HOF announces 28 nominees | News, Sports, Jobs
The Warren County Sports Hall of Fame is looking for something they have not done in 11 years — voting members for the upcoming WCSHOF Class of 2021.
Anybody can join — whether you love sports, are trying to help one of the nominees get into the hall, or just want to support a local organization, all it takes is a $10 membership fee and you will be able to vote on the upcoming induction class. The small fee helps fund the ceremony and the awards, as well as any other expenses such as newspaper ads or other ways of advertisement.
Back in the summer of 2020, the WCSHOF received 68 total nominees. The list was narrowed down to 22 living nominees and six deceased.
A membership into the 2021 Hall of Fame organization costs $10 (an amount that has not changed since 1993), is good for one year, and includes full voting rights. There is also a corporate business membership offered for any businesses interested in joining the WCSHOF. There will be three tiers of sponsorship: Platinum ($200, which includes a sponsorship plaque), Gold ($150), Silver ($100) and Bronze ($50). Each level of sponsorship will receive an ad in the membership booklet, as well as one membership ballot.
For anyone interested in becoming a voting member of the WCSHOF, visit the ‘Warren County Sports Hall of Fame’ Facebook page, or contact Nate Sandberg at: [email protected]
Mail all membership forms, completed ballot, and $10 to WCSHOF, P.O. Box 61, Warren, PA. Make any checks payable to WCSHOF.
Brice Allen, Coaching/Track and Field/Cross Country (Eisenhower)
¯ Ohio State University head track and cross country coach for five years.
¯ 1997 District 10 Champion in 3,200-meter run.
¯ PIAA fifth-place finish in the 3,200-meter relay with a time of 8:15.03, and a 1996 PIAA 10th-place finish for AA in cross country with a time of 16:28.53.
¯ Ran track and cross country at Allegheny College, was the captain of both teams, and an individual qualifier for the 1999 NCAA Cross Country Championships.
¯ Long-distance coach at Louisville University for seven years.
Matt Benson, Track and Field (Sheffield)
¯ PIAA state-record (for all class sizes) 7-foot-1 high jump in 1992 (meet record that still stands today).
¯ Multiple-time state champion in high jump, 1992 and 1991 (6-foot-8). Set school and D-10 record, won D-10 high jump title in 1992.
¯ 1,036 career high school basketball points for Sheffield High School.
¯ Attended Wake Forest University on a track scholarship.
¯ Wake Forest University indoor track high jump record with a leap of 6 feet, 9 inches (1993).
John Bulicz, Football (Sheffield)
¯ 1964 Pennsylvania co-Player of the Year in football with Mike Reid (PSU recruit) and was first-team all-state that year for the running back position.
¯ 1964 high school All-American mention, Big 30 Player of the Year, and led the state of Pennsylvania in points scored.
¯ Attended Syracuse University on a full athletic scholarship and was the running back of the 1964 Sheffield Wolverines undefeated football team.
¯ Played tailback and flanker at Syracuse and was in the same starting backfield as NFL Hall of Famers Larry Csonka and Floyd Little.
¯ Sheffield Area High School 100-yard dash record holder until 1978.
James Curren, Basketball (Warren)
¯ 1,726 career points at Penn State Behrend during his time there (school record at the time).
¯ Four-time All-AMCC selection, and two-time AMCC Player of the Year at the center position.
¯ AMCC Rookie of the Year as a freshman, and team MVP as a senior.
¯ NABC second-team All-Region in 2004 (Equivalent of All-American for Division III at the time).
¯ Penn State Behrend Male Athlete of the Year senior year (2003-04), as well as a 2014 Penn State Behrend Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
Michelle DiPenti, Track and Field/
Cross Country (Warren)
¯ Member of the Warren Girl’s cross country team that won the 1998 District 10 AAA team title.
¯ 1999 District 10 AAA Champion in the 1,600 meters (5:10) and the 3,200-meter relay (9:41.1); broke the school record in both events; second place in the 800 meterd (2:21).
¯ Second place in the AAA 1,600 meters (5:01.1) at the 1999 PIAA Track and Field Championships; earned All-Pennsylvania Team honors; ranked 31st in the nation in the 1,600 meters.
¯ Earned an athletic scholarship from George Mason University (NCAA Division I Athletic 10 Conference to run cross country and indoor/outdoor track).
¯ GMU cross country bests: second place at the 2002 George Washington Invitational; 10th at the 2002 CAA Championships; All-CAA Team honors; GMU track bests: (indoor) seventh place in the 1,000 meters run at the 2003 ECAC Championships; (outdoor) qualified in the 3,200-meter relay for the 2003 ECAC Championships.
¯ Has won over 20 Ladies Club Championships on five different courses: Conewango Valley Country Club; Letterkenny Army Depot, Pa., Carlisle Barracks, Pa; Ft. Knox, Kentucky; and Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.
