Friday, August 14, 2009

Watervliet High School Athletics Hall of Fame 2009

Second call to ‘Vliet High Hall

William Montgomery
The Record

WATERVLIET - The Watervliet Athletics Hall of Fame inducted 20 former student-athletes and coaches into the inaugural class in 2008, but reinforcements are on the way. An additional 17 former Cannoneers legends will enter the Hall this autumn.
Donald Hill, a Scotland native who turned rough-and-tumble kids from the Arsenal City into a machine on the soccer pitch from 1946 to 1966, was one of three coaches inducted. Thomas Jones, who coached four different sports and served as Athletic Director between 1938 and 1975, was inducted for his 37 years of service to the school.
Walt Nash, who guided the football team and coached girls gymnastics from 1950 to 1970, was not necessarily inducted for his success on the gridiron – he didn’t have much - but instead for his resolve on the sidelines.
"He never truly had a winning record, maybe not until his final years, but any of his former players can tell you how highly respected he was for his character-building," said Hall of Fame committee chairman Mike Reinfurt.
George Roe, who was a fine athlete in his own right at Watervliet, was inducted instead as a contributor for his dedication to the Watervliet Civic Center. He became a renowned softball player later in life and was a mainstay at Watervliet athletic contests of all kinds, keeping track of the players he mentored at the Civic Center.
13 former student-athletes were inducted, including basketball players-turned-coaches Andre Cook and Brian Fruscio. Cook has just left Hudson Valley Community College for St. Edward’s University in Texas and Fruscio coaches the varsity team at the Albany Academies.
Rich Fruscio, a dominant fullback and linebacker for the football team in the late 1960s, was also inducted.
"We could have put every member of the Fruscio family in the first class, but we couldn’t decide which one to put in first," Reinfurt said.
Don Kehn, who guided the Cannoneers to a Class C football state championship in 1996 and graduated in 1998, still holds school records in yards passing (3,299), completions (229) and touchdown passes (52). He was named co-New York State Class C Player of the Year after the 1996 season.
Jerry Connors, who was the first Watervliet wrestler to win a Section II championship in 1976 at 145 pounds, was voted in as the embodiment of the Cannoneers grappling program. He died accidentally shortly after his senior year.
Bob ‘Hack’ Harris pitched in the New York Yankees farm system after graduating from Watervliet in 1947.
Dick Foglia, a 1956 graduate familiarly referred to as the ‘one man riot squad,’ was a unanimous decision to represent Watervliet’s long tradition of producing tough linemen on the football field.
Kim Bonesteel, a three-sport athlete in the mid 1980s, was the only female in this year’s class. She remains active in the girls basketball program at Watervliet.
The Hall of Fame committee plans on rolling out a new class each and every year for the foreseeable future and the inductees will soon be featured prominently in the hallway to the renovated high school gymnasium scheduled to open in 2011. Reinfurt admitted the committee needs to do a better job recognizing girls sports as well as sports such as bowling and track and field, which have had sporadic record-keeping.
"It’s created quite a buzz about it and it has generated a lot of interest," Reinfurt said. "We have so many athletes to pick from and so many eras, I feel like we have so many yet to go."
2009 inductees will be honored during halftime of Watervliet’s homecoming football game against Fonda-Fultonville on Saturday, October 17. A formal induction ceremony will take place at Michael's Banquet House in Latham on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 3 p.m. Ticket information may be obtained by calling the high school athletic office at 629-3303.

2009 Watervliet High School Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees


*Donald Hill 1946-66 Soccer
*Thomas Jones 1938-75 Athletic Director, Football, Soccer, Basketball, Baseball
*Walt Nash 1950-70 Football, Track, Girl’s Athletic Association

*George Roe 1954

Kim Bonesteel 1987 Soccer, Basketball, Softball
*Jerry Connors 1976 Football, Wrestling, Baseball
Andre Cook 1990 Basketball, Baseball
Jeff DiNuzzo 1986 Soccer, Baseball
*Dick Foglia 1956 Football, Track
Brian Fruscio 1986 Football, Basketball, Baseball
Rich Fruscio 1969 Football, Track, Tennis, Baseball
*Bob Harris 1947 Football, Baseball, Track
Keith Heid 1994 Football, Basketball, Baseball
Don Kehn 1998 Football, Baseball
John Kennedy 1949 Football, Soccer, Basketball, Baseball, Track
Peter Torncello 1980 Soccer, Basketball, Baseball
Kevin Yanni 1999 Soccer, Basketball, Tennis

*Posthumous entries

Click here to see the inaugural class of 2008.



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