Al Bagnoli & Other Sports Figures of Yesteryear

Al Bagnoli – The Union College head football coach of the late 1980s was named the American Football Coaches Association College Division II Region I Coach of the Year in 1989.  It was the second time Bagnoli, who showed an eight-year record of 67-17-0, had been chosen for the award.  He won his first folowing the 1983 season.  Bagnoli’s record ranked him third among Division III coaches with five years or more coaching, and sixth among all coaches at any level.

Dan Peltier – A Clifton Park native who competed against many Schenectady County baseball players, He hit .466 for the Notre Dame team one year and was named to the American Baseball Coaches Association All-American Team.

Dave Mennillo – Mennillo was named the Schenectady Union Star High School Bowler of the Year in 1965.  Later, he won two individual average titles.  The first was a 207 average in 1978 in the All-Star League, and the second, a 203 average in the Schenectady Major League.  Mennillo  averaged 200 or better for 27 consecutive seasons.  His best was 228 in 2000 in the City league.  In 1990, Mennillo was voted into the Vitalo Classic League Hall of Fame, and in 1999, he became a member of the Schenectady Bowlong Association Hall of Fame.

Clayton Janaitis – Janaitis played basketball for Niskayuna in the late 1950s.  He seldom penetrated to the hoop with the basketball, but was one of the finest perimeter shooters ever to take the floor in the Capital Region.  He had a picture perfect jumpshot and scored big for the Silver Warriors.  Janaitis went on to Dennison College in Ohio where he became an All-American lacrosse player.

Tommy Wells – Wells was a basketball-football standout at Scotia High in the 1950s.  He was name Schenectady County’s Outstanding Athlete his senior year and was the recipient of the Bill Stern Award.  Wells was a triple threat on the football field, and a solid all-around basketball player.

Ryan Mason – A great running back for Union College in the late 1980s, he set many school records his senior year.  In the final NCAA Division III statistics, he placed 17th among the nation’s ball carriers with his 115.6 yards per game average.  He amassed 1,545 yards for the season to break the single-season rushing mark.  His 17 touchdowns broke the record which had previously been held by John Johnson who scored 10 touchdowns in both 1983 and 1984.  Mason tied Johnson’s career touchdown record with 26.

Gary Przybylo – Przybylo was an outstanding basketball player for Linton in 1968.  His greatest competition locally came from Jimmy Tedisco of Bishop Gibbons.  They had a couple of great head-to-head battles.  In their two games against each other, Przybylo bucketed 33 and 24 points, and Tedisco scored for 19 and 34 points.  Przybylo was named the Schenectady Gazette, Schenectady Union Star, and Albany Times Union Player of the Year.  He also was selected to the New York State All-Star First Team and was a Parade Magazine All-American.  He was a New York State High Jump Champion.  Przybylo went to Michigan State and later coached at Mohonasen.  His 1992 Mighty Warrior squad won the Section II Class B title.  He passed away in 1999.

Carey Ann Denefrio – Denefrioo was Niskayuna High’s top scorer and leading rebounder in 1993.  She also played tennis and was the number one player on the Siver Warrior squad.  Denefrio competed in the New York State Tournament for threee years and played number three singles for the Adirondack Region team. This team won a gold medal in the Empire State Games.  She was the MVP of Niskayuna’s basketball and tennis teams and attended Boston College where she was an all-star in tennis.

Boyer “Ducky” Castelle – Castelle played basketball for Nott Terrace in the 1950s.  He was one of the finest ballhandlers this area has ever seen.  A magician with the basketball, his 1956 Terrace team finished the season with an 18 -1 record, and it ranked among the greatest teams ever coached by the legendary Walt Przybylo.  Castelle played his college ball at Xavier.

Marty Ralbovsky – He was one of the finest sportswriters in the Capital Region in the early 1960s.  Ralbovsky had a certain flair with the pen, and he described most area athletes with the use of flowery phrases.  He also did some writing for the National Enquirer.  Ralbovsky penned a book titled Destiny’s Darlings, which was about the players on the 1954 Schenectady Little League Championship Team.  He also penned Lords of the Locker Room, which was about  Mohonasen soccer.

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