Twenty years after Long Beach High School held its first Wall of Fame dedication, three deserving inductees were recently enshrined with plaques on the wall in recognition of their athletic contributions to Long Beach Public Schools and the community as a whole.
First, William Gibson, a legendary volleyball coach and teacher in the district was inducted. As the boys varsity volleyball coach, Gibson has won four county titles and nine conference championships, which included two undefeated seasons. To date, his volleyball teams have made the playoffs in 22 consecutive seasons. In addition to volleyball, Gibson served as the Nassau County volleyball coordinator, and he’s also coached middle school volleyball and varsity track and field.
“Just writing it out made me realize how fortunate I’ve been to be able to coach these kinds of teams and those types of athletes,” Gibson said. “It’s not really something every coach gets to experience.”
Will Skudin is an expert waterman, a world-class surfer and a philanthropist. During his time in the district, he earned All-County and State Qualifier honors with the varsity swim team. Also, along with his brother Cliff, he founded Surf for All, a nonprofit organization introducing economically disadvantaged youths to surfing. After Superstorm Sandy, Skudin raised more than $100,000 to help rebuild the community and helped organize a Thanksgiving dinner to feed displaced residents.
“It’s all about community in Long Beach,” Skudin said. “You walk around this town, and you look people in the eye. I’ve been all over the world and seen different cultures, and the word community here actually means something.”
The 2007 varsity girls softball team was the final inductee, which was well deserved considering they were the first team in Nassau County softball history to win a New York State Championship. Not only did the team finish a 24-4 record, but they were recognized by the Nassau County Softball Umpires Association with the 2007 Sportsmanship Award. It was truly a special season filled with unforgettable moments.
“Going into the spring season of 2007, this group of young ladies had very high expectations for themselves,” coach Carmine Verde said. “This was a very experienced, determined, successful and talented group of athletes. I could not be prouder of what they accomplished as a team and how they grew as people.”