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Hall of Fame Member Bios 2005

View: Alphabetical List - Members by Induction Class - Biographies

The 1958 season was the golden anniversary of Collingswood High football and the school unveiled flashy all-gold uniforms and a “5-and-0, Let’s Go, Go, Go” mantra to commemorate the occasion. Led by a talented and deep senior class, the team now immortalized as the “Golden Eleven” rolled through the season undefeated and captured the school’s first Group 4 title since 1949.
The Colls shut out five of their nine opponents, including four in a row during a challenging stretch in mid-season. Highlights of the season were a 40-0 thrashing of Haddonfield in the mud, a 21-0 victory over a strong Atlantic City eleven, and a 38-0 romp over Woodbury on Thanksgiving Day to clinch the undefeated season before a home crowd of 7,000 spectators.
Popular coach Al Drulis was honored as South Jersey “Coach of the Year.” Fullback-linebacker Lew Sweigart was South Jersey “Back of the Year” and both Sweigart and center Dave Crossan were first-team All-State selections. Quarterback Ron Giordano, end John Reier and guard Rich DiDio joined Sweigart and Crossan as first-team All-South Jersey Group 4 choices, while wingback Jerry Mangano and tackle Bruce Smith were second-team choices. Honorable mention went to end Jerry Groom, tackle Wayne Divis, guard Fran Stackenwalt and tailback Bob Young.
There were other senior standouts, including linebacker-running back-receiver and place-kicker John Hannigan, hard-hitting fullback and linebacker Herb Schwartz and defensive back Ken Casperson, among others. But the team was then, and remains today, a very close-knit group that was the focal point for great school spirit in the best tradition of the Skeets Irvine era that preceded it.

When Marion Stockum graduated from Collingswood High in 1916, girls’ sports received little attention. However, she was a dominant player in her era.
The only varsity athletic team was field hockey and Marion served as captain and leading scorer. Although tennis was not a scholastic team sport, she competed with the best.
She once told her daughter, Claire Alden, that if she could not stop a shot on goal with her hockey stick, her long skirt often did the job. Marion certainly passed along her athletic genes to her daughter, for Claire Alden Harden was inducted into the Collingswood Hall of Fame in its third year, 1993.

Joseph Goldstein graduated from Collingswood High School in 1929, having been a top student and the best tennis player to represent the Blue and Gold in the first half of the 20th century. He won numerous scholastic and junior tennis tournaments in that era. He went on to attend and play tennis for Rutgers University during the depth of the depression, graduating in 1933 with a degree in education.
Goldstein returned to Collingswood High, where he spent the next 45 years as a history teacher, head of the history department and coach of the tennis team before the war put a hiatus on the program. During the late 1930s, he played first singles and fellow teacher-coach Chet Olinger played second singles on a Collingswood town tennis team that won the South Jersey league title. He also competed successfully for the Haddon Field Club over the next several decades.
Throughout his years at Collingswood High, Goldstein conducted several youth tennis clinics. When tennis was revived as an interscholastic sport during the mid-1950s, Olinger was the head coach but would often call on the willing Joe Goldstein to mentor and rally with up-and-coming players. Always gracious and encouraging, with flawless ground strokes, he helped many a Colls High player improve his game.

A three-sport athlete, Lew Yerkes was a Colls standout in football, basketball and track. He was selected the top athlete in his senior class of 1939.
Yerkes quarterbacked and captained a gridiron squad which went 8-0-2. He was equally effective as both a runner and passer.
In basketball, Collingswood captured the title in the Camden-Suburban League with Yerkes performing splendidly as a starting guard. In track he was a consistent winner in the broad jump.

A standout in three sports, Ray Beck is most remembered for a long set shot that led Collingswood High to its first South Jersey basketball championship.
Trenton was the perennial court power at the time and the victory over the capital city squad was considered the most prestigious in school history.
Beck started at tackle for successful Colls gridiron teams in 1938 and 1939 and was a three-year starting pitcher in baseball.

Bill Beck ’41 was a regular end on the championship football team of 1940, the top scorer in basketball as a senior, and for three years a dominating fastball pitcher in baseball.
When he graduated, his 22.4 points per game in basketball was the best in school history. Scouts from many major league organizations regularly watched his pitching performances.
After service in World War II, Beck played with distinction for independent baseball and basketball teams.

