Since 2000, forty-four individuals have been inducted into the hall of fame for outstanding achievements in a sport during their high school years...
Charley Eppinger, Athletic Director and Coach
Charley Eppinger will long be remembered at St. Mary's High School as a legendary coach, manager and athletic director. He began coaching at Cardinal McCarrick during the basketball season of 1921. His teams were known for their integrity, hard work, and fair play. In the years that followed, Mr. Eppinger coached four major sports including football, basketball, baseball and track. In 1962, the St. Mary’s Gymnasium was dedicated to him.
Johnny Zdanewics, Class of 1928
Johnny Z is not only alumni of St. Mary's but also a former baseball and basketball coach. He also played basketball and baseball under the guidance of Charlie Eppinger. He graduated Seton Hall University in 1932 as the “smallest” of All-American basketball player. As a coach, his teams won state championships in both baseball and basketball. He served as a Recreation Director in South Amboy for many years and has a park named in his honor on 6th Street.
Tom Scully, Class of 1934
Tom Scully is one of St. Mary’s finest all around at athletics. While in high school, Tom was All-County in football, All-State Class B Prep Baseball, and a member of the Diocesan Champs Basketball Team in 1931. During the war, Tom worked at Hercules in nearby Parlin. He later started his own business, which he ran for 30 years before retiring. He and his wife live in South Amboy near their two sons and one daughter, grandchildren and great grand children.
Allie Clark, Class of 1941
Allie Clark worked hard to become successful in baseball. While he was attending St. Mary’s, Allie was selected for the 1939 All-State Baseball Team. That same year he led Saint Mary’s to the county and state baseball titles. He was a member of the Army during World War II. After the war, he began his baseball career, first as a member of the original Newark Bears and later as a member of the New York Yankees Allie played professional baseball for seven seasons and was on two World Series teams. A local sports complex is named in his honor. Many of his six children and 14 amazing grandchildren live nearby his widow Fran. Allie passed away in April 2012.
Jack McKeon, Class of 1948
In addition to an outstanding career as a general manager and manager (most recently with the Cincinnati Reds), Jack McKeon is member of the New Jersey Sportswriters Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame as well as holding the title of N.L. Manager of the Year in 1999. In 1999 he celebrated his 50th anniversary in professional baseball. While attending St. Mary’s, he made a great name for himself, as captain of the baseball team, and as an All-State selection as a catcher. Currently, Jack lives in North Carolina, is married to Carol Isley, and has four children and several grandchildren.
Edward O’Brien, Class of 1948
Ed O’Brien is remembered at St. Mary’s for his outstanding athletic ability in baseball and basketball, being selected All-County in both sports. He received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Seattle where he played both basketball and baseball. In 1953, he signed with the National League Pittsburgh Pirates with his twin brother, John, where he played seven different positions on the team. From 1958 to 1979, he was the Athletic Director and Baseball Coach at the University of Seattle. Today he is a member of O’Brien Service Corporation, which is involved in baseball clinics, baseball evaluation, real estate, and golf course design. Ed is married to Terryl Ann Hackett, has six adult children and nine grandchildren.
John O’Brien, Class of 1948
Johnny O’Brien is the second of the famed O’Brien ‘Twins. Like his brother, he was named to All-County and All-State teams in baseball and basketball. He attended the University of Seattle where he was a two-year All- American Basketball player. He was the first collegiate basketball player to score 1,000 points. He was also a member of the Seattle University Baseball team. In 1953, he signed along with his brother to play baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played professional baseball for 6 years. Today John lives in Seattle, has been married 46 years, has seven children, and eight grandchildren. He has retired after 30 years service to King’s County, Washington.
Jack Kreiger, Class of 1963
Both All-State and All-County, Jack Kreiger stunned the basketball scene with his tremendous skill. After playing basketball and baseball for most of his high school life, he received a full scholarship to the University of Seattle, where he started on the first undefeated freshman basketball team. At the same time, he lettered on the varsity baseball team. During the last three years at Seattle, he lettered on the varsity basketball team and played two years in the NCAA tournament. Now he is happily married to his wife, Peggy, and has two sons, Matthew and Keith. He is still involved in the sports he loves as a teacher and coach for the Woodbridge School System.
Tom Kelly, Class of 1968
As a student at St. Mary’s, Tom Kelly was captain of both the baseball and basketball teams and president of the student council. He was selected as an All-County Center Fielder in 1968. His skills as a baseball player were so extraordinary that a career in baseball was inevitable. He went on to attend Mesa Community College and Monmouth University. He was the Seattle Pilots’ fifth round pick in June, 1968 free agent draft and from then on, launched a successful baseball career as a player and then eventually a coach. He is a former manager of the Minnesota Twins and currently works in the team's front office. His number (#10) is being officially retired in 2012 by the organization. He was also voted A. L. Manager of the Year in 1991. He is married to wife, Sharon and has two children.
