Daily Local News: 8/15/10
County Sports Hall of Fame unveils third class
For the board members of the Chester County Sports Hall of Fame, the hardest
thing about selecting the third class of inductees was who to leave out.
"We had 30 people on the ballot and they all belong in there," said the
organization's president, Jerry Schneider. "It's just a matter of when
they're going to get in. And then we have another 130 people that we need to
put on (the ballot).
"We're not going to run out of people. The county keeps growing them."
Since helping to launch the nonprofit organization with other county
residents and late Daily Local sports editor Greg Greenday in 2008,
Schneider has welcomed many legendary athletes, coaches, community leaders
and media types into the Hall of Fame.
He believes this class - which was recently selected and will be officially
inducted on Nov. 13 at the Inn at Chester Springs in Lionville - sets the
bar as an influential and inspiring group of people.
It includes Bob Boyer, a three-sport athlete at West Chester University and
longtime coach and athletic director at Downingtown High School; John Hay,
who coached West Chester Henderson in swimming and track; and Nancy Hannum,
the Unionville foxhunter who preserved thousands of Chester County acres
before dying earlier this year.
"These were folks that passed on a lot of values to a lot of young people,"
Schneider said. "And that's a good thing."
Other prominent coaches to be recognized are Ross "The Silver Fox" Kershey,
who guided the Coatesville High track and boys basketball teams to much
success, and Muffett McGraw, a West Chester native and longtime coach of the
Notre Dame women's basketball squad.
The biggest name in the group is probably Garo Yepremian,
the former NFL kicker who was a key member of the 1972 Miami Dolphins'
perfect season. Originally from Cyprus - the foreign-born kicker once
famously said, "I keek a touchdown" - Yepremian raised his family in the
Oxford area and currently lives in Avondale.
"He's been a Chester County guy for a long time," Schneider said.
The class also boasts two women synonymous with Chester County field hockey:
Kate Barber and Vonnie Gros. Barber, a Unionville High graduate, was a
fixture on the U.S. National team and achieved a lifelong dream when she
played in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Gros, meanwhile, turned the West Chester
State field hockey team into a national-championship winning dynasty in the
Other members of the 15-member class of inductees are:
Michael Basca: The Phoenixville High grad played football for Villanova
University and one season for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1941, but his
career was cut short when he was killed in combat during World War II.
Nick Bruno: Another star athlete early in the century, the West Chester
High School alum excelled on the football field, the basketball court and
the track in the early 1930s.
Michael Grady: The Kennett square native was a catcher in the Major
Leagues from 1894-1906, breaking in with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Roy Jackson: Perhaps most famous for owning the racehorse Barbaro, the
West Grove resident was also heavily involved in baseball as an owner and
president in the minor leagues.
Charles Moore: Born in Coatesville and raised in Unionville, the track
star won a gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1952 Olympics.
Ed Rush: The ex-husband of famed Immaculata women's basketball coach Cathy
Rush, the West Chester State Teachers College (now West Chester University)
alum was an NBA referee for 28 seasons.
Butch Shockley: A star football player at Conestoga High and West Chester
State in the 1950s, the running back was drafted by the New York Titans of
the American Football League, scoring the first points in the team's
history. He died in 1992.
Together, these 15 men and women will join a Hall of Fame that already
includes Cathy Rush, Dallas Green, Dick Vermeil, Glenn Killinger, Richard
Hamilton, Jim Furyk, Andre Thornton, Mike Piazza, Jon Matlack, Herb Pennock,
Al Bruno and Alvy Kelly from the inaugural class and Howie Bedell, Art
Douglas, Monte Irvin, Billy Joe, Addy Kelly, Butch McDevitt, Curt Schilling,
Don Strock, Marian Washington and Dick Yoder from last year's group.
For Schneider and others on the board, finding enough talented people to
fill out the Hall of Fame has never been a problem. But there have been
other issues along the way.
"We're learning," Schneider said. "The first year was too easy for us. We
had good people come in and the banquet was a booming success. The second
year there were a couple of glitches because the big names didn't show up -
like Curt Schilling. But we still had a good banquet."
One of the major future endeavors is to build a minor league ballpark in
West Chester, where a permanent Hall of Fame exhibit would be displayed. But
that is still likely a long way down the road.
For now, the group will continue to nominate and vote on quality sports
figures who have made their mark on this county in different ways. And more
are coming every year. Schneider specifically mentioned young PGA golfer
Sean O'Hair from Pocopson and NFL rookie Derrick Morgan from Coatesville as
athletes who are on the fast track into the Hall.
Put it this way: "We're not going to run out of people," Schneider said.
NOTE: The Winner's Circle in Exton will be hosting a sports memorabilia
"Show and Tell" on Aug. 30 at 6:30 p.m. with Chester County Sports Hall of
Famers like Howie Bedell in attendance. People are encouraged to bring their
favorite piece of memorabilia and share the story that goes with it. The
event is free and open to everyone. For more information, visit
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