By ADAM SHINDER
Three area high school football legends will take their place among the Capital Region's all-time elite this summer.
Bishop Scully's Brian Niezgoda, Fonda-Fultonville's David DiCaprio and Perth's Al Marek were all named Thursday to the fifth class of the Capital Region Football Hall of Fame and will be inducted as part of a collection of 22 players, coaches, officials and contributors during an Aug. 9 ceremony at Michael's Banquet House in Latham.
For Niezgoda, the honor was not just a personal one, but one he felt represented the entire Bishop Scully team he came up with.
"It really is a great honor for the Scully team," said Niezgoda, who now lives in Massachusetts. "It's an honor for the guys I played with and me. It was a total team effort. ... It's an honor for me to represent the rest of those guys, because it really was a team."
Niezgoda was a standout rusher at Bishop Scully, where he starred from 1977 to 1980. He graduted as Section II's all-time leading scorer, having accounted for 366 points, and still sits in the top 10 on the section's scoring chart.
Niezgoda's senior season of 1980 was, at the time, the greatest statistical season for a running back in Section II history as he set what were then single-season records for rushing yards with a state-best 1,652 and scoring with 200 points. He also tied what was then the section's single-game scoring record of 42 points in a game against Mechanicville -- a record that stood for another 22 years.
The only regret, Niezgoda said, was that the season didn't end with a Tri-Valley League or Section II championship for the Mohawks.
"We had quite a team, even though we didn't win it all," he said. "It was one for the ages, and I was very proud to be a part of that."
Niezgoda said the quarterback of that team, current Montgomery County Supreme Court Judge Joseph Sise, is now quarterbacking the effort to try and get as many members of that Scully team as possible to attend the induction ceremony.
Marek starrred as a ballcarrier for Perth High School from 1969 to 1972, racking up 3,268 career rushing yards and scoring 262 career points. When Marek graduated, he was Section II's all-time career leader in both rushing and scoring and still sits in the top 25 of both categories more than 40 years later.
DiCaprio was a standout defensive back for Fonda-Fultonville in the 1980s before moving on to play at the Division I level for Lafayette College.
Tickets for the event will be $45 each and will include drinks, hors d'ouerves and admission to the induction ceremony. With any questions, contact Nick Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 260-1231.
Payment must be received by July 25. Checks should be payable to the Capital District NFF and sent to Capital District NFF, 15A Space Blvd., Albany, NY 12205, attn: Nick Fitzgerald.
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