HomeMoorestown News'Greater than the sum of its players'

‘Greater than the sum of its players’

Resident's alma mater inducted into Bergen Catholic hall of fame

Special to The Sun
Bergen Catholic High School’s 1965 football team was once considered the best in the New York City area.

The 1965 Bergen Catholic High School football team was inducted into the school’s hall of fame last month, when Moorestown resident Dave Stack celebrated the momentous occasion with his teammates, family, friends and others.

“This particular award, putting the team in the hall of fame, is definitely the most meaningful to me, because anybody who plays team sports – in particular football – knows that’s exactly what it is,” Stack said.

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“The team is greater than the sum of its players, so we’re all proud of that. Unfortunately, some … are no longer with us, but those that are can take pride in the fact of what we accomplished.”

Stack is originally from East Paterson (now Elmwood Park) in Bergen County. He naturally took to playing sports at a young age, particularly baseball, basketball and football. His father introduced him to football when he was in the sixth grade, and although he was offered scholarships from various high schools in North Jersey, he decided on Bergen Catholic, which didn’t give out scholarships or financial aid.

“That was probably one of the better decisions I made about life,” Stack recalled. “It was a wonderful experience … My senior year, I was fortunate enough to be co-captain of the team and we were the first undefeated, untied state championship football team in Bergen Catholic history.”

Special to The Sun
Dave Stack highlighted his former’s team’s achievements in a speech at the Bergen Catholic High School’s hall of fame induction.

Stack was inducted into Bergen Catholic’s Hall of Fame in 1991 as an individual, but the team’s inclusion in the recent induction is its first.

“I think the biggest emotion, other than the fact that we accomplished something that nobody will ever duplicate – that is being the first undefeated, untied state championship team – just the fact that we accomplished something as a group of boys that were dedicated to making a difference …

“We established a lifetime of friendships and brotherhood that exists stronger today than ever.”

The Bergen Catholic Hall of Fame – sponsored by the school’s alumni association – annually honors individuals and teams who have contributed to Bergen Catholic’s tradition of “excellence in education,” according to the high school’s website. Bergen is an all-male Catholic school founded in 1955 and staffed by the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. It serves grades nine to 12.

“It has been really great to see this whole process through – as far as from the sidelines – to see all of the intention and effort that he has put into it over the years,” said Stack’s daughter Jessica. “ … I just think it’s really nice when somebody has something really meaningful where he feels connected to these guys, he feels connected to the school and just advocating for that, and then eventually being able to see this happen …

“I think the whole experience is just really incredible,” she added, “that they still feel so connected to each other and to that experience, and that they honored that.”

Stack’s speech at the hall-of-fame dinner mentioned several of the team’s accomplishments and can be seen on YouTube.

“As individuals, we accomplished something greater than ourselves, and for people who have played the game of football, there are so many life lessons that you can take away from that sport, just the work ethic and the discipline required, the determination, overcoming adversity, the toughness that you need,” Stack observed.

“That all relates to life in general, and I’m really proud of the fact that everyone on the team went on in life to be successful and have great families,” he added. “It was a tremendous experience, and to this day, I couldn’t be more proud.”


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