Esslie-Frenia Law June 2023 Leaderboard

RCS Athletic Hall of Fame inducts 16 in Class of 2023

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

The RCS Athletic Hall of Fame inductees for the Class of 2023. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

RAVENA-COEYMANS-SELKIRK — Sixteen former RCS athletes and coaches were inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday.

The Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 2018 when the inaugural class of honorees included 11 former athletes and coaches.

This year’s list of honorees is composed of 14 former athletes and two coaches, including current football coach Robert Dorrance.

Inductees are selected by a committee of coaches and faculty who pore through the school’s records to find outstanding athletes and coaches from throughout the years. This year’s list includes former students from 1949 through 2013.

Jim Gorham, a former coach and teacher at RCS for 31 years and the current voice of Indians football, is on the committee that selects honorees each year.

“The research that we all do for this makes us all happy and we are amazed at the exploits of our athletes, especially those in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s,” Gorham said. “We all love to do that and we love to see them come back to RCS.”

Here are the accomplishments of the RCS Hall of Fame Class of 2023:

HOPE ACKERT

Hope Ackert, Class of 1990. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Hope Ackert was a three-sport athlete at RCS, playing soccer, volleyball and softball. She graduated with the Class of 1990.

She was team captain of the volleyball team in 1989 and 1990, and was a member of the Colonial Council championship volleyball team for three straight years, as well as a two-time Colonial Council First Team All-Star. She played volleyball in the Empire State Games in 1989.

Ackert was team captain of the school’s softball team from 1988-90, and had a pitching record of 28-13.

TIM BROADER

Tim Broader, Class of 1977, right. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Tim Broader competed with the school’s cross-country, indoor and outdoor track teams and was a graduate of the Class of 1977.

He was captain for the cross-country team in 1976, and a member of the three-time undefeated Colonial Council champions of 1974, ’75 and ’76. He was a Colonial Council individual champion one year and a council All-Star for three years in a row.

Broader was captain of both the indoor and outdoor track teams at RCS in 1977 and for three years the team was the undefeated Colonial Council champions. He set a new school record in indoor track in the 2-mile, 1000-yard dash, 4×880 and 4x 440, and in outdoor track he broke the school’s 4×880 record.

After high school Broader continued his athletic accomplishments, cycling solo across the United States in 1982, trekking to the base camp of Mount Everest, and competing on the SUNY Plattsburgh track teams. He also competed in the NCAA cross country team championships for two years straight, finishing 9th and 14th.

MICAELA BULLIS

Micaela Bullis, Class of 2013, with her family. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Micaela Bullis was a two-sport athlete, competing on the school’s volleyball and bowling teams, and is an alumna of the Class of 2013.

Bullis was a member of the Colonial Council volleyball team championships for four years, sectional and regional champions for two years, and the team was a state semi-finalist in 2009 and 2010. Bullis was a Colonial Council All-Star for four years and set a school record for career spikes.

In bowling, Bullis was a four-time Colonial Council All-Star and had a career record of 42-8. She was a member of the Section 2 Class B championship team in 2011 and 2012, and her team placed fourth in the state in 2012.

RICHARD COSTANZA

Bob Costanza, right, accepting the award on behalf of his brother, Richard Costanza, Class of 1997. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Richard Costanza competed in cross country and indoor and outdoor track, and graduated from RCS in 1977.

He was captain of the cross-country team for one year and an All-Star for three years. He was a member of the three-time undefeated Colonial Council championship team.

In indoor track, Costanza was team captain for one year and set new school records in the 1-mil, 4×880, and 4×440.

He also served as team captain in 1977 for the outdoor track team and was a member of the three-time council championship team and set a school record in the 4×440.

After high school, Costanza competed for SUNY Cobleskill national champion cross country skiing team in 1978 and made it to the Olympic trials in winter biathlon in 1993. He competed in the summer biathlon world championships twice and was the winter Empire States champion six times.

JEANNIE DIBENEDETTO (KIDDLE)

Jeannie DeBenedetto-Kiddle, Class of 1977. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Four-sport athlete Jeannie DiBenedetto played soccer, volleyball, basketball and outdoor track for RCS as a member of the Class of 1977.

She was the team captain for the soccer, basketball and outdoor track teams. She was a member of the undefeated Colonial Council teams in soccer and volleyball for three years, and outdoor track for four years.

In basketball, DiBenedetto played for the council champions in 1975, and in outdoor track her team was sectional champion in 1976 and 1977. She set new school track records in the 4.110 and 2×220 yard relays.

ROBERT DORRANCE

Coach Robert Dorrance, left. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Coach Robert Dorrance has coached the school’s football, baseball and basketball teams.

Over 18 years the baseball team had 135 wins, six sectional appearances and was Colonial Council champion in 2007.

Dorrance continues to coach the football team and just completed his 29th year as the offensive coordinator. Over that time the team has won 12 divisional championships, seven section and six regional championships, and made six state semi-final appearances. The football team a state finalist in 1996.

Dorrance has also served as Section 2 football chairman for 10 years and was inducted into the Capital District Football Hall of Fame this year. He served as RCS’s athletic director for eight years and as Colonial Council Athletic President from 2018-2020.

