Hall of Fame Member Bios 1996
View: Alphabetical List
- Members by Induction Class
Gene Bradford was named All-South Jersey guard on the unbeaten Colls
football team of 1931. It was his third year as a regular on the
Irvine-coached juggernauts of that era.
He was a three-year regular in basketball and starred on the powerful
Panther track and field squads. He finished second as a discus thrower
in the state meet in 1932. To show his versatility, he played the
lead role in the senior play.
After graduation he starred in football at Ursinus, a small college
power at the time. During World War II, he achieved the rank of
Lt. Commander in the Navy and saw action in the African landings.
He became a school administrator in North Jersey and for many years
earned distinction in the Master’s program for track and field
veterans. Bradford recalls delivering the first kickoff in the new
Collingswood concrete stadium.
A graduate of the class of 1932, Spec Harle was one of the top baseball
and basketball players of the day. Given name Herman, he was tabbed
“Spec” by Skeets Irvine, who could not recall his promising
sophomore’s first name when interviewed by a sports reporter.
Standing a shade over 6 feet, he was considered a big man for his
day. He was the regular basketball center for two years where he
was recognized as a strong rebounder and excellent passer. In later
years he was a top performer for RCA Victor, Westmont, and other
court teams which played in the day when Semi-Pro was an important
part of life.
In baseball he was a gifted pitcher who also swung the bat well.
Both at Collingswood and in the independent baseball world that
followed, he was rated among the best of his day.
Joe Brosic was one of a very few who lettered as a freshman in football
during the reign of Skeets Irvine. As a sophomore, he was named
All-South Jersey halfback and during each of his last two years
was chosen All-Group 4. A powerful runner, he rolled over defensive
linemen and linebackers as he consistently ground out yardage on
reverses from his wingback position.
He was also blessed with a powerful arm, which Skeets utilized in
long-passing situations. He was a top place-kicker, winning a number
of games with key field goals. On frequent occasions his kickoffs
would reach the enemy’s end zone.
Brosic also earned four baseball letters, playing sometimes at shortstop
and other times in the outfield. He appeared headed for stardom
at Temple after graduation in 1941 but World War II ended those
athletic dreams. During the great conflict, he flew 78 missions
over Europe and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Both at Pennsylvania’s Forty Fort High School and Springfield
College, Sam Coursen established exceptional wrestling records.
In fact, he was so talented that he earned a position on the 1952
United States Olympic team, which traveled to Helsinki.
For a few years he resisted going into coaching because he was hoping
to wrestle again in the Olympic Games in 1956. For family reasons
though, he reconsidered and took the job at Collingswood. How lucky
can a school be?
Coursen immediately established Collingswood as an area power. Over
a five-year stretch his squads lost but a single dual meet! John
Leek and Jimmy Robertson won state titles under his tutelage.
Sam was more than a superb teacher of skills and tactics. He has
the gift that great leaders have had throughout history –
the ability to inspire those under them to perform at their best.
The loyalty of those who came through his program is deep and grows
deeper with the passing years.
CHARLOTTE CRAIG BART
There was little wonder that Charlotte Craig was named the outstanding
athlete of the class of 1942. During her brilliant career at CHS
she won four letters in swimming and three apiece in field hockey,
basketball and tennis.
She was more than a letter winner. In fact, she excelled in every
athletic activity and was considered South Jersey’s premier
swimmer. Charlotte is very proud of being named the finest female
athlete in the school, but feels that the most important aspect
of her scholastic life was having Ruth Woolston as her coach. In
her words, “Ruth Woolston was a marvelous coach, but even
more importantly, she was a true friend.”
FLORENCE BELL MITCHELL
Florence was not a varsity athlete in high school, but met the approval
of many as the high-strutting majorette of the Drum and Bugle Corps.
Among those guilty of ogling the lovely lass was a great athlete
named Bill Mitchell, a charter member of the Collingswood Hall of
Tonight, Mrs. Floss Mitchell joins her husband, Bill, in the Colls
Hall of Fame. She enters as a contributor and no writer has the
vocabulary to aptly list how enormous her contributions have been.
