2015 Hall of Fame Inductees

Alumni Athletes

Robert Acunto

Class of 1988, Soccer

Although Rob began his sophomore year (1985) on the junior varsity soccer team, by mid-season he was called up to the varsity team by Head Coach Neal Evans. Rob quickly established himself as a dangerous scoring threat at the varsity level and earned a starting position soon after being called up to the varsity team.

As a junior, Rob lead the varsity team in scoring, including the first goal of the Spartan’s 2-1 victory over perennial powerhouse Shenendehowa in the 1986 Class A (now Class AA) Section II Championship game. After winning the Section II title, the 1986 soccer team went on to win their New York State tournament regional semi-final game where Acunto scored both goals in the team’s 2-0 victory over Middletown. The 1986 soccer team’s successful run included an 11-game winning streak, which eventually landed the team in a state tournament quarterfinal round match before losing to the eventual state champion, New Rochelle. The 1986 team also achieved an overall record of 19 wins and 3 losses. Rob was also named a Suburban Council All-Star following the 1986 season. In his senior season (1987), Acunto was named a team captain and again lead the Spartans in scoring on their way to capturing the Suburban Council Gold Division title with a record of 13-3-1. Following the 1987 season, Rob received recognition as a First Team Suburban Council All-Star and was also selected as the Section II Class A Player of the Year and the Section II Overall Player of the Year. He was also named to the Third-Team All-New York State team, finishing his BH-BL career with over 50 goals scored at the varsity level.

Following graduation from Burnt Hills in 1988, Acunto went on to play college soccer at Southern Connecticut State University and Bryant College. In his freshman year Rob was a member of the Southern Connecticut team that reached the NCAA Division II National Semifinals. After transferring to Bryant College in 1989, Rob went on to become a two-year team captain at Bryant, a Northeast-10 Conference All-Star and a New England Region All- Star Team honoree. Rob earned his bachelor’s degree from Bryant College in 1992 and also graduated with cum laude honors.

After working in the business world for two years Rob enrolled at Springfield College and earned his Masters of Education in Sports Management while also serving as the Graduate Assistant Coach for the Springfield College men’s soccer team from 1994 to 1996. Rob then went on to coach men’s college soccer at Bard College and Vanderbilt University before turning his attention to athletic administration. During his professional career in collegiate athletic administration Rob has worked at prestigious NCAA Division I academic institutions including Cornell University, American University and is currently the Associate Athletic Director at The Citadel located in Charleston, South Carolina.

At the BH-BL Class of 1988’s 20-year reunion Rob reconnected with a fellow classmate, Jennifer (Langsam), and the two were married in June 2012. Jen, a registered nurse, and Rob currently live in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Bobby Brown

Class of 2004, Swimming

Bobby Brown grew up in Ballston Lake and was swimming competitively since age five with Schenectady Swim Club, Woodlin Club, and the BH-BL Varsity team. He began his Varsity career as a 7th grader in O’Rourke Middle School and competed for the next six years serving as team Co-Captain both Junior and Senior years. Bobby’s high school athletic career culminated as a New York state champion in the 500 yard freestyle and Section II Champion in the 200 yard and 500 Freestyle. These achievements garnered recognition as a three time All-American, Section II outstanding competitor award winner, and team MVP. He still holds four pool and school records in the 50, 100, 200, and 500 yard freestyle events and remains first on the All-Time BH-BL ranking.

During this time, Bobby was also a lifeguard and swim instructor for the Burnt Hills community swim program. During his four years of instruction, he taught more than 100 children how to swim. In addition, he served as a lifeguard/storybook reader for the parent-tot swim program for ages four and below.

Bobby graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He continued to compete for four years on the Division III swim team, where he was recognized seven more times as an All-American athlete. Since graduation, Bobby has served as a Search and Rescue pilot in the US Coast Guard. He is currently stationed in Cape Cod, MA where he lives with his wife Kelley.