CASEY FIRSTIUN (MARGIASSO)

Casey Firstiun-Margiasso, Class of 2000. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Casey Firstiun (Margiasso) was a three-sport athlete for RCS, playing softball, basketball and soccer. She was captain of the basketball team in 2000 and a one-time Colonial Council Third Team All-Star.

She played softball for five years and was team captain for two. Firstiun was a four-time Colonial Council First Team All-Star in softball, a Section 2 All-Star in 1999 and 2000, and was career leader for RCS in hits, RBIs and batting average.

CHUCK FRIDAY

The family of Chuck Friday, Class of 1962, accepted his award. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

As a member of the Class of 1962, Chuck Friday played football, basketball and track for RCS.

He was captain of the football team for three years, and a member of the three-time Central Hudson Valley League championship team. The team was undefeated in 1959 and 1961.

Friday was a member of the Central Hudson Valley League team champions in basketball for two years, and team captain of the track team for one  year. The track team also won the CHVL Team Championship four years in a row.

Friday set the school record for the 440-yard dash at Mosher Park.

JAMES GORHAM

Betty Gorham, accepting the award on behalf of her son, James Gorham, Class of 1996. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

James Gorham was a graduate of the Class of 1996 and competed in cross country and indoor and outdoor track.

He was captain of the cross-country team for two years, and a member of the Colonial Council All-Star team and the NYS All State XC 2nd Team.

Gorham was captain of the indoor track team for two years and set a school record in the 3200m.

Gorham also served as captain of the outdoor track team for two years and was a member of the Colonial Council championship team for two years and a council All-Star for three years. He was the individual champion in 3200m in 1995.

After high school, Gorham competed for the Carnegie-Mellon University cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams.

KARLIE HAACK (ARM)

Karlie Haack-Arm, Class of 2009. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Karlie Haack (Arm) was a two-sport athlete at RCS, competing in volleyball and basketball.

She was captain of the softball and basketball teams in 2009, and the volleyball team for two years.

In volleyball, she was a member of the three-time Colonial Council championship team from 2006-08, and a Colonial Council MVP and Section 2 All-Star, both in 2008.She set a school record for spikes and blocks for points.

After high school, Haack competed for Johnson & Wales University’s volleyball team for four years and was captain for two.

JARED LACKIE

Jared Lackie, Class of 2002, with his family and Coach Gary VanDerzee. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Three-sport athlete Jared Lackie competed in football, wrestling and track at RCS.

He was a member of the outdoor track team Colonial Council champions for two years, and the football divisional champions in 1999. He also was captain of the football team in 2000 and was a divisional All-Star on both offense and defense.

Lackie wrestled for RCS for five years and was captain of the team for three. For three years he was a Colonial Council individual champion and was a member of the Sectional Class B championship team in 2000 and 2001. He had 116 career wins and set a new school record for match pins in a single season with 29.

JIM MOORE

Jim Moore, Class of 1968, left. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

As a member of the Class of 1968, Jim Moore was on the football, basketball and baseball teams.

He was captain of the football and baseball teams and was a football First Team All-Area All-Star in 1967.

Moore was a member of the undefeated Colonial Council basketball championship team and the 1968 Colonial Council baseball team in 1968.

After high school, Moore played on the University of Beirut basketball team.

ROGER MULLIGAN

The family of Roger Mulligan, Class of 1949, accepting the award on his behalf. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Three-sport athlete Roger Mulligan graduated from RCS with the Class of 1949.

He was captain of all three teams he played on — football, basketball and baseball. All three teams were Central Hudson Valley League team champions for several years running, and the baseball team was the undefeated champions in 1947.

DERRICK PRIESTER

Derrick Priester, third from right, Class of 2002, with his former coaches. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

A graduate of the Class of 2002, Derrick Priester played on four teams at RCS — football, basketball, cross-country and outdoor track.

He was captain of the football, basketball and outdoor track teams, and his cross-country team was Colonial Council team champions in 2001. Priester’s outdoor track team was Colonial Council team champions for three years.

Priester set new school records in the 3000m steeplechase, 4×400 relay, 4×800 relay, DMR and 4×1600 relay. He was sectional champion in the 4×400 relay in 2002 and competed in the NYS Championship Track Meet in the 4×400 relay.

DENNIS TURNER

Dennis Turner, Class of 1968, left. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Dennis Turner was a three-sport athlete, competing in cross country, basketball and outdoor track as a member of the RCS Class of 1968.

Turner was team captain for the cross-country team in 1967 and track in 1968. He was the individual league champion for one year and a member of the undefeated Colonial Council cross country championship team in 1967.

The basketball team was the Colonial Council champion in 1967, and the track team in ’67 and ’68. Turner was the Section 2 individual champion in the 440-yard dash and set multiple new school records in track.

JOHN VISHNEOWSKI

Coach John Vishneowski, left. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

John Vishneowski coached the football, wrestling and softball teams at RCS.

For nine years he coached the modified and junior varsity football teams, and for eight years he coached softball junior varsity.

Vishneowski coached the wrestling teams for 27 years, including modified, junior variety and varsity, and had a career record of 127-68-4. The wrestling team won three Colonial Council championships and 37 consecutive wins from 1986 to 1991.

He was also the wrestling chairman for Section 2 form 2017 to the present, a member of the NYS Wrestling Committee for 20 years, and was inducted into the Section 2 Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2022.

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