GLOVERSVILLE - While playing high school football for the Gloversville Huskies, Justin DeMagistris put up some impressive numbers.
He hauled in 108 passes for 2,041 yards over his four-year career from 1995 to 1998 for an average of 18.9 yards per catch. His 2,041 career yards at the time placed him third in the New York State receiving yards.
In honor of his standout career, DeMagistris has been selected to enter the Capital Region Football Hall of Fame during the third annual induction ceremonies Aug. 4 at Michael's Banquet House in Latham.
DeMagistris, is the fifth Gloversville Husky to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining coach Bob Gould, Tom Ciaccio, Greg Christodulu and Matt Shell.
"It is a great privilege to be selected to represent Gloversville and the great tradition of our football program," DeMagistris said. "It is an honor to be in with that group. Coach Gould and Coach Ciaccio coached me all four years. It was a lot of hard work and dedication. They were part of pushing me both in the weight room and on the football field. They were a lot of help along with my family to get me where I had to be. To be inducted into the Hall of Fame with them is a real accomplishment, and I am real proud of that."
DeMagistris' 2,041 still ranks third all-time in Section II and 13th in New York State.
During his tenure at Gloversville DeMagistris was on the receiving end of passes from standout quarterbacks Mike Gould, Greg Sheeler and Uli DelGado.
"I was lucky. I don't have one complaint about any of the players I played with or any of the coaches I have played for," he said. "I wouldn't have got there if it wasn't for them. You have to have a good quarterback and a good coaching staff. For the quarterback to get you the ball you have to have good linemen. It has to be a team for the ball just to get to a receiver."
Looking back at his high school career, DeMagistris said he will always remember his first varsity game.
"As a freshman, we opened up at Johnstown and we played them twice that year," he said. "Walking on the field as a 15-year-old kid, I will never forget that. Another game I will remember was against Glens Falls when were were down 14 points going into the fourth quarter. I had an 80-yard touchdown run and we came all the way back and were down seven with a minute to go but our drive stalled at the 10-yard line. I had like 190 yards in that game with most of them in the second half. Of course I will always remember all the Johnstown games with all the people there and the whole tradition of the game."
Following graduation from Gloversville, DeMagistris went on to play at Bridgton Academy Prep School in Maine. He caught one pass in each of his first three games and all three went for touchdowns. He set a career and single-season record at Bridgton Academy with an average of 26.0 yards per catch.
Joining DeMagistris as members of the 2012 induction class are players Alex Mancini (Fonda-Fultonville), Ralph Barone (Mohonasen), Ron DeBenedetti (Guilderland), Richard Foglia and Jim Manning (Watervliet), Sakima Grimes (Cambridge), David Jacob (Shenendehowa), Ted Jornov (Hudson), Adam Lord (Troy), Jerry Mirro (Saint Peters), Ron Page (Mont Pleasant), John Reagan (Bethlehem) and Rudy Vido (Albany).
Cliff Lehman (Christian Brothers Academy), Larry Mulvaney (Mont Pleasant) and John Taglione (Mechanicville) are coaches being honored along with officials Jack Cramer (Capital District), Morris Nassivera (Adirondack) and Thomas Brennan (Capital District).
Union College's John Audino is being recognized for his service to football.
"I would like to thank the whole Gloversville community," DeMagistris said. "They are the people who put the time and effort into the football programs from the Little Huskies all the way up. I especially want to thank my family: my mom and dad, Cosmo and Nancy DeMagistris, my brothers Mike and Chris. Through the good times and the tough times, they were always there to push me. I also want to thank Coach Gould, Coach Ciaccio and Coach Christodulu for helping me as a freshman right up through. It was tough walking in as a freshmen, but they got me prepared and were always there for me."