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Local quartet named to Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame

Dee, Donnelly, Kotz, Newell part of Class of 2012

In that time, Donnelly's Gaelic Knights have gone 420-158, a .720 winning percentage, won seven consecutive Section III titles from 1993 to '99 and have claimed a pair of state championships, in 1994 and 2012. For last winter's state title run, Donnelly earned Coach of the Year honors from the Basketball Coaches Association of New York,

Counting his stint at East Syracuse-Minoa in the 1980s, Donnelly's overall record is 455-204, for a win percentage of .690.

"All the players I've had (through the years) got me here," said Donnelly. "I've been fortunate to ride their coattails."

Royce Newell, who passed away in 2006, could rightly be termed the father of lacrosse at West Genesee, initiating the program in 1957, just after the merger of several local schools into the current Camillus location.

In all, Newell spent 33 years at West Genesee as a teacher, coach and as the merged school's first athletic director, serving until his retirement in 1982. During that time, he was secretary-treasurer of the Onondaga High School League for nearly 50 years.

All that followed a strong basketball career at Syracuse University. From 1945 to '49, the 6-foot-8 Newell joined Billy Gabor, Jack Kiley and Ed Stickel on a team coached by Lew Andreas, who is also in the Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame.

As a freshman, Newell helped SU go 23-4 and reach the NIT, the school's first-ever post-season tournament. The Orangemen also had a 19-6 mark in Newell's sophomore year and an 18-7 record in his senior campaign, where he averaged 10 points per game.

Brad Kotz was an indirect beneficiary of Newell's initital vision, a star on West Genesee's first state championship team in 1981 who would go on to do much, much more.

Led by Kotz, who was team MVP and an All-American, the Wildcats, in '81, claimed what would be the first of 15 state titles under Hall of Fame head coach Mike Messere.

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