St. Francis Prep To Induct Inaugural Ring of Honor


St. Francis Prep, Fresh Meadows, is known for its storied sports tradition, dating back to when the high school was located in Brooklyn. To honor the athletic achievements of its athletes, coaches and moderators, the Prep will celebrate its inaugural “Red & Blue Terrier Ring of Honor” gala on March 15 at the Crest Hollow Country Club, Woodbury, L.I.

The purpose of the Ring of Honor, as provided by the school, is as follows:

St. Francis Prep, Fresh Meadows, has established The Red and Blue Terrier Ring of Honor. Its purpose is to recognize the outstanding achievements of its prominent past athletes who have enhanced the spirit and reputation of the Prep.

After reviewing the records of a virtually countless number of outstanding former athletes, St. Francis Prep proudly recognizes those remarkable and talented athletes from our illustrious past. We owe them a debt of gratitude for all that they have done for the Prep. 

In Memory of Patricia A. Brown, wife of alumnus John J. Brown, ’76 who donated the money for the new Ring of Honor Wall.

Here are the 2014 honorees, listed by sport (Bios provided by St. Francis Prep):

Coaches, Athletic Directors, Players

Roger “Rody” Cooney – Class of 1920 – Rody was a very well known profes
sional player in his day. He began coach
ing basketball at the Prep and St. Francis College simultaneously from 1932-1941. His coaching consistently turned out great teams, noted for their speed, courage and aggressiveness, and has proven him to be one of the best coach’s in the game. In 1934, Cathedral Prep beat SFP for the title 32-20. The following year Rody’s squad redeemed itself and won the City Championship beating LaSalle 42-15, and then again in 1938 his team defeated St. Peter’s from Staten Island in the City Championship game 32-30. Rody also had a hand in coaching varsity baseball at St. Francis Prep and his team defeated Fordham Prep in 1940 2-1 for the City Championship. He was a splendid gentleman and his players loved him dearly. The true measure of a coach is a quality of the people he has turned out. In that regard Rody measures up pretty well!

Thomas A. Booras – Class of 1928 – Hall of Fame 1983 – When Terrier teams compete, they compete as a team. And when they practice, they practice as a team. There are no prima donnas, no “Stars.” That philosophy is largely responsible for the consistent success of the Prep on the athletic field. But there is more to winning than philosophy, top coaches and good athletes are necessary and St. Francis had both. The best coaching record in the school belonged to Tom Booras whose swimming teams won 280 of 320 dual meets. Tom also brought the Prep into the national spotlight. He led the Terriers to 5 consecutive National Catholic Championships 1937-1941 and a total of seven on his record. Other Prep mermen championships under his guiding hand were: 28 City Championships; 17 private school titles; 5 eastern; 3 outdoor eastern; 3 at Brown University; 3 at Lehigh; 3 at Columbia and 2 American legion titles. What can be said? The old fox did it again and again. When a team has a coach with so much experience and wit, the extra card up his sleeve was a known fact, and no matter what the odds. Tom coached the swimming team for forty-two years and stacked up more than that number of championships. “I speak for all the swimmers when I say that we admire Mr. Booras.” “He’s a special kind of guy; no matter how tired you get, you would rather kill yourself than let him down.” He made terriers feel that way for a long time and that’s why he’s a winner. “You know he’s watching you and would feel like a rat if you didn’t give him 100 percent.” “If they had not gone before us and taught us, who would care to follow?” They have gone forth, but the work that they have so nobly advanced remains. Would we could carry on so well, that our work might be an everlasting prayer for them.

Vincent Lombardi – Class of 1933 – Hall of Fame 1986 – Vincent Thomas “vince” lombardi was 
the oldest of five Lombardi children and grew up in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn where he attended P.S. 206. Vince served as an altar boy at St. Mark’s Catholic Church and at a very young age he would help his father at his meat cutting business. At the age of 12 he started playing in an organized football league in Sheepshead Bay. He went on to St. Francis Prep and his play on the football team earned him a spot on the All-City team. He then attended Fordham University (where he became one of the football team’s Seven Blocks of Granite) followed by a career in coaching, becoming best known as the head coach of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, where he led the team to three straight and five total league championships in seven years, including winning the first two Super Bowls following the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons. Lombardi is recognized as one of the best and most successful coaches in NFL history. The National Football League’s Super Bowl trophy is named in his honor and it remains the symbol of excellence that Lombardi brought to pro football. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

Brother Owen “Jack” Capper – Class of 1949 – After graduation from the Prep, Jack became a Franciscan Brother. At North 6th Street, he was known as Brother owen and coached several sports with great success. over several years, in JV baseball, he had an outstanding record of 60 and 2. In addition, he coached teams to City Championships in baseball, basketball and football – a number of these athletes are being inducted into the 2014 Ring of Honor. He assisted field-event Coach O’Connor with the great throwing athletes – Mike Giacinto, Tony Armstead and Ray Bausch. Jack’s most satisfying accomplishment is his establishment and promotion of the first rugby program in NY City and NY State and leading the Prep team to matches around the US and on a tour in Europe.

Timothy Leary – Class of 1963 – Hall of Fame 2004 – Tim played 4 years basketball for the Prep and in his senior year started on the team that went to the City Final game. He also played 4 years of baseball, playing on the JV City Championship team, junior year in the City Championship game, and senior year 2nd team All-City. He earned a scholarship to Manhattan College and played 4 years of baseball and basketball. He went on to receive his MA from Brooklyn College. Upon graduation, Tim returned to the Prep and has been coaching for over 46 years – 10 years as varsity baseball coach, with a record of 199-76, 5 Borough titles, 1 City Championship; 4 years as JV basketball coach with a record of 56-20; 39 years and counting as varsity basketball coach with team records of 601-430, 10 Division titles, 5 Final 4’s, 1 City title, National tournament champs in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington DC, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Tim has been recognized as Coach of the Year by the CHSAA, by the New York State Coaches Association, the New York Daily News, the New York Post and Newsday. He has also been inducted into the New York State Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the New York City Pro Am Basketball Hall of Fame, and the National Basketball old-timers Hall of Fame. Tim is retired from the New York City Board of education where he worked for 30 years as a teacher of physical education, english, and social studies, a facilitator for the State Attendance Improvement Program, a supervisor for the Alternate education Program, and dean of discipline. in January 2014, Tim won his 600th game.

Vince O'Connor
Vince O’Connor

Vincent O’Connor – Honorary Alumnus 1984 – After high school, Vince entered the physical education program at New York University. While at NYU, Vince was JV football coach at the Prep and during his senior year, 1955, was appointed to varsity coach. His coaching career was marked by early success as the terriers won the CHSFL Championships his first year as varsity coach. Vince was honored as National Coach of the Year in 1992, has been named New York Catholic High School Coach of the year on twenty occasions, was the recipient of the Frank Mcguire Foundation Award in 2000, and was inducted into the Catholic education Foundation Hall of Fame in 2005. He also served as the president of the CHSFL. Under Coach O’Connor’s leadership, the varsity football program at the Prep has achieved an outstanding record of success – 16 CHSFL Championships including the 1957, 64, 66, 72, 73 and 83 undefeated seasons. in recognition of his extraordinary service, St Francis Prep established The Vincent and Mary O’Connor Scholarship Fund and dedicated The Coach Vince O’Connor Physical Education and Athletic Training Center.

Brother Timothy Walsh – Honorary Alumnus 1984 – Brother Timothy held positions of teacher, track coach and athletic director and principal 1946-1961. Tim’s eight-year tenure as principal at St. Francis Prep on the North Side (1953-1961) symbolized the “golden years of terrier sports”. Four City Championships in basketball: the Stith brothers (St. Bonaventure and the New York Knicks); Gus Alfieri, Brian Hill and Sonny Dove (St. John’s University and the Jersey Nets); Ray Nash (St. Francis College); Tim Leary (Man- hattan College); Don Kent (St. Mary’s of the Plains); and Bob Leckie, now coach of St. Peter’s College. Three City Championships in football: Dan Henning (N.Y. Jets); Mike Strofolino (St. Louis Cardinals); the Armstead brothers (Holy Cross); Matt Doherty (Annapolis); Billy Lord (West Point); George Van Cott and Tom Hall (Boston College); Ray Ratkowski (Notre Dame); and Brother Owen Sadlier (George Washington). Baseball: two City titles: Joe Torre (Milwaukee Braves); Paul Speckenback (L.A. Dodgers); Bob Sprague (Cincinnati Reds); and Brother George Roth (captain of the ’55 team). Track: 8 City Championships: legendary Les Pinder and national records in the mile and two-mile relays. Finally, swimming with Coach Tom Booras winning 8 consecutive championships. Brother Timothy was among the religious graduates in the Fordham University Class of 1948. He was also recognized outside the community and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Human letters from St. Francis College and was a recipient of the Charter Award from Bishop Ford High School in 1998. He was the founding principal of Bishop Ford High School.

