Hall of Fame - April 13th at 6 PM at EHS
Induction Ceremony and Dinner will take place at Edison High School on Saturday, April 13th starting at 6 PM. Tickets for the dinner and ceremony are $25 and may be purchased by mailing a check made payable to: Edison High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Checks should be mailed to Edison High School ℅ Dave Sandaal 50 Blvd of the Eagles, Edison NJ 08817. Any questions? Email Dave Sandaal at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cooperstown, Canton, Springfield. Homes of some tough Hall of Fames to get into. Add to that Edison Township. For the first time since 2008 and only the third time ever, Edison High School, the Home of the Eagles, will induct 13 new members into our athletic hall of fame.
Spanning over the first four decades of Eagle Athletics the inductees include coaching legends with over a combined 1,000 wins, Middlesex County Players of the Year, All State, and All American players who went on to play at schools like Michigan, Rutgers, Maryland, and Seton Hall among others. On Thanksgiving, Inductees and their families were introduced at halftime of our annual game. It was bittersweet as we mourned those that couldn’t be with us, but it reaffirmed the truism, Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle. As the last name was read, the present day Eagles broke the deadlock on the field with a touchdown. A fitting tribute to those who brought glory and respect to the South Side of Edison.
The ceremony and dinner will take place at the High on April 13th. Interested people can contact the school for tickets. The committee consisting chaired by Dave Sandaal, EHS 1990 and in addition to present day staff members had legends like Art Rostel and Doc “you know what JPS stands for” Peterson, long time trainer.
A brief summary of their biographies are as follows; Eagles Fly….
Bob Coward Longtime EHS Athletic Director (1972-98) and Head Boys Basketball Coach (1962-1975, 1986-87) leading the Eagles to the 1965 and 1966 MCAC Basketball finals (precursor to the GMC) before falling to Perth Amboy in both finals. Coward is still the career leader in wins (172) as the Boys Basketball Coach, 32 years after coaching his final game. One of the founders of the GMC Athletic Conference in 1985. A legend in Middlesex County Athletics, Coward retired in 1998 after 38 years of dedicated service in Edison township.
Ken Pagach EHS Head Wrestling Coach 1964-94 Pagach who took over the job at the young age of 23, guided to the Eagles to one of the most successful athletic runs in school history. Winning 9 District 19 titles, 3 GMC titles, and 3 conference titles. In addition to having numerous district region and county champions along the way, Pagach also coached 2 individual state champions in Mario Ianni (1970) and Joe Duhigg (1989). Pagach was elected to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Pagach finished with 226 career wins and is currently the longest tenured coach the school has ever had, having coached 30 straight seasons.
Ken Bjornsen EHS Head Bowling and Softball Coach. Bjornsen who retired with twice as many wins than any other EHS head coach when you combine his softball and bowling wins. Bjornsen guided the EHS softball team to back to back State Group 4 titles in 1990 and 1991. His team previously had also won the Group 4 title in 1987. In addition to GMC titles in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1993. His teams won 12 Red Division titles and 5 Central Jersey Group 4 titles. He was elected to the NJ State Coaches Hall of Fame in 2001 and his overall softball record is 353-82 for an 81% winning percentage!! That’s just in softball! Bjornsen coached the Girls and Boys Bowling teams between 1992 and 2006. In Girls Bowling Bjornsen won the GMC title in 2001 and 5 conference titles. He coached a GMC and State Individual champ in Lisa Montayne in 2000. On the Boys side Bjornsen won the GMC and State Championship in 1997. His 423 bowling wins combined with his 353 softball wins give him a combined 776 wins!
Rusty Swartz Football Class of 92 Swartz a punishing running back and linebacker on the 1991 undefeated 11-0 Central Jersey Group 4 state champion. Swartz earned first 1st team All County and All State honors in 1991 went on to star at Rutgers University in the early 1990’s. He was one of the most dominant football players ever to put the pads on for the Eagles.
Al Jackson Football Class of 92 A versatile 2-way starter for Mike Wojick’s Eagles, Jackson anchored both the offensive and defensive lines that have been considered some of the best in school history. Jackson an 1st team All State performer went on to receive a full division 1 scholarship to Big 10 juggernaut Wisconsin.
John Shroba Basketball Class of 66 Shroba was the only all state program in the history of the EHS program led the Eagles to back to back appearances of the MCAC Basketball finals in 1965 and 1966 against Perth Amboy. Shroba who scored 781 points in 2 years of varsity basketball, is considered by many to be the greatest player in the program’s history.
