Alumni Athlete Category
Class of 1945, Basketball, Baseball and Soccer
Robert Curtis played for four years on the Varsity Basketball, Baseball and Soccer teams under Coach Walter Reid. Robert was a member of the 1942 and 1943 winning soccer teams, Vice President of the Athletic Association his junior year in high school and president during his senior year. He was also Class President during his junior and senior years in high school.
Robert is the owner of Curtis Lumber, which has supported many BH-BL School District and community teams and organizations throughout the years.
Robert “Doc” Hodgson
Class of 1946, Basketball and Soccer
Robert “Doc”Hodgson played on the varsity basketball team for three years, and the Varsity Soccer team for two years under Coach Walter Reid. He was on the 1946 team that won the Saratoga League Championships for Basketball, and was the high scorer for BH-BL that year with 201 points.
He was the president of the Athletic Association in his senior year. His memorable yearbook quote was “Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more.”
Class of 1952, Basketball, Baseball and Soccer
Robert Boice (Class of 1952, Basketball, Baseball, Soccer) played two years of Varsity Basketball, and three years on the Varsity Baseball and Soccer teams for Coach Walter Reid.
For Baseball, he received the Babe Ruth Foundation Sportsmanship Award in his junior and senior year. He was the high scorer on the Basketball teams his junior and senior years, and was the Saratoga County League High Scorer his senior year. In soccer, Robert scored the most goals on the team in 1950. Coach Reid states that “Boice was one of the best players he has ever coached at BH-BL Schools.”
Robert spent most of his life dedicated to the Town of Ballston and the Burnt Hills community. He served as a Burnt Hills volunteer fireman for 58 years, acting as Lieutenant, Assistant Chief for 15 years, Chief for three years and Commissioner for 10 years. He also dedicated 16 years to the Town of Ballston as a Councilman, and played an important role in the construction of the highway garage, Community Library and Town Hall. He also was a school bus driver for 20 years for the BH-BL Central School District, spending a great deal of time transporting athletes to events.
Robert passed away in 2013, and is survived by his wife, Joyce, five children and seven grandchildren.
Class of 1960, Football, Wrestling and Track
Blase Iuliano (Class of 1960, Football, Wrestling and Track) was undefeated in his senior year of wrestling, and was the first BH-BL Sectional Wrestling Champion that year. He received the Harmon Rivenberg Award as the “Most Outstanding Male Athlete” at graduation.
At Ithaca College, Blase lettered in Football and Wrestling, and the Ametuer Wrestling News named him an “Honorable Mention All-American” before there was a award for Division I, II or III athletes. In Wrestling, his record was 62-6, with three losses coming to NCAA Division I Champions. He was the OEK Wrestling MVP in 1964, and the Runner-Up at the “4 I” Wrestling Tournament in 1962 and 1964.
After graduating from Ithaca College in 1964, Blase taught Physical Education and coached JV Football and was the Assistant Varsity Wrestling coach at BH-BL for one year. He then went on to Saratoga Springs City School District, where he was the Department Chairman of Health and Physical Education for 28 years, and the Head Football Coach for 37 years. His football teams had an overall record of 223-113-7, and his teams made nine Super Bowl appearances, four Regional appearances, and he guided his teams to 18 titles and Championships (1- Foothills, 3-Metroland, 6-Suburban Council, 3- “AA”Division, 4-Section 2 Championships,5- Section 2 Runner Up.) He was named the Section 2 Footbal Coach of the Year eight times, and also coached the wrestling team at Saratoga Springs for 13 years.
He is a member of both New York States Section 2 football and wrestling hall of fame, as well as the Saratoga High School, Saratoga Springs City, and Ithaca College hall of fame.
Blase and his wife, Barbara have four children (Michael, Denise, Gary and Blase) and nine grandchildren and live in Burnt Hills, NY.
Class of 1996, Track & Field and Soccer
Trista Hopkins was part of a 1995 Girls Soccer Team that won the Section 2 Class B Championships. She was named to the 1st Team Class B New York State All-Star Team, and was also named to the 1st Team for the Suburban Council. In 1995, Trista was selected as a member of the New York States Top 55 soccer players, and in 1994, she was named to the 3rd NYS All-Star Team.
Trista had even more success as a runner. Columnist Dan Rafael wrote, “Since seventh grade, Hopkins had run on the varsity team, effortlessly spinning loops around the track. Indoors, outdoors. It never mattered where because she could always go faster than almost everyone else. In eighth grade, Trista was the Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, beating Zilla Higg, the six-time champion from Rochester East High in the 300 at the Engineer Games and tying a 12- year-old record with a time of 41.2.
