BY JAMIE KEMPTON
The proud history of Nyack High School athletics was celebrated during the school’s inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame ceremonies, held in October at the Clubhouse at Patriot Hills in Stony Point.
The first class of inductees featured nine athletes, one coach and three community service recipients, all of whom also participated in Nyack athletics. The honorees span a period of almost 60 years from the 1940s through the early 2000s, making their mark in a wide range of sports, including baseball, football, basketball, track & field, lacrosse, tennis, swimming, soccer and ice hockey.
The Hall of Fame was established in 2014. A committee of 13 Nyack alumni, coaches, administrators and community members, chaired by Athletic Director Joe Sigillo, brought the project to fruition.
The charter class of Hall of Famers includes:
• Jim Kane, class of 1945, Community Service. He served as a referee and umpire for 70 years, 1943 to 2013, assigned officials to Rockland athletic contests for 20 years, for 20 boys’ and girls’ sports, and never had a game cancelled due to a lack of officials.
• Bob Garrecht, class of 1948. His dominant pitching spearheaded Nyack to the 1948 Rockland PSAL baseball title. He also played in the Detroit Tigers minor league farm system for two years.
• Jim Ridlon, class of 1953. He was a three-sport star who played football and lacrosse at Syracuse University and had an eight-year pro football career as a defensive back with the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys.
• Ron Edwards, class of 1963. He was the 1962 New York State high jump champion and County record-holder (6-2), the first 1,000-point scorer in Rockland schoolboy basketball annals, and an All-County football receiver and running back.
• Bob Corvino, class of 1969. He was the first Rockland football player named first-team All-State and a two-way All-County selection who captained Nyack to the Rockland PSAL title. He later starred at the University of Bridgeport.
• Steve Wanamaker, class of 1973. He was a first-team All-State linebacker who later excelled at Penn State, and an All-County pitcher who led the Indians to the 1971 PSAL crown.
• Robbie Woods, class of 1976. He made first-team All-New York State in both football (offense and defense) and basketball, scored a County hoops record 60 points in one game, and also earned All-County honors in track. He later was an All-East Coast defensive back for the University of Delaware.
• Stacey Sennas McGowan, class of 1981, Community Service. She was a lacrosse, tennis and swimming athlete at Nyack and a lacrosse player at Boston College. She lost her life in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
• Dawn Royster Geronimo, class of 1983. She was the Rockland Player of the Year in basketball who led Nyack to the State semifinals, was a track & field County record-setter in the high jump and pentathlon and State pentathlon bronze medalist, and a hoops star at the University of North Carolina who played professionally for four years in Europe.
• Jon Hess, class of 1994. He was a three-time All-County lacrosse player and 1994 scholastic All-America selection, County scoring record-setter, three-time collegiate All-America who led Princeton to three straight NCAA Division I championships, and later a founding member of Major League Lacrosse.
• Nigel Morris, class of 2003. He was the NYS Class A Player of the Year and a two-time first-team All-State football player while leading Nyack to the 2000 State championship, record-holder for career interceptions (31), an All-State basketball point guard who scored 1,065 career points, and standout defensive back for the University of Toledo.
• Tony Boffa, Coach, 1978-2002. In his 25-year girls’ softball coaching career, he posted a record of 346-193 and was the first 300-win softball coach in Rockland. In his seven years as girls’ basketball coach, he went 95-43, won two Rockland PSAL titles, a Section 9 championship and a berth in the State semifinals.
• Welles Remy Crowther, class of 1995, Community Service. He played lacrosse, ice hockey and soccer at Nyack, and four years of lacrosse at Boston College. He died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks while ushering World Trade Center occupants to safety using his Nyack firefighting training and has been commemorated as “The Man in the Red Bandanna.”
Those who wish to nominate an individual for the Hall of Fame are asked to contact Joe Sigillo at 845-353-7136, or firstname.lastname@example.org.