Haldane Athletic Hall of Fame
Congratulations to the 2022 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees.
- Phil Cotennec '74
- Collin LeMon '07
- Coach Nelson "Fessor" Delanoy
- Girls' Volleyball Team '07 - '08
- Girls' Basketball Team '07 - '08
- Lauren Etta '13
- Coach John Merante
Phil Cotennec, “Coty,” was a 1974 graduate of Haldane and excelled in three sports during both his high school and college careers.
A stand-out in basketball and track, Coty would take his talents and continue to make his mark on the track at Marist College. Phil continued to be a multi-sport athlete for the Red Foxes, participating in JV basketball, lacrosse, and winter track.
Phil’s high school accomplishments on the ”hardwood” include being named team captain in both his junior and senior years.
He was recognized for his excellence by being selected “All County First Team” and second team in the D.C.S.L. both years.
As impressive as his basketball exploits were, his accomplishments on the track were even more astounding. As a member of the Blue Devils track team, Coty participated in the 100 and 200-yard dashes, the mile relay, the 440-yard dash, the high jump, and finally, the sprint medley relay.
Phil tied the Haldane 100-yard dash record at 10.0 seconds.
He received the bronze medal in the 100 and 200-yard dashes at the D.C. S.L. championship. Coty also anchored at the Blue Devils mile relay team at both the New York and the Penn Relays.
As outstanding as Phil's high school track achievements were, his college track career was even more impressive. In 1975 as a freshman at Marist, Coty led his team to an 8-3 record, tied the school record in the 100, and broke the 120-yard high hurdle record.
In 1976, his sophomore season, he helped propel the Red Foxes to their first undefeated season (9-0). While participating in multiple events in his second year, his successes included the CACC 120-yard high hurdles championship, qualifying for the CTC New York State Championship in the 100-yard dash, and culminating in attaining the school’s 2nd highest point total for any Marist track meet. He did so by qualifying for and competing in seven events, the 100, the 200, the 120 high hurdles, the high jump, the long jump, the triple jump, and the quarter mile relay.
A most impressive performance!
His winter track successes at Marist included setting the school records in the 60-yard high hurdles and the 60-yard dash.
As a junior and senior at Marist, Phil decided to spread his wings and test his athleticism on the lacrosse field. To no one’s surprise, Coty was very successful and by his senior year, he was the starting midfield and the team's co-captain.
As is readily apparent from Phil‘s athletic achievements, he was a leader by example and commanded the respect and admiration of his peers, resulting in being named team captain multiple times.
Phil was the consummate athlete on both the high school and college stage, and he is without question one of the finest athletes to perform at Haldane, going on to enjoy unquestioned success beyond high school.
On a personal note, what is so impressive to me about Coty (while playing with and against him in adult softball leagues and adult recreation basketball) is his steady, positive demeanor on the field or court. While “adult” sports can certainly get contentious, Phil was always in control emotionally. He was always a team-first player, a guy respectful of his teammates and opponents alike. He participated out of a love for the sports he was playing, enjoying the games for what they were - fun! Whether he was on the winning or losing team, he always conducted himself with calm and class. He was a joy to compete with or against!
Without a doubt, Collin was one of Haldane’s finest two-sport athletes, excelling both at football and wrestling. These two sports are physically and mentally grueling, but Collin embraced the challenges they present to any athlete. He was a true leader on the field and in the gym all four years of high school.
In football, Collin earned the following honors: two-time captain, Honorable-Mention All Section in his junior and senior years, and All-League in his junior and senior years. However, these awards do not capture the impact he had in terms of his play and the positive influence he had on his teammates. Statistics rarely reflect the true value of a lineman. Collin was the type of player opposing coaches had to respect and account for when preparing to play Haldane. As a dominant offensive lineman, his Haldane coaches selected Collin continually as the lead blocker. When on defense, he had a nose for the ball and was a relentless tackler until the very end of each game. As a result, he inspired his teammates to match his intensity and fearlessness.
It is an understatement to say that Collin was one of Haldane’s most outstanding wrestlers. He wrestled in the 215-pound weight class all four years. His teammates and coaches praised Collin’s dedication on and off the mat. The mental toughness he exhibited week in and week out raised the standards for Haldane wrestling. Collin was named All-League three times, All-Section three times, Division Tournament Champion two times, and Sectional Champion in 2007. In his overall high school career, he achieved 99 wins. In his senior year, he had 21 wins and only three losses. That is an incredible 87.5 winning percentage.
Clearly, Collin is well deserving to be selected to the Haldane Athletic Hall of Fame.
Nelson Delanoy was one of the original coaches at Haldane, where he taught for over 30 years. In examining his many contributions, he stands out as a “Man for All Seasons.”
Nelson attended the Nelsonville School and Haldane High School when it stood on Morris Avenue. He received both his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from Columbia University. After graduation, he taught at the Nelsonville Union School before the Haldane District was established, and he served as principal. It was there that he acquired the nickname the “Fessor.” In 1937 he joined the Haldane High School faculty as a history teacher until his retirement in 1969. During his long and storied tenure at Haldane, several yearbooks were dedicated in his honor, and today the History Award is presented in his name at the Academic Awards Night.
