WATERTOWN — Multiple generations of Immaculate Heart Central athletes gathered together Saturday night at the Italian-American Civic Association to honor the latest inductees into the IHA/IHC Athletic Hall of Fame.
Antonio Doldo, Diane (Marsala) Brennan, Robert Goss and the 2006 state champion Class C baseball team were honored for their athletic achievements. All were grateful to be selected for the prestigious distinction. Marsala Brennan made the trip from Williamsville, in the Buffalo area, to be inducted.
“I feel honored to be a part of this,” Brennan said. “Definitely worth the drive up here.”
The night was a chance to take a moment to remember the good times in the wake of sports being postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Goss, who is the athletic director at Lowville, relished the chance to meet with old friends.
“This whole coronavirus has overtaken everything and it’s a chance relax, have some fun and remember our true mission with schools,” Goss said.
Brennan was honored as an individual after the 1975 girls basketball team that she was a part of was recognized last year. She was a key player in soccer, basketball and softball while at the school. She was one of the first standout female athletes for the school as girls sports teams were just beginning in the area in the 1970s.
“Times were a little different back then (in the ‘70s), but we had a lot of fun and played every sport we possibly could,” Brennan said.
However, she went on to excel at a sport that wasn’t offered at IHA at the time. She became a standout women’s lacrosse player at SUNY Cortland, where she was one of the team’s leading scorers for three seasons. Brennan is happy to see the north country become one of the top areas in girls and women’s lacrosse and took pride in being a trailblazer in the sport.
“I feel like we were on the cutting edge of female lacrosse,” Brennan said.
Goss was also a three-sport star for the Cavaliers in football, basketball and lacrosse. He tries to encourage younger athletes to go out for sports much like his old coaches did.
“I’ve tried to find good kids to play and that’s a huge part,” Goss said.
He’s taken many of the lessons learned at Immaculate Heart and applied them to his post at Lowville. Goss said that his time at IHC and his 35-year stint at Lowville are comparable.
“We had a ton of support from parents, family, friends, alumni of IHC,” Goss said. “It draws a lot of similarities to Lowville because we have great kids with great parents and great families.”
Doldo entertained the crowd with a brief speech that displayed the carefree attitude he carried throughout his high school career. He said that helped him be a state champion wrestler and a standout football player.
“I always tried to keep it loose and not take things to seriously,” Doldo said.
He passes on his knowledge to younger players as he coaches on the youth level in the South Jefferson school district. However, he’d love to see a return of the football and wrestling programs to his alma mater. Both sports have gone away in recent years because of low numbers.
“It would mean a lot if it did come back,” Doldo said. “I’ve got two kids that are coming up and I’d like them to both participate in wrestling and football.”
The Class C champion baseball team closed out the ceremonies by thanking their coach and 2013 inductee Mike Delaney, who also coached basketball and was the longtime athletic director. Stephen Magovney said Delaney was important to the title-winning squad.
“He set the tone for the team,” Magovney said. “His calm demeanor led right into how we felt from game to game.”
IHC went 23-6 that season and won the state title by defeating Ticonderoga of Section 7, 3-1. Magovney, who went in as individual in 2018, relishes this team induction more.
“This team was such a huge part of the IHC community at that time and it was a large part of my life and everybody’s lives,” Magovney said.
Chairman Paul Alteri said that nominations for the 2021 Hall of Fame class are being taken. Go to ihcshool.org, click on the athletics tab and then Athletic Hall of Fame.