Port Washington Youth Activities will induct three new members into its Hall of Fame at its annual gala on June 15 at the North Hempstead Country Club in Port Washington. PYA will honor its longtime Field Director Billy Owens, Nora Maguire-White and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John Wade as former PYA athletes from the organization at its 28th annual fundraising celebration. These three people, each in their own way, have helped to continue to shape and grow the organization, which was founded in 1963.
Owens has come full circle as a PYA football and lacrosse athlete since his youth. At Schreiber High School in the late 1970s, he excelled on the varsity football and lacrosse teams, wrapping up his senior season as an All-Nassau County midfielder/faceoff specialist. He was a member of the Adelphi University 1981 Division II National Championship team, and followed that up with a long-playing career with the North Hempstead Lacrosse Club. He is in the Schreiber High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Owens has been a mainstay as the PYA Lions Field Director for more than a decade, and as PYA’s “Goodwill Ambassador,” he is responsible for field management and administration for the facility.
Maguire-White played in a soccer program and basketball program run by PYA. This was followed by four varsity years at Schreiber High School of both sports plus lacrosse, where she earned second team All-American honors. Moving on to James Madison University (JMU), she continued with one year of varsity soccer, and four years of varsity lacrosse. With the JMU lacrosse team, she was a two-time Brine All-American in 1991 and 1992, and honorable mention All-American in 1990. She was a two-time Conference Player of the Year for the South Atlantic Conference in 1991 and the Colonial Athletic Conference in 1992. Maguire-White was also a member of the US U-23 National Lacrosse team in 1991. Her post-graduate resume included a stint as the JMU assistant lacrosse coach, an assistant soccer and lacrosse coach at Loyola College, and an assistant soccer coach at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. From a volunteer standpoint, she was the Director of Coaching in the Harrisonburg (VA) AAU Basketball program, the Shenandoah Valley United Soccer Club, and is on the National Academy Staff of the Nations Soccer Coaches of America and State Academy staff of Virginia Youth Soccer Association. She lived in Florida for a time, where she was head soccer coach at Chiles High School in Tallahassee and launched the boys’ and girls’ lacrosse clubs in that school. She also spent two years as the athletic director at Pope John Paul II High School in that city.
Wade played baseball, soccer and basketball at PYA during the late 1970s/early 1980s and followed that up at Schreiber High School with three years of varsity soccer and two years of varsity lacrosse, for which he earned All-County honors as a senior, and was named Male Athlete of the Year. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1990. Over the course of his career, he completed multiple deployments supporting overseas operations to include Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Wade has served as a Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations, Executive Assistant to the Director of the Navy Quadrennial Defense Review Team and Deputy Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In addition, he served with the Army’s 10th Mountain and 82nd Airborne Divisions as Commanding Officer, Joint/Interagency Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan. Most recently, Wade assumed command of Carrier Strike Group 12 in May 2018. Athletically, he has been an assistant lacrosse coach at the USNA and the USNA Prep School. While living in Virginia, he coached youth Tee-Ball, youth soccer and youth lacrosse. He was also a coach for numerous lacrosse clinics in the San Diego, CA, and Washington DC areas.
At the June 15 gala, the new inductees will join other Hall of Fame members such as Brian Calenda, Billy Omeltchenko and Chris Callahan. The gala will kick off with a cocktail hour at 7:30 p.m. followed by dinner and dancing from 8:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. There will be a silent and a live auction along with raffle prizes. The price is $175 per person (including open bar) in advance and is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. There are several sponsorships available to fit all budgets, plus a souvenir journal that will be published. Direct any inquiries and reservations to Brandon Kurz, PYA executive director at 516-944-7921.
For more information, visit the PYA website at www.pyasports.org.