Frank Nastro – Honorary Alumnus 1985 – Frank’s outstanding football skills won him a scholarship to the University of South Carolina. After attending for only a year, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served during the Korean conflict. He continued to play football during his service and had an outstanding career with the Marines. Upon completion of his military service Frank returned home, married, and began a long and productive association with both the FDNY and the Prep. He began coaching with Vince O’Connor in 1956 and joined the Fire Department the following year. Frank and Vince coached together for 35 years, winning 14 CHSFL championships and numerous accolades. Frank worked for the FDNY for 37 years, retiring as the assistant chief of the department. To a large degree, the outstanding success of the Prep football team from 1956 through 1990 was due to his technical excellence, brilliant game strategy and the ability to motivate young men to their potential. Today Frank and his wife are happily retired and split their time between Florida and New York.

James E. McHugh – Honorary Alumnus 1992 – Jim McHugh is a man for all the seasons 
– cross-country, indoor and outdoor track! During his career at St. Francis Prep (1950-62), he coached teams to 29 consecutive major titles along with 8 CHSAA City Championships including 2 in cross-country and 3 each in indoor and outdoor track.
 His relay teams set national records in the 1-Mile (’58) and 2-Mile (‘54, ’57 & ’61). Under his guidance, 5 Championship of America titles at the prestigious Penn relays were won between 1956 and 1958. Prior
to his days at the Prep, during WWII Jim served in the US Army Air Force, participating in combat missions in the Air offensive against Japan. Before coming to the Prep
in 1950, Jim graduated from St. Francis College and later earned an MA from NYU. His years at the Prep also included teaching history and serving as the athletic director. After his Prep days, Jim coached at Manhattan College, became a US olympic Committee administrator and later a long-time hospital administrator. He was inducted into the CHSAA Hall of Fame and in 2010 into the Manhattan College Athletic Hall of Fame. Jim attributes much of his coaching success of the Prep track program to the fine athletes and the significant interest and support of the Franciscan Brothers, particularly Brother Timothy Walsh, OSF.

Brother Robert Kent – Honorary Alumnus 1996 – Brother Robert graduated from St. John’s University and has taught at the Prep for over 45 years, beginning as a history teacher. He served as athletic director for 29 years and played a significant role in continuing the school’s successful athletic tradition. He also coached the freshman basketball team for 23 years, junior varsity baseball for 14 years, and varsity baseball for the past 28 years while also teaching history and math and has remained steadfastly dedicated and committed to student athletes. As the frosh basketball coach, Brother Robert compiled a record of 386-143 and his teams reached the Finals 5 times and won the City Championship twice. His JV baseball teams achieved a record 206-41, reaching the Finals 7 times and winning 5 City Championships. On the varsity level, he notched a record of 596-282, reaching the Finals 5 times and winning the City Championships 3 times. He has been named Coach of the Year 5 times by The New York Daily News, 4 times by The Tablet, twice by Newsday, and twice by The New York Post. He was also named New York State Coach of the Year in ’95 and was inducted into the CHSAA Hall of Fame in ’03. In ’08 he was inducted into the Frank Mcguire Foundation Hall of Fame. More than 130 of his former athletes went on to play collegiate ball, 23 at ivy league universities, and 10 have played professionally. In 1998, Brother received an Honorary Doctor of letters from St. Francis College and in addition to his current teaching and coaching duties, serves as the Prep’s alumni director.

Jane Modry – Honorary Alumna 2000 – Jane was born in Jackson Heights, attended PS 32, Bayside HS, the State University College at New Paltz, received her Physi
cal education teaching Certification from Hunter College in 1967, and later her Masters Degree in Sports Management from Adelphi University. She began teaching physical education at Bishop Reilly High School in March 1967, and the following year began a coaching career that spanned 24 years in the following women’s sports: varsity basketball (1968-92); varsity volleyball (1968-80); varsity softball (1968-80); and varsity women’s track (1968-70). Her varsity basketball teams amassed more than 300 victories, and she was named Coach of the Year for women’s basketball in 1980 and 1989. Her 1980 team won both the CHSAA Downstate and City Championships, while the 1989 team was the Class “B” CHSAA Champion and the New York State runner-Up. Her 1979 women’s softball team was diocesan champion. Jane has often been described as a pioneer in the world of women’s athletics – coach, administrator, and women’s athletic director 1984-99 – she was recognized as Administrator of the Year by the NYS CHSAA Athletic Administrators Association. In 1999, Jane assumed the role of director of student activities and served in that capacity until her retirement in 2005, also serving as student council director from 2000-05. She continues to serve as the Diocese of Brooklyn’s representative to the NYS Federation of Secondary Schools Athletic Association. In 1991 Jane was inducted
into the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Hall of Fame and received the Franciscan Spirit Award in 2003.

Helen Lombardo – Honorary Alumna 2005 – After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Helen began teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in rural North Carolina. During WWII she served with the American Red Cross in Africa, where she met her husband, a doctor from Brooklyn, NY. After her husband’s death, she went back to teaching at Bishop Reilly High School as the girls physical education teacher and was a strong advocate for equal opportunity for girls in sports. She stayed 
on with the Prep and worked tirelessly 
as director of the girls physical education department, planned numerous ski trips for students, her door was always open and she loved what she did. After retiring, she moved to Ohio to be near her grandchildren and started another career as a floral designer, and as with everything else she did, put her all into it. She became very involved in the church, taught CCD to second graders, and volunteered her time, work and skills at local retirement and homeless facilities and with the less fortunate. Helen died in May 2002, just shy of her 90th birthday – her spirit of giving continues to inspire those who knew her.

Brother Alan Zodda – Honorary Alumnus 2005 – Brother Alan studied at St. Francis College. After teaching at several other Franciscan schools, he came to the Prep in 1961 and began his coaching career with track and cross-country. He has worked in the boys physical education locker rooms for over 46 years and also assisted in coaching girls JV and varsity softball for 15 years. But it is without question that Brother Alan is most renowned for his coaching of JV and varsity handball. Under his guidance, the SFP handball team became a dynasty, winning CHSAA City Championship after Championship, and setting a stellar record of 159 consecutive victories over a 12 year period. Brother Alan received the Sports Illustrated Merit Award in 1974, Canticle Citations at SFP for 15, 20, 25, 40 and 50 years, and was inducted into the CHSAA Hall of Fame in 1988. in June 2013, Brother Alan celebrated his 60th anniversary of entrance to the order.

John Brennan – Honorary Alumnus 2008 – John received both his BA in Psychology
in 1974 and his MA in Theology in 1994 from St. John’s University, where he also played varsity tennis 1972-74. He has been ranked in top ten in state in four different age divisions (45, 50, 55, 60). He has been
 a USPTA Professional for 32 years and was also the director of tennis/head professional at Mountain Gate Tennis Club in Los Angeles 1982-1990. At the Prep, John coached boys JV 1991-92, winning 2 City Championships; boys varsity 1993-2013, winning 8 City Championships; girls varsity 1999-2013, winning 14 State Champion- ships and 12 Mayor’s Cup Championships. Under his guidance, the girls team won 203 consecutive matches from 2000-2011 and has never lost a league or playoff match in 14 years. His coaching record with girls is an unprecedented 213-1! John’s honors include USPTA High School Coach of the Year 2005 and USTA High School Coach of the Year 2006.

Frank “Chick” Keegan – Chick started his coaching career at Most Holy Trinity in (1945-48). He began his coaching at the Prep in 1949 in a dual capacity as baseball and basketball coach. Coach Keegan found himself faced with problems of having to cope with some of the best competitors ever offered in CHSAA. To accomplish this task was not an easy job. In his own quiet way, Chick was regarded
as one of the most enlightened coaches in the metropolitan area. Coach had his pet system, pass follow pass; he truly was an expert organizer. He had to be, daily practice was generally limited to less than two hours. Chick won four City Championships in basketball starting in 1953 and then winning three consecutive championships in 1955, 1956 and 1957. His team was runner up in 1963 losing to Power Memorial and Lew Alcindor/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Coach Keegan coached many great players through the years in basketball: the Stith brothers, Joe Quigg, Bob “Zeke” Zawoluk, Dick Duckett, Bud Pascal, Gus Alfieri, Brian Hill, Sonny Dove, Bob Jenkins, Bob Bruns, Tony Greer, Larry Pascal, Paul Speckenbach, Ray Nash and many others. Chick won two City Championships in baseball in 1959 and 1961. Coach Keegan left his mark in the annals of Prep history. His teams were opponents to be feared. Chick was more than just a great coach…he was also both a mentor and role model to many, many student athletes.

