Linden Athletic Hall Of Fame Enshrines Third Class

LINDEN—The third class of the Linden Athletic Hall of Fame will be enshrined at an induction dinner at Amicis III Ristorante, 1700 W. Elizabeth Avenue, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 26. To purchase tickets, call Santa Goleme at  (908) 486-8250 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Ticket cost $60 per person.

The inductees include:

Gene “Ace” Armstrong – Boxing: A world-class boxer, Armstrong worked at Gordon’s Gym in Linden for 30 years.  He was the number one-ranked middleweight in the world, and he finished his career  with a record of 19 wins, 4 losses and 1 draw. Three of his losses were to World Champion Dick Tiger. Armstrong passed away in 1990. 

Tony Berlin – Boxing: Berlin was inducted into the N.J. Boxing Hall of Fame on Nov. 5, 1978.  His career boxing record was 46 wins, 4 losses and 2 draws.  He retired from boxing in 1932 and was appointed to the Linden Police Department in 1937, from which he retired after a long distinguished career. 

Joseph Boczon – Football: He was the outstanding right half back from Coach Ted Cooper’s   teams of 1941, 1942 and 1943. He received All State and All County recognition in his senior year when he led L.H.S. in scoring and finished second in the District Scholastic Grid Iron Scoring Race.  

Charles “Chick” Bouska – Football, Baseball and Basketball: An outstanding athlete in football, basketball and baseball, Bouska graduated Linden High School in 1929. He was Coach Ted Cooper’s first quarterback, captain of the 1926-27 basketball team and named first team All County as a forward, and captain of the 1927 baseball team where he was named first team All Union County as a second baseman. Bouska was elected to the Union County Baseball Hall of Fame in 1956.

Al Brokaw – Basketball, Baseball, Football: In 1944, Brokaw won All State Honors in basketball.  Coach Ted Cooper, referred to Brokaw as “one of the finest all-around athletes in Linden history.” After graduation from John Marshall College, Brokaw went on to play three years pro baseball in the Canadian League, playing for the Dartmouth Arrows of the Dodgers’ organization. He was a police officer in Kenilworth until his death on this 48th birthday. 

James Burke–Basketball: An all star player at Roselle Catholic High School, Burke was named first team All Union County in his junior and senior years and first team All State Parochial Squad in his senior year by the Newark Star Ledger.  Burke attended Brown University where he was a three- year starter at point guard and named to the Brown University All-Decade Team of the 1970s. 

Elana Chomiszak– Gymnastics, Track & Field: A 1993 graduate of Linden High School, Chomiszak was ranked second in her class academically.  Her main event was the high jump, where she holds the school mark of 5’8”.  Throughout high school, Chomiszak competed in spring and  winter meets and won numerous titles. In 1991-1992 she was First Team All State, First Team Union County and First Team All Metro Area.  

James “Boobie” Daniels–Basketball and Football: Daniels was co-captain of the 1964 Linden High School football team  and captain of and leading scorer for the 1964 basketball.  He went on to St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he had an outstanding four-year career and graduated as the all-time scoring leader in the university’s history. 

Don M. Franco– Basketball: Franco played varsity basketball for Linden High.  His teams won the Union County Finals in 1982 and 1983.  In 1983, Franco was selected as a First Team All State Player in basketball and the inaugural Player of the Year in New Jersey for high school basketball.  He was also first team All-County the same year. In 2000, the Star Ledger selected him as one of the very best high school basketball players in New Jersey during the 1980’s. 

Elias Gilbert– Track: Gilbert Ran track for L.H.S. competing in the high and low hurdles, the quarter mile, relay teams and the high jump.  He was co-captain of the team and set a record of 14.4 in the high hurdles at the N.J. State championships.  He tied the low hurdles mark of 20.0. in the Englewood Memorial Meet.  He finished 2nd behind  Milt Campbell in the 1954 Melrose Games at Madison Square Garden. 

Rosears “Rosie” Givens, Jr. – Basketball, Football and Baseball: A 1951 Linden High School graduate, Givens was an All County and All State player in three separate sports.   After graduation, he played on various baseball and softball teams in the Linden Area, where he made a name for himself as one of the best softball players to ever play the game.  He was elected into the N.J. State Amateur Softball Association’s Hall of Fame. 

John T. Gregorio – Former Mayor of Linden: Gregorio supported the youth and teams of Linden throughout his long political and personal careers. From the construction of the PAL building (both old and new) to the programs facilities in use today, Gregorio left his fingerprints on Linden sports.

Lawrence “Larry” Kinsella – Football, Baseball, Basketball: A three sport star at Linden High School from 1944-1947, Kinsella earned All County and All State Honors in three sports.  He went on to a successful college career as a basketball player at Lebanon Valley College.  He returned to Linden as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent. 

Larry McGhee– Basketball: McGhee played basketball for Linden High School and was an All Union County selection in 1973.  He played basketball at East Texas State University from 1974-1978 and was named an N.A.I.A. All American. McGhee played professional basketball in Columbia and Venezuela.  In 2000, was inducted into the East Texas University Hall of Fame. 

Joe Miller – Baseball: Miller played varsity baseball for Linden High School from 1950-52 and was named to the All-Union County and All State teams in 1952. After playing two years in the local baseball leagues, he was signed by Frank O’Rourke, a scout for the New York Yankees.  He was invited to spring training in 1960, but an arm injury curtailed Miller’s professional career. 

George Roper– Basketball: A 1958 graduate of Linden High School, Roper was selected to the All County and All State Teams in his sophomore, junior and senior years. As a senior, he established the Union County basketball one season scoring record with 623 points in 28 games. 

Robert R. Schmidt, Jr. – Football, Baseball, Track: A 1985 graduate of Linden High School, Schmidt played center and linebacker on the 1983 Watchung Conference Championship Team. In 1985, he was named the Union County Scholar Athlete.  He graduated from West in 1989.  Schmidt has served around the world in Argentina and Guatemala.  He is currently completing his 19th year in the military and is stationed in Washington D.C. at the rank of Lt. Colonel. 

Alfred A. Volpe – Linden Recreation Superintendent (1976-2008): Under Volpe’s leadership, several million dollars was obtained for city recreation programs and projects.  He chaired two successful statewide green acres bond issues and had a hand in developing 38 parks within the city.

The Givens Brothers: These six brothers began their athletic careers in the early 1920s playing for just about every sports team at Linden High School.  Jackson, Nathaniel, Ulysses, Freddy, Rosears, and Oscar Givens were the elders of this sports family that has dominated Linden High School sports throughout the years 

The 1954 and 1955 Linden High School State Championship football teams and the 1992, 1993 and 1994 Linden High School State Championship girl’s basketball teams will also be honored.

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