Memorial Basketball Tournament
December 1-4, 2022
Each year we host the Noto-Smith memorial tournament to help raise funds for our athletic programs. NCCS offers baseball, basketball, volleyball, and track for boys and girls in grades 4-8. These athletic programs have been a long-standing tradition in our community, and we rely on this one annual fundraiser to fund our many sports programs, and to contribute to our overall fundraising goal at NCCS.
When Peg Smith returned to teach at St. Mary’s school in Dunkirk, now Northern Chautauqua Catholic School, she not only came to work where her three children attended school, but the very same place where she received her Catholic School Education.
When this competitive, Christian, and sportsmanlike athlete was in High School, she was always extremely proud of winning the foul shooting contest each year, beating both girls and boys along the way! Peg proceeded to graduate from high school while only 16 years old and went on to the Good Counsel College in White Plains, NY on a full Academic Scholarship. Her degree in Chemistry was used as a building block to receive her Masters from SUNY Fredonia in Mathematics Education.
Mrs. Smith continued her commitment to education by teaching at St. Mary’s and then became Principal for four years. Her devotion to Catholic education and especially this school, now the ONLY Catholic school left in all of Chautauqua County, was demonstrated in many ways, most especially, her love for basketball, which she always supported.
Peg chose Jim Noto, our Tournament Founder, to coach the Boys’ Basketball team and even helped to establish a Girls’ Basketball team. Coach Noto retired in 2008 after 29 years of dedicated and award-winning service. This unassuming "Coach" could often be found in his corner courtside seat, watching the Monarchs compete. Coach's thousands of volunteer hours that spanned three decades is the legacy he leaves behind and one we try to emulate.
A 40-game basketball season for Coach was the norm; he would travel anywhere to get his boys a chance to compete. He also worked a portion of his life with special needs students. Oftentimes, Coach would pile NCCS players in his van and hit the road for a game and occasionally have a special needs student along for the ride, interacting with the squad. The trips included pizza on the way home. Coach Noto pushed his players hard, to be better basketball players, teammates, students and most of all better people! And in the end he hugged them all. Coach James G. Noto passed away in 2022, prompting the renaming of the tournament to include both Noto and Smith.
The children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of the incomparable Peg Smith and Jim Noto profoundly thank you for keeping their memory alive and supporting Catholic Education in Chautauqua County.
Jim Noto's brother, Chuck Noto and Peg Smith's daughter, Becky Conti toss up the ceremonial tipoff at the 2022 Tournament.
Jerry & Peg Smith