There were fears that the extremely promising athletic career of Tommy DePaul had ended when, just before high school, he was smitten with polio—a frequent occurrence in the pre-Dr. Salk days. But he recovered sufficiently to excel in sports at Collingswood High.
Blessed with a strong and accurate arm, DePaul, as the quarterback, directed the Panthers to many touchdowns. In baseball, he was extremely versatile, starring as a pitcher, catcher and infielder. One of his fondest memories was going the distance in a 15-inning 3-2 victory over Vineland. He also lettered in basketball.
A great admirer of the fabled Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio, he cheerfully answered to the nickname of Tommy “Clipper Joe” DePaul.

A 1952 Panther graduate, Ford earned nine letters during his high school days. Football is the sport for which he is best remembered.
The word most used to describe him was “tough.” Both as a ball-carrier and linebacker, he weekly delivered hits that brought gasps from the crowd. He loved to run inside the tackles, consistently gaining extra yards.
Ford went on to Bucknell, where he enjoyed an exceptional collegiate career.

Jennie Campano recently retired after a long and distinguished career as a coach and health and physical education teacher at neighboring Haddon Township High School. However, she is still very much active as a highly-respected varsity official in field hockey, basketball and softball.
Jennie, a member of the class of 1956, played four sports at Collingswood High: hockey, basketball, swimming, and softball. She had the privilege of playing for the late Bea Markwick, her future friend and coaching rival, and earned a total of eight varsity letters in those sports.
The Oaklyn product captained both the basketball and softball teams and excelled in all phases of sports. She was chosen “Most Athletic” girl in her class.

Bonnie Chadwick Graham, like classmate Carmen DeCinque, competed for Collingswood High during the years 1962-65. She was a three-year varsity letter winner in field hockey and also lettered in basketball and tennis.
Bonnie was a midfielder and key player on the hockey team of 1963 which won the league championship, a powerhouse squad which also featured previous inductees Judy Steele, Joni Williams, Maggie Faulkner and Bonnie Bax, among other stalwarts. She co-captained the team the following year as a senior.
She was a guard under the old six-player format of girls’ basketball and was a solid singles player on the tennis team.

Carmen DeCinque was a standout football player and wrestler during the years 1962-65, which heralded the start of the Dick Ridinger era in football and some outstanding wrestling squads piloted by Sam Coursen.
He was a scrappy lineman in the interior trenches during three winning football seasons under Dick Ridinger. However, he received most of his individual recognition as a heavyweight wrestler for Coursen, including a league co-championship season in 1962-63.
DeCinque was a holiday tournament individual champion. He was a District Tournament runner-up in his sophomore year, then won the District championship in both his junior and senior years. He also placed second in the Regionals both years, having the misfortune to meet up with the eventual state champion at that level. DeCinque received the MVP wrestling award for his efforts.

Joan Pisano was president of the class of 1972 for her freshman year and all three years of high school and was also an outstanding leader and performer during one of the strongest eras of girls’ athletics at Collingswood High. She earned a total of eight letters in hockey, basketball and lacrosse.
In Joan’s senior year, she was the MVP of a Colonial Conference champion field hockey team. But she earned the most honors in basketball. Joan started playing the sport as a freshman under the old format of six players (two forwards, two guards, and two “rovers”), then flourished when the rules were changed to today’s five-player all-court format.
Joan was captain of the 1971-72 basketball teams that came within one point of winning the state championship (which would have been the school’s first state title in basketball). She was also a first-team All-Colonial Conference selection and shared the MVP award with all of her teammates.

Alex Dimitrew is probably Collingswood’s best weight-thrower ever. In fact he still holds the school record in the shot-put (56’), an event in which he was twice a Camden County large-school champion and a South Jersey Group 3 champion. He placed second in the state as well.
Alex was a three-year letterman in outdoor track, earning All-South Jersey honors. He wrestled as a sophomore, but switched to indoor track and won two more letters in that sport.
Dimitrew was also a three-year starter in football. He was a solid two-way interior lineman on Sam Young’s 1971, ’72 and ’73 teams. The 1972 squad earned a share of the Colonial Conference crown.

Carla Juliani Falco earned nine letters in three sports—hockey, basketball and lacrosse—from 1981-’84. Her senior year was Bea Markwick’s last season, in which the Colls hockey team went undefeated in the regular campaign and went all the way to the state championship game before bowing. Carla was an All-South Jersey selection in hockey that year.
Carla was a second-team All-Colonial Conference choice in basketball and also received All-South Jersey honors in lacrosse in her senior year. Also in 1984, she received the prestigious Colonial Conference Scholar-Athlete Award and was the first recipient of the Beatrice Markwick Memorial Scholarship Award.
Carla went on to play both hockey and lacrosse with distinction at Lehigh University and was named to the Lehigh Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.

