Seven Inducted into White Plains High School Athletics Hall of Fame

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Seven individuals were inducted into the White Plains High School Athletics Hall of Fame Monday evening in the school’s Auditorium.

The Athletics Hall of Fame dates to a 2015 inaugural. There were no inductions in 2020 due to the coronavirus situation.
The roster of honorees for 2021: Mike Belmont, Jim DePalo, Lynne Kahn, Jim Lombardi, Bob Malson, Spencer Mayfield, and Joe McAvoy.

This year’s additions bring the list of sports hall nominees up to 75, which includes one relay quartet from track and field.
Here is a capsule look at the Hall of Fame Class of 2021:

Mike Belmont: Graduated 1964. Football, wrestling, baseball athlete; football, ice hockey, track, baseball coach. Team captain and All-County in high school football (running back) and baseball (centerfielder). Won two Division II national championships playing football at North Dakota State. Won multiple league and Section 1 championships as head football and baseball coach at Harrison High School. Inducted into Westchester County Sports Hall of Fame.

Jim DePalo: Graduated WPHS 1950; Hackley School post-grad 1951. Basketball, baseball. Set single-game school record for scoring as a senior in basketball, breaking mark previously held by his father, WPHS Athletics Hall of Fame Monk DePalo. Standout high school right-handed pitcher. Played five seasons in New York Yankees farm system, including three seasons with Triple-A Denver Bears. Inducted into Westchester County Sports Hall of Fame.

Lynne Kahn: White Plains School District Coordinator of Health & Physical Education, and Director of Athletics 1984-98. First woman A.D. in Westchester. Implemented student-athlete academic eligibility guidelines and code of behavior; introduced NYS scholar-athlete program; organized Special Olympics inter-school program; recruited, hired and supervised numerous outstanding Tigers coaches.

Jim Lombardi: Graduated 1980. Football quarterback, baseball pitcher. Section 1 championships in both sports. All County, All-Conference, All Metropolitan in both sports. Set numerous school records. Led Tigers to undefeated 10-0 football record in 1979. Set numerous single-game and season records in four years at quarterback for Iona College football.

Bob Malson: Graduated 1967. Tight end on offense, defensive end in football; throwing specialist in track & field. All County in football. Still holds Tigers school records for outdoor shot put and discus; records are still top 12 in Westchester County and Section 1 history. Still holds school record, and No. 3 in Westchester annals, for indoor shot put.

Spencer Mayfield: Boys basketball coach, five years in Tenafly, N.J., and 28 seasons (and counting) in White Plains. Record with Tigers, 606 games: 397-209 (.655 W-L pct.). Overall coaching record, 721 games: 462-259. Multiple league titles and Section 1 championship game appearances; two-time New York State public school champion (1994, 1999). Numerous coach-of-the-year awards. All-time winningest coach in WPHS basketball history. Mentored many players who went on to college success, and professional rosters. NBA scout for Utah Jazz for 23 years.

Joe McAvoy: Graduated 1963. (Attended Archbishop Stepinac HS 1959-61). Baseball athlete, coach. All County honorable mention pitcher and Tigers senior captain. Pitched three seasons at Ithaca College, with overall 10-1 record and 0.91 ERA as a senior (ninth best in Division I). Was JV soccer and briefly assistant lacrosse coach in addition to White Plains head baseball coach 1975-85, 1990-99. Numerous baseball league titles; Section 1 runner-up 1975; Section 1 team title and coach of the year 1979.

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