Riding a wave of momentum generated by last year's 100-year anniversary celebration, Lafayette has announced the formation of a Sports Wall of Fame. Lafayette, still at its original site of 370 Lafayette Ave., is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The centennial celebration attracted more than 1,400 graduates from 32 states, Canada, England and Israel.
A Wall of Fame committee led by Jenny Delmont, Ralph Delmont, Vinny Vara, Tom Schwob, Dennis Patterson and Bob Carnevale took on the task of identifying the top Violet athletes and contributors over the past 10 decades. A ceremony to honor the class is planned for the spring.
The inaugural class includes an Olympic gold medalist, many pro athletes and several decorated military heroes. Here's a look at the first 100 years of Lafayette's sports history.
Calvert "Cap" Mellen: Served as principal for 28 years (1906 to 1934). He helped keep Buffalo high school sports alive during World War I, often with funds from his own paycheck. He sold war bonds to help fund construction of Lafayette Field, home to the athletic teams.
E.R. "Pete" Low (Class of 1907): Captain and quarterback of the first Lafayette team to win the Harvard Cup in 1906. He also participated in baseball, hockey and track. After graduating, he played football and wrestled at the University of Michigan.
Charles D. Reidpath (1908): Before he went on to win two gold medals at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912, he was a track and football standout at Lafayette. He led the school to three straight track championships, breaking the school record in the 440-yard run. While at Syracuse, he broke records in the 440 and 220. In Stockholm, he struck gold in the 400 meters and 1600-meter relay.
Jimmy Wilson (1914): Wilson won the Harvard Cup football championship as a player and coach. He played four sports, making All-High in football in 1913. He coached from 1924 to 1931, winning football championships in 1926, '27, '28 and '31. The 1931 team was undefeated, untied and unscored upon. He was an All-American end at Cornell and played pro football for the Buffalo All Americans in the early 1920s. He was inducted into the Harvard Cup Hall of Fame in 2003.
H. "Barney" Lepper (1915): A standout at tackle and place-kicker, leading Lafayette to consecutive Harvard Cups in 1914 and 1915. He scored the winning touchdown in the 1915 title game as a tackle-eligible receiver. He formed a team in a new pro league in 1920 that was renamed two years later: the National Football League.
Homer Geoffrion (1930): Earned All-High honors three consecutive years as a breakaway halfback and helped school win Harvard Cups in 1927 and 1928. He scored eight touchdowns and six PATs for 54 points in a 1929 game against East High. Was inducted into the Harvard Cup Hall of Fame in 2002.
Oscar Kerstetter (1931): A four-sport athlete who was All-High at halfback and an outstanding passer in the single-wing era of running the football. Played football for Johns Hopkins University, where he was called "Flash" because of blinding speed.
Joe Szur (1931): Earned All-High honors at halfback for the undefeated, untied and unscored upon team in 1931. He was All-High at guard for the runner-up Yale Cup basketball teams of 1930 and 1931. In baseball, he was voted All-High at shortstop. He starred as a running back for Canisius College and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1965. He played pro football and was inducted into the Harvard Cup Hall of Fame in 2002.
Ele Shaw Kenyon (1939): A premier swimmer who won the 1935 All-High title in the backstroke. In 1939, she made the Junior National Olympic relay team. She was a pioneer at Lafayette, promoting sports for women. She was named "Outstanding Woman Teacher" of the 20th century in 2003 by the National Education Association.
Irving Kipp (1941): A four-year starter at catcher, making All-High in 1939. Kipp earned a baseball scholarship to Northwestern and later signed a pro baseball contract with Philadelphia Phillies. He caught baseball Hall of Famer Warren Spahn in the Winston-Salem League. He served in the Army during World War II and was awarded a Bronze Star and Combat Infantry Badge in General George Patton's 3rd Army.
Gil Hunt (1944): In 1943, Hunt broke the vocational and academic high school cross country record, running 15 minutes, 41 seconds. In the 1944 All-High track meet, he won the mile run to end the season undefeated in that event. He attended Michigan State and was part of the 1948 cross country championship team that won NCAA, ICAA and National Senior AAU titles.
Donald Holland (1947): Holland was named All-High quarterback in 1946 and '47, captaining the Violets to Harvard Cup championship games. He played basketball, baseball and rowed for the crew team. He was inducted into the Harvard Cup Hall of Fame this year. He quarterbacked the University of Buffalo in early 1950s and set many passing records that stayed on the books for over a decade. He was inducted into UB's Hall of Fame in 1967.
Carl Markey (1947): Played four years of baseball and three each of football and basketball. He was named All-High in football and baseball his senior year. Markey was third in the Harvard Cup in scoring as a receiver, combining with Holland to form the league's most feared combination. He played football at UB and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1980.
Tom Schwob (1947): A five-sport athlete (cross country, swimming, basketball, track and basketball). In cross country he was Lafayette's top finisher at the All-High meet. He was a three-year starter in basketball and ran the mile and did the high jump in track. He was the first freshman in 35 years to letter in swimming. He later played basketball at Buffalo State.
Joe Merlo (1953): Merlo was an All-High shortstop as a junior and senior, batting .571 as a senior. He was also an All-High guard in basketball, leading the Yale Cup in scoring (27.6 points per game). Merlo scored 54 points in his last game to set a single-season league record of 359 points in 13 games. At Buffalo State, he was team MVP for four years, All-American for two years, was the first 1,000-point scorer and a charter member of the Buffalo State Hall of Fame.
Alex Harris (1955): An All-High guard on the 1955 Yale Cup championship team and averaged 20 points per game. In track, he was a two-time All-High champion in the high jump. He played one year of football at wingback, making honorable mention All-High in 1954. At Virginia Union College he was named Athlete of the Year in 1957 and '58.
