Tale of Two Towns
by Bill Pucko
photo by Bob Gosney
Published Mar 14, 2007
||Tale of Two Towns
Two communities contribute to our Section Five Spotlight this week.
Because an important part of Livonia is traveling to Glens Falls for the
boys final four. With the Fairport basketball team.
Kyle Downey is a junior at Faiport High
School. He's the Raiders most talented basketball player. He has pedigree.
years ago, Kyle's father Tom Downey, an 18 year coaching legend in Livonia,
died of cancer. An entire community, not just a family, mourned the loss. Kyle
was in the seventh grade.
"I kind of look back on it as just a struggle in my life that made me a better
person," says Kyle. "I moved on now and I realize that he's not here any more.
It's sad but I can't really control it."
It was comforting to see people cared at the time. Says Downey, "There are
still people to this day who say your dad would be really proud of you."
Two years ago to be closer to Rochester, the Downey family left Livonia for
Fairport. Kyle and coach Scott Fitch, himself a son of a legendary coach Jeff,
who still consults at practice, had an immediate rapport.
Says Fitch, "I think it help me relate to Kyle a little more. I've played for
my dad. I've been compared with my dad both as a player and a coach. So I kind
of know what he's going through in some aspects. Hopefully I can relate and
help him through it."
The player-coach partnership has worked where it matters most this week at
least. It's mid-March and Fitch, Downey and Fairport for the first time ever,
are still playing basketball.