The Athletic Hall of Fame's "Circle of Pride"



Induction to the Oceanside High School Athletic Hall of Fame's “Circle of Pride” is reserved for those who have achieved the greatest level of success in their athletic careers at OHS and beyond and certain others deemed worthy of this honor. Not only does this group include athletes from OHS, but it includes coaches and selected other distinguished individuals as well. In continuation of this program, the “Circle of Pride” inducts new members periodically.

2003 Charter Inductees:

Jay Fiedler, a former Oceanside High School student, played football, basketball, and ran track. While in high school he was a two time State Champion Pentathlon and was all county in basketball and football. He received the Scholar-Athlete Award from the National Football Foundation and was inducted into the [OHS Athletic] Hall of Fame in 1989. Jay Fiedler attended Dartmouth and graduated in 1994 with a degree in engineering sciences. There he continued to excel in both football and academics. Fiedler has played in the NFL since 1994 for both the Eagles and the Jaguars. For years, he was starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins and was signed to the Jets in 2005 and the Bucanneers in 2006 but was released from both due to an injury. (

Steve Friedman wrestled for Oceanside High School and went on to win the title of All-American Wrestler. He was a student at Cornell University and graduated in 1959. There he won the Eastern Collegiate Wrestling championship and participated in the finals three years in a row. In 1961, he was the AAU national champion and won the gold medal at the Maccabiah games. He received an NCAA Silver Anniversary Award for outstanding athletic and career achievements in 1984 and was then inducted into the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame. His career in investment banking took him very far and he was recently appointed economic advisor to President Bush.

Patty Hanlon was a Nassau County high school gymnastics All Round Champion in her senior year at OHS, 1972, and was named to "Faces in the Crowd" by Sports Illustrated for excellence in gymnastics. In 1976, she was named All-American gymnast at the A.I.A.W. National Collegiate Gymnastics Championships while a member of the Elite Women's Gymnastics Team at Southern Illinois University. Patty made her career teaching physical education in the Rocky Point, LI, schools.


Art Heyman ('59), as a high school All-American, averaging 30 points per game, led the 1959 Sailors basketball team to a Nassau County championship. He attended Duke University and was first team All-American forward and College Player of the year in 1963, the same year he began playing for the New York Knicks and was named Rookie-of- the-Year. Later, he was a three-time ABA All-Star. Heyman's number at Duke has been retired. (

Frank Januszewski, popular OHS physical education teacher during our time, was, at times, coach of our soccer, baseball, and tennis teams starting in 1956, but his passion was basketball for which he led the Sailors to two Nassau County championships and five league titles and was named Nassau County Coach of the year during the 1959 championship year (team led by Art Heyman) and again in 1961. Our "Coach Jan" was the creator of the OHS Athletic Hall of Fame, which was dedicated to our principal, Charles Mosback.

Plaque placed in the OHS Athletic Hall of Fame

Click here for photos of the OHS Athletic Hall of Fame




Jill Januszewski Krol  (daughter of our Coach Jan) was a Rutgers’ graduate and played volleyball and basketball while she attended there. She was the first female athlete in Oceanside to be named to the All-County team in three sports, basketball, softball and volleyball, in 1982 and '83.


Dennis Leonard was born in Brooklyn, New York and was a standout baseball player at Oceanside High School. He attended Iona College in New Rochelle, NY, before being selected in the 1972 summer draft by the Kansas City Royals. He was a 3-time 20-game winner and was named Royals pitcher of the year in 1975, ’77, ’79. He was recently inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.


Ruth Lewis coached every girls’ sport in the 1950s as a volunteer. She was a teacher from 1925 to 1955 at Oceanside High School. 


Charles Mosback was the first football coach in OHS history. From 1933-1940, he taught phys. ed., was Director of Athletics, and he coached and lead the football Sailors to a county championship in 1939 and a .630 winning percentage. After his coaching, he was a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy during WWII, and then he returned to OHS to become principal, which is how we all knew him.


Ernie Vandeweghe played 6 seasons for the New York Knicks from the years of 1949-56.  Ernie received the All American title in 1949 at Colgate University. Vandeweghe, number 11, was one of 4 Colgate athletes to have his number retired.


Art Wright could be defined as the finest soccer coach in Long Island history. Born in Oceanside and a 1944 graduate of OHS, he was a phys. ed. teacher at Oceanside Jr. High School and various elementary schools in the district and soccer coach for 27 years at OHS.  In those years, he won 315 games including 19 league, 11 South Shore, 9 Nassau, and 4 Long Island Championships.  He also won 6 consecutive county titles and led the team to be undefeated in 1959, 1969, and 1973 (see 2014 inductees below). Art Wright was also one of the co-founders of Oceanside Little League Baseball in 1950.