Selfless, tireless and unbelievably organized, she is the foundation
stone upon which the Collingswood Hall of Fame is built.
Next to meeting Bill, Floss most remembers the many friends she
made in the class of 1944. She is proud that a large group of the
nice girls she first met in high school still meet regularly.
OLLY ONOFRI OSLER
Olly Onofri earned seven letters while in high school and was selected
the top female athlete in the graduating class of 1949. She starred
for three years on powerful field hockey teams and was named captain
in her senior year.
Her top memory of high school days was playing as a regular as a
sophomore on the South Jersey championship hockey team of 1946.
Olly also played a year of varsity basketball and three years of
softball. She was admired not just for her outstanding ability,
but for her leadership qualities and competitive drive. In later
years, she starred in field hockey in South Jersey and the Suburban
Philadelphia area, in which the top players in the east played regularly.
Jack Kelly earned six letters in football, basketball and track
in 1956 and ’57. In his senior year of 1957, his classmates
voted him “Most Athletic Male”.
Kelly lettered as an end in football and received All-Group 4 and
All-South Jersey honorable mention. After playing varsity baseball
as a sophomore, Kelly switched to track and lettered for two years
in that sport.
His best sport was basketball, where he was the leading rebounder
and a double-figure scorer on the 1956-57 team that won 13 games
in a row. Kelly was All-South Jersey and All-Group 4 second team
and an All-Suburban first team choice as a senior.
A two year starter both ways as a football lineman, Charles Gerulus
was a standout on the undefeated 1966 championship squad. In his
senior year he was selected to the first team All-Colonial Conference
and All-Group teams and was a second team All-South Jersey honoree.
Gerelus was also a key wrestler on two championship squads and lost
only one dual-meet match in varsity competition. He was a district
champ and placed third in the regionals.
He also participated in track. A class president, Gerelus was named
the Bulletin’s “Male Scholar-Athlete” in his senior
JUDY STEELE OWENS
Judy Steele Owens is best remembered as a star on the undefeated
1963 field hockey team coached by Bea Markwick. She earned a total
of nine varsity letters at CHS, three each in hockey, basketball
Judy also captained the basketball team and played number one on
the tennis team for all three of her high school years. She was
named MVP of the tennis team as well.
She graduated from West Chester State University and was a member
of the U.S. Field Hockey team that played in Zambia.
Bill McLaughlin received the “Outstanding Male Athlete”
award for the class of 1973. He was a three-year starter and letterman
in football and a two-year starter on the varsity basketball team.
In football, he was the leading runner, receiver and scorer on his
senor team that won the Colonial Conference championship. He was
both second team All-Colonial Conference and All-Group 3 as a senior.
McLaughlin was captain and MVP of the basketball team in both his
junior and senior years. He was a second team All-Colonial and All-Group
3 choice in basketball and also received honorable mention on the
All-South Jersey team.
CINDY RUDDEROW DiORIO
Cindy Rudderow was a three–year varsity starter in both field
hockey and lacrosse at Colls High. In hockey, she was a key member
of three straight Colonial Conference championship tennis teams
and her senior team won the Courier-Post Cup. Cindy earned both
first team and second team All-Conference honors in hockey.
Lacrosse brought more honors for Cindy. She was selected to the
Delaware Valley League second team as a junior. Her senior team
won the state championship for Collingswood High and Cindy was the
MVP of that team. She was also named to the All-Delaware Valley
League first team.
Suzanne Friedrich earned ten varsity letters in gymnastics, basketball
and lacrosse. She received four letters in gymnastics and captained
the team in her junior and senior years. She received first team
All-South Jersey gymnastics honors in vaulting and was team MVP.
Suzanne earned three letters in basketball and was captain of the
team in her senior year. In lacrosse, she was co-captain of the
team in her senior year. In lacrosse, she was co-captain of a Collingswood
team that won the state championship in her senior year. She was
first team All-South Jersey as a junior and won second team All-South
Jersey honors as a senior.
