When people talk about the greatest high school athletes in the history of Western New York, Dale Tepas’ name is certainly in the conversation, and rightfully so.
In his junior year at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, Tepas was the high jump champion, and was named All-Catholic in Track and Field. He also earned All-Catholic honors in football in his senior season, which was the only year he played. Despite his success in these sports, it was on the hardwood and the diamond where he really excelled.
Dale played varsity baseball for the Marauders for four years. As a freshman, he recorded seven wins as a starting pitcher, but his success was not limited to the mound. He led the league in home runs in his junior and senior seasons. In his final year, he was the team captain, and was named All-Catholic for his performance as a first baseman, outfielder and pitcher.
For three seasons, Dale was a key component of the St. Joe’s varsity basketball program. In 62 games, he scored over 1,200 points. In his junior year he averaged 22.7 points per game (ppg), which was good enough for the league lead, and in his senior campaign he upped the ante, netting 24 ppg. In that final season, Tepas helped guide the Marauders to a Manhattan Cup Championship, as he was named the M.V.P. of the playoffs.
By the time he left St. Joe’s, Tepas was a five-time All-Catholic (basketball twice, baseball, football, and track and field), two-time All-Western New York (basketball) and one of Parade Magazine’s Top 100 High School Basketball Players (1966).
Tepas continued his basketball career at St. Bonaventure University and contributed to the Bonnies success. He was a starter in his sophomore and senior years, and despite an injury in his junior year, played a key role in the team’s trip to the Final Four. As a senior, he averaged 13 ppg, and again was instrumental in the squad’s post season success, a third place finish in the N.I.T.
Outside of the scholastic sports arena, Tepas also excelled on local baseball diamonds, playing baseball in the American Legion, AAABA and AAA MUNY leagues. He played Legion ball for five years, from grades eight through 12, and was part of championship squads in 1966 and 1967. He was the winning pitcher in the 1967 AAABA championship game and played in the National AAABA tournament that same year. He played on three MUNY championship teams and won 20 straight games as a pitcher from 1967-68. He also played on two NABF teams. In 1970 he pitched a complete-game five-hitter in the semi-finals, propelling the Sloan Bruins to become the first ever Buffalo area team to win a NABF championship.
Tepas, a current resident of Canandaigua, NY, has been highly recognized for his exceptional performance in the athletic arena. He was inducted into the inaugural St. Joe’s hall of fame class in 1994, and into the Western New York Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. The Buffalo News named him to the First Team All-60’s basketball quintet along with Bob Lanier, Tony Masiello, George Carter and Marty Cott.