By James Bastone
Have you wondered what those pictures are lining the walls of the hallway on your way to gym and why they are there? Well, if so, then you are in the right place.
The Byram Hills athletic department has recently created the Byram Hills Sports Hall of Fame, a museum honoring athletic accomplishments of Byram Hills sports. The Hall of Fame was founded by former Athletic Director, Mike Gulino, and is currently chaired by Matt Allen. Mr. Allen unveiled the hall at this year’s homecoming festivities.
Unfortunately, some feel as though it has gone unnoticed. Sophomore Emma Freund thinks they could have done a better job publicizing its creation. She believes, “They could have put up posters or made announcements because it is a very good source to go to learn about the history of Byram Hills sports” and bets “there are other people in the school that don’t know about it, but would be interested too.” If you yourself happen to be one of those people who are void of information regarding this Hall of Fame, and are wondering where it is located, you can find it in the hallway between the upper and lower gyms.
The Hall of Fame also has a very complex process of selecting members to induct into it. I spoke with gym teacher and baseball coach, Mr. Saunders, who explained, “Inductees are voted on and selected by a committee comprised of current coaches, former coaches, and former athletes. All decades of our school’s history are represented within the committee. Inductees become eligible after a waiting period following graduation.” This process ensures the integrity of the Hall of Fame.
The 2016 inductees were as follows:
- Laura and Karen Hemberger – Gymnastics – Class of 1976
- Ron Knox – Basketball – Class of 1977
- Nick Gagliardi – Lacrosse – Class of 1982
- Dan Cherico – Soccer – Class of 1983
- Paul Watson – Swimming – Class of 1987,
- Greg Rogers – Football / Lacrosse – Class of 1984
- Don Rogers – Football / Basketball / Lacrosse – Class of 1988
- Rob Delaski – Track & Field / Football – Class of 2002
- Francine Ward – Track & Field – Class of 2003
- Team Induction: the Football Team of 1988.
These inductees were honored at the annual Hall of Fame dinner on October 1st, 2016.
The response from the Byram community has been very positive. People are excited about the new museum itself and the amazing athletic history of our school that it represents. Junior Matt Turk agrees and thinks it is great that athletes are being recognized. He says, “I think some athletes’ accomplishments are not really recognized in this school, but I think something like this brings them the recognition they deserve. Also, as their peers find out about their accomplishments, it is gratifying.” This paired with Emma’s quote reveals a growing consensus that the BHHS Sports Hall of Fame is an excellent honor for everyone involved and will be a big hit at Byram Hills.
Lastly, it is important to recognize and give a great big “Thank you” to Mr. Allen for his dedication throughout this process. If it weren’t for him, the Hall of Fame most definitely would not have been possible.