|Seth Schaeffer goes up for a rebound against Hamilton and Adonal Foyle in 1994, one of the most anticipated games in Cooperstown history. |
“When I’m preparing a brief, I say to myself, ‘What would Coach White do or what would Coach Miosek or Coach Howard do?’” said 1994 graduate Seth Schaeffer, the school’s all-time leading scorer and now a lawyer in Washington D.C. “Maybe we took it for granted back then what amazing role models we had as coaches, but looking back on it now I can really appreciate it.’’
Schaeffer was referring to longtime boys soccer coach Frank Miosek, longtime boys basketball coach Dick White and longtime track coach Don Howard, who are all in the CCS Athletic Hall of Fame.
Schaeffer and six other individuals, as well as three teams and former girls soccer coach Lisa Cherubin, were among this year’s inductees into the Athletic Hall announced Tuesday, May 3. The induction ceremony is slated for Sept. 24.
“I’m honored to be included in this year’s class and looking forward to coming back to Cooperstown in the fall,” said Schaeffer, who is married with two young children.
Schaeffer’s most cherished high school memories are winning sectionals in his sophomore basketball season, his school-record 51 points against Class A school Proctor during his senior season, and the basketball team’s home game against Hamilton and future NBA player Adonis Foyle during his senior season.
Foyle and Schaeffer ended up teammates at Colgate in college, but the teams’ high school meeting was one of the biggest sporting events in CCS history.
So many people wanted to watch the game that it was shown on closed-circuit television for fans who could not fit into the gym, and White recalled several years ago that when he stood to give coaching instructions fans would move into his seat on the bench.
Cooperstown ended up losing the game by one point in the final seconds.
“That was certainly one of the biggest games I’ve ever been involved in,’’ Schaeffer said.
Schaeffer and Foyle went on to lead Colgate to consecutive NCAA appearances in 1995 and ’96. In 1996, Colgate played Connecticut and star Ray Allen in the first round, and Schaeffer scored 18 points on six three-point shots.
Wrestler Packy Burke, a 1996 graduate who finished his senior season 41-0 and won a state title at 130-pounds, also recalled the big impact CCS’s coaching staff had on him.
“I played soccer and baseball under Coach Miosek, and he always stood up for his players no matter what,’’ Burke said. “I was an average athlete, but I knew he believed in me and that really had an impact on me.’’
Burke, who finished with a career wrestling record of 192-16, said the Clark Sports Center was also a valuable resource.
``You grow up learning from guys like Barry Gray, Scott Curtis and Sharky Nagelschmidt, that’s pretty special,’’ he said. “The community support I received during my senior year is what I remember the most. I don’t how I’ll give a speech about it, I’m going to going to get too emotional.’’
But Lippitt, currently a Physical Education teacher at Cooperstown Elementary School, is one of three 1995 graduates to be inducted, along with Reid Nagelschmidt and Megan Sanford, his cousin.
``It makes it more special to go in with those two,’’ said Lippitt, a three-sport star in football, wrestling and baseball.
Lippitt said his favorite high school memories both occurred against rival Richfield Springs. In his senior year of football, he scored the game’s only touchdown and led the team in tackles as Cooperstown won, 8-0, in its Homecoming Game. In his junior year he pitched a no-hitter against the Indians.
Lippitt is still the record holder for doubles and triples in baseball, and at the time of his graduation also was the program leader in wins. That record was broken by Guerin Blask.
CCS track coach Connie Herzig coached both Sanford and 1997 graduate Renee Welch. She said Sanford was the best sprinter Cooperstown has ever had and Welch was a fierce competitor.
Sanford holds the school record in the 100 and 200, while Welch is the record holder in the 1,500 and 3,000. Her 3,000 time of 10:27 is 40 seconds better than the second place time.
``That’s pretty amazing,’’ Herzig said of Welch, who went on to West Point after graduation.
``The first time I met her she was a skinny eighth grader and she said she wanted to run varsity track,’’ Herzig recalled of Welch. ‘’I asked her what was the matter with modified, and she said ``They’re not serious enough.’ That’s all you need to know about Renee.’’
Cherubin had a 159-34-11 record from 1992-2001, which included a 67-game league winning streak, four sectional title and a share of the Class C state crown in 1999.
Also to be inducted is 1991 graduate Tim Osterhoudt, the 1991 boys soccer team which advanced to the state Final Four, and the 1994 girls track team which won a Section Three Class C title and featured both Welch and Sanford.