"Roselle Catholic has a very aggressive, talented and hustling team and they are perfectly behaved young ladies from all that we’ve seen over the year,” White said. “You can't get better than that.
The Roselle Catholic alumni came together in an amazing effort to raise the necessary funds to bring baseball back to the RC campus last year with the upgrade to the baseball field. RC Baseball coach Dan Olear (RC '85) gave the baseball alumni a chance to play on the newly constructed field named in their honor at Alumni Park by hosting the 1st Roselle Catholic Alumni Baseball Game on Saturday, September 16th.
The Roselle Catholic community was saddened to learn that Edward "Eddie" Sisk, Class of 1975, Patriarch of Elizabeth's fire department as second-generation fire chief, RC Board Member and leading figure in Roselle Catholic and Irish-American circles and youth sports coach, passed away on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 at age 60.
When I first heard the very shocking and sad news that Ed Sisk of the Class of 1975 had suddenly left us, my immediate thought of Ed was, “his devotion to Roselle Catholic was matchless.” It took only a minute before I realized that RC was not the only fortunate recipient of Ed’s dedication and devotion. Ed had an extraordinarily wide orbit that he brought his boundless energy, commitment and enthusiasm to bear.
First and foremost Ed was devoted to his family, wife Helen, and their three children, Edward, Nicholas and Erin, all RC alumni. Ed was devoted to the Elizabeth Fire Department, which he joined in 1980, rising through the ranks, following his father’s legacy to become its Chief in 2003, before retiring in 2010.
It’s an understatement to say Ed was a man of many passions. He was a dedicated board member at Roselle Catholic, an active volunteer in the RC community, running fundraisers, and coaching girls' softball from 2003 to 2015.
In September of 2011, as RC Board Chair at the time, I asked Ed to join the board. It was here that I saw first hand the devotion and work ethic that was part of Ed’s DNA. Ed was not satisfied just coming to Board meetings. He had to be involved. He volunteered. He did the heavy lifting! In addition to his coaching RC Girls softball for 12-years, he brought his ceaseless energy to the Board’s Physical Plant & Campus Safety committee and its many projects, as well as organizing the RC Saint Patrick's Day Dance.
Ed was also a dedicated parishioner to St. Genevieve's in Elizabeth and active member of the Knights of Columbus.
Upon retirement, Ed continued his dedication to civil service as a contractor and subject matter expert for the N.J. Civil Service Commission. In addition to his memorable career with the EFD, Ed led a life dedicated to volunteerism in the community. He was an active volunteer with youth sport programs with Saint Adalbert's, Saint John the Apostle, North Elizabeth Little League, and Elmora Youth League.
Ed found great joy in combining his Irish heritage with his desire to give back. He was a past president of The Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick of Union County and was named the Union County Saint Patrick's Day Parade's Distinguished Serviceman of the Year.
In 2007, Chief Sisk took immense pride in swearing in his two sons, Eddie and Nick, as fourth generation firefighters in the City of Elizabeth, continuing a family honor and tradition. Daughter Erin Sisk ’06 shared, “Many say one of the proudest days of of my Dad's life was swearing in his two sons into EFD, but our father was proud, everyday, of Eddie and Nick, the men they have become, and the men they continue to be.”
Ed was instrumental in coordinating the Elizabeth Fire Department's mutual aid response to New York City following the 9/11 attack. He was a past president of Elizabeth IAFF Fire Officers Local 2040.
Daughter Erin further shared, “They say age is just a number, despite only having 60 short years, Dad accomplished more than most do in 90 years. He joined the Elizabeth Fire Department and quickly climbed the ranks, but never with sacrificing any aspect of his family life. He stood by us all in any way he could. We are better people for having Eddie Sisk in our lives, but we are even better for having been loved by him.”
One alum, having attended Ed's wake and funeral mass, told me that it resembled the memorial for a Head of State. Knowing Ed, I think he’d be embarrassed by that. Yet, for us he left behind and the wide orbit he touched, it’s a tribute we know he deserves.
In his memory, Ed’s family and family’s have established The Edward Joseph Sisk Scholarship Fund at Roselle Catholic. Donations may be made online via the link below or sent to Roselle Catholic High School, 350 Raritan Rd., Roselle, N.J. 07203
by Tom Libonate '64
Again this year, Roselle Catholic maintained its strong association with Write on Sports, a non-profit organization that works to improve students’ writing skills through sports reporting.
Aspiring sportswriters were once more were given the chance to develop their skills through instruction from professional sportswriters and experience interviewing high profile basketball players.
