The Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame unveiled its third permanent exhibit last week at Huntington Town Hall to honor its outstanding local athletes.
The exhibit pays tribute to the inductees of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame who have a connection to Huntington as players, coaches, or residents. Among the celebrated professional athletes are football’s Emerson Boozer and Wesley Walker, boxing’s Gerry Cooney, hockey’s Clark Gillies, basketball’s Tom Gugliotta and soccer’s Sara Whalen. Individual photos of the 30 inductees now adorn the exhibit area in the west wing of the building located at 100 Main Street in Huntington.
“It gives me a sense of pride to have Huntington Town Hall as the host of this exhibit honoring Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame inductees with a connection to the Town of Huntington,” Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci said Thursday. “These exceptional players, coaches and residents, including former professional athletes, have made substantial contributions in the fields of professional and amateur sports and serve as an inspiration to Huntington’s young aspiring athletes.”
The Huntington exhibit is the third satellite display established by the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame. The others are located at Long Island MacArthur Airport and at Bethpage Ballpark, home of the Long Island Ducks.
“The Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame continues to grow and spread its legacy across our great county,” said Chris R. Vaccaro, executive director of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame. “We’re so proud to partner with the Town of Huntington and bring this exhibit to life, honoring these legendary men and women on an intimate level with their hometown and region.”
The Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame is a nonprofit established during 1990 to honor outstanding people, living or deceased, who have gained prominence and made substantial contributions on behalf of themselves and Suffolk, in the fields of professional and amateur sports. More than 300 people have been inducted over the past 29 years. The organization will celebrate its 2019 induction on May 16.
The additional Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame inductees featured in the Huntington exhibit are Stephen Bowen, Charles Boccia, Don Buckley, Jill Byers, Fred Cambria, Rich Castellano, Tony Cerullo, Bob Chipman, Tom Combs, Bill Edwards, Melvin Fowler, Fred Fusaro, Lou Giani, Frank Gugliotta, Tom Gugliotta, Kim Gwydir, Bob Herzog, Bill Ketcham, John Nitti, Ed Norton, Carol Rose, Cathy Vayianos and Ann Marie Wyckoff-Bagshaw.
The exhibit also features a collage honoring James C. Metzger, chairman and CEO of The Whitmore Group. A native of the town, he was inducted into the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. The collage showcases Metzger’s sports career at Half Hollow Hills High School (lacrosse, football and basketball), at Hofstra University (lacrosse All-American), his insurance brokerage business (The Whitmore Group) and his philanthropic programs on Long Island. Among the organizations supported by Metzger are Nassau and Suffolk county lacrosse programs, education and athletic programs at Hofstra, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island and the American Heart Association.
“I am very appreciative and excited to be included in this wonderful new exhibit and I extend my thanks to the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame and the Town of Huntington for recognizing my athletic career along with my business and philanthropic contributions to Long Island,” said Metzger at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “It is a wonderful honor to be featured in an exhibit that places the spotlight on so many talented local people, including American hero Ray Enners, who are connected to amateur and professional athletics.”
Lt. Raymond J. Enners was a 1960s lacrosse star at Half Hollow Hills High School and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was killed in action in Vietnam.