Sussex County News

Sparta High School Celebrates Athletic History at Hall of Fame Induction Dinner

c4f3a67aea9f1ba0e94a_IMG_2603.JPG
The first class of athletes, coaches and teams to be inducted into the Sparta High School Athletic Hall of Fame Credits: Jennifer Dericks
940520d1d5e3237df1ad_IMG_2511.JPG
Coach Ron Earl Credits: Jennifer Dericks
b4d4075c31389a11e276_IMG_2515.JPG
Lou Seville Credits: Jennifer Dericks
0f5f62adfb023069fa8f_IMG_2518.JPG
John Place Credits: Jennifer Dericks
607000251fde1815ed03_IMG_2522.JPG
Mannuel Reis' grand daughter accepting on his behalf Credits: Jennifer Dericks
be8cabc7ba71ce3b2abf_IMG_2573.JPG
Greg Baty Credits: Jennifer Dericks
1c54f7742319af8c7436_IMG_2525.JPG
Fred Geffken Credits: Jennifer Dericks
14edee20a27c9a986fbf_IMG_2530.JPG
Kevin Rogers Credits: Jennifer Dericks
f9794e6ae1856c768752_IMG_2532.JPG
Jeff Hughes Credits: Jennifer Dericks
f611c854cddd4c27094d_IMG_2534.JPG
Accepting for Sparta High School Golf team 1978 Credits: Jennifer Dericks
bb47e26d8fa71fa87f30_IMG_2567.JPG
Chris Jent's sister accepted on his behalf Credits: Jennifer Dericks
5a0cf40d4cf81e7d6aec_IMG_2558.JPG
Gene Mendes Credits: Jennifer Dericks
43f74ef4982f039b0f49_IMG_2541.JPG
Cathy Wille Credits: Jennifer Dericks
d325f083ba9fe0907fc0_IMG_2600.JPG
Accepting for Dick Cassels Credits: Jennifer Dericks
e5dfd9d5c19a57f59b90_IMG_2526.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
a626b600abb624fe4942_54fae965e7c3f430ac31_image2.JPG
Sparta High School girls basketball Credits: Tim Librizzi
295239a055e5b142537d_IMG_2537.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
abaf7953dc7dd5f01f00_IMG_2540.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
0469f3fefad79ee01c67_IMG_2509.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
8d6a0a057c62e05e6361_IMG_2618.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
b20a5ec02e154fefb75d_IMG_2545.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
f81a7e9f46a05f7cfa89_IMG_2547.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
a68d718cfe17270d5c27_IMG_2549.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
2960245ed7d1f6f5aa5b_IMG_2552.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
0bfe5fd6a7db70756c1b_IMG_2553.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
e3671528eb8ee896dad9_IMG_2556.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
43c50eb456e5df239f4c_IMG_2561.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
5fba9945b1e17bf93691_IMG_2564.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
a151a0fc62ef00b01a03_IMG_2569.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
f4478a63b102f0328418_IMG_2575.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
8ccbb5e3e656c9a4fd38_IMG_2578.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
95c076b6eeb3a0cac131_IMG_2580.JPG
6f901831294a6ba7a7c3_IMG_2582.JPG
fcfda5456b3f6d472353_IMG_2583.JPG
4eecf084f5073e32952d_IMG_2586.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
a34874c726f79cbadcab_IMG_2588.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
66002af532fdb198a354_IMG_2591.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
b3fce171c033b3bc89db_IMG_2593.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
cbf5e2ec101cb1e24689_IMG_2595.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
771cd6e5e82aa3c8ea55_IMG_2597.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
dbf10b9fe2cb9febecd6_IMG_2615.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
92699d02619dc256d5b0_IMG_2621.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
641f296d1eadf2083e24_IMG_2623.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
a5846f5ac645a8aa10cf_IMG_2626.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
9a94de2366d65c27bc3e_IMG_2628.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
37c0e7a8a3d88f54d517_IMG_2630.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
e6a5fce17bbbf19f4b73_IMG_2631.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
d99c79234d35c0a86099_IMG_2633.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
0a5b083ffb3994df7884_IMG_2635.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
af2638e897055e1aa25b_IMG_2636.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
6e1c9b792d06f702153d_IMG_2639.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
8c3fa0e266e5fd7f9775_IMG_2641.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
c5a8140f67cfbfea6e60_IMG_2644.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
ce6c09f0c4e4701e0bed_IMG_2642.JPG
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
c4f3a67aea9f1ba0e94a_IMG_2603.JPG

SPARTA, NJ – Part reunion, part celebration the banquet room at Skyview gold club was overflowing with smiles, laughter, hugs and handshakes at the induction ceremony for the first class of Sparta High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

On Thursday night fifteen athletes, coaches and teams were honored with plaques, speeches and applause.

