By BRIAN CUNNIFF
Wildwood High School is more than 110 years old.
The school is now set to honor some of the icons who graced its hallways.
A project that has been in the works for a few years now, Wildwood is set to unveil the Wildwood Warriors Hall of Fame early in 2021.
According to a printed outline regarding the Hall of Fame, those eligible for induction include alumni who have earned outstanding achievement during their time as students, a varsity letter winner who has made a significant contribution to athletics as a post-graduate or a non-graduate and/or athletic staff member who has made a significant contribution to the Wildwood High School athletics program. Such nominees must have graduated from Wildwood High School at least five years prior to being eligible for nomination.
While the Hall of Fame will lean heavily toward athletic achievements and contributions, there is also a “special award” category that honors a Wildwood High School alumnus who has excelled in any field of endeavor.
“This is to showcase and honor all the achievements of the people who’ve come through here both athletically and in their professional lives and in the community,” said Wildwood High School vice principal and athletic director Sean Olson, who will chair the Hall of Fame committee. “At the same time, it’s also something the current student-athletes can look up to. We want (the inductees) to serve as role models for our current students and give them something to strive for. Maybe it motivates them to try to earn their own spot in the Hall of Fame.”
Wildwood plans to induct as many as 36 people in the inaugural class — a maximum of three people from each of 12 decades. Following the initial year, no more than three people will be selected for induction each year.
Nominations can be made by any member of the public through a link on the athletics page of the Wildwood High School website.
The Hall of Fame is set to be displayed on the wall outside the school’s gymnasium. The wall also includes action photos of current and recently-graduated student-athletes, as well as record boards for each of the school’s sports and a large trophy case.
“We’ve tried to dress it up a bit, kind of give people something to talk about,” Olson said. “We have so many people that come in here for our basketball games. It kind of gives people a chance to see what all of our athletes have done or are doing now.”
Olson said that, outside of a global health crisis, plans are to hold the induction ceremonies during a home basketball game late in the season each year. Olson said no official plans have been made for the first induction ceremony for 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said there is a chance the ceremony will be delayed until the spring so it can be held outdoors if necessary.
Olson said the school is hoping to receive a good number of nominees.
“This is our first year, so we have a lot of time to make up but it’s never too late to start something like this,” he said. “We want to make sure we get everyone who needs to be up there up there.”
The plan to begin a Hall of Fame at Wildwood High School has been in the works for years. Current principal Phil Schaffer helped move the idea along during his previous post as athletic director.
“The plans and the idea for this were already in place prior to my arrival here,” said Olson, who became athletic director at Wildwood in January. “I’m fortunate to be involved in having this come to fruition. There’s a lot of support for this in the community. That’s one of the great things about Wildwood in general. There’s a lot of support and pride for this school in the community.”