Craig Paterniti

Craig Paterniti
Craig Paterniti

Year Inducted
Falconer has had its share of outstanding athletes through the years, but the best might have been Craig Paterniti. Paterniti was so outstanding in football, basketball and baseball that in all likelihood he is the only player in Chautauqua County history to make All-Western New York in all three in the same year. That hat trick has been performed very few times by any WNY athlete.

Paterniti was born on November 11, 1951, and began showing the athlete he was to become as an outstanding pitcher and shortstop for the Falconer Little League from 1961-1965. He had several mound battles with Dunkirk's Dave Criscione, who went on to play for the Baltimore Orioles.

Paterniti started playing junior high basketball in the seventh and eight grade followed by a year on the Falconer junior varsity before being elevated to the varsity for a very distinguished three-year career. He was All-Western New York choice as a senior when he averaged more than 23 points per game with five games over 30 points and a then school record 35 points en route to a record 1,022 career points.

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