Monday, August 12, 2013

Date Saviors

I mean not to speed dial through the remaining portion of your summer on you - presuming that unlike the Missus and me you have actually participated in summer to date - but if I have learned on thing from being a Father of the Bride (other than that no one considers SONIC to be a legitimate place for a reception) it is that it is never too early to remind people to "Save the Date". 

On Saturday, October 19, 2013 the Wardlaw-Hartridge School shall enshrine the 2013 class of the school's Athletic Hall-of-Fame.  I am a bit biased in extolling the virtues of this year's class because this year was my first on the Hall-of-Fame Committee and I happen to think - immodestly perhaps - that my four colleagues and I did a fantastic job.   The four members of the Class of '13 span twenty years of the school's history. 

Tom Lankey, Class of '78, is in line to be the next Mayor of Edison Township, New Jersey.  Years before Lankey became a political heavy-hitter and a financial whiz he was a gifted pass-catcher on the football team and the ace of the baseball team's pitching staff.  His baseball accomplishments were enough to attract the attention of the Cincinnati Reds.  The Reds drafted him.  He opted to pursue another direction with his life but knowing that "The Big Red Machine" deemed you worthy of expending a draft pick on you certainly is no small thing. 

The "baby" of the Class of '13's members is Sarah Williamson of the Class of 1998.  Young Ms. Williamson's time on Inman Avenue began and ended long after mine so I never saw her exploits firsthand.  I was amazed to learn from my fellow Committee members that Sarah earned twelve Varsity letters in four years and was the Captain of five different teams, which means that she was selected Captain by her teammates on at least TWO teams prior to her senior year.  At the time she graduated she was the school's all-time leading scorer among female basketball players. 

I am particularly pleased that the Class of '13 shall include Tom Murray, W-H Class of '86, and one of the all-time greatest swimmers W-H has ever produced.  In 1985, Tom earned NISCA All-American Honors in the 100 yard backstroke.  Almost thirty years after he set it, his time of 54.12 seconds remains the school's record in that event.  His accomplishment remains memorialized on campus.  His All-American Certificate is framed and prominently displayed in a trophy case.  If you attend the Hall of Fame Ceremony on October 19, then you can see it far better than the admittedly mediocre picture of it that I took a few years back

Tom Murray's All-American Certificate is prominently displayed in the Gregory A. Boff Memorial Lobby.  This year, thirty-plus years after his class graduated and more than two decades after he was killed in a motor vehicle accident, Greg Boff, Class of '83, shall take his rightful place in the W-H Athletic Hall of Fame.  On the basketball court he was one of the greatest leaders I have ever seen, piloting an underdog but determined crew to the school's first state title in basketball in 1983.  He was also a fine soccer player.  But it was on the golf course that he truly flourished.  I have no idea presently what type of golf team that W-H fields, but back in the day they fielded outstanding squads annually.  Greg Boff was one of the top players on an utterly dominant team. 

It shall be bittersweet in that Greg's plaque will be presented to his two sisters, Dana and Stacy.  If there are two women alive who handle moments such that which shall take place on October 19 with more grace and aplomb than the Sisters Boff, I most assuredly have never met them. 

October 19, 2013.  Save the Date.  Join the celebration at W-H.  Regardless of where you are coming from, it shall be worth the trip. 


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