¯ Lettered as a three-year starter for the PSU Lady Lions golf team and was a three-year starter on the PSU Lady Lions basketball team and lettered one year in softball.
¯ Scored 44 points in one high school basketball game and averaged 25 points per game her senior year of high school.
¯ Holds the course record on both golf courses at the Chautauqua Institution (2-under par at the Hill Course, and 6-under par at the Lake Course), as well as Carlisle Barracks (4-under-par 69).
¯ As a swimmer in the early years, held numerous freestyle records at the Warren YMCA (the 50-, 100- and 200-yard events and relays). In ninth grade, won district and regional swimming championships, and placed fourth at the state meet in the 200-yard freestyle.
Kelly Fredericks, Football (Warren)
¯ Starting quarterback on Coach Toby Shea’s undefeated 1976 Warren Dragons football team.
¯ Named to the Northwest Conference first team as quarterback and was an honorable mention on the all-state team.
¯ Blue-chip prospect — recruited by and played for Penn State University as a linebacker.
¯ Voted the MVP of the 1980 Blue-White game at Penn State University.
¯ Finished high school football career with a 20-1 record as the starting quarterback for the Warren Dragons.
Elisha Jones-Kushner, Basketball/Track and Field (Eisenhower)
¯ Warren County School District all-time female scorer in basketball with 1,829 points; led Eisenhower to multiple state playoff berths; multiple time region players of year, and D10 and state all-star.
¯ Four-time PIAA state medalist in track, including 2005 state champion in javelin, and four-time District 10 track & field champion (three javelin, one long jump); WCSD record holder in javelin, school record holder in javelin, long jump and triple jump
¯ Two-sport star at D3 Waynesburg University; 1,372 career points, fourth all-time, and all-time leader in blocks in basketball; Presidents’ Athletic Conference 60th Anniversary All-Time Team. D3 All-American twice in javelin, and three-time conference champion and NCAA qualifier.
¯ Waynesburg University javelin record holder,
¯ Played cornerback for the Pittsburgh Passion (women’s professional football team)
Aaron Lanzel, Track/Coaching (Eisenhower)
¯ Current Navy Midshipmen head cross country coach (2018-present).
¯ Member of the fastest indoor distance medley relay team in Navy history (9:39:17 — March 3, 2002)
¯ Won the 2003 Naval Academy Athletic Association Sword which is “presented to the midshipman of the graduating class declared by the Association’s Athletic Committee to have personally excelled in athletics during his years of varsity competition.”
¯ 1,500-meter semifinalist in the 2004 Olympic Trials for the United States (broke the 4:00-mile mark as well).
¯ 1999 800-meter PIAA State Champion with a time of 1:56.97.
Joe Letko, Coaching (Eisenhower)
¯ Longtime Eisenhower wrestling coach (became the head coach in 1978).
¯ Has been the section coach of the year three times, the District 10 coach of the year two times and received the District 10 Coaches Recognition Award.
¯ Coached the Knights to two undefeated seasons in 1994 and 1995.
¯ Acquired 100th win on Feb. 17, 1993.
¯ Coached over 30 section champions, two district champions and one regional champion.
Ben Maljovec, Football/Track and Field (Warren)
¯ 2003 First-Team all-state football player.
¯ Rated 29th best football prospect in Pennsylvania by Super Prep.
¯ Four-time BIG East All-Academic team selection.
¯ 2004 AAA 110-meter hurdle D-10 champion with time of 14.70, and D-10 champion in the 300-meter hurdle run with a time of 40.18.
¯ Attended Syracuse University on a full-ride athletic scholarship for football (received offers from Vanderbilt and Iowa as well).
Jimmy Olson, Baseball (Warren)
¯ Played baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies organization, and pitched for the Bend, Oregon Phillies (1982), Spartanburg, South Carolina Spinners (1983) and Reading, Pennsylvania Phillies (1984-85).
¯ Won the Edward T. Hoak MVP Award at Three Rivers Stadium in the Western Pennsylvania American Legion All-Star Game.
¯ Fastball was clocked at 95 mph.
¯ Battled injuries but recovered, and closed out his career with the Burlington, Iowa Expos in 1987.
¯ Ended his career with 538 innings pitched, an earned run average of 4.51, and a win-loss record of 35-35.
Todd Reynolds, Coaching/Wrestling (Warren)
¯ Has won six district Coach of the Year Awards and one Virginia State Coach of the Year Award; was asked to coach the Virginia National Team where his team came in second place as a team and had three individual All-Americans.
¯ Coached over 50 district champions, over 15 region champions, and five state champions.
¯ At the team level has coached seven district team champions, one region team champion, and one state team runner-up.
¯ 1985 high school district and region wrestling champion for weight class; undefeated record during senior season until the state championships.
