A lovely evening was had during the induction of the 2018 members of the Wayland-Cohocton Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday night, February 2. A reception was held for the inductees in the high school cafeteria where personal remarks and historical accounts were offered to invited guests. Speakers were Jim Burke, Kathy Bauer and Rose Rox. Cake and hors devours were offered as well. Following the reception, the three recipients, Terry Brown, Marj Hitt and Henry Deleo, were presented plaques by Athletic Director Jim Brownell in the field house to welcoming crowd. Following the presentation, the community was welcomed back to the field house for cake and conversation with the inductees.
Terry Brown was a four-sport athlete at Cohocton Central School competing in soccer basketball, badminton and basketball. His career includes 30 soccer goals. Terry also scored 705 points during his basketball career, averaging 16 points per game as a junior and 18 points per game as a senior. He was a two-time Section V finalist in badminton and played a key role in helping the baseball team win the 1978 Steuben County Championship. Terry went on to attend Arkansas State University where he became a two-year varsity letterman for the volleyball team in 1981 and 1982. In 1982 he was named Outstanding Player of the Northeast Louisiana NCAA Division 1 Regional Qualifying Tournament.
After being named the baseball coach at Wayland Central School in 1986, Terry turned the program into a perennial powerhouse, winning ten Livingston County Division 1 Championships in a 14 year span, including a total of 218 wins. His teams were two-time Section V Champions, five-time finalists and received the number one seed in their class twice. Terry stayed heavily involved in the baseball program for the 31 years he taught at Wayland and Wayland-Cohocton, overseeing the program as the general manager and as a coach, playing a key role in two more Section V Titles in 2012 and 2013. Terry also led the design of the current baseball field and complex, which to this day is arguable the best in Section V and one of the best in New York State.
Terry was Wayland-Cohocton’s Athletic Director from 1997-2003. He coached boys’ soccer (1986-1989) and girls’ soccer (2014-2017). As the girls’ coach, Terry led the 2015 team to its first Livingston County Division 1 Championship in school’s history, a number one seed in the Class B Tournament, and an appearance in the championship game. Terry was named 2015 Coach of the Year in Class B.
“Terry is one of the top teachers of the game of baseball in the area,” said Wellsville Athletic Director and Coach Dennie Miles. “Many coach but few teach the game. That was Terry. When you played a Terry Brown Team in any sport, you knew you had to bring your “A” game. He was a fierce competitor who expected no less from his athletes. I have a great deal of respect for him and consider him one of the best baseball coaches in Section V.”
Henry Deleo competed in soccer, basketball, volleyball track and tennis at Cohocton Central School. He earned four varsity letters in soccer, baseball, volleyball and track; three varsity letters in basketball and one in tennis. His 21 varsity letters are the most earned by a single athlete in Cohocton’s history. During his junior and senior years, Henry was captain of the soccer, basketball and baseball teams. In 1975 and 1976, he was Cohocton’s Athlete of the Year.
“Henry was arguably one of the top soccer players to wear a Cohocton uniform,” said Coach Ellsworth Tripp. He was instrumental in leading Cohocton to league titles in 1973, ’74 and ’75. During the 1975 season, he scored 34 goals, leading the county and setting a school record at the time. As a freshman, Henry scored the first goal of the game in a win over Hornell. In 1974 and ’75 he was MVP of the annual Spud Jug game versus Avoca.
Cohocton won the baseball league title in 1974 and ’75 reaching Section V finals in 1974. Henry was 36 for 36 in stolen base attempts during his junior and senior years. Henry was also known for his setting abilities in volleyball, leading the 1974 and ’75 volleyball teams to county titles and a ’75 sectional title. Henry ranks in the school’s top ten basketball scoring list with a career total of 830 points.
Marj Hitt is often labeled as the first dominant female athlete in Wayland Central School’s history. She was a five-sport athlete including soccer (five years), volleyball (four years), swimming (three years, basketball (one year) and boys tennis (one year). Beyond Wayland Central, Marj also played for the Syracuse Lakeviewettes, a semi-pro softball team, as there were still no spring sports for women in the District.
During Marj’s high school years, female interscholastic athletics were in their infancy. Female athletes used their gym suits as uniforms for the limited opportunities that existed. During her career, Marj played teams that changed from club sports to the first female interscholastic varsity teams in school history, as Title IX passed in the winter of her senior year.
Marj led the girls’ soccer team of 1973 to a 6-0-2 undefeated season. She was the leading scorer tallying 8 goals in the eight games. During basketball season, she hit the game winning shot at the buzzer for a 31-30 victory in the very first girls’ basketball game Wayland Central School’s history. During the spring of 1974, Marj became the first female in the school’s history to earn a tennis match victory while playing on the boys’ varsity team.
When describing Marj, her former coaches say, she is “no doubt one of the greatest athletes in school history.” In addition to blazing a trail for other female athletes, she was the captain of all the teams she competed on. Besides incredible athletic talent, Marj distinguished herself from others with her excellent leadership skills, an impeccable work ethic; and the character and sportsmanship she displayed on the field and courts. Marj went on to attend Heidelberg College from 1974-1978 where she played volleyball, basketball and softball for four years.
Marj later came returned to the area to coach varsity girls’ softball and volleyball in Cohocton as well as junior varsity girls’ basketball in Wayland. While coaching softball, Marj led the Lady Indians in sectionals for the first time in the school’s history.