2006 Athletic Hall of Fame
The Inaugural Class.
pictured l. to r. front - Laura Haig Darling, Sally Starr, Bobbie Schultz, Trish Del Femine Gitt,
Peg Konstantinos (for Kiki Konstantinos)
l. to r. back - Vicki Aromondo Bersch, Karen Thorne Alexcih, Tom Tofaute
Jim Murray (for William Neal), Dave Miller
SHAWNEE HIGH SCHOOL: Serving the Communities of Medford, Medford Lakes
Shawnee High School would like to announce the Inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees for 2006. The induction will be held on Friday, September 29th in the media center of Shawnee High School. Reception and Induction at 5pm in the media center. Presentation to the community will take place at the football stadium at 7pm. The Shawnee hall of fame inductees and their biographies follow:
Vicky Aromondo Bersch Class of 1978
Laura Haig Darling Class of 1975
Trish Del Femine Gitt Class of 1978
Karen Thorne Alecxih Class of 1980
David Miller Class of 1974
Sally Starr Class of 1974
William Neal Wrestling Coach
Tom Tofaute Football and Track Coach
Bobbie Schultz Field Hockey Coach
The Late K. Kiki Konstantinos
William “Bill” Neal
William “Bill” Neal was Shawnee’s first wrestling coach beginning in 1970 with the fledgling program, and continuing the winning tradition for nine years with a remarkable record of 90-34-4. Bill did an outstanding job, setting the standard of hard work and dedication to the sport of wrestling in the new high school. Bill attended East Stroudsburg State College and graduated with a B.S degree in Health and Physical Education in 1958. Bill entered the U.S. Army in 1959, and spent 18 months in Germany until 1961. While at East Stroudsburg, he earned varsity letters in football and swimming. He also completed graduate work at Montclair State, Temple University, Scranton Technical, and East Stroudsburg. In 1990, Bill was inducted into the South Jersey Wrestling Hall of Fame, and had the honor of coaching Shawnee’s only undefeated wrestling season to date. He earned 4 District titles, 2 League Titles, and coached State Champion Dave Miller. Bill now lives in Santa Maria, CA with his wife Colette. His sons James and Pierce are nearby. Martin is deceased. “I’m sure the successes of the Shawnee athletic programs continue to roll on,” writes Bill. “It was nothing short of fabulous being a member of the Shawnee staff.”
Barbara “Bobbie” Schultz
Bobbie started the Shawnee field hockey program back in 1970 with little or no experience in playing the sport herself. However, in a few short years, her legacy as one of the finest, most insightful coaches in South Jersey sports history would immerge. After 29 years as head coach, she garnered an outstanding 478-65-74 record. Under her tutelage, the Shawnee teams received 19 Division titles, 14 South Jersey Group IV Sectional Championship titles, one Central Jersey title, and 10 State Championship teams. Bobbie was honored by the Burlington County Times in 1977, 1980, and 1989 as Coach of the Year, the Philadelphia Inquirer Coach of the Year in 1988, and the Courier-Post Field Hockey Coach of the Century. She was also inducted into the NJ High School Coaches Hall of Fame, received the Field Hockey Club South Jersey Coach of the Year Award (1993), Field Hockey Club Distinguished Coach in 1994, and the NJAGWS Honor Award. A number of nationally recognized athletes and Olympic contenders first played field hockey for Bobbie. Bobbie graduated from the Al Johnson Regional High School in Clark, NJ and continued on to Glassboro State College (Rowan University), earning her degree in Health and Physical education, as well as her Masters in Educational Administration. Her 29 years as our head field hockey coach put Shawnee on the athletic map nationwide. Now retired and living in Shamong, Bobbie still has her finger on the pulse of local field hockey potentials as owner/operator of Holly Shores Field Hockey Camp. She often stops by to visit old friends at Shawnee and attends many athletic events.
David M. Miller
A 1974 graduate of Shawnee High School, David not only was an outstanding wrestler for four years, but also a linebacker on our football team. Wrestling in the 136-141 pound weight class, he earned the 1973 NJ State Champion at 136 lbs. He was a two time Region Champ, two time District Champ, Outstanding Wrestler 19th Regions and Outstanding Wrestler 1974 Districts, as well as 2nd Team 1974 All-County Linebacker. After attending ESU, Dave continued to mentor young wrestlers as the coach of the 2000 and 2001 Team NJ USA Wrestling National Champs, and as owner and operator of Wrecking Crew Wrestling Academy in Mt. Holly, NJ since 1996. In 1990, Dave was inducted into the South Jersey Wrestling Hall of Fame. Dave currently lives in Southampton, NJ with his wife, Susan, and his children, Amy, David, Lindsey, and Jessica. He is the owner of Meyer Insurance Agency Inc. in Medford. David’s hard work and dedication to his sport helped to establish a solid wrestling program at Shawnee High School.
