WILMINGTON — As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, Saint Mark’s High School will recognize some of its more memorable athletes and teams through a new Athletic Hall of Fame. Twelve individuals and teams are part of the inaugural class, which will be inducted on Feb. 21.
Since its establishment in 1969, Saint Mark’s has won more than 100 state championships, and many of its student-athletes have gone on to compete in college and professionally. The first hall of famers are as follows:
- The 1974 girls track team. This was not only the first girls team at Saint Mark’s to win a state championship, but the first Catholic school to do so. It was the first year the state allowed Catholic high schools to compete.
- Mike Ramone, Class of 1979. Ramone participated in several sports, including wrestling and cross country. It was his passion for swimming, however, that brought him back to the school to coach both the boys and girls from 1987-98. He led the girls to six state consecutive championships, a state record. Ramone is currently a state representative for the 21st District, which includes Saint Mark’s.
- The 1985 volleyball team. Led by coach Dave Stover, this was the first Spartans team to win a championship in volleyball. The Spartans finished the regular season 12-2 and went through three-time defending state champion Newark, A.I. duPont and Archmere to claim the top spot.
- The 1986 boys soccer team. The first boys soccer state champions in school history, these Spartans got through tough competition in Mount Pleasant, Concord and Tower Hill before the championship game against Salesianum. The title win was a 1-0 sudden-death overtime thriller.
- Chuck Hunter, Class of 1976. Hunter was a three-time all-state athlete and the first sophomore to be a football first-team all-state selection. He was part of three state tournament teams, including two champions, and went on to play at Ohio State. Today, Hunter is president of Affordable Fire Protection Inc. of Linwood, N.J.
- 1985 baseball team. The Spartans reached the state tournament in 1984, but they won the championship a year later. They entered the tournament with a 14-3 record and defeated three downstate teams — Delmar, Lake Forest and Sussex Central — for a chance at the title. Saint Mark’s defeated another Henlopen Conference foe, Seaford, by a 7-1 count for the trophy.
- Maureen Donovan, Class of 1983. Donovan was a four-year member of the varsity basketball squad, earning Delaware player of the year honors twice. She also led the Spartans to their first state championship, in 1983. Donovan continued her career at Virginia Tech and later became a coach at St. Joseph’s University.
- 1986 wrestling team. This team set the standard for years of wrestling excellence for the Spartans, capturing the school’s first state championship. They knocked off Salesianum that season and also took first place in the Yellow Jacket Invitational and the North East Tournament. The Spartans also had great success at the Top of the East and the East Brunswick tournaments.
- 1983 girls basketball team. After two consecutive seasons as the runners-up, the Spartans broke through for their first state championship. In the final, they defeated rival St. Elizabeth in overtime, 42-41, after the Vikings had prevented Saint Mark’s from a perfect season the year before.
- 1973 football team. These Spartans, led by quarterback and now Delaware Gov. John Carney, were the first state champion in any sport for Saint Mark’s. In only their fourth varsity season, they secured the title by defeating Dickinson, 23-7.
- Joe O’Neill, cross country and track coach. The late O’Neill was a fixture at Saint Mark’s, where he spent 40 years (1969-2009). During the day, he was a guidance counselor, and after the bell sounded he coach cross country and track for decades. Today, his legacy lives on through a statewide cross country race held each fall that bears his name.
- Don Burawski, football coach. In 1970, Father James T. Delaney offered Burawski the head coaching position for a team then in its infancy. Under Burawski’s leadership, the Spartans went 63-30-1 and won three state championships (1973, 1974 and 1978).The school will recognize these teams and individuals on Feb. 21 at Saint Mark’s. Tickets are available at www.stmarkshs.net. They are $25 each and include beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres, coffee and dessert.