Hall of Fame Class of 2011 Inductees
Todd Birmingham, ‘92
Todd scored 1,215 career points at the varsity level (currently fourth All-Time at Vliet) with his teams winning 77 of 81 games (95%), not including victories in all 20 of the junior varsity contests when he was a freshman. Todd started in 78 consecutive varsity games from 1990-1992 tallying 75 wins and three losses on all three of the highest state ranked teams in Vliet history, #3, #1, and #2 respectively.
Todd was awarded the MVP of the Federation Tourney concluding the 1991, 28-0 season. He led the team in scoring in the Sectionals as well as in the State and Federation tournaments across the final three games of the season (70 points—23.3 points per game; 18-28 from field—64%; 33-37 from foul line—89%; and 28 rebounds—9.3 average per game). Todd was a 1st Team All-State player his senior year leading his team back to the State Tourney.
Todd was a varsity basketball player at Ithaca College where he started acting and continues to do so today maintaining a website at www.toddbirmingham.com. He has links to many of the great basketball games he played in high school on his website as well.
Todd credits his parents for their tremendous support of his basketball career. He also thanks his teammates, George Mardigan, and Coach Westfall for helping him become the best basketball player he could be in addition to his CYO coaches Jim Conroy and Jack Hebert for getting him excited about the sport at a young age. Todd also expresses thanks to longtime friend and mentor John Delaney.
Todd is now in his 11th year as a school teacher at Vliet and will find out in November if he achieved National Board Certification. He resides in Niskayuna with his wife Lori and their three children, Kathleen, Natalie, and Evan.
Gus Haita, ‘54
Gus varsity football (4), soccer (2,3), basketball (3,4), and baseball (3,4). He was a member of the championship teams in soccer, basketball, and baseball and a two-way starter in football in his senior year. He received the William Richmond Award at graduation at WHS, given to the athlete with the highest general average. He was also honorable mention on the Troy Record All-City team in basketball.
After high school, he spent four years in the U.S. Navy. He then went to Orange County Community College where he was a member of two national soccer championship teams in 1959 and 1960. He was selected to the All-American soccer team both years. He also played basketball during his two years at junior college.
He finished his college career at the University of Bridgeport, where he was a co-captain in his senior year when they finished with a 10-1 record. Following college, Gus was an outstanding player in the fast pitch softball leagues in Watervliet and Schenectady.
Gus began teaching physical education in the Troy school system and came to WHS as a physical education teacher in 1975. He coached girls’ soccer, basketball, softball, and tennis, in addition to coaching boys’ soccer. His 1982-83 girls’ basketball team won the Colonial Council Championship with a record of 17-1. Girls’ sectionals had not started yet in New York State. His overall record in girls’ basketball was 113-84 over 11 years.
Gus retired from WHS in 1995. Today he still participates in basketball and softball in senior leagues. He lives in Clifton Park and has a daughter, Vanessa and a son, Dean.
Nicole Haverly, ‘90
Nicole played soccer, basketball and softball at WHS. In soccer, she was the defensive player of the year and a member of the Colonial Council All-Star team in her sophomore year. In her junior year, she was the defensive player of the year and MVP. In her senior year, she was the captain and the MVP of the Watervliet Soccer Tournament.
In basketball, she was the MVP in her junior and senior years. She was the captain in her senior year leading the team to an 11-6 record, averaging 19 points per game and 5.3 assists per game. She was selected to the 3rd team on The Troy Record All-City team and to the Colonial Council All-Star team.
She played four years on the varsity softball team, winning the Rook of the Year in her freshman year. She had the highest batting average in both her junior and senior years. Nicole was selected as the Female Athlete of the Year in 1990.
She attended St. John Fisher College and received her degree in management and economics. She played two years of softball and four years of soccer. She was selected as captain of her soccer team in her senior year.
Today, she lives in Fort Ann with her husband, Keith Carbon, and her daughter Kaitlin. She is a mail carrier with the U.S. Post Office.
Joe Hogan, 1966-1977
Joe graduated from St. Edward’s University in 1960 with a B.A. degree in education. He received his Master’s degree from Siena College in 1967. He also received a National Science Foundation grant to study economics at Assumption College in Worcester, MA. As a Holy Cross brother, his teaching career took him to schools in Massachusetts; Washington, DC; Forestville, MD; and Warwick, RI. In 1966, his 26 years of public education began at WHS, teaching social studies to juniors and seniors, as well as coaching boys’ basketball, track, and cross country. He was most successful with the boys’ basketball team which he coached from 1970-1977. His record was 84 wins, 56 losses. This included two Colonial Council Championships in 1971-72 and 1976-77. He coached two present WHS Hall of Famers, John DiBiase and Don Kelly. Joe coached the women’s basketball team at Siena College from 1978 to 1985. His record at Siena was 135 wins and 55 losses. . His 1979-80 team was the first in Siena’s history to win 20 games. His teams had four consecutive seasons with 20 wins from 1979 to 1983. He led Siena into the Division I program in 1983. He was the first women’s coach to record 100 wins, and he coached six Siena Hall of Famers. Joe was selected to the Siena Hall of Fame in 1991, the same year he retired from the Watervliet School District.
