The Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame announced its inductees for the Class of 2018 on Tuesday in Smithtown, and there were some local names on the list.
Nine individual athletes from Suffolk County (full list below) were selected, along with a group award. The names were unveiled at Watermill Caterers.
“It’s with great pride that we introduce the Class of 2018,” said the new executive director of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame, Chris Vaccaro. “We have a diverse group from pro to amateur athletics, all with an undying passion for their hometown of Suffolk County.”
Among the selections were All-American women’s lacrosse player Shannon Smith of West Babylon and longtime Babylon football coach Hans Wiederkehr.
Smith, who won three NCAA tournaments for Northwestern University, is currently the head coach of Hofstra’s team.
During her playing career at West Babylon High School, she tallied 729 points on 505 goals and 224 assists. To date, her points and goals are the most-ever for girls lacrosse in New York State history.
“I couldn’t be more thankful, I am really excited for this honor and humbled to be here,” she said at the press conference.
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Wiederkehr was also a Division I athlete, playing football for Syracuse and then one year professionally for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After his pro football stint, he became a teacher and physical education director for the Babylon School District, as well as a varsity football coach for Babylon High School.
Wiederkehr led his team two Division IV Long Island championships before heading to Shoreham-Wading River and winning three championships and two Rutger’s Trophies.
He is also one of the longest tenured athletic administrators in Suffolk County history.
“I’d like to thank all the kids that have played for me,” he said. “That is probably the main reason why I am here, I love the kids.”
Smith and Wiederkehr, along with the rest of their class, will be officially inducted in a ceremony on May 10 at the Watermill. Tickets will be available online.
Top: Hans Wiederkehr giving a short speech at the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame press conference on Tuesday. (Credit: Nicholas Esposito)
- Stephen Bowen: Former NFL player from Half Hallow Hills West who currently works for the NFL
- Robert Burkley: Longtime track and field coach from Middle Country School District, went 26 years without a loss
- Joe Dooley: Highly regarded Suffolk County football referee for 39 years
- Cheryl Klein-Obelar: Recorded-breaking discus and shot put thrower for Bellport High School and University of Houston
- Edward Morris: Former executive director of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame; he served from 2000-2017
- Matt Ryan: Former U.S. Olympian handball player from Miller Place
- Shannon Smith: All-American lacrosse player from West Babylon who coaches Hofstra’s woman’s lacrosse team.
- Clem Stancik: Winningest tennis coach in New York State history for Brentwood High School
- Hans Wiederkehr: Former NFL player, Babylon football coach, and Suffolk County football administrator
- Special Recognition Award: Bay Shore Junior Fire Department Racing team
Top: Coach Hans Wiederkehr speaks to his Hall of Fame selection. (Credit: Nicholas Esposito)