Nate Pullano ('20)
The 2019 East Athletic Hall of Fame
February 4, 2020
The 2019 East Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees were given the prestigious honor to be among the most talented and decorated athletes from Cherry Hill East. These athletes were inducted on November 30, 2019 at the Indian Springs Country Club. Mr. Fred Belchikoff has been the organizer of the Hall of Fame for five years when it first started. The athletes being inducted range from the Class of 1972 to the Class of 1994. The athletes are stoked to be given such a high athletic rank. Read below to find out the 2019 East Athletics Hall of Famers.
Sue Ball (Mendez) (’80)
An East star swimmer for all four years of high school, Mendez was a dedicated athlete. She was a star in the 100 meter-butterfly and 100-meter freestyle and was named to the All South Jersey first team for those categories.
Swimming was a major part of her life, as Mendez additionally swam for the local club team, the Jersey Wahoos.
These successes led her through her life, and swimming led her to accept a full ride from Clemson University. There, she was as, or even more, successful than her career at East. Mendez qualified for the NCAA championship in 1981 and 1983.
Currently, she resides in Florida. She is a worker in the energy efficiency business, where she found love after coming out of college with a major in Electrical Energy.
Vince DePalma (‘72)
DePalma did not lead a typical high schooler life; during his sophomore year of school, his family left him and he had to live with his neighbor. Regardless, he did not let that stop him from working his hardest.
In his junior and senior year, he was a star wrestler. DePalma became the captain of the varsity wrestling team. Additionally, he was the captain of the track team and held the school record in track for many years. He committed to Bucknell University and wrestled, but later joined the track team.
This came with many titles, including the Penn Relays, the Millrose Games, the US Olympic Invitational, the Pittsburgh Track Classic, the Philadelphia Track Classic and the IC4A Championship. He even qualified for the NCAAs, but was not able to participate.
Marc Cardelia (‘81)
His talent was almost natural, as in his sophomore year at East the Courier Post named him a South Jersey All Star Team Member. Throughout his East career, Cardelia earned many individual awards, with perhaps his most impressive being placing at fourth in the all-around competition at States.
He was sought after by numerous colleges, including William and Mary, Michigan and Syracuse. However, his acceptance from Princeton University was unmatched, and he ultimately decided to compete as a Division I Tiger.
His collegiate gymnastics career achievements included first place for his floor routine in the North Atlantic Gymnastics League (NAGL) and second place in the Ivy League Championships his senior year. Additionally, he was an All-Ivy athlete all four years at Princeton.
After college, he was not completely ready to part from his love of gymnastics. A year after he graduated from Princeton, he became an assistant gymnastics varsity coach for East while preparing for med school.
Although his gymnastics journey ended, Cardelia is forever grateful for the opportunities he was given as a gymnast. The memories, friendships and achievements he made from gymnastics have shaped his entire path through life.
Bill Clark (‘77)
Clark was a tennis all-star ever since he started playing. During all four years at East, played #1 singles for his sophomore, junior and senior year.
Clark committed to Old Dominion University in Virginia. He played for all four years and led his team to their first Virginia State Team Championships, making history.
He was so committed to tennis that he went to turn pro and played on the ATP tour for about a year.
He finished his education at Drexel University and is now a CMO of a software company in Virginia.
Ken Daly (’74)
Daly was an all star in Football, being awarded across his for years at East. His success was so great that he was recruited to the Wake Forest University football team on a full scholarship.
Daly was so sought after that he received tryouts to be on the Philadelphia Eagles and the Houston Oilers! Despite this, he was dismissed from both teams before playing in the seasons.
Still, he considers his (almost) NFL career a product of his successful and fulfilling football career at East.
Mark D’Andrea (‘73)
D’Andrea’s participation in East sports is remarkable, playing on the varsity squad for football, basketball and baseball. His strongest sport was football as he received the honor of being placed onto the All Area 1st team, the All Group IV 1st team, All Suburban 1st team and All South Jersey 1st team. His most special honor was being placed on the NJ All State Football team.
