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Hall of Fame Member Bios 2001

View: Alphabetical List - Members by Induction Class - Biographies

The Basketball team of 1940 enjoyed the honor of bringing Collingwood its first sectional basketball title. Group 4 had for years been dominated by Trenton.
And it was Trenton that fell to coach Ben Mark’s Panther team, 33-32, in the Group 4 semi-finals. The decisive basket was scored on a long set shot by Ray Beck, and the team of Blue and Gold thwarted a last-ditched Trenton attack. In the sectional finals, Woodrow Wilson was dominated, 30-11. The team played well in the state semi-finals, but lost to East Orange, the eventual state champions, 35-27.
The powerful unit had already won the Camden Suburban League crown with a perfect record. It was a big team for the era. Inside men Urban Ross and Walt Motson were both over six feet tall. Captain Ken Crane was an outstanding shot and Beck, Walt Mezger and George Talarico were tough and aggressive performers.
A huge crowd gathered to see the bus take off for the Elizabeth Armory, where the Colls played their first intersectional tournament contest.

Coach Ben Marks always had high praise for his 1944 unit. The strong 1943 squad was composed entirely of senior starters, so a complete rebuilding job was needed. The reserves of the previous year responded with an 18-6 record, which included a 14-0 mark as it swept through the Camden Suburban League.
In the Group 4 tourney, the team downed Trenton, still a state power, in the semi-finals. But dreams of going upstate ended with a loss to Camden in the sectional finals.
There were other high points. The team traveled to National Farm School and gave that team its first loss in three years. The Colls were invited to face South Catholic of Philadelphia in a wartime charity contest. A large crowd in the Philadelphia Convention Hall observed a great game, but Coach Ben’s boys lost, 36-34.
Captain Hank Rossell was the key inside man, as he scored consistently and rebounded with authority. The rest of the starting lineup were polished players, none of whom could be left unguarded. Seniors Herb Schwartz, Ralph Helms and Walter Johnson, and junior Sonny Carson joined with Rossell to make the 1944 squad a team in the finest sense of the word.

Mark Ritter likes to say he’s the third-best Collingswood coach in his family. And that would be none too shabby, since his wife Sandy is having tremendous success as current coach of the Panther field hockey powerhouse and his dad, Astor T., is a highly respected Hall of Famer for his efforts as a boys’ basketball, football and track coach in the 1940’s and 50’s.
But Mark himself had quite a coaching run at Collingswood after an outstanding basketball career at neighboring Haddon Township High and the College of William and Mary. As a young Colls High biology teacher, he took over the varsity reins of the Panther basketball team in 1976 and produced top-notch teams during a highly-competitive era in the Colonial Conference. His teams won some 170 games in 14 seasons at the helm, including a conference title, making him the “winningest” boys’ hoops coach in the school’s long history. He also coached freshmen soccer for six years.
Mark bowed out of coaching while still a young man to pursue a career as a school business administrator. He has held business administrator positions in Barrington, Haddon Heights and presently Haddon Township, and is considered one of the best in that field.

Celebrated Colls High football coach Skeets Irvine always considered Rosy Young as one of his greatest players. He was named All-south Jersey in 1926 and 1927. Besides his great talent, he was noted for his inspirational qualities and just plain toughness. He played the second half of the Atlantic City game with a separated shoulder and, after missing one game, returned to complete the season. He also lettered in basketball, baseball and track. All these time-consuming activities did not prevent him from taking part in music, debating and drama. His classmates selected him the most popular boy in the class of 1928.

Ed Malsberger ’35 starred at end on the Collingswood High gridiron squad which achieved an unbeaten, untied regular season before losing to Bloomfield, 14-7 in a post-season unofficial state championship game.
His biggest thrill came in the Bloomfield game, when he caught a pass from Ted Laux to set up the only Panther score. He was a three year baseball infielder for Coach Sam Byham. In his post-high school days, Ed played independent baseballland softball. He not only loved participating, but had a great interest in history and statistics. His record-keeping has proved invaluable to writers and historians.

A superlative three-sport athlete in high school, Hildred Malsberger Rupertus of the class of 1935 will join her brother, Ed, in the 2001 class of the Collingswood High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Hildred earned a total of nine letters in swimming, field hockey and basketball. She served as captain of the swim team as a senior and played on championship teams in all three sports. She has fond memories of her teammates and the many friends she made at Colls High. One of her fond memories is being selected to play in a post-season field hockey all-star game at Abington, PA., in 1934. The game was played in a blinding rainstorm with three inches of mud on the field.

One of the great basketball players of his era, Ed Moffitt served as captain and was considered the top player on the 1934-35 units which went 17-2 under Coach Ben Mark. The only losses were to perennial powers Atlantic City and Trenton. That senior year climaxed three brilliant basketball seasons.
Moffitt also was an excellent end on that powerful 1934 championship football team. During his busy high school years, he lettered in baseball and track before graduating 1935. He married Ethel Woolston of the Collingswood family of noted female athletes. The couple are survived by son Edward and daughter Janet.

When the class of 1942 named its top athlete, Joe Jones was selected the top male, Natalie Wood the best female. She played and starred, on the strong field hockey, basketball, swimming and tennis squads of her era. She was not only admired for her athletic talent, but respected for her role as an ideal teammate. Natalie Wood always had time for people. She married the late James Johnson and the union produced Nancy, Barbara, Theresa and Christine.

