Members of the Ridgewood High School Athletic Hall of Fame are those that have made a lasting impact on the school’s sports program as either student players, coaches, or supporters. Often the student players have continued to influence their chosen sports after high school by ongoing participation in athletics.
Track & Field (Bain-Daley-Oliver Era) 2012 Inductee
A trio of runners powered Ridgewood High School’s 14-meet track winning streak over two seasons and back-to-back Bergen Passaic League championships in 1955 and 1956. That amazing period in Maroon track annals became known as the Bain-Daley-Oliver era in the late Coach Leo Palmisano’ 18-year coaching career at RHS. All three were named Co-captains of Pamisano’s 1956 squad.
Although it lasted only a little more than two seasons, their individual accomplishments and their total contributions to those two championship seasons are a famed milestone in Ridgewood High School track lore.
David Bain, nicknamed the Ghost by his football teammates for his blazing speed and uncanny knack of running away from the opposition (he wore #77 like Red Grange “The Galloping Ghost‘ from University of Illinois), was the sprinter. He compiled an enviable and unprecedented record of 18 straight victories in each of the leagues 100 and 220 events. He set a standard by posting a 9.8 100 in his senior season. It was a first for any Maroon sprinter to that point in RHS track and Field history. He was named to All-County First teams in those events in 1955 and 1956. Bain also was a premier quarter-miler. It is a ranking he earned with outstanding anchor legs for the Maroon mile relay team and by trouncing the best 440 opposition in Bergen and Passaic counties.
Dave also won renown on the gridiron as a Maroon running back lettering two seasons for Hall Of Fame Coach Frank Mozeleski’s 11.
In the spring of 1956 Dave was named the senior class outstanding athlete, receiving the schools highest athletic honor “The Excellence in Athletics Award’ which is now called the “Vanderbush Award For Excellence In Athletics“.
Dave went on to an outstanding four year track career at Yale University from 1957 to 1961. He earned a varsity letter for each of his four years competing there. In 1960 and 61 he was a member of two of the fastest sprint relay teams on Yale record. In 1959 he ran the second fastest time ever posted for the Bulldogs to that date in the 220 recording a 20.8. It is a record that still stands today and still has him 2nd on the all time Yale record chart for that event. In 1960 Dave also posted a time of 48.3 seconds in the 440 which would place him him 5th on Yale’s record sheet for that event in 1960. It is a time that would rank him tied for 15th all time today.
Larry Oliver, the lithe, effortless strider, was the first Maroon to shade two minutes for the half-mile. He made running an art form and lost only twice in the 880 in league competition during his reign and also was a confident anchor of the mile relay team. The 1955 competition was tough and Larry settled for first on the 1955 Honorable Mention list for All County, but in the 1956 season was named to the All county Second Team and the State Group 4 All State Second Team. In 1955, he and his team mates set a sprint medley record of 3:46.4 in the Twin Boro Relays and in 1955 and 1956 Larry won the BPIL league meet in the 880 (½ mile) setting the meet record time of 2.002.6 in 1956. In 1956, Larry and his team mates also set a mile relay record time for the BPIL meet, recording a time of 3:35.2. Larry also took a 2nd in the league meet high jump in 1956 and with his mates that spring took a 1st in the Mile Relay at the Penn Relays.
Larry (Effortless) Oliver was also a great competitor and outstanding back for Coach Frank Mozeleski’s football Maroons of 1954-56 and accomplished the outstanding feat of lettering all three of his years on the varsity squad.
Fred Daley’s style and flawless technique clearing the hurdles was peerless. He glided over the low and high fences with ballet precision and earned his share of victories, including two in the 120 low hurdles in the 1955 and 1956 BPIL Championship meets with times of 14.7 in 1955 and 13.9 in 1956. He also gave the Maroons a solid one-two punch in the 220 sprint while also competing in the Mile Relay, High Jump, Running Broad Jump (Long Jump), 440 and 100.
Like the two other members of the trio (Bain and Oliver), Fred’s ability to pick up crucial points in events other than his specialty allowed the Maroons to score in all of their events thus giving additional help to accomplish their amazing run of victories. Fred was named to the BPIL All League First Team for Hurdles in 1955 and 1956 and to the Bergen County First Team for hurdles in 1956.
Fred went on to Roanoke College in Virginia and was competing in track and field there when an unfortunate injury abruptly ended his competitive career. While competing in Decathlon at Roanoke, Fred’s pole broke during pole vaulting practice resulting in a serious back injury which brought a halt to his collegiate career.
In 1955 the RHS track team set a league meet record scoring 65 points to take the BPIL Championship then broke their own record in 1956 recording a new standard of 68 points while taking their second league crown for the Maroon and White.
Although it only lasted two seasons 1955-56, the effort of these three athletes and their team mates gave impetus to a 14 meet unbeaten streak and two Bergen-Passaic league crowns for the late Leo Palmisano’s thinly clads. It would be 20 years (1975) before an RHS track team would win another league title (now NNJIL ). That squad compiled an unbeaten season (10-0) by defeating previously unbeaten Hackensack at the Hermance Place track where in 1955 and 1956 the outstanding performance of David Bain, Larry Oliver and Fred Daley had made Maroon athletic history.
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