Schenectady County

Donato heads Schenectady Hall of Fame inductees

Area bowling legend Joe Donato, basketball star Lou Jordan and wrestling champion Severino Popolizio

Area bowling legend Joe Donato, basketball star Lou Jordan and wrestling champion Severino Popolizio have been selected for induction this year into the Schenectady City School District Athletic Hall of Fame.

The 15th Hall of Fame class will be recognized for their achievements on Monday, Sept. 10, at Proctors Theater.

Donato was a leader in the bowling industry as a competitor, mentor, league organizer, tournament director and proprietor. The Mont Pleasant graduate and World War II Navy veteran was a charter member of the Professional Bowlers Association, and held world records for four- and six-game matches.

He was the first to roll a 300 game on “TV Tournament Time,” and the first bowler selected as the Mont Pleasant Athletic Club Athlete of the Year in 1959. In 1994, Donato was selected 53rd on the Daily Gazette’s list of top 100 influental Capital Region sports figures.

Donato will be inducted posthumously.

Jordan held Mont Pleasant single-game, season and career scoring records when he graduated in 1955, and was Cornell’s top point producer in each of his three varsity seasons. The All-Ivy League selection was drafted by the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, but opted to attend Cornell Medical College and became an orth­opedic surgeon.

Jordan is a member of the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame.

Popolizio was a star running back and two-time Section II wrestling champion at Linton, and went undefeated against area competition and reached the state finals in his senior year in 1973. At Boston University, he won four Greater Boston titles, three Yankee Conference champ­ionships and a pair of New England titles.

Popolizio is a member of the BU Athletic Hall of Fame and the Section II Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Contact Bob Pezzano (346-9297) for more Hall of Fame details.


Mike Libruk of Suburban Council, Section II and Federation cross country champion Shaker has been named to the all-state first team.

Libruk was additionally honored by the New York State Sportswriters Association as one of the state’s top five seniors. Libruk won the Suburban Council and Section II Class A ind­ividual titles, and placed ninth at the state public school meet, fourth at the Federation event and second at the Nike Cross Nationals New York qualifier.

Libruk picked up earlier victories at the Alb­any County Meet, McQuaid Invitational, Queensbury Invitational, Ed Springstead Inv­itational and Niskayuna Ekiden, and took second at the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Invitational.

Shaker senior Christian Delago made the all-state second team. Shaker senior Jon Vallecorsa and Greenwich senior Austin Lane made the all-state fourth team.

All-state sixth-team selection Brent Freestone of Saratoga Springs was recognized as one of the state’s top five sophomores.

Boys’ All-State

Mike Lubruk, 12, Shaker (first team); Christian Delago, 12, Shaker (second); Austin Lane, 12, Greenwich (fourth); Jon Vallecorsa, 12, Shaker (fourth); Buddy Herkenham, 12, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (fifth); Brent Freestone, 10, Sar­atoga Springs (sixth); Ethan Hausamann, 12, Shaker (ninth); Andrew Tario, 11, Averill Park (honorable mention); Dan Janeczko, 11, Shenendehowa (hm); Jay Navin, 10, Sar­atoga Springs (hm); Jonah Williams, 12, Saratoga Springs (hm); Luke Carpinello, 12, Bethlehem (hm); Matt Lange, 11, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons (hm).

Millrose history

History will be made at the Millrose Games next month, and 1979 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake graduate Hugh Willig will be a part of it.

Ned Willig recently qualified to run in the prestigious boys’ invitational high school mile, just as his father did in his senior year while representing the Spartans. Since the high school mile was added to the Millrose lineup in 1974, no father-and-son combination has ever been invited.

Ned Willig, a senior at Great Valley, Pa., earned his spot with a victory in the Hispanic Games mile on Jan. 7 at the Armory Track and Field Center in New York. He will return to The Armory for the Feb. 11 Millrose Games and race against 11 others.

Hugh Willig placed eight in a field of 10 when the 1979 Millrose Games were held at Madison Square Garden. He went on to win the state indoor mile championship that season.

Burnt Hills had two more Millrose comp­etitiors after that in Miles Irish (second in 1982, third in 1983) and Chris Mulford (eighth in 1995).

Lufkin, Heffern reach 1,000

Argyle junior guard Joey Lufkin scored 36 points, including the 1,000th of his career, in last Friday’s 58-39 Adirondack League win against North Warren. Heatly senior guard Melissa Heffern joined the 1,000-point club Tuesday with 15 in a 44-16 Central Hudson Valley League win over Berlin.

Collin Stewart of Mekeel Christian Academy, Liz Harvey of Berne-Knox-Westerlo, Lauren Woods of Shaker and Scotia-Glenville’s Mon­ica Compton and Cassie Broadhead previously reached 1,000 career points this season.

Here and there

Defending Section II and Suburban Council gymnastics champion Saratoga Springs extended its league record to 4-0 with Tuesday’s 171.70-152.65 Senior Night win over Bethlehem. Rema Bianco, Morgan Winnie and Tessy Dirado gave the Blue Streaks a one-two-three all-around sweep, with Bianco setting a personal record in the vault (8.95). . . .

Nominations for the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Athletic Hall of Fame are being accepted through Feb. 28. Forms can be obtained on the district web page or by contacting the BH-BL athletic office (399-9141, ext. 3309 or [email protected]). The induction ceremony is scheduled for

June 9 at Van Patten Country Club in Clifton Park.

Categories: High School Sports

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