On Saturday, September 11, the Averill Park Central School District inducted 12 new members into the Athletic Hall of Fame.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the induction for the Class of 2020 was postponed. The seven members in the Class of 2020 were inducted with five from the Class of 2021 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy in a ceremony led by Athletic Director Mark Bubniak.
The AP Athletic Hall of Fame Committee and the AP Athletic Booster Club inducted six athletes and an athlete/coach in the Class of 2020, including Doug Childrose (’83), Kevin L. Nichols (’81), Rebecca Ortolano Clark (’00), Deb Prendergast-Sanderson (’81), Deborah Springer (’91), Morgan Wheeler (’09) and Mike Malenfant (’86).
The Class of 2021 included Jenna Brooks (’06), Michael Collopy (’04), Katie Duma (’10), Thomas Mangan (’89) and Susan Spierre Clark (’01).
Doug is a 1983 graduate of Averill Park High School. He then attended Hudson Valley Community College and graduated in 1986 with a business degree. Doug resides in East Greenbush with his wife Christine and his children, Haley and Gabrielle. He is the owner of Childrose
Construction, LLC. At Averill Park Doug was a three year starter in football and also played basketball for two years. In football, he was a Times Union honorable mention all-area and 1st team Capital Conference running back and returner in 1981. In 1982 he was a team captain and team MVP with 1,274 rushing yards, 17 rushing touchdowns and 7 PAT’s. Doug was named a 1st team Capital Conference running back as well as Times Union and Troy Record 1st team all-area. In addition he was the Section 2 scoring champion and was an all-state running back. He also holds the career rushing record at Averill Park. After graduation Doug played semi-pro football for the Tri-City Giants and was an Empire Conference all-star running back in the 1983 and 1984 seasons.
Mike is a 1986 graduate of Averill Park High School. He then went on to attend St. Lawrence University and earned an undergraduate degree in psychology/education. After graduating from St. Lawrence, Mike worked at Vanderheyden Hall as the Coordinator of Adventure Based Counseling from 1991 to 1996. He earned his master’s degree in education from Sage Colleges in 2002 and then went on to complete his administration certificate at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in 2006. Mike resides in Averill Park with his wife Janet, and their children Sarah, Jessica, Sean and Mikayla. He is currently employed in the Averill Park Central School District as a mathematics teacher and the varsity wrestling head coach. At Averill Park Mike wrestled for three years, played football for two years and played baseball for one year. As a wrestler, he was the team captain in his junior and senior seasons, and the team MVP in his senior season. He placed 3rd at the 1984 sectional tournament, 2nd in 1985 and 1st in 1986. Capping off his senior season, Mike was the Section 2 Champion at 155 lbs. and placed 2nd at the NYSPHSAA Tournament. This made him the first wrestler from Averill Park to place in a state tournament. Mike qualified for the Empire State Games in 1986 and placed 4th in both the freestyle and Greco-Roman events. He then went on to wrestle for St. Lawrence University for four seasons. In his final season of football Mike was the team captain, an all-area linebacker and the team’s leading scorer. Mike’s other accolades include being a member of National Honor Society, selection for and attendance at Boys State, receiving the Warrior Award and serving as the Co-President of Varsity Club his senior year. At St. Lawrence University Mike was a member of the 1988 NCAA Division III National Championship wrestling team. Mike returned to his high school alma mater in 1991 as the varsity wrestling coach and has amassed over 250 career wins. He has been voted Coach of the Year on more than one occasion by the Section 2 wrestling coaches. Under his leadership Averill Park has won nine league championships. Mike has also coached 16 Section 2 champions/state qualifiers.
KEVIN L. NICHOLS
Kevin is a 1981 graduate of Averill Park High School. He continued his education at Dean College where he majored in business administration and graduated in 1983. He currently resides in Averill Park with his wife Stephanie and two children, Dominic and Victoria. Kevin is employed as a senior vice president with The Gorman Group. While attending Averill Park Kevin was a three- sport athlete, competing in football, basketball and baseball. During his four years of football Kevin achieved 1st team all-league honors in 1979 and 1980. For his career he rushed for 2,105 yards and 21 touchdowns. In his four years of baseball Kevin was named team MVP as a freshman in 1978. In 1980 he was named all-area 1st team. In 1981 he was 3rd team all-area and team MVP. His career stats include 17 pitching wins, 182 strikeouts, a .354 batting average and 92 hits. At Dean College Kevin played football and was a two-time winner of the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award for Offensive Performance against Central Connecticut State University and Southern Connecticut State University. He also played baseball where he posted a 3-1 career record as a relief pitcher.
