Sports: First Class Inducted in the North Country Sports Hall of FamePosted: Updated:
It was a who's who of inductees in the first class of the North Country Sports Hall of Fame.
Among the honorees, a 3 sports star, Missy West of Malone who went on to play basketball at Duke.
"It's very exciting. This is certainly an honor to be here and to have this event. This is the first one, so be inducted into the very first one is really really cool, West said.
Legendary Potsdam State coach, Jerry Welsh, who led the Bears to 2 national championships, was also inducted.
"I was very surprised. In fact, I didn't even know they were starting that North Country Hall of Fame, you know. I was down in North Carolina, but when I got the call, I was very very pleased and thankful that they did this," stated Welsh.
Casey Powell, from the first family of lacrosse, was also inducted. The Carthage graduate won the championship at Syracuse and had a storied professional career.
"Yeah, this is great. I got the call from the new North Country Committee and I am certainly honored. I've always been very proud of the North Country. I've been proud from being from Carthage and the Watertown area, so to come back and accept this honor is amazing. I'm excited to celebrate with my family and friends tonight and the whole North Country," enthused Powell.
Pat Killorin, a Syracuse graduate who was an All America at Syracuse, was voted the "Top Center in the First 100 Years of Orange Football".
"Oh, it's a great honor, especially from my hometown. You know it's gonna be good to get back. I see a lot of my friends I haven't seen in awhile," said Killorin.
Jim Berkman, a Watertown native who has built a powerhouse lacrosse program at Division 3 Salisbury State. was inducted as well.
"Well, I'm extremely pleased to be considered, with this great group of coaches and athletes, to be one of them. Hats off to Ed Murphy for establishing something that is probably a long time overdue for all the great people, players and coaches that have been in the North Country," stated Berkman.
Neal Aubel, a 1961 graduate of Lowville who coached wrestling at his alma mater for 37 years was inducted, too.
"I am absolutely humbled and my family is humbled and we're thrilled. Ed Murphy has dared to be great, if you will, and I think this thing will take off after this year," Aubel said.
Among the inductees, the Union Academy of Belleville basketball team that won 104 straight games from the late 60's to the early 70's.
"When we heard they were gonna induct the team into this, the First Class of the North Country Hall of Fame, we were very pleased and very honored," said Greg Golding, a member of the team.
Also inducted, legendary football player Rocco Canale, NBA coach Rick Carlisle, I.H.C. Athletic Director, Boots Gaffney, and pro placekicker Pete Gogolak. A stellar first class.
"I'll tell you what, we set the bar kinda high, and you know, like I say, we got a great group of people that are getting in and looking forward to putting some work in and to do this again next year," said Ed Murphy, the North Country Hall of Fame President.