Five athletes and one coach were inducted into the East Syracuse Minoa Athletic Hall of Fame in ceremonies on Jan. 19. From left are members of the fourth induction class: Doug Mohorter (bowling coach), Sue Scheibel (athlete, Class of 1975), Joseph Verzino (football, Class of 1971) and John Vona (athlete, Minoa High School, Class of 1948). Christopher Caso (gymnastics, Class of 1981) and Kate Fontana (lacrosse, Class of 2003) were unable to attend the ceremony.
Diamond Point On Jan. 19, the fourth class of the East Syracuse-Minoa Athletic Hall of Fame was honored in a halftime ceremony of the boys varsity basketball game between the Spartans and Fulton, and a formal induction dinner followed at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Six men and women were chosen – gymnastics star Christopher Caso (Class of 1981), lacrosse standout Kate Fontana (Class of 2003), coach Doug Mohorter, Sue Scheibel (Class of 1975), football star Joesph Verzino (Class of 1971) and John Vona (Class of 1948).
Chris Caso’s high school career went from 1977 to 1981. The tall, powerful gymnast was part of an ESM dynasty that set a state record for highest team score in one meet.
Caso won a state title in every event in high school, including the All-Around. He was a UCLA All-American and helped his Bruin squad to the NCAA championship his senior season. He is a stunt man and actor in Hollywood.
Kate Fontana earned varsity letters in four different sports in high school but made her greatest contributions in lacrosse. She was All-League for three years, All-Central New York in 2003 and named to the Academic All-American Team in 2003.
Fontana brought her talents to the University of Albany, where she was MVP for four years and Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2007. Kate works for the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C.
Doug Mohorter has the distinction of being the only person in ESM sports history to win a state team title as an athlete and then coach a team to a state title in the same sport.
In high school, Mohorter was named All-County for three years, won team league titles for three years and led his team to a state title in 1984. He coached the ESM girls bowling team to nine league titles, nine sectional titles and the state title in 1999. Doug is currently an assistant principal at ESM High School.