Four individuals and one team have been named to this year’s Sports Hall of Fame class, which will be formally inducted this fall.
This year’s honorees are:
Mark Dixon: WDHS athlete and coach (1977-1981)
Dixon competed in football and track at WDHS and West Chester, then returned in a teaching capacity while coaching WDHS winter and spring track, where he’s been at the helm since 1994.
Dixon’s strong play at WDHS bred a love of football as a high school All-Olympic Conference performer, which he parlayed into a playing career at West Chester before returning as a longtime assistant under Coach Clyde Folsom, participating on the coaching staff that earned the first of the team’s five state football titles).
Additionally, Dixon cultivated a love and passion for track and was an All-Olympic Conference track star, and after returning to his alma mater, within five years developed a schoolboy track team that would capture an impressive three straight Colonial Conference Titles from 1998-2001.
Dixon is a long time physical education teacher at WDHS, and while skilled in all facets of coaching track and field, is regarded as a state and national pole vault guru.
He has coached 29 South Jersey champions and 12 state champions during his 18 seasons at the helm of WDHS spring track and his16-year stint with the winter track squad.
Mike Page: Basketball (1973-1977)
One of the most skilled and talented basketball players on WDHS’ first two winning teams of the 70s, Page constituted the inside game of Mr. Outside (Dave Smith, a 2005 Hall of Fame inductee) and Mr. Inside (Mike Page).
They formed a dynamic scoring and rebounding tandem for two Joe McGrath-led squads that posted victorious seasons in 1976 and 1977.
Page then moved on to Bucknell and played four years for the Bisons. His career there was marked by continued progress, culminating in a strong senior season, where he averaged a double-double in points and rebounds.
As a Bison, Mike’s team put together a 38-15 two-season stretch in the then hotly-contested ECAC, featuring local powerhouses Temple, St. Joe’s, LaSalle and Drexel, as well as current Patriot League opponents American, Lafayette and Lehigh.
In Page’s senior season, he was second in team scoring, behind all-Palestra Visitor’s First Team teammate Al Leslie, and second in rebounding along with former high school Eagle teammate Deb Okorodudu.
Chelsea Cipriani: Field hockey (2000-2004) Chelsea was a relentless, playmaking midfielder for coach Linda Decker on several stellar Eagle field hockey squads. Cipriani roamed the middle of the field for all four seasons, and her career was marked by highly successful squads that captured a Colonial Conference crown as well as her leading her senior team to a South Jersey Title defeating Camden Catholic on the home turf, 3-2, in her final WDHS home appearance.
Cipriani, who was also a four-year basketball starter at WDHS, won All-Colonial Conference honors three times and All-South Jersey Group 2 twice. She holds the career assist mark at 59 and dished out 20 during the 2002 season.
Cipriani moved on to play for Wake Forest. As a Demon Deacon, Chelsea participated on teams with tremendous success. The three-time ACC Champions captured a national title in her freshman season. She later captained the 2007 squad.
She has stayed in the game, coaching at the collegiate level at both Longwood and Delaware and is currently a graduate assistant at Saint Joseph’s University.
Jake Brownell: Baseball and football (2001-2005)
Brownell, a multi-sport athlete in football, baseball and basketball helped put Eagle baseball on the map as a middle infielder, forming the keystone combination of Anthony Scirrotto and Brownell.
Most notably, Brownell competed and contributed on 3 straight Eagle state football championships, while setting numerous South Jersey scoring records as our placekicker.
He was a three-time All South Jersey and two-time All State performer. He also held down a key safety spot in the secondary before moving on to a four-year career at Temple University
While at Temple, Brownell was a four-year letter winner, handling field goal, kickoff and punting duties throughout his career, which spanned 2005-2009 for the Cherry and White.
During Brownell’s tenure, which coincided with head coach Al Golden’s arrival, the Owls finished 8-4 in his junior year and a 9-3 senior season resulted in the Owls returning to prominence and bowl eligibility, taking on U.C.L.A. in Eagle Bank National Bowl in Washington, D.C.
Brownell currently resides in Philadelphia and will enter medical school at Temple this fall.
WDHS Hall of Fame Team: The 1998-99 WDHS Girls’ Bowling Team and coach Ray Kirschner
The 1998-1999 bowling squad enjoys a special place as one of only 5 cohort groups in WDHS school history to enjoy a conference four-peat over their high school careers.
The team, led by junior standout and eventual Florida Gator bowler, Pam Massey, and a host of highly competitive seniors posted a gaudy 54-18 mark en route to a Olympic National Division crown, while finishing second in state sectional play. Current WDHS faculty member, Ray Kirschner was at the helm along with the assistance of current head coach Aaron Burr.