BY JAMIE KEMPTON
The Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame will induct eight new members during its 40th anniversary recognition dinner on Saturday, April 27, at the Pearl River Elks Club in Nanuet.
Tickets are $50 per person and may be obtained by contacting Pete Castellano at 201-390-3245 or JONBPC@aol.com. For details visit the hall of fame’s website at www.rcshf.org.
This year’s inductees include Keith Bulluck of Clarkstown North, Jodi Schlesinger Salsberg of Clarkstown South, Khyl Farrison of Suffern, Gary Gray and Ed Wanamaker of Nyack, Mike Rotundo of Tappan Zee, Bud Kast of Pearl River, who is being inducted posthumously, and the proprietors of the Deer Head Inn and softball tournament, who are recipients of the Joseph Holland Lifetime Achievement Award.
Bulluck, a 1995 Clarkstown North graduate, was an NFL linebacker for 11 years with the Tennessee Titans, earning All-Pro
honors from 2002 to 2004 and leading the team in tackles five straight years. He played the 2010 season with the New York Giants. At North, Bulluck starred as an All-New York State runner, receiver, kick returner and linebacker, and made All-County in basketball as well. He helped lead Syracuse to three straight Big East football titles and was chosen first-team All-Big East as a linebacker.
Salsberg, Clarkstown South class of 1999, was a three-time national scholastic triple jump champion and seven-time New York State titleholder, six in the triple jump and one in the long jump. She won four straight State outdoor titles in the triple jump, holds the meet record of 41-4.25, and held the meet record at outdoor nationals with 41-10.75. She was a three-time Junior Nationals medalist, two-time Golden West Invitational medalist, 14-time County champion and 13-time Section 1 Class A winner. At Duke, she set school records in the indoor and outdoor triple jumps.
Farrison, a 1999 Suffern alumnus, made All-New York State in football, wrestling and baseball and was a three-time All-Section performer in each. On the gridiron, he rushed for 2,000 yards his senior year, made All-State as a punter and All-County at running back. On the wrestling mats he finished second, third and fifth at the State tournament, was a four-time County champion and three-time Section 1 titlist and won 145 matches, second-most ever at Suffern. In baseball he was an All-State outfielder and made All-County three times, and later excelled in that sport at Rockland Community College and Long Island University.
Gray, a 1969 Nyack graduate, is one of the most successful boys basketball coaches in Rockland annals. During a 26-year coaching career at Nyack from 1981 to 2006, he compiled 432 victories, second-highest in County history and sixth in Section 1, compared with only 115 losses. He amassed a Rockland-best 11 seasons of 20 or more victories, four Section 1 championships (1988, 1991, 1994, 2001) and two state regional titles. He guided the Indians to the state final four twice (1991, 2001), including a 1991 finals berth in which his team lost in overtime.
Wanamaker, from the Nyack class of 1972, starred in soccer, ice hockey, volleyball and baseball. In soccer he was 1971 Rockland Player of the Year, and a key contributor to three consecutive PSAL championship teams and 1970 Section 9 and state regional title teams. In hockey he made first-team All-County and captained Nyack to the best finish (second) among Rockland schools in the Hudson Valley Hockey Association. In volleyball he was a dominant player on Nyack’s 1971 Section 9 and regional title teams. In baseball he batted .415 in 1972, made All-County and first-team All-Metropolitan New York Daily News as a pitcher and outfielder, and excelled on Nyack’s 1971 PSAL and Section 9 championship teams. At Wabash College, he was MVP of the soccer team.
Rotundo, Tappan Zee class of 1954, earned 16 varsity letters – four each in basketball, baseball, track and cross country – and helped propel the Dutchmen to six County championships and nine Section 9 titles, including four each in basketball and cross country. He garnered seven All-County berths and in 1953 was cited as one of the top basketball players in New York state. In track he won the Section 9 high jump, long jump and 880-yard relay three straight years. He later toured with the Harlem Clowns traveling basketball team.
Kast, a 1938 Pearl River graduate, attained All-County recognition twice each in football and baseball and once in basketball. He starred as a running back on the Pirates’ 1937 championship team, which was undefeated and allowed no points against Rockland squads. At Dartmouth, Kast was a three-year starting halfback for Coach Earl “Red” Blaik. He led the team in rushing all three years and served as captain his senior year.
The Deer Head softball tournament was widely regarded as one of the most prestigious circuits in the tri-state region. Many professional baseball players participated in the tourney, such as Phil Linz, Jim and Pete Bouton, Art Lopez, Jo Jo Mackey and Al Benza. The tourney ran for 22 years, from 1966 to 1987, coordinated largely by Vic Alfieri Sr., Ernie Capobianco and Vic Alfieri Jr.