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.
Patty Capasso, 2012 Inductee
Gymnast Gabby Douglas may be capturing the attention of America for her stellar all around performance in the 2012 London Olympic Games, but back in the late 1970’s a certain Ridgewood gymnast was performing at a similar level, and her induction into the Ridgewood High School Athletic Hall of Fame proves that out.
Patty Capasso, graduating Class of 1980, demonstrated in a four year career at RHS a proficiency in gymnastics that rivals today’s elite performers. While leading the team to four consecutive Bergen County Team Championships 1976-79 (Patty was injured and did not compete in 1979) and New Jersey State Sectional Championships in 1976 and 1977, individual accomplishments underscore her worthiness for Hall of Fame admission. Her all around skill is the most telling aspect to her athleticism, as evidenced by her yearly results.
Patty’s freshman year, she placed first in the County Tournament in the Vault. In the Uneven Bars, she placed first in the Counties, first in the State Sectionals, and 6th in the NJ State Championship.
In 1977, her sophomore year, Patty won gold in the Counties in Uneven Bars and All-Around. She also won gold in Balance Beam, Uneven Bars, and All-Around in the State Sectionals, and again placed 6th in the State Championship in the Uneven Bars.
During 1978 in her third year of interscholastic competition, and in testimony to her versatility as a gymnast, Patty earned her first Bergen County gold medal in the Balance Beam, as well as in the All-Around, while also earning silver in the Uneven Bars. In this same event (Uneven Bars) she went on to win another silver in the State Sectionals, and again placed 6th place overall in the State Championships.
In 1979, Patty’s senior year, a stellar performance individually and for the team during the regular season was marred by injury by the time tournament season arrived, limiting her competition in the tournament events, and bringing her high school career to a close. Her senior year season was nonetheless lauded, earning her a fourth consecutive recognition on the Bergen Record All County team for girls gymnastics. She was additionally selected to the US Gymnastics Association National Junior Team in 1979 and following her Ridgewood High School career, earned a full scholarship to Arizona State University.
Unfortunately, injury plagued her collegiate career at ASU and forced her retire from the sport in 1981. Patty decided to leave Arizona at that juncture of time and went on to pursue careers outside of the gymnastic world.
Patty Capasso’s versatility in all of gymnastics disciplines, and her particular excellence in the Uneven Bars, plus her contributions to the team’s overall success for her four high school years, validate her nomination and selection in the Ridgewood High School Athletic Hall of Fame for the class of 2012.
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