Penn Yan inducts first members into hall of fame
PENN YAN—Five individual Penn Yan Academy athletes and coaches, and the 1944 football team were the first inductees into the PYA Athletic Hall of Fame, Friday, Sept. 18.
The former athletes are Deb Eaves Curbeau, Burt Fingar and Todd Lindsley. Thomas Noteware and Thomas Smart were inducted as coaches. The 1944 football team was coached by Bob Meagher and Chuck Reynolds. The players included Frank Wilson, Dick Look, Bill Rhudy, Laurence Sutherland, Dan Morehouse, Jack Underwood, Pete Disbrow, Dick Conley, Bob Sutherland, Bill Lockett, Don Stork, George Morse, Ron Sutherland, Norm Vaughn, George Decker, Bob “Sparky” Carey, Bob Reynolds, Cliff Lamphier, John McDonald, Pete Fox, Charlie Beach, Bob Armstrong, Dick Morrow, Charles LeClaire, Tony Pizzenti, Bruce Allison, Don Durham, Jim Smithover, Gilbert Bascom, Don Benedict, King Brennan and Harold Youngs.
Curbeau is a 1986 graduate of Penn Yan Academy and was a four year starter on the basketball team. She led the 1986 team to an undefeated season and a state championship. She was selected to numerous All-Star teams, including the Section V All-Star team three times. Curbeau was also chosen as the New York State Small School Player of the Year. She went on to play basketball at the University of Delaware, where she started for four years and was named the team MVP in 1989 and 1990. She has previously been inducted into the Section V Hall of Fame.
Fingar played basketball for two years in Hammondsport before playing in Penn Yan for the 1951 to 1953 seasons. He was the starting guard for the 1951-52 team that reached the Class A finals. He led Penn Yan in scoring during that campaign and was named to The Democrat & Chronicle’s Greater Rochester All-Star Team in 1952. Fingar played in two basketball leagues following graduation and has coached various youth sports teams.
Lindsley is a 1981 graduate of Penn Yan Academy. He was awarded 11 varsity letters in four years. In cross country, Lindsley won both the league and sectional meet two years in a row. As a junior he finished 11th in the state. His senior year, he finished second, leading his team to a third place finish at the New York State Championships. Lindsley holds the school record in track and field for the 1600 and was a member of the record-setting 3200 yard relay team. He competed at the collegiate level, running for William and Mary University.
Noteware coached varsity football from 1970 to 1988. With 99 wins, Noteware led the Mustangs to four Finger Lakes titles, two undefeated seasons, five sectional titles and two state championships. He coached two future NFL players, Tony Collins and Chris Chrissy. Following his tenure at Penn Yan, Noteware went on to coach at Alfred State and was eventually inducted into the Section V Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Smart taught and coached at Penn Yan Academy for 34 years, recording over 500 cross country wins. His teams won seven Section V titles. Smart’s 1980 cross country team finished third in the state championships. He has previously been inducted into the Section V Cross Country Hall of Fame. His successes in cross country and track and field resulted in multiple coach of the year honors. Smart continues to contribute as an official.
The 1944 football team was the first undefeated football team in Penn Yan Academy history, posting a 7-0 record. The 1944 Orange and Blue, nicknamed “The Hammers,” outscored their opponents, 193-18. The football team provided the people of Penn Yan with a winning spirit during a time of war.
The hall of fame was created to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the athletic program at Penn Yan Academy.