Without question one of the highlights of the Summer Olympics in London was the gold medal-winning performance of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team which featured a trio of players from New Jersey. 

Kevin Willliams with Olympian Christine Rampone (Ed Sarluca, Townsquare Media NJ)

So it seemed fitting that Christie Rampone, Carli Lloyd and Heather O’Reilly would be part of the 17th Annual Hall of Fame Class honored by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Monday at the Pines Manor in Edison.

Rampone is quite familiar to those of us from the Jersey Shore as she burst onto the sports scene as a teen-ager at Point Pleasant Borough High School where she starred in soccer, basketball and field hockey.

Quite possibly the greatest female athlete in shore history, the former Christie Pearce would star at Monmouth University before beginning what has become a legendary career with the U.S. National team on which she has served as captain since 2008.

Lloyd of Delran and O’Reilly from East Brunswick joined Rampone on the gold-medal stand in London and on the platform in Edison Monday along with other notables like football standouts Billy Ard, Dave Szott and Tony Woods.

Kevin Williams with Dave Szott,former offensive lineman at Penn State who played 14 seasons in the NFL and now works for the Jets as their Director of Player Development (Ed Sarluca, Townsquare Media NJ)

Monte Irvin, one of the first players to break baseball’s color barrier was represented by a family friend.  The 93-year old who grew up in Orange is the oldest living African-American to have played in the major leagues.

Yesterday’s luncheon also saw some three dozen individuals receive Awards of Honor from the NJSIAA.  That group featured a large number of coaches in various high school sports with the Shore Conference represented by Marlboro tennis coach Dave Kretzmer and Freehold Boro gymnastics coach Kathleen Pusz.

Also saluted was former Point Pleasant Beach and Howell Wrestling coach Doug Bower, who is President of the New Jersey Wrestling Coaches Association and the Region 6 Coaches Association.

Kevin Williams and NJSIAA’s Sports Reporter Award (Ed Sarluca, Townsquare Media NJ)

While nobody likes people who talk about themselves I’m sort of obligated to mention that I received the NJSIAA’s Sports Reporter Award.  I’m especially grateful to by Shore Sports Network colleague Ed "Luch" Sarluca, who accompanied me to Edison and drove because he knows the area so well.  Still trying to figure out how we got lost on Route 27 and just managed to get in our seats in time for the luncheon.