New OCC Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
Three former athletes and a pair of special contributors were inducted into the Ocean County College Athletic Hall of Fame in a dinner ceremony on campus Wednesday night.
For 1978 graduate Michael Kavanagh it was first time back in the building where he used to be a standout basketball player for the Vikings after graduating from Point Boro High School. Kavanagh was both a team MVP and Student Athlete of the Year and is now a trial attorney for GEICO Insurance and lives in Manasquan with his family.
The other two athletes honored are a bit more contemporary as Beachwood resident Mary Bellezza Gibson starred on the basketball court in 1997 & 98 after graduating from Toms River North. Gibson was a 2nd team All-American while at O.C.C. and today works as a Municipal Alliance Coordinator for the Ocean County Health Department and is an adjunct professor at Richard Stockton College.
Karen Geiger Trump was deserving of a spot in the Hall of Fame as both an athlete and coach and is truly one of the Vikings all-time greats. She earned numerous honors on both the soccer field and basketball court from 1997-99 after an outstanding career at Toms River South. Later Trump would return to O.C.C as a coach of both sports and four times was named Region 19 Coach of the Year.
Joining the trio as honorees were a pair of contributors who are fixtures at Vikings basketball games. Bob Czarniewski has operated the scoreboard since 1972 and also contributed to the college’s swimming program. A former soccer coach at Toms River East, “Cz” has taught physical education at Island Heights Elementary School for 40 years. Dom Alagia is the voice of Vikings basketball, handling the public address chores for both the men’s and women’s team for some 20 years.
As I have for all the previous Hall of Fame ceremonies I served as Master of Ceremonies. The evening also saw the National Champion O.C.C. Women’s Cross Country Team honored.
Manchester Township High School baseball standout Devin Tomei will be headed to Blues Creek, North Carolina in late summer after signing a letter-of-intent to attend Campbell University on a baseball scholarship. The 6’3, 190 pound right-handed pitcher and first baseman who bats lefty signed his scholarship offer at the high school yesterday.
A strong student with a 3.7 GPA, Tomei is also the quarterback on the Hawks football team. Campbell went 49-10 last season and won the Big South regular-season baseball championship.