Granville sports round-up, Nov. 25, 2021

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Irion Inducted into Hall of Fame

By Keith Harrington

Granville football coach John Irion was inducted into the Capital Region Football Hall of Fame on Saturday evening. (Photo courtesy of Capital Region Football Hall of Fame)

Granville football coach John Irion had to shed his traditional hat and black Converse Cons for a suit and tie last Saturday night. And going barefoot as he typically does during practice was certainly out of the question.

Irion was one of 25 members of the Class of 2021 inducted into the Capital Region Football Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Albany at The Desmond Hotel.

“It was almost an overwhelming honor to be included with the people in the Hall of Fame. It is very humbling,” Irion said. “All the success I’ve had has certainly only been possible with the tremendous people I’ve been able to have with me coaching and all the people who have supported us.”

Granville athletic director Justin Nassivera pointed out that since arriving in Granville, Irion has not just been a great coach on the field but a positive influence on all Golden Horde students when he is on campus.

“He is always making sure to go out of his way to just say hi to a kid in the hallway when he is in the building, and he attends other sporting events in Granville when he can,” Nassivera stated. “John is someone that cares about the kids.”

Irion, a retired physical education teacher, has coached football for 40 years. He coached Queensbury High School’s football team to the State championship in 2013, four Section 2 championships and four state final appearances.

Irion was named the New York State High School Football Coaches Association Class A Coach of the Year in 1997. He also received the Capital District Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Coach of the Year awards in 1997,1998, 2013 and 2014.

Irion started his coaching career as a track and field coach at Hancock Central School before getting a physical education job at Central Square High School in Section 3.

At Central Square, he was an assistant coach in football and outdoor track and eventually became the head coach of each. He also was the head coach of the newly formed indoor track program. He coached his track teams to multiple sectional titles and crafted a 75-1 record.

In the summer of 1997, Irion was appointed as head football coach and physical education teacher for the Queensbury School District. In 20 years at Queensbury, he achieved a 136-61 record.

After retiring from teaching and coaching at Queensbury Irion settled in Hartford. He was then offered the opportunity to return to coaching in Granville by then athletic director Eileen Troy. His current record is 172-104-1.

“I’ve been lucky enough to become close with John the last couple years,” Nassivera said. “Pretty much every day during the football season, him and I meet before practices. Not just to talk football but athletics as a whole, education, and life lessons.”

Nassivera added: “John is someone that cares about the kids, always opening up the weight room during the off-season and summer months, not just for football players but all athletes.”

Irion has coached many athletes who have achieved successful athletic careers. Most notable is former Spartan Adam Terry, a Capital District Hall of Fame member himself and a seven-year professional player in the NFL, mainly with the Baltimore Ravens. Another player, Will Groff, was named the 2002 New York State Class A Player of the Year and eventually played professional baseball.

“Developing good programs is so multifaceted but it is all designed to develop great young men who can carry that success over to their later lives,” Irion said. “This honor helped remind me that I (we) am doing a pretty good job doing that.”

His emphasis on strength and conditioning has allowed many of his former athletes to excel at the college level in football, track and a variety of other sports.

“It’s got to be a great feeling for him to be inducted into the hall of fame,” Nassivera said. “All of these years of hard work and dedication to Queensbury and recently Granville has not gone unnoticed. He absolutely deserves this honor.”

Runners named league all-stars

By Keith Harrington

A pair or runners from Granville-Whitehall were recognized as first team members of the Adirondack League All-Stars team. Two Hartford runners were also selected as first team all-stars.

Quinn Johnson of Granville-Whitehall was named to the boys first team. Amber Gibbs received first team delegation on the girls’ all-star team.

Logan Reynolds of Hartford, who finished second at the Adirondack League meet, was named to the first team on the boys’ side. Brynn Tyler of the Tanagers was named a girls first team all-star.

Bryton Mandigo of Hartford was selected for the boys’ second team.

Brody Olden of Warrensburg and Isaac Herrick of Lake George were named Co-Most Valuable Runners for the boys. Olden placed first in the league championship meet and became the first runner for the Burghers to ever qualify for the state meet.

Katrin Schreiner of Hadley-Luzerne was named the Most Valuable Runner on the girls’ side.

Also named to the boys first team were Corinth’s Hayden Sirchia, Oliver Herrick of Lake George, David Anderson of North Warren-Johnsburg-Minerva, and Brayden Olden of Warrensburg.

The girls first team all-stars also included Taylor McLarty and Taylor Syvertson of Lake George, Corinth’s Rylee Dunbar, Argyle’s Alyssa Freeguard, Kara Tucker of North Warren-Johnsburg-Minerva.

Other runners on the boys second team are Paul Granger of Corinth, Liam Hughes and Connor Moulton of Hadley-Luzerne, Jacob Durkee of Argyle, Liam Fahey-Stark of Lake George, and Collin Monroe of North Warren-Johnsburg-Minerva.

The girls second team featured Jillian Richards of Corinth, Mattison Stark of Lake George, Katelyn Hanlon of Hadley-Luzerne, Malia Prevost of Warrensburg, Sage Frank and Erica Siaulnski of Argyle, and Lilly San Antonio of North Warren-Johnsburg-Minerva.