Niskayuna’s Mike Naumoff to Wrestler Verne Gagne

Mike Naumoff – Naumoff was an All-County lineman when he played for Niskayuna in 1962.  That Silver Warrior football team was one of the best Niskayuna teams ever assembled.  Elusive running back Bruce Raymer, speedy Chuck Heiden, punishing fullback Jay Fowler, and cerebral quarterback Pete Johnson made up their fullhouse backfield.  All four  were first, second or third team All-County picks.

Pete Ottaviano – The Schenectady Blue Jay batboy during the 1946-47 season had some smarts in the classroom.  He had a 93 average and won a scholarship to Harvard.

Sig Makofski Again – This phenominal all-around athlete and coach of the Mont Pleasant basketball “wonder teams” joined Marty Servo (1946), Dave Guest (1947), Eddie Rimkus (1948), and Mack Suprunowicz and Jim Scholtz (1949), when he was named the 1950 Schenectady Athlete of the Year by the Mont Pleasant A.C. Jim Konstanty, the great Philadelphia relief pitcher, was the guest speaker.  The event was held at Dinty’s Terrace Gardens, Latham.

Frankie Washington – Softball twirler, Frankie Washington, hurled his fifth no-hit, no-run game of his career in the GE Works League in 1951.

Lew Gregory – Gregory was part-owner of Gershon’s Deli until he retired and moved to Saratoga a short time back.  He was an All-County tackle when he played for Linton in 1961.  That team featured the talented Ron Oyer.  Gregory was big and fast and a superb blocker.  He went both ways, and on offense provided quarterback Paul Brococcoli a great deal of pass protection.

George Wodarzak – A solid all-around athlete, he batted .500 to lead the county high school hardballers in hitting in 1951.  Wodarzak went 18 for 36 and had 3 doubles and 3 triples.

Roy Larson – Nott Terrace added scholastic wrestling to its sports program in the early 1950s, and Roy Larson, an industrial arts teacher, became their first grappling coach.  Larson’s wrestling experience included collegiate wrestling at RPI and with the Navy at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Joe Zelezniak – The former Mont Pleasant quarterback with a gun for an arm in the 1970s, and a top level shot putter, was pictured on the front cover of Strength & Health Magazine.

Mike DeBrino Jr. – He pitched for Bishop Gibbons, then moved on to Schenectady County Community College, where he was named to the Junior College All-American Team in 1987.  DeBrino went 10-0 on the mound, and the Chiefs posted a 30-8 record.

Verne Gagne – Outdoor wrestling matches were held in front of huge crowds at McNearney Stadium on Jackson Avenue in the 1950s, and TV heroes like Verne Gagne, Pat O’Connor, Ronnie Etchison, and Hans Schmidt topped four of their cards.

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