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Sarah Cashman Gersky ‘79 Inducted Into Delaware Sports Hall of Fame

By Chuck Durante '69
This article appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of the Tower Hill Bulletin

Sarah Cashman Gersky ‘79, one of the most accomplished athletes in Tower Hill and Colgate history, was inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame in May, four months after she was named to the Delaware Basketball Hall of Fame.
 
Gersky led Tower Hill to the state basketball championship game in 1979, the year that the boys’ team also had its greatest tournament success, reaching the quarterfinals. She was first-team all-state, the second leading vote-getter in the poll and averaged 20.2 points, leading the Hillers to their third consecutive Independent Conference title. Throughout the championship game, the Hillers stayed close to favored St. Elizabeth, led by Penny Welsh, a future major-college star who was inducted with her friend and former rival at the May banquet.
 
Also a mainstay of Tower Hill’s powerful field hockey and lacrosse teams, Gersky would have likely been named to those sports’ all-state teams had they then been selected, and earned 11 varsity letters over her Upper School career.
Colgate’s leading basketball scorer for three of her four years, averaging 16.5 over her career, she was the first Raider woman to surpass 1,000, graduated as the university’s leading scorer with 1,666 points and set eight other Colgate basketball records. Co-captain her junior and senior years, Gerksy finished second in Player of the Year voting in the Upstate New York Women’s Basketball Conference.
 
She twice led Colgate to the Division II lacrosse Final Four, and set a school record for most goals in a season. In field hockey, she paced the Raiders to second- and fifth-place Division II finishes in her two varsity seasons. She started varsity on all three sports as a freshman.
 
She was inducted into the Hall of Honor in 1994 at Colgate, which retired her basketball number 24.


Words of Thanks
The following are Sarah Cashman Gersky’s remarks from the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame banquet: 
 
I’d like to thank the Board of Governors for this honor of being inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame. I am truly humbled. I am not sure where my passion for sports came from, but it started early. I was the kid that loved gym, recess and any opportunity to run around and compete. My love of competition is why I played three sports all through high school and in college. I may have mellowed a bit over the years, but I still have that competitive spirit.  
 
So where do I begin and how do I thank all the people who have helped me along the way? There is a saying that says, “It takes a village.” Well in my case, it certainly did.
 
I would like to start by thanking my parents. Mom would sit quietly through all my games never making a sound, but I always knew she was there. Dad came to as many games as he could and at dinner he would go around the table and ask each of us, my two brothers and sister: Who did you play today? Did your team win? It was never about us as individuals. This attitude at home is probably why I never thought much about myself and always about my team. 
 
Miss Betty Richardson, affectionately known as Miss Rich, who is already in the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame, and Miss Patty Marshall have known me since I was about 6 years old. They literally watched me grow up. From gym class in elementary school, to sports in Middle School, to teams in high school, they instilled in me the mental toughness and physical skills necessary to compete at THS and then on at Colgate. 
 
I can still hear Miss Rich calling out “LADIES, you are never going to get any better if you don’t practice hard every day.” There were no “stars” or preferential treatment for anyone. 
 
I remember this one time I was in 5th or 6th Grade and I forgot my field hockey stick that day and I just assumed Miss Rich would let me borrow one. Well, let me tell you the answer was not only, NO, I could not borrow one, but I had to stay in the locker room and clean field hockey balls all during practice. I was so mad. I could not believe it. How could she make me miss practice to clean hockey balls? It was a lesson I learned early—no one is too important and be a responsible teammate or you will pay a price. I guarantee you I never forgot that lesson. 
 
In high school, Miss Marsh had to know she had a pretty special group of kids on her basketball team. I give her a lot of credit because as we improved she solicited the help of Mr. Daub. He spent countless hours on the court with us and helped me develop my first step and driving to the basket. Miss Marsh had us occasionally practice against the boys too. This was very forward thinking at the time, and it helped us tremendously.
 
I also need to recognize all of my high school teammates. THS is a small school, so most of us were multi-sport athletes. We spent countless hours practicing, playing and winning together. We enjoyed a lot of success and the bonds we made and the memories we share last a lifetime. So thank you.
 
Arriving at Colgate, I was thrilled I was allowed to continue playing three sports. I wasn’t ready to give any one of them up and was blessed that I was able to play field hockey on a team that came in 2nd and 5th at nationals, on a lacrosse team that came in 4th at nationals and on a basketball team that also made it to post-season play.
 
When I look back on all that I was able to accomplish at Colgate, it is with great satisfaction and a sense of pride. So to my college coaches who challenged me, the athletic trainers who patched me up and my college teammates who made me better—thank you. It was an honor and privilege to represent Colgate.
 
Lastly, as athletes, we have all had to make choices and I stand here today because of the commitment I made to these choices. My commitment to listen to my coaches, my commitment to hear my parents’ lessons on integrity, respect, humility and character, my commitment to be a good teammate and friend to everyone I played with and my commitment to be a fierce, but fair competitor to my opponents. 
 
I know I am a better person because of all my athletic endeavors and believe all the lessons I learned in the gym and on the fields have influenced me as an adult, a parent and a wife. Through all of it—the highs, the lows, the laughs, the aches and pains (and there were plenty of those)—I have been blessed to have incredibly supportive parents, great coaches and awesome teammates who made my athletic career very rewarding. As I stated earlier, it takes a village.
 
Delaware will always be home to me, so thank you to the Hall of Fame Board of Governors for considering me worthy of being inducted. It is truly an honor and an accomplishment I am incredibly proud of. Thank you.
 

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