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Chateaugay coach to join NY State Hall of Fame

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CHATEAUGAY – For about a week now, the Chateaugay community has been abuzz with the news of one of its high school coaches getting elected to the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame.

Nine new members will be inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame next winter, the Basketball Coaches Association of New York announced in a notice posted on the New York State Sportswriters Associations’ website. Among those who received a call to the hall is Chateaugay Coach Ron Boyea.

Boyea, the Bulldogs’ varsity basketball coach, will be inducted to the state hoops Hall of Fame during the New York State Championship games on March 17, 2013 in Glens Falls. He joins three four retired Section 10 coaches in the Hall: Bill Merna of Ogdensburg Free Academy, Jerry Hourihan of Canton, Charlie Folsom of Harrisville and another Chateaugay native in Jerry Welch of Massena and SUNY Potsdam.

“Chateaugay has maintained a proud tradition of excellence in basketball,” says Merna.

“Coaches Jerry Welsh, Kevin O’Neil, Ray Holmes, and John Hollingshead are all part of that tradition and Ron Boyea has continued it without missing a beat. Ron helped make all of Northern NY proud by bringing home the first NY State Championship for our area. He also led the Bulldogs to six consecutive Class D Section 10 Championships. Congrats on your selection Ron.”

For his career at the helm of the Bulldogs, Coach Boyea has amassed a total of 349 wins in his 21 years on the sidelines, 238 of which are league victories against just 48 setbacks, for a winning percentage of 83 percent.

Boyea has been named League Coach of the Year 12 times and consecutive years from 2005-11. He has won 14 Section 10 D-East Championships and eight Section 10 Class D crowns. He has led five different Chateaugay teams to the NYSPHSAA Final Four in Glens Falls and has won two overall Section 10 Championships. Boyea and the Bulldogs won the state crown in Class D in 2008 – the only team from Section 10 to ever win a state championship in boys basketball.

Coach Boyea is also a home-grown product, graduating from Chateaugay Central in 1973, then from SUNY Brockport in 1977. Boyea returned to the North Country and taught for two years at Chateaugay and spent the next seven years teaching in the BOCES system prior to entering the Department of Corrections in 1987.

The Hall of Fame nomination for Coach Boyea was the compilation of arduous and meticulous work by CCS graduate, former player and current Bulldogs’ assistant basketball Coach Jason “Weasel” LaPlante.

LaPlante has been associated with Coach Boyea for the past 23 years as either team manager, player, or currently, as an assistant coach for the varsity Bulldogs.

“You can’t do any of this without the players,” said Coach Boyea. “A lot of the credit has to go to the kids, their parents, and everyone’s committment to the program. Without them, none of this would be possible – not for me, not for anybody.”

Boyea pointed out that he owns a lot of what he uses on the sidelines today from Coach Hollinshead and his assistant Tom Cook. Hollinshead was at the varsity helm when Boyea began his Chateaugay tenure as junior varsity coach in 1978.

Boyea helped expand the Biddy Basketbal Program at Chateaugay Central School, which gave elementary-aged students the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of basketball. He also started the AAU Basketball progarm at CCS, providing player in grades 7-11 the opportunity to travel and play in a variety of tournament across Northern New York.

Boyea was instrumental in starting the Bulldog Classic Holiday Tournament, coached, spoke and instructed for over 25 years at the Bulldog Basketball Camp held annually at CCS during the last two weeks of July. He also organized and still coaches the Chateaugay Seton Summer League team, which travels to Plattsburgh once or twice a week during the summer to participate in the Seton Summer Basketball League.

Coach Boyea will be inducted in a class which includes another well-known coach in Lew Kibling, winner of 332 games in 28 seasons at Lowville and Watertown.

Note: Journal Sports Editor Dave Shea contributed to this story.

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