Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame inducts 8 new members into the Class of 2017

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The Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame announced Monday, eight new inductees into the Class of 2017.  

The 31st Annual Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony will be held on Monday, October 16 at 7 p.m. at The Oncenter in Syracuse. 

A total of 232 men and women have been inducted into the GSSHOF since the first Induction Ceremony in 1987.

This years inductees include: 

Leo Ferris:  Former Syracuse Nationals general manager who worked with owner Danny Biasone to institute the 24-second clock in the National Basketball Association – a move that sped up the game and is credited with saving the NBA; regarded as the co-founder of the NBA; pioneer in signing African-American players to professional contracts; instrumental in signing and bringing Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes to play for Syracuse Nats; Leo passed away at the age of 76 in 1993

Tom Fletcher: Christian Brothers Academy basketball and baseball star; scholarship basketball player at LeMoyne College who also starred in baseball; first team All-CNYCL in both basketball (12 points/game) and baseball (9-0 record with 1.05 ERA) during senior year at CBA; on LeMoyne basketball team that beat 6 D-I colleges during this sophomore year (10 points/4 rebounds/game); had 29-4 career record with a 1.91 ERA while pitching for LeMoyne; pitched 3-2 complete game victory in D-II College World Series to secure third place finish for Dolphins; 2-handicap golfer who won 2015 New York State Senior Amateur title.

Dennis Hennigan: CBA grad and current local attorney (partner at Costello, Cooney and Fearon) who became high level college referee and administrator; head referee at annual Cortaca Jug game between Cortland and Ithaca; head referee for “The Game” between Harvard and Yale in 1996; Big East Conference football official from 1998-2012; Atlantic Coast Conference referee (2013); head referee in 15 bowl games including 2004 Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game at the Sugar Bowl; officiated Fiesta, Capital One, Citrus, Liberty, and Chick-fil-A bowls; officiated Notre Dame-USC game three times, Miami-Florida State on numerous occasions, and was head referee at 2010 Army-Navy game; currently Coordinator of Football Officiating for ACC.

Len Lasinsky:  Syracuse/Baldwinsville native who won an unprecedented 4 consecutive Herald Amateur golf tournaments from 1989-1992 (the first jewel of this district’s golf’s Triple Crown); 1983 New York State Junior Golf Champion; 1991 New York State Men’s Amateur Golf Champ when he came from 3 strokes back by shooting a 3-under par 69 during the final round; Syracuse District Golf Association Player of the Year; played on Porter Cup team; 1st Team All-Big South Conference while in college at Coastal Carolina University; 2001 Venice, FL city champion; Len accomplished all of these feats while struggling with kidney disease;  Len passed away at the age of 39 in 2007.

Joe Mazella:  Henninger High School boys basketball coach who grew up in Lyncourt and graduated from Bishop Grimes and Cortland State; 15 year head coach at Henninger; 245-78 (75.9 winning percentage); 9 league championships; 5 sectional titles; 5 regional titles; 5 New York State Final 4 appearances;  runner-up in state tournament in 1991 and 1995; coached the first Section III boys’ basketball team to win the New York State Class A Boys’ Basketball Championship in 2002; 1995 and 2002 All-Central New York Coach of the Year; in Lyncourt Basketball and Baseball Hall of Fame; Section III Boys’ Basketball and North Side Halls of Fame; Henninger High School Basketball Court named “Joe Mazella Court” following his death in 2009 at the age of 51

Bob McKenney:  Current Bishop Grimes High School boys’ basketball coach who has won over 550 games during his career in Vermont and New York State; as coach of Jamesville Dewitt High School for 19 seasons his teams won 5 New York State Boys’ Basketball Championships including 4 in a row; won 2 State Federation championships with one team finishing the season with a 29-0 record; 13 straight league titles; 2-time New York State Coach of the Year; among top 5 active winningest coaches in NYS; former Onondaga Community College Athletics Director; during first year at Bishop Grimes (2015) won 23 games, the Section III Class B crown, and reached the NYS semi-finals

Dan Sheehan:  LeMoyne College lacrosse coach who was a member of the 1990 and 1991 undefeated New York State Boys’ Lacrosse Championship teams at West Genesee High School; played for Hall of Famer Mike Messere; played collegiately at Ithaca College; member of 1992 USA Under 19 National Team that won the World Lacrosse Championship; 20 year record at LeMoyne stands at 283-49 (85.2 winning percentage); coached 5 NCAA D-II Men’s National Lacrosse Championship teams at LeMoyne (2004, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2016); 20-0 record in 2016; 7 consecutive NE-10 conference championships; won 70 conference games in a row; 2000 D-II Morris Touchtone National Coach of the Year; 2013 Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association D-II Coach of the Year

Kathy Taylor: Fayetteville Manlius High School Girls’ Lacrosse, SUNY Cortland and LeMoyne College Women’s Lacrosse Coach; had 245-62-3 (79.5 winning percentage) record as FM coach which included 2 New York State Class A Girls’ championships (2004 and 2005); 5 Section III titles; coached 12 high school All-Americans and 5 USA National Team players; All-CNY Coach of the Year in 2004, 2005; six year record at SUNY Cortland was 115-17 (87.1 winning percentage) with 6 NCAA tournament appearances; reached Final Four in D-III Women’s lax during last 4 years including 22-1 school record in 2014; 55-9 three year record at LeMoyne; school record 18 consecutive game win streak to start 2017 season; 3 consecutive D-II Final Four appearances while at LeMoyne; 2017 NE-10 Coach of the Year.
 

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