¯ Lettered as a freshman at WAHS, at a time when freshmen did not typically wrestle at the varsity level; four-year letter winner in both cross country and wrestling.
Ed “Wink” Rickerson, Baseball (Warren)
¯ Signed with the Cleveland Indians organization in 1957 — the same day he threw a no-hitter for the Warren Elks.
¯ Played basketball from 1959-60 for the House of David traveling basketball team — an organization known for their long hair and beards — that traveled the country playing basketball.
¯ Played baseball for the Warren Bombers (formerly known as the Jamestown Bombers) at age 15 for two years. (Teammate of Ernie Banks).
¯ Manager of the Warren Beverage Team in 1963.
¯ Struck out 20 of 21 batters to lead the Western Auto Team to a league championship.
Lori Daff-Siggins, Officiating/Softball (Warren)
¯ 18-year career as a men’s softball (fast/slow pitch) umpire in Pittsburgh
¯ Umpire at the Canadian Cup in Toronto, the Pam Berry Memorial Tournament in Morgantown, West Virginia, and the Senior Olympics in Pittsburgh.
¯ Four-year starter at Muskingum University in softball, a three-year starter in volleyball.
¯ Named D-III All-Conference, All-Region, and an All-American nominee for softball.
¯ Four-year letter winner at Warren Area High School for basketball and softball, and a three-year letter winner in volleyball.
Dean Spiridon Jr., Trap Shooting (Warren)
¯ Four-time Amateur Trapshooting Association All-American Selection (’97, ’99, ’00, ’01).
¯ Five-time All-Pennsylvania State Trapshooting Team Junior section (1997-2001).
¯ Six-time All-Virginia State Trapshooting Team Men’s Selection (’06, ’07, ’09, ’13, ’14, ’15).
¯ Grand American World Trapshooting Championships — four individual wins along with one team championship.
¯ Over 65 championships and more than 45 other wins at the state (PA, MD, NY, OH, ON, VA, WV) and regional trapshooting throughout the United States and Canada.
Lonnie Styles, Baseball (Tidioute)
¯ Played three seasons for Tidioute in the Warren County American Legion baseball league and was named to the all-star team each season: advanced to the Western, Pennsylvania all-star team during final season.
¯ Recruited by Penn State University and played baseball for three seasons. Was a two-time letter winner.
¯ In final season at PSU, had a 3-0 record, four saves, a 2.25 ERA, and averaged 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
¯ Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 35th round of the 1979 MLB Draft.
¯ Inducted into the Tidioute Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.
Tyler Sweet, Track and Field (Warren)
¯ Warren Area High School Javelin record holder with a throw of 197 feet, 10 inches (seventh-best throw in the nation for the year)
¯ Attended Division I Akron University on a scholarship and won the Mid-American Conference javelin championship with a throw of 221 feet, 11 inches (second-best javelin throw in Akron history).
¯ Three-time MAC champion and placed ninth in the javelin at the NCAA Mideast Regional during sophomore year.
¯ Winner of the Campbell/Wright Invitational, LSU Tiger Relays and Northeast Invitational for javelin.
¯ As a senior, was a first-team All-MAC honoree, and placed 18th at the NCAA preliminaries.
Fran Troyan, Coaching (Warren)
¯ All-American shortstop at DIII Allegheny College in 1985.
¯ Longtime D1 Lehigh University head softball coach for 26 years and counting.
¯ As head coach, has overall record of 816-456-6, a Patriot League record of 341-75, and has led Lehigh to 19 Patriot League regular season titles, 11 tournament crowns and 10 NCAA Tournament appearances.
¯ 11 consecutive regular season Patriot League crowns from 1999-2009 and has won nine of the last 16 tournament titles.
¯ Seven-time Patriot League Coach of the Year (1997, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, and sharing it in 2007).
¯ As head coach, he has produced 44 All-Region performers. He has coached four Academic All-Americans and 153 All-Patriot League selections.
Andy Weilacher, Track and Field/Cross-Country, (Eisenhower)
¯ Represented the United States during the 2003 World Cross Country Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland, competed against strong running countries such as Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, and finished 45th place out of 121 runners
¯ 2001 PIAA cross country champion with a time of 16:05.5 with a win margin of 29 seconds, the 2000 PIAA cross country champion with a time of 16:25.1, the 1999 PIAA cross country runner-up with a time of 15:50.5, and finished 10th in the state his freshman year with a time of 16:28.30.
¯ In 2003, earned All-American status at Division I Northern Arizona University with a 43rd place finish during the 2003 NCAA Division I Championships.
¯ At Northern Arizona, helped the Lumberjacks to a 2002 NCAA Mountain Region Title, a seventh-place NCAA finish, and a 2003 Big Sky Conference title for indoor track and field.
