One of the greatest football players in Jamestown High School history who also played at the highest collegiate levels will be inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
Sam Restivo will join 10 other honorees at the CSHOF’s 36th annual banquet, which will be held Monday, Feb. 20 at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club. Joining him in the Class of 2017 are Paul Cooley, Jake Ensign, Charlie LaDuca, Sammy LaMancuso, Deb Palmer, Bob Patterson, Dave Polechetti, Michael Sayers, Maceo Wofford and the late Francis “Doc” Malinoski.
Growing up on Jamestown’s westside, Restivo began to show his prodigious athletic talents at a young age, and by the time he reached JHS they really began to blossom.
As a senior, he was named first-team all-state and a Connolly Cup finalist, an honor reserved only for the top players in Western New York. In his final game as a Red Raider, — the Section VI championship — Restivo amassed 22 tackles, which stood as a Rich Stadium playoff record for years. Wally Huckno, another CSHOF inductee (Class of 2001) who was an assistant on the coaching staff in the late 1970s, has called Restivo the “greatest football player in school history.”
A two-year starter on the JHS basketball team, Restivo scored the game-winning layup in the closing seconds of the Section VI championship game against Lackawanna.
Upon graduation from JHS, Restivo took his talents and a full scholarship to Division I-power Florida State where he earned three letters and played in three bowl games — Orange (1981), Peach (1983) and Gator (1984). During his career he was the Seminoles’ long snapper and ultimately split time at center with an honorable-mention All-American.