The Islip High School Hall of Fame’s first group of honorees - Fred Biangardi, Dr. Jeffrey A. Goldstein, Michael Patrovich, John Veryzer and Tom Veryzer – were inducted on Dec. 7 in a special gala presentation in the school auditorium. The Hall of Fame initiative’s goal is to continue to provide students with a sense of school and community pride while recognizing distinguished members of the school community who have made notable contributions to society.
Biangardi coached the varsity baseball team for 37 years, earning a 531-256 record and induction in the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. He won New York State Coach of the Year in 1981 and 1983, Daily News Suffolk County Coach of the Year in 1970, and League Coach of the Year 11 times. He also taught physical education at Islip for 35 years; introduced Islip’s football program and coached the varsity football team for 12 years; was a founder of the Islip Booster Club; and had the varsity baseball field named after him. Prior to his career in Islip, the Bay Shore native was All-County captain of Bay Shore High School’s baseball, basketball and football teams; a World War II veteran in the Marine Corps; a college football player at Elon College; and a minor league baseball player for the Yankees, Pirates and St. Louis Browns.
Goldstein, a member of Islip’s Class of 1981, is a renowned orthopedic surgeon. He attended medical school at State University of New York Medical Center at Brooklyn, graduating summa cum laude. He completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and his fellowship at Johns Hopkins University Medical Institute. He serves as a clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at New York University School fo Medicine, director of the NYU Langone Hospital for Joint Diseases Spine Fellowship and incoming president of the International Society for Advancement of Spine Surgery. He has won numerous awards including America’s Top Doctors, Patient’s Choice Award and the America’s Most Compassionate Doctor Award.
Patrovich, a member of Islip’s Class of 2001, was a National High School Coaches Association champion wrestler, earning three county titles, three All-State honors and the Dellacave Award as best Suffolk student-athlete, as well as the New York State championship in his senior year. As a two-time NCAA All-American at Hofstra University, he posted a 106-30 record. He was one of only five wrestlers to win 100 matches in Section XI during high school as well as 100 matches in a Division I college. He also won three Colonial Athletic Association individual championships, 2006 CAA Wrestler of the Year and CAA Most Outstanding Wrestler in 2007, and was named to the CAA Silver Anniversary Team in 2009. Patrovich is currently an assistant wrestling coach at Hofstra and head coach of the Barn Brothers/631 Elite Wrestling Club for children.
John Veryzer’s career as coach of Islip’s basketball team lasted for 21 years, during which he earned a 199-19 record, nine league championships and five county championships. He also served as the district’s athletic director for several years. A 1939 graduate of Sayville High School, Veryzer played basketball for LaSalle Military Academy and Manhattan College before serving in the Navy during World War II. He served as president of the Suffolk County Basketball Association and was involved in several organizations for basketball officials.
Tom Veryzer, John’s son, was a member of Islip’s Class of 1971 and a Major League Baseball player for 12 years. During high school, he earned the Carl Yastrzemski Award for best baseball player in Suffolk County, won All-League honors in soccer and played basketball. He was a first-round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers in 1971, going 11th overall, and was called up to the majors in 1973. Playing shortstop for the Tigers, he was named to the Topps Rookie All-Star team in 1975 before stints with the Cleveland Indians, New York Mets and Chicago Cubs. He retired in 1985 after 996 pro games, finishing with a lifetime batting average of .241. He later worked for the Town of Islip.
Patrovich and his family were in attendance at the event, along with the Biangardi, Goldstein and Veryzer families. At the conclusion, the families, guests and school administrators walked down the hallway for the unveiling of the Hall of Fame Wall.
“We congratulate our 2017 inductees and their families for this tremendous honor, as they exemplify everything we stand for here at Islip High School and the Islip School District,” said Principal Michael Mosca. “The inaugural induction class strived for excellence in their time here, and we as a school community are honored that we get to celebrate their accomplishments. They made the decision to do great things with the opportunities they were given, despite any obstacles that may have stood in their way, and they demonstrated the character, work ethic and positive attitude that we hope to see in all of our students. This Hall of Fame will stand as a source of pride for our students, our school and this great community. It is our goal that the students who walk past it each and every day will be inspired to someday have their picture displayed and their legacy remembered.”