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Montour honors past basketball players with Legacy Award

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

Inaugural class members for the Montour basketball program’s Legacy Award were honored Dec. 29 with a special reception and award ceremony held during a holiday tournament at the district’s hilltop campus in Robinson.

Of the 40 student honorees, only five were unable to attend the event, said Assistant Basketball Coach John Giammarco, who was heavily involved in planning the event and in the creation of a video to honor the inductees.

Giammarco’s efforts in bringing the event to life was referred to as that of a “one-man Army” by former Athletic Director Mitch Galiyas, who was also honored.

The Legacy Award was the result of a committee of Montour coaches and administrators who gathered in the spring of 2021 hoping to find a way to recognize the many standout student-athletes who have been the foundation of Montour’s basketball programs. Honoree David Yanish, a 1960 graduate, said he was surprised when he received his invite in the mail and at the time wondered why he would be receiving something from Montour Basketball.

The former Robinson resident said his only regret was wishing it had happened 20-25 years ago when his mother, Mary Yanish, was still alive and could have attended with him.

“She was my biggest fan,” he said.

Giammarco indicated the honors were a long time in coming. “I don’t ever want our basketball brothers and sisters… to not be in touch again,” he said.

This initial class of legacy awardees includes five coaches and administrators, 13 girls basketball players, and 27 boys players stretches back to 1951. Consideration was given to individuals who accumulated at least 1,000 career points during their time as Spartans.

Inaugural class members for the Legacy Award:


Anthony Russo (in memory of) – head boys coach, 1951-80; athletic director, 1985-88

Edward Wovchko – head boys coach, 1984-92 and 1999-2003

Dennis Hopper – head boys coach, 1980-84 and girls head coach, 1996-2005

Mitchell Galiyas – athletic director, 1994-2011

Adam Kaufman – head coach, 2008-14


Jamie Andrews (Chiarelli) –1974, Amy Schuler (Johnson) – 1982, Debra Macejka –1986, Leslie Gubba – 1988, Nikki Jubera – 1990, Amy Hale (Ponchek) –1992, Jodie Palermo (Golier) – 1994, Dena Hopper (Baron) – 2001, Samantha Woznichak – 2004, Haley Gaidosh – 2005, Jordan Burkes (Giles) – 2007, Meghan Mastroianni (Abbenante) – 2011, and Courtney Tomas – 2019.


Edward Vietmeier – 1953, Edward Wovchko – 1956, David Yanish –1960, Dennis Hopper –1965, Henry Majewski – 1970, James Ciamacco – 1971, Jay Robbins – 1972, Raymond D’Amico – 1973, Gerrard Recktenwald – 1974, Mark Lockridge – 1975, Michael McElwain – 1976, Scott Vietmeier – 1978, Robert Sklarsky – 1982, Thomas Hoffman – 1982, Scot Lewis – 1985, Thomas Larkin – 1987, Robert Saveikis – 1990, Alan Seretti – 1994, Ryan Connolly – 1994, Jason Burik – 1996, Trent Karlik – 1997, Adam Kaufman –1997, Gino Federico – 1999, Daren Tielsch – 2001, Dillon Buechel – 2012, Devin Wilson – 2013, and Jaden Nelson – 2019.



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