by Frank Hyde
March 20, 1962
They called him Sebastian (Little) Foti) back in the days when he played guard for Jamestown High School and teamed with Salvatore (Big) Foti, the only two athletically inclined of the nine Foti brothers.
Jim played with Jamestown from 1925 through 1928. He was under Coach Clarence Carling in '25 and was on the Raider eleven when Dent Moon started his long and illustrious coaching reign in ’26.
Today Jim is coaching football, basketball and track at Warwood High, Wheeling. W. Va. He has held the post since 1950.
He joined the coaching fraternity at Erie Prep in 1939 and was at Wheeling Central from 1941 through 1947, where his basketball teams won the state championship five of six years. Jim held the coaching reins at Bellaire (Ohio) High in ‘48 and '49, resigning and catching on with Warwood in ‘50 where he still holds forth.
His best football season at Warwood was 1952, when he won nine in a row before losing to Rochester Tech in the Steel Bowl at Steubenville. Ohio, Phil Colella, Notre Dame star, who transferred to St. Bonaventure to play under Hugh Devore in later years, was the big name for Rochester.
Jim's Warwood cagers won the Ohio Valley Conference Championship this past season with a 15-6 record, which is some doings under the circumstances. His school is of Class A classification and is playing in a league with one other "A" outfit, five Double A's and four Triple A's. Warwood lost in the sectional tournament finals to Follansbee,47-46, a school it had defeated twice during the regular season.
The Foti brothers have been reduced from nine to eight by the death of Sam in Westfield a few days ago. Jim was looking up old friends during a short stopover in Jamestown after attending the funeral.
Salvatore (now George) is principal of a school at Orlando, Fla., but the remainder of the Foti family still resides here. Joe is with Royal Wallpaper and Paint Co., Tom works in the shipping room at Art Metal, as does Serri, Ross is a retired city worker, Tony, a former cement contractor, is also retired, as is Paul, a former railroad worker. A sister, Carrie, still makes her home in Jamestown. Sam was a farmer near Westfield.
Jamestown teams of the Foti era racked up some good records. The 1925 outfit won six, lost one and tied one. Moon’s 1926 and 1927 clubs were 6-2 and 7-1 respectively and 5-3 in 1928. When the 1926 team traveled to Warren and beat the Dragons, 19-0, it was an historical event-the first game away from the home field to be broadcast by radio. The local station in those days was WOCL which stood for We Are On Chautauqua Lake.
Some, not all, but some of the hardy characters Foti played with included the recently resigned JHS coach, Walt Colburn and the current city schools athletic director Howie Wiquist; Dr. Jim Goodell, now volunteer physician for the Raiders, and Dr. Rappole. The once-beaten 1927 club had Roy Muhrer, Bill Jowett, Dick McVey, Gust and Jim Lambros, Andy Jackson, Bill Bjork, Carl Malm, Earl Kohn, Phil Nelson, Walt Wellman, Floyd Almquist, Earl Stevens, Marshall Bergstrom, Henry Johnson, Roccie Malpede, Virg Eggleston, Frank Roselli, Ted Winter, John Davidson, Wilmot Bates, William Kellogg, John Crissy and the Foti boys. At least that is the gang that reported for the first drill.
The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.