Ithaca Athletics Hall of Fame
Six Selected for 2018 Induction into IHS Athletics Hall of Fame
The IHS Athletics Hall of Fame Selection Committee recently announced that four men and two women will be the 2018 inductees into the Little Red Athletics Hall of Fame. The six, one coach and five athletes, will join the 111 individuals already enshrined.
Coach Lew Billington was instrumental in initiating, and then helping to maintain, the Girls Lacrosse program at IHS. With the help of then IHS Athletic Director Bill Bryant, an IHS Girls Lacrosse Club was started in 1987, with Coach Lew at the helm. The following two years, Lew led the team as they competed as a Varsity sport. Beginning in 1990, Coach ‘B’ supported the program for the next 23 years as the JV Coach.
Jessica Aguiar Mack (1993) was a three sport varsity athlete for the Little Red in lacrosse, basketball and soccer – Co-Captaining all three as a senior in the ’92 – ’93 seasons. She was a natural leader and model for IHS students both academically and through her athletic prowess. In lacrosse, Jessica was named to the Section III 1st Team twice in addition to team MVP both years. She came back to IHS from 2000 – 20002 as an Assistant Girl’s Lacrosse Coach.
Thea Merkel (2000) was another three sport athlete, excelling in lacrosse, basketball and soccer. She started all four years in Girls Lacrosse and was named a US Lacrosse All American in 2000. In addition she captained the team for two years and was named four times to the Section IV All Star Team. She had success on the hardwood while starting all four years and was named twice to the Sectional All Star Team. Her leadership skills were both exemplary and invaluable to all the squads she was on.
Bruce Murray (1970) was a member of the IHS Varsity gymnastics team for four years and its Captain and Most Valuable Gymnast in his senior year. He led the team during its ‘golden era’ when it won 23 consecutive dual meets and 6 consecutive Section IV titles. As a senior, Bruce was undefeated in meet competition on the still rings and vaulting. A three sport athlete, Bruce also lettered in Varsity football and track & field as a pole vaulter and sprinter. Bruce was known as a ‘coach’s dream’ for his leadership, hard work and willingness to help younger gymnasts.
David Pannell (1974) was one of the most outstanding middle distance runners ever to graduate from IHS. As a senior, David was undefeated in Cross Country winning all his dual meets, a STAC and Section IV championship and finished 5th at States. In Indoor Track, David was undefeated in all league competition for two years. At one point, David held IHS school and Section IV records in the mile, two mile relay, four mile relay and distance medley.
Gary Shippos (1970) played both football and wrestling at IHS. He lettered four years in both sports and Captained both teams his senior year. Gary excelled in football earning 1st Team All New York State honors his junior & senior years in addition to All STAC and All Central New York recognition. His 1969 football team was ranked #1 in NY State with an 8-0 record. In wrestling, Gary was voted 1st Team All STAC twice and during his junior year he won a record 12 consecutive matches. Gary stayed involved in IHS athletics by coaching Varsity Baseball and Football.
The Hall of Fame Selection Committee wishes to thank the IHS Athletic Boosters for their ongoing financial support of the Hall of Fame.