The Colonie Central High School Athletic Hall of Fame committee announced inductees for the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021.
“The idea behind the Athletic Hall of fame is to honor past athletes and their accomplishments, “ said William Roemer, athletic director. “Each of the individuals or groups who have received this honor has been recognized for achievements that foster pride, display good sportsmanship, and support citizenship in our schools and throughout the community. All of these are characteristics that set the example for current and future Colonie athletes.”
The COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on about everything in 2020, so the district decided to roll the 2020 class in with the 2021 class.
The following sports contributors will be recognized during the induction ceremony on Thursday, Oct 7 at the Colonie High School auditorium.
• Barry Brown, track: Brown placed third in New York state at the cross country championships for the Raiders in 1961 and went to Providence College on a cross country scholarship. Brown was an All American in 1965. After graduating from Providence, Brown became a world class steeplechaser and road racer. He won multiple national and world championships and was part of the first father-son duo to break the four-minute mile in the U.S. Brown is a national masters record holder and U.S. runner of the year multiple times in his age division. He has competed in three Olympic trials during his career. Brown is a member of the Road Racing Club of America Hall of Fame and the Capital District Track and Field Hall of Fame.
• Michele Karangwa (Blot), basketball: Karangwa led the Lady Raiders basketball team to the 2001 New York State Class A championship and the 2001 New York State Federation Championships. She scored 43 points in the federation game, a record that stood for 20 years. Over her career, the Lady Raiders were 72 and 4 with Karangwa on the floor. She was named McDonald’s All American, Street and Smith All American, All State first team (2002), a two time Channel 13 All Star, Suburban Council Player of the year (2002), and Capital District Basketball Hall of Fame inductee (2012.)
• Caitlin Cucciella (Colfer), soccer: Cucciella was a scoring machine at Colonie. She was the first Suburban Council player to score 100 goals in her career. Cucciella was three times named to all state teams as well as Suburban Council, Section II, and Fox 23 player of the year recognitions. She went on to have a successful career at Ohio State University and played for national teams throughout the country and abroad including Ireland, Spain and Portugal. Cucciella coached at the collegiate level at Sage College and UAlbany.
• 1999 Girls XC team: The girls XC team of 1999 won the New York state championships and the federation championships and ranked number three in the country that year. Team members included Katie Twarog, Jen Kramer, Ashleigh Bordwell, Nicole Susser, Ashley Trembley, Sarah Lamback, and Julie La Frano. All members of the team received all-state recognition. In dominant fashion at the 1999 New York start meet, the team scored 23 points with the second place team a distant 117 points. The team also won the cross country Fall Scholar Athlete team award with a 97.1 GPA.
• Dennis Foley, lacrosse: Foley was a two-time Section II All Star in 1993 and 1994. He was also a National High School All American in 1994. Foley was asked to play in the National High School All Star game in Baltimore his senior year. Foley completed his high school career as the Section II all time leading scorer. Foley went on to play Division III lacrosse at Nazareth College. He led Nazareth to the 1997 Division III national championship crown where he scored two goals and was the team’s second leading scorer that season. In 1998, they were national runner-ups where Foley scored three goals and two assists in the finals. Foley was a Division III All American and Super Six Conference all star. Foley scored a goal in every national championship game for two years. He was inducted into the Nazareth Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
• Paul Gerstenberger, soccer: Gerstenberger was a force on the soccer field from 2001 to 2004 for the Garnet Raiders. He was a three time Suburban Council and Section 2 All Star. In 2004, he was named Section 2 Class A player of the year, NSCAA All-State and NSCAA All East honors. He concluded his high school career as the all time assist leader at Colonie. Gerstenberger received a scholarship to Boston College to play soccer and played in 63 games. He was named to the ACC all tournament team in 2007. Gerstenberger played on the National U18 team in Northern Ireland and was chosen as an Olympic alternate for the U23 Olympic Team pool. In 2009, Gerstenberger was drafted by the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer.
• Matt Stenglein, wrestler: Stenglein wrestled varsity at Colonie in seventh and 12th grade and racked up 221 career wins, which was a Section 2 record at the time. Stenglein was a Section 2 champion four times. He also placed in the New York state championships four times. He still holds the Colonie record for most Section 2 championships in school history. Stenglein also had a successful Freestyle and Greco-Roman career representing New York state multiple times at the national tournament. In 1998, Stenglein won a Greco Roman Cadet National Championship at 121 pounds. Stenglein is currently on the Colonie High School Wrestling staff.
