Sports Hall of Fame Induction Has Dunmore Flavor

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By Steve Svetovich

The Northeastern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame had a Dunmore flavor during its 36th annual Induction Ceremony at the University of Scranton DeNaples Center last month.

The Induction Ceremonial Dinner, held October 27, included 10 new members plus an annual media award selection, Kent Westling.

Half of the 10 new inductees have Dunmore ties. And those five include long time Bishop O’Hara and Holy Cross basketball coach Al Callejas, former Bishop O’Hara softball and basketball standout Sara Harris Walsh, former Dunmore High School baseball and basketball star Kevin Walsh, Dunmore High School Superintendant John Marichak who was a three-sport athlete at Scranton Tech and four-year football starter at Villanova University and former Scranton Prep All-Scholastic football player Thomas O’Donnell who lettered at the Division I college level. O’Donnell had a contingent of Dunmore family members, including his brother Al, present at his induction. 

The other five inductees were Scranton Women’s Bowling Association standout Pamela Kiesel, distinguished long time basketball official James “Red” McAndrew, 42-year PIAA wrestling official Peter Smith, two-time Montrose All-State football lineman Chris Snee who was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time Super Bowl champion with the New York Giants and two-time PIAA All-State cross country champion Carly Graytock Shea from Forest City High School. 

Bob Walsh, former University of Scranton assistant basketball coach, is Northeastern Chapter President.

Former Mid Valley baseball standout Jerry Valonis is Vice President of the Northeastern Chapter. Judy Igoe Carr, who provided the remarks, is secretary. Tom “Doc” Dougherty is treasurer. 

The executive committee of the Northeastern Chapter includes Walsh, Valonis, Igoe Carr, Rich Revta, Jerry Kowalski, Jerry Dempsey, Dougherty and Alice Foley who provided the benediction. 

Jim Coles, of WNEP-TV, served as toastmaster for the annual event.

The U.S. Marine Corps provided presentation of colors.

Callejas, in 25 years of high school basketball coaching and still going strong, has won 488 games, eight Lackawanna League titles and nine District II championships. His teams currently have earned 12 consecutive berths to the PIAA State tournament. Callejas spoke of having the unique opportunity to coach his sons at Holy Cross. 

Graytock Shea won both the District 12 Cross Country title and was the 3200m champ at Forest City. She was a two-time PIAA All-State cross country champion. She was a three-time all-Patriot League cross country performer and two-time Regional Mid Atlantic All-Star at Bucknell University. 

Kiesel was the first woman in the Scranton Women’s Bowling Association to roll a perfect 300 game. In 1981, she was one of only four women in the United States with two 800-series to her credit. She is a member of the Scranton WBA and Chic Feldman Hall of Fame.

Marichak was a baseball, basketball and football standout at Scranton Tech. He was a two-time All-Scholastic linebacker and MVP in the Lackawanna League basketball All-Stsr game. He was Yankee Conference All-Academic during a four-year football career at Villanova. He was head football coach at Honesdale and Scranton High School. He compiled a 57-46 record in nine years at Scranton where his teams were two-time Lackawanna Football Conference Division I champs. The self-made Marichak spoke of the importance and influence of his family during his speech. 

McAndrew was a two-sport athlete at Scranton Tech. As a highly respected basketball official, he worked Division I, II and III. He has been a PIAA high school basketball official for over 35 years and received the John Nucatola award at the College Basketball Officials Association banquet. Popular and well spoken, he received plenty of cheers at the Induction and drew laughs from the crowd during his speech. He spoke of attending a camp for officials and learning the trade before going back later in his career to mentor and teach himself. 

O’Donnell was an All-Scholastic football player at both offensive guard and defensive tackle at Scranton Prep. He is the first ever Scranton Prep player to,letter at the Division I college level. He was a two-year letter winner for the Army football team. He won the Commander and Chiefs Trophy at West Point and was selected to play in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

Smith was team captain for the football, wrestling and baseball teams at Abington Heights High School. As head wrestling coach at Abington, his teams were 56-15 from 1968 through 1973. His teams were Suburban League champions in 1970, 1972, 1973 and co-champs in 1971. As a 42-year PIAA wrestling official, he worked in 12 State championships. He received the prestigious Abington Area Award for 50 years of service to wrestling.

