|South Jersey Spotlight:
Gloucester County Hall of Fame to Induct 15 New Members
Sunday, January 22, 2006
By Gus Ostrum
Legendary Woodbury High and Sterling football coach Jim Combs along with former NFL lineman Joe Fields will be among the 15 new inductees to the Gloucester County Sports Hall of Fame during the 26th Annual Induction Banquet on March 28 at Auletto's Caterers in Almonesson, the Executive Committee has announced.
Also to be inducted in the Class of 2006 will be David Glocker (Paulsboro), Robin Glazer (Glassboro), Kevin Timbers (Glassboro), Sam Laspata (Glassboro), Nancy Deal Hemby (Pitman), Bud Mossop (Pitman), Juliet Lancaster Avila (West Deptford), Bob Briles (Franklin Twp.), John Cerak (Clayton), Howie O'Neil (Woodbury), Tiffany O'Neal-Nicholson (Mantua), Dan Pidcock (Mantua), and Ed Shirk (Paulsboro).
Tickets for the 26th Annual Banquet are available by calling Hall of Fame President Gus Ostrum at 435-3367.
Jim Combs (Woodbury)
A long-time resident of Wenonah, Combs compiled a 47-20-3 record at Woodbury High from 1956 to 1963, including a perfect 9-0 season in 1959. At Pennsauken, from 1964 to 1966, his teams won the Olympic Conference and South Jersey Group IV championships, while at Sterling High (1967 to 1977), his teams won five consecutive championships, including the conference and South Jersey Group 3 titles with a perfect 11-0 record in his final season. In 1977, his Sterling team was voted No. 1 in the state and in South Jersey.
Combs, a Penns Grove High graduate, was selected as New Jersey’s Scholastic Football Coach of the Year in 1977 by the National Football Clinics of America. He is a member of the Sterling High and Pennsauken High Halls of Fame.
Joe Fields (Deptford/Gloucester Catholic)
A 6-2, 225-pound lineman, he earned two Pro Bowl selections in the early 1980s. As a star at Widener in the early 1970s, he played under coach Bill Manlove and was teammates with another future NFL star, Billy “White Shoes” Johnson. Fields finished his NFL career with the Giants in 1988 and now owns a business in Woodstown.
David Glocker (Paulsboro)
A talented baseball player, Glocker earned All-Conference, All-County and All Group 1 honors at PHS, and then played two seasons at Arizona State. An arm injury curtailed his baseball career on the collegiate level. In addition, Glocker also served as an assistant coach of PHS baseball teams for 4 seasons under coach Russ Spicer. He is a member of the Paulsboro High Sports Hall of Fame.
Robin Glazer (Glassboro)
Glazer also excelled in basketball as a guard in helping her teams to a pair of league titles in 1971 and 1972, and as a catcher in softball in helping her squads also win a pair of Olympic Conference championships. She later played field hockey, basketball and softball at Drexel University, and is a member of the Glassboro High Sports Hall of Fame.
Kevin Timbers (Glassboro)
From 1991 to 1997, he coached the Bulldog teams to a combined 104-47 overall record and guided his 1994 team to the Group 1 state basketball championship. Timbers was also a standout cross country and track runner in high school, and later coached GHS to its only undefeated boys cross country season with a 9-0 record in 1993. In track, he coached the Bulldogs to the 1994 Group 1 Woodbury Relays crown.
Sam Laspata (Glassboro)
At George Mason University, he compiled a 35-13-1 career record, winning the 1991 Navy Classic Wrestling Tournament in his weight class as a junior, and placing first and being named MVP at the Freshman Virginia Military Institute Tournament as a freshman.
Laspata was recently inducted into the Glassboro High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Nancy Deal Hemby (Pitman)
She earned a full 4-year field hockey scholarship to Penn State University, where she was a 4-year varsity starter and co-captain of the 1979 team, which placed second in the nation behind Cal-State Long Beach in the NCAA Division 1 championships.
Al "Bud" Mossop (Pitman)
Mossop experienced great success in track and field at PHS as well, going undefeated in the quarter-mile race as a senior enroute to the 1949 Group 1 state championship in this event. He also ran a leg on the mile relay team at the Penn Relays in each of his four scholastic seasons at Pitman, and helped the Panthers capture three league championships as well as South Jersey Group 1 titles in 1946 and 1947. A retired New Jersey state trooper, he is a member of the Pitman High Sports Hall of Fame.
Juliet Lancaster Avila (West Deptford)
Although swimming was clearly her best sport, Lancaster nonetheless won the South Jersey Group 2 sectional championships in the shot put in 1993 and 1994 and is still the school record holder in this event. At Rider University, Lancaster established many team and conference records in swimming, and she has been the head swimming coach for Timber Creek High School since 2001.
Bob Briles (Franklin Twp.)
In softball, Briles coached Crusader teams to 310 career wins in 27 seasons, winning three conference crowns along with a South Jersey Group 3 title in 1987. Among his many talented players through the years were pitchers Becky Ryan and Theresa Chorney. Briles, a graduate of Bishop Eustace High and Villanova University, also served at Delsea as an assistant football coach for 6 years and as an assistant baseball coach for three seasons.
John Cerak (Clayton)
In track, Cerak won the 1963 Group 1 state championship in the javelin throw, setting a state record in the event at 187 feet. He attended the Air Force Academy, and starred in football and track on the collegiate level, and was later honored and decorated as a Vietnam War hero. He is a member of Clayton High School’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Howie O’Neil (Woodbury)
O’Neil also served three seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Temple University, and has served as an officer in Regions 7 and 8 in various capacities. He has served 32 years with the New Jersey State Wrestling coaches Association in various positions and as a member of the South Jersey Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association since 1971.
O’Neil was inducted into the South Jersey Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1998 for his service as a coach, official and contributor.
Tiffany O’Neal-Nicholson (Mantua)
In basketball, O’Neal-Nicholson was the team’s leading scorer for three seasons and was an outstanding rebounder and defensive player. She earned All South Jersey, All-Conference and All-State honors in this sport as well.
Dan Pidcock (Mantua)
He was a former star football player at Wichita State University in 1968 and 1969 as a linebacker and safety, and played one season (1967) at Kilgore Junior College in Texas, helping that school win a National Junior College Football Championship. Pidcock played fullback at Nether Providence High School (now Strath Haven) in Delaware County, Pennsylvania..
Ed Shirk (Paulsboro/West Deptford)
In 1968, Shirk began a successful 19-year career at Lawrence High in Mercer County, winning a Central Jersey Group 2 co-championship in 1972, and posting records of 8-0-1 and 7-2 in 1973 and 1974 respectively. Among the many successful athletes that he coached was former NFL quarterback Scott Brunner in 1973 and 1974. His teams won four league championships during his coaching career.
Shirk is a member of Paulsboro High’s Sports Hall of Fame, and was an inductee into the National Football Hall of Fame.
Click here to visit the official site of the Gloucester County Sports Hall of Fame.