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Gait leads Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame class

Six local greats to be honored Oct. 21 at Drumlins

— For four decades, Joe Tesori has held a primary role in the area golf community, from early tutelage at Onondaga Golf and Country Club to his long stint at Drumlins and his current role as head pro at the Pompey Club.

Certified as a PGA professional in 1973, Tesori grew up in the Southern Tier, attended Union-Endicott and Le Moyne College, and got his Masters degree at SUNY-Cortland. He then set out to teach the game he loved to anyone who would listen, giving, my his own estimation, 30,000 lessons.

Tesori also competed in PGA Tour events in the United States and elsewhere, won countless local tournaments, wrote newspaper columns, appeared on radio shows and also found time to coach the girls golf team at Jamesville-DeWitt and the men's golf team at Le Moyne.

Twice, Tesori was named PGA Professional of the Year and was the 1986 Central New York PGA Teacher of the Year. He also officiates high school basketball games, served as an observer in the Big East Conference and was the 2010 CNY Catholic Charities Man of the Year.

A posthumous inductee, Adam Markowski starred in the early 1930s at Central High School and SU, but made his greatest mark as a coach in the old Parochial League.

At Sacred Heart, Markowski's basketball teams won 116 games and lost 40, capped by a 1958-59 campaign where the Hearts went undefeated, 21-0. They're considered one of the greatest prep teams in local annals.

Markowski also coached championship baseball sides at Sacred Heart, including the 1963 All-City champions. Only an overseas work assignment cut short Markowski's remarkable and successful coaching career.

Like Markowski, Don Savage is a posthumous inductee, but he already is a pioneer as Le Moyne College's first-ever choice for its Athletic Hall of Fame.

Following his own Parochial League stardom, Savage joined the fledgling Le Moyne basketball program and, under Hall of Fame coach Tom Niland, was a captain for three seasons, picking up 1,341 career points, capped by a 40-point effort against St. Francis (NY), a State Fair Coliseum venue record.

Drafted by the NBA's Syracuse Nationals, Savage played two seasons, served in the military for two years, and then returned to the Nats, where a freak knee injury cut short his career. Savage went on to a successful career in the insurance business and was active in community and Le Moyne alumni activities.

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