Category Archives: Schenectady County Sports Trivia

Join Mikey and discuss his hometown sports moments from Schenectady, NY. Linton High School, Union college and more.

Tony Parisi was Arguably the Best Two-Sport (Football/Baseball) Athlete in Mont Pleasant High School History

Tony Parisi was a 1950 graduate of Mont Pleasant High School, and, perhaps, the best two-sport athlete ever to play for the Red Raiders.  Parisi was multi-talented and earned 9 letters in both football and baseball at Mont Pleasant and Holy Cross.  He was named to the All-New England Football Team at Holy Cross in 1953 and made several All-Opponent teams, including Syracuse,  Boston College and Fordham.  A catcher on the Crusaders’ baseball squad, Holy Cross won the NCAA Championship in 1952.  The team finished with a 21-9 record and won the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.  Parisi played semi-pro baseball, and also had a tryout with the New York Giants at the old Polo Grounds.

Linton’s Ron Oyer Played Alongside New York Giants Coach Tom Coughlin at Syracuse

New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin played halfback for Syracuse in the 1960s, and former Linton High All-American Ron Oyer was his teammate.  Pro football greats Larry Csonka and Floyd Little were also Coughlin and Oyer’s teammates.  Orangemen basketball coach Jim Boeheim was Coughlin’s residence advisor his senior year.  Oyer was honored as a Syracuse Letter Winner of Distinction in 2011.  Csonka, by the way, originally played linebacker for Syracuse and was switched to a running back position late in his Orangemen career.  He became a punishing running back for the Miami Dolphins.

Schalmont Basketball Star Zac O’Dell’s Mom had Some Smarts & Wasn’t a Bad Player

6’5″ Schalmont junior basketball star Zac O’Dell bucketed 22 points, rejected 6 shots and had 5 steals in a 59-50 sectional win over Cohoes.  O’Dell’s mom Val Higgins O’Dell was an Academic All-American at Siena College in 1991.  A Schalmont graduate herself, Val Higgins was named MAAC Player of the Year her senior season.  When she graduated, Higgins ranked ninth on Siena’s list of all-time career scorers with 1,137 points.  She tallied 37 points in one game.  Higgins also ranked eighth on the all-time career rebounding list with 682. 


Schenectady’s Todd Spottswood & Cincinnati’s Paul Hogue

Schenectady High School’s Todd Spottswood, who had a double-double (22 points and 14 rebounds) in a sectional win over Columbia  last night, reminds me of former Cincinnati University star Paul Hogue.  Hogue was the big center for coach Ed Jucker’s Bearcats in 1962, when they beat a very talented Ohio State team in the NCAA final.  Spottswood like Hogue is not a great leaper, but he is big , strong and powerful , and he has a real presence on the basketball floor.  Spottswood is a great player to go to first when starting your halfcourt offense.

Schenectady’s Tom Chestnut was President of the Cleveland Cavaliers

Linton High/Princeton graduate Tom Chestnut played pro basketball in Europe, then was named President of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.  He also served as the CEO of the Philadelphia 76ers.  A whiz in the classroom, Chestnut played for Pete Carril at Princeton, and they were ranked number three in the land in 1967.

Will Niskayuna’s Garrett Whitley be a Number 1 Draft Pick?

Niskayuna High baseball player Garrett Whitley rates high on the list of many major league scouts.  According to baseball experts, the 6’2, 200-pound centerfielder has the speed and power, and just might be picked in the first round.  If so, it will be the first time this has been accomplished by a Capital Region player.  ESPN rates Whitley the number 21 draft prospect, and Baseball America places him at number 29.  Whitley has committed to play at Wake Forest but is prepared to turn pro instead.  Whitley hit .474 for the Silver Warriors last year (his junior year), with 2 homeruns and  25 RBI’s.

Zac O’Dell Pounds the Boards

Zac O’Dell has been a prolific scorer for the undefeated Schalmont basketball team all season.  O’Dell has poured-in 20 or more points in each of the first eight games of the season.  His record-tying streak came to an end Friday night, when the Sabres defeated Voorheesville 59-53.  O’Dell was “held” to 12 points, but managed to show his versatility and just how valuable he is to the team by pulling down 16 rebounds.

Don Blaha’s Impressive Feat

One of the most impressive feats by a Schenectady County athlete was accomplished by Don Blaha, President of the Schenectady Baseball Club.  Blaha was a basketball, baseball, track star at Mont Pleasant in the late 1950s, and he later played basketball and baseball at NYU.  A pitcher on the Violets’ baseball team, Blaha  pitched both halves of a double-header against Hofstra in 1963 and fanned 20 batters.