Meanwhile in the spring season, D’Andrea was a star on the East Baseball team. This sport was not as rewarding as football.
Regardless, he was offered a scholarship to play both football and baseball at Albright College. Two years later, he transferred to Rutgers and continued playing there.
Brent Fisher (‘94)
While at East, Fisher was a two-year starter in the forward positions on the boy’s varsity basketball team. Playing under Coach John Valore, Fisher was First Team All-Olympic Conference his junior year, followed by First Team All-South Jersey, Third Team All-State and First Team All-Jewish All-American honors his senior year of high school.
Following East, Fisher continued to play basketball at Cornell University. Fisher’s career almost came to an end during his first collegiate basketball game where he suffered a left arm injury. However, he returned 7 months later and built a successful collegiate career for himself. During his final season at Cornell, Fisher was a senior co-captain and starter. His highlight from senior year includes scoring a game-winner at the Cornell v. Penn game, knocking Penn out of contention for March Madness.
After graduating from Cornell, Fisher played for several Israeli profession league teams from 1998-2002. In addition to the Israeli teams, Fisher played for the Atlantic City Seagulls and Team USA in the Maccabiah Games.
Continuing his love for sports, Fisher today works with Major League Baseball. Married to fellow East alum, Allison Grolnick, Fisher lives in Westfield, NJ with three kids.
Bill Fulton (‘89)
Inducted in this year’s hall of fame, Bill Fulton (‘89) is honored for his accomplishments as apart of the Cherry Hill High School East swim team. Swimming all four years of his high school career, Fulton swam varsity and won first place at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions for the 400 freestyle relay.
With Jay Dillenscheider (‘87), John Marion (‘86) and Sean Killion (‘86), and Fulton, the four of them set the state record and earned an “All American” Award. As well as setting a state record, Fulton was selected three years in a row during high school for the “All South Jersey” swim team.
While Fulton planned on swimming at Tulane University, he unfortunately did not get a chance to as the school’s swimming program was dropped. However, Fulton continued to be around water as he rowed for two years at Tulane.
Currently, Fulton teaches English at Eastern Regional High School and is entering his 24th year of teaching. Still using his passion from the East’s swim team, Fulton has continued to embrace swimming through coaching the Eastern Swim Team for nine years.
Michael Gorczynski (‘78)
During his time at East, Gorczynski was a two-sport varsity letter earner. Playing both football and partaking in Track and Field, Gorczynski found success on both fields. During his sophomore year Gorczynski was the starting kicker, earning him a varsity letter. Junior year and senior year he also was the starting tackle on both offense and defense. Gorczynski was elected team captain his senior year and was All-Group IV and All-South Jersey honors. During his three-year varsity career, Gorczynski never missed an extra point or field goal.
In Track and Field, Gorczynski was a shot putter and discus thrower. He was the Woodbury Relays Champion his junior year with a throw of 59 feet 10 inches. During his senior season, Gorczynski won the silver medal for 59-feet-2-inches shot put in the New Jersey State Track and Field Championship.
Following East, Gorczynski went to Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Economics. In college, Gorczynski continued Track and Field, where he was a two-time State of Pennsylvania Shot Put Champion.
In college Gorczynski met his future wife Randi. The Gorczynskis now reside in California and have three adult children.
Jason Kenig (‘93)
Kenig was an amazing soccer player. His East journey began in sophomore year when he played Varsity soccer. During this period, he was awarded by being placed on numerous teams, perhaps the most prestigious being All-State twice. This led to him earning North-South MVP honors.
Outside of school, he represented South Jersey at the North American Maccabi Olympic Youth Games. His playing was so impressive; he eventually committed to Rutgers University.
