Capital Region Football Hall of Fame announces 2021 inductees

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ALBANY — Sixteen players, six coaches, two officials, a long-time media member and the 1972 Shenendehowa Plainsmen championship team make up the Capital Region Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2021.

The hall of fame’s 11th class of honorees was officially announced Thursday.

“We are so pleased to be able to celebrate the fantastic careers of these Capital Region high school greats,” Hall of Fame president Nick Fitzgerald said in a release announcing this year’s inductees. “The depth of this class, with more than a dozen schools represented, really shows how widespread the talent is in our area. We look forward to welcoming back these legends and their families.”

The induction ceremony will be held Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Albany – The Desmond Hotel on Albany Shaker Road in Colonie. Tickets, which include soda, wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres, are $60 each and available at www.tinyurl.com/CRFootballHOF2021.

Here’s a look at this year’s inductees.

PLAYERS

Jordan Canzeri — An all-state selection as a senior at Troy High School where he rushed for 3.300 yards in two seasons. Recruited to Iowa where he was all-Big 10 his senior year (2015).

John Chaney —  An all-star at Albany High School, he went on to become a hall of famer at Wagner College, where in the 1987 season, he made a host of big plays for a 13-1 team that captured the Division III national championship.

Lyle Darmetko — A captain of a Watervliet High School team that won the Colonial Council and Section IIClass C titles, he was selected as the All-City player of the year and All-Area Small-School player of the year before going on to play in college at Wagner.

Josh Etu — Named captain of his Queensbury High School football team as a junior, he helped lead the Spartans to the state finals, and earned all-state honors. He went on to wrestling (and academic) fame at the University of Virginia, where he won the 2003 ACC championship.

Mike Fosmire — A star lineman at Troy High School in the 1990s, he was a first team all-state selection in 1996. He played college football for the Hobart Statesmen.

Milt Graham — The Columbia High School grad played college football at Colgate and was drafted in 1956 by the NFL Chicago Bears. He played for the Boston Patriots in the American Football League and won a Grey Cup for Ottawa in 1960 in the Canadian Football League.

Gary Hamm — An all-star end at Middleburgh High School in the late 1960s, he was part of the very first New York all-state team.

Bob Higgins — A high school All-American at Albany Academy, he earned a spot on the Dartmouth football team, only to suffer a career ending injury. After football, he earned a medical degree and became the first Black surgeon-in-chief and director of surgery at Johns Hopkins hospitals.

Jeff Higgins — An all-star high school career at Lake George (QB, RB, WR, DB) led him to Ithaca College, where he earned All-American honors twice. He also played seven seasons in the Arena Football League.

David Holloway — A four-year varsity starter and a 2002 graduate of Albany Academy, he all-county selection then chose the University of Maryland where he was a three-year starter. He played for four different NFL teams from 2007-09.

Josh Keyes — Earned state Class C Player of the Year as a senior and Co-Player of the Year honors as a junior at Chatham High School. Earned all-ACC honors at Boston College and spent time with eight different teams in the NFL.  

John Mancini — The Recorder Player of the Year at Fonda Fultonville High School, he played his college football at Boston University, where he was a two-time all-Yankee Conference selection.

Mike Mazukry — Football success at La Salle Institute in Troy earned him the opportunity to play college football at Manhattan College, where his success continued. He earned his fame as a professional wrestler and actor appearing in more than 142 films, best known for roles in “Dick Tracy” (1945), “Sinbad the Sailor” (1947) “It’s About Time” (1966-1967).

Joe Ruggeri — A multiple time all-star receiver and defensive back at Johnstown, he still holds spots on the state receptions and yardage lists. He played four seasons at Union College, including two NCAA tournament appearances.

David Winter — A 3,000-yard runner at Hudson Falls High School, he was the 1996 Post-Star player of the year and a first-team Class B all-state selection.

Dylan Wydronkowski — Named Class A first-team all-state and the Section II Class A Defensive Player of the Year as a linebacker in both his junior and senior years at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School. He was recruited to help Stetson University return to Division I football in 2013.

CONTRIBUTORS

1972 Shenendehowa Plainsmen (Team) — Went 9-0 averaging 44 points and allowing less than four points a game. Coach Brent Steuerwald calls the 1972 team “arguably the finest team Section II has ever seen.”

Niall Howard (Service to Youth Football) — Has given more than 25 years to youth football as a coach in the same city that launched his high school and college playing career – Schenectady. Has coached at all levels, from peewee to semi-pro.

John Irion (Head Coach) — In 20 seasons at Queensbury High School, he amassed 136 career wins, before becoming head coach at Granville High School.  His 2013 Queensbury team earned a state Class A title.

Ron Jones (Head Coach) — Led the Hoosick Falls program to a Section II-record six straight sectional titles from 2009-14, including earning the program’s first Class C football state championship in 2012.  He won 155 games in his 23 seasons.

Tony Wise (Service to Football) — The Shaker High School product is one of the most successful offensive line coaches in the NFL and college football including a Super Bowl title with the Dallas Cowboys and a collegiate national championship at Miami.

Dar Rivers (Referee)

Bob Woods (Referee)

Pete Tobey (Service to Football) — Veteran high school sports beat writer for the Post-Star newspaper in Glens Falls.

Artie Waugh (Assistant Coach) — Coached for 20 seasons at Guilderland High School, 14 under hall of fame coach Bud Kenyon. Over that 14-year span, the teams never had a losing season.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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