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Rome Sports Hall of Fame sports personalties of the year are RFA's McCaskill, McLeod and Toth-Ratazzi

Steve Jones
Sports writer
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Posted 7/22/22

The Rome Sports Hall of Fame’s 2021-22 sports personalities include a second-time winner of the Female Sports Personality of the Year.

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Rome Sports Hall of Fame sports personalties of the year are RFA's McCaskill, McLeod and Toth-Ratazzi

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The Rome Sports Hall of Fame’s 2021-22 sports personalities include a second-time winner of the Female Sports Personality of the Year. After winning it last year, Rome Free Academy runner Emily Toth-Ratazzi will share this year’s award with RFA basketball standout Amya McLeod. The Male Sports Personality of the Year is Kaiden McCaskill.

Toth-Ratazzi will be running cross country at Syracuse University this fall as a freshman after receiving a full athletic scholarship.

Last fall in cross country, she won her third Tri-Valley League championship, second in Section III Class A, eighth at the state meet and seventh at the Northeast Eastbay Championships. She also competed in Nationals in San Diego.

In indoor track she was all-league in the 600- and 3,000-meter races while setting school records in the 800, 1,000 and 1,500. She was fifth at the state and Federation meets in the 3,000. She was also third in the 5K at New Balance Nationals, where she earned All-American status.

In outdoor track, she set a school record in the steeplechase, giving her school records in every distance event. She was the runner-up in the steeplechase and 800 at Sectionals. She was an All-American and nominated for the Black R Award as well.

McLeod is a rising senior at RFA. She joined the 1,000-point club this past season and now sits in third place on that list with 1,235 lifetime points, 109 points behind Lori Keys (Hall of Fame Class of 2000) for second. Nikki Jo Rotolo is the all-time leading scorer in RFA history with 2,030 points. McLeod was named to the New York State Sports Writers Association all-state team, earning sixth team honors in Class AA. She was a TVL first team all-star, All Mohawk Valley and All CNY selection and was on the Section III Class AA All Tournament team. She was the player of the game at the Davidson Invitational in Rome and the More than a Game player of the game.

She also played tennis and participated in outdoor track and field this past school year.

McCaskill collected plenty of accolades for his football and basketball seasons during his senior year.

In football, last fall he led the team with 383 yards receiving (on 20 catches) and led the team with five receiving touchdowns. He was also a starting linebacker. He was a first team all-league selection and won the Great American Rivalry Series Scholar Athlete Award.

He led the RFA basketball team with 340 points on the season. He tallied a triple-double against Utica Proctor when he scored 29 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and had 10 blocked shots. He was selected as a TVL first team all-star.

Twenty other RFA athletes are among those being recognized as 2021-22 sports personalities.

• The eight boys award winners are Jack Anderegg, soccer and swimming coaches award winner; Tanner Brawdy, former Center State 500 freestyle champion; William D’Agata, Section III outdoor track pole vault champion; Marco Macri, baseball TVL first team all-star; Ryan O’Connell, TVL first team all-star and first team All-Mohawk Valley in football and Black R Award nominee; Jake Premo, first team TVL all-star in baseball and All-Mohawk Valley all-star and Section III Division I all-league honorable mention in hockey; Eddie Rakowski, Section III outdoor track high jump champion; and Ashton Thompson, three-time state tournament qualifier in wrestling, the program’s career win leader (155) and Black R Award nominee.

• The 12 girls being honored are Laina Beer, softball first team TVL all-star; Maggie Closinski, field hockey and softball first team TVL all-star and Section III field hockey all-star; Lauren Dorfman, soccer and softball first team TVL all-star and Section III soccer all-star; Alanna Fragapane, field hockey first team TVL all-star; Tailyn Frost, TVL basketball first team all-star and Section III discus champion; Lily Gilroy, TVL field hockey player of the year; Alexis Kennedy, volleyball captain and Black R Award nominee; Drew Kopek, field hockey and lacrosse TVL all-star, Section III field hockey and ice hockey all-star and field hockey all-state selection; Alyssa Nardslico, field hockey and lacrosse TVL all-star and Section III field hockey all-star; McKenzie Pantola, bowling TVL all-star and member of the state championship-winning Section III composite team; Imani Pugh, Section III outdoor track 100-meter champion and long jump runner-up, sixth in states in 55-meter hurdles in indoor track, fourth at the New Balance Outdoor National Track & Field Championships in the pentathlon (highest placing sophomore), All-American; and Alex Tapia, lacrosse first team TVL all-star.

• The Adult Female Sports Personalities are Gina Klepadlo and Sarah Crockett.

Klepadlo won singles gold and a silver medal in doubles competing in bocce at the Special Olympics USA Games in June as part of the New York state contingent. She and her teammates finished fifth in the team event as well. A regular player at the Toccolana Club in Rome, she competed in her first singles and doubles events of her career at the USA Games and medaled in both. She also swims and plays golf at the state level. She also competes in track and field, basketball and bowling.

Crockett, an RFA graduate now competing in track and field at SUNY Brockport, won the shot put competition at the State University of New York Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships for the third straight time. She also won the discus throw and the junior was named the Most Valuable Performer at the conference championships.

• The Adult Male Sports Personalities are Paul Amoroso and Tom Meiss.

Amoroso also competed in this year’s Special Olympics USA Games representing New York state. There he won bronze in singles, partnered with Sean Goldrick of New Hartford for gold in doubles and won another bronze in the team event (which included Goldrick). Amoroso competed in the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland in 2003. He also participates in golf, swimming, track and field, bowling and has participated in equestrian, cross country skiing and basketball.

Meiss capped off his 16th season as head coach of the Oriskany baseball team with an appearance in the Section III Class D title game this spring. He stepped down from the position to become the athletic director at Whitesboro. At Oriskany, he led the team to seven Center State Conference titles, six Section III championships and a .750 win percentage. This season the team was 16-4. His career record is 261-87. The program went to the state semifinals three times, including one second place finish.

• The team recognition award goes to the 2021 Smith Post American Legion baseball District V champions and New York State tournament runner-up. The team was 17-8 under manager Ryan Hickey.

Ruth Demers Scholarship winners are Dorfman and Brawdy.

The annual induction awards banquet will be held Sunday, July 31, at the Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel starting at 5:30 p.m.

The tickets are $35 each. Tickets for children 12 and under are $15.

Tickets may be purchased at Rome Sports Hall of Fame, 5790 Rome New London Road.

The museum is open Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

The deadline to purchase tickets is Sunday, July 24.

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