North Rose-Wolcott honors Athletic Hall of Fame inductees

COURTESY OF NORTH ROSE-WOLCOTT CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

The North Rose-Wolcott Central School District recently inducted five people into its Athletic Hall of Fame during a ceremony at North Rose-Wolcott High School. 

The Athletic Hall of Fame was established to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding athletes, coaches, administrators and Cougar supporters, and enhance current student-athletes’ understanding and appreciation for the positive role models in the tradition of Cougar Athletics. 

Through nomination and committee selection, the Hall of Fame recognizes athletes who have graduated from NR-W a minimum of 10 years, individuals who made significant contributions to NR-W athletic programs as a coach, or individuals who made a significant impact on district, sectional, regional, state, national, professional or international athletics. 

This year’s honorees are Jermel Brown, Mike DeWispelaere, Kelly Lockwood Ferrente, Pete Stewart and Thomas Tathum. 

John Sklenar, right, accepts the North Rose-Wolcott Athletic Hall of Fame Award on behalf of Pete Stewart. At left is Duke Mitchell, co-chair of the Hall of Fame Committee.

Brown, of Wolcott, Class of 2001, was a multi-sport athlete who competed in volleyball, basketball and track and field. In every sport, he was a multi-year recipient of MVP awards and all-tournament selections. He was selected as MVP and an All-County team member multiple times in track and field, a three-time Section V champion and a state champion in the high jump in 1999. Brown continues to hold the NR-W record in high jump at 6 feet, 10 inches.

DeWispelaere, of Wolcott, Class of 1996, was a multi-sport athlete at the highest level in high school, playing baseball and soccer. As a soccer player, DeWispelaere received multiple All-County team selections and, in 1995, was chosen as the Class CC tournament MVP and made the All-Greater Rochester and All-State teams. He currently works with two young men’s soccer teams and a boys baseball team, and plays soccer as a member of the Jets summer soccer league. 

Ferrente, of Newark, Class of 1982, participated in soccer, swimming and volleyball through middle and high school. She received the Robert Bradbury Award in 1982 for her athletic performance, sportsmanship and integrity. Ferrente continued to play soccer in junior college, coached youth soccer teams and served as coach of the NR-W girls soccer team for 10 years.

Stewart, who died this past January, was known for his coaching and promotion of soccer in the area. He coached at the high school level and ran summer programs. He was instrumental in starting the Jets soccer program and coached for it for many years. Later on, Stewart could be found recording soccer games at many venues. 

Tathum, former athletic director and basketball coach, was known for demanding the best from his players and all NR-W students. He recognized dedication and differences in abilities, and made a difference in countless students’ lives. Since his retirement, Tathum has been involved with the Central New York National Football Foundation and Special Olympics. He splits his time between Central Square and Naples, Florida.