Kitty Batterson was the founder of the Ridgewood High School girls volleyball program and served as head coach from 1974 to 1986. Coach Batterson always demanded the best in play, attitude and sportsmanship from her players. A leader by example, her methodology was to give the responsibility for success to her teams while taking a very passive role during matches. Her teams were well-prepared during training and were always coached to play with the highest standards of ethical behavior and dignity.
Coach Batterson’s squad won the Bergen County Championship in 1982, an NNJIL Championship in 1984 and the Group 4, Section 1 State Title in 1986. The 1986 squad boasted a career best 23-3 record for coach Batterson.
In 1983, her RHS squad was selected to play a preliminary match at Hofstra University before a USA versus Japan women’s match.
Coach Batterson’s final record as a coach stands at 199-71, but well beyond the wins and losses over the years is the incredible education each of her players received about being outstanding citizens of the world, whether that included volleyball or not.
Henry Blauvelt (class of 1927) made his mark in Ridgewood High School athletics in football, playing varsity football all four years and serving as a team captain in the 1925 and 1926 seasons.
Playing right halfback, he led the Maroons in yardage gained and touchdowns for two seasons.
Frank Bradley (Class of 1941) made his mark in Ridgewood High School athletics in football as a quarterback. In the 1940 season, his senior year, he led the Maroons in rushing and passing yardage, as well as touchdowns. He was awarded the prestigious High Y Award, given to the RHS football player who showed excellent and clean activity on the gridiron and also in his classes, home life and relations with colleagues. Bradley was also a successful track athlete on many of the RHS Penn Relay teams.
After graduating, he attended The Peddie School in Hightstown in Mercer County for the 1941-42 scholastic year and was selected a captain of the football team, earning All-State honors as a running back. From 1943 to 1945, Bradley served in World War II with the Air Force as a navigator for B17 Bombers.
From 1946 to 1950, he attended Cornell University and lettered four years in football as the starting right halfback. The Big Red won the Ivy League championship in 1948 and 1949.
Bradley was elected to The Peddie School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Cornell University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
Lucia Cancelmo (Class of 1980) made her mark in Ridgewood High School athletics in gymnastics, and she was named to The Record’s All-Century Gymnastics Team.
Her senior season was her benchmark year, as she won Group 4 State-Sectional and Group 4 State Championships in the All-Around, the balance beam and the uneven bars.
For all four years, Cancelmo was selected First Team All-County, and she received the Ridgewood High School Award For Excellence In Athletics in 1979, the same year she was selected to the United States Gymnastics Junior National Team.
Chris DuFlocq (Class of 1977) made his mark in Ridgewood High School athletics in soccer. He was named to The Record’s All-Century Boys Soccer Team as a First-team goalkeeper.
DuFlocq was the starting goalkeeper for the Maroons for the 1975-76 seasons. RHS won two NNJIL titles and a county championship with DuFlocq minding the nets. Ridgewood’s combined record for those two seasons was 34-6-1 with two wins in the county tournament being credited to his goalkeeping skills in penalty shootouts.
DuFlocq recorded 27 shutouts in his career, including a heartbreaking overtime 0-0 decision to arch-rival Kearny in the 1975 state tournament that was then decided on corner kicks. In 41 matches for head coach Dick Bennett’s Maroons, DuFlocq gave up 22 goals for a 0.54 goals-against average. In 32 league matches during his career, DuFlocq recorded 23 shutouts and gave up a total of 13 goals for a 0.40 goals-against average. Ridgewood recorded an outstanding 28-3-1 league record during that time.
He was named First Team All-NNJIL and First Team All-County in both 1975 and 1976. Jeff Yearing, who was an assistant coach to Bennett during DuFlocq’s career and is now Ridgewood High School’s girls soccer head coach, said, “In 36 years of coaching high school soccer, I have had the pleasure of coaching many incredible goalkeepers, both male and female. Chris DuFlocq still sets the standard by which I judge all others, and none have ever surpassed the complete talent that he possessed in so many different areas the position demands.”