George Krzyanowski, Class of 1971
Known for his superior basketball talents, George Krzyzanowski made St. Mary’s proud by being the first player in St. Mary’s history to score 1000 points. He also holds the record for scoring 50 points in a single basketball game. He garnered All-County and All-State honors in basketball and was offered many college scholarships. He went on to play basketball for three years at Monmouth University, graduating with a degree in Education. He is currently employed by the South Amboy Board of Education and has coached baseball and basketball at South Amboy High School. He is married to Linda Smith, also an outstanding athlete who graduated from Hoffman High School and Kean College they have four children.
Kathy Redling, Class of 1978
Kathy Redling made her mark in St. Mary’s sports’ history by being the first female basketball player to score 1000 points. Aside from being an All-Conference basketball player, she was also All-Conference in her other love--- softball. Kathy holds a school record of 35 home runs and 129 RBI during a single season. After graduating from St. Mary’s, Kathy attended Eastern Kentucky University. She worked for 16 years at her alma mater as a coach, teacher and department chairperson. Recently she moved to South Jersey to enjoy her home, boat and teach in Stafford Township.
Eileen Fallon Seitz, Class of 1982
Eileen Fallon Seitz, known for conquering the world of tennis in the 80's by being All-County and All-State in singles matches. After graduating from St. Mary’s, Eileen went on to play tennis for the University of North Carolina on a full scholarship, proving to be one of their number one players. The Star Ledger voted Eileen as one of the top ten tennis players of the 1980’s. Today, she is married and a mother of two. She works part-time for Invesco Services and devotes the rest of her time to spending time with her children.
Louis Leon Lagoda, Class of 1930
Lou Lagoda was a St. Mary’s four-letter man. He was a Fullback on the football team recognized by the state athletic authorities as one of the best line “smashers” in the vicinity. Lou was a dependable guard on the basketball team, a weight man on the track team as well as shot put champion. At graduation he was awarded the Levy Medal. After graduation he attended St. Benedicts in Newark. He married Mary A. Grabowski and Lou was a fourth degree Knight of Columbus. He has one daughter and was blessed with two grandchildren.
Jim McCloud, Class of 1969
At St. Mary’s, Jim was All County 1st Team and All State Parochial 1st Team for 1969. He graduated from Biscayne College, Florida where he became the school’s all time top scorer and received his Master’s Degree from NJ Institute of Technology. After graduating from Biscayne, he played basketball in Holland. Jim is married and employed as Director of Transportation for Michael’s Food Co.
Ray Stockton, Class 1948
Ray was an outstanding athlete at St. Mary’s High School. lie excelled in both baseball and basketball and was a unanimous selection to The South Amboy-Sayreville Times Sports Hall of Fame. Ray played professional baseball and one of his finest memories was playing against Mickey Mantle. For many years he coached in area sports. Ray was married to Bernice Steuher and have six children and eleven grandchildren.
Joe Pohl, Class of 1963
Joe had a wonderful baseball career at St. Mary’s High School. He was known for his superb power hitting and believed to have the longest home run ever hit at Vets Field. When not pitching he was also a standout outfielder. He was chosen to the All County Teams and was a member of the track and field team and varsity basketball. He attended Belmont Abbey. Joe is married to Phyllis and they have two sons.
Luke Lenahan, Class of 1951
Luke is a graduate of both St. Mary’s Grammar and High School. He received a basketball scholarship and attended Belmont Abbey College where he was captain of the varsity basketball team. He returned to St. Mary’s and coached varsity basketball from 1959-1965. Luke is a retired Old Bridge School teacher. His wife, Dolores Noble Lenahan, have seven children and thirteen grandchildren.
Robert Donald “Pep” Bennett, Class of 1952
Bob was known for his athletics on the court and in the field. He achieved All County 1st Team in basketball in 1952 as well as All State, Parochial, 2nd Team, basketball and baseball in 1952. He also played basketball at St. Louis University. Pep captained the US Navy team at Newport, RI and led the team to All-East Coast Championship.
Jerry Gorczyca, Class of 1954
Jerry played basketball and averaged 19.6 points per game and 15 rebounds per game in his senior year at St. Mary’s High School. Jerry also shot 52% from the floor for the Eagles. He was an outstanding aH-around player. Jerry is married to Joan and has three children and three grandchildren.
Jo Ellen Paczkowski Sofilkanich, Class of 1991
Jo Ellen was Middlesex County’s leading shot-blocker. Jo Ellen finished her basketball career with 1,088 points and nearly 1,000 rebounds. She was a 4-year starter at first base on the varsity softball team and was a member of the GMC All Star team. Jo Ellen attended Marist College and works for AAT Communications, Marketing Coordinator. She is married to Donald.
