Rockland Sports Hall of Fame Continues Philanthropic Tradition, Honors First Team

BY JAMIE KEMPTON

The Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame has contributed to numerous worthy causes during its 45-year history. The venerable organization continues that tradition on June 14 when it holds its annual Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame Night at Palisades Federal Credit Union Park in Pomona, home of the Rockland Boulders minor-league baseball team. This event follows up the Hall of Fame’s very successful 45th annual induction banquet, held April 21 at the Pearl River Elks Club in Nanuet.

The Hall of Fame Night features a 6:30 p.m. ballgame pitting the host Rockland Boulders against the Sussex County (N.J.) Miners. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Liam Frawley, the former athletic director at Tappan Zee High School, who suffered a severe stroke in January 2016 and has incurred significant medical bills resulting from his treatment. Frawley earned the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coach Educator of the Year Award in 2016.

“Liam has brought honor to the Rockland sports community through his stature as a nationally recognized athletic director, and it is only fitting that we offer some financial assistance to his cause,” Hall of Fame Chairman Pete Scheibner said. “Liam is beloved by many in our close-knit circle and deserves all the help we can give him.”

In a special pre-game on-field ceremony, the Hall of Fame will recognize the first team inductee in the organization’s 45-year annals – the 1989 Nanuet High School football team. The Golden Knights, coached by Rich Conklin, won all 10 of their games by shutout and did not have a home game all season due to field renovation at Nanuet High School. Nanuet scored 239 points and allowed zero. The Knights were the only undefeated, untied and not-scored-upon scholastic team in the country that year, according to USA Today. Nanuet’s practices also were conducted on the road, at the Don Bosco Marian Shrine in West Haverstraw.

“Our team selection committee conducted a rigorous screening process to narrow down dozens of nominations to six finalists,” Scheibner said. “Among those final six, the 1989 Nanuet football team emerged as the top choice for the inaugural Team inductee into our Hall of Fame. Considering that Rockland has been blessed with many superlative teams over the years, being the first to gain induction is quite a distinction.”

The June 14 Hall of Fame night comes on the heels of a well-received induction gala on April 21, attended by a throng of 315 patrons. This year’s distinguished roster of inductees included Bob Lawson, Clarkstown class of 1964; Tom Dickson, Clarkstown class of 1968; Thomas Sanders, Nyack class of 1971; Chuck Maze, North Rockland class of 1973; Jackie McCracken Houck, Nanuet class of 1984; Willie Worsley, Spring Valley basketball coach; and Tom O’Brien, the Joseph Holland Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

Admission to the June 14 Hall of Fame Night is $40 per person and includes a 90-minute buffet (food and beverages) in the Right Field Short Porch, beginning at 6 p.m. There will also be post-game fireworks and a commemorative souvenir program. For tickets or further information, call 845-364-0009 or visit www.rocklandboulders.com.