Five Mile Beat > Warrior 50 dinner celebrates student athletes

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Leanna Haggerty, Tyler DeGroff, Ed Lopizzo, Louis Millet and Brendan Phillips were all award winners.
Leanna Haggerty, Tyler DeGroff, Ed Lopizzo, Louis Millet and Brendan Phillips were all award winners.  

The event was the annual Warrior 50 dinner held at the Wildwoods Convention Center on Sunday June 3, in celebration of Wildwood High School student athletes. Guests were greeted as they entered by Sandy Hall, Jackie McWade, and Jodie DiEduardo.

As always the first photo of the night was that of Wildwood High School Golf coach Ione Laffey with the guest of honor Lou Tilley. Dave Troiano greeted all and introduced the head table, consisting of George Morton, Bill Davenport, Tom Mitchell and Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. Also at the head table was Wildwood’s favorite son Bill Osborn. All are alumni of Wildwood High School.

One table of women included Carol Troiano, Linda Aboud, Mary Rossi, Joan and Donna Troiano, Sara Bachmen and Cheryle Conti. Another table was the administrative staff, Dennis Anderson, Chris Armstrong principal, Krystal Pond, vice principal and athletic director, with Jerry France and Frank Caterini, retired from WHS.

We sat with “Putt” Palmer and his wife Alice, Fran and Debbie McClarnen, and Ed and Anne Obropta (For many years Ed and Anne operated Foxy Photo in Wildwood). That night during the awards presentation Ed Obropta was given the “Gentle Giant” plaque to thank him for the many hours he spends helping with the Boardwalk Basketball Classic. This is the first time this award has been given to someone outside of the Wildwoods community. The person of the year award went to Jodie DiEduardo for her work every year with the basketball classic.

Warriors forever were Snooks Bailie, Betty Rankin, Bill Brannau, and Lou Baselice. They all sat together along with Donovan Rankin and Bobbie McDonough. Richard and Gina Ramagosa came with their sons, Rich and Sebastian. The Byrne Clan was there and they give out scholarships every year to deserving seniors. The family in attendance were the Gentek Family, Pam, Dean, Trevor and Tyler, also Tom, Angel and Julia Byrne, and of course Jim and Shirley Byrne. The McCauslands, Bruce and Jane, were there with their grandson Brendan Phillips and his parents, Jerry and Kelly Phillips.

Jon Green was also honored for his tenacity in achieving a degree from Stockton College, after leaving school for a year. He spoke about scoring 1334 points in basketball at Wildwood High School and 1250 points at Stockton, and about working on a trash truck for Wildwood Crest for few summers. He graduated with a degree in criminal justice.

But the speaker that really resonated with the audience was Lou Tilley. Bill Osborn introduced him. Tilley said that he came from the Kensington section of Philadelphia in a blue collar neighborhood and his father left his mom and brother without income. He said his stepfather was abusive to his mom and by then there were four children. His mother worked 13-15 hours a day to keep the family afloat.

Tilley attended Wake Forest College on a football scholarship and in a game practically tore apart his leg. While he was recuperating in the hospital one of his professors suggested that he take up journalism, and he became the head of KYW sports in Philadelphia. He has been up and also very down and after two failed marriages, he is now in a partnership to form Lou Tilley Media Enterprises, which develops content for TV, internet and other media.

The dinner is about the children and as usual all those seniors who are involved in sports received their digital alarm clock to make sure that they get up in time for class.

Trevor, Pam, Tyler and Dean Gentek, Julia, Tom and Angel Byrne, join Shirley and Jim Byrne, seated.
Trevor, Pam, Tyler and Dean Gentek, Julia, Tom and Angel Byrne, join Shirley and Jim Byrne, seated.

Janessa Morgan, Pamela Hills, Larinique Durham, and Teyona Hills.
Janessa Morgan, Pamela Hills, Larinique Durham, and Teyona Hills.

Standing Brendan Phillips with his mom Kelly and his grandmother Jane McCausland, along with Bruce McCausland and Jerry Phillips, seated.
Standing Brendan Phillips with his mom Kelly and his grandmother Jane McCausland, along with Bruce McCausland and Jerry Phillips, seated.

Donovan Rankin with Bobbie McDonough.
Donovan Rankin with Bobbie McDonough.

Joseph Toland with his granddaughter Kelsi. Joseph Toland with his granddaughter Kelsi.

Warrior 50 members forever, Lou Baselice and Bill Brannau, along with Snooks Bailie and Betty Rankin.
Warrior 50 members forever, Lou Baselice and Bill Brannau, along with Snooks Bailie and Betty Rankin.

Nikki Cannuli, Brieann Gorski and dad Ed Gorski.
Nikki Cannuli, Brieann Gorski and dad Ed Gorski.

Lou Tilley, standing, and Bill Osborn, with Sandy Hall, Jackie McWade, and Jodie DiEduardo.
Lou Tilley, standing, and Bill Osborn, with Sandy Hall, Jackie McWade, and Jodie DiEduardo.

Chris Armstrong, Mayor Ernie Troiano and Dave Troiano accept from the Boardwalk Classic Basketball Tournement.
Chris Armstrong, Mayor Ernie Troiano and Dave Troiano accept from the Boardwalk Classic Basketball Tournement.

Dave Troiano with Mike DeMayo and Ana Nguyen winners of the Porky Carlson award.
Dave Troiano with Mike DeMayo and Ana Nguyen winners of the Porky Carlson award.

Ed Obropta accepts award from Mayor Ernie Troiano.
Ed Obropta accepts award from Mayor Ernie Troiano.

Jodie DiEduardo with the Person of the Year award.
Jodie DiEduardo with the Person of the Year award.

 


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