department at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT and resides in Lebanon.

Jeff DeMaio

Born on July 29, 1972, DeMaio grew up in East Haven and graduated from East Haven High School in 1990 as class salutatorian. He was 2-sport captain in both basketball and baseball and gained 2nd team All-Housatonic and 1st Team All-New Haven Country in basketball and 2nd team All-Housatonic in baseball. After high school he pursued a career in teaching and coaching. DeMaio has a Bachelor’s in History and Teaching Certification from Southern Connecticut State University (1995) and later a Master’s degree in History (2005). He is currently pursuing an additional degree in education administration. DeMaio has been coaching high school basketball since 1992 and also coached baseball as an assistant varsity coach for two years at North Haven High School und Bob DeMaio (unrelated). He has taught social studies at North Haven High School for more than 25 years. DeMaio was awarded Teacher of the Year at North Haven at High School three times was named SCC Coach of the Year on two occasions and was inducted into the North Haven High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015. He resides in Wallingford for the past 23 years with his wife and two children.

Taylor Kosakowski

Born 1987, Kosakowski is a GHTBL veteran pitcher turned championship manager. He grew up in New Britain, CT. After his family moved to Berlin, CT, Kosakowski played for Berlin High School and American Legion Post 68 under Leo Veleas. Connecticut Connecticut State University recruited him to pitch. Kosakowski had his best season for the Blue Devils during his Junior year and competed in the Northeast Conference for four consecutive seasons. During this time, Kosakowski spent his summers in the GHTBL on the Middletown-based Bill’s Sports Shop team (later becoming RMR Construction and then Ferguson Waterworks). He won 3 straight championships as an effective closer for Ferguson Waterworks. In 2019, Kosakowski took over as manager of the East Hartford Jets. The following season, he led the Jets to the 2020 Playoff championship. Kosakowski is also a school psychologist who lives with his wife, Elizabeth in Newington, CT.

Ron Pizzanello

Born on October 13, 1954 in Hartford, Connecticut, Pizzanello is one Hartford’s top catchers of all-time. He led Hartford to Connecticut’s Little League championship in 1967. Pizzanello was a star catcher for the city’s Jaycee Courant and American Legion programs. He was captain of the Bulkeley High School varsity baseball team, named All-CDC catcher and graduated in 1972. At Eastern Connecticut State University, Pizzanello was elected captain, played in two DIII National Championships, selected to the All-New England Team and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1976. During this time, he played summer ball in the GHTBL from 1971 to 1989, mostly with the Vernon Orioles. In 1977, he was signed to catch for Nettuno of the Italian Baseball League. After his professional stint, Pizzanello focused on coaching in the Town of South Windsor, Connecticut including Little League, Jaycee Courant, Senior League and American Legion. He worked for 37 years at Hartford Insurance Company and IBM in information technology and technical services. In 2017, after being inducted into the Bulkeley High School Athletic Hall of Fame, he became the first manager of the South Windsor Phillies club and won the 2020 GHTBL Regular Season championship. He lives in Eastford, Connecticut with his wife Charlene and have three children.

Jack Ceppetelli

Born on  January 27, 1965, Jack Ceppetelli was raised in East Windsor, CT. He attended East Windsor High School, class of 1983 and played baseball at Assumption College for four years. Ceppetelli competed in his first GHTBL season in 1985 and returned in 1991 as a pitcher. He also pitched for s years in the Tri-County Baseball League in Massachusetts. Ceppetelli earned GHTBL’s Most Valuable Playoff Pitcher in 1999. He has been manager of the Vernon Orioles since 2001, winning twelve league titles in the last 20 years. In 2003, he was inducted into the East Windsor High School Hall of Fame. Ceppetelli lives in South Windsor, CT, is a tax accountant and certified CPA.

Tom Abbruzzese

Born on August 11, 1943, in Hartford, CT, Tom Abbruzzese is the longest serving manager in GHTBL history. He is a graduate of Wethersfield High School and Fairfield University (1965). Abbruzzese coached the Junior and Senior Division of the Jaycee Courant League from 1971 to 1978. He entered his first twilight team, Society for Savings, into the GHTBL in the summer of 1976. Abbruzzese’s franchise was also sponsored by Bank Boston Bank and then became People’s United Bank in the summer of 2000. His franchise has amassed 15 Regular Season Titles and Playoff Championships. Abbruzzese earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of Connecticut (1996). His current profession is as Director of Adult Education, in Newington, CT.  Previously he was a Vice Principal of Ledyard High School Ledyard High School (1974-1995) and before that, Recreation Leader for the City of Hartford (1963-1976), According to Abbruzzese, he is, “thankful not only for the outstanding players I have had the privilege of coaching and continue to have, but most importantly for their exceptional character as well. These two qualities are the ingredients for success.” Abbruzzese resides in Wethersfield, CT.