Frank Speziale Photo
BINGHAMTON – Chenango County is home to many standouts in the sports world and a few of the greats were inducted into the Section IV Hall of Fame this past weekend.
The Induction ceremony was held on Saturday, March 4, between the two Section IV basketball championship games that were being played that day at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
The following is what the Section IV Athletic Council provided for information on all of the 23 individuals who
were inducted – these ath- letes, coaches, official's, and sportswriters come from various places around the section.
Athletes – Courtney Adam (Davenport), Gavin Backus (Gilbertsville/Mt. Upton), Sara Chrystie – Locke) (Oxford), Stefanie Collins (Odessa-Montour), Ashley Constantine (Begeal) (Binghamton), Jason Houghtaling (Windsor), Molly Huddle (Elmira Notre Dame), Lindsay Kimmel (Harpursville), Aaron Klumpp (Windsor), Lindsay Knapp (Elmira Notre Dame), Patrick Manuel (Elmira Notre Dame), Bob Mastro (Union-Endicott), Jay McIntyre (Whitney Point), Erik Scrivener (Edmeston), Megan Shay (Gassman) (Candor), Mary Velan (Stamford), Jim Wright (Hancock).
Coaches – John Pluta (Norwich/Harpursville), Tom Sherwood (Stamford).
Coach/Contributor – Lee Schaeffer (Unatego/Section IV).
Contributors – Bert Beames (Official), Marilyn Ballard (Delaware League/Section IV), Tom Coddington (Sports Editor).
Courtney was an exceptional athlete at Charlotte Valley excelling in soccer, basketball, and softball.
Although small in stature, she was big in performance. In her four years of playing soccer she earned both league and state all-star selections. On the field she led the team with 77 career varsity goals and 32 assists and helped secure the Class D Section IV title in 2004. Her tenacious style of play on the basketball court both offensively and defensively helped earn her 1,463 career points, despite being the focus of many defenses, and 396 career steals.
Gavin Backus is a 2001 graduate of Gilbertsville-Mt. Upton (Tri-Valley League). Backus was a three sport star and earned 11 varsity letters. He is best known for his deadly 3-point accuracy. He is still the Chenango County record holder for career three-pointers with 189.
Gavin was a high scoring soccer forward and was a 3- time league all-star. He scored the lone goal in a 1-0 defeat of rival Laurens in the 2000 league title game to give the Raiders their 1st TVL soccer title in school history. He scored 33 goals his senior year and led G- MU to the Sectional Semifinals.
Backus is best remem- bered for his abilities on the basketball court. He is the all-time leading scorer in G- MU history with 1,435 points and led his team to the 2001 TVL title with a win over Milford. He was twice named to the NYS Class-D All-State 5th team. Backus nailed 70 three- pointers in his senior season and averaged 24 ppg and 10 RPG.
Gavin was also a tremen- dous Baseball player. The Raiders won their first league title in school history in 1999 and advanced to the Section IV Class-D Baseball finals in 1999 and 2000. Backus had a .350 career batting average and was named a league all-star 3 times.
An amazing career for one of the best athletes that has ever walked the halls at G-MU.
Sara Chrystie (Locke)
Sara Chrystie was a gifted athlete at Oxford Academy whose team and individual achievements compare to the best in Section IV history.
Her 12 varsity letters include competing in track as an 8th grader and winning the Section IV Class C/D long jump championship. That same year she started her five-year varsity field hockey career with 14 goals, contributing to Oxfords Section IV championship in 2001. This was just the beginning of outstanding multi-sport career.
In Field Hockey Sara would go on to score 152 goals, 2nd in Section IV history at the time of her gradu- ation. Twice she scored 7 goals in a game, tying a New York State record. Despite her goal scoring abilities Sara was also considered a very unselfish player contributing 43 assists in her career, which put her in 5th, place overall at the end of her career.
