.

Logo
Header
Woodbridge Township Athletic Alumni Association Inc
 
First Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies
 
Schriber Hall Edison, N.J.
Sunday March 19th, 1989
 
Honoring Former Athletic Greats and Coaches from Our Three High Schools
 
Colonia High School
John F. Kennedy Memorial High School
Woodbridge High School
 
1925-1968
 

First Induction Class Charter Members – 1989

 
 
Colonia High School
Charles “Chuck” Buzzi – 1968 – Basketball. All County 1968. He was captain of the team and most valuable player in the1967 Holiday Festival Basketball Tournament. Team won the Greater Jersey Conference Central 1 title in their first year of program history. He played college basketball at Farleigh Dickinson University – Madison campus. “Chuck” was a former coach at Long Island University, JFK Memorial High, and Raritan High. He was the Head of Guidance at J.F.K. Memorial High School for many years until his unfortunate and tragic passing in 2014.
 
Joseph Martino – Football, Track, Golf Coach. 1967 – 1976. Joe played football at WHS. He was a PAEN’s All County lineman on the 1955 team (6-1-2), one of Coach Priscoe’s best teams. Unfortunately, the NJSIAA awarded the Central Jersey Group IV sectional title to Plainfield even though the Barrons and Cardinals tied on the field of play 6-6. He became CHS’s first football coach in 1967. He was the Bill Denny Hall of Fame Coach of the Year 1974 and 1975. Won 54 games in ten years. Team played in finals of Central Jersey Group IV playoffs in 1974 and 1975 and were Middlesex Conference Champions twice. Had 26 players go on to play college football. Coached Weight Events in Track. Coach Martino was inducted into the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1977 from Linden High School. Following a teaching and coaching career with stops in Rahway and Linden, Joe became Linden High Athletic Director and eventually Linden High School principal. He retired as Linden Superintendent of Schools.
 
Glen Mason – 1968 – Football. First All State football player ever at Colonia High School. He was Captain of the team. Went on to play and coach under the legendary Woody Hayes at Ohio State. Was head coach at Kent State, Ohio, The University of Kansas and The University of Minnesota.  Glen was MAC Coach of the Year in 1986; Big Eight Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1995; and Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1999. Glen took his teams to nine bowl games (5-4) (Source – Wikipedia). Presently, he is a Big 10 Network television analyst.
 
Joseph Peters – 1968 – Football, Basketball, and Track. All County Football. Captain in three sports. Basketball team won the South Brunswick Holiday Tournament and Greater Jersey Conference 1 title in their first year of program history. Led team in scoring as Senior. Played college football at Wagner. Presently, Joe owns a law practice in Edison.
 
Tom Ryall – 1968 – Track. All American Hurdler. State Champion in High and Low Hurdles. Captain for two seasons. Stared at Baptist College in South Carolina where he later coached. Tom received CHS’s first Outstanding Athlete Award in 1968.
 

 
The above student athletes attended Woodbridge High School during their sophomore and junior years. When Colonia High School opened in September, 1967 they were transferred from Woodbridge to Colonia High School.




John F. Kennedy Memorial High School
Joseph Croasdale – 1968 – Football and Baseball. All State Football. The 1967 team was 9 – 0 and won C.J. GR IV Sectional Championship. He scored 16 touchdowns that season and had 1,247 total yards. Joe played both ways at Fullback and Linebacker for Coach Ron Osborne. He received a football scholarship to Maryland.
 
Carl Grillo – 1966 – Football, Basketball, and Track. All County Football. Ran on the Championship Mile Relay Team. Earned four varsity letters in 1966. He continued to coach High School Football. He attended W.H.S. his sophomore year. When J.F.K. Memorial opened in September, 1964, Carl was transferred there.
 
