Passaic Valley High School has long held a tremendous tradition in varsity athletics. In 2001, the school began its Hall of Fame to honor those student-athletes who best exemplified the tradition of the Green and White.
The Hall last honored a class of inductees in 2007, but that will change this coming May 16 when 13 new entrants are added to the Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be held at the Carriage House in Totowa and begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $55.00 each.
The 13 new entrants for 2013 are John Wallace, Rocco Fava, Mark Krautheim, Katie Russo, Lisa Caruso, Christopher Wright, Craig Wright, Alex Rivera, Andres Cordero and Jesse Mizzone, as well as the 1969 football team, the 1965 cross country team and the 1976 and ’77 field hockey teams.
Joe Benvenuti, himself a Passaic Valley High School graduate and the school’s current head wrestling coach, is coordinating the event.
“We’re very pleased with the outstanding athletes who will be inducted on May 16,” Benvenuti said. “It should be a tremendous night.”
Here’s a mini profile on the 13 newest immortal Hornets.
Wallace: Spent 42 years as a teacher, coach and administrator at PV. He founded the PV Hall of Fame and was co-creator of Operation Graduation. Wallace also created the Passaic Valley Athlete of the Week accolade, as well as the PV Summer Sports Camps. He was also the first girls’ volleyball coach in school history.
Fava: A 1982 graduate, Fava is being inducted for an outstanding football career.
Krautheim: A 1980 grad, Fava was a standout basketball and football player.
Russo: A 1998 graduate, Russo excelled in gymnastics and later had a tremendous collegiate career in the sport at Rutgers.
Caruso: A tremendous pitcher for the Hornets softball program, the 2000 grad led PV to the Group 3 title in her senior year. A marvelous student, she went on to play softball at Dartmouth.
Christopher Wright: A 2001 grad, he was an outstanding wrestler, finishing with 126 career wins, which is good for third, all time, in PV history. He and his twin brother, Craig, who will also be enshrined, are both doctors today, each having attended the University of Pennsylvania. Christopher’s medical practice focuses on urology.
Craig Wright: Also a 2001 grad, Craig is second in school history with 129 wrestling victories. Craig is specializing in orthopedic medicine today.
Rivera: A 2001 graduate, Rivera was a standout pitcher for the baseball team.
Cordero: A 1999 grad, Cordero had a tremendous career in cross country and track.
Mizzone: She graduated in 2003 as one of the most celebrated runners in school history. Mizzone went on to Boston College, where she was captain of that school’s cross country team in her senior year.
1969 football team: The Hornets were Group 4 state champs in ’69 and also won the NNJIL title. Its coach was Steve Gerdy.
1965 cross country team: Coached by Tom Patierno, the “65 Hornets hit the trifecta, winning the NNJIL, County and Group 4 titles.
1976 and ’77 field hockey team: The ’76 team finished 18-1 while the ’77 team was 9-0-3. The Hornets won back-to-back state titles in ’76 and ’77.