“This is a trip down memory lane,” Inductee, Sparta High School alumna, coach and Hall of Fame Committee member Cathy Wille said.  “This has brought an incredible smile and eve tears to my eyes.”

Sign Up for E-News

Wille played on the undefeated basketball team in the1985-1987 season.  The coach of that team was Fred Geffken also an inductee in the first class.

“I’m humble,” Geffken said.  “I was gifted with the best team in the history of Sussex County.  What an honor.”

“The induction of the inaugural class into the SHS Athletic Hall of Fame was a wonderful success.” Sparta High School Principal Janet Ferraro said.  “The teams, coaches, and athletes we honored as well as the community that came out to support them celebrated together with pride.”

“I’m really honored to be here,” Inductee Greg Baty said. “Sparta was such a great launching pad for college.  When I look back at my time at Sparta High School, I think I had the most fun.  More than in college or in the pros.  It’s really special, great to be here with old team mates.”

Baty went on to play football at Stanford University.  He was then drafted to play with the New England Patriots.  In his eight seasons in the National Football League Baty played for the Los Angles Rams and Miami Dolphins.

“This is wonderful.  When I was asked to be on the [Hall of Fame nominating] committee I jumped on it,” Inductee and committee member Lou Seville said.  “Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would turn into this.  [The Hall of Fame] is very positive for the school and the town.”

Alumni may be nominated through the Sparta High School website.

“It was amazing to be at the hall of fame induction ceremony and have the opportunity to meet the individuals who paved the way for what Sparta High School athletics has become today,” Sparta High School Athletic Director Steve Stoner said. ”The traditions and expectations that the 15 coaches, teams and players established during their time at the high school are still present and followed to this day by our current student athletes.  The hall of fame will be a showcase for the rich athletic history that is Sparta High School.”

Ferraro said. “It took us a full two years of planning to get this off the ground, and it felt good to see the efforts pay off.  The atmosphere of the room was that of family.  It takes a special place to make that happen, and I am proud to be a part of the Spartan Family.”

Inductee tennis coach Jeff Hughes said, “It is a wonderful event. I'm honored to be among the fifteen inductees.”

Hall of Fame Committee Chairman and guidance counselor, Tim Librizzi said, “The induction ceremony was a very special night for the Sparta community.  We heard wonderful stories from coaches, teams and players who have now finally secured their place in Sparta athletic history by being recognized as the inaugural class of our Athletic Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame Committee did an amazing job in putting together such an historic night.”

"[It] was an absolutely amazing event,” Superintendent Dr. Michael Rossi said. “The expressions of pride, tradition and kinship is hard to put in to words.  What an amazing group of inductees including the two teams; their accomplishments rival any school, in any town, in any state.

The inductees for the inaugural year, 2017:

Coaches:

Richard “Dick” Cassels- Football Coach (Posthumous)-

  • 1959 - 1977, Record: 125-33-7, Eight Skyline Conference Titles , Coached SHS First Undefeated Football Team 1968, Cassels Football Field Named in Memoriam
  • First Sparta High School Athletic Director 1959

Manny Reis - Boys Soccer (Posthumous)

  • 1960-1980,“Father of Sparta Soccer”, Record: 194-72-20, 8 League Titles, 1 State Sectional Title

Ron Earl- Football

  • Coached 1959-1989, Record: 76-27-3,Three State Championships: 1979,1980 and 1982, Four SCIL Championships ,Two Undefeated seasons 1980 and 1982

Gene Mendes- Football Coach, Baseball

  • 1979-2008, Baseball Head Coach 15 Years, Football Asst 28 Years, Two SCIL Baseball Titles: 1981 & 1983, 11 Total SCIL Titles
  • 5 NJSIAA State Sectional Titles; Four in Football, One in Boys Basketball

Fred Geffken- Girls Bball Coach

  • Coached 1980-2012, Record: 693-166
  • Three State Championships,Twelve Sectional Championships,18 SCIL Championships, 14 County Festival Championships, Six Undefeated Regular Seasons

