Tonawanda HS Wall of Fame to welcome Hayes, White, 1933 football
But that is exactly where he will be.
Hayes, a member of the Tonawanda High School ‘s graduating Class of 1953, is part of the Class of 2013 that will be immortalized on the Tonawanda Athletic Wall of Fame on Feb.8.
A three-sport standout in swimming, football and track and field, Hayes, who was coached by all-time greats like Clinton H. Small and Ed Liebinger, is humbled to know that his name will be spoken in the same breath as the men that inspired him.
“It seems funny that they’re gonna put me up there with them,” Hayes said by phone from his home in Florida. “I like that.”
Hayes, a multiple-time All-Niagara Frontier League First Team selection, set Section VI records in the discus and was part of the 200 free relay team that set records in Section VI and the state.
Though Hayes has lived in Florida for 33 years, he always makes a point of visiting WNY and his hometown at least once a year.
“It was great for me because I had more fun than anyone at Tonawanda High School my four years there,” Hayes said as the memories came rushing back. “It was great to be there and I remember a lot of the stuff and this just refreshes everything in my mind. It’s great. It was all just so much fun. I had a great time.”
Proud to be part of Tonawanda’s rich athletic history, Hayes said he thinks the new stadium planned for the high school will be a great plus for the city and he can’t wait to see a game there.
Joining Hayes will be Ken White and the 1933 varsity football team. White was one of the NFL’s premiere tennis stars during his day with the Warriors.
White joins his brother, John White, who was placed on the Wall of Fame last year.
Ken White lives in North Buffalo and still competes in MUNY tournaments.
The 1933 football team was one for the ages as it went 7-0-1 and outscored opponents a mind boggling 211-6. The lone points were given up in a 38-6 win over Kenmore High School The tie was a 0-0 game against Lackawanna.
“The ‘33 football team is finally getting their well deserved place on the Wall of Fame,” said THS legend “Hap” Holloway said that the ‘33 team.
Gordon “Goofy” Gfroerer, a starting end on the team, would always say that was the greatest Warrior team ever.
Though Hap would counter with the 1963 team being great in their own right, he agreed that the 1933 club was special. The team also included co-captains Charlie Reck and Joe Balough, the quarterback. Other notable players were Ben Kish, who would play for the Philadelphia Eagles, Rich Baker and the greatest Warrior of them all, Clinton H. Small.
“That team was loaded with great athletes,” Holloway noted.
Holloway said the ‘33 team was somewhat lost in the shuffle of time and it was the efforts of Charlie Reck Jr., Joe Penvose and Larry Bodie who brought the team’s name up for induction and reminded everyone of just how special that team was. Reck Jr. will give the acceptance speech.
The ceremony will take place in the Miller Gym at 6 p.m., prior to the boys varsity basketball game, which starts 6:30 p.m.