Before he answered a middle school student’s inquiry, 6-foot-8 professional basketball player Jameel Warney, seated inside the loccker room at his alma mater, looked the preteen in the eye, smiled and said: “That’s a good question.”
A guest appearance from Warney on July 18 was one of the highlights of the two-week, tuition-free Write on Sports camp at Roselle Catholic, which was attended by eight students who’ll be entering grades six through nine next month.
Warney, Roselle Catholic High School’s all-time leading scorer, a Stony Brook University hoops legend, whose retired jersey #20 hangs from the rafters of the school’s on-campus arena, and a key player for the Texas Legends of the NBA-D League last winter – swimmingly fielded questions from campers-turned-reporters during an informative Q&A session that the middle schoolers used to gather information to pen a news story for the camp’s blog.
“They asked some very good questions,” said Warney, RC Class of 2012. “I was actually a little surprised at how well the campers were prepared.”
“I enjoyed seeing the campers learn so much in a short period of time,” said Ashley Skrec, co-director the Write on Sports session at Roselle Catholic. “By the end of two weeks, they knew all about the 5 W’s of journalism, bylines, headlines, and how to ask our guests good questions.
“I especially loved seeing them put their skills to use in our press conferences. They were proud to raise their hands and say, “Hi, I am (name stated) from Write on Sports and my question is. This is a skill not many of them had before walking through the RC doors on July 17th. It was a pleasure to see them grow as learners and writers.”
Warney, who visited WoS at RC in between NBA summer league stints in Orlando (with the Dallas Marvericks) and Las Vegas (Los Angeles Clippers), concluded his visit with a post-game locker-room session with the campers, who faced deadline-like time restrictions to ask questions. Was one of two high-profile basketball guests to visit the Write on Sports session on Roselle Catholic.
Syracuse University sophomore Tyus Battle, a graduate of St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, and Gannett NJ sports writer Jerry Carino, whose Hoops Haven blog is a must read for college basketball fans in the Garden State, spoke to and answered questions from campers on July 26. Battle, an All-ACC Academic Men’s Basketball Team selection, averaged 11.3 points per game for the Orange this past season. He started 25 games, including the final 22.
Over the course of the season, Battle emerged as a reliable offensive threat for Syracuse. In the Orange's last seven games, Battle's scoring average soared to 17.4 points per game.
"Write on Sports is just a fantastic concept, using sports as a way to inspire kids to write,” said Carino, who teaches a sports journalism class at Kean University. “Interacting with the inquisitive, well-prepared Roselle Catholic campers is a treat – as is watching fellow guests do the same.
“Tyus Battle has played in front of 30,000 fans and been interviewed by hundreds of reporters, you could tell he got a real kick out of the give-and-take with these kids. And you know what? They got insights from a guy who might be a year away from playing in the NBA. You can't beat that for hands-on learning."
In between the visits of big-time basketball guests, the Write on Sports campers at Roselle Catholic attended a New jersey Jackals baseball game at Montclair State University, wrote feature stories for a student-produced magazine and teamed up to create sports-related videos that were shown to friends and family following the final camp session.
“Write on Sports is a very positive experience for campers because it is an opportunity for them to make friends, have some fun, and strengthen their writing skills,” said Skrec, a junior at Marist College, who was a four-year varsity basketball player and valedictorian of Roselle Catholic’s Class of 2015.
“As a first year camp counselor, I was not too sure what to expect, so I really came in with an open mind. I was pleasantly surprised to see how engaged and excited the campers often were about the Write on Sports content. I know that writing in the summer may not be the most glamorous or fun activity to be doing, but the campers really worked hard to learn good journalism skills and write creative stories.
“It was great to see the campers take ownership of their work and really get involved in the different activities. Overall, the entire experience was very motivating for me as a future educator. It is a great feeling when you see students interested in learning.”
Jameel Warney, Roselle Catholic High School’s all-time leading scorer, made an appearance at Roselle Catholic Basketball Camp on June 22, just a day after returning to New Jersey from the Dallas Mavericks’ training camp in The Lone Star State.
Warney – who had his jersey (#20) retired at Stony Brook University last winter – showed no signs of jet lag as he answered questions from enthusiastic campers, ranging from first graders to incoming high school freshmen, threw down some dunks and even played a little one-on-one with a few excited grade schoolers.
Playing 44 games for the Texas Legends, the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, averaged 17.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1 block on 58% from the field in only 29 minutes per game. Warney and the Legends played in front of some of the D-League’s most enthusiastic and supportive crowds as Texas averaged 6,000 per home game in Frisco.
