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Woodbridge Township Athletic Alumni Association Hall Of Fame

 

Fifth Induction Class – 1993



Colonia High School
Scott Blackman – 1973 – Football. He was All State and All County. Scott is arguably the best receiver in CHS history. A teammate of WTAAA hall of famers Tom Higgins, Pat Confer, and Mike Cilento, he helped to lead CHS to their first back to back winning seasons under Coach Joe Martino (5-4 and 7-2). During his senior year, he had eight touchdown receptions for a two year total of eleven. Scott received a football scholarship to the University of South Carolina, where he lettered for three seasons. His college coaches were Jim Carlen (two seasons) and Paul Dietzel (one). He played in the 1975 Tangerine Bowl (7-20 Miami, Ohio). (Source – University of South Carolina 2011 Football Media Guide)
 
Mike Cilento – 1973 – Football, Basketball, and Baseball. He was All County. Mike is one of the greatest three sport athletes in the history of CHS. In football, he was the starting quarterback for three seasons under Coach Joe Martino. He threw twenty two career touchdown passes. In the winter, he moved to the hardwood floor, where he guided (point guard) the basketball team of Bob Tisdale to a 23-5 record. This team won the Colonia Classic and Central Jersey Group IV sectional tournaments. In the spring, Mike moved to the diamond, where he was the starting shortstop for three varsity seasons under Coach Mickey Kott. During senior year, the team won the Middlesex County Tournament. They finished 14-6-2 and Mike made All County. Mike received a football scholarship to the University of Colorado, where he lettered for three seasons at cornerback. His college coach was Bill Mallory. Mike was a member of the 1975 Astro Blue Barnett Bowl team (21-38 to Texas) and the 1977 Orange Bowl team (10-27 to Ohio State). (Source – University of Colorado
Football website) Today, Mr. Cilento is the principal of JFK Memorial High School.             
 
Pat Confer – 1973 – Football and Track & Field. He was All County. Pat was a lineman for Coach Joe Martino for three varsity seasons. He provided many key blocks that led to an efficient and balanced passing and running offensive attack. Pat also, contributed greatly to the defense. Following high school, Pat was off to the University of Colorado, where he lettered one season at offensive guard. His college coach was Bill Mallory. Pat was a member of the 1977 Orange Bowl team (10-27 to Ohio State) and a teammate of Mike Cilento. (Source – University of Colorado Football website)
 
John Franken – 1973 – Basketball and Baseball. He was All County. John is regarded as one of the finest basketball players in the history of CHS. A teammate of WTAAA hall of famer, Mike Cilento, John led the 1973 Patriots basketball team of Coach Bob Tisdale to the Colonia Classic Tournament Championship and the first Central Jersey Sectional Group IV championship in school history. The team finished 23-5. John helped the
1971-72 Patriots to their first Middlesex County Athletic Conference title (18-9 overall and 11-1 in league). John also, played the outfield for Coach Mickey Kott’s Middlesex County Tournament baseball championship team (14-6-2). John received a basketball scholarship to Clemson University where he lettered for three seasons and started for two seasons. Clemson’s team records were 17-11 (8-4 ACC), 18-10 (5-7 ACC), and 22-6 (8-4ACC). In 1975-76, his team defeated #5 Wake Forest and #2 Maryland in back to back road games. In 1976-77, his team defeated #4 North Carolina and #4 Wake Forest. They reached a #10 national ranking at mid season.
(Source – Clemson 2012-2013 Basketball Media Guide)    
 
Maria Zullo – 1969 – Cheerleading. Maria was the first cheerleading captain. She went to Montclair State College and later taught physical education at WHS.
 


John F. Kennedy Memorial High School 
Bob Acquisto – 1967 – Football and Track. Bob was a starting running back and defensive back on JFK’s first three football teams (1964, 1965, and 1966) for Coach Osborne. He was a team captain in 1966. Bob was, also, a key contributor to the school’s first track teams (co-captain) under Coach Herb Hollowell. The 1966 football team enjoyed the first winning season in JFK’s brief history (6-2-1). Bob was, also, a member of JFK’s winning Penn Relays mile team.
 
