Hall of Fame Member Bios 1999
View: Alphabetical List
- Members by Induction Class
John Smith achieved greatness as both a player and coach. As a senior
he was active in football, basketball and baseball. He was especially
proficient on the court, leading his team in scoring and rebounding.
The prestigious honor, Athlete of the Year, was awarded to Smith
at the school graduation.
Smith went on the Rutgers Sough Jersey and played basketball and
baseball. At the time of his graduation in 1955, he virtually owned
the school’s basketball record book.
He returned to his scholastic alma mater, where he served as head
coach in both baseball and basketball. He served as an assistant
in football. During his eight years as head basketball coach he
produced some of the finest teams in Collingswood hoops history.
Among his prized pupils is Gary Williams, now the ultra-successful
coach at the University of Maryland.
OLAS WINTERS, JR
Although born with a disease that prevented him from playing sports,
Olas Winters ranks as one of Collingswood’s true all-stars.
In high school he was manager of the football and baseball squads,
positions he handled capably.
He was much more, though, than proficient in his duties. The athletes
of his day looked upon him as a true inspiration. His devotion to
his job, and his constant support of those who played, made Olas
Winters almost an icon to his contemporaries. After graduation,
Skeets Irvine put him in charge of sideline equipment, a post he
held until 1959. Despite his physical problems he earned a degree
from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. He made this field his
A generation of Collingswood athletes salute Winters and welcome
him into the Colls High Hall of Fame.
In 1930, Hughes served as quarterback in a backfield that also included
Jack Earle and Bill Conover. He was the field leader of a unit which
only lost to Vineland, 7-6.
Football was but one of his athletic activities. Over his three
years in the high school he earned eight letters. He was elected
captain of the track and field squad and also lettered in basketball
and tennis. He ranks as one of Collingswood’s finest all-around
athletes. Hughes also excelled in other areas, serving as president
of the Class of 1931 and lead in the school’s senior plan.
In the spring of 1938 at the South Jersey Championship Track and
Field Meet, Gordon Magee ran the 100-Yard dash in 9.7 seconds and
the 220 in 21.4, marks that would, even today, be considered exceptional.
Magee recalls that day, “Skeets was never one to offer high
praise but on that afternoon he came up to me and said, “Mac,
you are hot today!” There can be little doubt he is the greatest
sprinter in Colls history. He also cleared 22 feet in the broad
jump, a distance that dominated his era.
In his later years he ran for Compton Junior College in California,
a national power at the time. He enjoyed a splendid junior year
at Tennessee before the Army grabbed him. Afterwards his running
days were over.
Crane had the honor of serving as captain for the first Colls High
basketball team to capture the South Jersey Group 4 championship.
That was in 1940, Crane’s third year as a starting guard.
Ken was a fine outside shooter and skilled ball-handler. He was
recognized as one of the area’s finest backcourt men.
He lettered in football his junior year and became starting center
on a squad that went 8-2 on the season. He received honorable mention
on the All-South Jersey Group 3 Team.
After serving in the Marines in the South Pacific, Crane joined
the Collingswood Police Force as a patrolman and rose through the
ranks to become the borough’s chief of police. During his
long reign as chief, he is credited with modernizing the department.
Contemporaries of Hank Deighan always speak first of his extraordinary
competitive drive. George Pims, his teammate on the unbeaten 1942
championship gridiron squad, stated: “ Whenever we were playing
pick-up football or baseball games in the park, the rules were simple
– we played until Hank’s team got ahead!”
Chosen All-Group 4 tackle in 1942, Hank’s superlative two-way
play brought the respect of all. He was a reserve on the title team
of 1940 and saw regular action in 1941.
In baseball he was the regular catcher for three years and had World
War II not intervened, Deighan would most certainly have received
professional playing offers. He later coached successfully at Camden
Catholic. In 1961 he was selected Coach of the Year for producing
a perfect-record unit.
Collingswood’s 1944 football squad jumped off to a fast start
and then slumped to suffer a rare losing season. Joe Hinger was
one of the reserves who decided that their senior year would be
He was chosen team captain and was the inspirational leader of a
squad which finished with a record of 8-1-1 and captured the South
Jersey Group 4 title. His play was so outstanding that he was selected
All-South Jersey center. Teammates recall that his competitive drive
equaled his remarkable ability.
During his days at CHS, Hinger also earned two letters in track
as a discus thrower and also performed with distinction on the school’s
swim team. Teammate Eivind Barth, another force in the football
team’s revival, said simply” “Joe Hinger was a
BETTY WALLSTIN CLIFFORD
An Oaklyn product, Betty Wallstin of the Class of 1951 was a top
all-around athlete for the Panthers. She played three years of hockey,
basketball and softball and even worked in a swim season during
her Colls career. As a result, she is one of a select few Colls
athletes to earn ten varsity letters.
Betty was a main cog in the Colls hockey tem that went undefeated
and won the conference championship in her senior year. Her junior
season team also won the conference title. Betty also captained
the basketball team in her senior year.
