The 1982 New York State Championship Warwick Valley High School girls’ basketball team will reunite after 37 years on Fri., Jan 31 at 6:30 p.m. during the Girls Varsity Basketball game. Fans are encouraged to come out and reminisce with Coach Fran Higgins and 10 of the 12 Lady Wildcats from that championship team. The game against Minisink will take place in the high school gymnasium, located at 89 Sanfordville Rd. in Warwick.
The coaches and players from the 1982 team recently reminisced about their favorite memories from that era and provided updates to their lives now.
Fran Higgins (Coach): Fran (Ithaca College graduate) taught physical education in the Warwick School District for over 30 years and was a pioneer in developing the footprint for women’s sports in Warwick. Higgins was at the ground level of the beginning of soccer, softball and the modernization of girls’ basketball in Warwick.
Steve Hagerdon (Asst. Coach): Steve was JV Coach and Varsity Asst. Coach for 10 years. He taught Social Studies for the Warwick School District for 21 years. Best memories include hearing girls sing, “We Will Rock You” and “We are the Champions” on the bus ride to Queensbury for the state title game.
Janet Daly: Janet played at the University of Tampa in Florida. She works for the city of Las Vegas Municipal Court and is the mother of two children and four grandchildren. Memory: All the hard work, yelling and suicide runs (shuttle) all paid off…I couldn’t have asked for a better coach. I learned many life lessons from her, which I carried on to adulthood.
Beverly Hagerdon: Bev played for Dartmouth and was a Government major. She earned a Masters in International Affairs and worked overseas for 22 years. She now works in Washington, DC for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. Memory: I remember boosting our guards into Fran Higgins’ office window to access the gym on Saturdays for practice. Also snowball fights until a custodian arrived to let us in, pre-game cheers and singing on the bus to Supertramp, Hall and Oats, and Billy Squire.
Wendy Trone Warnock: Wendy studied and ran at East Carolina University. She raised three children while working in Finance and Accounting. She has one grandchild. Wendy coached track for 20 years and officiated for 10 years. Memory: The bus ride with Bill Lemin and singing the 80’s songs and five months of intense basketball training.
Carol Ferguson (Capt): Carol played at SUNY Cortland and was certified as a PE teacher and coach. She earned her master’s at Brooklyn College. She works as a PE teacher and coach at Minisink Valley while raising four children and has one grandchild. She has refereed basketball as well. Memory: Fran Higgins loving and guiding us like we were her own children, on the court and off. Also, the support of the town and our fans. The Varsity Jackets gifted to us from the Fire Department and the fire truck escort back into town after our championship!
Linda Harrison: Linda played basketball at Orange County Community College. She worked as a Tennis Pro in Franklin Lakes, NJ for 20 years and returned to school to study Health and Physical Education at Montclair State. She currently teaches Elementary PE in Teaneck, NJ, where she was Teacher of the Year in 2018. Memory: Parade into town after the championship, singing on the long bus rides and hanging out in Fran Higgins office.
Becky Hagerdon Filipowski (Capt/MVP): Becky played at Long Beach, CA. She earned a Physical Education and Athletic Training degree at SUNY Cortland and has worked as an Athletic Trainer, Coach, PE and Health Teacher while raising four boys. Memory: Winning each weekend to move on in the State tournament.
Sharon Scherman Martino: Sharon studied at Ithaca and Hunter College to be a Physical Therapist. She received a Masters in Education from Stony Brook University and a PhD from Nova Southeastern in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Sharon is an associate professor at Stony Brook University in the Physical Therapy Department and co-owner of Martino Physical Therapy in Holtsville, NY. She has two children and one grandchild. Memory: How tight we were on the court.
Alison Moran Martin: Alison attended College in Austin, TX and works as a Hospice nurse. She raised four children in Pflugerville, TX and has four grandchildren. Memory: Being part of an awesome team and singing on the bus to Supertramp and Billy Squire.
Patty Daly Cavanaugh: Patty moved to Las Vegas soon after H.S. and was one of only three women to work as a dealer on the Las Vegas Strip. She entered the medical field and managed multiple offices for 25 years while raising her daughter. She also has a granddaughter. Currently, she is a manager of food and beverage at a marina in a National Park. Memory: Team camaraderie, We Were A Team. Looked out for each other, and no cliques. The singing on the bus was the best. Those 80’s songs!
Shelley Carr: Shelley earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from East Stroudsburg University. She has gone on to a successful career as a middle school teacher at her alma mater in the Warwick Valley. In her 25 years she has also served the Warwick School District as a trainer in CPR, AED and First Aid.
Dawn Kleeshulte: Dawn attended Ithaca College and SUNY Binghamton to earn a master’s degree in education. She has lived in the Finger Lakes region raising her two children and working in education/employment non-profit field as well as teaching aqua aerobics for 22 years at the Ithaca YMCA. Memory: Singing on the bus to J. Geils Band, Billy Squire, Supertramp; pizza eating contest at Shelley’s house; the dreaded bleacher runs; two elderly gentlemen who always showed up for us; the bus driver, Mr. Bill, with sheets hanging out the window exclaiming our win; and shuttle runs – I strangely liked those! Good times great team!
Dianne Riccarelli: Dianne applied the many skills she learned from Coach Higgins to her successful professional life. She lives with her family in Alabama. She loves Yoga. Memory: Fran Higgins yelling “Riccarelli!” Fran had nicknames for many of us.