Return to Headlines

RHS to Host Annual Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner on May 6; Honorees Announced


Roxbury High School to Host Annual Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner on May 6; Honorees Announced


ROXBURY, NJ (March 2, 2017) – Established officially in 1903, Roxbury High School has a long-standing history of athletic excellence. From conference titles to state championships, Roxbury’s athletic prowess has made the school a leader in New Jersey sports for many years, and Roxbury’s athletes have earned honors in more than twenty sports while building a tradition of athletic excellence. In 2012, the RHS Athletic Hall of Fame was established to recognize all of the outstanding athletes, coaches, and teams in our history. 

More than 200 alumni and community members are expected to attend the induction ceremony on Saturday, May 6, 2017, at 5 p.m. in the Roxbury High School Dining Hall. Tickets can be purchased at or in Roxbury High School Athletic Office at 1 Bryant Drive in Succasunna, NJ 07876. Tickets are $29 each for adults and $19 each for children 6-12 years old.

The Roxbury High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, comprised of administrators, teachers, coaches, former athletes, and community members, has selected the following athletes, team, and coach to be inducted into the 2017 class of the Roxbury High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Their outstanding achievement and contribution to the Roxbury High School athletic program has deemed them worthy of this recognition: 

Bruce Canfield, class of 1967, won the 1966 New Jersey state wrestling championship in the 106 lb. weight class. He was a District 2 Champion in both the 1965 and 1966 seasons and a runner-up in 1967. Bruce wrestled under 2014 Roxbury Athletic HOF inductee Richard Mirshak and finished his career at Roxbury High School with a record of 67 – 9. Bruce was featured in the “Faces in the Crowd” segment of the January 23, 1967 edition of Sports Illustrated. 

Michael Distefano, class of 1994, holds the single season boys soccer scoring record at Roxbury High School, tallying 19 goals and 18 assists during his senior year. Mike was a four-year starter for the Gaels, receiving All Iron Hills Conference, All-Morris County and All-State honors in both his junior and senior years. Mike captained the team that won the 1993 Iron Hills Conference Iron Division Championship, the first in school history. Mike attended Providence College in Rhode Island. 

Corey Hamman, class of 1998, was a member of three consecutive Morris County Championship baseball teams at Roxbury High School (1996 – 1998). He was named to the All-Morris County team twice and was selected to the All-State team in 1998. Following his high school career, Corey played at Montclair State University and was named MVP of the College World Series in 2000. In 2002, Corey was drafted in the 12th round by the Detroit Tigers. His professional career lasted ten years, during which he reached the AAA level in the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates organizations. Corey is currently the head baseball coach of Lacey Township High School. 

Ariann Neutts, class of 2009, is one of the most decorated track athletes in school history. Ariann was a member of the 2006 team that won the 4 x 1 Mile at the Nike Outdoor National Championship and the 4x800 Meter Relay team that won the Penn Relays in 2008. She was a member of five different State Group III championship relay teams during her career. Ariann won multiple Morris County and State Section championships in the 800-Meter and 1600-Meters. Ariann attended Villanova University where she was a two-time All-American and three-time Big East champion in the relays. In 2011, she was part of the Distance Medley Relay team that won the National Championship. 

Erica Peschken, class of 2005, is the first individual girls’ soccer player to be inducted into the Roxbury High School Hall of Fame. Erica was a four-year letter winner for the Gaels. She earned All Iron Hills Conferences honors twice, All-Morris County honors three times, and All-State honors twice. She led the Gaels to a 19-3-3 mark as a junior, scoring 14 goals and assisting on 15 others. As a senior, Erica netted 21 goals and had 27 assists as she helped her team to finish with a 21-3-2 record. Erica continued her soccer career at California State University, Fullerton. 

Richard Spitzer, class of 1979, was a first team all-state lineman for the Roxbury football team that was a 1978 Iron Division tri-champion in 1978. He represented the Gaels in the North/South All-Star game as well as the East/West game. Rich would go on to become a three-year starter for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and captain of the 1982 team. Rich signed professional contracts with the Seattle Seahawks (NFL) and Pittsburgh Maulers (USFL). Rich was also an award-winning wrestler who placed in both the Districts and the Regionals. 

Frank Dekmar, 1983-2017, is the most successful coach in Gaels basketball history. He guided the Lady Gaels program to 234 victories and two Iron Hills Conference Iron Division Championships. Frank graduated from Lenape Valley in 1979 where he played football for legendary football coach Don Smolyn before attending Seton Hall University. Frank was an assistant varsity football coach at Roxbury High School from 1983–2017 and helped the Gaels win three state championships and seven conference titles. Frank also served as an assistant softball coach for many years. 

The 1992 Softball Team will also be inducted into the Roxbury Athletic Hall of Fame. Coached by Dale Garlick, this talented team won the Iron Hills Conference Iron Division title and the Group IV State Championship. Finishing with a record of 23–5, they were the first team in Roxbury High School history to ever win a state group playoff championship. 


Roxbury High Schools serves 1,355 students and their families through more than 200 faculty and staff members, providing a rigorous academic curriculum and comprehensive, fully curricular performing arts programs. Join us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on news, events, and sports. 


PHOTO ATTACHED (courtesy of Roxbury High School)

Roxbury High School Logo

Roxbury High School Hall of Fame Logo 


For more information, contact: Roxbury Community Relations coordinator Ann Rhodes at or 973-584-7699.



Roxbury Public Schools is a K-12 school district preparing the children of today for tomorrow. As a dynamic and thriving district, in partnership with a supportive and collaborative community, Roxbury Public Schools inspires and empowers all learners to flourish as ethical and global citizens in the 21st century. The district serves students throughout Roxbury Township, New Jersey, including the areas of Landing, Kenvil, Succasunna, Ledgewood, Mount Arlington, Port Morris, Flanders, and Wharton. Connect with us online at or on Facebook at