Sue Wilson, Class of 1979
As a student at St. Mary’s Sue was an outstanding basketball player and softball player. She was all-conference for basketball and softball in 1978 and 1979. Sue was the second girl in St. Mary’s history to score 1,000 points in basketball. She attended Trenton State College and is a Physical Education teacher in Lanoka Harbor.
Woodrow “Woody” McCarthy, Class of 1937
Woody was known for his basketball and baseball skills at St. Mary’s. He was an All-State, Parochial Basketball Player in 1937 and was the lead basketball scorer in his junior and senior years. Woody coached varsity basketball and baseball from 1954-1959 and played basketball at St. Bonaventure University. Woody married Mary Colligan McCarthy and they have four children, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Eileen Reilly Green, Class of 1982
At St. Mary’s, Eileen led her team to the Parochial B State Championship by winning 12 games including all 4 State Tournament contests and losing only 1. She played varsity softball all four years, soccer 2 years and basketball 3 years. Eileen attended Kean Collage. Eileen is married to Mike and they have one daughter.
Ed Carroll, Class of 1929
Ed attended St. Mary’s HS from 1925 through 1929. Although he earned 12 letters in 3 sports, he excelled in baseball and basketball. He was an All-State pitcher and was a member of the famed “Eppinger Five” basketball team. He spent his entire career as a NJ State Trooper.
Nick Charmello, Class of 1970
Nick was an outstanding hitter on the 1969 Parochial B South baseball champs. He led the team in hits, runs, and homeruns. He was named All-State in baseball in 1970. He also was a valuable member of the 1969-70 basketball team that won 20 games. He scored 462 points and averaged 17.8. He has been the Director of the Raritan Bay Youth Basketball League for many years.
John Derent, Class of 1964
John was an All-County, 1st team, basketball player. He led the team in scoring with 434 points and an 18.9 average. He also was the starting left fielder for the Parochial B South baseball champs in 1963. He went on to be an outstanding track and field athlete at Villanova University. He was a successful businessman in South Amboy.
John Inman, Class of 1981
John was an outstanding pitcher for St. Mary’s between 1979-81. He earned the most victories (16) for a left-handed pitcher in school history. He was selected All-County, 1st team, in 1981. He was also the starting forward on the 1980 Parochial B South basketball champs. He later pitched for Wyoming University and runs his own insurance consulting business.
Joe Kolakowski, Class of 1975
Joe was the first eagle player to amass 1000 rebounds in his career. He also scored 884 career points. He was the starting first baseman for the baseball team. He went on to score over 1000 points at Stockton State College. He is employed by the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services.
William McKeon, Class of 1950
Bill “Biff” McKeon was an outstanding hitter and defensive catcher. He was named 1st team All-State in both 1949 and 1950. He also was a valuable member of the 1948 basketball championship team. He spent 50 years as a professional baseball player, coach and scout.
Lisa Harrigan Nunez, Class of 1986
Lisa was one of the most successful softball pitchers in school history. She was named both to the All-County and All-State teams in 1986. She was known for her excellent control and clutch pitching. She lead Erskine College to its most successful season in 1987.
Don Szatkowski Coach
Don laid the foundation for the powerful girls basketball program. His teams won 6 division titles and he had 205 career victories. He was known for his loyalty and caring of his players. He taught physical education for many years.
Ed Twomey Coach
Ed coached over 50 teams in cross country, basketball and tennis. He won division titles in 3 different sports. He was named the Home News “Coach of the Year” in cross country in 1992. He had 10 consecutive winning seasons in boys cross country. He coached Matt Sabo who won 3 consecutive GMC 1st Singles titles in boys tennis. Ed founded both the ping-pong tournament and the foul shooting contest and served as Director of Guidance at Cardinal McCarrick/St. Mary's HS for over 30 years until his retirement in 2011.
John Vail, Class of 1950
Jack was an All-County and All-State Basketball player in 1950 at St. Mary’s. He led the eagles in scoring with 361 points and a 17.2 average that season. He was also an outstanding 1st baseman on the baseball team. He went on to be the starting center on the Georgetown University basketball team in 1954. He is now a retired State Superior Court Judge in Hawaii.
Virginia Zaleski Schlegel, Class of 1983
Virginia is known as the best girls cross country runner in school history. She was named to the All-County, 1st team in both 1981 and 1982. She captured 1st place in the Parochial B State Championships in 1982. She lead the 1982 team to run undefeated (10-0) season. She later became an All-American cross country and track runner at Trenton State College (1985-87).
Frank "Red" Cleary, Class of 1931
Back in the day, “Red” excelled in three sports during his high school years where he batted a whopping .417 in his senior year and was a starter on the Varsity Team for five years! He received All-State Catholic honors and went on to play amateur baseball and a summer of semi-professional baseball in North Carolina. His love for the sport was evident. He was known to spend his free time bringing his nieces and nephews to Roosevelt Park in Edison to show them how to play the game.
