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Thirteen new members inducted into Council Rock Athletics Hall of Fame

by June Portnoy

Eleven former Council Rock (CR) athletes and two former coaches from the CR School high schools were inducted into the CR Athletics Hall of Fame during its 2017 induction ceremony.

The ceremony, held at CR High School North’s cafeteria on Friday, October 27th, recognized these new inductees for distinguishing themselves and their respective schools through their athletic endeavors. Each inductee was presented with a plaque that will hang in the high school at which they graduated, along with a framed photo of themselves that was either copied from their yearbook or submitted by the inductee.

John (Buff) Radick, Hall of Fame Committee Chairperson, served as MC of the evening’s induction, which coincided with the annual CR North versus CR South football game taking place outside at the Walt Snyder Stadium.

Following the indoor ceremony, each inductee was recognized during this game’s half-time show.

“Our high schools split into two in 2003, but there are no splits during our induction ceremonies,” explained Buff. “This is a special night because it’s all about Council Rock without any rivalries between our two schools.”

This year’s inductees ranged from athletes who were part of the Council Rock school community all the way back in the 1950s to the youngest inductee who recently graduated in 2012.

This year’s new inductees included: Andrew Aninsman, CR class of 1984, a Richboro native, inducted for football; Courtney Beidler, CRS class of 2010, a Richboro native, inducted for swimming; Kelli Burke, CRS Class of 2003, a Churchville native, inducted for soccer; Megan Daney, CR class of 2000, a Newtown native, inducted for swimming; Dwight Ely, CR Class of 1977, a Newtown native, inducted for football and wrestling; Bruce English, a retired social studies teacher at CR, living in Newtown while teaching, inducted for coaching football, golf and track for 38 years; Dillon Evans, CRS class of 2007, a Holland native, inducted for wrestling; Bryan Lauth, CRS class of 2003, a Churchville native, inducted for swimming; Charles Perkins, who competed in several sports at CR from 1949 through 1953 while growing up in Newtown, inducted for baseball, football and track; Justin Pugh, CRS class of 2009, a Holland native, inducted for football; Bruce Stansbury from Holland, inducted for coaching; Nathan Torok, CRN class of 2003, a Newtown native, inducted for swimming; and Alex Wheatley, CRS class of 2012, a Holland native, inducted for basketball and track.

A highlight of the night was the induction of Justin Pugh who currently plays football for the New York Giants. While playing college football for Syracuse University, he was drafted by the Giants in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft.

However, Justin first became recognized for his football accomplishments while attending CR South. Despite his national success, Justin remains humble and always remembers where he got his start.

While thanking the CR Athletics Hall of Fame Committee, Justin said, “Out of all the games I’ve played over the years, the one game I will always remember is the last game I played in high school, the North versus South game. I think we always remember the people we grew up with and we always remember the community that was around us at that time.”

Another memorable moment was the induction of Charles Perkins. His nephew Dave Cutchineal described how Charles gave up the opportunity to play for a major league baseball team in order to serve his country.

Dave explained, “In 1952, long before the advent of major league drafts, Charles received all-expense paid invitations to try out for the Philadelphia Athletes and for the Saint Louis Cardinals, the equivalent of being drafted in today’s world. That same week, he received an invitation from the US Army to report for an induction physical. He faithfully honored this second invitation. Who knows where his baseball career would have gone had he not joined the Army?”

Today Charles is a 100% disabled veteran as a result of the Korean conflict. However, he has volunteered with the American Rescue Workers for almost 60 years, achieving the rank of lieutenant. Charles received a standing ovation as he was inducted into the CR Athletics Hall of Fame.

Bruce Stansbury, who passed away in 2008, received a warm tribute by his best friend Sam Evans who described Bruce as a “gentle giant.” Bruce coached girls basketball, boys track and football at CR at various times from 1985 to 2008.

It was evident from several inductees’ speeches that Bruce played a pivotal role in helping many CR athletes reach their full potential.

Regardless of the many sports in which the 13 inductees participated, a common theme heard by the inductees was that the support they received from their families, coaches and community helped them accomplish their athletic goals.

PHOTO CAP: Dwight Ely (right), who grew up in Upper Makefield, was inducted into the CR Hall of Fame for Football and Wrestling. Dwight’s brother, Keith (left), presented the award.