WEST ORANGE, NJ - Sunday morning, Oct. 27, The Big L Club, a Livingston sports booster group, held their annual Livingston High School Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony and brunch at Mayfair Farms in West Orange.
The 2013 induction class included Lancer Legends, Joseph Duffy ’70, Tom Sullivan ’76, Steve Beck ’78, Bob Mansfield ’78, Michael Genovese ’81, Nicole Sibilia ’95, Kelly Erb ’96, Joe Cullen ’93, current Lancer Coach Bob Cece and BLC member and community contributor Aaron Greenberg.
Livingston Athletic Director Tony Hope spoke highly of the 2013 induction class. “The athletes we’re inducting today were all just unbelievable athletes. Their achievements were just fantastic.”
Joseph Duffy—a two sport varsity athlete, football captain and leadoff baseball hitter with a .500 BA—was the first individual to be inducted into the LHS athletic Hall. Duffy began by giving a short anecdote about what led him to the decision to try out for the Livingston football team as a freshman. “Somebody told me football players get all the girls.” This comment received a chuckle from the crowd. Duffy quickly added, “To my experience that’s not true, though.”
In addition to thanking his family and former teammates for their support, Duffy wanted to give a special thanks to his former baseball coach, Tony Hope. “He was a great coach. He taught me things I remember to this day: how to catch a baseball on the relay, how to run the bases.”
Duffy spoke about how useful the knowledge Coach Hope passed onto him has been through his life in terms of teaching others that same knowledge he received from Hope. Some of the mentioned individuals Duffy passed the knowledge onto included his own children, as they purse baseball careers of their own, and even a professional athlete, David DeJesus, outfielder for the Tampa Bay Rays. “I coached David when he was a kid. So coach,” said Duffy gesturing with his hand toward Hope, “you taught David everything you taught me.”
Tom Sullivan—a three year varsity player in football and lacrosse, and a co-captain for both of those teams as well—also took the podium to give a speech. Sullivan didn’t just want to speak about his athletic career in High School but his athletic career after High School as well, which included rugby at Lafayette College, club level rugby after college, and a weekend rugby refereeing job at the High School level, which he currently enjoys. “High School is just the start,” said Sullivan, “but what a start it can be.”
Hope, who introduced Sullivan, illustrated Sullivan’s character, speaking about how Sullivan helped to turn around the Livingston Lacrosse program. “Tommy played lacrosse when it was in its infancy. Most [of the players] didn’t know what to do with a lacrosse stick at the time. They thought they were going out there to chase butterflies. However, by Tommy’s senior year he was the captain of the Lacrosse team, and the team was actually one of the better ones in the state.”
The LHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony was set up and chaired by Don Schwartz, a member of the Big L Club. The Big L Club provides scholarships for students, championship apparel for sports teams who win significant titles and supports school community projects.