Snee was Regional Defensive Player of the Year in 1999 as a member of Montrose High School football. He was a second-team All American football lineman at Boston College. He was chosen by the New York Giants in the second round of the 2004 NFL draft and went on to win two Super Bowls with the team before retiring in 2014. He is currently a scout with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Walsh was MVP for both the baseball and basketball teams at Dunmore High School. He was a 1,000-point scorer and collected over 500 rebounds at Dunmore. He was a two-time Lynett Memorial Tournament selection and also its MVP. In baseball, he was a two-time League and District champion at Dunmore. He was a two-time Freedom League and Middle Atlantic Conference champion at Wilkes College. He was named six times to the All Tournament team averaging 10 points and eight rebounds over his college career at Wilkes. He is currently an NCAA basketball official and PIAA baseball and basketball official. He worked the Sweet-16 tournament on the Division II level for basketball. 

Harris Walsh was a four-time Lackawanna League Southern Division All-Star and three-time Chic Feldman Tournament selection at Bishop O’Hara High School in Dunmore. She was three-time MVP of the Scranton Jaycees/LJC Holiday Tournament. She was a 1,000 point scorer and All Region selection in basketball three times. She was a two-time All Regional softball player. She was selected to the Patriot League’s All Rookie team for basketball at Lafayette College.

Westling was the well respected Play-by-Play broadcaster for the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons from 1989 through 2007. He worked as the football and basketball radio announcer for Wilkes University and a Play-by-Play announcer for University of Scranton basketball. He was TV Sports Director and Anchor for WYOU from 1981 through 1987. He was Play-by-Play announcer for the St, Louis Blues hockey team of the NHL.Westling has interviewed the likes of late heavy weight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, former boxing champs Mike Tyson and Larry Holmes and the late Joe Frazier, actor Paul Newman and race car driver Richard Petty.

Henzes, Curry, Peck, Klein Prindle Inducted into State Hall of Fame

henzesBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore Bucks legendary football coach Jack Henzes, late Berwick football coach George Curry, Abington Heights graduate Abby Peck and Scranton Prep graduate Kathleen Klein Prindle were among 12 inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Woodlands, Wilkes Barre.

Bob Walsh, president of the Northeastern Chapter, performed the Welcome during the ceremonies for the Class of 2018.

Jim Coles served as toastmaster for the 56th induction ceremony and banquet.

The presentation of colors was performed by the Northeastern Detachment Marine Corps League Department of PA.

Sue Lucas sang the national anthem. Joe Bordell introduced Hall of Fame president Ed Ludwig.

Retired Dunmore teacher and former Lady Bucks basketball coach Alice Foley of the Northeast Chapter provided the invocation and benediction.

The event was hosted by the Northeastern Chapter in collaboration with the Carbon County, Lehigh Valley-Pocono, John Popple-Luzerne, Allen Rogowicz, Ed Romance, Bernie Romanoski, Jerry Wolman-Northern Anthracite, and Bernie Romanoski Chapters.

The 12 inductees were Jack Henzes, George Curry, Abby Peck, Kathleen Klein Prindle, Joe Battista, Robert “Tick” Cloherty, Bruce Dal Canton, Abe Everhart, Tom Harbert, Karen Klassner, Manuel Pihakis and Robert Shoudt.

Henzes, who has the second most high school football wins in state history to Curry, was absent due to illness related to a heart ailment. His induction was accepted by his son Randy.

His career started as an assistant football coach at Blakely High School under his dad, the late “Papa Bear” John Henzes, Sr. In 1966 he became head coach at Wyoming Area and in 1971 was named, and currently is, head football coach at Dunmore where he has a record of 435 wins, 160 losses and eight ties. He has the most wins for an active coach in the state.

He led Dunmore to the Eastern Conference title in 1985, Class A state title in 1989, Class A state Eastern title in 2012, Class AA in 2007, 2014 state Eastern title, District 2 “A” 2012 title, and District 2 “AA” titles in 1995, 1999, 2007-09 and 2014-2017.

He was inducted into the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame, joining his late dad,  in 2009. He is a member of the Chic Feldman Foundation Hall of Fame of Northeast PA.

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George Curry was the winningest high school coach in Pennsylvania. He died back in 2016 from complications with ALS.

