MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Hall of Fame held its awards ceremony on April 26, honoring teacher John Schulien, graduates Richard Cook '81, James McNabb ’03 and Kathleen Williams ’93. The ’73-’74 boys basketball team and the 2013 girls tennis team were also honored.
The awards are held to honor MTHS graduates, teams and influencers for their achievements. Nominees are voted on by a committee of 16 and the awards ceremony is held every other year.
The 2013 Girls Tennis Team
Coach Ken Sachs introduced his 2013 girls tennis team. The team was the first MTHS girls tennis team to become Group 3 State Champions. They completed their season with a 23-2 record. They were named conference champions and state sectional champions as well, according to the evening’s program booklet.
“We beat Princeton, when they hadn’t lost in 59 matches – and we beat them 4 to 1,” Sachs said. “We were better because we were a family. I’m here to tell the girls thank you for taking me on what was like a magic carpet ride – it was an incredible experience.”
Captain Kaitlin Sanzone said, “We learned many things on and off the court. One thing that I remember so well is this team and this family – this bond – that we had. We’re so grateful for Coach Sachs – he brought us all together and he taught us so much.”
The booklet did not list all the players, but those present were: Joanna Fass, Kirstin Godau, Alice Li, and Kaitlin Sanzone. Erin Sanzone, Jillian Garfunkel, Paige Godau, Alyson Resnikoff and Jane Beiermeister were also on the team.
The 1973-1974 Boys Basketball Team
Former teacher and assistant coach to the team Mike O’Brien introduced the team, saying the team “won a hell of a lot of basketball games.” The program guide states that in two seasons, the team won 41 out of 50 games, and that since the high school was new, the sports teams had not yet been accepted into athletic conferences. After the basketball team won so many games, schools on the independent schedule refused to continue to vie against MTHS.
“They earned respect,” O’Brien said. “They also earned the devotion of the students.” The Mustangs brought “tenacious defense to the court, and many games were played to standing room only crowds, with a caravan of busses filled with students, parents and faculty following the team to road games,” according to the evening’s program.
Team member Matt Morra honored Coach Hal Fischbein, who passed away. He said that 10 of the 11 players flew in from all over the country for the evening. Player Rick Warren also spoke to say how happy the group was to reunite after 45 years.
“When I got the phone call from Mike O’Brien that we were being inducted, I was so happy,” Rick Warren said. “And when we all got together for the first time in so many years, it was just a thrill. We were not just teammates, we were brothers. We started playing together when we were about 13 years old. It took hard work to achieve what we did, but boy, we also had some talented guys on that team. It’s amazing how far we’ve come. On behalf of all my teammates I want to thank you for allowing us to get together to share these wonderful memories.”
Players: Tom Cinnella, Mike Carbery, Pat Carbery, Wayne DelGrosso, Jim Elenz, Bill Gooding, Pete Gryzbowski, Barry Freligh, Dan Hall, Matt Holway, Bob Leslie, Jim Magee, Matt Morra, Steve Pfister, Will Puentes, Chuck Spinnella, John Sullivan, Doug Van Ness, Rick Warren. Head Coaches: Hal Fischbein, Pat Houston. Assistant Coaches: Tom McCall, Mike O’Brien, Bob Sueter. Manager: Gary Tucker.
The Hall of Fame Committee is composed of Daniel O’Brien, President; Maureen Stinson, President Emeritus; Patricia Donohue, Secretary; Madelyn Wechsler, Treasurer; Kurt Kilanowski, MTHS Scholarship Liaison; David Gelber, MTHS Administration Liaison; and members Cindy Beradino, Tim Braden, Theresa Cavanaugh, Mary Gormley, Jerry Hug, Brian Kapral, Alan Lucibello, Michael O’Brien, Debra Socci and Richard Vuyosevich.
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