September 30, 2013

Peru Hall of Fame to add 6 former stars


---- — PERU — The Peru Athletic Hall of Fame committee spanned six decades in coming up with the newest members for induction as the Class of 2013.

Elmer Duprey (fifties), John Neyenhouse (sixties), Scott Woodward (seventies), Mike Hogan (eighties), Steve St. Clair (nineties) and Matt Bezio (2003) will take their place among Peru greats.

The Peru Athletic Hall of Fame banquet and inductions will be Oct. 12 at the Keeseville Elks Lodge. The social segment will be at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 and the awards ceremony to follow.

If individuals have not made reservations yet, contact Cathy Phillips by calling 572-1235 or emailing her at by Oct. 2.

Steve St. Clair

Athlete — 1993

St. Clair graduated from Peru High School in 1993. While in school, he played 3 years of varsity football and varsity baseball, and 2 years of varsity basketball.

In 1990 and 1991, He was named a CVAC First Team All-Star in football by The Press Republican and WIRY. In 1991 and 1992, he was named to the All CVAC Team for baseball.

St. Clair’s biggest accomplishments came in football, especially his senior season (1992) when he was recognized as the Most Valuable Player on the CVAC Section 7 Class B and Regional Super Bowl Championship team (10-1). Also, he was named the CVAC Offensive Player of the Year by The Press Republican and First Team CVAC All-Star as Tight End. And, WIRY First Team All-Star, MVP, and Defensive Back of the Year. He received statewide recognition when he was selected as a First Team All-State member as Tight End.

He was named to the All-CVAC Team for baseball in 1993, and was a member of the Section 7 Class B Title team.

St. Clair, a graduate of SUNY Cortland, he works for the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. He lives in Syracuse with his wife Kelley, and their two children.

Scott Woodward

Coach — 1979-95

Woodward, a 1973 Peru graduate, is being inducted for his outstanding record as a coach, but he also played football and baseball throughout his four-year high-school career. He was second team All CVAC in football in 1971 and batted .382 for his three years on the varsity baseball team.

Woodward served as Head Track and Cross Country coach from 1979-1995, during which the Indians won 51 league and sectional championships. They claimed 10 consecutive sectional championships in boys’ track from 1986-1995, and eight consecutive sectional championships in girls’ cross country from 1987-1994.

In 1991 both the boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams achieved the unprecedented distinction of achieving a No. 1 state ranking in the same season. That girls team also finished second in the New Your State Federation Championship, a feat yet to be matched by another Section VII team.

He coached two individual state champions along with two runners-up and numerous other medalists.

Woodward retired as coach at Peru in 1995, but came out of retirement in 2003 to coach the EKMW track program, in which the girls’ team won 6 league and sectional titles from 2004-2006. He retired from coaching a second time after the 2006 season.

He currently resides in Port Kent with his wife Sally.

Mike Hogan

1976 — Athlete

Coach —1985 to Present

Hogan, a 1976 graduate, has had many accomplishments in the sport of wrestling. He was Peru’s first four-time sectional finalist, winning the title three times. Hogan placed sixth at the state tournament in 1976 and was a member of Peru teams that won the CVAC four times and the sectional title two times.

After graduation, Hogan went on to wrestle at Tabor Academy, where he won the New England Prep School Championships and was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. He then took second in the National Prep School Championships.

In 1978, Hogan entered Hofstra University and while there, he became a three-time NCCA Division I qualifier and was also a three-time East Coast Conference Champion. He had the honor of being elected captain of the 1981 Hofstra wrestling team.

Hogan became the Saranac High School wrestling coach in 1985 and coached there until 1998. During his 13 years at Saranac, he took a sport that was on the verge of being dropped and turned it into the No. 1-ranked team in New York State for small schools in 1994 and 1995.

Hogan came to Peru in 1998 and began the wrestling season as co-head coach. Currently, he has coached 11 teams to sectional titles and has had 116 individual sectional champions as well as 40 state place winners. In addition, Hogan has coached eight wrestlers to become NYS champions. This includes four-time state champion Arik Robinson who was also the 2012 NYS outstanding wrestler.

Hogan also coached his son, Patrick, a three-time state place winner at Peru, now wrestling Division 1 at Harvard University.

Hogan is vice president of J. Hogan Refrigeration & Mechanical Co. Inc. in Peru, and lives in Peru with his wife Julie, sons Patrick and Colin, and daughter Anna.

Matt Bezio

2003 — Athlete

Bezio graduated from Peru in 2003. Bezio participated in three sports at Peru — football, basketball and baseball. In basketball, Bezio was a second team all-star in 2001-02 and first team all-star in 2002-03. Bezio participated in baseball in 2000 and 2003.