Men’s Baseball

Joseph Torre – Class of 1958 – Hall of Fame 1999 – Joe was born in Brooklyn in 1940. While
 at the Prep, he was an outstanding baseball player. Joe signed a professional contract with the Milwaukee Braves in 1960, making his major league debut in September 
of that year. In 1961 he was the runner-up for Rookie-of-the-Year honors. His playing career spanned 18 seasons with the Braves, Cardinals and Mets, and he was named to the All-Star team on nine different occasions. While with the Cardinals in 1971 he was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player. Following his retirement as a player in 1977, he began a managerial career than would span 29 seasons, including stints with the three teams for whom he played (the Braves, Cardinals and Mets), plus a final stint as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2008-2010. In 2011, he became an executive vice president with Major League Baseball, a position he holds today. It was during Torre’s tenure as manager of the New York Yankees, however, that he achieved his greatest success. In the 12 seasons that he
led the team, from 1996 through 2007, the Yankees went to the post-season each year and won ten American League East Division titles, six American league pennants, and four World Series titles. He compiled a sterling .605 winning percentage during that time. This summer he will be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. In addition to baseball, Torre is an avid horse racing enthusiast, having owned or partially owned several champion thoroughbreds. He and his wife also established his “Safe at Home” Foundation, which does wonderful work to help combat domestic violence.

Paul Speckenbach – Class of 1962 – Hall of Fame 2005 – Paul excelled at both baseball and basketball while at the Prep and was named New York City and CHSAA MVP in numerous publications, was twice 1st team All City, 2nd team All City, and 3rd team All American. He played varsity baseball all 4 years, with his team winning the City Championships in his freshman and senior years. He played on the JV basketball team that won the City Championship in his sophomore year and the varsity team that played in the semi-finals in his senior year. Paul received over 100 college scholarship offers for both baseball and basketball, but it was pro ball that won. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1962 as a pitcher and two years later pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals for 
a year. Paul then entered St. John’s University and completed his BBA and MBA and in 1969 began a career in advertising. He received an honorable discharge from 
the Air National guard in 1973. in the fall of 1974, he returned to the Prep, taught business management, economics, finance and driver’s ed. Paul coached JV and varsity baseball and freshman basketball at the Prep, freshman baseball at Chaminade, JV baseball at McClancy, and collegiate baseball at both St. John’s and CW Post and has been active in community service working with inner city youth.

Emilo “Butch” Zullo – Class of 1962 – Butch was an exceptional athlete who played baseball and basketball, culminating in a City Championship in baseball in 1961. He was chosen to the CHSAA All City team in his senior year and was chosen a NY City All Star by the Journal American. He was 
a power hitting third basemen and played 
in the NY City All Star game vs. USA All Stars. Butch hit a homerun in that game and also drove in the winning run to put 
the NY City All Stars ahead of the USA All Stars in 1962. In that same year, Butch was drafted the 4th player in the professional draft, chosen No. 1 by the New York Mets! He declined the offer and went to Fordham University where he was captain of the Fordham baseball team. Butch turned down all the fame and money of professional sports to be a teacher. During his 30 years in the Kingston City Schools, Butch accomplished a great deal through his devotion to students and colleagues alike. His dedication to the law program helped put Kingston High School on the map attracting both New York state and national recognition for the students and Kingston High School. Kingston & the Prep will never forget him. In 2000, Emil taught law related education training in St. Petersburg, Russia and from then until the time of his death, was the assistant director of the law, Youth and Citizenship Program for the New York State Bar Association.

Dominic Scala – Class of 1972 – Dom, former bullpen coach of the New York Yankees, is entering his 11th year as Adelphi’s head baseball coach. Scala has twice earned Coach of the Year honors, first from the east Coast conference in 2005 and again in 2011 from the NE – 10. An All-City athlete in both football and baseball at St. Francis Prep, Scala went on to play third base at St. John’s University from 1972-76. A team captain, he batted .420 his senior year. After graduation, his professional career began when he was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the sixth round of the Major League Baseball draft. His nine year stint with the Yankees included the 1978 World Series Championship. Dom also serves as an assistant athletic director for development at Adelphi and has been instrumental in many large university projects, including the building of William J. Bonomo Memorial Field.

Women’s Basketball and Softball

Patricia Quinn – Class of 1976 – Patricia – or Tricia as most people would call her – was an outstanding student and athlete during her four years at the Prep. She was a three-sport varsity letter athlete all four years having lettered in basketball, softball and volleyball – an accomplishment achieved by only a select few in women’s sports. Tricia was the team captain and selected Most Valuable Player in all three sports. In her senior year, Tricia was the female recipient
of the prestigious Al Powers Award. She was also inducted into the inaugural Class of the Girls High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame. Tricia received further recognition for her outstanding athlete accomplishments when she was selected as a Parade Magazine All-American Athlete. Tricia credits her high school coach, Jane Modry, as the person who influenced her the most and whom she considered to be her role model. Tricia married Prep alum Kelly Quinn ’75 and they are the proud parents of three, including one Prep alum, and grandparents of six. Tricia is currently a nurse working at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Janet Roos – Class of 1981 – Janet was a key player in Prep’s Championship wins in both basketball and softball and also played varsity field hockey. Starting point guard, New York Newsday High School Classic tournament and New York All-City High School team for The Empire State Games – her talents won her a full scholarship to play for St. John’s University where she was co-captain and a member of the prestigious St. John’s President’s Society. Her illustrious career boasts being first on SJU all-time assists list as a starting point guard with a record of 530 career assists and is also a 1,000 point scorer (1004). Janet was a member of the Big East All-Conference First Team (1984-85) and the Big East All-Conference Second team selection (1983-84), led St. John’s as starting point guard in two straight Big East Tournament Championship titles (1982-83 & 1983-84), was named to the Big East All-tournament team twice in her career (1983 & 84), and helped lead in the first two NCAA tournament appearances in SJU history. She was a twice recipient of The Marianne Noonan Memorial Award (1983 & 84), The Rickard F. McSwiney Student-Athlete Award (1985), and the Victoria Porter MVP Award (1985). This spring, Janet will also be inducted in to the St. John’s University Athletic Hall of Fame. Currently, Janet works in information technology for McKesson Corporation in San Francisco.

Denise Stradowski-Heckelman – Class of 1984 – During her years of varsity athletics at the Prep, Denise was named Daily News Player of the Year (1981-82), was captain of varsity softball team (1982-84), played in Japan as 
a member of the girls Friendship Softball team (1983), and was captain of the varsity basketball team (1983-84). In the 1983-84 season, as captain she led varsity softball to win both the Brooklyn-Queens Championship and the first ever City Championship. Denise received the Daily News and Newsday All-City Honors, was MVP of the first ever City All Star Game, and was MVP of the SFP team. She was also the recipient of the Alfred E. Powers Scholar-Athlete Award and a Principal’s Scholarship to St. Francis College. She was an inaugural member of the GCHSAA Hall of Fame. Denise brought her talents back to the Prep and has been a faculty member for 23 years, assistant girls JV basketball coach for 15 years, and JV volleyball coach for 5 years.

Men’s Basketball

Robert “Zeke” Zawoluk – Class of 1949 – Nineteen hundred forty-eight may well be considered the greatest year in basketball St. Francis has ever had. In the highest point scoring game of the season, the Terriers became proud possessors of the City title by defeating LaSalle 72-53. The City Champs then copped first place in the 19th Annual Metropolitan Catholic High School tournament, winning the first leg on the new Bishop Molloy trophy. The closing record of the ‘48 team was 22 and 2 and Bob helped lead that team to the City Championships. He was All-City his junior and senior years. At a time when St. John’s, City College and New York University drew bigger crowds than the Knicks at Madison Square garden, Zawoluk was among the stars of New York basketball and he led St. John’s into National invitation tournament at the garden in all three of his seasons. St. John’s made their only appearance in an N.C.A.A. tournament final in 1952, Zawoluk’s senior season, losing to Kansas. Zeke averaged 20.1 points a game and scored 1,826 points, a St. John’s career record eclipsed in 1984 by Chris Mullin who played four seasons. Zawoluk set the single game scoring record for St. John’s with 65 points against St. Peter’s in 1950. “Bob was one of the first of the truly mobile men in basketball,” his former teammate Al McGuire, later well-known college coach and broadcaster, told the New York times in 1987. “He had a sweet, sweeping hook shot but could also score facing the hoop.” Zeke played one season with the N.B.A.’s indianapolis olympians and two seasons with the Philadelphia Warriors. His career was cut short by a knee injury. in a March 1962 article from NY World telegram, All-Time City Players, Zeke was selected as the pivot man, and St. Francis was lucky enough to have had one of the great ones in city history.