Jeff Hughes- Boys and Girls Tennis Coach

  • Boys Tennis 1978-2005, Record: 429-121, 17 SCIL, 11 SCIL Tournament Championships, First Team All Area Boys Tennis Coach 2004
  • Girls Tennis 1976-2017, Record:  629-163, 23 SCIL, 16 SCIL Tournament Championships, NJSIAA Sports Award 2001, NFICA NJ Girls Coach of the Year 1995

Robert “Bobby” Cannon- Golf coach

  • 1978-1994
  • Golf Head Coach
  • Assistant Wrestling Coach
  • Bobby Cannon who led the Spartans to 24 league titles, including 17 in a row in the SCIL from 1978-1994, eight regional championships and a state championship in 1978

Athletes:

Greg Baty- Boys Football 1982

  • 1978-1982 ,State Championships 1980, 1982, Undefeated Season 1980, 1982
  • Football Captain 1982, All-State Selection Tight End and Defensive End, NJ Top 25 Players 1982
  • First 1000 Point Scorer for SHS

Chris Jent- Boys Basketball 1988

  • 1984-1988, SHS and SCIL All Time Career Points Leader - 2,287
  • Parade All American, Top 50 High School Seniors
  • 1st Team All State, 3 Time All West Jersey, Street and Smith All American, Converse All American

John Place- Football, Wrestling 1983

  • 1979-1983, District 3, Region 1 Champion Wrestler 1982 & 1983, NJ State Champion Wrestler 1983, Undefeated at 188 lbs; 1982-83 Season
  • All State Group II Football Champion, Football State Championship 1980, 1982, Athlete of the Year 1983

Kevin Rogers - Football

  • 1965-1969, First Undefeated Football Season at SHS 1968, State Championship 1968
  • All County Football, Baseball, All-State Baseball, MVP Baseball, Two-time District Champion Runner-up Wrestling

Louis Seville-Football, Baseball 1983

  • 1979-1983, Football and Baseball Captain 1983
  • Two State Championships: 1980, 1982, SCIL All-Time Career Rushing and Scoring Record, Only Player Selected to NJ North/South All-Star Game in Two Sports, 1983
  • First Team All-Area, All-SCIL, All-State, All-Group, Played on 6 Championship SCIL Teams

Catherine Wille- Girls Basketball, Track 1986

  • 1982-1986, Basketball Undefeated 1985-86 seasons, All SCIL 1985-86, SHS MVP 1985-86, MVP State Championship Game 1985, 1st Team Group II 1985 and 1986
  • North I, Group II Track Champions 1985, SHS Athlete of the Year 1986

Teams:

1985 Girls Basketball Team

  • Captains: Helene Geissel (Reigstad) and Diana Seville
  • Undefeated 29-0,SCIL, Sectional and Group 2 State Champions , Sussex County Festival Champions, First Female Team in Sussex County to Win a State Championship
  • Three 1,000 Point Scorers; One 1000 Rebounder
  • Six Division I Collegiate Players

1978 Boys Golf Team

  • Captain: Mark Kehoe, Record: 18-0, SCIL Champions, North Jersey Sectional Champions, Sparta Quadrangular Champions, District 7 Champions, NJ All Group State Champions

“My fondest take away is the sincere sense of love expressed and felt by everyone in the room,” Rossi said.  “Kudos on a tremendous effort, and congratulations to the entire Sparta community.  I am humbled to be on the team.”  

The nominating committee includes:

  • Librizzi - President,
  • Steve Stoner – Treasurer, Athletic Director,
  • Ferraro – Principal,
  • Rory Ritzgerald – Assistant Principal
  • Steve Schels – Assistant Principal,
  • Sam Slobodzian – teacher and coach,
  • Gerry Carter – teacher and coach,
  • Andrew Lowery – teacher and coach,
  • Lou Seville – community member,
  • Dee Passerelle – community member,
  • Catherine Willie – teacher and coach

The Hall of Fame is to be located outside the main gymnasium at the high school.  Additionally, three plaques commemorate donors for their financial support for the hall of fame.  Donations can be made through the Sparta High School website.

“I would like to congratulate the inductees one last time, and thank the committee for all of the hard work,” Ferraro said. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Newton

Sparta Police: Brooklyn Man in Trouble for Fake Plates

May 27, 2018

SPARTA, NJ –  A Brooklyn man is facing charges related to stolen license plates.  On May 23 around 9:30 a.m. Sparta Police Officer Steven Guido was on White Lake Road when the automated license plate reader in his patrol car sounded an alert, police said.