She was a member of a relay team that won the New York State Championships in both 1992 for the 1600 Relay (3:57.45) and the SMR Relay (4:11.0) in 1995. Both relays are still BH-BL school records. She held the Suburban Council record in the 400 hurdles with a time of 61.57, which was also the best in New York State in 1995 and is still a team record for outdoor track. She participated in ten State Meet Competitions throughout the years, and won 15 Section II titles in both indoor and outdoor track. Trista won the Empire State Games two times, and was chosen for the Olympic Training Camp for the 400 meter hurdles after her junior year in high school. Among her other running accomplishments are that she won the Eddy Meet in tenth grade in the 800, and the 400m hurdles in eleventh grade, as well six times being named the most valuable runner on the BH-BL team and winning the “Junior of the Year” award in 1995.
Trista received an athletic scholarship to Wake Forest University where she graduated in 2000 with a BS in Business. While at Wake Forest, Trista was the team captain and competed on the 1999 Distance Medley Relay team that won the ACC Championship Meet.
After graduation, Trista moved to New York City and pursued a career in international business in the forest products industry. In 2006, she left work to start a family. Trista and her husband, Brian, currently live in Connecticut with their three children. After taking some time off from running, Trista participated in the Cape Cod Ragnar Relay Series last spring, and then ran her first half marathon.
Class of 1997, Cross Country, Track & Field, Swimming
Steve Lorenc followed his older brother and sister into the pool, first swimming competitively at the YMCA, then Schenectady Swim Club and finally on the BH-BL Varsity team. Steve placed first at the Section 2 Championship Meet for Class B in 1995 in both the 200 Freestyle (1:52.11, 10th on the All-Time BH-BL ranking) and the 500 Freestyle (5:07.61, 11th on the All-Time BH-BL list.)
Steve found his first love of distance running in 6th grade by following through on his younger brother’s dare, running in the kid’s mile of the Freihofer’s Run for Women. Steve started running cross-country for the varsity team as an 8th grader. The drive and discipline that he developed in swimming carried over into cross-country and track. He helped lead the XC team to earn several Suburban Council Championships as well as a State Championship his senior year (1996). As a senior, Steve placed first in the NYS Federation Cross Country Championships. The Sports Foundation also selected him as the area’s top male scholar athlete in 1997. Steve lettered in XC, swimming and track throughout high school.
Competitive running after graduation was not to be. Injuries kept Steve sidelined for the most part. However, he did manage to complete several half marathons and marathons since then. He graduated from RPI with a degree in chemical engineering. Since graduation, Steve has been employed by Automation & Control Specialists based out of West Point, PA. He has developed an expertise in process control systems and has applied those skills at Merck Pharmaceuticals and currently at Genentech. He married his high school sweetheart, Amanda Janssen, (BH-BL Class of 1999) and is currently raising their two daughters Abigail (6) and Lillian (4) in Carlsbad, California.
Class of 1986, Football and Track & Field
Dale Rochford was an accomplished football player and pole vaulter for BH-BL Central School District. In track and field, Dale was a two-time winner of the William F. Eddy meet in the pole vault. He was a gold medalist at the 1985 Empire State Games, and was the runner-up at the 1985 Indoor New York State and 1985 Eastern States Indoor Championship Meets. He placed first at the 1985 Suburban Council and Section 2 Championship indoor and outdoor meets in the pole vault, and currently holds the indoor and outdoor school records in the event after over 27 years. Dale also won the 1985 West Point Invitational, Dutchmen Games, and RPI Invitational Meets.
For football, Dale scored 12 points in the 12-6 win in 1985 over Shenendehowa, the first time BH-BL beat them in 15 years. He intercepted Shen’s final drive, then caught the winning pass with five seconds left in the game. He was the leading receiver with 31.1 yards per catch, and led the team with its first undefeated (8-0) Suburban Council record in 19 years. Dale was named the Saratogian/Tri-County News Dream Team member for offense in 1985, and was also named to the Times Union All-Star Team for offense as well as the Schenectady Gazette All-Area Team for defense.
Dale graduated from Union College with a BA in Economics.
Dale would like to give special mention to his mother who juggled work while raising six kids and teaching us to be decent people, look out for others, and not take life too seriously, and to his dad, watching from the hereafter, who never missed a game and would want to be here more than anyone. He relished in the accomplishments of his family.
Dale is a Vice-President and Investment Officer for Wells Fargo Advisors in Portsmouth, NH. He lives with his wife and three kids in North Hampton, NH.
Class of 1973, Swimming, Cross Country and Track
Dan Wall was a member of the inaugural swim team and helped set the standards and traditions for the teams that followed; he also lettered in cross country and track. Throughout his three years on the swim team, Dan initially set and broke many of the school records. As a senior, Dan won the first BH-BL Section 2 swimming titles in the 200 Individual Medley and the 100 Breaststroke, setting school and sectional records in the process. Dan owes a tremendous amount of gratitude to his swimming coach, Kevin Fitzpatrick, who always pushed him to be and do his best, lessons that have served him well throughout his life.