Al Campana – 1972 – Football. He was All County. Al was a member of Coach Osborne’s football teams in 1969, 1970 and 1971. As a junior he scored four touchdowns and as a senior he scored eight touchdowns. In 1971, the JFK football team finished undefeated, (9-0) and were co-winners of the Central Jersey Group III Championship. The team also, won the Middlesex County Athletic Conference title. They concluded the season as the Star Ledger’s second ranked team statewide. Al was awarded a football scholarship to Maryland.
 
James Clancy – 1973 – Soccer and Track. James was one of JFK’s earliest soccer stars under Coach Adrian Zapotocky and fellow WTAAA hall of famer.
 
Donna (Manfre) Gelesky – 1973 – Tennis, Basketball and Softball. Donna played tennis at JFK and was a member of the school’s first girl’s basketball team under Coach Sue Williams. Donna continued her education at Newark State College (now Kean University). There, she played tennis, basketball and softball. However, it was in softball where Donna left her mark on history. To this day, she holds the highest two batting averages per season in Kean history (1977 - .509 and 1976 - .500).
(Source – Kean University softball website)
 
Steve Riccardi – 1970 – Cross Country and Track and Field. Steve is considered one of the great track athletes in JFK history. Steve was the New Jersey State Group 111, 440 indoor champion in 1970 with a time of 51.4. During senior year, he was team captain. Steve was Middlesex County indoor and outdoor champion in the 440 three straight seasons (in 1969 – 48.8) and the 220 twice. In 1969, he won the Central Jersey Sectional in the 440, 49.8, a new meet record. Following high school, he became an NAIA All American at Baptist College, South Carolina.        


Woodbridge High School
Walter Christensen – 1961 – Football and Track & Field. On The Sporting News All American team and was All County. Walt is one of the most honored two sport athletes in WHS history. His accomplishments were outstanding. In football, he was one of the impact players on Coach Priscoe’s 1960 unbeaten team (8-0-1). This team won the Central Jersey Group IV sectional championship and the Central Jersey Group IV Conference title (7-0-1). Walt was named to The Sporting News All American team and the PAEN All County team. However, in the sport of track and field, he was truly dominant for Coach Lou Bartha in the weight events. His achievements include:
  1. Middlesex County Indoor -1961- Track & Field-Shot-Put – 1st place.
  2. Middlesex County Outdoor –1961- Track & Field-Shot-Put – 1st place. 53’-11 ¼”
  3. Central Jersey Sectional Group IV -1961- Track & Field- Shot-Put- 1st place.
     (Meet record) 55’-3”
  4. New Jersey State Group IV Indoor -1961-Track & Field –Shot-Put-1st place. 54’-41/2”
  5. New Jersey State Group IV Outdoor-1961- Track & Field-ShotPut-1st place. 55’-5 ¼”
 
Walt, also, scored many points for his WHS teams in the shot-put, discuss and javelin events during dual and triangular meets. In addition to the football championships, Walt contributed to the following track and field championships during his WHS career.
  1. Central Jersey Group IV Sectional – 1961.
  2. Middlesex County Indoor Track and Field Meet -1961.
  3. Middlesex County Outdoor Track and Field Meet – 1961.
 
His teams, also, finished second in several meets. The 1961 WHS track and field team was 7-0 in 1961. The 1960’s was the most dominant decade in the school’s history. Following high school, Walt accepted an athletic scholarship to the University of South Carolina. We know that he participated in track and field there.

Joe Flaherty – Basketball Coach – 1968-1984 (Sixteen Seasons). Joe was the most successful court coach in WHS history. His record for sixteen seasons was 266-134 (.665%). His teams won the following championships:
1969 – Greater Jersey Conference-Central 1-(tied with CHS)
1971 - Greater Jersey Conference-Central 1-(tied with CHS)
1975 – Central Jersey Group IV Sectional
1975 – New Jersey State Group IV
1975, 1977 and 1982 – Middlesex County Athletic Conference
December 1981 – Casey Holiday Festival
 
Joe’s teams were also, finalists several other times.
December 1969, December 1970 and December 1972 – Middlesex Holiday Festival
1975 – Middlesex County Tournament
1983 – Central Jersey Group IV Sectional
1983 – Casey Holiday Festival
 
Several of Coach Flaherty’s players played college basketball including;
Tim Olah - Princeton
Mark Di Donna - Wagner
Lee Hackett – Farleigh Dickinson Madison
Steve “Buddy” Zombo – Lehigh
Ken Farricker – N.J.I.T.
Randy Adleman – Colgate
Ed Etzold – Kings (Pa.)
Rich Kazimir - Allbright
Coach Flaherty’s teams were known for solid defense.
 