2004 Inductees:

Christine Andrews

Anna Meyer

Angie Plaia

Andy Scerbo

Roy Chernock

John Morley

Stephen Poleshuk

Jim Trenz

Chris Graff



Melissa Pearsall

Bill Pless
The Lucas Family

2005 Inductees:

Paul Fardy was graduated in 1959 from Oceanside High School and lettered in soccer, wrestling and baseball. Fardy was a starter on the 1958 Nassau County Championship Soccer Team, and was co-captain of the county championship team the following year. He made All-County in baseball after his senior year. Fardy experienced much success during his career, both as a player and coach. As a player, he participated in five intercollegiate sports at Cortland State University, and was a starter in soccer and indoor track. As the captain he led the soccer and track teams to NCAA Division I All-American honors for his soccer team. Fardy was invited to the United States Soccer Olympic trials. As a track and field athlete, he held school records in 220, 440, 660 sprints, the mile, and sprint medley teams. In the 1962 New York State championship meet, he finished first in the mile relay and second in the 440 and the javelin. The next year he was named the Cortland State Athlete of the year, and Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Athlete Scholar of the Year. Fardy was an assistant coach at the University of Illinois from 1963 to 1966. He coached at California State University at Fullerton from 1967-1973. His teams qualified for the NCAA playoff in 1969, '70, '71 and '72, and he was named Southern California Intercollegiate Soccer Coach of the Year in 1971. Paul coached the Southwestern United States All-Star Team in the United States Olympic Trials.

Kathy Gallagher (now Cerasi), a graduate of the class of 1988, received the Scholastic Achievement Award for graduating third in her class. In addition, she received the Spanish Award, the Howard Groveman School and Community Service Award, and the Ruth Lewis Trophy for the best female athlete. Gallagher was also the first student in Oceanside to receive the Pride of Oceanside award two times - once for soccer and once for basketball. She ran spring track competing in the 400 meters, the 4x400 meter relay, and the high jump. As a soccer player she was named team captain, most valuable player, All-County and a member of the Exceptional Seniors Team. In her senior year, she led her team to the second round of the Nassau County playoffs. By the time she was graduated, Gallagher led with numerous Sailor records including most career goals and most assists in a season. On the basketball court, Kathy was the team captain for two years, All-League, Exceptional Senior Team Member, and was named the Most Valuable Player for three consecutive seasons. She led the Sailors to the Final Four in her senior year, averaging 16 points and 16 rebounds per game. In 1988, Kathy was picked as the best female basketball player in OHS history. Kathy started her teaching career in Oceanside School No. 2, and currently teaches Spanish at South Side High School. While there, she was the assistant varsity soccer coach, and her team won the New York State Championship.

Ken Hendler was graduated from Lafayette High School in Brooklyn in 1958 where he was the 220-yard track champion. In New York City championships that year, Hendler placed second in winter and spring track. Hendler was awarded a track scholarship to New York University. At the Penn Relays, he was the Spring Medley Champion. In 1964, his 20.9 second run in the 200 meter qualified him for the Olympic trials. Hendler represented the US in Puerto Rico, coming in first place in the 400 meter and second place in the 100 meter. In 1965, Hendler represented the US at the Maccabian Games, again taking the gold in the 400 meter. In 1963, Hendler arrived at Oceanside High School to coach track and cross country. During his tenure as track coach, his record was an impressive 349-34. He has coached four All-Americans, nine New York State Champions, seven Nassau County team champions, 22 Division Champions, and 9 Conference Championships. As the cross country coach, Hendler compiled a 215-22 record. He has won the county title twice and 14 division championships. In winter track, Coach Hendler won 8 county titles and 17 conference championships.

Roy Kessenich (passed away in December 1985 at age 53 and inducted post mortem) coached four different sports over 64 seasons during his career in Oceanside, which ended upon his untimely death. Kessenich began his coaching career as the JV wrestling coach under Jack Hay in 1959. He remained in that position for twenty years, helping Oceanside become one of the more respected wrestling programs in Nassau County. In 1961, he was responsible for introducing Oceanside to lacrosse. Though the fledgling program consistently struggled, "Kess" was an innovator and found ways to make the kids stronger and tougher. Kessenich had established a program that would attract many kids to play, eventually leading the community to become one of the county's powerhouses in the sport. Starting in the spring of 1969, Kessenich became the JV baseball coach and over 15 years helped Oceanside become one of the most powerful programs in the county. For 14 of 15 seasons, Oceanside had winning records, including a 21-2 showing in 1978. However, as his players would tell you, it was not about winning but about focus, discipline and fun. In 1964, Kessenich took control of the football program and guided the team for 22 seasons. His organizational skills and focus on toughness and discipline made Oceanside one of the most respected programs in the county. His career hit a milestone for Oceanside when the Sailors captured the county football championship in 1977.

