Five inducted into Greenport High School’s Hall of Fame

Five new members were inducted to the Greenport High School Athletics Hall of Fame at Greenport High School Friday night. The ceremony took place at halftime of the Greenport boys basketball game Friday night.

In front of a packed crowd, Greenport athletic director Brian Toussaint listed accomplishments of each new member before awarding them with a commemorative plaque. Those inducted were John Skrezec, Richard Breese, Mary Kelly, Francis “FJ” Kiernan, and Jane Utz. 

This is the second induction in the history of Greenport High School after the inaugural ceremony in 2020. These five join Richard “Dude” Manwaring, Dorrie Jackson, William “Billy” Fuccillo, Alan “Coach Al” Edwards and Ryan Creighton. 

“This was long overdue,” Toussaint said. “They’ve been out of Greenport for quite some time, but being that this is only our second ceremony, we’ve got a lot to catch up on. It’s important to recognize their achievements and congratulate them on the careers that they had. It’s undeniable that these five are more than worthy to be recognized as part of our hall of fame.”

Skrezec, Greenport High School Class of 1958, was a four-sport athlete that excelled in football, baseball, basketball and track. He was a member of the All-Scholastic Team in 1957. In addition to playing on varsity football for all four high school years, he never lost a game. The Porters went undefeated from 1955 to 1958. They also won the Rutgers trophy in 1958, given to the most outstanding team in Suffolk County. After high school, he served in the U.S Army for four years.

Breese, Greenport High School Class of 1958, was also a four-sport athlete. Breese and Skrezec played football, baseball, basketball and track together. As the starting quarterback, Breese led the Porters to three football championships. He earned All-County honors twice for his efforts on the football field. Breese also was a tremendous basketball player. He was the first 1,000-point scorer in Greenport High School’s history and was named to Newsday’s All County First Team three times. As if it wasn’t enough, Breese played on two championship baseball teams and batted over .300 for his career.

Kelly played all four high school years at the varsity level. She played basketball, field hockey, volleyball and softball, earning Most Valuable Player in basically every sport she played. Kelly went on to graduate from Indiana State University as she continued her excellent athletic career. 

Kiernan was a beloved baseball coach from 1971, when he started as a JV coach, until he retired from coaching in 1987 as the varsity coach. He was unable to attend the ceremony but asked his favorite player he ever coached, Scott Klipp, to represent him. He had a profound impact on every player he coached, which was evident in the amount of nominations he received. He had a winning record for his entire tenure as the Porters’ baseball coach, according to a pamphlet provided at the game. 

Utz, heralded as the architect of girls athletics in Greenport, was the final member in this induction class. She was unable to attend the ceremony so her niece, Mindy Ryan, received the award in her place. Utz started the girls field hockey program in 1973. One year later, she started the girls basketball program. Utz coached field hockey from 1973 to 1977 and basketball from 1974 to 1983. She won eight league championships while reeling off six consecutive undefeated seasons while coaching the basketball team. In 1982, the basketball team was crowned Class D Suffolk County champions. 

“The community above all else has a lot pride in their school and the athletics of the school,” Toussaint said. “When the soccer team this fall made the final four, there was an outpouring of support from the community. There were parades, fundraisers — the amount of people in the crowd today is just an another example of how much this community loves their school and their student athletes.”