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Hollis Chapman going into the Hall Of Fame.
It is an honor and privilege to be here at the Hall Of Fame Dinner with all of you. I am here to introduce one of the most prolific athletes that attended Plattsburgh High School, or maybe even the North Country.
I first met Hollis the Hall Of Fame inductee in 6th grade at Plattsburgh Middle School.
That is where Oak St. School, Bailey Avenue School, and Broad Street Elementary converged. Who could forget the old Middle School in which the new addition was built in 1928, which contained the gym where I first saw Hollis play basketball.
Hollis Hall Of Fame Inductee was an outstanding athlete his for his entire career.
Through biddy basketball then Jr.High. In 7th & 8th grade basketball and 8th grade football. Hollis, surrounded by a cast of Mike Miller, Doug Minear, Mark Pieffer, Bobby Jastrab, and others was the go to guy who could get the rim and take charge of a game. They went undefeated those two years in Middle School.
At student faculty games Hollis Hall Of Fame stats certainly could hold his own against the likes of Mr. Murray, Mr. Gagnon, Mr. Zaferakis, Coach Nic, and others.
When I moved away for my Freshman through junior years I would hear of the great seasons PHS was having through some random newspaper clipping. My brother Pete, who later married a local girl, Christie Grosskoff, kept me in informed as to how PHS was doing.
In the summer of 1977 I moved back to Plattsburgh. Everyone had gone through some change. Hall Of Fame bound Hollis stood out as a phenomenal athlete and seemed to be friends with everyone in town.
I have many memories of Hall Of Fame bound Hollis and the team of 1977-78. During pre-season, Elvis Presley died, and Hollis loved Elvis. I remember him being shaken by the news. Imagine for a moment Hall Of Fame bound Hollis singing Elvis in the locker room and really digging it. Music was very important part of getting psyched up for games like listening to Steve Miller Band, Queen, Foghat, and others at Mike Miller’s so loud you couldn’t talk.Michael Jackson is his music of choice now.
I asked my parents what they remember about Hall of Fame bound Hollis and they replied, “he was one of the most polite and happy kids they knew that I was friends with.
His manners were always on point, and his quick wit, openness, and great attitude were enjoyable to see in a young man.” That is still evident since he is “Friends” with my mother on Facebook and talks with her regularly.
My mother told me Hall Of Fame bound Hollis could eat more than any friends that ever came over. She told me recently she remembered him eating 9 eggs, a slab of bacon and half a loaf of bread for breakfast once. It took a lot to fuel his energy and passion for sports.
That year, one of the best memories was always the game preparation. The hoop and hollering in the locker room and gym prior to leaving for Bailey Avenue, then the all silent bus ride and concentration to the game, and then the walk to the field lead by Coach Nic, Stanley and Schlactner. That fall of 1977, Hall Of Fame bound Hollis spearheaded a team that scored over 200 points and allowed only 24 while recording 5 shut outs with an 8 game schedule. As a punishing and illusive running back and tough fast strong safety.
Hall Of Fame bound Hollis averaged over 200 all purpose yards his Sr. year and delivered many a punishing blow to oppponets. I can’t even list all of the adjectives and adverbs Mike Mannix and Dutch Cramer used to describe Hollis while broadcasting the games every Saturday on W.I.R.Y. radio . A couple though included speedy, punishing, heady, resilient, illusive, determined, and leader with many more.
That championship season PHS placed more 1st & 2nd team All-Stars than any time in recent history.
Hall Of Fame bound Hollis was only one of two to be named an All-Star on both Offense and Defense along with Tommy Quinn from PHS. He was named All-State along with 3 other players from the area two of them his teammates. That year the Hornets were ranked #21 in the state. Had we played more than 8 games and against Saranac Lake the ranking would probably have been much higher.
Hall Of Fame bound Hollis was also named a defensive All-Star his Junior year on a team that lost only 1 game.
Hall Of Fame bound Hollis went on to lead the Basketball team to a perfect 14-0 season and Section VII champs and win the coveted Black Letter Award in basketball while being named an All-Star 2 years. He was on Varsity for three years.
As a sophomore,Hall Of Fame bound Hollis was chosen to be on a team that scrimmaged against the USA Women’s team prior to the ’76 Olympics in Montreal.
Hall Of Fame bound Hollis’ career has been very storied, it did not end with high school. He attended the University of Rhode Island with Mike and Jim Miller on full athletic scholarship where he started 3 years and was captain of the team his his Sr. Year.
After college Hall Of Fame bound Hollis tried out with various NFL, CFL, and USFL teams and then a career ending injury occurred.
That didn’t stop Hall Of Fame bound Hollis and his competitiveness, drive, and determination. Hollis started and directed and East Valley Sports, umpires, referees, is involved in online marketing and communication, and his weekly radio program on life and wellness.
Right now it is time for what I call “that feeling you get”… you get goose bumps up and down you arms, the hair on the back of your neck stands up, a chill goes down your spine, your hearts pounds to where you can hear and feel it, and then in the next few minutes you get to experience the high 5’s, handshakes, and hugs (and maybe a few chest bumps now) on your way to the podium… I would like to introduce Hollis Chapman, a good friend I am glad I have been able to get to know again, ”Best Athlete” in the Class of ’78, and now Hall of Fame inductee, 2011.
Written by my teammate and friend Jeff Cochran
My Location: Phoenix, United States