Al Pope – 1968 – Football and Track. All County Football. County Shot Put Champion. First 60 foot shot putter. Went on to Notre Dame but injuries ended his career. Despite his injuries, Al did see game action for the Irish during the 1969 season. On January 1, 2000, The Home News Tribune named Al to their all time Middlesex County All Century Team.
 
Ray Soporowski – 1968 – Football and Baseball. All State Football. Went on to play at The University of Maryland (1969, 70, 71). One of three All State Football players from 1967 undefeated team (Croasdale & Pope) and sectional champion.
 
Mike Volker – 1967 – Football, Basketball, and Baseball. All State Baseball. He won 22 games as a pitcher. ERA of .20 in 1967. Quarterback for three years. His 1966 baseball team was the Greater Jersey Conference Co Champion. They won the Central Division Title.
 


Woodbridge High School
Leroy Alexander – 1956 – Football and Track. All State and All County Half Back 1955. Still holds school record for most touchdowns in a game (5 vs. New Brunswick 1955). County scoring leader in 1955. Scored 15 touchdowns in 1955. County champion in Track. Started football varsity for three seasons. Leroy is still regarded as one of the greatest running backs in W.H.S. history. The 1955 team was County Champion under Coach Priscoe. The team was, also, ninth ranked by a statewide publication. 
 
John Aquila – 1932 – Football. All State and All County 1930 and 1931. Was an outstanding Guard on the undefeated 1930 team coached by Heinie Benkert. Team was sectional Co-Champions in “B” Division.
 
Tony Barcellona – 1939 – Baseball All State and All County Shortstop in 1938 and 1939. Batted over .400 in 1939. Called the “Best individual on the All State team”, by Gus Falzer of the Newark Evening Call in 1939.He led his teams to back to back Central Jersey Group IV sectional Championships under Coach Nick Priscoe. Unfortunately, the team lost a heartbreaking 3-4 decision to Irvington in the Greater Newark Tournament Final. The GNT was then the official State Tournament. Only sixteen teams were invited each season statewide. He played in the Washington Senators farm system for two seasons.
 
Al Beleski – 1966 – Football, Basketball, and Baseball. Scholastic Magazine All American, All State and All County during 1965. Holds school record for most interceptions returned for touchdowns in a season, 3 in 1965. He caught 39 passes for 565 yards in 1965 for Coach Sam Lupo. Al was awarded a scholarship to the University of Maryland where he played on the freshman team. Unfortunately, knee injuries ended his promising career. Al is still regarded as one of the greatest three sport athletes in W.H.S. history
 
Clair Bixel – 1933 – Public Address Announcer. Bix was the voice of the Woodbridge High School Football team for 53 years. His famous “Hello! Hello! Hello!” was known statewide. The press box at Nicholas Priscoe Stadium was named after him.
 
Jackie Burke – 1964 – Basketball and Track. All State and All County Basketball in 1964. Led team to Middlesex Holiday Festival Championships in 1962 and 1963.  The two teams were a combined
 37-6. His high school coach was Jim Lake. Jackie played college basketball under Al McGuire at Marquette University (1968, 69, 70) and played on national television. His 1970 Marquette team won the National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden by defeating St. John’s University 65-53. Jackie’s three college teams were 23-6 (NCAA), 24-5 (NCAA), and 26-3 (NIT by the school’s choice).

Frank Capraro – 1946 – Football, Basketball, and Baseball. All State Football in 1945, All County for three sports 1945-1946. Played college football at Rutgers. As Head Baseball Coach 1957-1967 his teams won 122 games. His football teams (1973-1987) won 60% of their games and one State Sectional Championship in 1980 (playoff finalists in 1976), one MCAC title in 1983, and one GMC Red Division title in 1986(Four way tie). His 1957 baseball team won The Home News Tri County Championship and were finalists in 1958, 1959, and 1967. Frank Capraro devoted forty years of his life to W.H.S. as a student athlete, Assistant Coach in three sports, Head Coach in Football and Baseball, and Athletic Director for five years. Coach Capraro was inducted into the New Jersey Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1993. He was, also, inducted into the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1975 from Woodbridge High School.
 
