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Hall of Fame Member Bios 1996

View: Alphabetical List - Members by Induction Class - Biographies

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.

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 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 Fame.
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 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 year.

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 and tennis.
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 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.

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 3.
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 deserved tribute.


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