Dan continued his swimming while attending SUNY Potsdam where he graduated and attained a BA degree in Math. While at Potsdam, he won 17 conference championships, set numerous school and conference records in a variety of different strokes and distances, and achieved NCAA All-American status 7 times. Dan was inducted into the Potsdam Hall of Fame in 1989.
After college, Dan has continued to be an active competitor, participating in triathlons, marathons, and masters swimming. He has consistently been in the Top 25 swimmers in his age group nationally and has won several national open water championships. Since swimming has been such a huge part of his life he gives back to the sport by coaching swimmers and triathletes of all ages and volunteering. He is currently the owner of a change management and process improvement consulting company.
Coach, Faculty & Administration Category
Teacher, coach and administrator from 1939 to 1969
Walter Reid (Administrator) was a teacher at all times throughout his career at BH-BL. He was the “Founding Father” of the BH-BL Athletic Department, and based everything on integrity, team play and sportsmanship. The athletic fields behind the Senior High School are dedicated to Walter Reid.
Walter began working in the district in 1939, and served as a physical education teacher and coach for the soccer, baseball and basketball teams. He was also the Director of Guidance for two years, the Assistant Superintendent of Schools for five years, and the Superintendent of Schools from 1966 through 1969.
In 1948, Walter coached the first baseball team to win the Saratoga County League Championship in the history of the school. In 1949, he was the coach of the first soccer team to win the Saratoga County league and Section 2 Class “C”Championships. The 1950 soccer team came in second place in the league, and his teams won many sportsmanship banners.
In 1959, Walter added two new policies. The first was that students could compete in athletics “not strictly on a passing grade but rather based on citizenship and whether a pupil was working up to his capacity.” The second allowed women’s athletics to become competitive once more. The students today are reaping the harvest from his management.
Coach from 1960 to 1987
Walter Brandt taught physical education at Pashley Elementary School from 1960 through 1987 in the BH-BL Central School District. He graduated from SUNY Cortland with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education, and from SUNY Albany with a Master of Science degree with a major in Guidance and Administration, where he also completed his certificate as District Director of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
His greatest success as a coach was with the Varsity Boys Soccer Team, who he led to over 300 wins from 1964 through 1985. While coaching soccer, his team won the 1962 Tri-County Championship, placed second in the 1974 and 1975 Class A Suburban Council and Section 2 League, and won the Suburban Council Crowns in 1977 and 1981, and the Section 2 Championships in 1976 and 1981.
He was also the Boys Varsity Basketball Coach from 1960-1964, and coached Varsity Wrestling as well.
After his retirement from BH-BL, Walter drove for Matthews and was a substitute driver for BH-BL sports runs. He was a Burnt Hills Fireman for over 50 years, and as an Explorer Scout, he helped build the log cabin on Route 50. He built a cabin on Loon Lake, where he loved to hunt and fish. He married Phyllis Laws in 1951, and they have four children: Ted, Susan, Lynn and JoAnn.
Richard Stevens taught high school mathematics for 34 years, and coached at Sauquoit Valley High School for three years, Burnt Hills Ballston Lake High School for 30 years, RPI for six years and Ballston Spa High School for eight years. During his career, he coached Basketball, Cross Country, Indoor Track and Spring Track, with his greatest achievements coming in indoor and outdoor track. He served as head coach of Track (Boys and Girls) from 1976-1997, some years carrying 129 kids doing 17 events with no assistant coaches. Eventually he had 39 people who became track coaches after competing.
His coaching legacy includes much success: At BH-BL he had 15 girl sectional champion teams and three boys champion teams (with many runner-ups). Twenty Six girls still hold school records and 30 boys do the same (with several sectional records mixed in). In addition to the abundant team championships, many athletes coached by Dick still remain on the Section 2 All-Time lists, including Hall of Fame Class of 2011 member Miles Irish, Hall of Fame Class of 2012 members Hugh Willig and Michelle LaPointe, and hall of Fame Class of 2013 member Wes Carr.
Dick was a master at his craft of coaching track. Throughout his tenure, Dick built the foundation for many collegiate runners as well as he fostered a love of running in hundreds of BH-BL athletes. In addition to the success of his individual athletes, Dick established the groundwork for a running program that is still successful today. He shared his knowledge and love of the sport with dozens of assistant coaches under his guidance, including the very successful current coach, Charles “Chip” Button.
After retiring in January 1999, Dick walked into RPI as a volunteer assistant coach. They put him on the payroll in the fall of 1999 through 2005. The college kids showed him a tremendous amount of respect and they won three NYS Division III championships Indoors and four more Outdoors. He had two All-American individuals and several state champions.
