Daily Local News: 11/15/10
Hundreds gather for Hall of Fame event
EXTON - Almost 300 people gathered at the Inn of Chester Springs on Saturday
night for the third annual Chester County Sports Hall of Fame Induction
Banquet, where former athletes and coaches, including a landmark oldest
inductee, shared stories of tragedies and triumphs.
Moderator and women's basketball legend, Theresa Grentz, of the famed,
Immaculata Mighty Macs and a member of the 2009 CCSHOF class, kicked off the
evening with a story about a movie handler asking for sizes of women who
would be playing characters in the film about the Macs. Grentz, pushing six
feet tall, responded in her usual direct manner. "Well, I'll tell you, I
want a big costume because I want to be a big nun!" she said, to the
laughter of the attendees. Grentz was peppered with questions throughout the
night about the movie status - which has been in post-production for more
than three years - but shrugged each time, explaining, "Movies take a long
Later in the evening, the organization's president, Jerry Schneider, honored
former Daily Local News sports editor Greg Greenday, a co-founder of the
CCSHOF. Greenday's passion and love for all things sports was second only to
his devotion to getting the story straight about the players and coaches
from the Delaware Valley who contributed to the region's rich athletic
heritage. Greenday died in April after a bout with lung cancer.
United States Field Hockey captain, ex-Olympian and new mother, Kate Barber,
a member of the 2010 class, modestly recounted her life in sports beginning
with special thanks to her family and late mother. A Unionville High School
graduate, Barber traveled from Virginia for the event with her 4 1⁄2-week-old
daughter, Sam, in tow. Sam was the youngest member of the CCSHOF family,
nearly a full century younger than inductee Nick Bruno.
At 97, Bruno, who lettered in football, basketball and track at West Chester
High School some 80 years ago, sounded like a Grammy awards recipient,
thrilled with being nominated, let alone inducted. While many inductees had
family and friends in attendance to celebrate with them, it was a little
harder to gather them for Bruno, who wished his late wife and daughter could
have been there with him.
But there was a surprise waiting for him as he entered the ballroom. "My
boys!" said the surprised inductee upon seeing three men, now in their
mid-forties, who knew Bruno as teenagers when he mentored them not on the
football field but on the golf course at West Chester Country Club. Bruno,
then in his sixties, was one of a group of older men who met at the links on
Thursdays to play golf and teach younger kids the game. These three men,
when they heard their 'golf coach,' was to be inducted, called CCSHOF member
Ralph Watson, telling him, "Count us in!"
Other members entering the Chester County Sports Hall of Fame were Michael
"Nick" Basca (Phoenixville football), Bob Boyer (Downingtown administrator),
Michael Grady (ex-Phillie from late 1800s), Vonnie Gros (West Chester field
hockey coach), John Hay (West Chester Henderson track and swimming coach),
Nancy Hannum (fox hunting, land conservation), Roy Jackson (baseball, horse
racing), Ross Kershey (Coatesville track and basketball coach), Muffett
McGraw (Notre Dame women's basketball coach), Charles Moore (Olympic
hurdler), Ed Rush (NBA referee), Butch Shockley (Conestoga High and West
Chester University football and baseball) and Garo Yepremian (NFL kicker).
Hannum and Hay died earlier this year.
After all 15 new members were introduced and inducted, then came the sheer
entertainment value. Introduced by the Honorable Mark Bruno, Yepremian took
center stage and 'keeked' it into high gear, leaving some members of a
captivated audience to wonder if he will be known as famously for his
perfect speech as he is for his perfect season with the Miami Dolphins. A
contender for next year's CCSHOF moderator, perhaps?
"I can't be a moderator, I'm not good at it," Yepremian said. Surprised by
his response, someone asked why not since he was a killer at the microphone.
"Because I'm a story teller," he said. "I want to talk the whole time!"
The audience wouldn't mind, but next year's inductees might.
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