Union College basketball player Joe Clinton of the class of 1983 was an unselfish player who always seem to find the open man which led to many scores for the Dutchmen. Clinton holds Union College’s single-season and game records for assists. Clinton’s single game record is 15, and the superb ball-handler dished out 182 assists in one season.
Here are the Mont Pleasant Athletic Club’s Athletes of the Year from 1946 to 1950; Marty Servo, World Welterweight Champion (1946), Dave Guest, basketball player (1947), Eddie Rimkus, Olympic bobsledder(1948), Mack Suprunowicz, Mont Pleasant High basketball star and Jim Scholz (1949), and Sig Makofski, basketball coach of the Mont Pleasant High “wonder teams” (1950). Jim Konstanty, the great Philadelphia relief pitcher, was the guest speaker for the 1950 event which was held at Dinty’s Terrace Gardens, Latham.
Joe Zelezniak, the former Mont Plrasant High quarterback with a gun for an arm and a top level shot putter of the 1970s, was pictured on the front cover of Health & Strength magazine.
The now deceased Peter Famiano of Schenectady was named the second best instructor in New Jersey, when he was the Director of Golf at Crestmont Country Club in New Jersey. Famiano played golf for Linton High. He turned professional a few years later and joined the South African PGA Tour in 1971.
A Schenectady baseball Star, John “Nig” Grabowski played for the Newe York Yankees in 1927. It was the pinstripe team that featured the legendary murderer’s row. A second-string catcher, Grabowski hit .277 that year.
Terrence Coppola scored 26 points against previously unbeaten Ballston Spa on January 16, 2004 to become the all-time leading scorer in Scotia-Glenville High history. Scotia-Glenville beat the Scotties 68-48. Coppola’s 1,072 career points surpassed the previous record which had been set by Chris Rogers in 1993. Warren Prehmus was the only other Scotia-Glenville player at that time to score more than 1,000 points. Prehmus broke 1,000 in 1973. Coppola had games of 40, 33, 26, 27, 32, and 19 points during the season. He had eight three-point baskets, and he scored 20 points in the second quarter, the night he scored 40.
Dick Peckham of Scotia, who once owned a flooring business, rolled an 868 three-game series in 1998, stringing together two perfect games and a 268. It set a Schenectady Bowling Association record. Among Peckham’s bowling accomplishments were more than twenty 300 games. In his early career, Peckham appeared on TV Tournament Time 32 times, and his high game was 299.
Dick Grubar of Bishop Gibbons, considered to be one of the finest guards ever to come out of the Capital Region and a two-time Schenectady County Basketball Player of the Year, dished out 19 assists in one game his senior year. He played collegiately for Dean Smith at North Carolina, and his teams went to the NCAA final four three times.
Richelle Depold, a swimmer from Scotia, New York who trained at the Parkside YMCA, was named an alternate to the U.S. Olympic swim team in 1996 and 2002.
One of the greatest individual Mont Pleasant vs. Nott Terrace/Linton Election Day efforts was in the early 1950s, when powerful running back Walt Jablonski of the Red Raiders accounted for 299 yards. Jablonski rushed for 250 yards and picked up another 49 on pass receptions. He also scored three touchdowns.
In the early 1970s, Bishop Gibbons football coach Johnny Vera had his defensive backs take ballet lessons, and it helped them make more pass interceptions that year.
The Schenectady Schaefer Brewers, a professional basketball team, scored 194 points against the Cal-Vics of Troy, Pennsylvania in the late 1960s. Former NYU All-American Barry Kramer led the way with 38 points, Dave Bleau bucketed 30, and Joe Geiger and Bill Telasky tallied 28 each.
Gale Knull, a tough as nails linebacker who played for Mont Pleasant, led the Red Raiders to an undefeated season in the late 1960s. Knull was named to the Parade Magazine All-American team. Knull went on to St. Lawrence University and was named team Most Valuable Player three years. He also excelled at wrestling and had a career mark of 53-1 at St. Lawrence.
Sig Makofski and Mont Pleasant High School were known for the court success of their well-known “Wonder Teams” that ran up long win streaks in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In the early 1950s, one of those fab 5s, on a 41-game winning streak, was upset by Albany High School, 42-32. The Red Raiders were without their fine all-around player Walt Suprunowicz, who had transferred to Admiral Bullard Academy, and their usual big point producer, Earl “Sonny” Skiff, was held to one field goal and a single free throw for three points.
Dave Bleau, once the head basketball coach at Mont Pleasant, then the athletic director at Mohonasen, once bucketed more than 60 points in a game for Cortland State in the early 1960s. Bleau later played for the Schenectady Schaefer Brewers. A 6’2″ guard, he ran the floor tirelessly and had great range on his shot.
Doug Erickson was the highly respected and very successful football coach at Draper High School for many many years. His Vikings were always very fundamentally sound, and they consistently fared well against Class B opponents. Erickson was a pretty good college football player. He played for Syracuse, where he was beaten out for the starting center posiition by future Green Bay Packer and All-Pro, Jim Ringo.