SOMERVILLE, NJ - Immaculata High School will welcome its sixth Hall of Fame class during an induction ceremony on March 21 at The Palace at Somerset Park in Somerset, NJ with a gala reception highlighted by a video presentation, remarks by the inductees or their representatives, and a commemorative booklet honoring the Hall of Famers with tributes and ads.
Among those honored will be the school’s first 1000-point basketball player Cindy Fischer ‘75; a key member of the state championship 1994 football team and college football standout Brian Hayden ‘95; NCAA All American gymnast and Hospital of Special Surgery’s scientist Dr. Carl Imhauser ‘93; high school and college football star, as well as semi-professional football player Patrick O’Neill ‘02, and the late Joe Simmons Sr., a Spartan Club parent volunteer for nearly 50 years, who was a cornerstone of the Athletic Department;
In addition, for the first time in the Immaculata Hall of Fame program, a team will be inducted; chosen for this honor is the 1987 Lady Spartans basketball team, the first basketball squad in the school’s history to win a state championship.
Below is a brief summary of the inductees’ accomplishments:
Cindy Fischer ‘75 – In the days when girls sports nationally had not yet emerged on equal footing with boys, Cindy Fischer was a powerhouse female basketball player. She is the first in the school’s history to score over 1000 basketball points with a total of 1009. Cindy also was a catcher on the Spartan softball team, served on the Student Council and was crowned Prom Queen for her class. Cindy played with some of the greats of girls college basketball at Pennsylvania’s Immaculata College, but an offer of a full athletic scholarship (rare for women in that era) convinced her to transfer to the University Of New Mexico (UNM). Following her UNM Coach to the University of San Diego, Cindy coached there until 1987. A career change brought her into another emerging field: technology. She worked for many years for IBM and Whole Foods and retired five years ago.
Brian Hayden ‘95 – A key defensive anchor, Brian Hayden galvanized his team to reach the outstanding feat in which no team scored points against the Spartans over a two-season period of 16 regular season games. Brian logged in nearly 250 tackles in his three-year Varsity career. The highlight of his high school football career was being a part of the 1994 State Championship team, defeating Delbarton by a score of 27-7. One of the captains of that squad, Brian was recognized as first team defense at four levels: All-State Parochial, All-Area, All-County, and All-Conference. He received a full scholarship to play D1AA football at Northeastern, where he majored in business management. A starter at Northeastern for three years, Brian was named captain in his senior year and added another award, All- Conference Defense in his junior year. Currently, Brian is a property manager, handling a portfolio of commercial shopping center properties. He helps to coach his three sons, who are active in sports.
Carl Imhauser, PhD ‘93 – While earning his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Temple University, Imhauser was a two-time NCAA All-American gymnast, the 1996 Division 1 NCAA high bar champion, two-time team captain, and 4-year All-American scholar athlete; he was elected to Temple’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. Subsequently, Carl received his master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering at Drexel University. After post-doctoral fellowships at the Institute of Orthopaedic Research and Biomechanics in Ulm, Germany and at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City, he joined the faculty at the HSS. Currently a scientist in HSS’ research division, Carl is an assistant professor of Applied Biomechanics at Weill Cornell Medicine, the medical school of Cornell University. His research team aims to understand the mechanical function of the musculoskeletal system, focusing on the knee, after sports injuries, reconstructive surgery, or joint replacement. The goal of this multidisciplinary work is to help injured athletes return to the field and to avoid reinjury, as well as to improve knee function and quality of life after total knee replacement. His group’s work is well-published, is funded by the National Institute of Health, and has led to three patents. Imhauser also gives back to IHS by participating in the Marian Scholars Program and mentoring students interested in science and engineering through career shadowing experiences.
Patrick O’Neill ‘02 – Considered among the top high school players for his defensive prowess in the 2001 football season, Patrick was recruited by several schools and accepted a full ride to Division I-AA University of Rhode Island. As a Spartan, Patrick earned accolades, including First Team All County, First Team All Area, First Team All Parochial, Second Team All State and the Star Ledgers’ Co-Defensive Player of the Year. In 2010 O’Neill was selected to the Courier News’ “All Decade, All Area Team.” In college where he majored in Communications, Patrick was a 4-year Letterman and a 3-year starter at University of Rhode Island, while playing in the Atlantic10 Conference. Serving as Co-Captain his senior year, he led the team in tackles for loss and voted most Outstanding Defensive Lineman. Patrick laced up his cleats one more time and signed a one-year contract to play overseas in Europe for the Bergen Storm, part of the (NAIF) First Division. He was a two-way starter (LB/WR), led the team in sacks and tackles for loss, and was one of only 14 Americans chosen to play in the league. Currently, Patrick is a partner in an executive sales agency.
Joseph Simmons Sr.– Spartan of the Year Award winner Joe Simmons Sr. began as a parent volunteer in 1966, when his oldest son was a freshman, and continued at Immaculata for nearly 50 years. As the football program was launched in 1966, the Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Pierce Frauenheim Sr. could not perform both duties, so Simmons with his classic line, “Don’t worry about a thing,” organized the concession stand, ticket booths, the officials, the volunteers, the finances, and fundraising for decades. He also ran the basketball ticket sales for both boys and girls for decades, as well as organizing the sports banquets over countless seasons. His strong respect for the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters working at Immaculata was heartfelt and he quietly lent them assistance on many occasions with no fanfare.
Immaculata 1987 Girls Basketball Team – Led by Head Coach Tom Moriau and assisted by Linda Purtell and Elizabeth Amatucci Gleason ‘81, the 1987 Girls Basketball team clinched the NJSIAA Parochial B State Championship with a 54-50 win over Bishop Eustace. The team, which was 24-4, brought home numerous honors as a Somerset County Tournament Finalist; Mountain Valley Conference Co-Champions (with Ridge); Golden Falcon Christmas Tournament Finalist; Second Home News All-Area; Third Courier News All Area Team and Second TRK Cable All Area Team. Donna Greybek was named NJSIAA State Championship Game MVP and Tracey Rabbitt was the 1987 Team MVP. Many team members were named to all area teams in several venues. Head Coach Tom Moriau was honored as Somerset County, All Area, and New Jersey’s Coach of the Year by several newspapers.
Hall of Fame tickets for the induction celebration on March 21st are $100 per person; deadline for tickets is March 7th. Legendary Spartan Pierce Frauenheim will emcee the ceremony. The commemorative booklet’s deadline is Feb.18th. Event sponsorship packages are available. To place an ad, order tickets or sponsor the event, go to https://www.immaculatahighschool.org/hof. For more information, contact Stacey Mezzacca Geary ’91 at sgeary@ immaculatahighschool.org or (908) 722-0200, ext. 222.