Woodbridge Township Athletic Alumni Association Hall Of Fame

Fourth Induction Class – 1992

Colonia High School
Harry Brett – Cross County and Track & Field Coach. Harry was the cross county coach beginning in 1971 and outdoor track and field coach beginning in 1972. His 1972 CHS team won the first MCAC Relays championship. He helped to produce individual county and state champions such as WTAAA hall of famer, Tom Ryall. Harry is now an attorney.
Dave Hannon – 1969 – Football, Wrestling, and Track & Field. Dave participated on the earliest CHS teams. He eventually became a professional wrestler for many years. Today, he is a member of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Board of Directors and the committee chair of the P.W.H.F. screening committee.
Sandra Schmidtke – Cheerleading Advisor/Coach. Sandra was the first and highly successful cheerleading coach at CHS. She had the most wins in N.J. up to 1988; she was also an advisor to the color guard, drill team, honor guard, Patriettes – dance team, twirlers, coach of co-ed archery team, girls tennis and spring track. Overall, Sandra was a 40 year educator, coach, vice-principal and the “last original “Patriot.

Mike Lyness – 1969 – Football and Track. Mike was a member of Coach Martino’s first CHS football teams in 1967 and 1968. He was also, a quality quarter mile and half mile runner in track. For college, Mike attended Lafayette.
Tom Higgins – 1972 – Football, Wrestling, and Track & Field. Tom is one of the most recognized and accomplished athletes ever from CHS. He was All County and All State in football (1971) and a high caliber wrestler. His football coach was Joe Martino. The pair led CHS to its first winning season ((5-4) in 1971. Tom also, contributed to the schools first MCAC Relays title in 1972 in the weight events. Tom earned a football scholarship to North Carolina State University where he also, participated in wrestling. He achieved the following honors in 1975,
  1. Team Co-Captain
  2. Atlantic Coast Conference – First team as nose guard/linebacker
  3. All Academic ACC
  4. Bob Warren Award for integrity and sportsmanship
  5. H.C. Kennett Outstanding all around student athlete award
  6. On September 23, 1975, Tom was voted Associated Press Lineman of the Week after an 8-7 win over Florida and their vaunted wishbone
  7. ACC – defensive player of the week four times
Overall, Tom participated in the 1973 Liberty Bowl, 1974 Astro-Blue Bonnet Bowl, and 1975 Peach Bowl (Source – North Carolina State University 2012 Football Media Guide). His college coach was Lou Holtz. Tom played professionally in the Canadian Football League (CFL) for the Calgary Stampeders (1976-1978). He was then drafted by the NFL’s Buffalo Bills in 1979. He played sixteen games that season. Tom returned to the CFL with the Saskatchewan Rough Riders in 1980. After his playing career ended, he was an assistant coach in the CFL for many years. Tom became head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos from 2001-2004 and head coach of the Calgary Stampeders from 2005-2007. His Edmonton team won the C.F.L. Grey Cup Championship in 2003. Tom is currently Head of Officiating in the C.F.L. (Source – Wikipedia).

