The Capital Region Football Hall of Fame will be holding its 10th annual induction ceremony 6 p.m. Saturday at the Red Lion Hotel in Colonie.
This year’s class will include 22 individuals as well as the 1953 Nott Terrace team. The individuals selected have made significant contributions to the region’s football history in an assortment of ways.
Besides the 1953 Nott Terrace team that outscored opponents 277-6 during an undefeated season, this year’s class includes:
Coach -- Al Rapp (Cambridge, La Salle Institute).
Assistant coaches -- Butch Becker (Ballston Spa, St. Peter's, Watervliet, RPI), Tony Curro (Watervliet) and Gary Holtz (Columbia, Burnt Hills, HVCC, UAlbany).
Players -- Jimmer Bennett (Albany Academy), Scott Bishop (Hudson Falls), Allan Durkovic (Ballston Spa), Bob Friedlund (Nott Terrace), David Fruscio (LSI), Tony Fruscio (Watervliet), Bill Goebel (Fonda-Fultonville), Walter Jones (Glens Falls), Paul Layton (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake), Ed Meixler (Saratoga Springs), Marc Miranda (Mechanicville), Vincenzo Nicosia (Amsterdam) and Dan Vergine (Ballston Spa).
Official -- Bill Higgins (Adirondack Chapter).
Service to football -- Dave Bochette (Lansingburgh, Stillwater, HVCC), Steve Grandin (New York State Sportswriters Association) and Jim Schiltz (The Daily Gazette).
Service to youth football -- Tom McGivern (Johnstown).
Learning from dad
“It’s great, man. It’s a great honor,” said Vergine, a multisport star for the Scotties who set league and school rushing records and also starred defensively as a linebacker on the football field. “It’s been a while since I played, and to get the call to find out that you’re being inducted and being appreciated, it’s pretty cool.”
Vergine credited his father for starting him with the game.
“My father was coaching me since I could walk," Vergine said. "He was always my football coach. He coached me and all my brothers growing up. I had three older brothers [and] they all played football. They’re actually all defensive players. I actually became the only offensive player.”
'Surprised and humbled'
McGivern is going into the Hall of Fame for his contributions to youth football, McGivern also played high school football for Johnstown. His playing career also included time with St.Joseph's College and the Glove Cities Colonials. Later, he dedicated countless hours to Johnstown’s youth football program, and also helped Broadalbin-Perth and Fonda-Fultonville youth organizations get started.
Now an assistant football coach for Broadalbin-Perth, McGivern said it was former Fonda-Fultonville head coach Alex Mancini — who sought out McGivern for help starting Fonda-Fultonville’s youth organization — who alerted him he’d be inducted this year.
“I got the call from Alex Mancini, who nominated me and he told me that I made it,” McGivern said. “I was surprised, very humbled and overwhelmed.”
Tyrell Feaster is an intern at The Daily Gazette. Feaster, a junior at the University at Albany, is majoring in journalism.