Gordon R. Galtere
Mr. Gordon Galtere, who remained our first principal for 22 years, left an indelible mark on the tradition of athletic excellence at Shawnee High School. Gordon played basketball and tennis at Belleville High School in North Jersey. He continued to play basketball at Lafayette College while majoring in Government and Political Science until 1957. He then served his country in the U.S. Army Reserve at Fort Dix from 1957 to 1958. He graduated from Temple with a Masters Degree in Secondary School Administration. After a brief coaching and teaching stint at Verona’s Whitehorne Junior School, Gordon traveled south to teach social studies and coach basketball at Lenape High School (1960-64). Lenape’s Ron Davidson and Shawnee’s Ed Fisher were two of his captains. After rising to Assistant Principal at Lenape for 5 years, Gordon was selected to open the new Shawnee High School as principal in 1969 and served until 1991. He was then called on by the District to develop the highly successful Sequoia Transition High School Program from scratch. Gordon ensured that all sports at Shawnee would be on an equal footing. Gordon wanted every student at Shawnee to have the opportunity to participate in and enjoy athletic competition. He and Tom Tofaute were instrumental in forming Athletic Council, a mandatory weekly meeting of all head coaches, to discuss problems and share in Shawnee’s athletic philosophy. Here the “no-cut” policy was developed (unless the facilities made it impossible to adequately and safely handle participants). At the time, it was an ingenious way to bring together students from six sending districts. “We were not interested in hiring ‘name’ coaches,” recalls Gordon. “ We felt there was enough talent with the folks in the district who wanted to coach and from the new, young teachers we were hiring.
Karen Thorne Alecxih
Karen Thorne Alecxih, Class of 1980, was a triple threat at Shawnee High School, earning a total of 11 varsity letters in field hockey, basketball, and softball. In field hockey, Karen was awarded First Team Academic All-American and First Team All-American 1980, Parade Magazine Offensive Player of the Year 1980, South Jersey Offensive Player of the Year 1980, First Team All-State 1979 and 1980, First Team All-South Jersey in 1979 and 1980, and First Team All Burlington County in 1979 and 1980. She was the top goal scorer in South Jersey in 1979 and 1980, and also earned a full field hockey scholarship to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. On the basketball court, Karen earned First Team All-State in 1980, First Team All-South Jersey in 1980, Second Team All South Jersey in 1979, First Team All Burlington County in 1979 and 1980, Top Scorer in Burlington County 1979 and 1980, Top Scorer in South Jersey in 1980, and scored 1300 points for the Lady Renegades. In softball, Karen made First Team All-State in 1980, First Team All South Jersey in 1980, and First Team All Burlington County in 1979 and 1980. Ranked 6th in her class of 534 at Shawnee, Karen was also an Academic All-American. At William and Mary, Karen was three years All-American, four years All-State in Virginia, and played for the United States Field Hockey Team for two years. She still holds the record for most consecutive free throws (37) at William and Mary. She has been a Senior Member Engineering Staff member at Lockheed-Martin for 22 years, and was inducted into the South Jersey Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005. Karen is still mentoring local youth in field hockey and lacrosse. She lives in Medford with her husband, Michael, and four daughters, Korie, twins Karlie and Regan, and Kasie.
The Late K.Kiki Konstantinos
Mr. Konstantinos began his career in our district at Lenape High School as a biology teacher. He later served as a coach, athletic director, assistant principal, and principal before becoming Lenape District Superintendent of Schools in 1963. He also served as the President of the NJSIAA for many years, and was a member of numerous professional and community organizations. Kiki was inducted into the University of West Virginia Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990 and the South Jersey Coaches Hall of Fame in 1981. He was bestowed the honor of Superintendent of the Year (1992), VFW Award for Outstanding Citizen of the Year (1993), and the United Way Community Service Award (1993). Under his leadership, Shawnee High School, Cherokee High School, and Sequoia Alternative High School were added to the burgeoning Lenape District. Thanks to his vision and true love for children, the foundations for success in academics, as well as athletics, were built. We consider it an honor to induct Mr. Konstantinos into our Athletic Hall of Fame posthumously for his outstanding contributions to Shawnee High School both on and off the field.
Laura Haig Darling
Laura Haig Darling graduated in 1975 after earning numerous honors and accolades in field hockey, basketball, and softball. She was awarded at least 9 varsity letters for all three sports in three years. She was name South Jersey Player of the Year (1975) and held field hockey scoring records for many years. In softball, she held the record for bases stolen. During her senior year, Laura captained all three teams. Laura went on to major in Health and Physical Education at Ursinus College, where she earned 10 varsity letters in field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. She received the prestigious Linda McIntyre Award for athletic excellence and dedication to women’s sports. After Ursinus, Laura became a member of the International Field Hockey Association and the PanAmerican Hockey Federation. She was head field hockey and softball coach as Rider University (1980-87), Director of the Garden State games (1987-92), a Field Hockey and Lacrosse Official, Director of Olympic Development(1994-2003), as well as many other coaching and development positions. Today, Laura is Assistant Executive Director of USA Field Hockey Association. When not traveling and running the USA Field Hockey program, she lives in Moorestown with her husband, Jay, and four children, Kelly, Billy, Michael, and John. Laura writes, “Shawnee gave me a great start to a very rewarding career in the world of sports.