It is with great pride that Betty accepts this honor in the same
year that her daughter, Deborah, was inducted into the West Deptford
High School Hall of Fame.
John Reier was an outstanding football and basketball player at
Colls High in the late 1950’s. He was an intense competitor
and recognized team leader in both sports.
Reier was a two-way end and punter for the 1957 and ’58 football
teams, the latter the famous “Golden Eleven.” He was
a first-team All-Group 4 end and received the “Outstanding
Lineman Award” for the Golden Eleven.
A forward on strong Collingswood basketball teams, Reier was a tenacious
rebounder and double-figure scorer for the Panthers. He received
the Al Usilton Award as the outstanding basketball player in 1959
and was an All-Group 4 second teamer in both his junior an senior
Ed Friberg was an outstanding football and baseball player on some
of Collingswood High’s greatest teams in both sports. A halfback,
Friberg ran for over 1,000 yards in both his junior and senior years.
He concluded his gridiron career with 29 touchdowns and over 3,000
His junior team of 1965 won the Colonial Conference with an 8-1
record and his senior contingent (which he co-captained with John
Sohanchek) was 9-0 and won the Courier-Post trophy as the first
number-one ranked team in South Jersey in the Brooks-Irvine poll.
Friberg was voted to the All-South Jersey and All-Group 3 first
In baseball, Friberg was a standout on Collingswood teams that won
the South Jersey Group 3 championships in both his sophomore and
junior years. He batted .444 in his junior year and co-captained
SANDY WOODSIDE BIRCHMEIER
Like fellow inductee Ed Friberg, Sandy Woodside was a member of
the athletically-outstanding Colls Class of ’67. She lettered
for three years each in field hockey and lacrosse, as well as one
year in basketball.
While Friberg’s football team was going undefeated in the
fall of 1966, Woodside’s hockey team duplicated that feat
and she was captain and MVP of that Colonial Conference championship
Woodside was a member of the first lacrosse team established at
Collingswood High and received the Outstanding Player Award in her
Joe Falana was Collingswood High’s first soccer goalie, first
soccer captain and first all-star in that sport. For three straight
years he was named All-Colonial Conference. He was soccer MVP as
a sophomore and junior and was named the school’s Outstanding
Senior Athlete in 1970-71.
While Falana is best known for his soccer achievements, he was also
a three-year regular in baseball and won All-Conference honors in
his senior year. He went on to stand out in both sports at the University
of Scranton and also earned four letters in ice hockey.
Falana has achieved an incredible record coaching soccer at Haddonfield
High. In 24 years at the helm, his teams have won six state championships,
eight South Jersey Group 1 titles and more conference titles (14,
including 12 straight) than any other program in South Jersey. This
past season he went over the 400-win mark as a coach.
1948 FOOTBALL TEAM
Collingswood High School’s last Skeets Irvine-coached team
ranks with the best of the 30-year tenure of the great coach, finishing
a difficult schedule unbeaten and untied.
The final victory, a 20-6 conquest of Woodbury on Thanksgiving Day,
proved to be a date that mixed elation with deep sadness. On the
same afternoon, Irvine died at age 51 in the hospital. Two weeks
previously Collingswood downed Haddonfield, also by a 20-6 score,
as Irvine and his respected friend and foe, the Haddons’ Cy
Marter, exchanged greetings after the game.
It was the last time Skeets Irvine stepped upon a football field.
He was hospitalized and had the next week’s victory over Audubon
phoned in to his hospital bed. Even then, the public was not aware
of how seriously ill he was.
It was the year that the community had dedicated to Skeets. A huge
banquet was held at the Consistory in mid-season to celebrate his
wonderful 30-year run to glory. But, there were rumors. His 1947
unit finished with a record of 3-5-2, a ledger uncharacteristic
for the Colls. Some said he was losing his touch and the celebratory
year was sort of “thanks for the memories” type of gala.
Ted Narleski, the inspirational captain and quarterback of the great
squad, saw it differently. He commented, “We had a very young
team in 1947 and it took us a while to get going. But, we could
feel it coming. On Thanksgiving we ran all over a pretty good Woodbury
team and I know that every player was looking forward to 1948. It
was a group of guys with great desire.”
The fates decreed that the entire year was filled with drama. The
banquet was scheduled the Monday after the Bridgeton game which
proved to be the sternest test of the year. Collingswood prevailed,
6-0, as Larry Schuman plunged over for the only score.
Many of those who wrote the final chapter of the Irvine regime are
with us tonight. It is probably fitting that the men who started
most of the games should be mentioned. Captain Narleski and Gordon
Leslie were superb backs, both of whom earned All-South Jersey recognition
during their scholastic days. Three excellent juniors, Schuman,
Don DeMartin and Ben Addiego completed the backfield.
The ends were Sherwood Joy and Varon Schwalbe. Ed Shankin and Bob
Buchanan held forth at tackle. The guard spots were manned by Bill
Bozarth and Jim Hankins, while Ed Vekony held forth at center.