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LHS Athletic Hall Inducts Seven
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
On June 2, the Liverpool High School Athletic Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors honored seven new members for their contributions to LHS athletics.
Emily Burns (2013) was a four-year starting midfielder for the LHS field hockey team. She earned Second Team All-State honors her freshman year, as well as First Team All-League and First Team All-State honors her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. Burns was named Team Midfield Most Valuable Player her junior and senior years, as well as High School All-Regional Player and All-CNY Player of the Year her senior year. Her field hockey teams won four league championships & three sectional titles. During one of the team’s two final four appearances, Burns scored the game winning goal in overtime to send the team to the state championship game. She was named a scholar athlete four times, earned the State Tournament Sportsmanship Award, received the News Channel 9 Athlete of the Week award, and served as team co-captain. After graduating from LHS, Burns played field hockey at Mercyhurst where she was named to the All Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference First and Second Teams and received Second Team All American honors twice. In 2014 she was the Mercyhurst Female Athlete of the Year.
Robyn Capoto (2006) was a four-year starter for the LHS girls basketball team, where she was named team captain and Most Valuable Player three times. She earned First Team All-League honors three times and All-NY Team honors her senior season. She is a member of the Central New York 1,000 Points Club and is the second all-time leading scorer in Liverpool history with 1,040 points. In addition to playing for LHS, she was selected to participate in the Empire State Games once and the Zebra Classic three times. Capoto went on to play basketball at Hobart William Smith and is now in the sports care medicine and physical therapy field.
Shane Carni (1988) was a member of the wrestling and football teams at LHS. He won the 1986 Section III wrestling championship at the 167-pound weight class and finished his senior season with a record of 24-2. Carni also was a three-year starter for the football team and was co-captain of the 1987 team that went undefeated (10-0) and finished the season ranked #1 by the NYS Sports Writers Poll & 18th overall in the USA TODAY High School Football Poll. That season he led the Warriors with 114 tackles (21 of which were recorded during a game against Auburn) and anchored a defense that allowed only 104 points for the season. He was named Third Team All-NY State Linebacker (1986) and First Team All-NY State Linebacker (1987), and also earned First Team All-Upstate honors at linebacker from the Syracuse Newspapers and CNY High School Coaches in 1986 and 1987. He was selected to play in the 1987 John Arcaro All Star Football Game and received a football scholarship to play at the University of Deleware. Later Carni started and excelled at linebacker at Alfred.
Chris Ludden (1987) is possibly one of the greatest rowers to graduate from LHS. He was a member of the US Junior National team that placed second at the 1986 World Championships in Czechoslovakia and first at the 1987 World Championship in Germany. He rowed for Syracuse University where he served as co-captain and placed third in the nation in the Varsity Eight. Ludden was a member of 1990 national men’s team that won a silver medal in the Olympic Festival as well as a member of the 1991 US National Team that won a silver medal at the Pan American Games. He is a five-time gold medal winner at the Canadian Henley Regatta and a four-time US Rowing National Team National Champion. Ludden has been the Baldwinsville varsity girls rowing coach since 2006. His teams have gone on to great success including a second place finish in the Girls’ Junior Four during the 2014 National Championships and a third place finish for the Girls’ Senior Four in the 2015 National Championships. From 1999 to 2003 he served as SU’s assistant rowing coach.
Adam Niekras (2003) was a member of the LHS gymnastics and diving teams. He was a four-time OHSL and Section III gymnastics champion. He earned OHSL championships in floor exercise (1999, 2000) and pommel horse (2001, 2002), as well as Section III championships in the horizontal bar (1999, 2000, 2002), pommel bar (2000) floor exercise (2001, 2002) and high bar (2002). He was selected to participate in the Empire State Games from 1997 to 2000. As a member of the varsity diving team from 2002-2003, Niekras placed second in Section III, 11th in New York State, and earned All-American honors in 2003 (the first Liverpool diver to earn that recognition). He was selected for the Empire State Games and served as a Varsity Club representative. Niekras was appointed to the US Naval Academy and was a four-year member of the academy’s diving team. He was named to the All Patriot League Team four times.
Doug Nunn (Coach) was a physical education teacher for 30 years, a modified track coach for 19 years and a soccer coach for 33 years (13 at the junior varsity level and 20 at the varsity level). His overall soccer record was 438-131-41, which included winning eight league titles & three sectional titles and competing at two regional finals. Nunn’s teams were NYS Class AA finalists in 2002 and 2003. He was a dedicated and compassionate coach, who not only taught his players how to become better at the game of soccer, but taught them life lessons… respect, leadership, teamwork, and integrity. Lessons that will go far beyond the soccer fields.
Dominick Spataro (Coach) was a physical education teacher for 30 years, a softball coach for 27 years, a football coach for 20 years (17 years as an assistant varsity coach and three years as a head varsity coach) and a junior varsity basketball coach for five years. He earned 510 wins as head softball coach, including eight league championships, eight section championships and three regional championships. His teams also earned three trips to the Final Four and were ranked in the NYS Top 10 for seven years. In addition, he held hitting and pitching intramurals for Liverpool softball players of all ages on weeknights and weekends throughout the winter months and coached travel teams each summer. One would be hard pressed to find a coach that worked harder, had a stronger will to win, and prepared his teams better. He poured his heart and soul into his players, his teams, his program and his facilities - every one of which is exponentially better off now than when he began three decades ago.