Lou Creekmur – 1944 – Football. All County 1943, Played college football at William and Mary and played 10 years with the Detroit Lions of the NFL. He was named All Pro as a lineman seven times and was an eight time Pro Bowl selection. He played on three NFL Championship teams as offensive tackle/guard for Detroit. In 1996, Lou was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, after he played in 116 consecutive games with the Lions. He is also enshrined in five other Hall of Fames. Lou Creekmur Plaza at Town Hall, Woodbridge, was dedicated to him on March 1st, 1997. At William and Mary, he was a Look Magazine All American and a first team Southern Conference Selection. Lou was nicknamed “The Smilin Assassin”.  He played for Coach Nick Priscoe at W.H.S.
The Topps and Bowman card companies produced many football cards of Lou during the 1950’s. Lou is the most decorated athlete on a National level in Woodbridge Township athletic history. On January 1, 2000, The Home News Tribune named Lou to their all-time Middlesex County All-Century Team. On June 20, 2014, the Home News Tribune voted Lou the third greatest athlete in the history of Middlesex County sports. Also, in 2014, his professional team, the Detroit Lions, added Lou Creekmur to their Ring of Honor.
 
James “Jimmy” Dunda – 1961 – Football, Basketball, and Baseball. All State Football 1960, (8-0-1). Completed 11 passes in a row against Edison in 1960 to tie a WHS twenty two year old game record. His batting average in 1961 was .370. He received WHS’s Outstanding Athlete Award in 1961. Went on to star at Brown University as quarterback during three varsity seasons. Jimmy was killed tragically in an automobile accident several years after college graduation. He was a young attorney with a promising future.
 
Dr. George Fair – 1962 – Football, Basketball, and Track. All State Football 1961. Considered by Nick Priscoe to be the “best end I’ve had in 24 years here.” George received WHS’s alumni association Best Athlete Award in 1962. Played at Syracuse University as an offensive and defensive end / back. Participated in 1965 Sugar Bowl on national television. He played for Coach Ben Schwartzalder and was a teammate of Giants Coach, Tom Coughlin in 1965 and Floyd Little. Dr. Fair has been a faculty member at the University of Texas at Dallas for over thirty five years. He has written extensively on mathematics and the special education child. He has been actively involved in the education of homeless children. On January 1, 2000, The Home News Tribune named George to their all time Middlesex County All Century Team.

Selden “Sully” Hoagland – 1925 – Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Track. Played on first football team (1924), Earned 16 varsity letters, graduated first in his class. Competed in most events in track. All County Basketball 1925. Considered by old time Woodbridge residents to be the greatest all-around student-athlete to graduate from Woodbridge High School. Sully was one of the best players and leading scorers on two of the best WHS teams from the 1920’s. The 1923 team was 15-7 and invited to the state tournament for the first time in Class B. Sully scored 322 points, an amazing season total back then. The 1924 team was 14-6 and also, was invited to the state tournament in Class B.(There was only Class A and B at that time, bases on school enrollment. Class B had the lower enrollment. Group IV etc. did not exist back then). Coach Rothfuss led these teams.

Frank Jost – 1934 – Football, Baseball, and Basketball. All County Quarterback 1932, All State Baseball 1934. Batted . 452 in 1934. Went on to serve City of South Plainfield as Recreation Director and Athletic Director for years. Athletic complex in South Plainfield is named in his honor. He played minor league baseball in the New York Yankees farm system for several years following his career at Manhattan College.