His collegiate soccer career had the same, if not more, success than his soccer career at East. He won the Rutgers Soccer Scholar-Athlete Award twice during his time there and also represented the United States soccer team in the International Maccabi Olympic Games.
All in all, Kenig’s amazing soccer journey started at his time at East..
Lori Pike (Andrews) (‘81)
Pike’s time on the East Girls Swim Team was absolutely magical. From her time there, she recalls the amazing team bonding. They would hold parties and treat each other as if they were sisters.
She was a part of the 1979 State Championships, which was one of her best accomplishments at East. Additionally, Pike was a member of the relay team and placed first in all four years of swimming at the State Championships.
She later accepted a full scholarship to the University of Nebraska; she came home the following year and starting practicing as a nurse.
She will forever cherish her thrilling swimming journey that started at East.
Steve Praino (‘86)
Praino’s high school years were filled with endless practices, ranging from football in the fall to basketball in the winter to baseball in the spring. His tri-sport character led him to be on Varsity for three different sports in senior year.
His baseball talent, however, was his strongest suit, which is why he was offered a scholarship to Villanova University.
Overall, Praino’s versatility in sports and his endless devotion led him to where he is today.
George Ramming (‘81)
Ramming’s basketball career led him to become one of the starters for both his junior and senior year under John Valore’s coaching. Perhaps his most impressive record was being able to score 1,110 points in two seasons, with 703 points in his junior year. This broke the record completely.
Without a shock, Ramming was the team’s leading scorer, and eventually was named to 1st Team All-South Jersey. His basketball skills led him to play in college at the University of Massachusetts. He was eventually moved to a reserve in his sophomore, junior and senior after being a forward his freshman year.
His years of basketball led his journey through life.
Beth Senholzi (‘72)
During her junior year, Senholzi was a standout player, who helped lead the girls basketball team to its first state championship in their history.
Under the coaching of Coach Gebert, she was able to become the best athlete she could possibly be.
She later attended Rowan University and became a teacher, and also a coach.
Ralph Ipri – Boys Tennis Coach
Ipri, a coaching legend, had a forty year career at East. Within those four decades full of rackets and tennis balls, he achieved 956 wins and 90 losses. This ratio that Ipri had is very tough to make.
On his date of retirement, May 6, 2011, he held the record of having the most boys tennis wins in the USA. In 1991, his boys team was number one in the State. He had ten Group IV State titles.
Perhaps his greatest achievement, along with his many others, was being awarded the 2004 National Coach of the year for boys’ tennis.
Ipri’s successful coaching career left a lasting effect on all of his players, and he produced award winning teams.
Lyn Kostbar Nec – Girls Swim Coach
Nec’s swimming journey began when she joined the Covered Bridge swim team. She eventually tried out for the Delaware Township High School Girls’ Swim Team and helped them achieve a league championship.
After starting to teach at Cherry Hill East, Nec wanted to continue her love and devotion for swim and decided to coach the East Girls’ Swim Team as the assistant to Kitty WIllis.
Her coaching was impressive, to say the least, earning her team more than seven league championships and five state championships.
One of her star swimmers, Mendez, was also inducted into the 2019 Hall of Fame.
Necis very grateful for the experience of coaching swimming at East, and her legacy as an awarding winning coach will always be remarkable.
Tony Cost – Administrator
Cost’s contribution to East as an administrator will always be noteworthy. He first started out his career by enlisting in the US Navy, and he served as a hospital corpsman and physical therapy technician.
His training techniques then became used while being an athletic trainer for the varsity football team in Bound Brook. NJ. After a year of teaching biology at Cherry Hill West, he then transferred to East and then earned his way up to a Principal.
He started working for the Olympic Conference in 1985 as an Assistant Commissioner and the following year became the Commissioner.
After leaving at East as a Principal, he became a Deputy Superintendent for the district.
With his life revolving around sports as well as the CHerry Hill Public Schools, Cost’s contribution to the district has been remarkable.