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Blue Devils Of 1970, 1971 Forged 41-Game Streak


Bob Hollembaek was one of the coaches inducted in the first class of the Ogdensburg Free Academy/St. Mary's Academy Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.

The last two teams he coached, in 1970 and 1971, both entered the hall when the second class was inducted on Sept. 27.

Both teams featured players who excelled at both St. Mary's which closed at the end of the 1969 school and the two teams combined on a 41-game winning streak.

The 1970 team forged a perfect 20-0 season winning the Northern League Regular Season and Playoff Championships as one of the most dominant teams in area high school annals.

The Devils were only the third team to go undefeated in 54 years of Northern League play, finished 10th in the New York State Sportswriters Poll (1 ranking for teams of all class sizes) and only one game was won by less than 19 points.

Joey Jones and Jon Nystrom earned First Team All-Northern honors and Tom Lightfoot and Don Tulip were honored as Third Team performers.

The team was composed of captain Joey Jones, Don Tulip. Rob Winter, Jerry Amo, Harry Garvey, Jay Seymour, Tom Nystrom, Jon Nystrom, Jerry Kroeger, Larry Seymour, Bill Payne, Tom Gonzalas, Tom Lightfoot, Tim Cummings and manager Jim Mellon.

"We were good. We went undefeated, our practices were killer. We all wanted to make each other better. We would get together and say lets go play hoops. With Coach Hollembaek our defense was always set. He was the best coach in the league. , said team spokesman at the induction.

"Playing for OFA was the best. The gym was packed all of the time with people waiting to get in. Against Chateaugay we were down early and Joey Jones hit some shots that would have been threes. It is just awesome to be here again."

The 1971 edition of the Blue and White was the final team coached by Bob Hollembaek who left coaching to enjoy a very successful career in basketball officiating at the high school and college level.

The Devils finished with a 19-1 record and won the Northern League Regular Season and Section 10 A Championships and extended the program's winning streak to 41 games. The team scored 100 points in its first game and averaged over 72 points per game.

Members of the team are: Captain Don Tulip, Jeff Fredericks, Pat Duprey, Jeff Bouchard, Bill Brown, Jerry Richards, Bud LaRock, Tim Cummings, Bill Payne, Jay Seymour, Harry Garvey and Rob Winter.

Don Tulip and Rob Winter earned First Team All-Northern honors and Harry Garvey was a Third Team selection.

"In 1971 there was a carry over and Coach Hollembaek prepared us well. Against Canton we were down at the half and came back. Against Gouverneur we used our halfcourt press where Jay Seymour was great. Harry Garvey was Mr. Hustle for three years," said a team spokesman at the induction.

"We had great discipline and we would never give up. We had great friendships."

The daughters of Coach Bob Hollembaek, Beth and Mary, joined the members of their father's last two basketball teams at OFA, 1970-71, as they joined their coach in the OFA/St. Mary's Academy Athletic Hall of Fame.

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