John F. Kennedy Memorial High School
Larry Barnikow – 1966 – Football, Track and Baseball. Larry was a member of Coach Osborne’s first JFK football teams in 1964 and 1965, Coach Bob Bisler’s first baseball teams in 1965 and 1966, and the first track teams of Coaches Osborne and Hollowell. Larry contributed to the 1966 baseball team when they won the Greater Jersey Conference Central 1 title. Larry scored the first and only touchdown vs. WHS in 1965. He also, contributed to the track teams’ success in the sprint and relay races and was a member of two Penn Relays title teams.
Elaine (Clancy) Oleck – 1970 – Tennis. Elaine, participated during the pre title 1X era at first singles. However, there is no question that she would have been an excellent athlete in other sports if she had the opportunity.
Rosemary (Clancy) Egan – 1972 – Tennis. Like her older sister, Rosemary participated at the first singles position. However, she too would have excelled in other sports if they were available to her.
Vince Fairchild – 1968 – Football, Baseball and Indoor Track & Field. Vince was a member of JFK’s 1966 and 1967 football teams at the wide receiver and defensive end/back positions. The 1967 team was 9-0 and Central Jersey Group IV co-champions under Coach Ron Osborne. Vince was, also, a member of Coach Paul Lavelle’s baseball team that won a Greater Jersey Conference Central I title in 1968.
Bob Schramm – 1967 – Football and Track & Field. Bob was a member of JFK’s first three football teams and track and field squads and a key performer for both. He was coached by Ron Osborne and Herb Hollowell. The 1966 football team enjoyed the first winning season in JFK’s history (6-2-1).
Cary Hamrah – Football Coach. Cary was the popular and highly respected JFK head football coach from 1978-1985. He produced the best record, percentage wise, in the history of JFK football (44-28-3). His 1978 team won the schools first and only playoff championship in Central Jersey Group III by defeating Somerville 17-7 and North Hunterdon 23-6, for an overall 8-3-0 record. Coach Hamrah’s 1984 team won its last seven games to finish 8-1-0 but, unfortunately failed to qualify for the playoffs (based on power points). His 1983 and 1984 teams tied or won outright the Liberty Division of the Bicentennial Athletic Conference. He was formally an assistant coach at WHS from 1963-1973 and Rutgers University 1974-1975. Coach Hamrah was inducted into the New Jersey Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1992 (posthumously). According to George Ryan, WHS ’71, “Mr. Hamrah helped countless students as a district guidance counselor.”
Paul Ricciardi – 1971 – Track & Field. Paul was a standout track and field performer and easily one of the schools all-time greats. Paul was a two time Greater Jersey Conference, Middlesex County, Central Jersey Sectional, and New Jersey State Champion. He even won the silver medal at the Golden West Invitational in Sacramento, California. Paul was also, a New Jersey State Group III Indoor Champion in 1970 and 1971 in the 60 yard hurdles with times of 7.3 and 7.2 respectively. His times in the 1970 Group III outdoor championships were: 120 yard high hurdles
-14.4 and 180 yard low hurdles -19.8. A little further down, at the All Groups Meet of Champions, Paul won the 1971  indoor 60 yard hurdles in 7.0 , a New Jersey State record . His time , also, tied the national record. Paul set the 120 yard State outdoor  hurdle record in 1971 at the central jersey sectionals with a time of 13.7. Paul was a high school All American in track and a NAIA All American at Baptist College, South Carolina. He continued his track career at Baptist College, South Carolina.