Stanley E. Garrison

Class of 1937, Basketball and Cross Country

Dr. Stanley Garrison was raised on a farm off Good Street in Burnt Hills. At the age of 16, Stan’s father died, leaving his mother and him to run the farm. Francis Stevens, his science teacher, and Ray Benjamin, his basketball and cross country coach, were great mentors after his father died. With this encouragement he completed high school, where he was class president his junior and senior year. He was elected King for his Class Day, and enjoyed playing basketball, where he led the 1936 and 1937 High School Intramural Champions. For cross country, his team won the Amsterdam Invitational Northern NY Championship Meet, and the 1937 Section 2 Class D Track Championships.

Stan graduated from Siena College where he studied pre-med, and he went on to attend the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell where he graduated in 1950. After graduation from Cornell, he established his first Veterinary Hospital and Clinic in the barn on the farm. He was very active in the community and was the primary founder of the BH-BL Rotary Club.

Stan married Shirley Miller (BH-BL Class of 1940) in 1942 and continued to be very active in the Burnt Hills community.

Stan passed away October 2008.

Tom Huerter

Class of 1987, Basketball and Baseball

Tom Huerter played varsity basketball for Coach Gary Plimpton for two years. He was captain of the team during his senior year, and had the single season scoring record for BH-BL High School. As a senior he was named to the First Team All Area Senior Team, Times Union First Team, Saratogian 1st Team, New York State 7th Team, and the Channel 13 All Star Team. Tom had over 20 Division 1 scholarship offers, and decided to attend Siena College on a full athletic scholarship. Plimpton describes Tom as the best all-around player he coached in 21 years due to his leadership and ability. He led his junior year team to a 21-2 record, which is a best season record, and the senior team to a 15-7 record.

At Siena College, Tom was a four year performer and finished 5th in 3-point field goals. He played on the 1989 NCAA first round team that upset Stanford. Tom was 4th on the All Time Siena list for 3-point shooting when he graduated, and was a starter on the first ever Siena post-season team that played in the 1988 NIT game at Boston College.

Tom was named to the Capital District Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.

Ken Little

Class of 2005, Cross Country

Ken Little started to run competitively for the BH-BL varsity cross country team as a sophomore. From 2002 to 2004, he helped secure three Sectional Champion team titles, two NYSPHS Championship runner-up team titles, and one NYSPHS Class A Championship team title. In 2004, Ken won the NYSPHS Class A individual title. Ken was awarded a spot on the Suburban Council Cross Country All-Star team in 2003 and 2004, and Section 2 Cross Country All-Star team in 2004. He was a recipient of the Section 2 Cross Country Sportsmanship Award for 2004.

Ken attended SUNY Cortland in 2005, as an Art Studio, Ceramic Art concentration major. While running less than two years at Cortland, he helped the cross country team secure a SUNYAC Championship and a bid to the NCAA Division III Cross Country Nationals in 2006.

Ken lives in Ballston Lake, where he spends his time managing Fleet Feet Sports Adirondack and running with his son Everett Tarquinn.

James Mullen

Class of 1955, Soccer

James Mullen started playing on the varsity soccer team in ninth grade as a goaltender. He was named to the first team Tri-County Soccer All Star Team as a junior and senior. For basketball, Jim played on the varsity team for two years under Coach Jack Rentz. He was named to the South All Star Team for the annual North-South Saratoga County School Basketball League game played at Convention Hall in Saratoga Springs. He was the second leading scorer for the game. Jim led the BH-BL team as a senior, averaging 20 points a game for a total of 360 points during the 18 game Saratoga County League season. He also led the team in rebounding. In 1953, Jim was named as the Outstanding Scout and Post Guide of the Burnt Hills Explorer, Post 38, in the Boy Scouts of America.

Jim graduated from SUNY Potsdam in 1959. He played basketball and led the team during his junior year in scoring and rebounding with 282 points during the 20 game schedule for a 14.1 average. He was selected to the New York State Basketball Tournament All Star Team and was captain during both his junior and senior year. As a senior, he was the leading scorer and rebounder for the second consecutive year with 262 points during 18 games, and 190 rebounds. He was also the captain of the first SUNY Potsdam soccer team during his senior year. In 1993, Jim was inducted in the SUNY Potsdam Sports Hall of Fame for both basketball and soccer.