Joseph Quigg – Class of 1954 – Joe was the leader of 1953 City Championship team. He was all-City, All-Catholic and All-East that year. Joe went to the University of North Carolina through Coach Frank Mcguire’s “underground railroad” of players from New York to Chapel Hill. Quigg was a two-year starter at center in 1955-56 and 1956-57 seasons. Joe averaged 12.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game as a sophomore, then 10.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game as a junior. The Tar Heels went undefeated in his junior year and won the National Championship. Joe was instrumental in winning the championship by sinking the game-winning free throws and knocking a pass away from Kansas center Wilt Chamberlain in the closing seconds of the triple-overtime game. Quigg was primed for a strong senior year in 1957-58, as the Tar Heels returned a strong nucleus from their championship team. However, he was injured in a preseason scrimmage and was out the entire season with a broken leg. He was a second round draft pick by the New York Knicks in 1958. instead, Joe went to dental school and became a dentist. Joe will always be remembered as one of the all time “greats” at SFP.

Samuel E. Stith – Class of 1956 – Hall of Fame 2007 – While playing at Frederick Douglas JHS, Sam was fortunate to meet Brother Timothy, then Principal of the Prep, who offered him and his brother tom scholarships to attend SFP. At the Prep, Sam helped guide the team to 2 CHSAA Championships and 2 National Championships. The team was 66-1 and went undefeated in one season (33-0). Along with being captain, Sam was named the team’s MVP in his senior year and voted to the All City Basketball team by the New York Post, the New York Daily News, and the Journal American. After graduation,
 Sam attended St. Bonaventure University where he helped guide the Bonnies to 3 NIT appearances, became the first athlete to have his number retired, and is one of the first inductees into the Bonaventure Hall of Fame. In his senior year, he averaged 20 points per game. Sam was drafted by the Cincinnati royals (now the Sacramento Kings) but elected to complete his Army obligation first. After the Army, Sam played in the ABL for George Steinbrenner’s Cleveland Pipers, followed by the New York Knicks, then on to the eastern leagues, and afterwards became a player and part owner of the Harlem Wizards. Sam is chairman of the Rucker Pro Legends, was inducted into the old-timers Hall of Fame, and is member of the NBA retired Players Association. Prior to owning real estate investing Sam Stith enterprises, he was a vice president for Manufacturers Hanover trust and european American Bank. Sam led the way as the first African American to play varsity basketball at both the Prep and at St. Bonaventure.

Thomas A. Stith – Class of 1957 – Hall of Fame 2007 – During his full scholarship tenure at 
the Prep, Tom scored over 2000 points, including 60 points in one game. He was a member of the CHSAA All-Star team and won two CHSAA Championships. in his four years, the squad lost less than 10 games and by the end of his senior year, Tom was named to the All New York City team and elected to the CHSAA Hall of Fame. Tom was offered more than 100 scholarships
to various colleges and universities, but he decided to continue his Franciscan education and attend St. Bonaventure. He was the first and consensus First Team All-American at his school and his 31.5 points per game
in his junior year was second in the nation. In his senior year, he again was named First team All-American, led the university to two NIT births and one NCAA National tournament where the team was ranked #3 in the nation, and he scored over 40 points nine times. Tom finished his four-year
 career averaging 27 points and 9 rebounds per game, holding various all-time scoring records at the university including the most free throws made and attempted in a season. His uniform number was retired and entered into the St. Bonaventure University Hall
 of Fame. After graduation, Tom was the #2 overall selection of the New York Knicks in the 1961 NBA Draft. Due to health problems, his professional career was put on hold and he was only able to play 25 games in 
the ’62-63 NBA season. Tom made a small comeback in the eastern league before pursuing his own business, embarked on a sales career, and retired from Cablevision.

Lloyd “Sonny” Dove – Class of 1963 – Sonny’s killer round ball game propelled him to all-city status at the Prep and onto a scholarship at St. John’s University, recruited by then assistant coach Lou Carnesecca. In 1967, his last season playing at St. John’s, Sonny was captain of a team with a 25-5 record. That same year, he received the prestigious Haggerty Award, symbolic of the best player in the Metropolitan New York area. He was also a Consensus NCAA All-American Second team and was part of the US basketball team that won the gold medal at the Pan American games in Winnipeg. Sonny began his professional career after the NBA draft of 1967 – Round: 1 / Pick: 4th overall – selected by the Detroit Pistons where he remained until 1969, at which time he joined the New York Nets and remained with them until 1972. After his playing career ended, Sonny went on to radio sports broadcasting. in 1987, Sonny was inducted into the St. John’s University Athletic Hall of Fame. His records continue to make him one of the top players ever at the university. In 2005 Sonny was among the first ten men selected for “Basketball legacy Honors” and then in 2008 for the “All-Century team”. In 2011 Sonny was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame.

jim obrienJames G. O’Brien – Class of 1967 – Hall of Fame 1992 – While at the Prep, Jim’s skill on the court attracted much attention. in his senior year, Boston College’s Bob Cousy sat in the small Prep gym. The rest is history – Jim had an outstanding career at Boston College where he ranks 11th on the school’s scoring list and holds the assist mark record of 18 for one game. He was twice All-East, 1971
 New England Player of the Year, and a 1976 member of varsity Club Hall of Fame. in 1977, after playing professionally for four seasons in the American Basketball Association, Jim began an outstanding coaching career as assistant coach at University of Connecticut, then on to head coach at St. Bonaventure (1982-86), Boston College (1986-97), and Ohio State University (1997-04). Jim’s BC teams made post-season appearances in five of his last six seasons, highlighted by the elite eight in 1993-94 and the Big East Championship in 1996-97. At OSU, he took his teams to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments, winning Big 10 titles in 2000 and 2002 and advancing to the Final Four in 1999. For his efforts, Jim has been named Coach of the Year in three different conferences, the Atlantic 10, the Big East and twice in the Big 10 and was selected National Co-Coach of the Year in 1999. Jim is currently head coach at Emerson College.

Women’s Cross Country, Track & Field

Sheila Barrett-Knudsen – Class of 1978 – Sheila came from St. Kevin’s and wanted to continue her running at the Prep, but there was no team in her freshman year. Sheila and her teammate, Marie Mcgowan, were determined to get a team started and Sheila was the driving force of recruiting girls to the team. Her outgoing personality and pleasant disposition made it easy for her to get other girls to join. As stated by many of her teammates, her hard work and determination was a big inspiration to them. In her freshman year Sheila became the second girl in Prep’s history to finish a race. She placed fourth in the varsity race at the Alberta Magnus invitational held at Bear Mountain. Sheila was a 4 year member of all three seasons and was always in the top seven during the cross-country season. Sheila had great ability and was willing to do what was necessary to help the team. During the indoor seasons Sheila qualified for two of the Colgate games that were held at Madison Square Garden. In the first games she placed 4th in the 1500 meter run and in the second she placed 4th in the high jump. She was an instrumental member of the outdoor City Championship teams by placing 4th in the 880 yards race and winning the City Championship in the high jump. Her winning jump of 5’3” was the meet record for many years and would place her in the top 5 every year since. Because of Sheila’s excellence in the classroom and performance on the track, the Student Athlete’s Award at graduation for girls was renamed in her honor. Sheila earned her B.S. in nursing from Hunter College and MBA from Baruch.

Marie McGowan-Waldron – Class of 1978 – Like her teammate Sheila Barrett, Marie also came from St. Kevin’s and faced the same situation – lack of a team. Together with Sheila, Marie began the golden years of girls track at the Prep. There were many obstacles to overcome in the process. Marie at times had to race with the boys and one time fight off a coach trying to pull her out of the race. In her freshman year Marie’s thoughts on running were captured in The Seraph as “to become a good runner you must be determined, practice hard, have a good coach and most of all enjoy what you’re doing.” In her freshman year Marie became the first girl track runner in Prep’s history to finish a race. She placed 3rd in the varsity cross-country race at the Alberta Magnus invitational held at Bear Mountain. Marie went on that year to win the Queens Championship, Brooklyn-Queens Champions and the varsity City Championship becoming the youngest City champion in the state. She broke the record for the 1.5 mile race and went on to win many invitational races. In 1976 Marie placed 2nd in the City Championships and during that year broke two more meet records for the 1.5 mile and the 1.25 mile races. She is still listed on the cross-country record list as the tenth fastest time in Prep’s history. She was the holder of many school records by the time she graduated. Marie graduated from St. John’s University and eventually moved out to California where she is currently a member of the California State Assembly.

