Lyndonville selects the first class of inductees for the Tigers Athletic Hall of Fame

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 12 April 2021 at 3:54 pm

Eleven inductees have been selected to be the inaugural class for the Lyndonville High Athletic Hall of Fame.

Ten individuals and one team comprise the inaugural class which will be inducted in ceremonies on May 16 at the White Birch Golf Course.

The team is the Tigers 2011 baseball squad which captured the Genesee Region League Division II, Section V Class DD and Far West Regional championships and advanced to the state semifinals. The Tigers squad had five G-R All-Stars and Coach Shane Price was honored as G-R and Section V Coach of the Year.

The individual honorees include Coaches Arnie Hartsen, Fred Large and John Hayes along with athletes Jill Eppolito Barden (Class of 1979), Ron Mapes (Class of 1955), Tim Riemer (Class of 1985), Chris Hayes (Class of 1989), Sam Recco (Class of 2012), Tony Recco (Class of 2015), and Special Contributor Maria Quintern.

Hartsen served the school district as a Physical Education teacher, Coach and Athletic Director from 1941-43 and 1946-1976 as he served in the Navy from 1943-46. He guided the Tigers to baseball squad to 13 Genesee-Orleans League titles and four Section V championships (1951, 1953, 1955 and 1959).

Large organized the Lyndonville wrestling program in 1963 and guided the Tigers to 14 league titles and five Section V Class championships. His Tigers squads at one stretch had a 46 match winning streak and overall he had a career record of over 250 wins. He was inducted into the Section V Hall of Fame in 2005.

John Hayes coached baseball at Lyndonville for 24 years and also served as Athletic Director and basketball coach. He guided the Tigers baseball squad to nine G-R League titles and four Section V championships (1982, 1983, 1994, 1996).

Mapes was a multi sport athlete in football (1953-54), basketball (1952-53, 1953-54, 1954-55) and baseball (1952-1955). He compiled a 30-3 career record on the mound for the Tigers including a Section V record 8 no hitters. He hurled the Tigers to Section V championships in both 1953 and 1955 and went on to play professional baseball in the New York Yankees organization.

Eppolito likewise was a multi sport athlete in soccer, basketball and track during the early years of the Lady Tigers sports program. In soccer she scored a record 35 goals in 1978 and went on to become a Gold Medalist at the 1978 Empire State Games. In basketball she scored 411 points during the 1977-78 season and 1,037 for her career, which are both school records as is her 45 point game against Notre Dame in 1979. In track she won the Section V Class D title in the 100 Hurdles in 1979.

Riemer also was a multi sport athlete in soccer, basketball and baseball. In soccer he scored 39 goals his senior year and finished with a career total of 46. In basketball he set a Tigers single game scoring record of 46 against Wyoming during the 1984-85 season. He scored 394 points that season and finished with a career total of 975. In baseball hit .462 his senior year and was a two-time G-R All-Star at catcher. He played professional baseball in the Cleveland Indians organization.

Chris Hayes likewise was a three sport standout in soccer, basketball and baseball. He was a two-time G-R All-Star in both soccer and basketball. On the basketball court he scored then school record totals of 478 points in his senior year and 1,012 for his career. In baseball he was a four time G-R All-Star who had three no hitters, seven career shutouts and 32 career victories. He went on to play baseball at the University of Connecticut.

Sam and Tony Recco had the distinction of earning state wrestling titles on the same day in 2012. Both five year varsity wrestlers for the Tigers, Sam compiled a career record of 188-34 and Tony a mark of 196-17. Sam, who also placed sixth at the state championships in 2011, was a two-time Section V champ in 2011 and 2012. Tony, who also placed third at the state championships in 2014 and sixth in 2015, was a three time Section V champion in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

Lyndonville Athletic Director Jim Zeliff states that Quintern “epitomizes the category of “Supporter” as she has attended almost every athletic event and volunteered her time for 30+ years. Her contributions are invaluable to the district athletic programs. She has given back to the district as a shot clock operator and score keeper for over 30 years volunteering for soccer, volleyball, basketball and baseball.”