¯ Earned all-state honors eight times and has five district titles.
Heather Wilmoth-Hastings, Cross Country (Eisenhower/Warren)
¯ Won a state championship in cross country in 2002 as a senior at Eisenhower High School. Led the Knights to second in the state.
¯ Qualified for states in cross country all four years, including winning District 10 Class AA individual championship as a senior, and the AAA title in the 3,200-meter run for Warren as a sophomore.
¯ Also, as a senior, qualified to run in the Mid-East Conference National high school XC race (a race between PA, OH, MI, IN, IL’s finest) and placed 13th.
¯ Was a Division II All American cross country runner at Edinboro University, and earned 10 varsity letters in four years in basketball, cross country and track for Eisenhower, and one year for Warren.
¯ Continues to run distance races from 5k to marathon at 36 years of age, most recently winning the Nyla Luvison 5k in Sugar Grove in July.
Jeff Zaffino, Bowling (Warren)
¯ PBA Tour (Professional Bowling Association) bowler since 1994.
¯ Has won 29 total (and counting) PBA regional tournaments.
¯ Featured as the tournament leader in the national televised ABC-TV finals of the Greater Detroit Open in 1996 losing the title to Doug Kent.
¯ Has appeared on ESPN’s Pro Bowler’s Tour three times.
¯ Has rolled 14 perfect games on the PBA Tour.
Kelly Allen, Football/Track and Field (Warren)
¯ Nicknamed “The Multi-Man” due to his ability to play multiple positions on the football field.
¯ During his senior year of football, he rushed for 1,645 yards, averaging over 7 yards per carry, and scored 12 touchdowns on the 10-1 team.
¯ Qualified for the state track and field championships in the 120-yard high-hurdles and the 330-yard intermediate high hurdles in 1978.
¯ Played running back, slotback, wide receiver, defensive back and even punt returner.
¯ Named to the Northwest Conference first team as a running back, received honorable mention on the all-state team, and received a Pennsylvania Big 33 nomination as well.
Tom Craig, Coaching (Youngsville)
¯ Youngsville High School football coach for 13 years, with two playoff appearances.
¯ Coached the Youngsville team that ended Ridgeway’s 34-game winning streak, which was the longest winning streak in the state at the time
¯ Possessed great love and enthusiasm for Youngsville and all sports, as well as a positive motivator.
¯ Coached football at Geneva Ohio from 1964-68.
¯ Coached Youngsville varsity baseball for four years and led the team to its first only playoff win in school history.
Lou DeRubies, Coaching (Sheffield)
¯ In 1959, defeated St. Mary’s to stop their 33-game winning streak. The game was called the “state’s upset of the season.”
¯ Coached Sheffield’s first undefeated/untied season in 1960 (8-0), and another one in 1964 and was the Allegheny Mountain League Big 30 Coach of the Year for both years.
¯ Coached the Sheffield 1960, 1961, and 1964 AML championship teams.
¯ Most wins in a nine-year span in Sheffield Area High School history, as well as the best winning record in school history (44-20-1).
Mark Garrett, Pool/Officiating (Warren)
¯ In 2011, became 17th internationally in 8-ball at Las Vegas out of 1579 total entrants- while In Vegas, shot exhibitions against the famous Jeanette Lee and Allison Fisher.
¯ Six-time state champion pool player; individual champion in 2001, as well as five-time team state champion in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2011.
¯ Participated in many national events including playing in Las Vegas and other large venues and has pocketed 387 balls in a freelance run and 106 balls in a straight pool run.
¯ PIAA official for 17 years — officiating basketball and softball, men’s and women’s college basketball, as well as several District 10 and PIAA state championship games.
¯ Founder of the Kinzua Classic pool tournament which brought in over 300 pool players from the tri-state area held at the Holiday Inn.
Charles Musante, Promoter (Warren)
¯ 28-year police officer in the borough of Warren, but served his community in many other ways, including starting the Warren Hot Stove League in 1949, and later transitioning to Little League.
¯ Remembered as a ball player and founder of youth baseball in Warren County with Musante Field dedicated in his honor currently at Betts Park.
¯ Served as the local Hot Stove League president for many years after its founding, with an organization that built 13 brand new ball fields to help field the inaugural 29 teams.
Andy Randas, Coaching/Officiating (Warren)
¯ Head coach of the 1982-83 Warren Area High School Basketball team that won the 1983 District 10 title against Cathedral Prep in overtime
¯ PIAA football official for 32 years, PIAA softball umpire for five years, Warren Rec League Softball official for 22 years.
¯ Head basketball coach at Sheffield from 1974-79 and the head coach of Warren basketball from 1979-88.
¯ Assistant basketball coach in Warren County for 14 years and coached alongside Joseph Massa Sr., as well as the head basketball coach for Edinboro State College for two years.
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