Suzanne was the co-female recipient of the Howard T. Irvine Award
as a senior. After playing four years of lacrosse on outstanding
Penn State teams, she returned to teach and coach at Collingswood
High from 1986-89.
SALUTING THE 1942 FOOTBALL TEAM
The 1942 Collingswood football team played its schedule with the
backdrop of World War II. Less than a year before, the Japanese
had attacked Pearl Harbor and for most of the next year, the Japanese
in Asia and the Germans in Europe, were riding high. There were
signs of a comeback. The Navy had won a great victory at Midway
Island in June. In August, just a few weeks before practice was
to begin, the Marines had landed on Guadalcanal and were fighting
for their existence. Before the season was over, American forces
had landed in strength in North Africa.
In football parlance, the Axis scoring drive had been slowed, but
the enemy still was piling up the first downs. It was obvious that
many hard battles were ahead and most of the seniors realized that
they would be deeply involved. And it was a senior team that took
the field against Palmyra in the opener. In fact, only two underclassmen,
running back Jack Bozarth and lineman Hank Rossell, would earn letters.
There were a dozen letter winners back from the 1941 unit, but the
majority had seen only part-time service. Still, there was great
confidence. The first scrimmage indicated the strangeness of the
times. An anti-aircraft battery had set up its presence behind the
football stadium, and Skeets Irvine’s squad of 1942 inaugurated
its pre-season by playing a team of soldiers.
The group had backed up its confidence, rolling through the regular
season unbeaten and untied. Defeat finally came on a bitter December
day when North Jersey champion, Bloomfield, downed the Colls 12-0,
in an unofficial state championship contest.
It was a squad blessed with all the components of a champion. On
an individual basis quarterback George Pims, end Bill Mitchell,
guard Irvin Koszewski, and center Al Usilton were named All-South
Jersey. Guard Fred Boehm, tackle Hank Deighan and fullback Don MacGregor
made All-Group 4.
On offense the squad was productive in both running and passing
the ball. The ground attack featured the hard-running MacGregor
who led the team in scoring. But he was only a part. Pims excelled
in long distance runs and there was plenty of help from Bucky Springer,
Herman Trasmondi, Ed Dager and Bozarth.
The Pims to Mitchell passing attack was unstoppable. When his favorite
receiver was covered, Pims consistently passed to Trasmondi, Springer
and basketball star, Barney Kocher.
The defensive unit blanked four foes and limited the other five
opponents to a single-six pointer. The term special teams was unknown
at the time, but the men of Irvine handled all those activities
admirably. Game stories consistently revealed long kickoff and punt
returns, blocked kicks, and what are now known as sacks. It was
truly one of the great teams of the Irvine era.
It did not all come without a struggle. The long passive Bridgeton
Bulldog had grown canine teeth, but a Pims to Mitchell pass proved
to be the winning score. Camden came next and in those days, Collingswood-Camden
was THE GAME. Camden fought with its usual vigor, but a Pims to
Kocher pass, followed by the extra point by Marty Love, gave the
Panthers a 7-6 victory. It was one of 12 successive points kicked
by Love, a string which set a school record.
Woodbury was the traditional Thanksgiving enemy and Robert Shields
Stadium was jammed with 12,000 excited fans. It already was certain
that the Colls would rule Group 4, and the Thundering Herd, Group
The two fine teams waged an epic battle. High in the press box the
voice of public address announcer, Joe Jones, seemed to be stuck
on the phrase: “Tackled by Hank Deighan!” With the score
tied at 6-6, Pims directed a last minute scoring drive which culminated
with a scoring pass to Trasmondi.
It was a glorious season, but also prelude to a bigger game. By
graduation day all the seniors were in military service. Many would
see combat. Captain Boehm would lose a foot fighting with the Marines
in the cauldron of Okinawa.
Tonight, most of the living members are present to be acknowledged
for their victorious efforts over a half-century ago. It is a well