West Orange Athletic Hall of Fame holds 2019 Induction Ceremony

2019 West Orange Athletic Hall of Fame inductees.
2007 West Orange High School Wrestling team.

WEST ORANGE, NJ — More than 200 West Orange athletes, coaches, family members and friends joined at the Ridgefield Regency on Nov. 14 to link past and present at the 24th Athletic Hall of Fame 2019 Induction Ceremony.

As the program described, “In October of 1987, a group of West Orange residents had a vision, one that would honor the legacies of West Orange athletics as a way to pay tribute to the heroes of the past and encourage the current and future youths of the town to strive for their full potential as athletes and citizens. It is from this vision that the West Orange Athletic Hall of Fame Committee was formed. And one year after the committee’s inception, they celebrated their first Induction Dinner. Tonight, we are gathered here to continue the tradition which was started over 30 years ago. It is our way of formally recognizing the excellence and achievements of these former athletes who have graced our fields and our courts with the spirit that has made us all proud to be a part of West Orange.”

Spirits were high and memories fond as several current inductees in attendance were introduced. Throughout the evening, the new members were introduced by family members or former coaches.

Requirements for induction are:

  • Must be a graduate of West Orange or Mountain High School.
  • Must be graduated for at least 10 years prior to his or her induction.
  • Achieved athletic excellence during his or her tenure at West Orange or Mountain High School, or upon his or her graduation from high school.
  • Has not brought dishonor either upon either the high school or themselves.
  • Lefty Boland or Coaches Award:

A person may be elected if not a graduate of West Orange or Mountain High School if, in the opinion of the Committee, he or she has made significant contributions to the athletic programs of the Township’s schools, or significantly supported, mentored and assisted town youth groups activities.

This year’s inductees and presenters:

  • David Levine – 1988 (Football) presented by Ron Miller, Coach
  • Toby Byrd – 1990 (Football/Cross Country/Track) presented by Kioka Mercer, Sister
  • Kyle Perdelwitz – 2004 (Boys Soccer) presented by Doug Nevins, Coach
  • Louis Antenor – 2005 (Track and Field) presented by Paul Zaragoza, Cousin
  • Jeffrey Mazurek – 2005 (Wrestling) presented by Stephan Zichella, Coach
  • Jacob Simon – 2006 (Hockey) presented by Thomas Gargiulo, Coach
  • Lou Mignone (Lefty Boland Award) presented by Louis Mignone, Son
  • Joseph Picataggio (Coaches’ Award) presented by Joseph Suriano, Friend
  • Team Induction: Wrestling Team – 2007 presented by Stephan Zichella, Coach and Dave Joisil, Captain

The evening celebrated the special bonds that are formed in athletics between teammates and coaches and recognized the sacrifice many parents made to provide the opportunities for their athletes to succeed. More than one tear was shed as memories were shared and long-lost friends reunited amid the spirit of family that is the West Orange community.

The evening was organized by the West Orange Athletic Hall of Fame, with volunteer assistance from West Orange High School Principal Hayden Moore, wrestling/baseball coach Stephan Zichella, girls volleyball/boys volleyball coach Jackie Cruz, Assistant Principal and Hall of Fame Co-President Louis DellaPia, and teacher and Student Council Advisor Catherine Connors.

Although the West Orange Athletic Hall of Fame is an independent organization that is not funded by or part of the West Orange School District, positively impacting communication to the West Orange community is an important goal during 2019-20.

 

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