The late Curry, whose 455 high school football wins are the most in state history, accumulated six state championships and three national champions. Curry’s son Cosmo accepted the induction.

Curry coached 38 years at Berwick, four years at Lake Lehman and three years at Wyoming Valley West. He coached 12 regular season undefeated teams and had a 47-game winning streak from 1981 to 1985. He was named Coach of the Year 28 times and helped get millions of dollars in scholarships for his players.

Abington Heights graduate Peck represented the United States at the World Championships as a member of the 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1987 National Teams and the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Teams. She was elected Captain of the 1988 Olympic Rowing Team. She is a 12 time National Champion, World Championship and Goodwill Games silver medalist and six times winner at the Head of Charles in Boston. She coached at Smith and Wellesley Colleges and at Masters and pre-Elite levels, where her teams won numerous medals.

As a coach, she worked with the “One-In-Nine” rowing program for cancer patients/survivors, helped create the ‘WeCanRow” program to teach cancer patients/survivors to row and regain physical capability and developed an exercise protocol for a Dana Farber cancer study. The free exercise program she created locally for cancer survivors is in its 11th year.

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Kathleen Klein Prindle was a four-year swimming letterman at Scranton Prep. She assisted in preparing eight athletes in the 2008 Beijing Games resulting in two Olympic medals (Photo Credit: Abington Journal)

Scranton Prep graduate Klein Prindle has been involved in aquatics since 1978, first as a swimmer and later as a coach. Her elite athletes include National Champions and qualifiers from over 18 countries. She founded Performance Aquatics where Olympic hopefuls from all over the world are trained alongside local swimmers, achieving success locally at Junior Olympic/Sectional/State, to nationally at NCAA/USA Nationals, and internationally at World Champs/Olympic Games levels. She created nine Learn-to-Swim programs, 2 USA Swimming competitive teams, two US Masters teams, a Girls/Boys Varsity team and instituted middle school swimming locally.

Battista, known as the “Godfather of Penn State Hockey,” began his career at Penn Hills high school where he was a three-time hockey team captain. He helped secure the largest gift in Penn State history from Terry and Kim Pegula, Carbondale, in 2010 to field varsity men’s and women’s hockey teams and construct the Pegula Ice Arena. He was named Associate Athletic Director to oversee the project. In 2013, he became Vice-President of the Buffalo Sabres.

Cloherty was a four-time first-team PSAC offense and defense player at Clarion State College and was football captain in 1961. He was WPIAL football official for 35 years and basketball official for 25 years.

The late Dal Canton pitched the Cal Vulcans to the District 30 title and first NAIA National tournament. His 1.30 ERA remains a school and PSAC record. He pitched in the major leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves. He had a career big league record of 51-49 with a 3.67 ERA and later served as pitching coach for the Braves. He once set a team record retiring 23 consecutive batters for the Royals.

Everhart was coach of the Uniontown High school Red Raiders basketball team for 29 years. His career record was 549-149, including four WPIAL titles and two PIAA titles.

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Former NFL star Billy “White Shoes” Johnson who escorted PA Sports Hall of Fame inductee Robert Stoudtposes with Steve Svetovich at recent Hall of Fame induction dinner. Johnson is one of 75 players named to NFL’s all-time 75th anniversary team.

Harbert was the youngest head wrestling coach at Saint Vincent College and went on to Latrobe compiling a 202-87-5 record. He earned seven WPIAL titles. He started the varsity men and women’s cross country and men and women’s lacrosse programs at Saint Vincent.

Klassner took over the Wyoming Seminary Blue Knights field hockey team in 1973 and currently holds a 660-171-6 record, including 17 undefeated seasons and six state titles.

Pihakis was Western PA’s Interscholastic Athletic League wrestling champion in 1949, 1950, 1951 and 1952. At Canonsburg High School, he had a 99-1 wrestling record. He had a 58-8 wrestling record at Indiana University where he was All-American.

Shoudt was escorted by former NFL great Billy “White Shoes” Johnson who was named one of the 75 greatest players in pro football history. Shoudt coached track and field at numerous state high schools. His teams won 10 Penn Relays titles. He coached Billy White Shoes on one of his high school track and field teams. He is a six-time Big East Coach of the Year.