By Jim Schiltz
Section II basketball mainstay Connie Hosterman said she is closing her scorebook for good at the end Shenendehowa’s state tournament run.
Hosterman has been tracking points, fouls and time outs for 45 years, starting in 1973, when Jim Zullo took over as Shenendehowa’s varsity boys’ coach.
“I feel like Section II is my home,” Hosterman said. “I can go in any gym and know someone. I get hugs from opposing coaches.”
Hosterman kept Zullo’s book for 25 years at Shenendehowa and for three more when he coached at Broadalbin-Perth. She’s been keeping the book for current Shenendehowa varsity coach Tony Dzikas since he took the reigns in 2005. She also did JV and freshman/modified games.
“Some years I did all three levels,” Hosterman said. “I didn’t miss many years. I took one year off for surgery. I missed another year when my mom passed away.”
Hosterman was a Shenendehowa guidance counselor from 1970 through 1994. She was a basketball chaperone for its high school teams before taking on the scorebook chores.
“We were at a faculty picnic in the fall of 1973,” Hosterman said. “I didn’t know Jim Zullo that well. I went up to him and said, ‘I’m your scorekeeper,’ and he said, ‘Okay.’ That’s how it started. Just like that. It was one less thing he had to worry about.”
Hosterman gained an appreciation from the media, not only because of her accurate numbers, but by providing addition information when reporting them. Her game accounts would often include notes about key runs, records set or milestones reached.
“She goes the extra mile for the kids to make sure it’s right,” Shenendehowa athletic director Chris Culnan said. “She’s always one of the last people to leave the gym after she makes sure all of the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed.”
Hosterman called it a labor of love.
“It’s been fun,” said Hosterman, who has been involved in basketball since her cheerleading days at Mechanicville. “I wouldn’t have done it for so long if it wasn’t fun.”
Hosterman kept the book this season for a 10th Section II championship team, her ninth from Shenendehowa to go with one while at Broadalbin-Perth. Two of those Shenendehowa teams went on to win state titles, in 1987 and 2015. She kept the book for Adirondack Region men’s Empire State Games teams, too, including three gold medal-winning ones (scholastic 1989, 2003; open 1990).
“I got to know a lot of kids,” said Hosterman, who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cornell University and a master’s degree in guidance from what is now the University at Albany. “So many good kids. I stay in touch with some of them on Facebook.”
Hosterman has served in many basketball capacities. For many years, she was a health center assistant at the Greg Koubek Basketball Camp at Brant Lake. She organized the paperwork for Zullo and former Mechanicville and RPI coach Bill Kalbaugh prior to their induction into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame.
“We’re going to miss her,” Culnan said. “She is an institution at Shenendehowa. I don’t think she’ll ever stray too far away from the game.”
Hosterman was inducted into the Shenendehowa Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013 for lifetime achievement, and last year was honored by the Upstate New York Basketball Hall of Fame as its Love of the Game Award recipient.