SUMMIT, NJ - A capacity audience at The Grand Summit Hotel was on hand to greet the initial group of inductees into the Summit High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Summit High School Athletic Hall of Fame (AHOF) was created to "honor the past and create the future," according to AHOF committee member Steve Murphy. The committee worked for two years prior to the event, with a vision to recognize the legacy of Summit High School (SHS) athletes, coaches, and contributors who excelled as representatives of the Summit community.
The proceeds from the event, along with support from Investors Bank, will combine to fund a scholarship program whereby selected SHS student athletes will be eligible to receive supplemental college tuition assistance.
The first class of the Summit High School AHOF includes:
Dr. Donald Geddis
Principal at SHS from 1970-1997, Geddis is a member of the Class of 1950. As a student, he was a three-sport athlete, served in the U.S. infantry, and also coached two varsity sports during his tenure at the school.
A member of the Class of '58, Owren was a three-sport athlete while at SHS. He established the Suburban Youth Football League, and was the guiding force in developing Summit's youth football program. He also serves as a Volunteer Assistant Coach for the SHS Football Team.
During his 42-year career with the Summit schools, Anderson -- a coach and Athletic Director -- saw his teams win 14 titles, including four state football championships, and one state baseball crown. He was named New Jersey Coach of The Year three times.
A coach of five girls sports teams during her tenure, LaVorgna led the 1986 Girls Lacrosse Team to the State Title, the first female team state championship in school history. She also coached the 1988 State Championship Tennis Team, was NJ State Coach of The Year twice, and was inducted into the New Jersey Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2002.
1963 Varsity Football Team
A dynamic squad that went a perfect 9-0, the '63 team outscored its opponents 300-33 during the season, and defeated Chatham 19-7 to win the State Title. Following the campaign, the entire team was named "Most Valuable Player", an acknowledgement of the team concept they embodied.
1986 Girls Lacrosse Team
Compiling a 14-2 record, the team entered the State Tournament as the number-eight seed, and won a series of thrilling, come-from-behind games -- including a 10-9 final game triumph over Cinnaminson that included a four-goal comeback -- to earn the first female team title in school history.
A member of the Class of '61, Papio was a three-sport athlete and earned nine Varsity letters during his SHS career. He was quarterback on the 1959 State Champion Football team, and holds multiple passing records, including most passing yards in a game, season, and longest passing play from scrimmage.
A three-sport athlete at SHS, Mallory excelled in football, basketball, and track and field. After earning multiple accolades during his high school career, Mallory played football at West Virginia University (WVU) and, later, the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons. His number 22 jersey has been retired by both SHS and WVU.
A member of the Class of '71, Odell was a two-sport athlete, performing dynamically in both football and track and field, Odell was a key contributor to three straight conference-winning teams, and holds numerous records in both football and track and field. He went on to play football at Penn State University (PSU), was named to PSU's 1970 All-Decade Team, and has had his SHS football number 21 retired.
A three-sport star athlete, Wilson's 3,693 combined rushing yards led Summit to back-to-back State Football Championships in 1972 and 1973. In baseball, he batted well-above .400 in his final two seasons, and he scored more than 1,000 points during his Hilltopper basketball career. Wilson was a first-round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals, and went on to enjoy a 19-year career in Major League Baseball. His number 21 SHS jersey has been retired.
Charles A. Wiebe
Playing lacrosse and football, Wiebe (Class of '75) left his mark on both programs. Wiebe was a member of the the '72 and '73 undefeated Hilltopper football teams as a linebacker and fullback, and his on-field contributions helped establish Summit Lacrosse's tradition of excellence. Wiebe went on to play lacrosse at Cornell University, and was a member of 1976 and 1977 Big Red National Championship teams.
A wide receiver on the 1976 State Championship Football Team, Odell (Class of '77) also was named MVP of the Summit Basketball Team in 1977. Odell went on to enjoy a stellar career at Rutgers University, where he set records for receptions and receiving yards. He was elected as the 29th member of the Scarlet Knights Hall of Fame.
Theresa Gschwind McCullough
A member of the Class of '82, she earned nine Varsity letters in cross country, indoor track, and track and field. She was named High School All-American in both track and cross country, won numerous State, Group, and County honors, and was a member of the 1981 record-setting distance medley team. After injuring her knee, she joined the Yale University women's crew team.
One of the most dominant wrestlers in SHS history, Catullo (Class of '85) went undefeated for two years and compiled a career record of 89-1-1. A two-time State Champion, Catullo also was Co-Captain of the football team, and went on to wrestle at the University of North Carolina, where he earned All-American Honors his senior year. He was named a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference's 50th Anniversary Team in 2005.
A five-time MVP in three different sports, Burke (Class of '85), was a gifted athlete in field hockey, basketball, and softball. She earned multiple All-State, All-County, and All-Conference honors, and was named Women Athlete of the Year in 1985. Burke played softball and field hockey at Montclair State University, where she was named All-American in softball, and All-Region in field hockey.
A recipient of 10 Varsity letters in three sports -- soccer, basketball, and lacrosse -- Burns (Class of '95) and was a member of the Girls Basketball Team that captured the State title in 1994. She holds numerous records including most goals in a soccer season, most points during a basketball game, and most career basketball points.
The Summit High School AHOF is actively seeking and accepting nominations for the Class of 2015 and beyond. The nomination form is located at shshalloffame.com.