H. Jesse Arnelle
~ 1989 ~
There would be few arguments against the notion of Jesse Arnelle being the finest all around athlete in the history of New Rochelle High School. His exploits in football, basketball, and track & field were second to none and were rewarded with countless All-League, All-County and All-State awards. At 6’5”, he was an imposing target in football. For thirty years, he held the NRHS single game basketball scoring record of 52 points. He continued his athletic excellence in football, and achieved All-American status in basketball at Penn State. His professional career included the NFL Baltimore Colts, the NBA Fort Wayne (Detroit) Pistons, and the Harlem Globetrotters. His professional life has been as exemplary as his athletic endeavors.
Primarily publicized for his football heroics on the interscholastic, collegiate and professional levels, Johnny Counts was also an accomplished basketball player and track sprinter. He once ran the 100 year dash in 9.8 seconds, the fastest time at the New York State meet. While playing football at NRHS, he led the metropolitan area in scoring (137 points, still a school standard) in 1957 and also holds the Westchester County record for the longest interception return (105 yards). He later became the Big 10 “Sophomore of the Year” at Illinois in 1960 and joined the New York Giants of the NFL as a kick off & punt-return specialist in 1962. He was one of the last Giants to return a kickoff for a touchdown.
John E. “Johnny” Counts
~ 1989 ~
Mention the Olympics and the first New Rochelle name to surface usually is that of Lou Jones, who won a gold medal in the 1956 Summer Games with Uncle Sam’s 400 meter relay team. Jones was a track whiz at NRHS, where he was state champion in the 440 yard dash. He honed his sprint skills at Manhattan College where he was IC4A champion in the 600. He eventually reached his peak when he set a world’s record (45.5) at the 1956 Pan Am games. He lowered the mark to 45.2 at the 1956 Olympic Trials. He also set a world mark for the 600 yard run at the 1955 AAU nationals. A 1954 graduate of Manhattan, he was inducted into the Jasper Hall of Fame in 1981. His professional life has been dedicated to education and youth service.
Louis W. “Lou” Jones III
~ 1989 ~
Dan O’Brien Gymnasium on the campus of New Rochelle High School is a memorial for a man who was a legend as a coach in basketball and track & field. His basketball teams won innumerable league crowns and three Section One titles (1947, ’52, ’55) and his track teams were the scourge of Westchester and the Empire State for two decades, winning an incredible 19 W.I.A.A. Championships, 7 Section One titles, and 2 New York State Crowns. In 1950, his team won the Penn relays mile in 3:23.1 - a National Record. The consummate gentleman, he always politely refused to name an “All-Time Team”. The late and venerable coach had a standard reply, “I like every kid who ever played for me, from star to scrub.”
Daniel P. “Dan” O’Brien
~ 1989 ~
Only one man in New Rochelle wears a Super Bowl ring, emblematic of professional football supremacy, and it belongs to George Starke Jr., a top drawer offensive tackle with the Washington Redskins. George was a football standout with the Huguenots, being named All-County and All-Metropolitan area tackle for three years. He was a center of attention for New Rochelle’s 1965 Section One basketball championship team. He later played tight end at Columbia University before being restored to this natural tackle position with the ‘Skins. Starke was also a center on Columbia’s nationally-ranked basketball team. He was a blocking bulwark for the unit nicknamed “The Hawgs” and lasted a decade in the NFL. He was a key member of the Redskins’ 1983 Super Bowl Team.
~ 1989 ~
Bert came to America from England and was as much a pioneer as he was a celebrated coach in his beloved sport of soccer. The highly acclaimed and eminently successful NRYSL program is a monument to the man who served as one of its founders, catalysts and foremost supporters. Bert took NRHS to six Section One tourney appearances and had a record of 80-23-5. He then rekindled interest in soccer at Iona College and still retained his links to the youth program. He was nominated for several scholastic “Coach of the Year” accolades, but insisted competing, rather than winning at all costs, be affixed to the bottom line. One of his favorite lines: “You don’t have to win all the time to get a kick out of soccer, which is a lot like life, the ball takes some funny bounces along the way.”
Bertram J. “Bert” Williams
~ 1989 ~