Nicholas ("Nicky") Polanco was graduated from Oceanside High School in 1997 as one of the most accomplished and decorated athletes in the school's illustrious history. Polanco received national recognition in lacrosse helping to lead Oceanside to its first county championship in 1996 and along the way was named an Honorable Mention All-American in his junior year and First Team All-American in his senior year of lacrosse at OHS. In football, Nick was named to Newsday's All Long Island Team and was also honored as an All-Conference basketball section. At Nassau Community College, Polanco not only led his college to National Championships in 1998 and 1999, but in both years he was named to the First Team Junior College All American Team. In both of these championship years at Nassau, Polanco was selected as the Junior College Player of the Year. At Hofstra, Polanco continued his dominance on the defensive end of the field, being named Honorable Mention All-American in 2000 and First Team All-American in his 2001. He represented his country in the World Games as a member of the United States National Team in 2002 and will do so again 2006. Polanco was the first player drafted by Philadelphia Barrage of the Major Lacrosse League in 2001, and in 2004, he helped lead the Barrage to their first Major League Lacrosse Championship. In this campaign, Polanco was named as the outstanding defenseman in professional lacrosse. He currently plays for the MLL's Long Island Lizards.

Lisa Shafran, a 1991 graduate of Oceanside High School, made the varsity tennis team as a seventh grader, giving her a very impressive six varsity seasons. Lisa went undefeated as the top singles player for five seasons. She led the team as captain from her freshman to senior years. In her sophomore year (1988-89), Shafran was the county singles champion. As a senior, she was the New York High School Tennis Champion and was awarded the prestigious honor of being a National High School Tennis All American (1990-91). She was also given the Nathan and Muriel Glanz Tennis and Scholarship award. Shafran also participated on the OHS softball and basketball teams. She continued her athletic achievements at George Washington University, where she was awarded a full athletic scholarship. Once again Shafran was the number one singles and doubles player for four years, captain of GW Women's tennis team for four years and was the most valuable player for those years. In the 1991-92 season, she was awarded the Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Year. Her team won back-to-back first place Atlantic 10 team championships in 1991-92 and 1992-93 and twice took second place in the Atlantic 10.

Richard Speckmann was graduated from Oceanside High School in 1963, lettering in football, basketball and lacrosse. Speckmann's leadership qualities were forged at Oceanside High School where he was elected team captain in all three sports in his senior year. Speckmann went on to letter in football and lacrosse at Cortland State in an era that produced many of the nation's legendary lacrosse coaches. Cortland State, based on the legacy of the graduates from Speckmann's era, became known as the "Cradle of American Lacrosse Coaches." The accomplishments of these men went on to change the face of college lacrosse.

2009 Inductees:

Deanna Herman, All-Big East Volleyball

Robert Baumann
, Lifetime Achievement (passed away
January 20, 2006, at age 83 and inducted post mortem). Known as "Uncle Bob", he was among the first to provide wonderful summer activities to thousands of children for more than a 35 year time period at two Camp Baumann locations in Oceanside, NY, and Merrick, NY. Bob's intuitive relationship and charisma as a camp director never failed to instill a love of going to camp among the children who were fortunate enough to attend Camp Baumann. The Baumanns also owned and operated Camp Baumann Buses, Inc. and Nassau Coach, two bus companies that provided transportation to school for many Long Island, NY, school districts. Bob helped to establish national safety standards for school bus operators throughout the United States. His contributions to safety standards for school bus operators and their implementation continue to help keep children safe today. Bob played many years of football for the Long Island, NY, Anthonians. In 1944, Bob enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. As a running back, Bob was commandeered to play football for the Marine Corps under the direction of the team coach, the famed Clipper Smith. All of the Marine Corps team players were Collegiate All American. A highlight of Bob's playing career came in a game against a Navy Pre-flight team at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Marines were ahead at half time 14-0, Bob having scored two touchdowns. However, the great Otto Graham played that day and passed his way to fame and stardom. After Marine Corps service, Bob continued to play football and enjoyed playing a short time with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bob was always active in his Oceanside community. He served as Chief of the fire and rescue company, and was President of the Oceanside Kiwanis Club. He was Master of the Oceanside Masonic Lodge and a member of the Scottish Rite and Kismet Temple. Bob also helped to develop Long Island, NY, Little League Baseball through his association with the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers. And as many remember, through his association with sports professionals, he was able to bring in Joe DiMaggio, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider and Carl Erskine to teach at his camp. Bob also enjoyed playing golf and was a long time member of the Glens Falls, NY, Country Club, having joined it in 1955. Under the tutelage of noted harness racing driver Stanley Dancer, Bob became a professional harness horse driver. He enjoyed racing at many tracks around the United States. This sport interest led him to be a founder of the National Harness Racing Association, created with the help of attorney F. Lee Bailey.

