HALL OF FAME: Chairman Seeks Nominees

The committee has set a deadline of March 29 for receiving the 2013 nominations
One of the inaugural Hall of Fame class’s inductees was Ed Petrie (at right, shaking hands with the athletic director, Joe Vas), the winningest public high school boys basketball coach in New York State. Jim Stewart

   Now is the time for all worthy nominees to come the attention of East Hampton High School’s Hall of Fame committee, its chairman, Jim Nicoletti, said in so many words during a conversation Friday.
    “We want to keep the momentum going,” said Nicoletti, who oversaw the induction of the Hall’s first class at homecoming weekend last September, a day he aptly described at the time as “one of the greatest days in Bonac sports history.”
    “You know, thinking back on that, we really didn’t know what to expect,” said the high school’s former longtime varsity baseball and tennis coach. “A week before the ceremony 90 people had signed up for the induction day breakfast. But then it began to snowball. Joe [Vas, East Hampton’s athletic director] called me to say there were 40 more, and then, when he called to say there were more than 200 he suggested we think of cutting it off. We had to order the food and the acceptances kept coming. We wound up with over 400 people at the breakfast and the ceremony! It was a great day, the presenters and the inductees spoke movingly, especially Howard [Wood] saying he wished everyone there could one time in their lives have the opportunity to feel what he was feeling. Every single Hall of Fame inductee was represented — by family members in the case of those who were posthumous honorees. People came from as far away as Florida. And then that night the football team, which had been struggling, won!”
    “Somebody said to me that day, ‘Are you going to do this every year?’ Some Halls don’t have an induction ceremony every year — they have it every other year — and you do wonder how we could ever top that inaugural induction, but then you consider that there’ll be a different cast of characters this year . . . new inductees, new teams . . . some new committee members. . . . So, what we need now are nominations from the public, from family members, friends, coaches. . . . The nominators must do the research, however — committee members can’t be the researchers. Telephoning the nominee for information, or the nominee’s family, should be helpful.”
    Nicoletti said the committee — whose new members are Ginny Reale, Bob Budd, and Dave Cheney — has set a deadline of March 29 for receiving the 2013 nominations, which can be had online (by going to the ehufsd.org Web site) or which can be picked up at the East Hampton Library or at the athletic office at East Hampton High School.
    Nicoletti added that the committee’s board of historical advisers has two new members — Chris Tracey and Jim Brooks, who have replaced Budd and Cheney.
    “I put out 60 nominating packets in the hall last year, and they were all gone by the time the ceremony was over, but apparently the people who picked them up have been putting it off. That’s why we’ve set the deadline at the end of this month.”
    “We may decide to consider up to 12 nominees this year, say, which means that each of us on the committee will pick his or her 12 favorites from among last year’s list of nominees who didn’t make it and from the new nominations. Recommendations must be seconded by a fellow committee member. That gets the prospective inductee’s name on the ballot. A certain number of votes is required for induction.”
    Nominations (the nominees must have played sports at East Hampton High School and must have graduated from it at least 10 years prior to their consideration for the Hall of Fame) “remain active for 10 years,” said Nicoletti, who added that “everybody we get a packet on will be considered this year.”
    Nominating packets can be taken to the high school’s athletic office, or mailed in care of Jim Nicoletti, East Hampton High School Athletics, 2 Long Lane, East Hampton 11937.
    “If people have any questions, they can call me at 324-8260.”