NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – North Salem’s homecoming weekend kicked off with a Friday night pep rally and the Hall of Fame inductions of Phil Capra and Noemi Bechu.
Capra, a former baseball player who graduated in 2015, was drafted last year by the New York Mets. On top of his baseball accomplishments, he was also an All-League basketball player and All-Section soccer player for the Tigers.
A catcher, Capra continued his baseball career at Wagner College, being named All-Conference three times (2016-18) and conference Player of the Week twice.
Rob Gilchrist, his baseball coach at North Salem, said he is constantly asked about Capra by students and staff members. Gilchrist said Capra is “honest, talented, loyal, hardworking, caring and humble.”
Bechu, the other inductee, is living out of state and could not attend the ceremony. The accomplished state-champion runner holds more than a half-dozen school records, including in the 100, 200 300, 400 and 600 meter. She continued her athletic career at Union College. A Girl Scout, Bechu racked up 550-plus community service hours, was a peer tutor and was a member of Amnesty International, Make a Difference Club, and the Book Club.
“Dedication, service, loyalty, sportsmanship, athleticism are the words that define this young lady’s character,” said Damien Holst, Bechu’s coach at North Salem. “Noemi is a natural leader who helps every runner around her to become a better athlete.”
Vince DiGrandi, North Salem High School principal, said the student-athletes inducted into the Hall of Fame share many of the same traits.
“They know what it is to be a gamer,” DiGrandi said. “They know what it is to be a teammate. They know what it is to work hard. And they know what it is to play fair.”
Before the induction ceremony, all junior varsity and varsity teams were introduced to a packed gymnasium of students and parents. DiGrandi shared advice for the senior athletes.
“It’s your last year,” he said. “Leave it all on the court, on the field and between the lines. Because it is a great time and you have some great teams and great coaches.”