MILLTOWN — Saint Mark’s High School will induct six individuals and four teams into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Feb. 17. This is the fourth class of inductees.
The individual honorees are as follows:
Frank Cephous (Class of 1980) was a standout running back and track and field performer for the Spartans. He was the team’s leading rusher for three seasons and was an integral member of the 1978 state championship team. A two-time first-team all-state selection, Cephous also was on two high school all-American teams. In track and field, he was a four-year letterwinner and the 1977 high jump state champion. He played football at UCLA and spent a season with the New York Giants. He is a member of the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame.
John Gordon (1995) was Delaware’s player of the year for the 1995 basketball team, which finished 26-0 with a state championship. In the title game against William Penn, he made three free throws to tie the game at 49 with about 18 seconds remaining. He attended the University of Maine and was first-team all-America East as a sophomore before transferring to the University of Delaware, where he led the Blue Hens to the National Invitational Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. He was voted co-player of the 1990s for high school basketball in Delaware along with Lenny Brown of William Penn.
Kevin Mench (1996) spent eight seasons in Major League Baseball as an outfielder, hitting 98 career home runs. His best season came in Texas in 2004, when he clubbed 26 homers and had a slugging percentage of .539. Mench starred for the Spartans and the University of Delaware, where he was the America East rookie of the year in 1997 and conference player of the year in 1978 and ’79. He is a member of the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame, the Delaware Baseball Hall of Fame and the University of Delaware Athletic Hall of Fame. He was originally selected for induction into the Saint Mark’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2021.
Lauren Morelli (1997) was a four-year letterwinner for the Spartans, earning all-state honors all four seasons. She was Delaware’s swimmer of the year in 1995 and ’97 and held the state record for the 100 backstroke. She was the state champion in the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly as a senior. Morelli went on to swim at Arizona State University, where she was the Most Outstanding Freshman and set several standards for Sun Devils swimming.
Shannon Bradbury (2002) was the 2002 player of the year for Delaware in girls soccer, a four-time all-conference and all-state selection. She also was the state’s player of the year as a junior and senior, and she was a member of three state championship teams. Bradbury also played for a number of club teams. In addition to soccer, she played basketball and ran track at Saint Mark’s. She played collegiate soccer at Purdue University, and as a freshman, she scored the winning shootout goal against Eastern Illinois in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Tom Rosa is not a graduate of Saint Mark’s, but his name has been synonymous with Spartans athletics for more than 50 years. He was the team’s
first varsity basketball coach, a position he held from 1970-80. He became athletic director in 1980 and remained until 2011. As basketball coach, he took the first team with any seniors to the state’s final four and finished with a record of 166-83. As athletic director, he oversaw 85 state championships, started the Spartan Day Camp and Spartan Sports Camps, which still exist. The basketball court is named in his honor.
The teams to be honored are as follows:
The 1995 boys basketball team finished an undefeated 26-0 season with a state championship when Alex Karlsen banked in a 30-foot shot at the buzzer to defeat William Penn at an electric Bob Carpenter Center. The Spartans also won the Kappa Classic and the Governor’s Trophy at Slam Dunk to the Beach. Karlsen was joined by fellow guards Gordon and Gene Kelly, all of whom made all-state teams. They were coached by Lee Sibley, who won coach of the year honors.
The 1995 girls cross country team, under the direction of Joe O’Neill, went 10-0 and captured the Catholic Conference, New Castle County and state championships. They were the first cross country team to take all three titles in the same season. Kathy Conway finished fifth in the state meet, with Katie Mauger seventh and Jessica Travis eighth. All three earned first-team all-Catholic honors and all-state accolades.
Led by coach John Fiorelli, the 1996 girls basketball team finished 25-1 and won all 12 games against Catholic powers Padua, Ursuline and St. Elizabeth. Their only loss came against Our Lady of Lourdes from Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The defense allowed fewer than 30 points per game and defeated Ursuline, 44-33, for the state championship. The Spartans featured two-time player of the year Stephanie Baker, Toni Swan, Allison LaFazia and Cara Erskine.
Reaching the No. 8 ranking in the country, the 1998 wrestling team won the Governor’s Cup as the top-ranked Delaware team at the Mid-Atlantic Classic. Senior captain Bruce Kelly set a state record for most career victories and finished with four individual state titles. He was one of eight state champs, joining L.A. Collier, Mike Collins, Dave Williams, Justin Jackson, Brian Santoro, Peter Santoro and John Testa. Coach Steve Bastianelli was named state coach of the year.
All photos courtesy of Saint Mark’s High School.