Jameel Warney suited up for the Dallas Mavericks in the Orlando Pro Summer League where he was named the #5 top player in league play.
A 2012 graduate of Roselle Catholic, Warney, who was one of 40 players invited to the D-League Elite Mini Camp in Chicago in May, will next suit up for Dallas on July 1st at the Orlando Pro Summer League. Warney will also join the Los Angeles Clippers for the NBA Summer League 2017 between July 7-17 for games at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.
A three-time America East Conference Player of the Year selection (2014-16), Warney and the Seawolves won the 2016 America East Conference Tournament to secure the program’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament (where Stony Brook fell to Kentucky and fellow RC graduate Isaiah Briscoe). He scored 43 points against Vermont in the ESPN-televised conference final.
Warney concluded his Seawolves’ career as the school’s all-time leader in points (2,132), rebounds (1,275), blocks (275) and games played. At Stony Brook, Warney played for current Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell (and assistant coach Jay Young).
A Stony Brook University graduate, Warney hopes to continue pursuit of his NBA dream with a training camp invite in the fall. If Warney fails to land-on an NBA roster, he’ll have options to play professionally overseas.
In 2012, Warney, a Plainfield resident, helped Roselle Catholic and coach Dave Boff reach the Union County Tournament final for just the second time (and first since 1963) at that point in program history. Plainfield defeated the Lions, 72-66, in the ’12 UCT final at Kean University.
The Roselle Catholic Basketball Camp concluded July 14 in The Lions’ Den with an awards ceremony.
This Spring saw the first official varsity baseball game on the Roselle Catholic campus in almost 30 years.
When varsity baseball was last played on the RC campus, Dan Olear from the class of 1985 hit a home run over the left center fence in one of his final at bats as a Lion.
Coach Olear, who returned to guide the Lions baseball team this past season, fondly remembers his playing days on the very same diamond. New memories on the field have already begun to take form, and there are many more to come.
Alumni Park has brought baseball back to RC campus -- and with it came the fans and a heightened energy. The new scoreboard, generously donated by the class of 1966, the refurbished dugouts, major league grade infield, new bleachers, outdoor hitting cage and bullpens have proven to be great upgrades in bringing baseball back on campus. Most notably the two "green monsters" standing 30 feet high in both right and left field, are the signature of Alumni Park.
While the planned festivities the first two weekends of the season were cancelled due to the weather, Xavier Krok threw the first official pitch at the newly renovated ballpark on April 8th in a game versus Brearley.
This year's RC Golf Classic was a big hit, especially considering the weather forecast looked questionable at best hours before alumni and friends were to tee off.
Luckily for the 80+ golfers the skies remained clear for the entire round and the course at NJ National Golf Club was in great condition.
The winning team of Nick Sisk '03, Kenneth Nocera '94, Joe Ferrara '93 and John Verdon '93 shot a 12-Under Par 60 to take the championship by two strokes over Dave Boff, Brian Koch '04, Steve Richel and Vin Gulbin. Finishing in 3rd Place were John Korn '85, Jack Ryan '85, Jeff Spotts '85 and John Trumball '85.
After the round the group enjoyed food and drinks while participating in both a silent and live auction. Everyone had a wonderful day of golf and friendship.
Special thanks to Golf Chair, Joe Higgins, and also Michelle Campbell who helped with everything leading up to the event and the activities at the course.
View more photos on RC SmugMug >> CLICK HERE
On Sunday, June 4, 2017, the ninety-six (96) members of Roselle Catholic Class of 2017 received their diplomas, capping their high school years and joining the ranks of the 8,000 alumni who have preceded them across the stage in The Lions’ Den where, as always, this year’s Commencement ceremony took place.
Our seniors were joined in the procession by members of the Classes of 1967 and 1992, whom the school invited to participate in honor of the fiftieth and twenty-fifth anniversaries of their RC graduations. Virginia Hoffman Gilcrest, a member of Girls Catholic High School’s Class of 1967, a former elementary school principal in Roselle Park and Vice Chair of the RC Board, greeted the graduates and officially welcomed them into the ranks of the RC alumni.
Virginia Hoffman Gilcrest, GC '67, a member of the class of 1967 being
honored on the fiftieth anniversary of their RC & GC graduation,
welcomes the graduates into the ranks of the RC alumni
A former staff nurse at Elizabeth General Medical Center, Mrs. Gilchrist is a former Middle School Teacher and a former Pre-School teacher in Guatemala City, Guatemala. An adjunct professor at Kean University, Gina Hoffman Gilchrist’s children, Rob and Lindsey, graduated from Roselle Catholic in 2007.