DuFlocq went on to an outstanding career at Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and continued playing locally on many men’s club teams.
Renee DuFlon (Class of 1975) made her mark in Ridgewood High School athletics in volleyball and track and field. In 1974, the RHS girls track team had a banner year, being crowned Bergen County Champions, winning the North A State-Sectional Championship and participating in the State Meet of Champions. DuFlon was Co-champion with 22 points in the State-Sectional Championships, breaking a school record in the shot put with a throw of 31 feet, one and-a-half inches. She also cleared 4 feet, 10 inches in the high school jump and threw the discus 83 feet, 8 inches.
In volleyball, DuFlon’s teams her junior and senior years were ranked number one by the NNJIL, and she was voted First Team by all of the coaches and officials in the league.
DuFlon went on to play volleyball at the University of Delaware, where she received a varsity letter in both 1978 and 1979, when she was voted Most Valuable Player of the team both seasons. She participated in USVBA Nationals, receiving an All-American Rookie Award. During 1981-82, she played professional volleyball in Nykoping, Sweden.
RHS Girls’ Basketball 1922-1923
The 1922-23 Ridgewood High School girls’ basketball team is the first team to be inducted into the RHS Athletic Hall of Fame. The team was formed in 1919 as the first girls varsity sport offered at RHS. Entering the 1922-23 season, there was some speculation whether the program would be continued. The boys athletic program was just authorized to include soccer and cross country as varsity sports, which gave the boys of the time six sports (football, cross-country, soccer, basketball, baseball, track and field) in which to earn their varsity “Rs” compared to one (basketball) for the girls. Under the direction of faculty member Miss Elizabeth M. Seller, the girls’ basketball team enjoyed a spectacular season with 10 wins, one loss and one tie while capturing the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League Girls’ Basketball Championship. There was anticipation for this team to succeed. Their accomplishment was a stepping-stone for the time that led to more interscholastic sports teams for girls in the 1920s. The team was written up in the bulletin issued by the State Commissioner of Education and the spring issue of the Arrow quarterly at RHS (1923) was dedicated to its success. The team’s prized “Shield” recognizing the team’s championship can still be seen outside Ridgewood High School’s main gymnasium today.
Harry Grundy (Class of 1942) made his mark in Ridgewood High School athletics in baseball, where he was a three-year varsity letter winner and a Co-captain his senior year. A pitcher, Grundy won 28 of 31 varsity games pitched, the most wins by any RHS baseball player in school history. He hurled four shutouts his senior year versus Lyndhurst, St. Cecelia of Englewood, Hackensack and Bogota, tossing 34 straight scoreless innings. Against Lyndhurst, he pitched a perfect game, striking out 12 batters.
Grundy averaged giving up only four hits a game (seven innings) and walked just four of 107 batters faced in the first half of the 1942 season. In both the 1941 and 1942 seasons, he was named First Team All-League and First Team All-County. His 1941 team won the Group 3 State Championship.
After high school, Grundy had tryouts with the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Dodgers, and New York Giants. He signed a professional baseball contract with the Dodgers in 1942 and was assigned to play Double A ball in Mobile, Alabama, where he pitched for two seasons.
In 1942, Grundy was drafted into the U.S. Army and served four years. He fought in the European Theater in 1944 and 1945 and received the Bronze Star For Distinguished Service. Honorably discharged in 1946, he resumed his professional baseball career for the Dodgers. He retired from playing professional baseball in 1948.
Grundy played with Gil Hodges, Chuck Connors (the actor) and Clem Labine. The Dodgers held on to his baseball contract for a number of years after he retired in case he ever changed his mind.
Jim Jones, a former sports editor of The Ridgewood News, is being inducted as a Special Contributor to Ridgewood High School athletics. Jones has covered sports on a full-time basis for The Ridgewood News since 1960, serving as sports editor from 1970 to Dec. 31, 2000, when he ended his full-time work at the newspaper. He has remained on the staff for part-time assignments since then. His sports sections received a number of awards in the New Jersey State Press Association contests, and, in 1969, his Sports Sidelights column was selected number one in New Jersey for daily and weekly newspapers.