John “Percy” Wukovetz – 1935 – Football, Basketball, and Baseball. All State Football and Baseball for two years. Started in football for four years. In 1935, he won 10 games pitching for the 13-4 Central Jersey  Sectional Champion and Central Jersey Tournament Champion Barrons. He worked for the Board of Education as the Stadium Manager for many years. He was active in recreation sports. Leading scorer on the 1934-1935 basketball teams. He was an outstanding three sport athlete. “Percy’s” high school coach was Frank Kirkleski.
John “Gutch” Korczowski – 1939 – Football and Baseball. All State in both sports. According to Gus Falzer of the Newark Evening Call, “Korczowski is the most pursued athlete in the New Jersey Scholastic ranks”. “Gutch” played fullback in football and first base in baseball. He helped to lead WHS to one Central Jersey Group IV sectional title in football and two back to back Central Jersey Group IV sectional titles in baseball. All were achieved under Coach Priscoe. Went on to star at William and Mary in both sports. “Gutch” was drafted by the football Giants in 1943 and the Buffalo Bisons of the All American Football Conference (AAFC) in 1946. He played one season with the semi-pro Woodbridge Golden Bears in 1946. He later coached successfully at Williamsburg, Virginia, High School. “Gutch” is a member of the College of William and Mary Hall of Fame. He was regarded as one of the greatest athletes in W.H.S. and W & M history for both football and baseball.
 
Jim Lake – 1951 – Basketball. All County. Highest scorer in history of school when he graduated. Played in three NIT’s for Manhattan College, was captain of the team his senior year and was selected to the All Met Team, senior year. As a coach he led the Barrons to their first ever basketball championships in the 1962 and 1963 Middlesex County Holiday Festivals. The 1962-1963 and 1963-1964 teams had a combined record of 37-6. MHF was the official county title back then. Eight teams were entered each season. Coach Lake mentored several players into college basketball including Warren Luhrs-American, Dennis Parvin-Seton Hall, Jackie Burke-Marquette, John Simkovich-American and Tom Wieczerak-Trenton State and Temple.
 
Albert “Albie” Leffler – 1939 – Football, Basketball, and Baseball. First team All State in two sports, Football and Baseball in 1938-1939. “Albie” played end in football and catcher in baseball. He helped to lead WHS to one Central Jersey Group IV sectional title in football and two back to back Central Jersey Group IV sectional titles in baseball. “Albie” was killed tragically in World War II.

Harding “Pete” Peterson – 1946 – Football, Basketball, and Baseball. Graduated from High School at age 16. All State Baseball 1946. All American at Rutgers. He played in the College World Series in 1950. Player, Manager and Farm Director for Pittsburg Pirates, Executive Vice-President of the Pirates when they won the 1979 World Series. Assistant G.M. of the New York Yankees during the late 80’s and G.M. in 1990. He caught the last games at Ebbets Field and the Polo Grounds in 1957. The TOPPS Card Company produced his likeness in 1958. High School Coach was Nick Priscoe. “Pete” is a member of the Rutgers University Olympic Sports Hall of Fame.

Nicholas A. Priscoe – Football, Basketball, Baseball, Coach and Athletic Director from 1935-1972. Woodbridge High School Stadium was named in his honor in 1979. His 25 year football record was 121 – 82 – 18 and his baseball teams won 151 games in 18 years. He won three sectional championships in football and two in baseball. His football teams also won six county/conference titles. He coached four other tournament finalists in baseball. Another potential Central Jersey Group IV sectional football title in 1955(6-1-2) was not awarded to WHS. Unfortunately; the NJSIAA presented the title to Plainfield even though the Cardinals and Barrons tied on the field of play 6-6. WHS was hoping for, at least, a co-championship. The 1960 Barrons were undefeated (8-0-1). He guided many players to college sports. Coach Priscoe was respectfully regarded as “Mr. Woodbridge” due to his devotion to all students’ not just athletes. He mentored several future professional athletes including, NFL Hall of Famer, Lou Creekmur (1950-1959/ Detroit Lions), Tommy “Tucker” Thompson (1949-1953/Cleveland Browns), Pasquale “Pat” Lamberti (1961/New York Titans and Denver Broncos), Erik Christensen (1956 Washington Redskins and 1957 Calgary Stampeders), and Harding “Pete” Peterson (1955-1959/Pittsburgh Pirates). He also mentored many athletes who later became teachers, successful coaches, and school administrators. Despite his coaching success at WHS, Coach Priscoe once said publically, “I don’t like to be judged by wins and losses but by the boys I have turned out. Young men who have gone on to be fine respected citizens”. (Source – Woodbridge Independent Leader, October 11, 1962) Coach Priscoe also stated, “A special relationship exists between a boy and his coach. He will frequently bring problems to the coach that he won’t discuss with his parents”. (Source – Priscoe Stadium dedication ceremony program –    November 22, 1979) Finally, he stated, “Success is to participate in the development of a young boy into a fine young man. My greatest thrills came in working with the boys, helping them mature and then to see them enter college…and then into life as responsible adults and parents”. (Source – Priscoe Stadium dedication program – November 22, 1979).
Coach Priscoe was inducted into the New Jersey Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in the spring of 2013 – posthumously. He was, also, inducted into the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1967 from Woodbridge High School.
 
