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12/27/02 Kearney's Nietopski honored with Holleder Award

Abby Wambach, Marcus Fugate also among recipients at charity dinner

By Scott Pitoniak
Democrat and Chronicle

(December 27, 2002) — Longtime high school coach Ed Nietopski, soccer star Abby Wambach and tennis phenom Marcus Fugate headline the award winners to be honored by the Rochester Press-Radio Club at the 54th Day of Champions Dinner.

The dinner will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at the Riverside Convention Center.

Nietopski, the Bishop Kearney legend who is in his 40th year of coaching high school sports, will receive the prestigious Maj. Donald Holleder Award.

Nietopski, who also coached at Cardinal Mooney, has a 517-310 career won-lost record and is just 11 victories away from becoming the winningest basketball coach in Section V basketball history.

 

The Holleder award honors the memory of the former Aquinas three-sport star who was killed in the Vietnam War while trying to save the lives of several soldiers in his command.

MAX SCHULTE FILE PHOTO 2001

Bishop Kearney’s Ed Nietopski, in his 40th year coaching high school basketball, will receive the Holleder award from the Rochester Press-Radio Club. Nietopski is just 11 victories away from becoming the winningest basketball coach in Section V history.

Wambach, a former Mercy High All-American, will receive the Democrat and Chronicle’s Professional Athlete of the Year Award.

A forward with the Washington Freedom, Wambach was named the Women’s United Soccer Association Rookie of the Year this fall and was the MVP at WUSA’s All-Star game.

Fugate, a freshman at Fairport High School, will receive the Democrat and Chronicle’s Amateur Athlete of the Year Award. He recently appeared in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” section and is the nation’s top-ranked tennis player in the 14-and-under division.

 

Tickets for the children’s charity dinner, which will feature New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, are $125 per person and $1,200 for a table of 10. They can be purchased by calling (585) 246-4700.

Marcus Fugate

Fairport Tennis

Others to be honored at the dinner include:

Naomi Silver -- Morrie Silver Award for community service.

Lyndsay Wall -- Elliott Cushing Award for excelling on a national and international level.

”Soccer Sam” Fantauzzo -- Charlie Wagner Award for promoting sports on a local level.

Joanna Patalano -- Frontier High School Female Athlete of the Year.

Carl Garritano -- Frontier High School Male Athlete of the Year.

Christa Downey -- Frontier College Female Athlete of the Year.

Melissa White -- Frontier College Female Athlete of the Year.

Mike Bournazakis -- Frontier College Male Athlete of the Year.

Bob Matthews -- George Beahon Award for sportswriting excellence.

John DiTullio -- Gary Smith Award for broadcasting excellence.

Joe Torre -- Rochester Coca-Cola Sports Personality of the Year.

E-mail address: spitoniak@DemocratandChronicle.com