Anna Eardley – Class of 1984 – Dr. Anna M. Eardley was a member of the cross-country, indoor and outdoor track & field team at the Prep for all 4 years. Excerpts from a New York Daily News article published at the time of her graduation succinctly described Anna’s high school track achievements when it reported: “Anna Eardley has left an indelible mark on the City of New York. Eardley is a superb student athlete, and Saint Francis Prep girls track team all-time record holder, with a total
of 30 records.” Anna’s records include the following: her senior year of high school, she ran the second fastest time in the nation for the 1000 yard run (2:36.7) and fourth fastest time in the country indoors among high school girls for the 1500 meter run. She still holds the CHSAA league record for both these events. During her high school career, Anna also won regional competitions in the 1500 meters or mile at the West Point Invitational, the Bishop Loughlin Invitational High School Girls Mile, The Stanner Games (1000 meters) the Princeton Invitational and the Yale Invitational, among other meets. In addition, she placed second in the Eastern States Invitational at Harvard University in the 1000 yards. Her sophomore year, she was a member of the St. Francis Prep relay team that set a New York State record for the Distance Medley relay. She was the CHSAA 1500 meters champion in both the indoor and outdoor seasons her junior and senior years, also winning the 3000 meters at the 1984 outdoor championships. Anna went on to graduate from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and trained at Columbia Presbyterian/Saint Luke’s Roosevelt Medical Center in diagnostic radiology. She is the co-author of numerous publications in medical literature, including articles in the Annals of internal Medicine, and is now a board certified physician in private practice in New York.

Men’s Cross Country, Track & Field

Frank T. Dixon III – Class of 1942 – Frank transferred to St. Francis Prep from Monroe HS in the Bronx in September 1941. Already an established and outstanding distance runner, Frank had an undefeated cross-country season. Indoors he was the AAU interscholastic mile champion with a 4:20.7 – a National and SFP school record. He ran in open events – the NYAC 2-Mile in 9:14.5 and the Navy relief Mile in 4:14.1. After graduating from the Prep, he went off to NYU on a scholarship where, in cross-country, he and the NYU team were undefeated winning the AAU Met Intercollegiate, IC4A and National AAU Cross-Country Championships. Indoors he took 3rd in the Millrose Mile with a 4:10.6 and then won the Boston AA, NY K of C and National AAU mile races. At 20 years old, his 4:10.6 on the old and slow Madison Square Garden track probably translates to a 4:06.0 time outdoors – which would have broken the world record of 4:06.1. After his Army military service, Frank returned to NYU and upon graduation began his lifelong career as an educator – a teacher and administrator in the NYC Board of Education.

Charles Kilkuskie – Class of 1954 – At St. Francis Prep, Charlie proved to be a highly accomplished athlete playing in the backfield of the Prep’s football squad in the fall, running track indoors and outdoors as well as successfully competing in the
shot put and javelin events for all 4 years.
As a runner he excelled and won 3 City Championship races – the 1952 Mile relay both indoors and outdoors. In the 1954 outdoor City Championships, Charlie was the individual mile champion proving he was a top miler in the east. in addition, he was a member of the eastern States Championship Distance Medley relay running the anchor mile. At the end of the 1954 outdoor season, Charlie led off the special 2-Mile relay team that created a national record of 7:56.5. For all of this and more, he received the Al Powers Award as the best runner in the 1954 class. Several track scholarships were offered to Charlie but he enlisted and served in the 11th Airborne Division. Later he attended Idaho State University and eventually became a successful sales executive in the electronics, trucking and auto industries.

Thomas J. Sheehan – Class of 1955 – Tom was a 4-yr. member of the terrier’s cross-country and track teams serving several times as captain. Through the constant guidance of Coach Jim McHugh, Tom grew as an athlete, leader and sportsman. Some of Tom’s greatest achievements were in the mile-run – i.e., City Championship race 1955 outdoors – 1st Place. However, Tom was a team player and equally loved the comradeship and spirit of his teammates when competing with them in relay events
 – i.e., 1955 Eastern States Championship 2-Mile relay race – first place – setting the national indoor record of 7:58.3. To Tom the crowning achievement was the 1955 indoor City Team Championship won by the Terriers. In 1955 he was the recipient of the Al Powers Award for outstanding track accomplishments. Tom attended the University of Missouri and Seton Hall University. In 1986, the Class of 1955 established the Thomas J. Sheehan Memorial Scholarship Fund in his name (30 students have benefited) and instituted the Thomas Sheehan Trophy to be awarded to the winner of the outdoor CHSAA 1600 meter (mile) run.

Raymond Smith – Class of 1956 – Ray was a key member of the unique relay foursome created by Coach Jim McHugh. They won the 2-mile relay championship race at the Penn relays on a Friday in 1956 and on Saturday, witnessed by 25,000 track fans, with the same team (Mcgannon, ratkowski, Kennedy and Smith), defeated the favored Boys HS team in the 1-mile relay. Ray was also a member of the 1956 Championship Millrose games Sprint Medley; he was a 4-time winner of events at the 1955 and 1956 indoor and outdoor City Championships in his specialty – 440 yards. He captained the team that won the 1956 outdoor City Championships and he received the 1956 Al Powers Award for Best Runner. After the Prep he went on a track scholarship to Georgetown University graduating in 1960 with a BA degree and began a successful business career eventually becoming CEO and chairman of the board of a public corporation.

Edward Kennedy – Class of 1957 – Hall of Fame 2013 – Ed came from Sacred Heart Parish in Cambria Heights on a scholarship to the Prep. In 1953, Ed established the Prep freshman record. As a senior, he captained the undefeated Prep team that won the Prep’s first City Cross-Country Championship. Ed was part of 4 additional City Championships for indoor and outdoor track including a record-setting individual mile indoors at Madison Square Garden (4:28.2). He also was part of 4 SFP record-setting teams in- cluding anchoring the Sprint Medley relay at the Millrose Games. He was on 4 winning Championship of America teams at the prestigious Penn relays (setting 2 records) and later led off the 2-mile relay for a national record at the Met AAU Meet. While at the Prep Ed was awarded 10 varsity letters; at graduation, he received both the Al Powers and the Babe Ruth awards for superior academic and athletic achievement. After attending Manhattan College on a scholarship, Ed continued at Fordham University earning an MS in education (English) and an MS in Counseling which led to a 38 year career in teaching, counseling and coaching – 33 of those years with the NYC Board of Education and then later at St. Francis Prep. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the Bernice and James McHugh Scholarship Fund.

Daniel Rorke – Class of 1957 – Dan was a leader of a highly successful and undefeated cross-country team that won
the City Championships in 1956 at Van Cortlandt Park. He was on 4 additional City Championship teams for indoor and outdoor track. in 1957 Dan won the half-mile run in the City Championships and also broke the record for the best half-mile run
 in the Athletic Association of Private Schools Meet. In addition he ran on 2 Penn relays Championship of America relay teams that set Penn relays records. When Dan set his first Penn relays record Coach McHugh said Dan was “the most improved, most versatile and most determined runner on his squad”. In June 1957, he anchored the 2-mile relay team that created the national record of 7:53.7. In his senior year, Dan received the Prep Spiked Shoe Club Award for athletic, leadership and academic achievement. He attended Notre Dame on a full track scholarship and at the Ohio State relays set an ND record in the 2 1⁄2-mile Distance Medley. He graduated with a production management degree and continued his well-learned leadership skills as VP for International Harvester. At the time he passed away he was the founder and president of John Deere reman in Springfield, Mo.

Joseph Armstead – Class of 1958 – In his freshman year, Joe set a St. Francis Prep cross-country record. As a multi-talented athlete, in his remaining 3 years
 at the Prep Joe also played football while continuing to run indoor and outdoor track very successfully, establishing 4 SFP records. He was a member of the outstanding Penn relays team that rewrote the National Mile record at 3:17.5. Joe was also a member of the 1956 Championship Sprint Medley relay at the Millrose Games, and he won the 440 yard event at the 1958 indoor City Championships. Joe was awarded a total of 7 City Championship white sweaters (5 in track, 2 in football). While attending Manhattan College on a track scholarship, he was a member of the Air Force ROTC. later he became an Air Force pilot and flew 101 missions in Vietnam followed by a long career as a United Airlines 747 pilot.

Daniel Corry – Class of 1958 – An outstanding distance runner, Dan was 
a key member of the Prep’s undefeated
 1956 and 1957 cross-country teams also winning the City Championships. He was the captain of cross-country ’57 team. Dan was awarded a total of 5 City Championship sweaters. After St. Francis, Dan attended Manhattan College on a full scholarship and again excelled in cross-country leading his team in his senior year as captain. He was also an excellent steeplechase competitor scoring in the IC4A Championships. Dan earned a Masters Degree at NYU and later went in to the Navy. He began his teaching career at St. Francis College but the major part of his career in education was with the NYC Board of Education first at Flushing HS and then at Beach Channel HS where he was assistant principal and chairman of the Physical Education Department. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the Bernice and James McHugh Scholarship Fund.