Jim then attended the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA, and earned a Master’s Degree at Miami University. He was in the United States Navy for 30 years, beginning in 1961. He became a Captain, and his service included being the Commanding Officer of two destroyers, the USS Kretchmer and the USS O’Brien. He was the Commodore of an eight ship Destroyer Squadron, and Anti-Submarine Commander for the USS Kitty Hawk Battle Group. Captain Mullen’s service awards include the Legion of Merit three times, Meritorious Service Medal twice, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with the Bronze Star, Navy Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with Silver Star.

On completion of Naval service he completed a five day United States Coast Guard Exam leading to licensing as a Master of Merchant Marine Vessels of Unlimited Tonnage. In addition, he holds a Coast Guard License as Pilot of Vessels of Unlimited Tonnage in San Diego, CA. He was employed in the Marine industry as Chief Mate and Master of Merchant Marine Vessels, as the Manager of a ship handling simulation training center in Kent, WA. Jim was also an instructor at Merchant Marine Training Centers in Dania, FL and Toledo, OH. He remains active as an instructor at Merchant Marine Training Centers in San Diego.

Jim married Maria Costas and has two children, Dr. James J. Mullen, III and Mary Margaret Mullen Dodd. He also has six grandchildren: Isabella, Olivia and Samantha Mullen; and Mia, Margaret and Robert James Dodd.

Danielle Stein

Class of 2005, Swimming

Dani Stein is arguably the most accomplished female swimmer in the history of the BH-BL program to date. During her six year varsity career, she won ten individual and team Section 2 titles. In ninth and tenth grade, she won the 200 Individual Medley and the 500 freestyle. Her time of 4:59.5 in the 500 freestyle as a sophomore was a Section 2 Record performance and was her first of six All-American Honors. It was the first time a girl went under five minutes in this event in Section 2 history, and the Section 2 record stood until 2012. In 11th and 12th grade, Dani won the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke events, earning All-American honors with each of the swims. Her 100 breaststroke swim of 1:05.06 was also a Section 2 record, and was broke just last year in 2014.

Dani was a five time New York State Championship Meet qualifier in nine individual and four relay team events, earning third place finishes in the 200 IM as a sophomore and junior, and third place in the 100 breaststroke as a senior; fourth place in the 200 IM as a ninth grader and fifth in the same event as a senior; 6th in the 100 breaststroke as a junior and 7th in the 500 freestyle as a 9th grader. Upon graduation, Dani was the holder of eleven BH-BL pool and school records, and she also has pool records across the section, including ones that still stand at Ballston Spa High School and RPI. Dani swam with the Schenectady Swim Club from the time she was 7 years old through the summer following her senior year. She set and held many individual and relay club records, and won the Eastern Zone United States age group championship title in the 1650 freestyle as a 14 year old.

Dani attended Syracuse University on a full athletic and academic scholarship majoring in Broadcast Journalism in the Newhouse School of Communication. She was an 8-time Big East Conference Championships Top 16 Finals finisher in the 100 and 200 breaststroke in each of her four years. She set school records as a member of the 200 and 400 Medley Relay teams. She was selected as a national intern for NBC Sports at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and while there, she worked with Bob Costas and NBC Sports at the swimming venue and was on deck for all of the memorable swims. After graduation, Dani was a writer and reporter for Saratoga.com in Saratoga Springs, NY and a sports reporter and anchor for Fox 23 television in Albany, NY.

She currently lives in Raleigh, NC and works in digital marketing. She competes in US Masters Swimming and open marathon swimming events. She placed 3rd in the 10-Mile World Open Water Championships is Lake Memphremagog, VT, 4th in the 12-Mile Swim Around Charleston, and was 7th fastest in the country in the 25-29 age group in the 1,000 freestyle.

David Watson

Class of 1987, Wrestling and Cross Country

Dave began wrestling in the summer program after second grade. He attributes his brother Doug (Class of 1981) his boyhood hero to motivating him in starting the sport. Whatever Doug did, Dave wanted to do also. Despite only starting wrestling in the 9th grade, Doug accumulated a phenomenal record of 113-11 and 2nd place at State his senior year. The year Doug started wrestling, so did Dave. During the summer of 8th grade while attending Wrestling Camp with the Harvard Wrestling Coach Phil Pekhar, Dave established the goal of a state championship as his End Goal for Wrestling. Under the excellent tutelage of Tim Koch, Phil Wright and Joe Demeo his club coach, he was able to achieve his goal during his Senior season.

