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‘Overdue’ athletic hall of fame debuts at Northport homecoming

The Northport High School Tigers football team sprint

The Northport High School Tigers football team sprint out in a sea of American flags for its homecoming game on Sept. 20, 2014. Homecoming day was made even more special with the debut of a new athletic hall of fame. Credit: John Friia

The roar of Tigers' pride echoed throughout Northport last Saturday, with residents cheering on their team during its homecoming football game against Walt Whitman.

But this day was as much about honoring the past as celebrating the present.

Before kickoff, the Northport High athletic department recognized the school’s inaugural hall of fame class of 12 individuals, one family and one team. One of the main proponents of the establishing the hall was head girls basketball coach Richard Castellano.

“It was long overdue,” Castellano said of his goal for nearly a decade. Once the hall was established, the selection process began with 30 potential honorees, and a committee was formed to choose the inductees.   

"It is an honor after all these years," said Chris Hodson, a member of the 1980 state champions boys soccer team that was inducted as a group. "We are thankful and impressed of the other inductees of the hall of fame."

Individual inductees included Rob Chipman, William Ketcham, Bobby Wine, Walter Becker, Frank Ahrenhold, Kathy Kearns, Tom Kennedy, Sue Ryan, Craig McEwen, Christine Michalopoulos, Cami Ruck and Dave Sumner.

Northport’s Dunne family was also honored. John and Eileen Dunne have left their mark within the Northport athletic department along with children Greg, Tim, Richard and Kelly. Following in the footsteps of their father, Tim Dunne coached the JV boys basketball team, and Greg Dunne was awarded the prestigious Glenn Robinson National Coach of the Year Award for 2013-14 after leading the NCAA Division III SUNY Brockport Golden Eagles to a nine-win improvement.

Some of the inductees have followed their athletic talents to the pro ranks, including Wine. He played shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos between 1960 and 1972, winning a Gold Glove for the Phillies in 1963. Later, Wine became the manager of the Atlanta Braves.

In order to qualify for hall of fame consideration, an alumnus must be 10 years removed from graduation.  

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