Woodbridge High School
Patsy Alfred Barbato – 1955 – Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Track. Depending on the year and season, Patsy played four sports at WHS although football was the main one. Under Coach Nick Priscoe, Patsy became an all county back. He received the William J. Finn Memorial Football Award in 1955. (Note: William J. Finn played varsity football for Coach Priscoe in 1940 and 1941. He was killed tragically in action during World War II. His memorial award was presented for many years by Coach Priscoe to an outstanding senior football player). Also, during his senior year, 1955, Patsy batted about .305 for the 1955 baseball team (13-5). Following high school, he enrolled at Fork Union Military Academy and then the University of Louisville where he played three varsity seasons. Patsy was a member of the 1958 Louisville Sun Bowl team that defeated Drake 34-20. Following college graduation, Patsy coached high school football in Kentucky prior to returning to New Jersey. He then began a successful teaching and coaching career in Woodbridge Township. He was named the head football coach at Colonia High School beginning with the 1977 season and concluding with the 1995 season (nineteen years). Patsy delivered a 95-73-10 record including playoff teams in 1979, 1982, 1984, 1985(finalist), and 1995. His teams won Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) titles (white division) in 1987 and 1988. From 1996 to 1999 he served as CHS’s athletic director. Coach Barbato was inducted into the New Jersey Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1998. The entrance road in front of CHS was renamed “Coach Pat Barbato Way”.
Dr. Fred Buonocore – 1951 – Football and Baseball. Fred was a halfback and outfielder. Following high school, Dr. Buonocore became a teacher, principal, and eventually Woodbridge Township Superintendent of Schools for many years. He was also, a member of the NJSIAA executive committee. During his tenure as Superintendent of Schools, he helped to formulate athletic policies, guidelines, budgets, and improvement of athletic facilities.
Vince Buonocore – 1954 – Football and Track. He was All County. Vince was a fleet-footed running halfback for Coaches George Gerek and Nick Priscoe. He also, ran track during the early years of Coach Gabriel’s tenure. He played college football at Glendale Junior College (California) and Long Beach State.
Erik “The Ox” Christensen – 1949 – Football and Basketball. He was All County. Erik was a big hard hitting, strong, aggressive tackle for Coach Priscoe during the late forties and center on Coach Bartha’s basketball teams. Following high school, he enrolled at Fork Union Military Academy (two years) where he played football, basketball and track. He was then off to the University of Richmond, a member of the Southern Conference, where he achieved much success and recognition. Erik was a four year starter at Richmond, Virginia all state all four years there at offensive tackle, defensive end, and co-captain in 1955. He played in the 1956 College vs. NFL all-star game. In the pros, Erik played for the Washington Redskins in 1956(after being drafted by the team in 1955) and Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League in 1957. He was the third Nick Priscoe product to play professional football. Since he earned a commission in the U.S. Army through the ROTC program at Richmond, he served on active duty for ten years and retired as captain. Erik is a member of the University of Richmond Athletics’ Hall of Fame and the Fork Union Military Academy Hall of Fame. (Note: The nickname, “The Ox” was given to him at Fork Union).
Robert “Bob” Fair – 1957 – Football and Track. He was All County. Bob was an all county football player at tackle and end for two seasons under Coach Priscoe. In track, he won the bronze medal in the mile during the 1956 Middlesex County Indoor Championships and placed in many dual and triangular meets.
Jerry Gonyo – 1958 – Football, Basketball and Baseball. He was All State and All County in football. Jerry was a tremendous all-around athlete and team football captain in 1957. He won nine varsity letters at WHS. This was not an easy thing to accomplish. Very few high school athletes can claim nine varsity letters in team sports. In baseball he batted .380 in 1958 and played third base for a 16-5 team (Tri County Finalist).  During his junior year, the team won the Tri County Tournament (Middlesex, Monmouth and Somerset) under first year coach Frank Capraro. Jerry received WHS’s American Legion Outstanding Athlete Award in 1958 and the William J. Finn Memorial Football Award in 1958. (Note: William J. Finn played varsity football for Coach Priscoe in 1940 and 1941. He was killed tragically in action during World War II. His memorial award was presented for many years by Coach Priscoe to an outstanding senior football player). Jerry continued his football career at the University of Virginia.
Lou Hagler – 1956 – Football and Track & Field. He was All County. Lou was another superb two sport athlete. He was a leading lineman on the 1955 football team that finished 6-1-2 under Coach Priscoe and barely missed out on being awarded the Central Jersey Group IV sectional title. In track and field, Lou won the 1956 Middlesex County Indoor shot-put event. He also, won the 1956 Middlesex County Outdoor discuss event. He usually took a first or second in dual or triangular meets in the shot-put/discuss events for Coach Lou Gabriel.
Walter Housman – 1956 – Football and Track & Field. Walter became the ninth member of Coach Nick Priscoe’s 1955 football team to be inducted into the WTAAA Hall of Fame. (The others were: Leroy Alexander, John Howell, Rich Kuzniak, Bob Fair, Gerry Gonyo, Lou Hagler, Joe Martino and Ron Osborne). Walter was a large force on the offensive and defensive lines. Walter continued his football career at Missouri Valley College.
John Huttenberger – 1971- Football. He was All State, All County and Home News Back of the Year 1970. John was a arguably the greatest power running back in the history of WHS, similar in style to WTAAA hall of famer John “Gutch” Korczowski (1937 and 1938). He was the offensive leader of the undefeated 1969 Barrons (8-0-1) and the 1970 Barrons (7-2-0). During his two year varsity career, John scored twenty touchdowns (sixteen his senior year – a then single season school record). He was Middlesex County scoring leader with 100 points. He rushed for over 900 yards during his senior year (over 1,800 for his career). The Barrons of 1969and 1970 had a fifteen game non-losing streak. It was not until game seven of the 1970 season that WHS tasted defeat (7-8 to Carteret). This was followed by a 0-2 loss vs. Thomas Jefferson on a mud ravaged field. John was injured in the fourth quarter of the Carteret game and did not return. He also, did not play vs. Jefferson. He returned for the annual Thanksgiving clash at Edison before over 6,000 fans. (A 49-9 WHS victory). During John’s two varsity seasons, WHS won the Greater Jersey Conference Central I title twice and were awarded the Central Jersey Sectional Group IV championship in 1970 by the NJSIAA. Unfortunately, that organization did not award the 1969 sectional title to WHS much to the dismay of school officials. John was awarded a football scholarship to Penn State where he played for Coach Joe Paterno. He was a back field teammate of 1973 Heisman Trophy winner John Cappelletti at Penn State. Unfortunately, serious high school knee injuries hampered John’s career at Penn State. “John had a wonderful, unassuming, and modest personality. He was a friend to all who came in contact with him”, said former teammate, George Ryan, ’71.  On January 1, 2000, The Home News Tribune named John to their all time Middlesex County All Century Team.
Matthew Jago – 1943 - Band and Baseball. “Matty” was a good high school athlete and later a World War II veteran.  Following college, he became a physical education teacher, elementary teacher, and eventually a principal at Keasbey School # 8 and Glen Cove School. Mr. Jago was very interested in the special education student population and his school was a model for meeting the needs of these children. He was Director of the Special Olympics program for many years and director of Camp Kiddie Pace for many years. Glen Cove School was re-named Matthew Jago School in 1987.
Tom Lockie – 1931 – Football, Basketball and Baseball. He was All County. Tom was the quarterback of the 1930 9-0 Barrons of Coach Heinie Benkert. Tom batted .417 for the 1931 baseball team.

