Before tonight’s home football game against Brick Memorial the sports hall of fame at Central Regional High School will grow by six members, including a true coaching legend.

The new class is headlined by Madeline Dutton who will retire as the varsity field hockey coach sometime next month at the end of her 40th season.  Dutton began her Central tenure in 1969 as a health and physical education teacher and took over the Golden Eagles field hockey program in 1976 and as the saying goes, “never looked back.”

During her tenure Central has won 16 Shore Conference divisional championships and she was named coach of the year nine times.  She produced numerous All Shore and All State players, many of whom had successful college careers.  Her current team is 8-4 and she will end her career with nearly 500 wins.  There is no question Madeline Dutton would be the headliner of almost any Hall of Fame class.

Joining her will be another longtime coach, George Steinhauser, who spent nearly three decades as an assistant coach in football, wrestling and track.  He began the 7th & 8th grade wrestling program and was also founder of the Berkeley Mat Rat Wrestling program…George also coached Pop Warner Football in Berkeley.

The remainder of the class is made up of three former outstanding Central athletes including dominating softball pitcher Phyllis Angellella Aires, a 1981 graduate who was a two-time All Shore selection and in her senior season pitched the Golden Eagles to the Class A South and Ocean County Tournament championships.  She has been teaching in the Central district for thirty years.

Tom DeBlass graduated in 2000 as the school record holder in the long jump where he also won county and state sectional titles.  He was also part of the high jump relay team that set a school record and currently is one of the most respected Jiu-Jitsu figures in the world and owner of Ocean County Jiu-Jitsu.

Last but not least is Jessica Williams (no relation) who left Central in 2002 as a 4-year letter winner in both basketball and softball where she earned many awards and honors.  A team captain in both sports Jessica has been the assistant softball coach at Brookdale Community College since 2007.

Tonight’s ceremony will take place at 6pm in the gymnasium foyer where pictures of all the Hall of Fame members hang, including yours truly.  Clearly it was a mistake!