[Posthumous]Clarkstown High School Class of 1968
The 1960s were the heyday of Clarkstown High School athletics. The school produced many championship teams in a variety of sports and a multitude of athletes who excelled on those teams. These athletes were fortunate to have been coached by Clarkstown and Rockland County coaching legends Bill Morrow, Art Orlando, Ed McGrath and Tony Gemma. Tom Dickson was among these athletes.
Tom was one the best if not the very best athlete to wear the “purple and gold” during that time. He was an outstanding athlete who not only lettered in three sports – football, basketball and baseball – but was voted first team All-County in all three. Tom earned at total of 10 varsity letters while competing at Clarkstown High, four in baseball and three each in basketball and football.
Tom was part of five championship teams, three in baseball and two in basketball. For his efforts, Tom was selected to seven different Journal-News All-County first teams and five Daily News All-Star teams. In football he was selected All-County twice and one year led the county in scoring. On the basketball court Tom was selected All-County twice and a Daily News All-Star twice. In his senior year Tom was second in the county in scoring. Baseball was perhaps his best sport. Tom was selected All-County three times and three times a Daily News All-Star. In his senior year, 1968, he led Rockland County in batting, runs batted in and pitching wins. He had a batting average of .413 and was selected to the All-County team as pitcher. Tom was named the MVP of the championship Clarkstown baseball teams in both his junior and senior years.
A former teammate, Karl Schumacher, described Tom as the “most dominant three-sport high school athlete in the county of his era – 1965-1968 – bar none.” Schumaker went on to say, “The amazing thing is that he was a good guy – no braggart, no trash talker. He was, simply, athletically confident and gifted in three sports.” For his exploits on the athletic fields and court, in 1968 Tom was the recipient of the prestigious Grasso Award, given annually to the most outstanding football, basket- ball and baseball player in Rockland County. Thomas Dickson, as Coach Tony Gemma called him, was truly an “athlete for all seasons.”
Tom enrolled at Kutztown State College in Pennsyl- vania on scholarship and played football and basket- ball in his freshman year but chose not to return to college after that first year. He then had a short stint playing baseball in the New York Mets farm system. Tom eventually gave up the sporting world and got a job. Sadly, Tom died unexpectedly in 2011 at the age of 62 from a heart attack while working. At the time of his death Tom was a vice president of operations for a large wholesale oil dealer. He worked his way up to that position by first managing a Hess gas station, to managing regional Hess stations, and finally to his last highly respected position within the company through his hard work and innate intelligence.
Tom and his wife, Katherine, had two children – daughter Tara and son Ty – and a large loving family of siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews. Being the loving father that he was, Tom took an active part
in his children’s activities. He coached Tara’s soccer team, the Wallkill Strikers, and took them on a play- ing tour of Europe where they fared very well even though he didn’t know all the finer skills of the game. He just knew competition and how to win.