Photo by James A. McBride
Left photo: Bob Companick attends the Camden County Sports Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony, at Lucien’s Manor in Berlin Oct, 25 to accept the award for his sister, Sister Joan Companick.
On Oct. 25, Camden County honored 12 local sports legends at the seventh annual Camden County Sports Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony, at Lucien’s Manor in Berlin.
Seven of the 12 honorees have shared their athletic talents with schools in the Diocese of Camden.
Bill Andracki was an exceptional soccer goalie at Paul VI High School in Haddon Township, where he graduated from in 1987. The following year, 1988, he played on the national championship team at Mercer County Community College, and in 1990 he was first team All-American at Rutgers University, playing on a team that finished second in the country. During his 21 years as a professional soccer player, he played for Major League Soccer, United Soccer Leagues, and the Major Indoor Soccer League. Finishing his career with the Rochester Rhinos, he helped them capture three championships.
Matt Brady was a leader on Paul VI’s boys basketball team, guiding them to the State Parochial A Championship in 1983. He followed this up with a college career that included becoming the all-time assists leader at Siena College, where he is in the Hall of Fame, and is now men’s basketball head coach at James Madison University.
Sister Joan Companick (posthumous) was instrumental in gaining recognition for women’s sports. She served at St. John Parish in Collingswood, forming teams and developing CYO leagues in basketball and softball. She also was an official in hockey, basketball and softball at Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill.
Mark Lonetto was a boys’ basketball standout at Bishop Eustace Preparatory School in Pennsauken, as the leader of a team voted best of the century, and helped the Crusaders win three parochial state titles. He followed up his high school career with a successful basketball career at the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1989, he was inducted into the South Jersey basketball Hall of Fame.
John McCarthy (posthumous), a former NFL punter, was a successful basketball coach at Camden Catholic, his alma mater, and Gloucester Catholic. His Camden Catholic team went undefeated and won the Camden City Series Championship in 1951. In 1983, he was inducted into the South Jersey Basketball Hall of Fame, and is in the Camden Catholic Hall of Fame, and Camden Catholic Basketball Hall of Fame.
Gary Papa was head wrestling coach at Paul VI, and Camden Catholic. In 12 years at Paul VI, his teams won eight state, five conference, and four district titles. In 13 years at Camden Catholic, he led his teams to seven state, 12 conference, and 10 district championships.
Bob Viggiano, a 1954 graduate of Camden Catholic, was a sportswriter for the Courier Post for nearly 50 years, starting in 1963. In 1996, he was inducted into the South Jersey Basketball Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport.