Hall of Fame Class of 2008
Joe Arnitz (1962)
During his four years at Lyons High School, Joe was a three-sport athlete. He was a member of the varsity football team for three of the four years he played, and spent most of his time at the quarterback position. He also played four years of basketball and four years of baseball.
Under the supervision of Jim Fabino, Joe was catcher for the Lyons American League Baseball Team. He also played baseball for the Newark Wiltsie League team for three years. In 1962, he was chosen to catch during a game in Auburn against the New York Yankee Rookie baseball team. During his junior year, he was invited to participate in a Los Angeles Dodgers tryout camp.
After high school, Joe attended Hobart College for four years and graduated with a B.S. degree in math and education. While at Hobart, he played one year of baseball and four years of football. Joe started at both offensive and defensive guard and linebacker for his sophomore and junior years. As a senior, he was moved to tackle, where he made 1st team all-conference (ICAL) on offense.
Upon graduation from Hobart in 1966, Joe accepted a position at Clyde Central School as a math teacher. He coached both the Jr. High and J.V. baseball teams for two years and was Varsity line coach during the same period of time. In 1968, Joe accepted a Jr. High teaching job in Pittsford and spent the next 23 years as an assistant football coach at both Pittsford High School and Pittsford Mendon High School.
Joe has been married 41 years to Mary Rooke and resides in Fairport, New York. Joe and Mary have three children and five beautiful grandchildren.
Albert DiSanto (1981)
Albert DiSanto was a three-sport athlete. He played football, basketball, and baseball. He played point guard for coach Rod Verkey for three years. When he was a junior, he was co-captain of the all-league team and part of the section V Class A All-Tourney team. Albert was 1st team All-Star as well as 1st team All-Greater Rochester during his senior year. He was part of the Times Union Fab 15, All-State, and named MVP of the Section V Class B team. Albert’s team played in the sectional finals all three years and won in 1980 and 1981. He was a part of the first Lyons basketball team to win the New York State Public High School Championship.
Albert also played football for two years under Coach Dave Alena, who held a 14-3 record, 14-0 in the league. He was quarterback his junior and senior year, winning a league title both years. During his junior year, Albert was 1st team all-league and had a 7-1 record. His senior year, he was named co-captain and 2nd team all-league after a 7-0 record his senior year.
In baseball, Albert was a three-year player for Coach Dana Ford. He was 1st team all-league his junior and senior years. Albert threw three one hitters his senior year in 1981 and ended the season with a 7-1 record.
The squad lost in the semi-finals of sectionals. Albert was named Lyons High School Athlete of the Year his senior year.
After high school, Albert went to Nazareth College and played college basketball for two years. His sophomore year, the team went 23-6 and advanced to the semi-finals of ICAC. Albert graduated with a degree in business administration and a minor in psychology. He was an assistant coach for his brother Tim’s basketball team at Victor High School. The team was sectional finalists twice. The team also won the Finger Lakes league for the 2002-2003 season.
Albert currently works as a supervisor at the Monroe County Children’s Center. He lives in Fairport with his wife Bethany and two kids, Mitchell and Kendall.
Jim Fabino (1943)
Jim Fabino graduated from Lyons Central School in 1943. He played J.V. basketball and football, but could not play varsity sports because they were cancelled during World War II. After high school, Jim enlisted in the army and served for three years. Upon his return home, Jim began a long career of both coaching and supporting sports in the Lyons community.
In the early 1950s, he coached American Legion baseball, winning the district championship in 1957. During that time, he also coached his church basketball team.
Because of his extensive knowledge of the building, Jim was asked to participate in the construction of the new Lyons High School in 1954. He worked for the school district for thirty-one years, retiring in 1980. During that time, his sports-related projects provided Lyons with some of the finest athletic facilities in the region. After completing construction of the football field, he worked with volunteers to raise money to install lights.
He followed that with a fund-raising effort for the new scoreboard. Jim also built the school’s first field house, its first press box, its first concession stand, and the baseball field. All of these projects were completed with little or no financial impact to the tax payers of the school district because he was so successful at recruiting volunteers and soliciting donations. Because of his hard work and dedication to the school, he was honored with the 1980 school yearbook dedication.
Jim served on the Lyons Village Board for thirteen years. He is currently the Lyons Town Supervisor, a position he has had for twenty-three years. He can be seen nearly everyday carrying out the duties of his position and even goes above and beyond the title by working at the town-owned cemeteries. Together with Pete Stripe, he led a community effort to construct the Lyons “Wall of Honor”, which will recognize local veterans that served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.
Jim has been a member of the American Legion for sixty-two years. He is also a long-standing member of the VFW. He received the DeWitt Clinton Masonic Award for Community Service in 1994. In 1995, Jim was named the Lyons Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year for outstanding contributions to the community. In 2000, he was the recipient of the Proclamations of the Appreciation from the Wayne County Board Supervisors.
Jim has been married to his wife Josephine for fifty-nine years. They have two grown children, Jim Jr., and Jeanine, and three grandchildren: Brian, Matt, and Justin.
Genevieve Smart (Teacher)
After graduating in 1943 from Cortland State Teachers College, Genevieve went to teach 1st-12th grade at Naples Central School. While there, she carried on a very full and rewarding program. She was chosen Junior Class Advisor and next year chaperoned their senior trip to New York City. In 1946, she had the yearbook dedicated to her. In the autumn of 1946 she came to Lyons where she taught 1st through 12th grade until June of 1950. Besides her classes, she worked with the cheerleaders, Tumbling Club, intramurals, and play days with the schools. Organized teams started in 1971 under the guidance of Mary Lou Wheat.