Dr. Fred Mueller – 1954 – Football and Baseball. He was All County. Fred was a high caliber lineman in the early fifties. He played for Coaches Gerek and Priscoe. Following high school, he entered Fork Union Military Academy where he played football and baseball and is a member of their Hall of Fame. From there, it was on to the University of North Carolina, where he became a starting lineman for three varsity seasons. He was an assistant college and university football and head lacrosse coach for several years. Today, Dr. Mueller, PhD, is the Director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at U.N.C. Chapel Hill. This research group “collects and disseminates death and permanent disability sports injury data that involve brain and/or spinal cord injuries”. The research has been conducted at UNC since 1982 and funded by the NCAA
(Source-organization website). Dr. Mueller holds the title of Professor Emeritus in UNC’s Department of Exercise and Sports Sciences. Dr. Mueller co-wrote the book, “Football Fatalities and Catastrophic Injuries, 1931-2008.”. (Source – Fork Union Military Academy – Sports Hall of Fame Website) In 2012, Dr. Mueller received the 2012 Award of Merit from the National Federation of State High School Associations. (Source – NFHS website)
Earl Smith – 1936 – Football and Baseball. He was All County. Earl was regarded by old time Woodbridge fans as one of the best lineman and punters in school history. He was a teammate of WTAAA Hall of Famers Lou Bartha and Steve Stanko under first year Coach Nick Priscoe.
Steve Stanko – 1936 – Football, Weightlifting and Bodybuilding. He was All County. Steve was a big, strong, all county lineman at WHS. However it was in the sports of weightlifting and bodybuilding where Steve earned a National and World reputation. In 1938, Steve won the silver medal at the World Weightlifting Championships. (Heavyweight) Steve won several other weightlifting titles: national heavyweight champion in 1938, 1939, 1940 and world champion 1940(Super heavyweight) (Source – U.S. Senior National Weightlifting Champions 1928-2012, website) In 1941, he held unofficial world records in the snatch (138.5 pounds) and clean and jerk (172.5 Pounds) in the super heavyweight division. (Source – Top Olympic Lifters of the 20th Century at Lift Up website) Steve was also, a winner of the very first “Mr. Universe” competition in 1947. He also, won the 1944 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Jr. Mr. America title and the AAU Mr. America title (Source – Strength and Health Magazine Cover September 1944). He is a member of the USA Weightlifter Hall of Fame in York, Pa.
Lincoln Tambour – WHS Basketball and Golf Coach. Mr. Tambour coached the basketball team during the 1942-1947 seasons. He started the golf program in 1952 and remained until 1955. His best season was 1953 (9-0). Mr. Tambour was Woodbridge Township’s first district supervisor of physical education and athletics. He eventually became a district principal.

Year 4 (1992) 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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