HIGHTSTOWN: Amponsa, Weidner bring sterling credentials into Hightstown HOF

By Rich Fisher, Packet Media Group
The 22nd Annual Hightstown High School Athletic Hall of Fame ceremonies are scheduled to take place on Friday, Oct. 9, complete with the induction luncheon and introduction of the honorees at that night’s football game.
The Hall of Fame Luncheon is scheduled for 12 p.m. at The Holiday Inn of East Windsor, to which the public is invited to attend. That night on Dave McIntire Field, with the Rams meeting West Windsor-Plainsboro North game under the guidance of first-year coach and former Ram standout Ethan Jeros, the inductees will be introduced.
Tickets for the luncheon are $40. For tickets and reservation contact Jim Peto, Athletic Director, Hightstown High School, 25 Leshin Lane, Hightstown, N.J. 08520. Phone 609-443-7741 extension 1157.
This year’s inductees include the following former Hightstown High School standouts:
—Gwen Atwell, Coach
—Tom Weidner,Baseball,Class of ‘65
—Kerry Radigan Allmers, Field Hockey, Class of ‘84
—David Rosenblatt,Track,Class of’85
—Kenny Amponsa,Wrestling,Class of ‘07
—Jessica Haughton,Field Hockey,Class of ‘07
—1985 Group IV State Semi-Finalist Baseball Team
The Herald will run profiles of each inductee over the next several weeks.
In a school where talented wrestlers have frequented the mats, one stands alone.
Hightstown High School has had its share of outstanding wrestlers over the years, including five Hall of Famers, but none thus far have matched the achievements of Kenny Amponsa.
Although he also played football for four years at HHS, Amponsa is remembered for the several school and conference records he holds in wrestling as well as for being the only Region 7 champion in school history while leading the Rams to four consecutive CVC championships.
As a senior running back on the football team, Kennyled the Rams to a 6-4 record and a state tournament berth. He was named First Team All-CVC and played in the Sunshine Classic during the summer.
Included in his 94 career wins as a wrestler under Hall of Fame coach Mike “The Great Orator” Russo are:
—The CVC record 42-3 mark as a senior,
—Two Mercer County Tournament championships
—The Pine Barrens Tournament championship
—The Holy Cross Tournament championship
—A District 25 championship.
—The Region 7 championship.
Kenny qualified for the regionals three times and finished fifth in the state at 215 pounds. He was name first-team All-CVC in both his junior and senior seasons and still holds the records for takedowns in a season with 166 and takedowns for a career with 352.
Also in his senior year, his Ram team advanced to the sectionals with all six seniors wrestling in the region tournament.
Amponsa continued his academic and athletic careers at The College of New Jersey from 2009-13, where he wrestled and played football for three years, winning several collegiate wrestling tournaments before a spinal injury cut short his senior season. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Exercise Science in 2013.
A resident of Hamilton Township for the past three years, Kenny is currently employed at Princeton Healthcare Hospital and at Club One Fitness as a trainer. His family still resides in East Windsor and his brother Alex is a Hightstown High School sophomore.
It has been half a century since he last went to war with Rams athletic teams, but Tom Weidner’s accomplishments have stood the test of time as he is inducted this year.
Weidner joins an impressive list of outstanding Hightstown High School three sport athletes to be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. Tom excelled in soccer, basketball and baseball, served as team captain in all three sports, and was team MVP in soccer and basketball.
He played on three state championship soccer teams, a Central Jersey finalist baseball team and was the HHS Male Athlete of the Year in his senior year.
As a defender in soccer, playing for Hall of Fame coaches Russ Beaulieu and Stan Czenis, Tom helped the Rams to state titles in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. He was named third-team All-Area as a junior and, in his senior year, was team captain, team MVP and Honorable Mention All-State.
A three-year forward on the basketball team under Hall of Fame coach Cliff Brautigan, Tom was team MVP and third-team All-Conference in his sophomore year and led the Rams to three straight Holiday Tournament Championships and two state tournament appearances.
An outstanding pitcher under Hall of Fame coach Ken Eiker, Tom was 4-1 with an ERA of 2.17 in his sophomore season but missed most of his junior year with mononucleosis. He came back as a senior co-captain and won half of the team’s games while saving two others and finished with an amazing ERA of 1.38 in leading the Rams to the Central Jersey championship game.
Following his graduation from HHS, Tom continued his academic and athletic careers at Princeton University where he was 2-1 as a pitcher on the freshman baseball team and was a three-year starter on the soccer team, where he played every minute of every game from the third game of his sophomore year.
Weidner was team captain and third-team All-Ivy League as a senior. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics in 1969 and his Law Degree, with honors, from the University of Wisconsin in 1972. He has been a civil trial attorney since 1972 with both the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and in private practice.
Tom currently resides in Cranbury with Joan, his wife of 30 years. He was a founder and coach of the Princeton Soccer Association and coached his son Matt, who was a three-sport athlete at Princeton High School.
He has served as Mayor of Cranbury, as a Cranbury Township Committeeman, as President of the Mercer County Bar Association, and as Chairman of the Board of the United Way of Greater Mercer County. He is currently Chairman of the Cranbury Parks Commission and Board member of the Princeton Area Community Foundation.