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Peekskill High School to Hold Hall of Fame Dinner

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- The Peekskill Hall of Fame will welcome the Class of 2011 in a dinner at the Colonial Terrace Friday night.

Athletes Dana Bennett-Dapson (Class of ‘89), James Enterlein (’55), Jim Bonillo (‘76) and Elton Brand (’97), wrestling coach Larry Cook and the 1980 Softball team will be honored.

Peekskill boys’ basketball coach and Hall of Fame chairman Lou Panzanaro reinstituted the Hall of Fame dinner last year.

“It began in 1989, but after a couple of years, it ceased to exist and that was a shame,” Panzanaro said. “I see so many great athletes that are not inducted that it was the first thing I wanted to do.”

Bennett-Dapson was a standout in soccer, swimming and volleyball, finishing with 11 varsity letters. She started on varsity girls’ soccer as a seventh-grader and finished as the second-leading scorer in girls’ program history.

Brand led Peekskill to New York State basketball titles in his sophomore and junior years and was chosen as the most valuable player. Brand was named Mr. Basketball in New York his senior year. He went on to play at Duke University where he was the 1998 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and 1999 College Player of the Year. Following his sophomore year, Brand entered the NBA Draft and was picked first overall by the Chicago Bulls. Brand would win the Rookie of the Year award. Brand has played for Chicago, the Los Angeles Clippers and currently for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Boniello excelled on the diamond and football field. He was an outstanding pitcher on the baseball team, having excellent junior and senior years. He went 9-2 with a 1.28 earned run average and 109 strikeouts his senior year. Boniello also captained the football team his senior year.

Enterlein finished with 13 varsity letters encompassing football, basketball, baseball and track and field. Enterlein was instrumental in leading the 1954 Peekskill football team to an undefeated season. He captained the basketball team, was a catcher on the baseball team and high-jumper in track and field.

Cook coached the wrestling team from 1963 to 1978, winning two Section 1 wrestling championships, four divisional titles and coached nine Section 1 individual champions, four of whom were New York State Championship place finishers. Cook was named Section 1 Wrestling Coach of the Year twice.

The 1980 softball team, coached by Ray Berry, finished with a 16-5 record. Peekskill won a league title and reached the Section 1 final. Five players were selected all-league and two -- Kim Lancaster and Maria Wise were also named all-county.

Panzanaro has watched, coached or taught all of the inductees, except for Cook. Brand and Cook stand out among Panzanaro’s memory.

“Elton has tremendous character and work ethic,” Panzanaro said. “He puts his mind and spirit into everything and this has helped him become an outstanding player and have a tremendous career."

Cook and Panzanaro became good friends at Peekskill.

“Larry came in the year I graduated it was only a matter of time before he made Peekskill one of the top high school programs in the county," he said. "I remember when I was teaching night school, I went to night match and they were wrestling Hen Hud. It was the most exciting match I had ever seen. I was 20 minutes late for my night class, which did not make my students happy.”

Do you remember watching any of these athletes in action? Comment below.

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