The Allegany County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023, front row from left, Doreen Martin (Accepting for Jill Regan of Wellsville), Linda Shea Knapp (Houghton), Cindy Haas (Scio), Dustin Allen (accepting for Jeff Mountain of Bolivar-Richburg), Kirk Spangler (Genesee Valley), Ken Woodruff (Hinsdale). Back row, Jeromie Feuchter (Cuba-Rushford), Jeremy Thomas (Fillmore), John Zambanini (Friendship), John Common (Andover), Pat McCumiskey (Belfast), Cole Tracy (Whitesville) and Tim Hayes (Belfast).
By JOHN ANDERSON
Some of the best athletes to play sports in Allegany County were honored as part of the 19th Annual Allegany County Sports Hall of Fame banquet at Off Duty in Belmont on Saturday night.
The Allegany County Athletic Association inducted 13 new members to the prestigious hall of fame.
While the athletes had plenty to be proud of, the underlying theme was honoring those who paved the way, and honoring those who are no longer with us.
Both Kurk “Corky” Spangler and Pat McCumiskey had to hold back emotions as they talked about the late Kevin Dewey of Angelica who had a mission to teach children to love and learn the game of basketball.
Other talked about parents who have passed away and coaches no longer with us who made an impact.
Cindy Haas, who played sports at Cuba Central and later was a Section V championship coach at Scio, talked about trailblazers Pat Rawson and Doris Galose at Cuba. Haas talked about the challenges of playing girls’ sports as most schools had them listed as intramurals until you reached high school.
Former Friendship baseball coach John Zambanini, who won two Section V titles at Friendship, talked about the late Denny Amore and the magical 1993 season when the baseball and softball teams each won sectional titles on the same day. Amore had to leave Silver Stadium in Rochester to coach the softball team, but not before picking up a baseball in the parking lot as his son, Jason, belted a home run.
The Allegany County Athletic Association added Hinsdale into the league, and Ken Woodruff went in as the Hinsdale honoree. He was thankful for the association recognizing the new league member. Woodruff is well-known not only as a local umpire and referee, but for his college officiating as well.
Here are the bio’s on the tremendous careers of the inductees: