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.
Andrew Clarke, 2020 Inductee
In June of 2000, Andrew Clarke received Ridgewood High School’s most prestigious athletic award for a graduating student athlete “The Dave Vanderbush Award For Athletic Excellence.” It is presented each year to a graduating boy and girl who demonstrate outstanding playing ability, sportsmanship on and off the field, leadership, and loyalty. The recipients are selected by the entire RHS varsity coaching staff. In Andrew’s letter of recognition it was stated by the RHS Athletic Director Garland Allen that “it is a credit to your determination and high standards that you were selected.”
Andrew Clarke was an outstanding three sport athlete for all four years at Ridgewood High School gaining league, county, and state recognition in the three sports he participated in football, basketball and lacrosse.
A three year starter for the Maroons varsity football team, he graduated in 2000 holding numerous football records at RHS. Andrew was voted the team’s most valuable player for his senior season. Andrew rushed for 2055 career yards which was the most in RHS history at the time. He had 24 career touchdowns (second in RHS history) and was second all time in career tackles with 222. His senior season playing inside linebacker he set the school single season record for tackles with 120. He was voted to the New Jersey Super 100 All State Football Team along with First Team All County, First Team All League and First Team All Suburban honors. Head coach Chuck Johnson described Andrew in a 1999 interview as “the best and most complete football player I’ve ever had… There wasn’t much he couldn’t do on the football field and he was the ultimate leader, an unselfish player who had only the team and winning in mind.”
Andrew also had an outstanding lacrosse career at RHS. After missing a good portion of his junior year with a back injury, Andrew was selected as a defenseman to the NNJIL First Team, the All Suburban First Team, the Gibb’s Division Second Team and was selected to play in the 2000 North South All Star Game. He was also selected to Honorable Mention All State. Coach Steve Jacobson stated “No one has any idea how good a lacrosse player he could be… He’s just a great athlete who jumps right on the lacrosse field with no summer playing time and just goes out and plays hard and aggressive.”
As a basketball player for Coach Jim Stroker’s varsity squad, Andrew had a prolific career. His senior year he averaged six points and seven rebounds per game. He helped lead the Maroons to an outstanding 20-5 record while being recognized with selection to the All Bergen County First Team, first Team All NNJIL as well as First Team All Suburban.
Andrew continued his athletic career at Georgetown University where he played football for the Hoyas. He was a two year starter for Georgetown his junior and senior years, being voted a team Co-captain his senior season. Georgetown coach Bob Benson called Andrew “an outstanding athlete with strong leadership skills…. active all over the field with the ability to find the ball.”
One of the top linebackers in the Patriot League, he lead the league in tackles his senior year with 119 and set the single game Georgetown record for tackles with twenty three vs. Colgate. A member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, Andrew was also the recipient of the John L. Hagerty Award from Georgetown for his outstanding play at linebacker. Once described as a “Classy Ridgewood Player,” Andrew Clarke more than exemplifies the “Tradition of Excellence” embodied throughout the one hundred and twenty plus years of the athletic program at Ridgewood High School and deservedly is now a member of the Ridgewood High School Athletic Hall Of Fame.
RHS Athletic Hall Of Fame Inductees
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