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New OCHS Sports Hall of Fame Honors Inductees

Attending members and coaches of the 1996 football team gathered for pictures outside of the main gym.

By Andrew DeCredico

Homecoming weekend is a weekend in which the high school recognizes its alumni and their great achievements while in school and after. On Sunday October 22, 2017 Ocean City High School recognized its athletic alumni and inducted members into the Ocean City High School Sports Hall of Fame.

The inductees included Phil Birnbaum, Jen Blizzard, Leon Brown, Ralph Carson, Mike Naples, Kevin Sinclair, Abbey Woolley, and the 1996 Football Team. All those inducted were more than grateful, and wished to thank their past coaches, friends, and teammates.

Accepting her induction into the sports hall of fame, Jen Blizzard makes jokes and gets emotional when speaking.

“I look upon today,” said an emotional Jen Blizzard “as a highlight of my life.”

It was noted that, though they were not being honored for this specific event, three of the four men who share the Ocean City High School 100m dash record were in attendance, including Leon Brown who was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame. “Ocean City has meant a lot to me,” said Brown “and if I weren’t here I don’t know where I would be.”

Hall of Fame member Leon Brown speaking from the heart to give his thanks to all of those who helped him to be where he is now.

In addition, the two coaches who have guided these men to their record were also there, so the opportunity for a picture was too good to pass up.

Record holders in the middle and coaches on either side. From left to right: Coach Wayne Coleman, Leon Brown, Josh Rolls, Kevin Sinclair, and Coach Matt Perdue.
Not pictured is Patrick Tolomeo, who also shares the 100m dash record.

As mentioned, the 1996 Ocean City Red Raiders football team was honored as well. Though not all of the men were in attendance, the honor still radiated through the men and their coaches who were also there. Head Coach Gary Dagenhardt was in attendance to speak on behalf of his team.

Head Coach of the 1996 football team Gary Degenhardt accepting the honors on behalf of his team.

After the ceremony, a luncheon was held in the school’s Cafeteria. Many in attendance bought tickets and ate together one last time.

Member of the 1996 football team and now Sports Hall of Fame Nicholas Bailey helps his son Walker with food, while his wife Gina helps their daughter Bella get a bite to eat.