An active participant at St. Mary’s Church, Frank married Helen in 1941 and raised his family in Perth Amboy. He passed away in 1979.
Jack Seaman, Class of 1961
Although he was revered for his curve ball, Jack batted a .461 while boasting a 4-1 pitching record in his senior year. All four years of high school he played as an outfielder and pitcher and received All-State Parochial honors in the 1960 and 1961 seasons. After graduation he tried out for spots with the Milwaukee Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Jack married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Stramback, and retired from Dupont Photo Products in 1991. Subsequently, he pursued a Coast Guard Captain’s license and now runs a charter boat business out of Lockwood Marina in Morgan in between days of hunting, fishing and baseball.
Rob Zaleski, Class of 1991
During a thrilling basketball game against Rahway High School, Rob fondly remembers hitting a game winning 3-pointer at the buzzer and seeing his proud grandfather jumping up and down inside an exuberant student mob that had descended upon the court. His high school years kept him especially busy as an athlete. Beside excelling at basketball with over 1,000 points and an MVP in his Jr. & Sr. year, he also ran cross country where he earned freshman rookie of the year honors and was a ping pong tournament winner.
Upon graduating from East Stroudsburg University, Rob spent some time in California before taking a job as a Finance Supervisor in Charleston, South Carolina where he has lived for the last 15 years with his wife and son. He still plays recreational basketball and enjoys bodyboarding in locations all over the world.
Joe Majkowski, Class of 1997
Although he also played basketball and baseball, Joe is best known for running cross country all four years of high school and serving as Captain of the team where he earned honors as Most Valuable Player, All-Division Runner and holds all practice and course school records in the sport. He is also the only HS male cross country runner to qualify for the Meet of Champions.
Joe continued to run XC all four years during his college years at Marist. He currently works in Business Development.
Kaitlyn Katko, Class of 2002
Using gym class as practice time, it’s no wonder that Kaitlyn holds the women’s career high points in basketball at the school. As a member of the Varsity Team, she scored an outstanding 1,600 points during her career and was honored with being selected as All-County 1st Team.
She applied her athletic skills to the Lander University Girl’s Basketball Team and Women’s Cross Country Team in Greenwood, South Carolina where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2006.
Bill Wagner, Class of 2004
An accomplished athlete, Bill has many great memories but especially recalls the impact that breaking his ankle had during the all-star game in his senior year. His outstanding contributions in both basketball and football make him an excellent choice for the Hall of Fame:
* Freshman, JV and Varsity Basketball
(Starting Forward on GMC 2003 Championship Team, Parochial B Group 2 South Championship, All-Conference Team, All County 2nd Team)
* 4 Year Varsity Football
(All County 1st team, state football playoffs first round winner)
After attending college, Bill moved to South Carolina and continues to play basketball and football.
Vince Rosario, Class of 2007
Selected for the Basketball All-County First Team in 2006 and 2007, Vince set many career records during his high school years:
* 1,946 career points
* GMC record for 3-point shots in a season (131) and a career (287)
* Led GMC in scoring with 827 points in 2006
* Two-time time MVP
At the college level, he played basketball at Stonehill College in Massachusetts, Central Connecticut State University and the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University where he will graduate with a master's degree in 2012.
Coach Lynn Ust
A star basketball player at Hoffman High School and Rutgers University, Coach Ust has been coaching girls basketball at our high school since 2004 and also serves on the faculty as a gym teacher. In that time, as Coach she has won seven consecutive division titles during which the team had 20 wins each season; won the GMC title in 2008; and was selected Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2009. During her tenure, her teams have had over 100 consecutive division wins.
Coach Joe Lewis
As the starting point guard for the Hoffman High School basketball team in the 1980’s, Coach Lewis parlayed his skills to our boys high school team where he has won over 300 career games as coach over the last seventeen years. His teams have won eleven Division, three State and two County titles not to mention numerous individual awards for his players. He was named the Home News Coach of the Year in 2003, 2008 and 2011.
2003 Boys Basketball Team
Head Coach: Joe Lewis
Assistant Coaches: Dave Blaha, Jesse Holovacko, Sy Sullivan
Players: Kevin Baptiste-Ousley, Jay Domenichetti, James Farrelly, Ed Fulham, Mike Garcia, Yari Kozlowski, Steve Liberty, Don Reid, Manny Rodriguez, Vince Rosario, Bill Wagner, Mika Wilson, Matt Wisneski
The Varsity team utilized some of the Junior Varsity players during the 2003 year and battled to the top of the Division, County and State by beating St. Joseph’s in Metuchen for the GMC Final and Wildwood Catholic in the Parochial B State Final.
* Capturing First County Championship
* Clinching the Division against New Brunswick HS on a last second shot in overtime
* Winning the States for the first time since 1980