The notification said the license plates on a white Ford van that had just pulled into the Printing Center parking lot were ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, June 10, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River

Education

Thu, June 21, 2:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Summer Afternoon Garden Soiree

Home & Garden

Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River

Education

Carousel_image_2cec67206897437ad29b_sparta_historical_society

Sun, August 26, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Arts & Entertainment

Sparta High School Photography Student Takes Top Prize in CCM Competition

May 20, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – A Sparta High School photography student took home the top honor from the County College of Morris sixth annual photography competition from over 600 entries. Three other Sparta students also earned honorable mention in the event sponsored by the CCM Photo Club.

Reese Vanduk, a senior, earned first place for her interpretation of this year’s theme of ...

Sparta Education Foundation Thanks Community for Dragon Boat Festival Success

May 26, 2018

Dear Editor,

The Sparta Education Foundation’s Fourth Annual Dragon Boat Festival drew thousands to the Lake Mohawk Boardwalk on Sunday, May 20.  From the sponsors, participants and schools to the many volunteers and cheering spectators, the Dragon Boat Festival was a true reflection of Sparta Pride.

Congratulations to the Dragon Boat Festival’s top three teams: First Place ...

Republican Party Values

Campaigns are interesting things.

Throughout the process, my opponents' supporters have labeled me a "political prostitute", "pimping" a message as a "spokesperson". I've been in a public meeting when referred to as a "lackey" who 
"belongs in a cage like the animal you are".

It's been said directly to me by a ...

Sneak Peek! Highly Desirable Lake Mohawk 3BR

Longing to live the lake lifestyle? Today's your lucky day! Take a sneak peek at our newest home available in Sparta's highly desirable Lake Mohawk community, and get ready for our OPEN HOUSE Saturday, June 2nd from 1pm-3pm.

This 3 bedroom, 2 bath home at 137 Hillside Road, Sparta, features a wood burning insert in the living room fireplace, perfect ...

Why You Should Buy Your NJ Home Before Interest Rates Rise

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage climbed from 3.95% in the first week of January up to 4.61% last week, marking a 7-year high according to Freddie Mac. Many factors fueled the current pace of acceleration.  Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, opines:

“Healthy consumer spending and higher commodity prices spooked bond markets and led to higher mortgage ...

Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp Now?

 

Bottom Line


According to the US Census Bureau, ‘millennials’ are defined as 18-36-year-olds.


According to NAR’s latest Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the median age of all first-time home buyers is 32.


More and more ‘old millennials’ (25-36) now realize homeownership is within their grasp now!

Are YOU ready for ...

Find Your Dream Home During Our DOUBLE Open House Weekend!

The forecast for this weekend is rain, rain, and more rain---so why not spend your time touring your new home?  Team Nest Builder offers 2 wonderful Open Houses this weekend, PLUS a new listing for you to check out via video tour!

27 Hilltop Trail, Sparta

Step into your own fairytale with this Lake Mohawk, storybook-sweet 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom gem! Gather in front of the rustic ...

Help Feed Hungry Sussex County Families Through Foodstock

Did you realize food pantry shortages INCREASE during the summer months? Decreased donations and increased need due to the summer break from school lunch and breakfast programs leave many Sussex County families hungry.  

Enter Foodstock:  an annual spring countywide food drive started 15 years ago through the coordinated efforts of Pass it Along, United Way of Northern New Jersey, ...

Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders May 9 video

SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ - Video of the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders May 9 meeting. 

 

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

NFL Alumni To Host Charity Event At MetLife Stadium

May 27, 2018

NFL Alumni To Host Charity Event At MetLife Stadium on June 13, 2018 From 5:30PM To 9:00PM

Fun for Adults and Kids 

Tickets Available. Kids Under 10 Free

 

Meet NFL Players and Play Celebrity Flag Football

Field Access. Pictures. Autographs. Tours.

KanJam and Cornhole Tournaments

 

The NFL Alumni Association (NFLA) will host a charity event on June 13th at ...

Linden Man, Former Major League Baseball Player, Arrested After Making Threats to Local Uber Driver

May 25, 2018

LINDEN, NJ – A Linden man was charged with terroristic threats after allegedly threatening an Uber driver on Wednesday.

Lenny Dykstra, 55, former New York Mets center fielder, was arrested outside Linden Police Headquarters just before 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Officers were alerted to a vehicle that sped into the attached parking garage. The driver, identified as a 47-year-old Roselle ...