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.
Carlos Peay 2020 Inductee
Underneath the senior picture of Carlos Peay in the 1951 Arrow year book of Ridgewood High School is his senior quote which reads, “A mighty man in the game of sports.” It would also be fitting to note that later in Carlos’s life he would also be known as a mighty man of the law.
There were many firsts that Carlos achieved in his life starting with being the first African American named a captain of the Ridgewood High School Football team. Later in his life he would be the first African American appointed as the assistant Bergen County prosecutor.
Carlos was a 3 year letter winner and star running back on the 1948, 1949, and 1950 football teams. He was an All League and All Suburban selection in 1949 adding All County and All State honors as well, during a stellar undefeated and untied season in 1950 that found the Maroons the cream of the crop not only of the Bergen County gridiron scene, but as one of the top teams in the state.
He was a leader on a team (1950) that brought great renown. According to the RHS Arrow yearbook, “without doubt one of the most notable events….was the successful completion of the first unbeaten and untied football season on the records of the school in thirty-five years.” (A reference to back to the great RHS football team of 1915.) “The feats in other rings at the RHS circus will be forgotten by all but the star performers long before the accomplishments of 1950’s gridders pass on to oblivion.” Those accomplishments would include those of Carlos Peay. Besides football Carlos was a three time letter winner in track and a two year member of the bowling team.
Carlos did not pursue an athletic career outside of his high school commitment, but it seems he had enough on his plate to keep him engaged in many leadership positions that he was well prepared for in part by his storied athletic career at RHS.
Carlos went on to attend Howard University in Washington D.C. where was actively involved in Howard’s R.O.T.C. program. Carlos graduated and enlisted in the U.S. Army. After serving three years in the military, he enrolled at Rutgers University Law School 1960 where he earned his law degree with honors. According to a story from the Ridgewood Newspapers Carlos “walked off with four first prizes and awards given to 1963 graduates of Rutgers Law School.”
Carlos went on to create his own private law practice. He was also a very active member of the Bergen County branch of the N.A.A.C.P. and was the founding member of Kappa Theta Lambda’s Bergen County Chapter. He was also a proud member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Throughout his life Carlos lived by the code of a champion and we welcome him (posthumously) into the Ridgewood High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
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