By Vincent Landolfi, Jr.
On June 18th, 2016, Red Bank Catholic High School will host its first-ever induction ceremony for their newly-formed Athletic Hall of Fame. The celebration will begin with a mass in St. James Church at 5:30 pm, followed by a reception in Tradition Hall of the Vincent J. Eck Student Center at 6:30 pm, and the induction ceremony itself at 8 pm. Former athletes, coaches or students who wish to attend may still purchase tickets online at the Athletics page of the Red bank Catholic High School website (www.redbankcatholic.org).
“Obviously given our rich history and tradition in sports, and considering the unique way we got our start, we wanted to honor those who built our athletic programs into what they are today.” said Director of Athletics, and H.O.F. committee member Joe Montano. He added “We also want to use this opportunity, and all future Hall of Fame endeavors, to provide an opportunity for students to attend RBC by donating all of the (net) proceeds to supply tuition assistance for students in financial need.”
The Hall of Fame committee, which included members who have participated and been involved in RBC’s athletic programs from the 1950s through the 2000s, drafted bylaws by which inductees were nominated and selected. Those inducted must be graduated from Red Bank Catholic for at least 10 years, with a limited number of candidates inducted each year. This year’s initial crop numbers 15, with 8 special inductees who were culled from RBC’s Alumni Hall of Fame.
If you want to talk Red Bank Catholic sports history, just stop by the corners of Maple Avenue, and Peters Place, where you’ll find spry, 70-something inductee Richard “Bucky” Moran. Dressed in his green safety vest and wielding a stop sign, he is the crossing guard on duty two blocks down from his alma mater. “It wasn’t the same then.” Moran said humbly of his earning an amazing 12 varsity letters in his four years as a Casey. “Speed or height wasn’t so important. But heart was.” Blessed with a Rudy-esque sized heart, Moran, who also helped out with decades of RBC advancement projects, is a recipient of the prestigious Monsignor Casey Award of Honor.
Speaking of the twice-inducted Monsignor Casey, it is he for whom the legions of Red Bank Catholic athletes are named. When it came time to select a nickname, “Caseys” was the overwhelming choice. The tribute is a testament to Casey, a retired Navy Rear-Admiral Chaplain, who not only initiated sports at RBC, but used his own military pension to purchase equipment and uniforms for the teams, allowing for the very creation of Red Bank Catholic Athletics.
The 2016 inductees are: Tom Farrell (Baseball-’53) who struck out 25 batters in a single high school game, and was drafted by the Cleveland Indians. George Saxenmeyer (Basketball-’54) the first 1,000 point scorer for RBC, who led the Shore in scoring in his junior and senior years, averaging 25 points per game. Richard “Bucky” Moran, (’55). Dennis Lynch (Tennis and Basketball- ’59) an All-State player in both sports, who went on to play both at Yale University, and was drafted by the NBA’s NY Knicks in 1964. Bob Byron (Track and Cross Country- ’66) Was All-State in Cross Country and Track, and held the RBC mile distance record for 40 years. Dave Bauer (Football- ’74) an All-Shore player, who played for Villanova and was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL in 1978. Tom Seitz (Wrestling- ’74) was a NJ State Wrestling Champion. Lonnie Burgess (Football- ’77) earned 1st Team All-Shore and All-State honors, and rushed for 1,000 yards as a member of 1976 NJ State Championship Team. Tom Seaman (Basketball- ’77) was a member of the 1977 NJ Parochial-A Championship team, and selected 1st Team All-Shore and All-State. He played professionally for ten years in France and Belgium after a distinguished career at Holy Cross. Peggy Egan Fallon (Girls Basketball -’79) was the first female 1,000 point scorer for the Caseys, and went on to play for Providence College. Amy Krilla Overcash (Track & Field -’01) was named All-State in Track & Field. She is also the NJ State Meet of Champions and Penn Relays javelin record holder. Joe Bolger (Athletic Director, Football and Baseball Coach- ’51-57) was the Head Football and Baseball Coach, who won the NJ State Baseball Championship in 1953 and NJ State Football Championship in 1955. 1974 – 1977 Girls Gymnastics Team which completed four straight undefeated seasons, and was the NJ Overall State Champions each year. 1959 and 1960 Varsity Football Teams who were NJ State Champions in 1959 (7-0-2), and 1960 (8-0.) 1984-1987 Girls Tennis Team who were overall NJ State Champions three of four years.
Included in this year’s class are six outstanding individuals, and two standout teams who previously were inducted into the Red Bank Catholic Alumni Hall of Fame: Monsignor Joseph T. Casey (Director). Tom Lalli (Football-‘63) was an RBC football player, Head Coach and Vice Principal. He also played football for the University of Maryland. Ann Woods Smith (Gymnastics-‘78) led the Gymnastics Team to four NJ State Championships, and was an alternate on the 1980 US Olympic Team. Harry Flaherty (Football-‘80) was named All-Shore, and played for Holy Cross, the WFL, and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. Jack Rafter (Cross Country Coach and Athletic Director – ’63-’93) known as the “Father” of Girls Sports at the Shore, at the time of his retirement he was the all-time winning Cross Country Coach in the nation. Pat Kennedy (Basketball-‘70) went on to play at Kings College, and coach at Lehigh, Iona, Florida State, DePaul and Towson. The 1954 Varsity Football and 1976 Girls Track Teams who were both State Champions.
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