Sara's true love was bas- ketball. In her five-year
career she scored 1840 points, had over 500 rebounds, 400 assists and steals, and 170 blocked shots. She was named all- state three times and was a three year MVP in the Midstate Athletic Conference. These accom- plishments helped Sara lead her teams to two overall MAC championships, a Class D state final four appearance in 2003 and a return to the Section IV championship as a senior in 2006.
Today, Sara is a teacher in Norwich and has two chil- dren with her husband, Tom Locke.
Stefanie played basketball, cross country, and track at 0-M and graduated in 2001 as the Section IV all-time leading scorer in girls' basketball with 2,204 points. She led 0-M to the 2001 NYSPHSAA Class D state championship and was named the NYS Class D player of the year, scoring 811 points her senior season which is still the Section IV single-season record. Stefanie was a 4-time Interscholastic Athletic Conference division MVPand a 3-time all-state team selection and remains the all-time leading scorer in 0- M school history.
She went on to play basketball at St. Bonaventure, where she was the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year in 2002 and scored over 1,000 points. Stefanie still plays professionally today in Great Britain and was the starting point guard for Team GB in the 2012 London Olympic Games. She currently holds the record for most international games played in Great Britain history.
three STAC championships and four Class A sectional titles. She won three Class A sectional singles titles and qualified for five state sin- gles tournaments. Upon graduation, she was granted a full four year Division One tennis scholarship to West Virginia University.
While at WVU she let- tered all four years, won a singles and doubles title at the Martha Thorn Invitational Tournament and participated in four Big East Championships. She was selected to the All Big East Academic team each of her four years.
Ashley graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelors and master's degree in Elementary and Special Education. She is currently a special education teacher at Chenango Forks Elementary School.
Ashley resides in Vestal with her husband Brady and daughter BriceAnne.
Lawrence 'Larry' Hinkle
Larry Hinkle, 1972 Cortland High School graduate, excelled in several sports during his high school career but it was wrestling where is he became a standout athlete. Hinkle wrestled under the tutelage of National Wrestling Hall of Fame coach, Gary Dillingham. In 1972 Larry had a breakout season winning the Southern Tier Athletic Conference crown, the Section IV Class A championship and garnering the Most Outstanding Wrestlers Award at the tournament. He later went on and secured the Section IV Championship and finished up his high school career with a 2nd place finish at the New York State Championships in Syracuse.
Ensuing the state championships, Larry was crowned as the champion at the Corning Open (high school division) and also earned the Most Outstanding Wrestlers Award. Following his graduation from Cortland, Larry joined the Air Force and won
the A AU Junior World District (Boston) Freestyle Championship at the 198 pounds weight class.
Following the Air Force, Larry enrolled at Tompkins Community College where he served as the captain and received the Team's Most Valuable Wrestler's Award. He later became the coach of the college's team and received the 1993 Region Ill Wrestling Coach of the Year Award. Furthermore, at Tompkins, Hinkle coached many All Region Ill wrestlers and produced six Region Ill Champions three of whom eventually became NJCAA All American. In addition, he coached high school wrestling at Dryden where he would later become the Assistant Principal and Middle School Principal. The highlight of his high school coaching experience was being hon- ored with the Interscholastic Athletic Conference Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1996.
Larry has also been hon-
ored by being inducted into the TC3 Panther Hall of Fame (1999}, the Cortland High School Wrestling Hall of Fame (2008) and collected the TC3 Distinguished Alumni Association Award in 2008.
He has authored two books on youth coaching- "Pursuing Excellence in Youth Coaching, A Pathway to Success" and "Pursuing Excellence in Youth Coaching: An Orientation and Training." Larry's athletic and professional career is an inspirational and motivational tribute to the youth of Section IV.
Jason Houghtaling, a Windsor High School alumnus, Class of 1999, was a hardworking and gifted 3 sport athlete. He earned 9 varsity letters, 3 each in football, basketball and baseball.