Jones is a native of Bergen County, Montvale and Park Ridge High School. Starting as a correspondent for The Record in high school, he later did newspaper work in a four-year stint in the Air Force on Guam and Columbus, Ohio, and received a BA in English from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where he worked four years full-time for the Muncie Star, a morning daily, and left as the assistant sports editor, returning to New Jersey.
Jones was the sports information director at Fairleigh Dickinson University through the 1960s in addition to his work at The Ridgewood News. He received an award from the Bergen County Coaches Association in 1998 for long-time contributions to scholastic athletics. Jones served as co-chairman of the Sports Medicine Seminar with Doctor Vincent W. Giudice, then head of orthopedics at The Valley Hospital, 1974-1986. Jones has been honored by the North Jersey Masters Track and Field Club for helping the Ridgewood Run to become one of the top road races in New Jersey, and he covered 23 of the first 25 races, starting in 1976.
Joe LeMay (Class of 1985) made his mark in Ridgewood High School athletics in cross-country and track and field. During his senior year, LeMay ran times of 9:12 in the 3200-meter run and 4:15 in the 1600-meter run. He was part of a school record-setting distance medley relay, running 4:18 for his leg, with his team finishing in 10:11 for fourth place at the prestigious Penn Relays. LeMay passed up running in the State Meet of Champions his senior year to participate in a national meet, the Golden West Invitational, where he finished fifth in the 3,000 meters. His best running would come years later. LeMay went on to compete for Princeton University, graduating in 1989 as a Division 1 All-American in both cross country and track and setting the still-standing university record for the 10,000-meter run, 28:59.
After college, LeMay became known for training over 100 miles a week while holding down a full-time job, and he continued to compete in road and track races at a national and international level. He represented the United States at the World Half Marathon Championships twice and the World Cross-Country Championships once. At the 1996 Crescent City Classic 10K in New Orleans, LeMay ran a 28:00, making him the sixth fastest American ever for that distance. He finished second in the 1996 United States Olympic Trials for 10,000 meters and won both the 1997 Gate River Run 15K in Jacksonville, Florida with a time of 43:35 and the 1999 California International Marathon with 2:13:55 clocking. On Memorial Day of 1993, LeMay set the Ridgewood Run course record for the 10-kilometer run [6.2 miles] in a time of 29:11, a standard that still endures.
LeMay has appeared on the cover of Running Times Magazine twice, and was pictured in a widely distributed Adidas poster in 1997. LeMay retired from running on a national level in 2002, but still competes in local races near his home in Danbury, Connecticut.
Jen McDermott (Class of 1989) made her mark in Ridgewood High School athletics in gymnastics and track and field, receiving All-County or All-State recognition in both sports in 11 of her 12 seasons competing. She is the holder of 12 school records in track and field.
She went on to star in track and field at Georgetown University, where she attained All-American status. She still holds the indoor long and triple jump record at Georgetown.
Shannon McGarrigle (Class of 1994) made her mark in Ridgewood High School athletics in basketball. A four-year varsity starter, she is Ridgewood High School’s all-time leading scorer in basketball, both boys and girls, with 1,967 points. In the Bergen County Girls Tournament, McGarrigle is also the all-time leading scorer with 289 points.
McGarrigle’s top honor came when she was selected to The Record’s All-Century Team. She is in the top ten, all-time, for scoring in girls basketball in Bergen County. For three consecutive years (1992, 1993 and 1994), she made first team All-County, First Team All-Area North Jersey in the Herald and News and First Team All-Suburban in The Ridgewood News. She was named First Team All-State in 1994.
Team-wise, McGarrigle played on Ridgewood’s Group 4 State Championship team of the 1990-91 season and the Maroons’ Bergen County Championship teams of 1992, 1993 and 1994. McGarrigle received a basketball scholarship from Northwestern University.
