The Hudson County Sports Hall of Fame Committee has announced that its annual induction dinner will take place on May 13 at 6 p.m. at the Casino in the Park, located in Lincoln Park, Jersey City.
The annual event brings together many of Hudson County’s famous sports figures.
Del Purgantorio coached baseball and basketball at St. Michael’s (UC), where he coached Paul Tagliabue.
Frank Nicoletti, Weehawken. A St. Peter’s Prep basketball star (1960-64) who went on to play at Syracuse University and was the first athlete at the school to ever room with a black athlete, namely Basketball Hall of Famer and current Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, he was also a teammate of current Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. He set scoring records at Syracuse before injuries slowed him during his junior and senior years.
Dennis Taibl, North Bergen. Easily the best athlete to ever come out of North Bergen High School, and a three-sport athlete at North Bergen (football, basketball, baseball), he’s the only North Bergen athlete to earn All-State in all three sports. Taibl is perhaps the greatest baseball player in the school’s history and was a two –time First Team All State player and the school’s all-time leading scorer in basketball before Dan Callandrillo broke his records. Taibl went on to play baseball at Purdue before an injury ended his career. He now lives in Framkton, Colorado and will attend the dinner.
Kevin Bearse, Jersey City. A former Dickinson High School All-State pitcher who had a great career at Old Dominion University, he later pitched in the major leagues with the Cleveland Indians.
Leo Scarpa, Jersey City. Considered to be the best all-around athlete to ever come out of Ferris-High School, he received that honor in 1977. He graduated from Ferris in 1952 and earned All-County and All-State in football and baseball. Scarpa played minor league baseball until injuries halted his career. He also participated in track and basketball at Ferris.
Mel Weldon, Jersey City. He was a great baseball player at Ferris, and in 1968 was the Junior College National Player of the Year out of Mercer County College. Weldon went on to have a fine career at Boston College, serving as the team’s captain his senior year. He averaged 8.8 points and 9.8 points per game from 1973 through 1975.
John Mangiante Sr., Union City. A football, baseball and track star at Emerson High School (1948-51), he went on to play at Wagner College (1958) and was the first running back to ever rush for more than 1,000 yards at Wagner. He held the Hudson County record for the 220-yard dash for many years.
Gerry Castaldo, Bayonne. A standout football and baseball star, he made All-County in football twice (1967-68) and three times in baseball, he eventually signed with the Montreal Expos out of Seton Hall University.
Pegeen Ryan Hansen, Bayonne. He was second on the all-time scoring list at Bayonne High School with 1.864 points (1985-88), and was three time All-County and twice All-State. Heb went on to play at the University of Massachusetts before transferring to St. Peter’s College.
Tom Giorgio, Secaucus. The long-time athletic director and tennis coach at Secaucus High School, he later became the athletic director in the Newark Schools of Technology, helping to start some of the athletic programs there. He is currently working for Daktronics, which makes all the scoreboards in the area.
Perry Del Purgantorio, Union City, Weehawken. He was a great basketball player at Emerson High School (graduating in 1945) and led Emerson to a record of 66-2 record over his last two years in basketball. He then went to Villanova (1946-50) and led Villanova in scoring. He played pro ball for Bridgeport in the ABL and then went to Korea. He coached baseball and basketball at St. Michael’s (UC), where he coached Paul Tagliabue. He then went to Weehawken and coached basketball, baseball, soccer and bowling for 18 years, winning more than 200 games in each sport and winning two state sectionals in basketball.
Other award winners
In addition, the two recipients of the Marty Seglio Memorial Community Service Award will be John DiVincenzo of Kearny, who recently retired after 52 years helping to run the Kearny Little League; and Pat Sempier of North Bergen, who served as a volunteer place kicking and punting coach for several standout athletes who attended various New Jersey high schools and colleges, some of whom became pro ball players.
Additional information or tickets can be obtained by contacting Beth Ruttler at (201)-915-1388.