REBECCA ORTOLANO CLARK
Rebecca is a 2000 graduate of Averill Park High School. Upon graduation she attended Colgate University where she received a degree in molecular biology and graduated in 2004. Currently Rebecca is employed by the United States Army as an officer/physician. She and her husband Adam have a son Michael and they reside in San Antonio, Texas. While at Averill Park Rebecca competed in lacrosse (5 years), indoor track & field (4 years) and soccer (2 years). In lacrosse she was the team captain in her junior and senior seasons. Rebecca was named the team MVP in her senior year and she was a two-time Capital Region 1st team all-star. Other senior year accolades include being named as the Al DeShaw Award winner, member of the National Honor Society and being named an Academic All-American. At Colgate Rebecca played four years of lacrosse. For all four years she was named to the Upper Atlantic 1st Team for US Lacrosse National Tournament. In 2001 she was named Colgate’s Most Improved Player. In 2003 Rebecca was named to the Patriot League 1st team and named Colgate’s Most Outstanding Midfielder. In 2004 she was the team captain, named to the Patriot League 2nd team and was the Patriot League Tournament MVP as Colgate captured the 2004 Patriot League championship and competed in the NCAA Tournament. For her career Rebecca scored 49 goals, had 13 assists and 106 groundballs. In 2006 Rebecca became a commissioned officer in the United States Army. She graduated from medical school in 2010 and is a Board Certified General Pediatrician and Board Certified Pediatric Hematologist and Oncologist.
Deb is a 1981 graduate of Averill Park High School. She then attended Hudson Valley Community College until 1983 and then SUNY
Cortland where she majored in physical education and graduated in 1985. Deb currently resides in Ravena with her husband Brian and their
two daughters, Meaghan and Lauren. She is currently employed at Amtrak as a manager in corporate sales. At Averill Park Deb was a four-sport athlete competing in soccer (4 years), basketball (3 years), softball (3 years) and volleyball (1 year). In soccer Deb was co-captain and team MVP in 1979 and 1980. She played on two Section 2 finalist teams and one Section 2 championship team. In basketball Deb was the team MVP in 1979 and 1981 and at that time she was the single-season scoring and rebounding leader. She was also the team captain in 1980 and 1981. To wrap up her athletic career at Averill Park, Deb was voted Most Athletic Female in the class of 1981. After graduation Deb was a member of the 1981 Empire State Games Adirondack Region soccer team. Deb then went on to play basketball at Hudson Valley Community College for two years and was the team Co-MVP in 1983. She then went on to play one year of basketball at SUNY Cortland.
Deborah is a 1991 graduate of Averill Park High School. After high school she attended Edinboro University before transferring to The College of Saint Rose while majoring in biology. Deborah earned a PhD in biomedical sciences, immunology, and infectious diseases from the University at Albany. She currently resides in Durham, North Carolina and is employed by Q2 Solutions as a lead scientist. At Averill Park Deborah competed in outdoor track & field for four years and indoor track & field and cross country for three years. She was a member and co-captain of four Patroon Conference championship cross country teams, two Section 2 championship teams and the 1990 NYSPHSAA Class B championship team (1st state championship in school history). She is a two-time Section 2 cross country champion, a three-time NYSPHSAA championship meet competitor and a two-time New York State Federation championship meet competitor. In outdoor track & field Deborah won the 800m, 1500m, 3000m and anchored the winning 4 x 800m relay team at the 1991 sectional meet. In indoor track & field she still holds school records in the 1000m, 1500m and the distance medley relay. After high school Deborah went on to compete at Edinboro University and The College of Saint Rose in cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field. In 1992 she was a NCAA Division II cross country All-American and a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship team. In 1996 Deborah was a NCAA Division II 10,000m All-American while at Saint Rose. She was inducted into the The College of Saint Rose Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013. In addition, Deborah is a two-time winner of the Schenectady Stockadeathon 15K run.
Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Averill Park High School. Upon graduation she attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated in 2013 with a degree in nursing. Morgan recently completed her master’s degree. She is currently employed by Maine Medical Center as a Neonatal
Nurse Practitioner in the NICU. She and her husband Christopher have a son Eamon and reside in South Berwick, Maine. While at Averill Park Morgan competed in outdoor track & field for six years, indoor track & field for four years and soccer for three years. In outdoor track & field Morgan qualified for the NYSPHSAA Championships in 2006-2009 and still holds school records in the high jump, pentathlon and javelin. At the 2008 NYSPHSAA Championships she placed 3rd in the pentathlon and in 2009 she placed 2nd. She was named a Suburban Council All-Star and was named 1st Team All-Area by the Times Union multiple times. Morgan still holds the NYSPHSAA record in the javelin with a throw of 133’ 2”. In 2008 she placed 5th in the javelin at the prestigious Penn Relays and in 2009 she placed 6th. In indoor track & field Morgan qualified for the NYSPHSAA Championships in 2006-2008 and she still holds school records in the 50 meter hurdles, long jump, high jump and pentathlon. She won multiple Suburban Council and Section 2 championships in indoor track & field, as well as outdoor track & field. As a soccer goalie she was a member of the 2008 Section 2 Class A finalist team. Morgan went on to compete at the University of Pennsylvania in outdoor track & field and indoor track & field for four years. She was a three-time NCAA Regional Qualifier in the javelin and has the 4th all-time best throw at the University of Pennsylvania at 151’ 9”. She is also on their all-time list for the indoor pentathlon (7th), outdoor high jump (8th) and outdoor heptathlon (10th).
Jenna is a 2006 graduate of Averill Park High School. She then attended Hudson Valley Community College and The College of Saint Rose where she graduated in 2010 with a degree in childhood education. Jenna currently resides in Wynantskill with her husband George and their children Colton, Camden and Addalynn. She is currently employed as a special education teacher for the Enlarged City School District of Troy. At Averill Park Jenna competed in basketball and soccer for three years and softball for one year. She was a member of the Section 2 Class A basketball championship team in 2006. Individual honors in basketball in 2006 include team captain, team MVP, NewsChannel 13 All-Star, Suburban Council 1st team all-star, Times Union and Troy Record 1st team all-area and an all-state selection. In addition Jenna was part of the first two wins over Shenendehowa in program history in 2006. While attending Hudson Valley Community College Jenna recorded a triple-double with 39 points, 10 rebounds and 10 steals. The 39 points were the 2nd highest point total in program history. She finished the 2006-2007 season with 54 three-pointers. Capping off that season, Jenna led HVCC to the NJCAA Region III Division III Tournament and was selected to the All-Region 2nd team. At The College of Saint Rose Jenna played basketball for three years under Head Coach Karen Haag. Jenna returned to Averill Park and coached girls basketball in 2011 and 2012, as well as girls lacrosse in 2012 and 2013.
Michael is a 2004 graduate of Averill Park High School. He then attended Hudson Valley Community College and Coastal Carolina University and earned a degree in finance in 2008. Michael currently resides in Canton, Georgia with his wife Kathryn Hines and their son William Collopy. He is currently employed by Veracity Capital as a financial advisor. At Averill Park Michael competed in basketball for four years. He is the 4th all-time leading scorer in program history with 1,135 career points. Michael is a four-time team MVP and a four-time Suburban Council all-star. He was named to the Times Union all-area team in 2003 and 2004. Michael also won the Warrior Award in 2004. He was part of two Suburban Council Division championship teams and in 2003 his team advanced to the Section 2 Class AA Final Four for the first time in history. Michael was also a member of the Adirondack Region gold medal winning team, which went undefeated for the first time in Empire State Games history. Michael continued playing basketball for two years under Head Coach Andre Cook at Hudson Valley Community College.