Joe Bavaro
, NCAAHall of Fame‚ Wrestling

Pete Hendrickson
, Lifetime Achievement

Brian Piccola
, All-American, Lacrosse 



John Frascatore
, St. Louis Cardinals

Kevin Sheehan
NCAA Champion Coach, Lacrosse

John Costello, St. Louis Cardinals

2000 OHS baseball team
State Champions

2011 Inductees (click here for video of the October 27, 2011 induction ceremony):

Chrissy Bennett was a versatile athlete starring in volleyball and softball during high school. A four-year starter in volleyball, she was voted All-Conference, All-County and, in her senior year, All-State. Her high school career was superior to all who have played softball in Oceanside. She played four years on the varsity squad and was a dazzling, speedball pitcher. Her talent and effort led her to be her team’s Most Valuable Player three times. She was selected by the Nassau County coaches to be a three-time All-County pitcher and holds the unbelievable distinction of being selected All-State three times. Her excellence as a player and leadership as a team captain helped the Sailors softball team capture two county championships.

Donald Castronovo’s success in track and field led to his becoming a two-time All-American during high school, a rare accomplishment in Oceanside’s history. In 1964, Don competed in The Golden West Invitational. This track meet brings the greatest high school stars from all over the country. Don sprinted his way to a second place finish in the 180-yard low hurdles and a third place finish in the 100-yard dash. Don is one of the few Oceanside High School athletes to be nationally recognized. His feat of setting the national high school record for the 180-yard low hurdles in 1964 is one of the sole, greatest achievements our athletic program has ever had. His record still stands today.

Elizabeth ("Betty") L. Dunwoody began her distinguished career in the Oceanside School District in 1955 as the secretary to the principal of School No. 5. During her career of nearly 50 years in Oceanside, she worked in various administrative and secretarial roles for our district at the elementary, junior high and high school levels. In the '70s, Betty found her niche working in the Student Projects’ Office at the high school. Her devotion, guidance, impact and heart touched more than five generations of OHS students. All who knew her recognized that her work was not a job but a way of life. As recognition of her selfless work and devotion to Oceanside’s youth, Betty was awarded the coveted Golden Heart Award by Oceanside Kiwanis Club, its highest honor.

Peter Gibson ed the 1977 Oceanside football team to the Nassau County championship. . In Peter’s words, “Our team was blessed with great talent at all positions on both defense and offense. Thirty-three years later, I am constantly reminded of the lessons I learned from Coach Kessenich. His work ethic and toughness set an example for our team to follow. Coach [Kessenich] felt there was no sacrifice for hard work and that we should never let our own minds limit our potential.”

Lori Graham’s accomplishments in the world of athletics are astonishing, and more amazing is how quickly they were amassed. Her resume is one of excellence. Her academic prowess and modesty make those achievements even more admirable. In high school, Lori played five different varsity sports. In three of those sports, she was the team’s Most Valuable Player. This puts her among the most elite athletes to ever to attend Oceanside High School. She was captain, All-League and Most Valuable Player in soccer, basketball and lacrosse.
John ("Jack") Hay, an admired coach at Oceanside High School and familiar to all of us, was a model of determination and a stickler for doing things correctly. His devotion toward conditioning of athletes was passionate, exuberant and contagious. This passion was integral in his coaching. During his tenure at OHS, he was the varsity wrestling, softball and cross-country coach. He guided the Sailors to many team and individual championships. Hay was the varsity wrestling coach from 1956 through 1972, winning the league championship in 1962. Hay also enjoyed success as a coach in cross-country and softball. As varsity cross-country coach, he won consecutive County Championships in 1962 and 1963. In 1976, he established the first varsity softball program. Five years later he saw the fruits of the seeds he sowed as the girls won the County Championship, beating out 56 other schools.