During World War II, Nelson volunteered to serve in the Army.
He was inducted with some of the very same young men he had taught the previous year. After the war, he was twice the main speaker at the local Memorial Day Service.
For 17 years Nelson was the varsity baseball coach, leading the team to championships in 1943 and 1951. Coaching then was very different. The playing surface was shared with the track team, and several players were members of both teams. This caused problems with the scheduling of contests and the organization of practices with athletes switching from one sport to another. However, Nelson and Coach George Ellis were always able to work things out and, as a result, they formed a deep bond. Often after school or on a Saturday morning, they would be found preparing the baseball or the football field for the day’s events.
During the Fessor’s years at Haldane, he always stressed service to one’s fellow human beings. For many years he sponsored the Service Club, and during his after-school hours he served the Village of Nelsonville as both Mayor and Trustee. Even today, several years after his death, he is still serving Haldane and the community at large through his many writings, including articles and books on local history.
Nelson Delanoy’s induction to the Haldane Athletic Hall of Fame truly honors his memory, and it symbolizes that the Fessor is still a special part of the Haldane community.
The most difficult challenge for a team is to jump into a season where you are expected to win every game. Anything short of victory is deemed a failure. The Lady Blue Devils Volleyball Team dove into their season headfirst with everything to lose. This team was destined for glory with an unbeatable lineup of eight passionate seniors, three hard-working juniors, and a determined sophomore. When head coach Joel Stanford took the reins, with Ashley Murphy assisting, the girls kept focused as they breezed through the Class D regular season without dropping a single game. The coaches and players knew the real competition was outside their league, and they proved themselves worthy of playing with the top guns. The team made a statement when they took home the first-place trophy from the Minisink Valley Tournament, beating all B, A, and AA schools. This driven team was ready to take on more when they beat the defending Class A State Champs, Hendrick Hudson, in their own tournament. The team's only loss of the season was to Class AA State Champs, Massapequa.
At the New York State Championship playoffs, Haldane faced a variety of teams in pool play and proved themselves unbeatable in the first two matches, guaranteeing their placement in the finals. The day's final match arrived, and the Devils faced an opponent who was all too familiar to them. The girls went on the court, fired up and ready to make a statement against the two-time defending Class D State Champs, Randolph. The girls showed their nerves when they allowed Randolph to beat them in the first game in a best 2 of 3 matches. Randolph’s team and the crowd were confident they were going to defeat Haldane again, but when Haldane came back with determination and fire, they took the next three games from Randolph, earning themselves the State Championship they deserved.
This championship team was made up of individuals who played unselfishly as a team: Meghan Spratt, Michelle Cotennec, Danielle Etta (co-captain), Jennifer Lombardo, Katie McConville (co-captain), Holly Whiston, Megan Lyons, Rachel Flaherty, Cassie Barcavage, Rina Colamarino, Jessica Valenti, Irina Impellittiere, and Averyann Zuvic.
Many of the players won individual honors. Katie, Danielle, and Megan were named to the State All-Tournament Team in 2006. Katie and Danielle were named to the State All-Tournament Team in 2007. Katie, Megan, and Danielle were named to the Class D All-State Team in 2006 and 2007. Rachael and Jen were named to the Second All-State Team in 2007. Katie, Danielle, and Megan were named to the all-county teams in 2006-2007, including the "Super Seventy." In addition, Katie was named as player of the week by the LoHud Journal News in 2007 and was one of four finalists for the Gatorade Player of the Year in Section One.
Four girls continued to play in college and had successful college careers: Megan Lyons for Southern Connecticut State, Rachael Flaherty for St. Anselm, Danielle Etta for the University of Hartford, Katie McConville for Gettysburg College, and Jen Lombardo for Post University.
The 2008 Haldane Volleyball Team was known and feared statewide due to the dedication of all of the team members and the outstanding leadership of Coach Joel Sanford and Assistant Coach Ashley Murphy. It is a team that well deserves to be honored collectively by the Haldane Hall of Fame.
The Haldane Girls' Varsity Basketball team began their season after having lost four key players and with a new head coach, Kenny Haskins, who was assisted by Coach Merante, Coach Brigatti, Coach Murphy, and Coach Searight. Coach Haskins' reserved demeanor and laid-back style of coaching were unfamiliar to the girls. The transition to a new coach went unnoticed when the girls won their first 13 games, defeating top teams such as Yorktown, Brewster, and their rival Blind Brook. The 13 games streak did not last long and there appeared to be rough waters ahead for the Blue Devils.
The girls lost the next 4 out of 7 games to top teams such as Burke Catholic and Horace Greeley. Another blow was felt when their leading scorer Brittany Shields suffered a knee injury. Spectators and other Section 1 teams began to doubt the capabilities of the Lady Blue Devils.