Maxwell Jakob Cerra ranked first in the Class of ’17 for the past four years. In lieu of a valedictory speech, Max played a viola piece by Johan Sebastian Bach. Max’s father, John Cerra, graduated from Roselle Catholic in 1978.
Maxwell Cerra, class valedictorian, played a
viola piece in lieu of a valedictory address
Salutatorian Tochi Stephanie Uchono welcomed the Class of ’17, RC Faculty and guests to the graduation exercise. Tochi ranked second in the Class of ’17 for the past four years.
Roselle Catholic’s Assistant Principal for Academics, Martha Konczal, delivered the address to the graduates.
Salutatorian Tochi Stephanie Uchono receives one of her multiple
academic awards from RC President-Principal Tom Berrios
Ms. Konczal is retiring after nearly 20 years on Raritan Road. She arrived at RC in 1998 and was the school’s Librarian before moving into the Assistant Principal’s office.
Danile Moraske, Chairman of the World Language Department, delivered the Benediction. Mr. Moraske is retiring after nearly a decade at Roselle Catholic.
Just prior to the Benediction, Ms. Konczal, Mr. Moraske and Phyllis Wischusen – who’s retiring after 40 years as a math teacher at Roselle Catholic – were presented with flowers from Principal and President Tom Berrios.
Class of ’17 member Isabel Maria Cruz-Cunya began the exercise by singing the Star-Spangled Banner. RC Campus Minister Timothy Hagan delivered the Invocation following Isabel Cunya’s rendition of the National Anthem.
The annual Baccalaureate Mass was held June 1st at the Church of St. Joseph the Carpenter in Roselle for the Class of ’17.
Numerous photos courtesy of Ottie Lynne Paterson at Ottie Lynne Photography ottielynnephotography.com
Friday, May 19th was Walk-A-Thon & Wellness Day at Roselle Catholic!
Way back in the day at RC there were walk-a-thons. In 2016 the idea was revitalized to raise awareness for Roselle Catholic and its commitment to the practice of wellness and a healthy lifestyle.
The second annual Walk-A-Thon and Wellness Day again saw students and faculty hoofing around Warnanco Park to demonstrate their commitment to healthy living, and, not incidentally, to achieve the single biggest fund raising effort in RC’s history for the benefit of the school's scholarship fund.
The day began with a 3-mile walk to Roselle's Warinanco Park and then continued with Fitness and Wellness Activities led by a host of different experts, including the United States Marines!
Following the walk, students and faculty returned to RC for the Wellness portion of the day, which took place on Chakey Field and in the Lions Den.
The wellness activities included:
(1) Three stations with the United States Marine Corp, who came and volunteered to put the students through various activities and exercises.
(2) After being whipped into shape, the students convened at a learning station created and run by RC Resident HealthPro expert, Mrs. Patrone, where they learned more about the essentials of healthy living.
(3) A stretching station with RC Basketball Trainer James Hand, who led the students through various stretches and explained the importance of flexibility
The wellness portion of the day had many active faculty participants led by Athletic Director John Ahmuty and teacher / head of RC Campus Ministry Tim Hagan, who not only joined in, but also helped coordinate the afternoon activities.
In a remarkable display of generosity, an alumnus from the Class of 1966 and his family offered to match all contributions on a 1-to-1 basis, which turned into $600,000, by far the largest single fundraising success in school history!
All of the day's proceeds will be dedicated to financial aid for deserving students.
Thanks to Dave Boff and Michelle Campbell of our Development Office, to President-Principal Tom Berrios, to our students and faculty who participated in what was an incredible day for RC, all made possible by the generous support of parents, donors and sponsors!
See more photos on RC's smugmug.
Thanks To These Event Sponsors:
Robert Wood Johnson
RC Mothers Club
Cheng Insurance Associates
Gene Chrzanowski, Georgetown Law School graduate, Air Force JAG officer, lawyer, and lately, Sport Fishing Charter Boat Captain in Key West, Passed Away Tuesday, May 9.
Many at the point when reflecting on their life look back with regret on unfulfilled dreams. Not Gene. He left a successful, high profile legal career of 29 years to become one of the top, most respected and beloved sport fishing charter boat captains in Key West. His profession and lust for life kept him fit, active and young in spirit, right to the end.
In 2012 I had the privilege, as I have had with so many RC alumni, to interview Captain Gene Chrzanowski, class of 1966, for a feature in the RC alumni magazine, THE LION.
