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Elite 8 Inducted Into Cliffside Park High School Athletic Hall Of Fame

The late Gerry Calabrese (r.), his son, Tom (center) and others are in the Cliffside Park Hall Of Fame display at CPHS. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Plaques and photos adorn the Cliffside Park High School Hall Athletic Department gallery. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule

CLIFFSIDE PARK, NJ -- The spirit of late longtime mayor Gerry Calabrese will be felt at Cliffside Park High School's ninth Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony and awards dinner on Nov. 13.

Seven men and one woman, as well as members of the 1977 state championship football team, will be inducted by famed announcer Don Alagia.

Money raised at the suit-and-tie gala at the Palisadium go toward scholarships.

Tickets are $90 each.

The individual honorees: Ralph Calabrese, James Colaneri, Tim Kelly, Charlie Gobel, Kevin McBain, Susan Sileo, Jim Fucci and Jason Messina.

“The mayor goes way back when he played on the state championship in the the 1940s. We called him the CEO of the Hall of Fame committee," said CPHS alumnus John Brunelli, who taught at the school 42½ years. "He had quite a bit of say."

Brunelli, a previous Hall of Fame inductee, recently retired after serving as football coach for the past 34 years and baseball coach for 28 years.

“It’s not just the committee -- I ask friends, my coaches who they felt deserved the honor," Brunelli said. "We added four or five names this year and thought, 'Man, how did we not think of this person?

"We want to give everyone their proper due. We just try to get it right,” he said.

“We bring all the photos out from the first induction, so it is kind of like a museum and a reunion," Brunelli said. "Cliffside Park people love to get together.”


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