Monica McKeon Homer was graduated from OHS in 1953 and taught at the junior high school from 1957 to 1960. During high school, she was a phenomenal three-year athlete in field hockey, basketball, volleyball and softball. Monica received the Gold Key for the Highest Points in Nassau County Sports. She served as captain on the winning team in Sportnight for six straight years. Monica was school vice-president, a member of Leader Corps and Honor Society as well as runner-up for May Queen.

Allenby Lyson was a three-time Most Valuable Player in basketball and two-time All-Long Island selection. When he achieved All-Long Island status, he became the first Sailor hoopster to accomplish that feat in thirty years. He led his team to a league championship and a county championship final. He holds the school record for most points in a game at 51. That playoff-game achievement ranked Al second all-time in Nassau County. It still ranks him in the top ten in New York State. “Big Al” never missed a game (67) and finished his career at Oceanside owning that record as well as most points in a season at 600, and highest field goal percentage for a season at 67 percent. His career total for points was 1395. An all-around athlete, Al was part of a conference championship team in cross-country and high-jumped during the track season.

Fred Lyson was one of most recognized and well-regarded basketball figures on Long Island during his time at Oceanside High School. His jumpshot was a picture of grace and beauty. Fans would chant his name after he would score from behind the three point arc or throw down a slam with gusto. The victories were plentiful during his four years on varsity. As a four-year varsity starter, Fred helped lead Oceanside to a league championship and two county finals. He finished his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1580 points. Fred was an unselfish and complete player, rebounding, making steals, blocking shots and dishing out passes on the break. He was a two-time All-Long Island selection and the only player in the school’s history to be selected as Cablevision’s Long Island Player of the Year.

Sal Mignano epitomizes the word “champion.” His successes as an athlete and coach are numerous, and his resume is one of excellence. As a Sailor at Oceanside High School, Sal played on five championship teams. Two of those were Long Island Championships in soccer. Another two were Nassau County Championships in Indoor Track. Finally, as captain of the baseball team, he was an integral part of a Division I League Championship, pitching his finest in the most crucial games.

Samuel Torgan
gave all he had to the Oceanside School District for 36 years. He coached a multitude of sports at both the high school and junior high school levels and was integral in the recreation program. At the junior high, Sam won championships in basketball and track and has the most wins for junior high school football in Oceanside’s history. As a high school assistant coach, Sam was an essential part of the County Championship in football during the 1977 season. Coach Torgan’s work as a passionate fighter and unrelenting supporter for girls’ sports is where he had his legendary impact on Oceanside’s athletic history. During his time as girls’ softball, volleyball and basketball coach, Sam provided the leadership and advocacy that moved those programs forward as they became equal to boys’ sports in stature and importance. He enjoyed many winning seasons, including a division championship in softball and a county championship in volleyball.

Kristine Winchester played lacrosse and basketball for four years at OHS. In lacrosse, she was elected to the All-Conference team in 1998. In basketball, “Winnie” holds the single-season record for three-pointers. She was elected All-Classification in 1997 and was twice the team MVP. Soccer was her love, and the school and her teammates benefited from her efforts, talent and devotion. As goalkeeper, she was a three-time All-County and a three-time, first-team All-State selection. She set the school record for saves at 237 during her senior year. During her time leading the Sailors, she recorded 18 shutouts and led her team to two county semi-finals and two county finals. She was selected as an NSCAA/Umbro All-American nominee. At the end of her senior year, she received the prestigious Ruth Lewis Award as the best female athlete in the school.

2014 Inductees:

Jayme Beamer, College soccer player at Adelphi/George Mason, basketball/soccer player OHS, 16 years soccer coach



Bob Moltisanti, 40-year high school lacrosse coach, 17th in NYS for wins 1996 county champion, 7 time coach of the year



John Randazzo, 1000-point scorer in basketball at OHS and Sacred Heart, pro ball in Europe



The Orzano Family
, for their contributions to our school, athletics and our community



Jim Mormile, All-American at Brown University and professional lacrosse player



Alex Rosen, New York State high jump record holder and All-American in college



Lore Swegler, CW Post Hall of Fame, volleyball, All-County volleyball and basketball at OHS



Ron Atanasio, pro soccer, forward with the Cosmos, All-American and Adelphi University Athletic Hall of Famer



Ira Gibel, 27-year wrestling coach at OHS



Mike Trotta, All-American wrestler in college and 4-time All-County wrestler at OHS, second in NYS 2000



1973 OHS soccer team, undefeated 18-0, scored 99 goals and gave up 4




Much of the information on this page was provided by our friend, author and OHS teacher, Richie Woods, who is also Curator of its Athletic Hall of Fame. Thanks, Richie.

Copyright © 2003-2016 by Howard B. Levy and 1960 Sailors Association Inc. All rights reserved.