Katie is a 2010 graduate of Averill Park High School. She then attended Holy Family University for three years before transferring to the University at Albany where she received a degree in marketing in 2014. Katie and her husband Scott reside in Halfmoon. She is currently employed by Precision Valve & Automation, Inc. as the northeast regional sales manager. While at Averill Park Katie was a member of the basketball team for four years (three-time team captain) and also came up for sectionals during her 8th grade season. She was named team MVP and a Suburban Council 1st team all-star all four years. Katie was named to the New York State Sportswriters Association Class A all-state 1st team in 2008, 2009 and 2010, as well as Class A Player of the Year in 2010. She was a NewsChannel 13 all-star in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2010 Katie was named Player of the Year by the Times Union, Troy Record, Schenectady Gazette and Fox 23. Katie’s 1,537 career points rank first in program history. In 2008 her team was Suburban Council White Division champions and in 2010 her team won the Suburban Council. Katie was a member of Section 2 Class A championship teams in 2006, 2008 and 2010. In 2010 she was named the Section 2 Class A Tournament MVP. In 2010 her team made program history by winning the NYSPHSAA Class A Regional championship, NYSPHSAA Class A championship and the NYS Federation Class A championship. In addition, the 2010 team finished ranked #1 in Class A in New York. While at Division II Holy Family University Katie played basketball for three years under Head Coach Mark Miller. She was a part of regular season CACC championship teams in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and CACC Tournament championship teams in 2012 and 2013. Holy Family advanced to the NCAA Tournament all three years. Katie was also named a scholar-athlete all three years.
Thomas is a 1989 graduate of Averill Park High School. After graduation he attended the State University of New York at Morrisville. Thomas
and his wife Laura have two children, Nicole and Melody, and one granddaughter, McKenna. They reside in West Coxsackie. He is currently employed by Local 7 as a pipefitter. While at Averill Park Thomas wrestled for five years and played two years of football. He was the wrestling captain during his junior and senior seasons. Thomas is a five-time sectional place finisher in Class B placing 1st twice, 2nd once and 3rd twice. He was the Section 2 runner-up in 1988 and the Section 2 champion in 1989. Thomas went on to place 2nd at the NYSPHSAA Championships in 1989. After high school Thomas went on to compete in wrestling at the University of New York at Morrisville under Head Coach Jim Hall. Continuing to give back to the sport he loved, Thomas was the junior varsity wrestling head coach for nine years at Averill Park and a volunteer coach with the Averill Park Wrestling Club for more than ten years. After leaving Averill Park Thomas was a volunteer coach at Ravena High School and also gave private lessons to elite high school wrestlers. He competed in the Empire State Games three times in freestyle & Greco-Roman and is a bronze medal winner. Thomas was also a four-time qualifier for Nationals held in Iowa.
SUSAN SPIERRE CLARK
Susan is a 2001 graduate of Averill Park High School. Upon graduation Susan attended the University at Albany where she earned a B.S. in atmospheric science in 2006. She then went on to the University of New Hampshire and earned a M.S. in earth system science in 2008. Susan then went on to Arizona State University and completed a PhD in sustainability science in 2013. She currently resides in Fairport with her husband William and daughter Ellie Jillian. Susan is currently employed by the University at Buffalo as an assistant professor of environment & sustainability and is also the Director of the Sustainability Leadership graduate program. As an athlete at Averill Park Susan competed for four years on the volleyball team. In her senior year she was named the team MVP, received the Warrior Award and was a Suburban Council 1st team all-star. Susan was part of the team that won the Colonial Council championship in 1999 and the Section 2 Class A title in 2000. She still ranks #2 all-time in program history in kills. Susan also competed in the Empire State Games in 2000. Susan accepted a Division I athletic scholarship to play volleyball for Head Coach Kelly Sheffield at the University at Albany. She was the first four-year starter for the University at Albany since they made the move to Division I and remains in the top ten in program history with 252 career blocks. Her 2004 team won 18 consecutive matches and were the America East Conference champions. Academically Susan was named an America East scholar-athlete in 2004 and 2005 and was the valedictorian in atmospheric science in 2006.