Debbie Madi Softball Class of 89 A dominant pitcher for fellow HOF inductee Ken Bjornsen, Madi was 3 time GMC 1st team all county award winner 1987-89. She was in the circle as the winning pitcher in the 1987 group 4 final. 2 time All state pitcher in 1987-89. Madi was the 1989 Player of the year in the GMC. She finished with a career record of 44-6, 330 innings, 378 strikeouts, 36 walks, 14 shutouts and a final 0.76 ERA.
Joe Duhigg Wrestling Class of 90 Duhigg was Edison’s last individual state champion going 28-0 in 1989 to win the 119 pound weight class. He was also the 1st EHS wrestler to break the 100 win plateau. Duhigg was a 4 time John Goles Tournament Champion. A 3 time Region 5 Champion, a 2 time GMC Champion, and a 4 time District 19 Champion. Duhigg qualified for the state wrestling tournament all 4 of his years at EHS. Duhigg’s 9 losses were all in post season tournaments. In 4 years at EHS , he was undefeated in duel meets. Duhigg is considered by most pundits to be one of the greatest EHS wrestlers to ever strap on the head gear on the Blvd of the Eagles. He ended his career with a final record of 105-9-1 in an era when there weren’t as many matches as they are today. Upon graduation he was inducted into both the Region 5 and John Gole’s Halls of Fame!
Rasheed Simmons Football Class of 94. One of the most highly recruited EHS athletes in any sport in the history of EHS, Simmons was one of the most highly prized seniors during the fall of 1993. He eventually choose Michigan before finishing his college career at Maryland where he became the 1st athlete in history to model apparel for a little known start up company at the time, Under Armor. Simmons was selected Star Ledger 1st team All County and All State in 1993. Simmons was also a Parade All American in 1993, Gatorade Player of the Year and played in the 1993 All American game representing the nations top senior football players. Eventually Simmons found himself on the roster of the NY Giants.
Joe Lynch Baseball Class of 81 Lynch is one of the finest athletes ever to come out of EHS excelling in not only baseball but also on the gridiron where he was all county and all conference player in 1980. In 1981 Lynch guided to Eagles to the state Group 4 baseball title and was selected 1st team All conference, All County, and All State. He was drafted in 1985 out of William Patterson by the San Diego Padres and played 6 years for them. In 1994 he was a replacement player during the MLB strike with the Minnesota Twins.
Keri Shutz Basketball Class of 2002 Shutz was a 4 year starter and led the Lady Eagles to back to back GMC Finals in both 2001 and 2002. Shutz was a 1st team All County,, 2nd team All State performer who amassed 1200 career points. Shutz was the Middlesex County Player of the Year as a senior in 2002. Keri continued her basketball playing career at Seton Hall University.
Bob Brownlie Baseball Class of 1999 Brownlie was the Star Ledger State Player of the Year in 1999. The first and only time an EHS player has done that in the history of the storied EHS baseball program. Brownlie holds multiple EHS pitching records including most career wins (28), most strikeouts in a career (283) and ranks second in season wins with 13. Only fellow EHS Hall of Famer Brian Appleman has more season wins with 14. He was 1st team All State player as a senior in 1999 and a 3rd team All State performer as a junior in 1998. In 1998 he was also the Middlesex County Player of the year. He was All Red Division and All County in Both his Junior and Senior Years. He was drafted out of high school by the Colorado Rockies but opted to attend Rutgers University and pitch for legendary RU baseball coach Fred Hill. Brownlie had an outstanding career at Rutgers going 10-1 in his Freshman season. Brownlie was again drafted after his junior season at Rutgers, this time in the 1st round by the Chicago Cubs with the 21st overall selection.
Pete Ulozas Baseball Class of 1991 Ulozas considered by many to be one of the best all around baseball players ever to wear the baseball uniform at EHS back in the early 90’s when Head Coach Jim Muldowney had no shortage of talent. Ulozas was a 4 year starter for the Eagles and at the time of his graduation held many individual records including most games played (97), Most RBI’s (79) Most Hits in a Season (44), Highest Batting average for a season(.473), Most Hits in a career (116), highest on base % (.658).
A solid 4 year starter he was a member a of 3 Red Division champions,1 GMC Champion, 2 Group 4 Central Jersey Champions, and in 1991 he was a co captain of the Group 4 State Championship team.