Joseph R. Davis – Class of 1958 – Joe came to the Prep in January ’54 from good Shepherd Parish in Marine Park Brooklyn. He was a member of the Prep’s undefeated varsity cross-country team (2 seasons) that won 2 cross-country Championships. He was a member of the indoor City Championship 2-mile relay team and in 1957 was on the team that won the Penn Relays Championship of America 2-mile relay event. In addition Joe was a member
of the National High School record-setting 2-mile relay team at the Senior Met AAU Meet in 1957 with a 7:53.7. By the end of Joe’s SFP track and cross-country years, he had been co-captain of the ’57 cross-country team and had been awarded 9 varsity letters and a total of 6 City Championship white sweaters. After graduation, Joe entered the business world while attending St. Francis College evenings earning a BBA ’71. His entire business career had been in the financial service industry (bank operations) where he held various positions including president.

Michael J. Giacinto – Class of 1958 – Mike was an outstanding athlete in two sports – track & field and football. During the indoor and outdoor track & field seasons in his junior and senior years at SFP, Mike’s strength and skill enabled him to set 3 school records. in the Eastern States Championships of June ’57, Mike set records in the shot put – 57’ 1⁄2” – and the high school discus – 163’ 9.5”. in the All Hallows relay College Discus event, he finished with a 139’ 2.75” record. in addition, Mike won 3 individual City Championship events – the 1957 indoor shot put and 1957 and 1958 outdoor discus. on the football field, Mike was famous for his efforts as the offensive guard playing on 3 City Championship teams. He was on every All-Star first eleven list throughout the USA and for his efforts was awarded a full football scholarship to Notre Dame University. Due to a shoulder injury, his efforts and scholarship were transferred to track & field where he won many college shot & discus events. While
in the USMC, he coached the line for the Quantico football team. After his military career and until he died in 1992, Mike worked in advertising, construction, managed his own small hotel, and ran the Bath & turtle British-style pub in the British virgin islands.

Frank Hegarty – Class of 1958 – Coming from Sacred Heart Parish in Cambria Heights, at the Prep Frank became a key member of 2 undefeated cross-country teams including 2 City Championships plus 5 additional City Championships for indoor and outdoor track. He won 3 Penn relays Championships in record times including establishing the national record in the 1958 Mile relay. Also at the Penn relays in 1958, Frank was the recipient of the first out- standing HS Athlete Award ever presented. earlier, in June ’57 he ran a key leg on the 2-mile relay team that set the national record at 7:53.7. Altogether, he was part of 4 St. Francis Prep school records and received the 1958 Al Powers Award as the Most outstanding runner. He continued his running career on a scholarship to Villanova University, and after graduation became a CPA and established a successful service business.

Douglas Tynan – Class of 1958 – Doug came to the Prep from Sacred Heart Parish in Cambria Heights. At St. Francis, Doug became a standout in the middle distances – 440, 600 and 880 yards and established 4 SFP records winning 3 individual City Championship races. in his senior year at Prep, he won 5 consecutive major meet events. in addition, he ran a vital leg at the Penn Relays in the mile relay that broke the Penn Relays and national records. After St. Francis, Doug attended Fordham University and in 1962 ran on their record-setting indoor 2-mile relay. He served in the Navy as officer in charge of a swift boat in Vietnam and later worked in private industry. Doug retired from the National Nuclear Security Administration in 2013.

Salvatore Crispi – Class of 1961 – A standout in the middle distances – 440, 600 and 880 yards – Sal and his teammates established a national and Prep record in the 2-mile relay at the eastern States indoor Championships in 1961. In addition, he ran on the victorious indoor 2-mile relay City Championship team. in a unique 8-man indoor mile relay (8 x 220 yards), which received national recognition for the fastest time of the season, Sal ran the 5th leg. He attended Manhattan College on a track scholarship where he excelled in cross-country and the half-mile. After college, he joined the US Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control in the communicable disease control area. In 1984, he was a member of the team working on the first AIDS study in the US. He continued his interest in track & field by directing sports camps for 32 years for the Piedmont, California recreation Department.

Alfred Wittine – Class of 1961 – At the Prep, Al was an outstanding distance runner in cross-country, indoor and outdoor track. In cross-country he set a school record for the fastest average time for a cross- country season. In addition, Al anchored the 2-mile relay City Championship team plus set the national indoor 2-mile relay record. He also was a top miler both indoors and outdoor and received the 1961 Al Powers award for Best runner. On a track scholarship, Al attended Notre Dame University earning a BA in modern foreign languages. Later he earned a Doctorate from the University of Iowa and also received a Fulbright Fellowship. For 34 years he taught at Loras College and coached highly successful track teams. Of particular note regarding his cross-country team…undefeated for a whole season…something not previously accomplished in 174 years.

Leslie Pinder – Honorary Alumnus 2009 – As a freshman, les was considered talented enough to be placed on the Prep’s varsity track & field team. Les quickly established himself as the best sprinter in the Northeast. He won 28 consecutive major meet events while amassing 11 St. Francis Prep school records in the sprints and long jump. At one meet he won the 100 yards, 220 yards and long jump against the best competition in New York and New Jersey. Les anchored the amazing St. Francis Prep team at the 1958 Penn relays that established a National record of 3:17.5. After his days at SFP, he worked for more than 30 years for a large clothing manufacturer in the NYC garment district. les says his years at the Prep were some of the happiest years of his life.

Men’s Cross Country, Track & Field and Football

Raymond J. Ratkowski – Class of 1957 – Ray came to the Prep from ridgewood on a scholarship. During his career with the track & tield team under Coach Jim McHugh, ray was a member of the Prep’s Championship Millrose Sprint Medley relay squad. In addition he was the winner of 2 City Championship individual races – in 1956 outdoors 220 yards and 1957 indoors 50 yard dash. He also placed first in the 440 yard run at the National Championship Meet in Madison Square Garden. Ray was on the winning Prep Penn relay squads for the 1-mile and 2-mile Championship of America events. He graduated from the Prep holding 3 track & field records. The Terriers also had an outstanding football player in Ray playing as tailback and safety for Coach Vincent O’Connor. During his senior year Ray scored 8 touchdowns in a single game and finished the season scoring a record 144 points on 23 touchdowns and 6 extra points. He was listed on many All- Star teams and was named to the All-City, All-League and All-Metropolitan football squads. After the Prep, Ray attended Notre Dame on a full football scholarship while majoring in fine arts. He briefly played for the Boston Patriots and then went on to become a Captain in the US Marine Corps followed by a career with the FBI and the Department of Health and Welfare as a field agent and investigator. He eventually returned to fine arts, painting expressionist works until his death in 2012.

Men’s Football

Daniel E. Henning – Class of 1960 – Hall of Fame 1995 – Following his older brother Mike’s footsteps to the Prep, Dan became an All-City performer in football, in addition to being a standout basketball and baseball player. He earned a scholarship to The College of William and Mary where he had an outstanding career as a quarterback and ranked 14th in the nation in passing yardage in his senior season. In 1964, Dan began his professional training with the San Diego Chargers, went on to play for two years in the Continental Football League, resigned with San Diego prior to the 1966 season, and remained
 with the Chargers until 1967 preseason. He finished his playing career with Norfolk of the CFL. Immediately following, Dan began a successful 40 year college and professional coaching career that included head coach, offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, and wide receivers coach with Florida State, Virginia Tech, The Houston Oilers, The New York Jets, The Miami Dolphins, The Washington Redskins, The Atlanta Falcons, The San Diego Chargers, The Detroit Lions, Boston College, The Buffalo Bills, and The Carolina Panthers, where serving as offensive coordinator, he helped lead his team to the Super Bowl after the 2003 season. During his 27 years coaching in the NFL, Dan has worked with some of the most successful and respected head coaches and players in league history.

Michael J. Strofolino – Class of 1961 – Mike was a member of the 1959 CHSFL Championship team and was selected ASA Second Team City All Star in 1960. He graduated with a full athletic scholarship to Villanova University where he was a member of the 1962 Liberty Bowl team, was selected First Team Catholic All American in 1964, and graduated Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. In 1965, Mike was second pick in the NFL Draft by the los Angeles rams and tenth round pick by the Denver Broncos. He played middle linebacker for Los Angeles 1965, St. Louis Cardinals 1966-69, and Hamilton Tiger Cats (CFl) 1970-71. In 1972, Mike became a chartered accountant audit manager for Ernst & Young and stayed until 1979. He went on to vice president of finance at Baxter Travenal Canada 1980-87, and then on to president and chief executive officer of the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada where he remained until his retirement in 2001. Mike was inducted into the Villanova University Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 as “one of the finest defensive players in Villanova history”.

