Haldane Adds 11 to Athletic Hall of Fame

1963 baseball team among those inducted

By Michael Turton

The Haldane Athletic Hall of Fame inducted 11 members — the 1963 baseball team and 10 individuals — in ceremonies at Dutchess Manor on Sept. 29.

It was the second class inducted by the nine-person selection committee, and the last that will be as large. According to the hall bylaws, the committee could select as many as 10 individuals and one team in the first two years; that number will now drop to five individuals and one team.

The 1963 baseball squad went the distance in an era that did not include a state championship. In a remarkable season in which the 11-2 Blue Devils played all its home games in Beacon because its own field was unplayable, the team won the Harlem Valley Championship and the Dutchess County Small School Championship before claiming the Dutchess County Scholastic League Championship with a 1-0 victory over Saugerties.

Six members of the 1963 Haldane championship baseball team: Leigh MacKenzie (centerfield), Coach Frank Milkovich, second baseman George Stevenson, left fielder Bill Mazzuca, third baseman Howard Howell and shortstop Dan Dillon. (Photo by M. Turton)

In that game, Dan Dillon led off the sixth inning with a single and pitcher Jerry Downer followed suit, sending Dillon to third. They would be the Blue Devils’ only hits: Bob Byrnes’ sacrifice fly to right allowed Dillon to score.

Other team members included Bill Mazzuca, Howard Howell, George Stevenson, Bill Merante, Gary Maddox, Leigh MacKenzie, Wayne Robinson, Mike Boulanger, Pierre Laurence, Mike Daniels, Roger Owen and Steve Tompkins. The team was coached by Frank Milkovich.

Front row: MacKenzie, Howell, Stevenson, MIlkovich, Dillon and Mazzuca (1963 baseball team). Back row: Nastasi, Herbock, Jon Champlin (representing Coach Ray Champlin), DeMarco, Kiefer, DeMarco, George Hustis Jr. (representing George Hustis), Anderson, Not pictured: Stellefson, Linda Ellis (representing coach George Ellis) (Photo by Amy Kubik)

Ten former Haldane athletes and coaches were also inducted:

  • George Ellis was Haldane’s first athletic director. He joined the faculty in 1945 and coached football, basketball and track before retiring in 1972.
  • Ray Champlin played basketball and football, graduating in 1948. He returned as a teacher and retired in 1989 after coaching football and tennis. Haldane’s tennis courts are named in his honor.
  • George Hustis attended Haldane from 1947 to 1951 and excelled in football, basketball and track.
  • Wayne Stellefson set a state record in 1972 in the shot put with a toss of 58 feet, 1 inch. His discus throw of 150 feet, 3 inches remains a Haldane record.
  • Christine Helbock set a state record of 41 feet, 10 1/2 inches in the shot put in 1969. She also played basketball and was a member of the school’s first volleyball team.
  • Mike Kiefer was Haldane’s first 1,000-point scorer in basketball. A 1988 graduate, he was named to the sectional all-tournament team three times.
  • Kristin DeMarco, who graduated in 1989, lead Haldane to its first state basketball championship and was the first female player to score more than 1,000 career points.
  • Joe DeMarco was a soccer standout, scoring 59 goals, including 23 during his senior season. The 1995 grad also scored more than 1,000 points in basketball and had more than 300 career assists.
  • Aaron Nastasi played in nine state final fours in volleyball and basketball, including Haldane’s first state volleyball title in 1998.
  • Greg Anderson was a standout in football, basketball and baseball. In 2000, as quarterback, he led the football team to its first sectional championship and state final four.

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