• Arthur Hutton, football, basketball, baseball: Hutton was a dominant three-sport athlete for Roessleville High school, currently Colonie High School, in the late 1930s. Hutton was a running back for Roessleville Steamrollers, a six-man football team in 1939 and led them to the championship game of the Central Hudson Valley league championships. Hutton also led the basketball team to the finals of the league championships in 1939. He was the team’s season high scorer with 65 points and was named to the league’s all star team for the second year in a row. Hutton’s senior year of baseball was the fourth time Roessleville won the Central Hudson Valley League championship. In the spring of 1939, Hutton signed up for the National Guard and served in WWII. Unfortunately, at the end of WWII Hutton died serving his country.
• Frank Myers, coach: Myers was a business teacher at Colonie Central High School for many years. He was the first girls outdoor track coach at Colonie and began the popular Colonie Recreation Department’s summer track meets and Dynamic Duo road race. As a coach, he has to his credit, two New York state championship girls cross country teams, a federation state championship, a national indoor mile championship, a two-time state champion 1600-meter runner and a Penn Relays’ 1500 champion. Myers continues to coach cross country and track at Colonie High school heading into his 52nd year
Myers will also be inducted into the Capital Region Track, Field, and Cross Country Hall of Fame this year.
• Don Myers, track: Myers has been an avid runner, athlete and friend to the youth of Colonie. A multi-letterman in cross country running, outdoor track and basketball while a student at Colonie, Myers was the school record holder in the one-mile run from 1967-1975. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the State University at Cortland and a master’s degree from Russell Sage College. Myers was awarded the Hudson-Mohawk Road Runners Club Distinguished Service Award for his work with the Colonie Recreation Department’s summer track program, which he helped start in 1968, and for his sponsorship of the Colonie Dynamic Duo road race which had 1979 as its inaugural year. Myers has been a member of the New York State Recreation and Parks Society and a charter member of the Capital District Track Officials Association.
• Don Mion (Class of 1970) Colonie High School Induction Class of 1994: With degrees in education, Mion has been a teacher in North Colonie Schools, head football coach and wrestling coach for Shaker High School. He has helped to organize Students in Local Government Day and was a member of the History and Art Museum.
• Leo Carignan (Class of 1961) Colonie High School Induction Class of 1995
Carignan has been a “super-fan” of the district’s girls basketball program since its inception in 1975. In 20 years, he had never missed a game. At home games, he could be found working the concession stand or selling 50-50 tickets. Back in the early days, he served as a fill-in equipment manager, he went on scouting assignments and helped arrange the awards banquet. Before he became a bus driver and custodian for South Colonie Schools, he worked for 20th Century Fox Film Corporation as a manager.
• Harold ‘Pep’ Sands (Class of 1947) Colonie High School Induction Class of 1996
Sands has served this community for more than 30 years as a guidance counselor, coach and citizen. He co-chaired the cancer drive, collected for the Heart Association, American Cancer Society and Multiple Sclerosis Society. He has counselled troubled young men through jail visitations.
•David A. Gamble (Class of 1989) Colonie High School Induction Class of 2003: Gamble was the only CCHS alumnus to play in the National Football League. A Super Bowl champion with the Denver Broncos in 1998, Gamble was awarded the key to the Village of Colonie for his continued support to area youth. He has continued to mentor, motivate and serve as a positive role model through his involvement with Little League, Pop Warner and high school athletics. A CCHS letterman in three sports (football, basketball and track), Gamble was cofounder and director of the Need for Speed Strength and Conditioning summer camp at CCHS. He has served as director of youth services for Trinity Institute, Homer Perkins Center and was executive director of the Field of Dreams for the City of Albany.
• Paul Gansle (1960) Colonie High School Induction Class of 2014: Gansle is a masters track and field champion, the longest tenured varsity head coach in Colonie Central High School history, and a role model to South Colonie children for nearly a half century. Gansle taught physical education in the district for 47 years before retiring in 1997. Gansle was a varsity running coach at Colonie High for 32 years for the outdoor and indoor track and cross country teams. He ended his coaching career with 256 cross country dual meet victories, 28 invitational wins and 15 Section II championships in track and cross country. Outside of the sporting arena, Gansle was a decorated lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. He was awarded the Adirondack Association’s age-graded Grand Prix Award for track and field from 2000-2003. His highest personal achievement came in 2003 when he won the U.S. Masters Indoor National Championship at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston jumping 4-feet, 11-1/4- inches at the age of 61. His state and national masters’ highlights also include winning the 100-meter run, 200m, 400m and 300m hurdles, and being a part of three winning relay teams at the 2002 state masters.