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Delzon 'Del' Hodges '61

Wife: Lynn Hodges
Daughters: Pam McInerney and Janice Braman
Sons: Richards Hodges and Tommy Pierson
Delzon 'Del' Hodges

Del Hodges has often been talked about when mentioning, discussing and even arguing the topic of best all-around male athletes ever at Sidney. There were many names in the discussion, of course, but the list would not be complete unless Del's name was there.

The son of Madine and Richard Hodges, Del was a likeable guy and a versatile athlete. His two greatest passions early in life were sports and cars. This was the era of guys learning about cars by getting their hand greasy. As a teen Del would, as the family says, "find them, fix them, drive them and sell them." But while many of his friends did much the same thing when it came to their automobiles, Del Hodges really stood out when it came to his athletics.

Del may be the first Sidney Alumni Hall of Fame inductee who played for three Hall of Fame coaches: Football (Fran Redmond), wrestling (Tom Robertson) and baseball (Alan Drake). In two seasons of varsity football, Del made his mark in a way that - to this day - has still been unmatched. He started as a running back his junior year, considered a rebuilding season (3 wins and 4 losses) after losing so many outstanding players. Yet Del's statistics were impressive. He scored touchdowns in six of the seven games, though in a loss to Newark Valley, his 53 yard scoring run was called back because of a penalty. Four of his eight touchdowns were 20 yards or longer! He also had a TD by interception and his longest official run from scrimmage was 52 yards vs Chenango Valley in a 21-0 loss.

Ah, but most of the starters came back for the 1960 season and here's where it gets good. The Warriors finished the season unbeaten (8-0, still #1 all-time) and set a record for average points per game (34+) which stood until 2004. HOF teammate Jon DeTemple threw for 11 TDs, but much of that would not have worked had defenses not respected Del Hodges. Speaking of records, Del STILL holds the mark for scoring four touchdown in two different games in the same season. Those were against Walton (1, 4, 45 and 85 yards) and in the season finale versus Greene (7, 17,63, 67 yards). Remarkably, in the Greene game, Del ran only five times and was removed by halftime. The combined scores of those games were Sidney 113 Opponents 33! Del was named the Susquenango League's All-Star halfback as icing on the cake.

In wrestling, a 4-year varsity career culminated in a senor season in which he sported a 9-1-1 mark for the Warriors. A chest injury in the League meet ended that season early, keeping him out of the Section IV tournament. Many years later, when Tom Robertson had collected his 200th career coaching victory, he was asked to name an "all-star" team, consisting of three of his best wrestlers at each weight class. Del was one of his picks for 165 lbs.

Del's pitching and 3rd base versatility helped lead the Warriors baseball for two seasons as well. Despite the struggles of a 5-4 junior season, it was "Hodges on the hill", throwing a 2-hit complete game 9-3 victory to ensure an above .500 finish. As for his final season playing for Sidney, Del was 3-1 pitching, sparked a win over Windsor with a grand slam home run, and when not pitching, handled the hot corner. In a class full of exceptional male athletes, it was Del Hodges who was named Most Outstanding as he took the coveted Ralph Pyle Trophy.

After graduation, Del led a productive life. He may also be the answer to this trivia question: Who was the only person who worked on both the Cannonsville Dam (1963 as a member of the Teamsters) and 1-88 construction (1973 running his own dump trucks) projects? In between those two stints, Del served honorably in the US Marines (1964-67). In earning the rank of sergeant, his service was highlighted by a tour of Okinawa, Japan & Chu Lai, Vietnam. Del's unit supplied fuel for all military branches.

All this time, Del started his family with first wife Gretchen (Snel) and renovated a century-old farmhouse near Tryon's Corners. By the late 70s, he drove a tractor-trailer making deliveries through New York and northern Pennsylvania while continuing his love of fixing and selling cars. Del was definitely a "hands-on" guy, but also gave of his time for the activities of his daughter Pam and son Rich.

In 1998, he met and married Lynn Pierson and moved to Georgia where he's enjoyed a nice relaxed country-style life. Lynn's children Tommy and Janice joined the family which now has grown to include eleven grandchildren! His later years have been devoted to his faith, family and friends. With guitar in hand, Del spreads the Word of God in several programs which help fulfill his purpose. With this Hall of Fame Induction, combined with an extended tour of central New York, Del's quote says it best: "I have learned that life is about memories...the craziness in my life is the happiness in my heart. "With that, we welcome Del Hodges back to New York and into the Sidney Alumni Sports Hall of Fame!

(Thanks to Pam Hodges Mclnemey and Lynn Hodges for their help in writing this biography!)