Jack Protz – 1966 – Football. All County 1965. Leading tackler and linebacker. Played college football at North Carolina and Syracuse. Played professional football with the San Diego Chargers. (1970) His high school coach was Sam Lupo. Jack became a New Jersey State Trooper after his football playing days ended.
 
Walter Stillman – 1931 – Football. All State 1930 as a Halfback. Formally held record for most career touchdowns (23).  He scored the only touchdown vs. Amboy in 1930 to preserve the undefeated season. Small in stature, he was the school’s career touchdown leader for many years. He played four years of varsity football. Leading scorer on 1930 undefeated State Sectional Championship Football team. His High School Coach was Heinie Benkert.
 
Thomas “Tucker” Thompson – 1944 – Football, Basketball, and Baseball. Captain of Football and Baseball teams. All County Football in 1943. All Southern Conference at William & Mary in 1947 and 1948. He was Associated Press Honorable Mention All American in 1947 and third team (1948).  “Tucker” was voted New Jersey’s Outstanding College Athlete of 1948 by the New Jersey Sportswriters Association. In 1949 he played in the College vs. NFL All Star Game. He was captain of the Cleveland Browns defense in 1952 and 1953 and was highly regarded by legendary Coach Paul Brown. “Tucker’s” Cleveland Browns team lost to Lou Creekmur’s Detroit Lions team in the 1952 and 1953 NFL Championship games. Tucker did play on the Brown’s Championship NFL team of 1950. “Tucker” was named All Pro with the Cleveland Browns in 1953. His William & Mary team defeated Oklahoma A & M (State) 20-0 in the 1948 Delta Bowl. “Tucker” is a member of the Willam & Mary and Virginia Sports Hall of Fames. The Bowman Card Company produced his likeness on their 1952 card.
 
Richard “Dick” Tyrrell – 1959 – Football, Basketball, and Baseball. All State Football in 1958. Two way performer. Dick received WHS’s American Legion Outstanding Athlete Award in 1959. His last two football teams won county titles and his last two baseball teams reached the finals of the annual Tri-County tournament only to lose in heartbreaking fashion. Dick batted over .360 in 1959. His football coach was Nick Priscoe and his baseball coach was Frank Capraro. He went on to star at Bucknell University (Captain 1962). He was an excellent blocker and receiver. In his senior year he batted .304 in baseball. At Bucknell, he was voted to the “Little All American Team”. Bucknell won the Lambert Cup in 1960. He is a member of the Bucknell Sports Hall of Fame. He was an outstanding three sport athlete at Woodbridge High School.
 
 
 
 
Biographical Information was edited and updated from the original program
By-Nick Sardone W.H.S. Class of 1963.
 
 
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.



 
© 2018 Woodbridge Spirit Hall Of Fame. All rights reserved.
Maxmize