Sports

St. Edmund’s Welcomes New Hall of Famers

The St. Edmund Prep H.S., Sheepshead Bay, community gathered April 5 at Inwood Country Club to honor the fourth-ever class of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Former student-athletes and their families were on hand to recognize both individuals and teams from Eagles past that had a significant impact on the school’s athletic program.

Congratulations to the following honorees of the Class of 2019:

Joseph Romano

Joe Romano, ’04, was a two-sport standout at St. Edmund Prep, earning a total of five varsity letters between baseball and basketball. On the court, he was a sharp-shooting guard who was a member of the 2003 CHSAA ‘B’ Division city championship team and earned recognition as a member of CHSAA All-League team during his senior year.

In baseball, Romano batted over .400 throughout his varsity career while compiling

an ERA of 3.60 on the pitching rubber. He represented the Eagles in the 2004 CHSAA Senior Classic All-Star Game and was a two-time All-League selection.

He remains the only St. Edmund’s baseball player to be selected as a Louisville Slugger All-American (Second Team, 2004). He was recognized for his accomplishments as the school’s Male Athlete of the Year as a senior in 2004.

Romano continued his athletic career as a baseball player in college for St. Peter’s University, Jersey City, N.J. In 2008, he led the Division I MAAC Conference with a .354 batting average while ranking as the 14th most difficult batter in the country to strike out – 169 at-bats with only eight strikeouts. He remains the program’s all-time leader in fielding percentage and was selected as a member of the St. Peter’s “All-Decade Team” in 2013.

As a stint coaching baseball at the collegiate level, he returned to his high school alma mater as a social studies teacher and began working with his father, “Big

Joe,” on the staff of the varsity baseball team. After his father’s passing in August 2013, Romano was named the fourth varsity baseball coach in school history.

He guided the Eagles to the 2018 CHSAA ‘A’ Division city championship and earned Coach of the Year honors for his efforts. In addition to baseball, he also serves as the boys’ freshmen basketball coach at the school.

1978-1979 Girls’ Cheerleading Team

1978-1979 Girls’ Cheerleading Team

The 1978-1979 St. Edmund Prep cheerleading team remains the most successful squad in school history. The team finished first in the CHSAA Brooklyn Division, won the Catholic Youth Organization Invitational and earned the top spot in the citywide Fordham Invitational Competition.

Under the leadership of head coach Mary Rose O’Hara, the team thrived during their performances as well as in their contributions to the local community. Team members included:

Joyce Lepere Barbuscia, ’79; Lee Ann Berg Bocanegra, ’79; Rachel Cavallo Bruno, ’80; Joan Morogiello Caliendo, ’79; Dina Delmonico, ’79; Karen DiBona, ’79; Gina Vitanza Guzzardi , ’79; Dianne LaVecchia, ’79; Toni Imbriano Polihram, ’79; Janet Russo, ’80; Eileen Riches Sabbagh, ’80; Cathy Flanagan Savoia, ’79; Maureen Scanlon, ’80; Joanne Volgende Scaravelli, ’79; Maggie Trilla Serravalli, ’79; and Jo-Ann Lepere Yannello, ’79.

Danielle Johnson

Danielle Johnson, ’00, arrived at St. Edmund Prep as a freshman and has continued to be an Eagle throughout her life. She competed on school’s cheerleading, swimming and softball teams.

In her four years, she earned nine varsity letters. She was a two-time M.V.P. of the swim team and was selected as the Female Athlete of the Year in 1999. She also was the recipient of the Donny Duval Memorial Spirit Award during her senior year.

Johnson remained in Brooklyn at St. Francis College, Brooklyn Heights, where she was a member of the Division I swimming and water polo teams. In 2002, she helped the Terriers’ water polo team to the Northeast Conference championship.

She returned to her high school alma mater in 2005 as a coach with the girls’ swimming team. Initially coaching alongside her mother Donna, Johnson has mentored over 100 St. Edmund Prep swimmers, including 39 championship qualifiers.

She was voted CHSAA Swimming Coach of the Year three times (2011, 2014 and 2017) and guided the Eagles to a division championship in 2017. That same year, she took over as the head coach of the boys’ swimming team, leading the squad to consecutive postseason berths.

In addition to her coaching duties in Sheepshead Bay, Johnson has been teaching physical education, religion and technology at Midwood Catholic Academy since 2005.

1998-1999 Boys’ Basketball Team

1998-1999 Boys’ Basketball Team. (Photos courtesy St. Edmund Prep H.S.)

In just the third season in program history, the Eagles varsity boys’ basketball team captured the CHSAA ‘A’ South Division regular season title, finishing 20-6 overall.

From there, the team cruised through the playoffs and eventually won the ‘A’ Division city championship. St. Edmund’s added to this memorable year by also winning the Bro. Arnold Memorial Tournament and the Msgr. King Tournament. Eight members of the team went on to play college basketball. Team members included:

Michael Camacho, ’00; Matthew Carroll (captain), ’99; Christopher Daniels, ’99; Joseph Finley (captain), ’99; Shawn Freemantle, ’99; Michael Irwin (captain), ’99; Aaron Miles, ’99; Joseph Pollari, ’99; Andreas Pope, ’01; Andrew Sadowski, ’00; Nathan Schwartz, ’00; Louis Welsh, ’99; and Robert Wiatre (captain), ’00.

The team’s coaches were John DiFiore, Dave Genovese, Jayson Kiang, Val Watson and Dan Wiatre, the current boys’ varsity basketball head coach at St. Edmund’s.

Student-Athlete Reunion Honoree

 Paul Curiale was recognized as the honoree of the student-athlete reunion. A lifelong Brooklyn resident, he oversaw the sports programs for the Bergen Beach Youth Organization starting in 1991.

Curiale is the co-founder of Millennium Development, a non-profit organization that serves thousands of children, senior citizens and families through community activities.


Contact Jim Mancari via email at jmmanc@gmail.com.

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