Now the head girls basketball coach at Ramsey High School, McGarrigle was named The Ridgewood News’ All-Suburban Girls Basketball Coach of the Year for the 2006-07 season.
Tony Napier was Ridgewood High School’s boys gymnastics coach from 1967 to 1987 and is considered the father of the gymnastics movement in Ridgewood.
Bringing the sport into the elementary schools in the early 1960s, coach Napier found the boys gymnastics club in 1967 at RHS. In 1969, the program received varsity status as an interscholastic sport. The team flourished under coach Napier’s direction, producing many individual places and champions at the league, county and state levels. His boys teams captured three consecutive Bergen County titles during the 1973-74, 1974-75 and 1975-76 seasons.
The popularity of boys gymnastics waned across the county and state in the early 1980s, and Ridgewood was forced to drop its program after the 1983 campaign. With Title IX regenerating opportunities for female athletes RHS formed a girls gymnastics program in 1976. The varsity seasons for men’s and women’s athletics coincided with each other, and during the 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1983 seasons, Napier took on the job of head coach of both the girls and boys programs. He remained on as the girls head gymnastics coach through the 1987 campaign.
During the 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979 seasons, the girls gymnastics team compiled undefeated dual meet campaigns with a combined 43-0 record. Napier was head coach for three of the four seasons (1977-79) while the teams went 35-0 in dual meet competition. The girls team stretched its record to 50-0 when it won the first seven meets of the 1980 season.
Under coach Napier’s direction (1977-79), the girls team captured three State-sectional Championships, while the 1978 squad won the overall State Title. The 1977 team took a second place overall and the 1979 team a fourth.
Many of coach Napier’s gymnasts captured individual titles during his tenure as well. His vision and legacy for gymnastics in Ridgewood is reflected in the outstanding success the girls program has enjoyed over the years.
Coach Napier continues to be active in gymnastics nationally and internationally as a renowned judge. He was elected to the National Gymnastics Judges Hall of Fame in 1996 and was recognized as a distinguished alumnus of Montclair State University’s Panzer School of Physical Education for contributions to the sport of gymnastics.
Margaret Niemann (Class of 1981) made her mark in Ridgewood High School athletics in volleyball, basketball and softball.
She was the first Ridgewood High School girl ever to be selected First Team All-County in basketball, achieving that honor her junior season (1979-80) and duplicating it her senior campaign (1980-81), when she was a team captain. She also made First Team All-NNJIL and First Team All-Suburban in The Ridgewood News both seasons.
In softball, Niemann started at second base and shortstop. In 1980, she was named First Team All-NNJIL and First Team All-Suburban. In 1981, she was named First Team All-NNJIL, First Team All-Suburban and First Team All-County.
Niemann went on to Princeton University, earning seven varsity letters in basketball and softball. She was a captain of the basketball team in the 1983-84 season and a captain of the softball team in the 1985 season. She was named Ivy League Player of the Year and was First Team All-Ivy League in softball in both 1984 and 1985, the year she graduated.
Vince Robertiello (Jamie Roberts), a former Sports Editor of The Ridgewood News, is being inducted as a Special Contributor to Ridgewood High School athletics. Robertiello began his sports writing career in 1944 when he was a sophomore at long-defunct Paterson Central High School. He covered their football, baseball and basketball teams as a stringer for the also now defunct Paterson Morning Call.
He graduated high school in 1946 and spent a semester at the Columbia School of Journalism, landing a job with the Paterson Morning Call full time as a general assignment reporter. The late Bob Whiting rescued him from the politics of the city by offering a place on the sports department staff.
Robertiello served in the Korean War for three years as an Army staff sergeant and, in 1954, went to work at The Ridgewood News as a general assignment reporter and later as sports editor.
