Nervous Coach

Lansing head coach Adam Heck watches his team in their 46-44 win over Whitney Point Tuesday night.

A number of former and current Section IV athletes and coaches were honored March 3 as they were inducted into the Section IV Hall of Fame, below is the list of those inducted. 

Athletes: Dominic Amici (Ithaca), Bradley Belden (Edmeston), Sarah Cartmill (Ithaca), Dana Ellis (Chenango Forks), Natalie Frost (Elmira Notre Dame), Christopher Green (Whitney Point), Gary Hunter (Ithaca), Renee Kemmerer Ferrara (Afton), Abby Matteson Lilly (Morris), Mike Macinsky (Whitney Point), John Paul “J.P.” O’Connor (Oxford), Allan Packer (Chenango Forks), Cheri Peck Hess (Mount Upton), Andrew Sherwood (Unatego), Brandon Sleezer (Edmeston), Julie Veen DeCarlo (Franklin), Bryan Woodworth (Elmira Notre Dame).

Coaches: Adam Heck (Lansing), Cynthia Hynes (Candor), Frank Johnson (New Berlin), Gerald Taylor (Chenango Forks).

Adam Heck – Lansing

Adam, a graduate of Hamilton High School and Ithaca College, started his teaching and coaching career at Lansing High School in 196. Adam served the Lansing School District in a variety of positions over his 20 years there. He started as a physical education teacher working at the elementary school, middle school and high school, finishing as the athletic director and dean of students at the high school.

Adam coached a number of sports at Lansing: varsity boys soccer, varsity boys basketball, JV girls basketball and varsity softball. As the varsity boys basketball coach for 14 years he accumulated a record of 181-105, winning six IAC division titles and one IAC championship. His teams were two-time Class C Section IV finalists in 2004 and 2008.

However, it was in soccer that Adam made his name. Over a 20 year career, he led his teams to a 303-77-19 record. His teams won 11 division titles, eight league championships and eight Section IV titles. Five times his teams played in the NYS final four, playing in the finals on three of those occasions. 

Adam was recognized by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America as the New York State Small School Soccer Coach of the Year in 2007 and again in 2012. The National Federation of High School Associations chose Adam as the NYS Soccer Coach of the Year in 2013, after being selected as runner-up the year before. Adam was a two-time recipient of the Chris Bond Award, emblematic of the IAC Soccer Coach of the Year. He also served as the league’s soccer coordinator for 16 years. Additionally, Adam served as the Section IV assistant boys soccer coordinator for 15 years.

Adam also served as director of the Lansing Recreation Soccer Camp, providing a positive learning experience to thousands of Lansing youth providing the building blocks to the Lansing Soccer program’s success.

Cynthia Hynes – Candor

Cynthia taught physical education in the Candor Central School District from 1978 to 2013. Cynthia graduated from Genesee Community College where she played volleyball and basketball and was accepted as a member of the school’s hall of fame in 2011. As a student at Ithaca College, Cynthia played volleyball, basketball and softball.

While at Candor, Hynes coached the varsity volleyball team from 1979 through 1996. She accumulated three division titles, five IAC titles, one Class C-D final four runner-up, and helped coach on state Class C-D championship. She also coached the JV teams in Candor from 2001 through 2015. In all those seasons, her teams were under .500 only one time. She had well over 300 victories and more importantly, she made an impact on the lives of hundreds of student-athletes from all across our area by coaching volleyball club teams for over 20 years. For her love of sports, and volleyball in particular, and for the betterment of the players she has coached, we would like to thank Hynes for all she has given our community since she arrived in town almost 40 years ago.

Dominic “Dom” Amici – Ithaca

Dominic is a 1993 graduate of Ithaca High School. He was a standout 3-sport student/athlete. Dominic excelled in football, basketball, and baseball. He started for three seasons in all three sports and captained all three sports his senior year.

Dom was selected to the Section IV Football 1st team All-Stars for three years. In his junior and senior seasons in basketball, he was selected to the STAC All-Conference team. Dom was also selected to the STAC All-Conference team his sophomore, junior and senior seasons in baseball

During his football career at Ithaca, Dominic threw for over 4,800 yards and 33 touchdowns. He was also a versatile quarterback, rushing for 11 touchdowns his senior year. In the Ernie Davis Classic in November 1991 he scored the winning touchdown.

Dom averaged 18 points per game his senior year in basketball. He scored over 1,000 points in his career and played on back-to-back (1991 and 1992) Section IV Class A basketball championship teams and played in the Final Four game in 1992. He batted .420 his senior season of baseball and .387 his sophomore season. He hit eight homeruns his senior year and 17 during his senior year. 

Sara Cartmill – Ithaca

Sarah is a 1998 graduate of Ithaca High School, while attending Ithaca she was a 2 sport standout student-athlete in basketball and softball.

Sarah scored 1,900 career points in her basketball career at Ithaca and 476 points during her senior season. Sarah is currently STAC’s all-time leading scorer. She was selected to the All-Metro team three years in-a-row. As a sophomore, Sarah was selected to the All-State team; and she was again selected in her junior and senior seasons. Sarah was always a strong offensive threat, scoring 37 points in one game, but she also collected 998 rebounds in her high school career to help on the defensive end.

Sarah was a four year starter in softball playing at third base and shortstop. She was selected to the STAC All-Conference team her junior and senior seasons. Sarah batted .390 her junior season and .455 her senior season. Sarah was inducted into the Ithaca High School Hall of Fame in 2013.

Gary Hunter – Ithaca

As a three-sport athlete in football, wrestling and track and field, Gary led the Ithaca High School varsity football team to their first undefeated, untied season in 63 years in 1969. That same year, the football team shared the No. 1 ranking in New York State voted on by High School Sports Writers. He was a starter for three years in all three sports. Honors included 1st Team All-State Defensive Tackle, All-STAC and All-Star in upstate New York.

Gary was a three-year starter in wrestling and was the Windsor Christmas Champion in unlimited weight class in 1968 and 1969, All-Conference in 1969 and 1970, STAC Champion in 1970, and Section IV Champion in 1970 and won team titles in 1967, 1968 and 1969.

In track and field, Gary was a four-year starter in shot put and discus. In 1969 and 1970 he set the shot put discus records. Gary was a STAC Champion in shot put and discus in 1970, Section IV Champion in shot put and discus in 1970. He placed second in the NYS Championships in discus in 1970.

Upon graduation, Gary was awarded a full athletic scholarship from Morgan State University in football where, as a starter, Morgan State won their football conference three years in a row. Gary graduated from Morgan State University in 1975.

Currently, Gary continues at his alma mater in Ithaca as the throwing coach for the varsity boys and girls track and field teams for the past 23 years. Gary’s throwers have won STAC and Section IV titles and has had a thrower from Ithaca High at the state championships 15 times during his coaching career thus far. Finally, Gary held his high school record for 40 years, in both shot put and discus. In 2009 and 2010, both records were taken down by two young men Gary coached.

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