Coach Flaherty was inducted into the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1992 from Woodbridge High School.
 
George Johannson – Football and Baseball. George was a WHS quarterback during the late 1940’.
 
Mike Basarab – 1955 – Baseball. Mike was one of the leading pitchers on Coach Priscoe’s  1955 team (13-5 and Tri County Tournament finalist). He pitched to a 5-4 record vs. very tough opposing lineups. Following high school, Mike was off to Rutgers University where he pitched successfully during three varsity seasons.
 
Dr. Bob Benzeleski – 1958 – Football, Basketball and Track. He was All County. Bob was a four year varsity letter winner in football. However, injuries held him back from early prominence. It was not until senior year that Bob’s excellent potential was fulfilled. He was named to the PAEN All County team at halfback for Coach Priscoe’s 6-2-1 Barrons. Following high school, Bob played on the freshman football team at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (now Virginia Tech University). Once again, unfortunately, the injury problems resurfaced and Bob’s collegiate career was hindered. He remained in school to obtain his degree. He eventually became a dentist.
 
Roy Lawrence – 1964 – Football and Baseball. He was All County. Roy was the starting quarterback for Coach Sam Lupo’s first Barron Team. He also, filled in for starting quarterback, Walt Kurseja in the beginning of the season, (due to injury) for Coach Priscoe. He played baseball for Coach Frank Capraro. Roy enjoyed a very successful college career at the University of Connecticut (guard). He is a member of the college’s athletic Hall of Fame. Roy became a science teacher in Connecticut for many years.
 
Tony Mazza – 1950 – Football and Basketball. He was All County. Tony was an excellent end for Coach Priscoe in the late 40’s. Following high school, he enrolled at William & Mary. He completed his college education at Virginia Military Institute.

Howie McCallen – 1949 – Basketball. All County. Howie was the high scorer on Coach Lou Bartha’s 1948 and 1949 teams. In 1949, he scored 250 points in nineteen games for a 13.1 average. He was the first WHS cagen to make All County in many years. After high school graduation, Howie enjoyed a successful four year collegiate career at the college of William & Mary. He played on television vs. NYU and Seton Hall in 1951.
 
Tommy McAuliffe – 1954 – Football, Basketball and Baseball. He was All County. Tommy was another excellent and versatile WHS three sport athlete. He was a football captain in 1953. His high school coaches were George Gerek and Nick Priscoe, football and baseball, and John Tomczuk for basketball.
 
Kay (Solecki) McAuliffe – 1954 – Cheerleading. Kay was a Barron cheerleading captain during her four years at WHS.
 
Joe Nagy – 1946 – Football. He was All County. Joe was the leading scorer on the 1945 football team from his end position.
 
Tony Russomano – 1970 – Football and Baseball. He was All County. Tony was a first team all-county linebacker on Coach Lupo’s 1969 undefeated (8-0-1) Barrons. His bone crushing hit on Thomas Jefferson’s All State running back, Gil Chapman in the final minute, helped to preserve a dynamic 14-6 WHS victory. Tony, also, batted .360 for coach Dirk Migliecz’s 1970 baseball team.
 
Tony Santoro – 1949 – Football. He was All County. Tony was a key lineman on the 1947 and 1948 Barrons.
 
Lee Straube – 1951 – Football, Basketball and Baseball. Lee was another versatile three sport WHS athlete. He played college basketball at Seton Hall for one season.
 



Year 5 (1993) Induction Class Biographies for the Woodbridge Township Athletic Alumni Association Hall of Fame were completely written by Nick Sardone, WHS Class of 1963, from his personal recollections and research. An original program was not available for this website.
 
The Woodbridge Township Athletic Alumni Hall of Fame Committee wishes to thank
Mr. Vito Cimilluca, Woodbridge Township Recreation Director and Brian Molnar, Assistant Recreation Director for granting us a link on a Township website to post our Hall of Fame biographical information. We also, want to express our sincere appreciation to Jennifer Sheedy for typing all of the biographies. The remaining ten induction years will be posted as soon as possible.
We hope Woodbridge Township sports fans enjoy reading about the greatest athletes and
coaches in our town’s history.
 
 
Woodbridge Recreation Department, Woodbridge, New Jersey.
Any questions or comments may be made to 732-596-4048.



 
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