Jerry Vinehout, Mike Deane & Others

Jerry Vinehout – He was the ambidextrous center for the Mont Pleasant basketball team in 1961.  Vinehout could shoot the in-close hookshot left or right-handed with equal effectiveness.  Jerry and Linton’s Jack Washington shared the Schenectady Player of the Year honor that season.  Vinehout was the center on that Red Raider team the snapped Linton’s 46-game win streak.

Mike Deane – Schenectady County basketball faithful really enjoyed the Siena College basketball teams that were coached by Mike Deane.  He became their had coach in 1986, and he produced many firsts in Siena basketball history.  They were given  an NCAA Tournament invitation, and had an 80-78  Tournament win over Stanford.  Deane also had 25 victories in a season, which was the most by a Siena Division I team.  Siena was also given an NIT bid during Deane’s tenure.

Eddie Feigner – Eddie Feigner’s King and His Court, a softball team made up of only a few players,  performed quite often in the Schenectady area decades ago.  Former Union Star sports editor, Al DeSantis, was the promotor who was instrumental in getting this much sought after contingent to perform locally.

Luther “Ticky” Burden – Burden. who put on many great performances for Schenectady high school basketball fans in the early 1970s, played his college ball at Utah, where he became one of their all-time greats.  He scored 35 points against Arizona in 1973, and he averaged 23.7 points per game the 1973-74 season.  The following season, he upped his production and averaged 28.7 ppg.  He was drafted by the Knicks and averaged less than five ponts per game over two years.

Shawn Sheldon – Schenectady and other area wrestlers didn’t exactly enjoy going up against Sheldon, who was a sensational grappler for Columbia High and Albany State..  He was the first wrestler to win the World Cup Championship when he took the 114.5 pound title in 1989 in Fredrikstat, Norway.  He also was a member of the 1988 Olympic Team.

Chad Dukes – I’m certain that the Schenectady High football players of the late 1980s remember this punishing Colonie High running back.   A very durable player, who was especially effective in short yardage situations, Dukes hit paydirt four times in a game against the Patriots.  He scored 17 touchdowns his senior year and was the Section II scoring runner-up with 104 points.

Dave Paliwodzinski – Shenendehowa has had a bevy of superb running backs over the years, and one of them  was Paliwodzinski of the late 1980s.  He was  5′ 7″, 160 pounds and the heart and soul of his team his senior year.  Though not a true speedster, he had great field instincts and deceptive power for a player his size.  He finished his senior year with 17 touchdowns and 102 points.  Paliwodzinski rushed for 314 yards  in a 35-33 win over Troy.  It was a single-game Plainsmen record.

Mark Scirocco – Another excellent football player of the late 1980s, he played for Saratoga High.  Similar in size to Paliwodzinski, Scirocco was just 5’6″, 165 pounds.  He accellerated quickly and had all the moves in the open field.  Scirocco set a school record, amassing 1,428 yards rushing his junior year.  He also scored 13 touchdowns.  The most impressive of his stats might be the four straight games that he rushed for over 200 yards.  Scirocco’s best effort came against Colonie, when he rushed for 276 yards with some nifty inside and outside moves.

Ernie Stautner – Some Schenectady County fans consider Stautner to be the most heralded athlete ever to come out of this region. The Vincentian Institute of Albany football great went to Boston College and was drafted by the Pittsburgh steelers in 1950.  He was the 22nd pick overall.  Number 70 was  mobile, rugged , and tough as nails.  A defensive lineman, Stautner played for fourteen years and was selected to play in the Pro Bowl nine times.  He also won the best lineman award in 1957.  Stautner was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of elegibility in 1969.  He accomplished all these feats in spite of being considered small for a lineman.

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