Joe was married to his wife Jean for 39 years before her passing in 2006. They had one son, Michael, who resides in Tampa, Florida, with his wife Stephanie and two sons, Evan and Connor. Michael is director of communications for Jesuit High School in Tampa. In 1999, Michael caught Wade Boggs’ 3000th hit at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Joe is presently married to his second wife, Marcia. They live in Albany and spend a lot of time traveling.
Victor Pascarella, ‘87
Victor played soccer, basketball, and baseball at WHS. He was a five-year starter on the varsity soccer team, beginning in 8th grade. In the 10th grade, he was selected to the Colonial Council 1st Team All-Stars and was the team’s MVP. In 11th grade, he was selected to the All-Area 1st Team All Star, the colonial Council 1st Team and the MVP of the team. In 12th grade, he was again selected to the All-Area 1st Tea, Colonial Council 1st Team, team MVP and the Section 2 Class “CC” Player of the Year. He was selected captain of the team during his junior and senior years.
In basketball, he was a member of the varsity team for three years. He was a member of the Class “CC” champs in his junior and senior years. As a starter in his senior year, the Cannoneers also won the Class “CC” Section 2 Championship. Victor established the all-time record at WHS with 101 steals in one season in his senior year.
In baseball, Victor was a member of the New York State Class “C” Championship Team in 10th grade and Section 2 Class “CC” champs, both in 11th and 12th grades.
Victor played at HVCC for two years and was selected to the 1988 All-Region Team and the College of St. Rose for two years where he was selected to the 1989 NAIA All-American 2nd Team. He received his college degree in business administration from the College of St. Rose.
Today he lives in Wynantskill with his wife Melissa and their two sons, Luke and Alex. He has established a business with his wife in therapeutic massage and body wellness.
Deborah Poulin, ‘84
Debbie played soccer, basketball and softball at WHS. She played varsity soccer for three years. She was the MVP in her junior and senior years, a member of the Colonial Council All-Star Team in her junior and senior years, and captain in her senior year. She also played softball for four years on the varsity team where she was the captain in her senior year and MVP in her sophomore and junior years. She had the most home runs in her senior year.
Basketball was her favorite sport. She played three years of varsity basketball. She ws selected to the Colonial Council All-Star 3rd Team as a sophomore and 1st team and MVP in her senior year. She was selected to the All-Area 1st Team in her senior year. In her junior year, the Cannoneers won the Colonial Council Championship with a record of 17-1. Sectionals for girls had not started yet. In her senior year, Debbie was the captain and averaged 12.3 ppg and 9.3 rebounds per game. In her three years on varsity, the team won 50 out of 60 games. For her achievements, Debbie was selected as the Female Athlete of the Year in 1984.
Debbie graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a degree in business and received her MBA from SUNY Binghamton. While at Oneonta, she played field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. She was the goalie on the field hockey team and a starter on the 1986 and 1987 lacrosse teams, two sports she never played until college. She won the Coach’s Award and was selected to the SUNY All-Conference Team in basketball in her senior year.
Debbie lives in Rexford, NY, and has been in the banking industry for the past 20 years. She is presently the Vice President of Credit Administration at the Ballston Spa National Bank. Her sister Nancy was inducted into the WHS Hall of Fame in the inaugural class of 2008.
James Rysedorph, ‘83
Jim played football and basketball at WHS. As a varsity football player for three years, he was on the Capital Conference All-Star Team and the All-City Team for two years as an end. In his senior year, he was selected to the 4th team All-State and the offensive MVP of the team where he had 31 receptions for 475 yards. The team had a record of 8-2 and won the Capital Conference and Section 2 Class “C” Championships in his senior year.
In basketball, he was a two-year starter on the varsity team and captain in his senior year. The Cannoneers were 22-4 in his junior year and won the Colonial Council and the Section 2 Class “C-CC” Championships. As a senior, the tea m was 14-8 and lost in the sectionals. In his senior year, Jim averaged 20.5 ppg and 16 rebounds per game. He set a WHS single game rebounding record with 31 rebounds. He was selected to the 1st Team Colonial Council, All-City, and All-Area teams and MVP of the team.
Jim attended a prep school, Mercersburg Academy, where he played basketball and baseball for two years. He then graduated from Franklin and Marshall College where he received a degree in history. He played basketball, where he was a starter in his freshman year.
Today, Jim lives in Clifton Park with his wife, Kelly, and their four children, Alexa, Nicholas, Lucas and Macy. Jim retired from the Watervliet Police Department and is presently a security specialist.