Tom Dixon (1955): Dixon received All-High honors in cross country and track, earning first place in 1954 in cross country and the 880-yard run in track. He was offered a then-rare track scholarship to Syracuse. He was awarded "Teacher of the Year" in 1988 during a 30-year career in the Grand Island Schools.
Don King (1956): The Harvard Cup's leading passer and total yardage leader in 1954 and 1955, making the Scholastic Magazine All-American team. He led the Violets to Yale Cup titles in 1955 and 1956. He played football and basketball at Syracuse, playing both ways and was the second-leading rusher. He was a sixth-round draft choice of the Detroit Lions. He was inducted into the Harvard Cup Hall of Fame in 2002.
Alonzo Barnes (1957): A football, basketball and track standout. Dubbed the "440 King," Barnes won the event three consecutive years in the All-High meet. He was selected All-High in basketball in 1956 and 1957, leading the Violets to an undefeated Yale Cup title in 1956. As a senior, he led the league in scoring and rebounding. He was a four-year starter in football at end.
Joe LoTempio (1962): LoTempio played four years of basketball, culminating with a Yale Cup title in 1962. He captained the 1962 Violets and was All-High as the league's second-leading scorer (17.5) and league leader in rebounding (15). He made All-High in football at tackle and played second doubles in tennis as a senior. At Buffalo State, he played basketball and tennis and was the second-leading scorer as a senior.
Bob Carnevale (1965): Carnevale was a four-sport athlete. He was a three-year starter in football, making All-High as a tackle/linebacker. He captained the basketball and football teams, leading the Violets to a 1964 Yale Cup. He was named "Most Outstanding Student" by Principal Robert McGowan and the Buffalo Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1965. He played first base and outfield in baseball and was a shot putter in track. He was inducted into the JFK Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
Joe Serafin (1966): In baseball, Serafin played four years in the infield, helping lead Lafayette to the 1964 Cornell Cup title while batting .471. He made All-High at end in football in 1966 while only playing his senior year. He was a member of the Western New York Baseball and JFK Football Halls of Fame. He served in Vietnam, earning a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantry Badge.
Kathy Gleason-Jachter (1967): While at Lafayette, Gleason-Jachter showed the promise of becoming an Olympic gymnast. She made the 1968 USA Team and competed in Mexico City. In 1972, she was the National Collegiate All-Around champion. She was the gold-medal winner at the 1967 Pan-American Games, the 1967 North American All-Around champion and the 1965 National Turn-Verein All-Around champion.
Kathy Terragnoli (1971): Terragnoli and Nancy Holzerland are recognized for returning varsity sports for girls to the Buffalo Public Schools. In 1970, girls were allowed to try out for several noncontact boys sports. Terragnoli and Holzerland played at second doubles on the tennis team and won the Dr. Bapst title.
Nancy Holzerland (1971): Holzerland was one of only four girls to play tennis in the Dr. Bapst league in 1970. At second doubles, she helped Lafayette win its sixth consecutive title. She was inducted into Buffalo State's Hall of Fame following a basketball and tennis career in which she captained both teams for three years.
David Boyd (1972): Boyd was a two-time All-High pick at quarterback while serving as captain of the 1970 and 1971 teams. He was named to the News/Courier All-Western New York team in 1971. He led the Harvard Cup in passing and total offense while scoring touchdowns five ways: rushing, passing, kickoff, punt and interception returns. He ran the 100 and 220 in track and was a point guard on the basketball team.
Andy Terranova (1975): Captain and quarterback for three years, earning All-High his senior year. In tennis, he was third singles and won the Section VI BB Doubles Championship in 1975. He won the Billy Kelly Award as the Buffalo Public Schools' finest athlete in 1975. He was a three-year starter at quarterback at Union College. As a senior won Union's Outstanding Student-Athlete award.
Wayne Bolden (1978): All-High running back in 1977 and '78, leading the Violets to the Harvard Cup Championship in 1977 and runner-up in 1978. He was named All-Western New York as a running back in 1978 after leading the league in scoring and rushing. He played in only three losing games in three years of football. He was a two-year starter in basketball, helping the Violets win the 1977 Yale Cup Title. He's an inductee into Western New York Softball Hall of Fame.
Scott Keller (1978): Led the Violets to the 1977 and '78 Cornell Cup while earning All-High both years. In football, he earned All-High honors at guard. He swam the freestyle for three years. He won the Billy Kelly Award as the Buffalo Public Schools' finest student-athlete. He later captained the Hilbert College baseball team in 1980 and 1981.
Glenn Taplin (1980): A three-year starter at quarterback and earned All-High honors in 1978 and 1979. In basketball, he was selected All-High in 1980. He played football at Canisius College and was named to the All-East Team in 1984.
Rachel Kaiser-Mathien (1981): One of the greatest swimmers in Lafayette and Buffalo Schools history, earning All-High all four years. She set league records in the 60-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke.
Angela Castiglia (1991): Played four years of volleyball, basketball and softball. She captained all three teams in her junior and senior years, making All-High for three years in softball at shortstop and two years at guard in basketball. She won MVP honors in the McDonald's All-Star basketball game, winning a scoreboard for the Lafayette gym. She was a recipient of the "National Physical Education Award."
Lorraine Dunlop (1997): In track, Dunlop won the 100-yard dash and was on the winning 200 relay for three straight years. She was Section VI champion in the 100 and 200 and was New York State champion in the 100 and 200 meters two years in a row. At Indiana University, she helped lead the Hoosiers to three Big Ten Titles. She was All-American twice in the 400 relay and once in the 60 meter dash.