Lois Maxwell of the class 1946 was one of the most versatile athletes of her era. She played three years varsity basketball and softball. As a senior, she was basketball captain and co-captain, with Louise Rossell, in softball. Athletics were not her only activities in high school. Lois participated in the glee club, choir, student government and was a drum majorette. Married to Charles Stewart, of the class of 1943, the union produced Brian, Craig and Julie. She passed away in 1974.

Edie Robinson was the most outstanding female athlete in the class of 1952, winning the Athletic Award at graduation. She earned letters in four sports, a total of nine in her three high school years.
Edie was a hockey standout, winning three letters and captaining the team in her senior year. She also won letters as a basketball stalwart, adding two letters in swimming and one in softball to demonstrate her all-around athletic ability. A well-rounded student-athlete, Edie was a member of the National Honor Society and vocalized with the glee club, choir and ensemble.

Joyce McElvarr Ramamurthi, class of 1962, has the distinction of having lettered in five sports during her three-year Colls High career. She lettered for three years each in hockey and basketball, two years in swimming and tennis, and one year in softball. Joyce was an All-Conference performer in hockey in both her junior and senior years and All-Conference in basketball her senior year. She captained the hockey team and was its high scorer. She captained the basketball squad in her senior year and recorded the most steals for a guard in the days when girls’ basketball was a six-player sport. Joyce also received All-South Jersey honors in diving. At the end of her career, Joyce received the 1962 Gold Medal as the most outstanding female athlete.

John Smith produced some outstanding boy’s basketball teams at Colls High in the early mid-1960’s, thanks to such stars as Hall of Famers Stan Pawlak, Gary Williams and new inductee Rick Wright. Rick was a consummate guard, a great passer as well as shooter. He formed a dynamic backcourt with Williams in 1962-63, then average 20 p.p.g. as a senior after Williams had graduated. In his junior year, Wright scored 26 points in a win over Audubon that clinched the Colonial Conference title, .and in his senior year poured in 40 in a victory over Paulsboro. He was twice an All- Conference and All-Suburban selection. A versatile and fine all-around athlete, Rick also earned letters in cross-country, one in track and two in tennis, giving him nine in all. He received one of the school’s top awards given to senior athletes, and went on to play basketball at the University of Delaware (where he also showed his athletic virtuosity by winning the intramural badminton tournament). Rick has taught and coached at Moorestown High for over 25 years, piloting teams in basketball, soccer and tennis.

Burzis Kanga ’76 dominated the South Jersey scholastic tennis scene during his undergraduate days at Collingswood. For three successive years, he was named All-Conference and All-Group and he also gained All-State honors. In each of those years he served as team captain. He was South Jersey individual champion as a sophomore and junior and reached the state finals as a senior. For three straight years he was selected as the Most Valuable Player and is perhaps the only Colls male tennis player to win the Skeets Irvine Athletic Award. He went on to star in collegiate tennis at the University of New Orleans, where his four-year record was 81-9.

Lori Glaser Arthur ’77 was a three-year letterman in lacrosse and had the thrill of playing on state championship teams in 1976 and 1977. As a senior she was captain and leading scorer, earning All-South Jersey first team honors.
Lori also played one year of basketball and enjoyed great success in gymnastics in her junior and senior years, serving as captain as a senior. In 1977 she was selected as the MVP in both lacrosse and gymnastics and received the prestigious Skeets Irvine Award. Lori went on to enjoy great collegiate success in field hockey and lacrosse at Glassboro State.

In high school, Ken was basketball team manager/scorekeeper. Courier sports stringer, sports editor and then editor-in-chief of the “Colls-High News”. The ’59 grad was also a three-year letterman in tennis who joined with classmates Barry Magee, Dennis Dobie and Steve Phelan-Muller to form the nucleus of a team which won the Group 4 championship and lost to only two South Jersey teams in those three years.
Ken also played collegiate tennis, served as sports and news editor of the college daily, and was an AP-UPI stringer for all campus sports. He was assistant sports editor for the Suburban Newspaper Group and editor of the Suburban Weekly, and in more recent years has been editor and publisher of the Retrospect.
Ken has been an active member of the Collingswood Athletic Hall of Fame Committee since the first year and has coordinated the program book for the past seven years. He is being honored with the Hall of Fame award for Meritorious Service.

Although his Christian name is William, he has traveled life’s highway known as Mickey. And Mickey Mc Laughlin’s efforts have made him an almost automatic choice for the Collingswood High School Hall of Fame Award for Community Service.
His greatest contributions are sons Michael, Stephen, Bill Jr., Timmy and Richard, and daughter Mary, all multi-sports stars at Collingswood. As a Hall of Famer he will join his wife, the former Diana Onofri, and his son Bill. Jr. Mickey’s community service activities are almost endless. For a quarter-century he was a Little League coach and manager. For years he shared with Gibby Wilson the operation of the Collingswood Biddy Basketball League. He has been involved in midget football and has worked with youth at St John’s and Holy Savior parishes. For the past 15 years he has been a member of the Collingswood Planning Board.


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