Mark Leise, whose father Conrad “Corky” and brother Jon preceded him into the Hall of Fame, was one of Collingswood’s standout baseball and football players of the early 1980s. He also lettered in basketball, but the diamond and gridiron sports were his forte.
In baseball, Leise was a left-handed power hitter and pitcher who twice earned All-Colonial Conference first team honors, twice was named All-South Jersey Group 3 and was also an All-South Jersey choice as a first-baseman. He led the Panthers to Colonial Conference titles in both his junior and senior years, as the Colls posted a 33-3 conference record those two seasons.
Leise was also a versatile and hard-hitting football player. He played wingback on offense and safety on defense in his sophomore (when the Colls won the Colonial championship) and junior years and switched to quarterback in his senior year. He passed and ran for several touchdowns during his gridiron career.


This year’s Meritorious Service Award goes to a truly unsung member of the Hall of Fame Board of Directors and Executive Committee – its secretary, Gert Hanson, class of 1947. Over the years, Gert and previous inductee Floss Mitchell have been the glue that has held the Hall of Fame program together – keeping records and processing volumes of correspondence and forms on a year-round basis.
The widow of Collingwood Police Lt. Donald Hanson, Gert attended business school and raised two children, Tom and Eileen (Kirk), before working 27 years as secretary in the Colls Junior High/Middle School. She was the secretary to Principal Ed Kurkian when Kurkian founded the Hall of Fame along with Sam Coursen, John Bach, and Jack Don. For many years, until both retired, Gert was an invaluable assistant to Kurkian with both school and Hall of Fame business.
Gert is proud to have been involved in the Hall of Fame since its beginning and to have helped that dream become a successful reality. Never an athlete herself, she has done much to promote both athletics and academics. She also has personal ties, since son Tom is a teacher and coach and granddaughter Lindsay is a teacher and coach at Collingswood High School.


In his Colls High days, Dave McMahon ’53 earned three letters in baseball, two in football and one in wrestling. He served as captain in baseball and wrestling and was chosen to receive the school’s Outstanding Senior Athlete Award.
Wrestling, under coach Dave Edinger, was added to the athletic program his senior year. Dave would go on to begin wrestling programs at several schools and establish himself as one of the top mat coaches in Eastern Pennsylvania and North Jersey.
He is being inducted into the Hall of Fame for his prowess as both athlete and long-time successful coach.


Community service is exemplified by J. Drew Coyle, a 1948 C.H.S. graduate who has devoted his adult lifetime to serving the people of Woodlynne. He devoted ten years as business administrator and member of the Woodlynne Board of Education, another ten years as school board president, and followed that with 12 years as mayor of Woodlynne—the longest tenure of any borough mayor.
In 1998, he was honored by Wal-Mart as the “Outstanding Elected Official in the State of New Jersey” and in 2001 was inducted into the Mayors Hall of Fame. He also had the distinction of being the first independent to be elected president of the New Jersey Mayors Association in 2001.
A former staff sergeant in the U.S. Marines, Coyle has also served his community as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and member of the fire company and special police. He is still employed as property manager for a major Philadelphia office building and is a committed member of the Ronald McDonald House board of directors, heading up a $4 million expansion program for that charitable program.


At the special invitation of the U.S. Library of Congress, Capt. Robert J. Bloxsom (Ret.) had the high honor to be a featured speaker at the dedication of the long-awaited National World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC, last May.
Capt. Bloxsom grew up on Madison Ave. in Collingswood, attended Garfield School and Collingswood Junior High, and graduated from Collingswood High in the class of 1938. As a youth, he had an early interest in the sea and, with the help of his father, built his first sailboat. He was active in scouting and earned the highest honors of Eagle in the Boy Scouts and Quartermaster in the Sea Scouts.
In 1939, Capt. Bloxsom left home to join the Merchant Marines and received a license as third mate. He made 16 combat crossings across the U boat-infested Atlantic Ocean between the years 1941-45 as a Merchant Marine officer, and during that time served on several merchant ships bringing war supplies to the Allies in England and other European ports. He later published “The Sailor,” his maritime memoirs of his Merchant Marine years.
After the war, Bloxsom became an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. He retired in 1972 after serving several years as captain of the Coast Guard cutter Dallas. He and his wife of 62 years, Jinny, reside in the Northern Neck section of Virginia, where they are active in community, church, and charity events. The couple has three children, nine grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
Capt. Bloxsom is a Mason, a member of the National Audubon Society and an avid woodworker who built custom-designed toys for disadvantaged children at Christmas for many years. He is a worthy recipient of the fourth Collingswood High Lifetime Achievement Award.

Previous Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees

2002 – Bob Scarborough ‘42
2003 – Doris E. Hand ‘35
2004 – William K. Dicky ‘39

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