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Thursday, 12 October 2017 17:19

Blue Streaks Hall of Fame Inducts Seven New Members

[Photos Provided]

SARATOGA SPRINGS – This year, the Blue Streaks Hall of Fame has inducted seven new members. The Class of 2017 includes five athletes and two coaches, all of which have made great strides for the Blue Streaks in the past.

The Blue Streaks Hall of Fame was “established to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding athletes, coaches, administrators, and supporters,” said the official statement.

A committee composed of current and former coaches; high school administrators, community members and current and retired athletic directors review the nominations and select the nominees. A trophy case in the lobby of the blue gym holds plaques in honor of the Hall of Fame members.

This year the inductees were:

Jen Dryer (Pennell)
Dryer graduated in 1994 and participated in soccer, basketball, softball, and lacrosse. She played varsity soccer and varsity basketball as an eighth grader; she was named Suburban Council First Team All-Star multiple times for soccer, basketball, and lacrosse; she was part of Section II Division 1 Championship Lacrosse Team in 1991 and 1992;  named First Team Saratoga Dream Team for basketball; finished basketball career with 1523 points, 325 assists, 348 steals, and 228 rebounds.

In college, Dryer attended West Virginia Wesleyan College from 1994-1998 on a full scholarship for Division 2 basketball program where she started as a point guard for all four years and her overall career included 775 points, 460 assists, 206 steals, and 297 rebounds.

“She may be the best ever all-around athlete to go through Saratoga Springs,” said Coach Rich Johns, Saratoga Springs tennis coach for 38 years.

Robert Guglielmo
Guglielmo was a longtime assistant coach from 1971 – 2011 and coached many different sports in the district, such as; freshmen football in 1971, varsity football from 1972-2010, JV wrestling from 1971-1974, varsity lacrosse from 1988-1993, JV lacrosse from 1994-2003 and in 2005, modified lacrosse from 2009-2011. During his 40 years of coaching football, he and his team had many accomplishments including 15 league championships, 22 sectional playoffs, 5 sectional runner-ups, and 5 championships. With his assistance, the lacrosse and wrestling teams also won multiple league and sectional championships.

Matthew Kuenzel
Kuenzel graduated in the class of 2002, where he participated in football, indoor and outdoor track and field. His accomplishments include: team captain for football in 2001 and track and field captain in 2002; named Section II All-Star Captain and Offensive Team Player of the Year for football in 2001; school record holder for the shot put since 2002; three-time NYS Meet Qualifier in discus (2001), shot put (indoor, 2002), shot put (outdoor, 2002); received the Clayton Chubb Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year Award and the NYS Sports Foundation Scholar Athlete Award in 2002; part of Suburban Council Boys Track and Field Championship Team; Yaddo Medal Award winner.

In college, at SUNY Geneseo, Kuenzel served as co-captain of the men’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams; NCAA SUNYAC Conference Sportsmanship Award Winner; 2006 Geneseo Male Contribution and Leadership Award; holds current Geneseo school record for indoor and outdoor shot put and discus; five-time SUNY Geneseo Student Athlete of the Week; one-time ECAC Field Athlete of the Week.

After graduating from SUNY Geneseo, Kuenzel went on to coach at the college level and teach middle school mathematics.

"This is a great honor and I am very humbled to be in the company of amazing athletes," Kuenzel said of his induction.

Landon Moore
43 – A.jpg        Moore with his Biddy Basketball team.        Photo provided.

Moore, who passed away in 2011, graduated from Saratoga Springs in 1970 and was dedicated to the youth in Saratoga Springs for over 43 years. He began his career as a camp counselor for the cities recreation department. At only 16-years-old, under the guiding eyes of the late Bennie Fasulo, Moore coached the All Star Frogs in Biddy Basketball. He also coached the Pop Warner football program, Little League baseball, a women’s softball league, Skidmore College softball and Saratoga Catholic Central High School football and baseball.

“I saw a man and a coach who had an attractive personality that motivated kids to learn basketball. It went as far as parents asking for their kids to be on my dad’s team,” said Moore’s son, Landon Moore, III.

“He just had a way with kids that made them want to play and motivate them. He helped kids understand teamwork, respect, and character, all fundamental things that are entailed in the game of basketball and they received that under my dads’ leadership at an early age and moving forward, they took those same core values into life. At an early age, my dad presented things to his players that parents couldn’t and he motivated them in a different way,” Moore continued.

Moore’s wife, Amy, was there to accept the award on his behalf; their daughter Phoebe and her husband Jim Hayes also came from South Carolina for the induction. Hayes played on Moore’s Biddy Basketball team when he was nine, long before he was his son-in-law.

“It was beautiful,” Amy Moore said of the ceremony.

Madalayne Smith
Smith graduated in 2010, she participated in indoor and outdoor track and field. Her accomplishments include: first in Section II history for the 100-meter hurdles; second in Section II history for the 100-meter dash; eleventh in Section II history for the long jump; State and Federation Champion in the 100-meter hurdles.

Smith attended the University of Connecticut and competed in indoor and outdoor track; she finished fourth in the outdoor track 100-meter hurdles at the Big East Championships and at the American Athletic Conference Championships in 2014; finished third in the indoor track 60-meter hurdles at the American Athletic Conference Championships and eighth in the ECAC Championships in 2013-2014; finished first in the indoor track 60-meter hurdles at the New England Championships in 2012-2013 with a meet record of 8.47.

Maureen Van Neste (Wickerham)
43 – B.jpg        Van Neste and her son at the induction ceremony.              Photo provided.
Van Neste graduated in 1994, she participated in basketball and outdoor track and field. Her accomplishments include: participated in varsity outdoor track and field for six years; 1993 NYSPHSAA discus state champion and 1994 NYSPHSAA discus runner-up; Section II Champion in the shot put and discus in 1994; Suburban Council Champion in the shot put and discus in 1994; co-captain of the varsity basketball team during the 1993-1994 season.

After graduating high school, Van Neste attended Syracuse University where she participated in indoor and outdoor track and field. She graduated Suma Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Policy Studies in 1997. Afterward, she continued her education and earned a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University. Currently, she is a Professor at Boston College Law School.

“Certainly my fondest memories were working with the coaches, particularly on the track team, Linda and Art Kranick run a top-notch program,” Van Neste said.

“Ed Hall was my discus coach. He was wonderful as a coach and mentor to me. He is the one who recruited me, gave me all sorts of confidence, and had such an influence on my life,” Van Neste said nostalgically.

Jamie Welsh (Sweeney)
Welsh, graduated from Saratoga Springs High School in 2002, where she participated in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field. Her high school accomplishments include: part of the girls cross country team to win the state, federation, and national title in 2001; named a Suburban Council All Star for cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field; ran a leg of the New York State and federation indoor and outdoor 4x800 relay team; named an All-American for the Steeplechase and Distance Medley Relay in 2002; and was listed in the “Who’s Who Among High School Students” and a finalist for the 2002 Sports Foundation Section 2 Scholar Athlete Award.

Following high school, Welsh attended the University of Rhode Island and participated in cross country, indoor and outdoor track. While there, she received the Rookie Performer of the Meet Award at the outdoor A-10 Championships in 2002 and placed twelfth in the Steeplechase at the New England Championship in 2005.

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