Football was where Bezio left his mark on Peru athletics. Bezio played football from 1999-2003. In 2000, Bezio was named quarterfinal Offensive Player, North Country Super Bowl Most Valuable Player and Press-Republican honorable mention quarterback.

In 2001, Bezio earned a number of accolades which were Press-Republican Most Valuable Player/first team quarterback, North Country Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, state semifinal Most Valuable Offensive Player, state final Most Valuable Offensive Back, first team All-State quarterback, NYS Player of the Year, and the quarterback of the NYS Football State Champions. Bezio’s winning touchdown run against Harrison in the semifinals is considered one of the greatest individual plays in North Country sports history.

In 2002, Bezio was named the Press-Republican Most Valuable Player/first team quarterback, North Country Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, state quarterfinals Offensive Player, and first team All-State quarterback.

NYS records that Bezio has been a part of are most touchdown passes/season at 31 touchdowns and top 50 in state all-time passing yards in career. Total yards 5301, completion percentage equals to 313/498 for a .629%, touchdowns = 70, interceptions = 15, rushing attempts 141 for 926 yards, touchdowns 15 and yards per carry 6.5.

Upon graduation, Bezio attended St. Lawrence University where he played football. Bezio presently resides in Florida where he teaches special education.

John Neyenhouse

1963 — Athlete

Coach —1968 to 1982

Neyenhouse graduated from Peru in 1963. At Peru, he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball all four years. He even tried wrestling and track in his freshman year, played in the marching band three years and was class president his freshman and senior years. As a senior, he captained the baseball team, the basketball team and the football team, where he played quarterback, leading the 1962 Indians to a 7-1 record.

Upon graduation, Neyenhouse attended Ithaca College on an athletic scholarship majoring in Physical Education. Neyenhouse played football and baseball and was voted Rookie of the Year in 1965 for football. Neyenhouse has the distinction of being a member of the only undefeated football team in the history of Ithaca College.

In 1968 Neyenhouse became the basketball coach and assistant football coach at Peru. He went on to be selected five times as Coach of the Year in football and basketball. His 1968-69 basketball team won the CVAC and Section VII championship.

In 1971, he had a seatbelt installed on the bleacher to help him minimize technical fouls.

Neyenhouse left Peru in 1982 and moved to Florida and became vice-president of Tire Kingdom, Number 1625. He ran in eight marathons and in one race wore a suit and hat, which attracted attention of the Miami Herald. Neyenhouse’s hope was to send a message to other MS victims as himself: “someone who has multiple sclerosis might see me and get inspired to do something and say ‘If he can do it, then I can do it’”.

Neyenhouse and his wife, Mary, are retired and live in The Villages, Florida, where he is still an avid golfer and still lives by the rule that “the name of the game is a positive attitude.”I will always remember the time I spent at Peru as the best years of my life.”

Elmer Duprey

1958 — Athlete

Duprey graduated from Peru in 1958. In his high-school athletic career, he played four years of varsity soccer and baseball, three years of varsity track, two years of junior varsity basketball and two years of varsity basketball.

In track, Duprey qualified for state championships two years and held the school record in the 220-yard dash for several years.

Under coach Tony Papero, Duprey was a member of the soccer team that won 48 straight games. He was also co-captain of the undefeated basketball team, coached by John Longware.

As an outstanding baseball player, Duprey batted .486 in 1957 and was 17-for-35 at bat. As a freshman, he began playing on the Peru town team in the Champlain Valley Baseball League. He continued to be active in the CVBL as a player, coach, manager, financial team sponsor and commissioner until 1986.

While operating the Rustic Inn in Peru from 1967 to 1980, Duprey was responsible for providing the opportunity for many Peru athletes to continue playing sports by sponsoring youth teams as well as a CVBL baseball team.

He served the Town of Peru as Highway Superintendent for 22 years before his retirement. He also served as a volunteer Peru Fire Department commissioner for 20 years.

One of 14 children in the Duprey family, he is the oldest of the seven Duprey boys who are all outstanding athletes. When asked about his nomination, two of the younger brothers commented: Jimmy called Elmer the best athlete in the family and Harry said ‘he certainly set the bar very high for the rest of the Duprey boys’.

Duprey has been married to Janet (Lacy) for 46 years. Their son, John, and his wife, Michelle, have a daughter, Alyssa, and a son Jeremy. Their daughter, Michelle, and her husband, Robbie Timmons, have two daughters, Lacy and Allie.