Answer to Question No. 1: Aaron Cotugno
Cotugno had taken over as the ’86 Rams starting QB after an injury to Tom Marcellino earlier that season. He and his brother Kyle became dentists and have maintained a practice in Gloversville for many years. He is the son of one of my all-time favorite Greater Amsterdam School District administrators, the late Art Cotugno.
Answer to Question No. 2: Jim Martuscello
Martuscello was a very good schoolboy athlete during his days at SMI and later coached baseball and football at Bishop Scully. The great Dutch Howlan initiated football at St. Mary’s Institute in 1965 during that school’s last year of operation as Amsterdam’s parochial high school. He used the season as a recruiting and indoctrination tool for athletes who would help make the Bishop Scully football program an instant success a year later. Martuscello is now a familiar local politician, currently serving as Amsterdam’s 5th Ward alderman.
Answer to Question No. 3: Chris Covell
Frank Derrico told me he made Chris the QB of that 1995 Rams’ State Championship team because the kid knew how to lead. He was certainly right about that. Covell went from leading the Rams to that classic victory at the Carrier Dome to leading SmartWatt, the company he founded to amazing growth.
Answer to Question No. 4: Brian & Matt Bonanno
Older brother Brian was certainly one of the most talented athletes in Amsterdam history. He played 4 years of varsity football at AHS, started at QB for three of them, passed for over 2,500 yards and 30 TDs and has to be considered one of AHS’s greatest track & field athletes of all-time with his ten sectional championships. Younger brother Matt reminded me of their dad, Dave Bonanno, who played for the original “Rugged Rams” of 1967. Fast, tough, never-give-in, the type of guy you wanted on your side in any type of battle.
Answer to Question No. 5: Bryan and Brendan Cudmore
Both these guys had the advantage of growing up in the Amsterdam football program. Their Dad Gary was a phenomenal high school athlete at AHS and Frank Derrico’s long-time assistant coach of the Rugged Rams. I remember when Bryan and Brendan were both ballboys for the Varsity team. They each combined great athletic skills with high football IQ’s. Bryan went on to pay football for Union and Brendan went to RPI. Both have since carved out great careers in the healthcare management field.
Answer to Question No. 6: Ernie & Sam Scialabba
From the mid 1960’s to the late 1970’s there were very few issues of the Amsterdam Evening Recorder published that did not include the name “Scialabba” somewhere on the sports pages. Between them, brothers Ernie and Sam brought home trophies in every sport they played. Father Herb was the long-time manager of the crack Bergen Post American Legion baseball team and sister Vickie was a Cinderella all-star and Amsterdam Varsity Cheerleader. The brothers ended up running their own cable television company up in Vermont.
Answer to Question No. 7: E.J. Harkins
Harkins was also an all-league defensive back during his Scully gridiron days and averaged over 25 points per game during his senior season on the Mohawk’s Varsity basketball team. He now serves as the VP of a very successful Saratoga-based beverage distribution business.
Answer to Question No. 8: Chuck Ippolito
I remember Ippolito being a great athlete in high school. One of those guys who could do anything better than average. I remember he made great use of both Timmy Czeski and Dan Gutowski as pass receivers during that ’73 season.
Answer to Question No. 9: Joe Sise
I never had the opportunity to watch him quarterback the Scully football team but this guy grew up to become the sort of person who helps make you proud to be from Amsterdam. Pure and simple, Judge Joe Sise is a class act.
Answer to Question No. 10: Frank Pozniak
I remember him as an outstanding all-around athlete in high school. After graduating from Brown, Frank got his law degree and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts’ State 911 Department.
Answer to Question No. 11: J.D. Smeallie
Now a partner in a Boston Law Firm, Smeallie was the perfect quarterback for Scully’s first-ever football teams. Consistently among area leaders in TD’s completions and passing yards, he shared the 1968 Recorder Player of the Year Award with AHS QB Buddy Flesh and then went off to Yale University.
Answer to Question No. 12: Matt Agresta
Matt currently serves as Controller for the City of Amsterdam.
Answer to Question No. 13: Jamie Seward
Seward took over as head coach of the SUNY New Paltz Girls Varsity Basketball Program in 2005 and turned it into one of the most successful in the New York State. He notched his 200th career win during the 2018 season.
Answer to Question No. 14: T.J. Czeski
Czeski went on to play both basketball and football at Wagner University and then returned to Amsterdam to become the Director of the Creative Connections Clubhouse.
Answer to Question No. 15: Chris Green
Chris is now a chiropractor with a practice in Florida.
Answer to Question No. 16: Gary Tuck
Though Tuck quarterbacked both the 1970 and ’71 Rugged Rams to Class A titles, his best sport was baseball, where he started as catcher for Brian Mee during AHS’s 1972 season. He eventually became a manager in the minor leagues and then one of the greatest catching instructors in big league history. He is also the only Amsterdam native to have earned a World Series ring. He actually has four of them.
Answer to Question No. 17: Mike Krochina
Mike Krochina became an engineer. He then moved to Hawaii, where he has operated his own engineering firm for the last 41 years. Krochina’s Uncle Johnny was one of the great all-around athletes in AHS history.
Answer to Question No. 18: Jerry Pepe
Pepe went on to play football for Hillsdale College in Michigan. He then began a career in investment and trading and currently resides in Florida.
Answer to Question No. 19: Charles Beekman
Charles also played Varsity basketball for AHS. He attended Southern Vermont College and currently works as a Montgomery County Probations Officer.
Answer to Question No. 20: Lou Swierzowski
After his three sport career at Scully, Lou went to Plattsburgh, where he played football. He then became a cameraman for WNYT, Channel 13 News.
Answer to BONUS Question: Bobby Noto Jr.
Bobby’s Dad is the long-time, now retired AHS coach and Athletic Director Bob Noto Sr.. Bobby Jr. is currently attending law school.