Tracy Young talked about how her coach Lois Hochuli-Lampert was responsible for driving her to track meet after track meet and that she always appreciated her efforts for wanting to be there for her.
High school, college and NFL standout Larry Kubin discussed how in the town of Union nothing was given to you and that you had to work hard to make it, which not only made him a better athlete, but a better human being.
Tony Stewart, considered the best football player ever to wear the maroon and gold, let the crowd in attendance realize how special a place Union is and that “there’s no town like it at all, anywhere.”
The Oehrlein brothers, also both co-valdictorians, with pride expressed how they were able to bring the sport of tennis to the athletic department and also excel in it to where they were considered the best in the state.
Walter Shallcross, Union’s most successful wrestling coach among his many other athletic duties, was there, with family members by his side to let everyone know just what this man meant to UHS.
Bob Mischak the oldest living NFL player, traveled across country to be at the dinner and talk about the individuals her remembered from his time as a Farmer athlete, which meant starring in three sports.
Kelly Kulick, the No. 1 women’s bowler in the world, spoke of all the people who supported her, including the never-ending efforts of her mom.
Laura Bonomo, now a fourth grade teacher at Washington Elementary School in Union and the winner of 96 games as a star softball pitcher back in the 1990s, talked about how she will strive to give her students the same overwhelming support she received as a UHS student-athlete.
“It’s not where you start, but where you finish” was the message former all-state football player and state champion wrestler Michael Ferroni preached. “I did not win a match my first year wrestling,” Ferroni said. “I was also the last kid picked on my baseball team, but I hit 18 home runs and helped our team (the Cardinals) win the town championship.”
Lou Rettino Jr. talked about how much his father, legendary head football coach Lou Sr., cared and how unbelievably successful his state championship teams were. “Even three quarters of his wardrobe was maroon, which is not an easy color to find to wear,” Lou Jr. mused.
And even 600-plus win baseball coach Gordon LeMatty managed to keep his speech to under an hour, letting us know that he needed his parents to sign a document in order for him to get married, of which he and his wife are about to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.
Those were just some of the enlightening messages brought forth by the athletes that helped make Union the town that it is and the high school the place to learn what was needed to move forward. Philosophies such as ‘if you work hard, you can achieve a great deal’ were the themes discussed Monday night.
All of the athletes that were honored inducted into the first Union High School Athletic Hall of Fame class did, indeed, achieve a great deal at UHS and beyond.
The Union High School Athletic Hall of Fame inaugural induction ceremony took place Monday night at Galloping Hill Inn in Union, with a sold out crowd paying tribute to some of the most gifted individuals to compete for the Farmers.
Here, again, is the roll call of the teams, coaches and individuals that were honored:
1974 Baseball, 1984 Football, 1989 Softball – all state champions.
Walter Shallcross, Gordon LeMatty, Lou Rettino – all three guided the wrestling, baseball and football teams to numerous state championships.
Eulace Peachock, Class of 1933
Clinton Moorman, Class of 1937
Bob Mischak, Class of 1950
Richard Oehrlein, Class of 1960
Walter Oehrlein, Class of 1961
Frank Costello, Class of 1963
Elliott Maddox, Class of 1966
Alan Santorini, Class of 1966
Lawrence Kubin, Class of 1977
Tracy Young, Class of 1983
Julie Brzezinski, Class of 1985
Tony Stewart, Class of 1986
Michael Ferroni, Class of 1988
Kelly Kulick, Class of 1995
Laura Bonomo, Class of 1997
Kudos to Union Athletic Director Linda Ionta, Union athletic office secretary Josephine Palumbo and Union trainer Meg Berry for their amazing efforts in making the first Union Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner a smashing success!