In the published article I wrote: “He (Gene) has led a life straight out of a Jimmy Buffett song, and a Key West lifestyle that even Jimmy would envy!” Well, Gene personified the lyrics of another Buffett tune, the title of which is, “I’d Rather Die While I'm Living, Than Live While I'm Dead."
And boy did he live — and with no regrets —- even when enduring a bout of cancer that started with his prostate and spread aggressively and rapidly.
In addition to his charter sport fishing operation, Captain Gene regularly provided Key West offshore fishing reports for a local radio station and did a monthly article for a local magazine -- a talented writer, his articles appeared in FishMonster Magazine. In his October 2012 piece, he wrote: “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” Those were the famous words uttered by Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig the day he was honored at Yankee Stadium. However, Gene uttered those same words everyday for the past 15 years.
The life and career path of Gene Chrzanowski was unusual, to say the least. After Roselle Catholic, he graduated from Holy Cross, then on to Georgetown Law School. Gene passed three full bar exams - D.C, Virginia and California - all on the first attempt. He served in the US Air Force Reserves after law school from 1973 to 1976, as a Legal Assistance Officer, with the rank of 1st Lieutenant. Gene then practiced law for 29 years in those three places and walked away from high status and high paying jobs four times just for personal satisfaction reasons. However, the one exam he was most passionate about passing was his charter boat captain’s license.
I recall asking Gene a question that the rational mind begs to ask: “Why on earth would anyone in his right mind walk away from a respected law career to be a ‘6-pack’ charter sport fishing operator in Key West?” Typical of Gene, his response: "Why was I dumb enough to remain a lawyer for 29 years? I now live on a beautiful boat, a 47' Buddy Davis, and take people on offshore fishing trips. My ‘home’ is in the best location in the best place I've ever been - Key West - surrounded within 100 yards by six great bars and restaurants that have the nicest people in the world working at them and patronizing them. I get to meet and make close friends with some of the greatest folks in the world as customers and I get to make great memories for them by very often catching some of the most spectacular and best-tasting fish in the world. You can only do that when you never get married and don't have children.”
My heart sank when I received the news that Captain Gene had passed. While I knew how this was going to end, I wanted to believe it was not reality. I was buoyed by knowing that just two days earlier, in typical Gene Chrzanowki style, he had the rare opportunity to attend hos own “going away party” hosted by his many, many friends. It also helped going through the many photos on his boat’s Facebook page to see Gene in his bigger than life, life!
Since I connected with Gene for the article, I may have unconsciously lived vicariously through him. Maybe he's why I moved to an island in the “lower latitudes” -- certainly not one that's up to his standard or lifestyle. Yet one thing has resonated with me from my connection with Gene, his island life-style aside, is he learned over time what made him happy. He listened to his inner voice and realized what pursuits he did and did not enjoy -- all to get to a point where he definitively knew, without second-guessing or regrets, what made him happy in life. That is a trait to which too few can lay claim and a legacy that is all his.
Back when I asked him about his "favorite quotation" it led Gene to a connection from his RC days.
“My old Polish memory tells me that our Salutatorian, Mike Linkevich, quoted a Robert Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken.” I'm also sure that he was discussing higher principles. Still the older I get, I've come to realize that the last lines of the poem are a pretty good summary of my life -- never got married, never had kids, left good jobs to try something different.”
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost
Key West singer-song writer Tim Williams produced a music video in honor of his good friend, Captain Gene Chrzanowski --
CLICK HERE TO VIEW
by Tom Libonate '64
It was an especially happy St. Patrick’s Day for Roselle Catholic High School’s Dan Sullivan.
The Union County Friendly Sons of St. Patrick presented Dan Sullivan, RC ’74, who launched his teaching career at RC in 1980, with a Distinguished Service Award during its annual dinner at the Grand Summit Hotel on March 16.
Sullivan graduated from St. Joseph the Carpenter, Roselle Catholic (Class of ’74) and Montclair State University before teaching mathematics and devoting countless hours to thousands of Roselle Catholic students.
He’s involved in many aspects of the RC community, including Transportation Coordinator and Student Council moderator. Sullivan has likely been a part of more dances in the gym – including the Student Council’s semi formal and the annual St. Patrick’s Day dance for adults – than anyone in school history.
In addition to 36 years in the classroom, Sullivan’s RC resume includes a brief stint as the Lions’ Athletic Director in the early 1990s.
The award winner was joined at the dinner by his father, Dan, and two sons, Daniel (RC Class of ’06) and Ryan (’09). Sullivan and his wife of 34 years, Debbie, reside in Roselle.