Andy Swota, ‘44
Andy played soccer, basketball, baseball, and track at WHS in the early 1940s. He captained the baseball and track teams. He led the baseball team in batting average, homeruns and pitching for three years. During this period, he was a key member of the team that won the Principals’ League for three years in a row from 1942-1944. Track was his favorite sport. He was an outstanding high jumper, discus thrower and pole vaulter. He set the WHS pole vault record at 10’10”.
In basketball, he played four years and made the All-City Team in his senior year. In soccer he was recognized for his relentless defense that gave his teammates the best opportunity for scoring goals.
After graduation from WHS, Andy played professional baseball in the minor leagues. Pursuit of his baseball career was put on hold to obtain a college degree. He attended Winona State University in Minnesota on a baseball scholarship and graduated in 1953. While at Winona State, he compiled outstanding records in baseball, including a record of 15-2 as a pitcher, 1 no-hitter, and ERA of 1.98 and .295 batting average over three years. Winona State won the conference championship all four years he played. He earned 15 varsity letters in four sports: football, baseball, basketball, and track. In recognition of his athletic accomplishments, he was inducted in to the Winona State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.
After earning his degree, Andy went on to play professional baseball in Huron, South Dakota. He later taught and coached at Dakota Wesleyan College, Cedar Falls, Iowa College and high schools in Hudson, Iowa; Huron, South Dakota; Tucson, Arizona; and Monroe, Wisconsin.
Andy was married to his wife Janet (deceased), and they had two daughters, Cindy (Winona, MN) and Sharon (Rapid City, SD). Andy died in 2001 at the age of 74.
Craig Walion, ‘93
Craig excelled in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field at WHS. He was one of the most outstanding runners in school history. He began his successful career as a sophomore, when he won 2nd place in the Colonial Council Championship in the 1600 meter run. He repeated that win as a junior and also won 1st place in the 3200 meter run at the Colonial Council Championship meet. During his senior year, he won both the 800 meter and 1600 meter run (set meet record) at the same meet. At the Class “CC” Section 2 Championship meets, he was the champion in the 1600 meter run and the 3000 meter steeplechase in both his junior and senior years. In the Ballston Spa Invitational, he was the 1600 meter champion in his junior and senior years. In 1993, he won the 2000 meter championship at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic Adirondack Association meet. He finished 2nd in the regional competition at Randall’s Island.
He competed in cross country for WHS in numerous invitationals around the Capital District. In many cases, he competed in cross country and indoor track as a one-man team. During his career at WHS, he set many records that still stand today. He credits his late coaches, Dan Reinfurt and Dan Marchi, for their support and the confidence they had in him as a runner and as a competitor. Following high school, he attended SUNY Alfred where he was a member of five Region 3 championship teams in indoor track, outdoor track and cross country. He qualified for five national championship races and scored points in all. He was the NJCAA Region 3, 1500 meter champion. He also was selected to the All-American Cross Country team. He then went on to Kansas State University, where he competed with the cross country and the indoor and outdoor track teams. In 1996, he tore ligaments and tendons while training, which ended his competitive college career. He graduated from Kansas State with a degree in history.
Today, Craig lives in Gardner, Kansas, with his wife Brittina and their three children, Quenton, Parker and Olivie. He is a master deputy at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in Kansas.
Varsity Football Team 1996
On Friday night, November 29, 1996, the dreams of 34 young men, their coaches, their schoolmates and their community came true, as the Cannoneers came from behind three times to defeat Leroy by a score of 20-19, and win the New York State Class “C” Football Championship. Leroy was the defending New York State Class “C” champion and had the longest winning streak in New York at 22 games. Their starting line outweighed WHY by 38 pounds a man, and they had seven returnees on offense and 8 returnees on defense. Tailback Greg Krikorian won the “Outstanding Running Back Award” and quarterback Don Kehn won the game’s MVP award.
The Cannoneers scored 394 points and allowed 70 points during the season, which included 7 shutouts. There were 16 seniors and 18 underclassmen, under the direction of head coach Dan Reinfurt (WHS Hall of Famer) that led this team to the most victories in school history—13—and an unbeaten season. On their way to the championship, they were led by captains Scott Heid, Gary Simmons, Jeremy Smith, and T.J. Testa as they won their league, the sectionals and the regionals.
The 1996 All-Area Football 1st team offense included Don Kehn, junior, quarterback, and player of the year award; Lou Horan, senior, offensive line; Scott Heid, senior, wide receiver; and Chad Carozza, senior, tight end. 1st team defense included Vince Bagnardi, senior, defensive line; Greg Krikorian, senior, linebacker; Gary Simmons, senior, linebacker, and Bill Oliver, junior, defensive back. Second team offense included Jeremy Smith, senior, offensive line. Honorable mention included Scott Houseworth, Pat Doyle, Brian Hoefer, and Jon Moffre.
Watervliet Athletics … A Tradition of Excellence