I am very thankful and grateful for the coaches, teachers, and administrators who provided me with the foundation and encouragement to a rewarding career in sports.”
Sally Starr, graduated from Shawnee High School in 1974, after earning 12 varsity letters in field hockey, basketball, and softball, and being honored as 1st team All-Conference, Defensive Player of the Year, and All-South Jersey (1974) in field hockey and All-South Jersey in softball. At Ursinus College, Sally earned 12 varsity letters in field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. She guided the Ursinus field hockey team to three consecutive AIAW Division I championship matches and was inducted into the Ursinus Hall of Fame in 1994. She earned her M.S from University of New Hampshire. Following graduation, Sally was selected to the U.S. Field Hockey Team and participated in the 1978 and 1979 National Sports Festivals. Sally coached at Gettysburg and Bucknell, before moving onto Boston University for the past 24 years. She has establishing herself as one of the finest coaches in the nation. Her teams have posted winning records in 18 of the past 21 seasons. They have been ranked among the top programs in the country. She is still an active member of the national field hockey community and coaches at the U.S. Developmental programs and camps. It is truly an honor to have Sally as one of our graduates and Hall of Fame Inductees.
Trish Del Femine Gitt
Trish Del Femine Gitt, a 1978 graduate, was awarded 7 varsity letters in field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse at Shawnee, after earning 2 at her previous high school in Ridgefield, NJ as a freshman. She was honored as Outstanding Female Athlete in 1978, field hockey All State First Team (1977), All South Jersey (1977), All Group IV (1977), Burlington County Times All County 1st Team (1977),
Burlington County Coaches 1st team (1977), and played an integral role on Shawnee’s 1st State Championship field hockey team. In lacrosse, Trish excelled as Co-Player of the Year (1978), All South Jersey Center (1977&78), Burlington County Scholastic League All Star Lacrosse 1st team (1978) and 2nd team (1977), and captained the Shawnee lacrosse team in 1978. Trish went on to attend Ursinus College, graduating in 1982 with a degree in Health and Physical Education, while earning 7 varsity letters in field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. She attended the Weill Cornell Medical College-Physician Assistant Program (1988) and now works as a Physician Assistant in surgery at Chester Crozier Medical Center. She received the Field Hockey Club of South Jersey Distinguished Player Award (1994) and played on the United States Field Hockey Association Developmental Program/Squad (1979, 1982, & 1983). Trish resides in Lumberton, NJ with her husband Mike and children, Brynn and Tim.
Probably no one is more responsible for the success of Shawnee athletics than Tom Tofaute, a former teacher, Head Football Coach, Head Track Coach, Athletic Director, and Vice-Principal at Shawnee High School. Even after retiring 15 years ago, Tom is never far from a Shawnee athletic event. While attending Yorkville High School in Ohio, Tom starred in football, basketball, and baseball earning over eight varsity letters. He then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served our country for two years. After receiving a scholarship to North Carolina State, Tom lettered in football and was selected to several All-Star teams. In 1952, Tom was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals, but chose to play for the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League. Unfortunately, some nagging injuries cut Tom’s pro career short. His coaching career started shortly thereafter at Smithfield High School in Ohio, where he headed the football, basketball, and track programs in 1960. In 1963, he then traveled east to New Jersey to teach physical education and coach football and track at Burlington City High School. In 1969, Tom entered the halls of Shawnee High School to be head football and track coach at our new school. Tom was honored as Football Coach of the Year in 1968 at Burlington City and again in 1971 at Shawnee. Tom resides in Medford Lakes. He and his son, Mike, are still die-hard Shawnee fans.
Vicki Aromando Bersch
Vicki, a graduate of the class of 1978, was an outstanding athlete in field hockey, basketball, and softball, earning 10 varsity letters. She was named 1st Team All-Liberty Division, All-County, All-South Jersey, All-Group IV, and All-State teams in all three sports, as well as a finalist in the Philadelphia Inquirer Female Athlete of the Year(1978). She scored over 50 goals in field hockey, and helped the team capture its first state championship in 1978. In her high school basketball career, Vicki scored over 1300 points and garnered 800 rebounds, becoming the first female to score over 1,000 points in three years. She batted over .450 in her softball career. As a member of the National Honor Society and top 10% of her class, Vicki became the first woman to win an athletic scholarship to Siena College for basketball. Besides majoring in Biology/Pre-Med, Vicki played softball and basketball for four years, earning 8 varsity letters. At Siena, she was named an Athletic All-American and captained the team for four years while scoring 1600 points. She still holds many scoring records at Siena, even before the three-point shot existed. She was the first woman inducted into the Siena Basketball Hall of Fame (1987). She was inducted into the South Jersey Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. Vicki then went on to graduate Cum Laude from Hahnemann University and currently enjoys her career as Physical Therapist/Program Manager for Genesis Rehabilitation Services in Cinnaminson. Vicki lives with her husband, Mike(’78), and sons Michael, Jr. and Kevin in Hainesport. Both sons have promising athletic careers ahead.