In late spring of 1960, Genevieve came back to teach grades one through six. She finished her graduate work mostly at Hobart and Ithaca colleges. Genevieve enjoyed sixteen years working with Lee Boice. Along with Lee, she enjoyed working with student teachers from Brockport and Cortland. Two of them were very outstanding, Jean Lyon, who went on to teach at Sodus, and Ron Vitticore, who went on to teach at Clyde and became football coach and had several other positions. Both Gen and Lee carried on a very fun and rewarding time with the boys and girls. Besides teaching, she helped with intramurals, All-State games, cheerleading, tumbling, physical education programs for parents, and field days. After retirement in 1976, she came back for two years to help with the play days, managing the jump pit.
Genevieve is proud of all the girls who decided to go into physical education. Three of them have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame. They have accomplished so much. Those twenty-three years have always meant a great deal to her, to know that she had a great deal of influence in the shaping of their lives.
Genevieve has been an active member of the Lyons United Methodist Church for nearly sixty years. She still sings in the choir. Genevieve met her husband in Tom in 1945 and they were married in the summer of 1948. Genevieve was married to Tom for almost fifty-eight years when he passed away in 2006. They were very proud of their two sons, David and his wife Debby, and Timothy and his daughter Grace.
Eddie Mitchell (1978)
Edward Mitchell attended Lyons High School from 1974 to 1978. While there, he participated and excelled in football, wrestling and track. He was one of the top rushing fullbacks in school history, breaking touchdown and rushing records. He won three straight Section V wrestling titles and also set a school record shot put distance.
After high school, Edward embarked on a 20-year career in the United States Army. While in the military, he became a three-time wrestling champion at Ft. Rucker Ala., and while stationed in Germany, he played semi-pro football for the USAF Ramstein Rams. He was named Offensive Player of the Year in 1989, and won two all-star selections and championships. He was a member of the All-Army wrestling team from 1987 until 1998. He received many accolades, including being a participant in the 1992 Olympic trials. He placed 6th in 1993 in the U.S. Greco-Roman Nationals, and in 1996 was the East Regional Olympic Qualifier Champion in Greco-Roman.
Not only was Edward an athlete in the World Class Athlete Program, he was also a coach and mentor to peers and young adults. In coaching, Edward propelled fellow soldiers on their journeys, including a teammate attending the 2008 Olympics. He held many clinics for youth groups and various high schools, introducing them to wrestling, discipline skills and sportsmanship needed to be successful in both the sport and life.
Mitchell’s career has not just been in athletics. He served his country well in Dessert Storm from 1989 to 1991. He went to Somalia from 1992 to 1993 in an effort to bring humanitarian relief, and in 1993 helped bring relief to Hurricane Andrew victims at Homestead Air Force Base in Florida.
He is now serving in Kuwait as a civilian contractor. Edward ended his military career well decorated. After 20 years of service, he retired to Georgia with his wife, Karen Mitchell of 29 years. He has four wonderful children and five precious grandchildren who are very proud to call him a father and Papa.
Anthony 'Gus' Williams (1933)
Gus Williams was an outstanding athlete at Lyons. He played varsity soccer, basketball, football, and baseball, and was voted captain or co-captain of many of the varsity teams for which he played.
In 1929, Gus played on the last men’s soccer team at Lyons High School. The team ended their season by winning the league championship. On September 26, 1930, Lyons returned to playing football after approximately a twelve-year absence. In that game against Weedsport, Gus caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Robert Chapel. This was the first and only touchdown of the game. The team won 7-0 and went on to win every game that season, becoming undefeated league champions.
In a recent conversation with Gus, he recalled that his family owned a grocery store and that he attributed his good physical condition in high school to the fact that he would help out wherever he was needed. Those were the depression years," he stated, "and I was the delivery boy, by bicycle, pushcart, or on foot. I was on the go all over town."
When Gus ended his high school career, he had earned twelve varsity letters. Gus is ninety-five years old and still enjoys fairly good health. He is a resident of the Wayne County Nursing Home and has looked forward to attending the Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet.
1961-62 Boys Basketball Team
The story of the “62 Team” really began six years earlier in the old elementary school on William Street. Under Coach Blackwell’s early leadership, starting with Saturday morning workouts at elementary school and ultimately at high school, a championship team was formed over the ensuing six years.
Coach Blackwell was a stern task master who believed in setting high standards – on and off the court. We benefited from his passion and respect for the game. He believed in physical conditioning, using set plays, playing tough defense and running the fast break whenever the situation presented itself - the team once scored 40 points in an 8 minute quarter against Canandaigua.
Many of the team’s basic skills and ability to work as a team were developed in pickup games throughout the years on the asphalt courts behind the elementary school or Boeheim’s Funeral Home.
All the physical conditioning and structured practices definitely paid big dividends as the “62 Team” only lost three games in their junior and senior years combined while playing in a higher classification. The lone loss in 1962 occurred against East Rochester in the Section V Class AA finals. Both were 20-0 and the game went into double overtime with East Rochester winning 58-57. There was a record War Memorial crowd at that time of nearly 10,000 who witnessed a truly memorable game.
Underclassmen played more than a supporting role in the team’s success and subsequently went on to achieve successful years as upperclassmen. The players on the "62 Team" have gone on to lead successful lives due in part to the discipline and structure developed during their years at Lyons High School.
In conclusion, the "62 Team" is proud to be inducted into the Lyons High School Athletic Hall of Fame and we would like to thank the Committee for this honor.