But the naysayers were silenced when Shields returned and the Lady Blue Devils were crowned the Section 1 Champions over Blind Brook with a score of 41-40. In addition to Brittany Shields, seniors Scotti King and Emily Marsh stepped up with their scoring and defense.
Avery Zuvic, after taking on a major leadership role, provided excellent offense, defense, and rebounding. Liz Milner started every game and came into her own as the number two scorer behind Brittany, getting better with each passing game. Scotti and Liz led the team in three-pointers with 30 and Liz with 24.
Kristen DesMarais worked her way into the starting line-up with her hustle and defense, Holly Whiston provided a tough defender and rebounder. The rest of the team Irina Impellitiere, Victoria DesMarais, Jade Lyons, Alex Milner, Lily Rubino, Laura Campbell and Katlyn Mastrantone contributed mightily when called upon.
The Blue Devils, with contributions from everyone, trumped SS Seward and Long Island’s East Rockaway on their way to becoming regional champions. It seemed as if nothing would hold back the Lady Blues and nothing did. The climax of the season occurred with the girls' trip to the New York State Final Four in Troy. The spirit, passion, and closeness of the team propelled them to back-to-back victories against Cooperstown and Madrid-Waddington. The 2007-2008 Haldane Girls' Basketball team added another state championship to the program, one that will surely be remembered for years to come. For the seniors Brittany, Scotti, Emily, Alex, and Lily it was heaven to go out as State Champs in their last game as they all worked hard to earn it.
Following high school, both Brittany Shields and Liz Milner went on to play basketball in college. Liz attending Fordham University, and Brittany attending Pace University.
Sometimes teams surprise the prognosticators. This was certainly the case with the Haldane Girls' Basketball Team of 2008. Few believed they had the capacity to win the Class D New York State Championship, but Jade Lyons, Emily Marsh, Lily Rubino, Scotti King, Holly Winston, Liz Milner, Alex Milner, Avery Zuvic, Brittany Shields, Irina Impellittiere, and Victoria DesMarais proved that with determination and dedication anything is possible.
Lauren was one of Haldane’s most outstanding athletes. As a four-year varsity letter winner, she helped lead the Haldane Varsity Volleyball team to four consecutive Class D Section Championships with a combined record of 65 wins, 27 losses, and two ties. Due to her superb play and excellent leadership as team captain, the team went on to three state playoffs, including a state championship in Lauren’s junior year.
Throughout her Haldane volleyball career, Lauren earned First-State All-State honors in her sophomore, junior, and senior years and All-Conference and All-Region honors throughout her four years in high school. In addition, Lauren claimed First-Team All-Star recognition from the New York Journal News and was named to the New York State All-Tournament Team in her final three campaigns. As a senior, Lauren was tabbed Conference Player of the Year and Lions Club Player of the Year, and she was the New York Wendy’s High School Heisman winner.
Lauren’s statistics are impressive. In her senior year alone, she posted 247 kills, 244 assists, 50 service aces, and ten blocks in 60 sets of work. As a junior, she amassed 291 kills and 286 assists while leading Haldane to the Class D Championship, and as a sophomore, she had 263 kills and 177 assists. It should be noted that Lauren was not only an outstanding athlete, but she also excelled as a student, as a member of Haldane’s High Honor Roll, and as a New York State Scholar-Athlete.
Lauren’s volleyball career did not end in her senior year in high school. She went on to play volleyball at Tulane. As a true freshman, Lauren saw playing time and continued to play throughout her years at Tulane. In college as well as in high school was a strong presence on the volleyball court. She could play any position, and she consistently exhibited excellent leadership, resulting in her being named to the 2015-16 American Athletic Conference All-Academic team.
Both as an athlete and as a student, Lauren has set an outstanding example for future volleyball players at Haldane in the years to come.
John “Jiggum” Merante is a 1969 graduate of Haldane who played football, basketball, and baseball, and ran cross country. He went on to coach 79 sports seasons between 1976 and 2018.
Coach Merante began his coaching career with the football team at Haldane in 1976. He coached 41 football seasons as the modified coach and varsity assistant coach. He was also the head coach for the JV Boys' Basketball team for two years, the JV Girls' Softball team for five years, and the JV Girls' Basketball team for 31 years.
As the JV Girls' Basketball coach from 1987 to 2018, John finished his career with 331 wins. During his tenure, he helped lead the Lady Blue Devils to 21 sectional championships, 11 Regional Championships, and five State Championships.
Jiggum has been an integral part of the greater Haldane community, coaching Little League for over 30 years and serving as the president of the adult softball league for over 30 years. In addition to serving as a member of the Cold Spring Recreation Commission, he was president of the Lions Club for two years and is currently the vice president.
Coach Merante has had an extraordinary impact on thousands of young athletes, which is a testament to his dedication to Haldane athletics and the Philipstown community as a whole. His time, energy, effort, and commitment has without doubt had a positive impact on our athletic programs throughout his coaching career.
Each Homecoming Weekend, Haldane welcomes a new class into the Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Haldane Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments and contribution of Haldane athletes and coaches. To nominate a potential inductee, please review the forms below.