David Watson won the New York State Wrestling Tournament in the 138 pound category as a senior. He also won the Section 2 Championships that year, and won the DeMeo Award, which is the Section 2 Top Wrestling Award. His senior record of 34-1 places him 5th on the All Time BH-BL Wrestling list for winning percentages at 97.1%. In his 35 matches as a senior, David pinned 26 times, earning him 2nd place on the all time list of pins with 74%. David started wrestling as an eighth grader, and won 15 matches that year, placing him tied for 10th place on the most wins for and 8th grader list. He is tied for 7th place with 34 wins as a senior. David earned the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award as a
junior and a senior, tying T.J. Wright for the honor both years. He was inducted into the BH-BL Wrestling Hall of Excellence in 2009 with his brother, Doug.

Dave also excelled in cross country and outdoor track. During his career at Burnt Hills Dave earned thirteen Varsity letters and maintained a 3.81 G.P.A. while doing so. David is ranked 67th on the All Time Performances Cross Country list at Saratoga Spa State Park, running the 3.04 mile course in 16:36 as a senior in 1986. He was a Captain of seven different teams during his time on Varsity from 1981-1987. Dave was selected his senior year as Co-Male Athlete of the Year with Tom Huerter, another spectacular athlete who went on to a great career in basketball. The month after graduating from High School Dave joined both his brothers and dad by becoming an Adirondack 46R. He completed his final climb of the 46 High Peaks on Mt. Allen in the Adirondack Mountain Range.

After high school, Dave went on to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma and earned a degree in Physics Education with a Minor in Chemistry. He taught High School Chemistry, Physics and Physical Science in Oklahoma for eight years. He also Coached Varsity Wrestling, Football and Track. His involvement in sports and coaching led him to coach all of his now eight kids sports teams: Wrestling, Football, Track, Baseball, Softball and Soccer to name a few. He has been working as a Senior Executive Marketing Representative for Merck Pharmaceuticals and has been involved in Mercks’ Diabetes, Cholesterol, Arthritis and Asthma franchises. He has won numerous Company District, Region and National Marketing Awards from Rookie of the Year up to Vice Presidents Award in his career with Merck.

Dave and his wife Leiani live in Norman, Oklahoma, the home of the Sooners and many tornadic storms. He helped raise two stepsons, a niece, a daughter, two sons.  Dave has stayed consistently active in his church community and the Global Community through outreach and Missions.

TJ Wright

Class of 1988, Wrestling

T.J. Wright was on the varsity wrestling team for six years under coach Tim Koch. He had a total of 157 wins, which is third on the All Time BH-BL Wrestling Team list. He is also third on the All Time list with 82 Career Pins. As a junior, T.J. was the Section 2 Champion at 155 pounds, with a 32-3 record. In his senior year T.J. was the Section 2 Champion at 177 pounds, and earned 2nd place in the New York State Championship Meet. His record during his senior year was 30-1, and he won the DeMeo Award that year. T.J. was the Most Outstanding Wrestler on the BH-BL team in 1986, 1987 and 1988. T.J. was the Empire State Games Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion in 1987, as well as the World Youth Greco-Roman Champion. He placed third at the Junior National Greco-Roman Championships that year, coming back in 1988 to win the tournament.

T.J. is a West Point graduate where he wrestled for four years. He was an NCAA Division I Championship Qualifier in 1990 and 1991. T.J. was the University National Champion in Greco-Roman in 1990 and 1991, and was a University World Team Member for Greco-Roman in 1990. He won the Arvin Memorial Award and the DeMeo Collegiate Awards
for his wrestling accomplishments.

T.J. married Peggy Lee, and they have four children: Jackson, Tanner, Kendall and Cameron. He retired after 22 years of service as a US Army Lieutenant Colonel, and is currently the Director of Special Programs for Kord Technologies in Huntsville, Alabama.