Dick was surprised to hear Ballston Spa High School was advertising for an Indoor Coach in the fall of 2005, because they hadn’t had a team in 36 years. He applied and was hired to restart the program. They had 70 kids that first year but quickly grew to 120 in subsequent years. In 2007 and 2008 the boys won the 1st ever Sectionals for the school, and his 2010 team was most outstanding and set many records for kids to chase in posterity.
Besides coaching and teaching he is a father of three grown children, each of whom is involved in the education and/or coaching field. He has five grandchildren who are wonderful students and have all been involved in sports at one time or another.
Dick would not like to be known as a coach that didn’t know when to quit, but rather a coach who was dedicated to the success of the athletes he coached for many years.
1946 Boys Basketball
The 1945-46 Varsity Basketball team won the Saratoga County League Championship, the first team in the history of our school district to do so. The team had a 14 game winning streak, and was led by Robert (Doc) Hodgson, who had a total of 201 points. Other members of the team were Jack Beaudoin, Cliff Belott, Walt Brandt, Harold (Boo) Brust, Bernie Cunningham, Fred Lockwood, Don (Moose) Marshall, George Neidhammer, Don Parskoeim, and the manager was John Kolar. The coach of the team was Walter Reid.
Boys Baseball 1948
Coach Walter Reid and his baseball team won the Saratoga County League championship, the first in the history of the school. The team was rated one of the top teams in the area for good baseball and sportsmanship. Members of the team were Donald Berthiaume, William Chandler, Edwin Collins Jr., Gareth Dunham, Douglas Fawthrop, Arthur Finger, W. Fredenburg, Frank Hemsing, Glen Kinns, Joseph Landolfo, Ernie Martin, Irving Martin, Charles Mason, Howard McCoy, Ted Michalec, Douglas Nessle, Albert Parker, Jim Roberts, L. John Sheffer Jr., Charles Travis, Roger Travis, K. Welch, Jack Williams, and manager Norman Brown.
Boys Soccer 1949
The team won both the Saratoga County League Championship and Section 2, Class C Championship for the first time in the history of the BH-BL School District. The boys soccer team was coached by Walter Reid and Jack Rentz. Team members included Ronald Ashdown, James Bates, Robert Boice, Jude Bourdeau, Robert Campbell, Edward Chase, R. Chrisman, Ralph Cook, John Dadeo, Merritt Daniels, William Deising, Armen DiGuiseppi, Marven DuBois, William Gocha, Frank Hemsing, Norman Hogan, William Hogan, Bruce Hubbs, Thomas Kenyon, Dale Kline, William Manhey, Richard Maples, Ted Michalec, William Min-Mack, John Morgan, Charles Nessle, Robert Nessle, Edward Rindfleish, Daniel Rivers, Richard Romac, Wilbur Rue, Chester Rychick, Jack Seibert, L. John Shaffer Jr., Thomas Stern, Frank Varrone, Edward Weeks, Albert White, and manager John Dadez.
Girls Soccer 2003
The Varsity Girls Soccer team won the State Class A Championship game against Southside, 1-0, with a goal by Jillian Caracciolo and assists by Emily Lewek and Jenny Ives. For Coach Kevin Fitzpatrick, who won Section 2 Coach of the year in 2003, the team performed admirably. “From day one, they have been a challenge for me as a coach, but one I would gladly do again,” Fitzpatrick stated. The team had an overall record of 17-4-4 in a very tough Suburban Council schedule, with 14 shutouts, 53 goals scored, and 14 allowed. The leading scorers for the team were Tammy Brewster (14 goals and 8 assists,) Emily Lewek (11 goals and 19 assists,) and Jenny Ives (9 goals and 2 assists.) Goalkeeper Katie Melsert ended her career with 33 shutouts that year, and Jessie Klapper played goalkeeper off the bench.
Along the way, the team beat Schalmont to capture the Class A Sectional title, and swept Fulton and Plattsburgh for the Regional title. In addition to the State Title, the girls were rewarded with many individual honors as well. Jen Ives was named to the All-State Team as a 1st Team selection, and was also the Section 2 Player of the Year. The Suburban Council All-Stars for the 1st Team were Leah Perazzo, Emily Lewek and Jenny Ives, and all three players also secured a spot on the Section 2 All-Star Team. Suburban Council 2nd Team honors went to Tammy Brewster and Stefanie Green, and Honorable Mention to Tina Brewster, Jillian Carocciolo, and Katie Melsert. The JV Team was coached by Brian Bold, Freshman Team by Penny McDonnell and the Modified Team by Fuji Battenhausen. Other members of the team were Amanda Disorbo, Jen Decresente, Kara Eaker, Lisa Ferraro, Sarah Halbig, Kate Houghtalen, Robin Jess, Kelly McMahon, Sara Pauze, Caitlin Seymour, Emily Trolio, Sarah Van Epps, with post season addition Heather Hahn. Managers were Mallorie Marshall and Katie Campe.