William Andrejko – Class of 1963 – Bill lettered in four sports while at St. Francis, football, baseball, basketball and swimming. He also was the student council vice president in his senior year. Bill received a football scholarship from Villanova University. As the quarterback he led the nation in pass completion percentage 61% in 1967. Bill was invited to the tryout camps for the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos for the 1968 football season. Bill went on
to New York University graduate School of Business where he earned his MBA in 1974.

Lawrence C. Dinardo – Class of 1967 – As class valedictorian at the Prep and an outstanding player, Larry had both the academic and athletic credentials for Notre Dame. In the spring of his first year, 1968, he won the Hering Award as the “outstanding freshman lineman” against stiff older competition. The following year he was the only sophomore starter, left guard on the offensive unit. In 1969, Larry led the team in minutes played with 283.41. By 1970, his senior year, he was a consensus All-America pick and co-captain of the Irish team – that season the ND team that set an all-time school record for total offense with an average of 510.5 yards per game. His collegiate career was highlighted by Cotton Bowl appearances in 1969 and 1970. In his three seasons, Notre Dame lost only 5 times and tied twice. As smart off the field as on, Larry was a Dean’s List student, a COSIDA Academic All-American, and won both the NCAA and National Football Foundation’s post-graduation scholarships. After graduation he was picked in the seventh round of the NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints, played in 5 preseason games, and while he had the chance to try out for some other teams, opted to go to law school instead. Larry returned to Notre Dame and completed his law degree with honors in 1974, passed the Indiana Bar and began practicing in South Bend specializing in labor and employment law. Six years later he joined the downtown Chicago firm of Seyfarth, Shaw and Fairweather, and is currently a partner at Jones Day.

Paul J. Hoolahan – Class of 1967 – While at the Prep, Paul lettered in football, track & field, varsity basketball and rugby. He went on to the University of North Carolina where he emerged as an All-ACC lineman. Following his collegiate career, Paul returned home to coach for the Prep. In the mid 70’s, Paul returned to UNC and began his collegiate coaching and athletic directing career. In 1990, he was named Athletic Director at Vanderbilt University where he
is credited with significantly improving business operations, fundraising efforts, athletic facilities, and hiring of top-caliber coaches. Paul became the executive director of the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 1996 and is now the organization’s chief executive officer, recently completing his 20th bowl game. Paul’s tenure with the organization has been defined by maintaining the bowl’s status as one of the premier bowl games in the nation and he recently structured a landmark arrangement with the Southeast Conference and the Big 12 Conference assuring that the Bowl will remain at the pinnacle of college football. While the annual game is the crown jewel, Paul is also involved in many different efforts and community events each year including postseason college football and prep and intercollegiate level basketball, lacrosse, sailing (regatta), soccer, volleyball and track & field. He is also a member of the NCAA Football Board of Directors, recently served as president of the Football Bowl Association, and has long been involved with the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

William Lord – Class of 1967 – Bill’s dad had the earliest hand in insuring the athletic success of his son and it seems sports were a part of his life from his time
in the crib. After playing in a Prep holiday basketball tournament for St. Agnes, Bill was invited back to the Prep to show off his skills to Brothers owen & Malachy, and Vince O’Connor – he was offered a full scholar- ship and began playing as freshman starting quarterback and played for the next 4 years. He was named 2nd team All CHSFl QB for 1966 season and he also played varsity basketball and baseball, earning letters and recognition in both. Bill accepted an appointment to the US Military Academy
 at West Point and entered 10 days after graduating from the Prep and credits his football training and Camp Alvernia with helping him to get through the first few difficult years. Bill played varsity lightweight football and baseball while at West Point and received the Colonel russell reeder award as the outstanding Player in 1971 for baseball. After graduation, Bill was commissioned as 2nd lieutenant in the US Army infantry and served 5 1⁄2 years on active duty, and continued his team sports participation in flag football. After a successful business career, Bill started his own firm in 2005, WG lord, and retired in 2008, volunteers his time helping others, and still finds time for a touch football game now and then…quarterback, of course.

Richard Szaro – Class of 1967 – While playing in McCarren Park, richie picked up a javelin and threw it over everybody’s head…Brother owen quickly recruited him. He ran track, played tennis and football, and excelled in everything
he tried. in the undefeated season of 1966 richie scored 164 points in 8 games a CHSFL record. After St. Francis richie was recruited by more colleges than any other high school player in the country. He chose Harvard. richie was drafted by the New orleans Saints in the N.F.L. draft and later played for the New York Jets.

Gerard J. Hevern – Class of 1968 – Hall of Fame 2011 – over his 4 years of football participation at the Prep, Jerry was awarded two championships. He was also an outstanding indoor and outdoor track and rugby player, earning multiple varsity letters. Jerry was also a star academically – top 10% of his class, Na- tional Honor Society, Principal’s list – and was involved in student government – class president for three years and senior student council president. In his senior year, Jerry was the co-winner of the Brother Fabian Football Scholar Athlete Award and the Sam Huff Foundation Catholic High School Scholar-Athlete Scholarship. He recalls his teachers at the Prep as a compassionate and loving family, helping to lead him academically, athletically and spiritually. Jerry went on to a successful medical career.

Eddie Jenkins – Class of 1968 – Hall of Fame 2008 – In 1954, Eddie moved with his family from Florida to Flushing and was spied by the Prep playing in a Pop Warner game. in addition to his outstanding multi-position football participation, he also played basketball, rugby and ran track and membership in the French and chess clubs rounded out his years at the Prep. After graduation, he went on to play for Holy Cross where his talents were noticed by pro-scouts and was drafted by the National Football League and became a member of the undefeated 1972 World Champion and 1973 Superbowl winning Miami Dolphins. eddie also played with the New York Giants, the Buffalo Bills, the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers. After his professional football career ended, he went onto Suffolk Law School and a successful legal career including running his own firm and positions as Middlesex assistant district attorney, chairman of the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, and chief diversity and civil rights officer of Massachusetts Dept. of Transportation. In August 2013, Eddie has the distinct honor, along with his 1972 undefeated Dolphins team, of being hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House.

Gerard Dinardo – Class of 1970 – After graduating from the Prep, Gerry played as a guard for Notre Dame Fighting Irish 1972-74 under Ara Parseghian, was a member of the 1973 national championship team, and was selected as an All-American in 1974. His impressive coaching career began in 1975 as assistant coach at the University of Maine where he remained until 1981.
He then joined the coaching staff at the University of Colorado, 1982-90, and was the offensive coordinator when they won 
the national championship in 1990. Gerry then advanced his career as head coach at Vanderbilt, 1991-94 and then at Louisiana State, 1995-1999, where he made good on his promise to “bring back the magic”. In 2001, gerry became head coach for the professional XFl Birmingham Thunderbolts. He then returned to college football as head coach at Indiana, 2002-04. Throughout 
his coaching years, Gerry compiled a career college football record of 59-76-1 and a 3-0 Bowls record. Gerry won 2 SeC Western Division Championships 1996-97 and was named SEC Coach of the Year in 1991.

Frank Pomarico – Class of 1970 – While at the Prep, Frank was an All-City all-star player. He went on to play at Notre Dame, starting left guard in 1971-73 and was captain of the Parseghian 1973 Notre Dame National Championship team that beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl 24-23. Frank made the 1973 Playboy All American team, second team UPI. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1974, played professionally in the Canadian Football league for Marv Levy 1975-78, and was a starting guard in the 1975 Grey Cup for the Montreal Alouettes. In 1980, Frank coached at Notre Dame for Dan Devine’s Sugar Bowl team. He worked for the Nautilus Company for 13 years, 10 years as a laboratory drug testing regional manager, and marketed drug testing to major corporations. Frank was vice president of marketing for the Greens of Las Vegas, was a high school athletic director, and has been a football coach for 10 years, now coaching at Lumen Christi in Jackson, Michigan. Frank is also a tv and radio analyst, in 1986 during the Notre Dame season and interviewed Parseghian in 1990. Since 2002 he has been doing a Notre Dame football radio segment.

William Pickel – Class of 1977 – Bill was a member of the ’76 undefeated Championship team at the Prep. He went on to play for the rutgers Scarlet Knights and graduated in 1983. Bill received the George T. Cronin Memorial Cup trophy in 1980, and both the David Bender trophy and the Touchdown Club trophy (Paul Robeson Award) in 1982. He was a Scarlet Knight tri-captain for his senior season and was a member of the Rutgers Football Hall of Fame Class of 1996. Bill, a defensive tackle, was drafted in 1983 in the second round by the Los Angeles Raiders and was the 54th overall pick. He was a member of the Raider 1983-84 Super Bowl XVIII World Championship team and was a First Team All-Pro in 1986. Bill also received the prestigious Raider’s Commitment to Excel-lence Award and played with the organization for eight seasons, from 1983-90. Bill then went on to play for four seasons for the New York Jets, 1990-94, thereafter retiring with a career total of 56 sacks. Upon retirement, he worked as a contributing analyst for NFl Fox Sunday and is currently a vice-president of a private jet management company and a position coach at John Jay High School where he is entering his 12th season as defensive line coach.