Robertiello covered Ridgewood High School football for 30 years and also worked for a succession of corporations. He then covered baseball, basketball and track at RHS, as well as coach Otis Grendler’s marvelous 100-match regular season tennis unbeaten streak, the Ridgewood YMCA swim team and the highlight, following Carin Cone Vanderbush’s championship swimming career during his five-year stay as The Ridgewood News sports editor and, subsequently, as a reporter and Sports Editor of the Paterson Evening News and beyond.
Jamie Roberts, his alter ego, was born in 1962 when United Merchants, a New York Textile company, had him under contract as its editor of publications and refused to allow him to write elsewhere under his own name. The “Jamie” was from his son, James, and the “Roberts” a contraction of his last name. He used that pen name covering Ridgewood High School sports from then on.
Robertiello’s prized two sports writing awards highly, both were for columns. He earned first place in the New Jersey Press Association’s sports writing division for a column on Ridgewood High School’s late football coaching legend, Frank Mozeleski, published in The Ridgewood News and repeated in 1972 competition’s in the weekly sports writing category for a column featuring RHS head football coach Roger Sweeney and Paramus High School head football coach John DeGasperis.
Damian Ross (Class of 1986) made his mark in Ridgewood High School athletics in football and wrestling. As a member of the football team, he was named a First-Team All-NNJIL running back for the 1983, 1984 and 1985 seasons. In 1985, he set the school record for most touchdowns in a seasons (15) and posted the Maroons’ second highest single-season total in rushing yards (1,047).
In his varsity career, Ross rushed for 1,897 yards, and he was selected to play in the North-South All-Star Classic in June of 1986.
Ross went on to continue his football career at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In wrestling, Ross holds the distinction of being the first freshman in the history of the program to make the varsity squad. He was a three-time gold medalist at the Mahwah Holiday Tournament, competing for three years before sitting out his senior year due to an injury he sustained during the football season.
In 1984, Ross was named Ridgewood High School’s Most Outstanding Wrestler, as well as the NNJIL-Bergen Wrestling Sophomore of the Year at 158 pounds. In 1985, he was named to the All-NNJIL First Team and placed fourth in the 158-pound weight class at the state tournament.
After earning the Ridgewood High School Award For Excellence In Athletics in 1986, Ross also went on to continue his wrestling career at Lehigh.
Mike Springer (Class of 1998) made his mark in Ridgewood High School athletics in lacrosse. He is Ridgewood High School’s all-time leading goal scorer and was a two-time All-American in 1997 and 1998. Springer went on to play at Syracuse University, where he was a four-time All-American (2000-03), starring for the Orangemen’s 2000 and 2002 NCAA Championship teams. He has played five seasons of professional lacrosse for the Bridgeport (CT) Brigade in the Major Lacrosse League.
John Marshall, Jim Bruni, Mark Romeo, Jean Hughes, Chris Van Note, Nancy Hogan, RHS Football Team 1913, Don Taylor, Rachel Grygiel, John Cerf, Paul Tornatore, Michele Marangi, RHS Boys’ Lacrosse 1990-92
Craig Halyard, Tom Flatt, Tricia Pappalardo, Mike Henderson, Kandie Latham, Leigh Jester, Tom Dusel, Roger Sweeney, Linda Zabielski, Patty Capasso, Dennis Sullivan, Nick & Dottie Capasso, Track and Field (Bain-Daley-Oliver Era)
Kitty Batterson, Henry Blauvelt, Frank L. Bradley, Jr., Lucia Cancelmo, Chris DuFlocq, Renee DuFlon, RHS Girls’ Basketball 1922-1923, Harry Grundy, Jim Jones, Joe LeMay, Jen McDermott, Shannon McGarrigle, Tony Napier, Margaret Niemann, Vince Robertiello (Jamie Roberts), Damian Ross, Mike Springer
Paul Arrigoni, Pete Campbell, Doug Cook, Becky Deetz, Otis Grendler, Jodi Hartwig, Gene Links, Debbie O’Connell, Aimee McGuire, Walt Perdue, Tom Simos, Kazbek Tambi, Jack Van Yperen, Bob Whitaker, Margaret Scutro