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.
Mark Romeo, 2014 Inductee
Mark Romeo carved out Ridgewood High School’s first 100-win career in varsity wrestling at a time when there were fewer matches each season in which to compete compared to today.
The four-year starter,who competed in the lower weights and never missed any appreciable time due to injury, finished with a record of 108-16. His win mark stood as the standard at Ridgewood High School until Brandon Giovanetti surpassed it in 2012 with 110 victories.
This past season, 2014 graduate Joe Oliva became the Maroons’ win kingpin, finishing his four-year career with 135 victories against 22 losses. When Romeo competed, there were no wrestle back rounds in the county, district, region or state tournaments.
Mark Romeo was a 2001 Bergen County champion after having placed second his junior year and third his sophomore year. He was the first Ridgewood wrestler to win a county title since 1984.
Mark was a three-time District 5 champion (1999, 2001, 2002), the first Ridgewood wrestler to win three district titles, and a 2002 Region 2 champion, becoming only the third Ridgewood wrestler since 1965 to win a region title.
He was also a four-time Mahwah High School Tournament champion, only the fourth wrestler to accomplish the feat in 36 years, and was twice named Most Outstanding Wrestler of the season-opening competition in December, receiving that recognition in 2001-02.
In 1998, he became the first Ridgewood wrestler to win a Bergen County Freshman Tournament championship.
His senior year, Mark was named first team All-County and All-North Jersey Group 4 and second team All-North Jersey. He was named first team All-Suburban in The Ridgewood News three times, and, in 2000, he was the All-Suburban Sophomore of the Year. He was named first team All-League in 2001 and 2002 and second team All-League his first two seasons. Three times, he made honorable mention All-County.
At the end of his career, Mark held the school records for most wins in a season (34) and a career (108), most pins (70) in a career and best winning percentage for a season (94%) and a career (87%).
Mark served as a team captain his senior year, and, for his last three seasons; he was named the team’s Most Valuable Wrestler and recorded the most pins.
Mark wrestled varsity at Trinity College for two seasons, earning two letters and finishing in the top five both years in the New England Wrestling Tournament.
Today Mark has entered the corporate world and wrestles with business decisions from his home base in London, England.
Whether home or abroad Mark Romeo will always be a standard that other RHS athletes and students can look to as a beacon of inspiration as a member of the Ridgewood High School Athletic Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014.
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