The Devils' Advocate

Hall of Fame honors new inductees at ceremony

Yanelle Nieves

Lexi Maldonado and Dylan Westfall

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12 athletes, 2 teams, and 1 supporter received honors for their accomplishments at the Hammonton High School Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held at local venue Kathedral on Sunday February 18th, 2018.  

The event, sponsored by the All Sports Booster Club Officers and the HHS Athletic Department, featured a dinner buffet. During this time families were able to converse with each other and enjoy their time together before the ceremony officially began. Our reporters used this time to converse with a few of the inductees.

Anthony Sbarra, one of the inductees from the Class of 1957, reflected on how it feels to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a supporter.

“It is a very great honor to be inducted. I don’t do the stuff I do to get recognized however. I do it because that’s the type of person I am,” he said. “I want these kids to continue down the right path. My daughter, Barbara Sbarra-West was inducted in the year 1996, and I was very proud, but never thought I would be inducted myself.”

The ceremony honored Class of ‘88 graduate Ross Restuccio for his accomplishments in baseball, but for him, athletics was more about building relationships.

“I enjoyed playing sports with my friends in high school, especially the ones I still stay in touch with until this day,” he said. “Other schools were very competitive which made certain teams stick out. For three years in a row we were in the championship game, might’ve won at least one of them. Our records those years were one of the best in Hammonton history, with around 23 or 24 wins each year.”

Inductee Rob Nowlan received the honor of being the first inducted for his achievements on the soccer field. For him, the most memorable game is still vivid in his mind.

“I remember the last time we played St. Joe’s. My younger brother had scored a hat-trick, and he never lets me live it down. However, seeing him score against a big rival like that in front of a big crowd was very special,” he said.

Nowlan participated in other sports as well, noting the importance of his coaches in shaping who he became.

“I also wrestled as well for a few years, and my experience between those two sports helped me when I played sports at Lehigh then Dickinson,” he said. “I am a better character because of Hammonton Athletics. The coaches, trainer and Athletic Director helped me develop into a better person.”

Parks spoke about Ronald Dorsey Jr.’s successess on the baseball and football fields. His name often rang out repeatedly over the intercom at football games.

“I was a pretty good football player, but we had 11 players on the team that were all good, but I don’t like to brag about myself much,” he said. “I enjoyed both baseball and football; however, I enjoyed football more, and was a better baseball player. Playing these sports helped me learn to build friendships with others.  Coach Pete helped me become a better person, and that helped me become a better father to my one son and two daughters.”

Meredith Howell-Turner (‘05) was honored to have been nominated, alongside Jessica Weber-Ruhle (‘99), by Marsha LoSasso  Howell-Turner noted that while she fondly remembers competing at the Penn Relays, the mental skills learned through athletics have been the most important.

“I think the physical skill stuff doesn’t matter anymore, but the mindset I developed over the years as an athlete is what I use everyday in my work without fail,” she said.

Kellie Adamucci (President), David Capelli (Vice President), Kelly Earling (Secretary) and Jennifer Peeke (Treasurer), partnered with Hammonton High School Athletic Director Marni Parks for the ceremony.

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Hall of Fame honors new inductees at ceremony