By BRIAN CUNNIFF
CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – Let’s get this part out of the way, since there seemed to be a bit of confusion over the matter.
The numbers of John Roberson, Ricky Harmon, Jen Snyder-Legler and John Leahy had already been retired by Middle Township High School. But on Tuesday, a ceremony was held to signal that the school intends to hang those banners in the gymnasium. And possibly retired more players’ numbers in the future.
Roberson, Snyder-Legler and Leahy were all on hand for the ceremony, which took place prior to the Middle Township High School girls basketball team’s game against Mainland. Harmon was not present, but was represented by his nephew, Marcus, a Middle graduate who recently finished an outstanding college career at Richard Stockton University.
Each of the banners was mounted on a post and was unveiled separately in front of a crowd of about 400 fans.
Roberson, now in his late 80s, graduated from Middle in 1948 and was one of the finest athletes of his time. He scored 92 points and passed for 12 touchdowns out of the halfback position for the football team as a senior. Roberson was also a standout basketball player and track athlete. He wore No. 27.
Roberson graduated from Indiana University and later returned to teach and coach football and basketball at Middle. He continued to serve as an assistant girls basketball coach for many years after his retirement in 1979.
Harmon, a 1978 graduate of Middle, is considered by many to be the best high school basketball player in Cape May County history. The 6-4 small forward scored nearly 2,000 career points and was named a McDonald’s All-American while earning multiple all-South Jersey and all-state honors. Harmon wore No. 53 at Middle. He went on to play at Division I college basketball at Syracuse University.
Snyder-Legler is the only female athlete at Middle to have her number retired. She scored nearly 1,600 career points and led Middle to the South Jersey Group II title as a senior in 1985. She went on to a very successful playing career at Division I LaSalle University. Her children, Lauren (Neumann University) and Ryan (Rowan University) are currently playing Division III college basketball. Snyder-Legler wore No. 20 at Middle.
Leahy, currently the head girls basketball coach at Middle, finished his high school career in 1990 with more than 2,100 career points. Leahy was a first-team all-state selection and led Middle to the South Jersey Group II title as a senior. He wore No. 30 at Middle.
Leahy went on to a successful four-year career at Division I Seton Hall University and played professional basketball overseas for 10 seasons, mostly in Ireland, where he twice won Foreign Player of the Year honors.
BASKETBALL SHORTS: Mainland, led by one of the top high school players in the nation in Kylee Watson, posted a 45-18 win over the Lady Panthers in Tuesday’s game. Middle fell to 4-5 with the loss.