Marco Battaglia – Class of 1991 – At the Prep, Marco played on two consecutive CHSFL Championship teams. As a junior, he was named to the 1990 All-City team as a wide receiver totaling 542 yards with 31 receptions and 6 touchdowns. in his senior year, as a free safety, Marco compiled 9 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries, was voted Player of the Year, and named to the Junior Heisman football team. As a junior at Rutgers University, Marco was the Big east leading receiver with 58 catches for 779 yards. During his memorable senior year, Marco led all tight ends with 69 receptions, 894 yards, and 10 touchdowns, and was named offensive Player of the Year in the Big East Conference. He became the first ever Consensus First Team All American in school history, earning first team recognition from The Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, the Walter Camp Foundation, the American College Football Coaches Association, Football News, Pro and College Football News Weekly, and United Press International. By the end of his collegiate career, Marco was Rutgers all-time leading receiver with 171 receptions. In 2008, Marco was named top tight end on the 1990s all decade team in Sports Illustrated The College Football Book. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft. Marco went on to play 9 seasons in the NFl, and was
a member of the 2004 Carolina Panthers Super Bowl team alongside fellow honoree, Dan Henning. He resides in Queens and remains a fixture on the sidelines at Rutgers and St. Francis home games.

Men’s Handball

Joseph Darby – Class of 1972 – Joe led the terrier handball team to the 1970 defeat of Power Memorial of New York, 3-2, to win the Prep’s first City CHSAA Championship. He captured the singles title two years in a row, won 25 consecutive singles victories between 1969 and 1970, and had a remarkable three-year individual record of 44-0. While at the Prep, Joe was an integral part of what began as a two-year winning streak of 29 matches. This streak, with Joe and his fellow teammates as a foundation, would last for 12 years and 159 victories.

Robert Dunas – Class of 1973 – After trying his hand at other sports in his first year at the Prep, Bob began playing handball as a sophomore. That year, both the team, and he and his doubles partner, Jeff Novak, went undefeated. The following year, Bob moved up to the #1 singles spot and again went undefeated. As a senior, he retained the #1 singles position and again, an undefeated season – but what he distinctly remembers is giving up one point after shutting out seven straight opponents! Bob credits and thanks Brother Alan’s coaching, the strength of his team and their passion for and love of handball for playing a big part in his success and to this day treasures his well-earned white sweater. He is presently living in oregon and is employed at the Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg as the service excellence coordinator. Previous to that Bob was working with Native Americans (Cow Creek Band of Umpqua tribe) as the health educator specializing in diabetes prevention.

Men’s Swimming

Nicholas Cirigliano – Class of 1959 – As a freshman at the Prep, Nick was already showing great promise under Coach Booras’ lead. In his sophomore year, he smashed records in both the 200 yard freestyle and the 150 yard individual medley in the Privates. By the 1957-58 season, Nick was a shining star of the Terrier team and was never beaten in the 15 events he participated in over the year. Nick set records in the 440 yard free- style event at the National Championships, the Seton Hall Meet, and the Catholics. He was also the 100 yard freestyle National Champion. The Cirigliano story continued at Fordham University, where Nick was a top-notch Rams swim star.

Charles Harris – Class of 1959 – In his senior year, Charlie won both the New York City CHSAA and National Catholic HS Swimming Championships. After graduating from the Prep, Charlie went on to St. Francis College where he helped lead the team to three straight ECAC Water Polo Championships while a member of the All Star team (’61, ’62, ’63) and held the Junior National Championship title in 1962. After graduating in 1963, Charlie then went on to play for the New York Athletic Club where the team won eight Senior National Championships and eight North American Cup titles from 1963 to 1978. He participated 
in US olympic trials, was a five-time All American, and twice won the Curren Award for MVP. In 1967 he was awarded the AAU Metropolitan Association outstanding Athlete of the Year and in 1996, Charlie was inducted into the United States Swimming and Water Polo Hall Fame.

Pierce Malmquist – Class of 1966 – Pierce was educated in the New York City Catholic school system. While at the Prep, he was the vice-president of his senior
class and an outstanding athlete in several sports, including swimming, water polo,
and baseball. After graduation, his family moved from Astoria to Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania, and soon after he joined the United States Marine Corps. Pierce fought bravely for his country, attained the rank
 of Lance Corporal, and sadly was killed in action while serving in vietnam in October 1968. In a 2009 article, his younger brother Kris wrote “Not to brag or anything, but I would say that my brother Pierce was really quite eloquent and very mature for a young man all of nineteen years old…He was a giftedly coordinated boy with a friendly yet fiercely competitive spirit. If it was any sport and you were playing against him, chances are you would lose (unless he let you win). Pierce was a lefty in more ways than one.
 He had a contagiously mischievous manner about him that is hard to describe, but he was the kind of person that you could not be around for long without laughing. I have scarce few memories of him, since I was only 11 years old when he was killed, but the memories that I do have of him are all happy ones.”

Women’s Tennis

Alessandra Pedergnana – Class of 2002 – While at the Prep, Alessandra finished with an impressive 65-0 CHSAA record, won 
the Mayor’s Cup doubles title 1999, was Mayor’s Cup Singles Runner-Up 2001 & 2002, and was a member of a SFP team which won 4 CHSAA Championships, 4 State Championships, and 3 Mayor’s Cup titles. She was the team MVP 2000-2002. She went on to play for the University of Maryland (Division 1) where her team ranked nationally in 2007 and were NEC champions. Alessandra was honored with NEC/America east player of the week, given the outstanding Senior Athlete Award, and won over 100 matches in her collegiate career. She graduated with a BA in Psychology and has a Masters in Adolescent/Sports Psychology. While at Maryland, she was
the assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s teams, with the men winning the America East Championship in 2007. Since 2008, Alessandra has been the assistant women’s coach at the United States Naval Academy – a team with: a Player of the Year, a top 10 Atlantic region ranking, and appearances in 3 Conference Finals in 3 years.

Men’s Tennis

Andrew Wiese – Class of 1996 – During his 4 years on the Prep varsity team, Andrew was undefeated in CHSAA league play compiling a record of 45-0, was part of the team that won four consecutive CHSAA City/Long Island Championships, and was
a two time CHSAA league Most Valuable Player. He was named to the Daily News
 All City tennis team all 4 years while at the Prep, was a nationally ranked singles tennis player, and ranked 8th nationally in doubles. After graduation, Andrew went on to be a four-year starter in both singles and doubles for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the Big 12 Conference. As a senior, he served as co-captain and was also a representative to the Student Athletic Advisory Board. He was a four time All Academic Big 12 Honoree, was the runner up in the Big 12 Championship at the number 5 singles spot, and played number one doubles for the Huskers his junior and senior years. After graduation, Andrew remained at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to attend law school. He currently litigates and practices law at Sacco & Fillas, LLP where he serves as the senior trial attorney.

Women’s Volleyball and Tennis

Joanne Persico – Class of 1984 – Hall of Fame 2004 – During her four years at the Prep, Joanne was a 12 varsity letter athlete. Her 1982 volleyball team was CHSAA B/Q Champions, and runners-up in 1983 & 1984. Joanne was captain and MVP and was selected to the All B/Q volleyball team. Joanne was also a member of the 1983-84 Metropolitan Tennis Championship team. Joanne also received The Franciscan Spirit Award at her graduation in 1984. Joanne went to Syracuse University on scholarship. While at Syracuse, Joanne received the following awards and accolades: Volleyball Sportswoman of the Year, Big East Player of the Year, captain and MVP, three time GTE Academic All American, and The Big East All Academic team. In her professional career Joanne was named Big East Coach of the Year in 2006, is the only head women’s volleyball coach in the history of St. John’s University, and the longest tenured female coach in St. John’s University history. Joanne has been inducted into the Syracuse Orange Plus Hall of Fame, the inaugural class of the GCHSAA Hall of Fame, and the SFP Hall of Fame.

One thought on “St. Francis Prep To Induct Inaugural Ring of Honor

  1. I loved St. Francis Prep! I loved Brother Owen Capper. I loved Coach Frank Nastro. I loved Vince O’Connor.
    I can’t help but cry upon reading about them. Their memories will be with me for the rest of my life. God bless them for eternity.

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