Coach, Faculty & Administration Category

Francis L. Stevens

BH-BL Administrator

Francis L. Stevens came to the BH-BL School District in 1928 as a teacher of mathematics and science, and athletic coach and Assistant Principal. He coached basketball for the boys team for eight years. He was appointed Supervising Principal in 1938.

In 1961, Francis was appointed the first BH-BL Superintendent of Schools, which he continued until his retirement in 1967. He worked on the growing school system and administered the rapidly building program. Francis also devoted his talents to the Boy Scouts, the Conservative Movement, organized the BH-BL Rationing Board and was the Defense Director in World War II. Francis served on numerous New York State educational committees. He was a charter member of the Rotary Club and a very active member of Calvary Episcopal Church in Burnt Hills. He was instrumental in the formation of the Adult Education Program, and he started the Summer School program.

In 1951, Union College presented the Outstanding Alumni Award to him. He was honored when elected to membership in Phi Delta Kappa, the Educational Honor Society, and he was also a participant in a project to compare education in the United Stated and the Iron Curtain Countries. In 1967, the Board of Education re-named the Ballston Lake Elementary School as the F.L. Stevens Elementary School. In 1939, the yearbook was dedicated to him. The inscription read, “In appreciation to the kind, sincere, friendly service he has given to us and to the community in which we live.” This continued throughout his entire life.

Frank Stevens passed away July 25, 1984.

Mary Beaudoin Mooney

Coach- Field Hockey, Basketball, and Volleyball

Mary Beaudoin Mooney taught for 27 years for the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District. She was the field hockey, basketball and volleyball coach, and was instrumental in starting the Summer Recreation Program. She served as the Co-Director of Summer Recreation from 1966 through 1981, and in 1978 she won the New York State Association Health, Physical Education and Recreation Distinguished Service Award for her contributions to recreation.

Mary was also the Director of the Girls Community Soft-ball League for grades 1-5 and fostered its success. It was a huge endeavor and hundreds of children were afforded the opportunity to participate and enjoy these teams. Mary created the Adult Community Softball Team, which was a recreation class in the summer. She directed the Junior High School Rec. Night programs for many years until her retirement in 1984.

She was responsible for encouraging so many students, both male and female, to reach for new goals while providing such an inspiration to each of them to not only play the sports but become leaders and coaches themselves. Because of her leadership, many went on to have successful careers in education. Mary served as a mentor and inspiration.

Mary graduated from BH-BL as the valedictorian in 1945, and was also a class officer, in the band and tumblers club, and voted Best Athlete, Most Involved and Most Brilliant by her class. She was the Salutatorian when she graduated from Ithaca College with a BS in Physical Education in 1949, and she earned her MS in Guidance from SUNY Albany in 1961. Mary enjoyed playing with her granddaughters, gardening, fishing, hunting and traveling, and she passed away in March of 2010.


1982 Girls 4 x 800 Relay Team

Kimberli Banker, Beth Buckley Callahan, Veronica Mills, and Michelle Tauzel Keller

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 1982 Girls 4 x 800 Relay team won the New York State Outdoor Track Championship Meet with a time of 9:15.1. The time was a New York State Meet record, a record that lasted for seven years, and the fourth fastest time in New York State history at the time. It was also the third fastest time in the United States that year, and ranked 16th on the All-Time National Schoolgirl list. The State Meet was held at Cornell University, and was the first New York State title for a BH-BL team. The same four girls also won the Section II State Qualifier Meet, and broke the school record, which held for 13 years.

1996 Boys Cross Country Team

Tom Bonner, Kirk Costion, Matt Doyle, Adam Krass, Josh LeCureux, Steve Lorenc, Andy Sheridan, and Frank Cenchitz

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Cross Country team from 1996 was coached by Chip Button, and the team was the first Cross Country team to win the New York State Championship title from the school. Steve Lorenc led the team with a fourth place finish, while Josh LeCureux came in 15th on the extremely wet course.

The boys from BH-BL had been to the New York State Meet the three years earlier, and had lost by two points one year, and by one point another year. Among the season highlights as a team were a win in the Suburban Council Meet. It was the first time BH-BL had ever won the meet, and gave the boys confidence going into the State Meet. The boys also won their fourth straight Section 2 title, and finished the season 8-1 with a Gold Division Championship title.