Two former Great Neck faculty members will be inducted into the second class of the newly established Nassau County High School Athletics Hall of Fame (HOF), according to the Nassau County Public High School Athletic Association and County Executive Ed Mangano.
A privately funded endeavor, the HOF was created to recognize, preserve and promote the heritage of interscholastic sports in Nassau County and will be located in the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum upon completion of the arena’s transformation.
“Sports provide our young people with important lessons, personal value, leadership skills, physical activity and social interaction skills that will benefit all involved for the rest of their lives,” said Mangano. “The Nassau County High School Athletics Hall of Fame provides an avenue to honor the most gifted athletes, coaches, contest officials, administrators and related contributors while helping promote healthy competition here and strengthening interscholastic sports.”
The 2016 class is composed of 31 inductees; including 11 athletes, eight coaches, six administrators, four officials and two contributors. Local honorees include Bob Baratta and Gilbert Blum.
Coach Bob Baratta was the founding father for Section VIII Winter Track and Field. He became the Section VIII coordinator of Cross Country, Winter Track and Spring Track. From 1964-1994, Baratta taught physical education and coached cross country at Great Neck South High School; his overall cross-country league meet record was 350-34. His spring track and field coaching record was an amazing 414 wins and only 38 losses. Many of Baratta’s track initiatives, methods and philosophies are still in use across the county.
Administrator Gilbert Blum was a building principal at Great Neck South High School for 23 years. He served in many leadership capacities with the governing bodies of athletics in Nassau County and New York State and was involved in the merger of the original North Shore and South Shore athletics into one governing body in Nassau County—the Section VIII Athletic Council. Blum also helped establish guidelines for sports coordinators.
An Induction Ceremony for the Nassau County High School Athletics HOF Class of 2016 will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Crest Hollow Country Club. For more information, call 516-396-2488 or visit www.nassauboces.org/page/6523.