Tri-County Hall of Fame to en­shrine 40th class

The Community Connection - - SPORTS - By Jeff Stover js­tover@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @Mer­curyXS­tover on Twit­ter

It hon­ors those area na­tives who achieved great suc­cess in their var­i­ous ath­letic en­deav­ors over the years.

Now, the Penn­syl­va­nia Sports Hall of Fame’s Tri­County Area Chap­ter has reached a mile­stone of its own. The or­ga­ni­za­tion will be en­shrin­ing its 40th class of ath­letes dur­ing its an­nual In­duc­tion Din­ner Saturday, Oct. 14.

Ten of 18 nom­i­nees on this year’s bal­lot were se­lected by chap­ter mem­bers. It was re­ported a record num­ber of bal­lots were re­turned.

“This is a big thing for us,” chap­ter pres­i­dent Dave Rei­de­nouer said. “We’re proud of the fact we had more nom­i­na­tions.”

The Tri-County Area Chap­ter has seen growth dur­ing its ex­is­tence. While hav­ing ap­prox­i­mately 250 ath­letes in­ducted over the years, it’s grown to draw ath­letes from mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties sur­round­ing the Pottstown com­mu­nity.

“This is a big thing, be­ing our 40th year,” Rei­de­neour, him­self a 1999 chap­ter in­ductee, said. “We’ve branched out to com­mu­ni­ties like Phoenixville and Boy­er­town.

“We’re push­ing to get into more of the out­ly­ing ar­eas. That’s some­thing we’re re­ally striv­ing for.”

The in­duc­tion din­ner will be held in the Sun­ny­brook Ball­room, start­ing with a so­cial hour at 5:30 p.m. Din­ner and the awards cer­e­mony will follow at 6:30 p.m.

“We’re look­ing for an­other big crowd,” Rei­de­nouer said. “We had about 250 last year.”

Dead­line for pur­chas­ing tick­ets is Tues­day, Oct. 10; there will be no sales at the door. Ticket in­for­ma­tion or other ques­tions per­tain­ing to the in­duc­tion din­ner may be ob­tained by call­ing ei­ther Rei­de­nouer at 484300-1971 or Gina Custer at 610-673-6434.

Rei­de­nouer suc­ceeded Elmer “Chump” Pol­lock as chap­ter pres­i­dent ap­prox­i­mately six years ago, after be­ing on the com­mit­tee a num­ber of years. Other Tri­County Area direc­tors are Randy Re­ber (vice-pres­i­dent), Spencer Moser (trea­surer), Jim Co­rum (con­sul­tant) and Je­nis Fred­er­ick.

*** Cap­sules of the 2017 in­ductees for the Penn­syl­va­nia Sports Hall of Fame’s Tri-County Area Chap­ter:

A.J. BATTISTO » Pitched for Pottsgrove High School and

the Pottstown Spar­tans in the sum­mer. Named Most Valu­able Player for the Spar­tans and All PAC-10 with the Fal­cons. Went on to Ge­or­gia South­ern, where he ap­peared in 92 games as a re­lief pitcher (sec­ond most in pro­gram his­tory) and com­piled a 12-0 record. Drafted by the Mi­ami Mar­lins in 2007, ad­vanced to their Triple-A fran­chise dur­ing a seven-year pro ca­reer, com­pil­ing a 22-11 record while in their farm sys­tem. Also played in the Puerto Ri­can win­ter league two years, and the Ital­ian team in the 2006 World Cup. Cur­rently serv­ing as pitch­ing coach at North Carolina Cen­tral Univer­sity.

MATT COTELLESE >> An out­stand­ing base­ball player from Boy­er­town who played in the Amer­i­can Legion pro­gram for three years. Mem­ber of teams that went a com­bined 142-37, won two Berks County League and Pa. Re­gion Two cham­pi­onships, one Penn­syl­va­nia and MidAt­lantic Regional state ti­tle and reached the Amer­i­can Legion World Se­ries’ Fi­nal Four. Went on to play ball at West Ch­ester Univer­sity, twice be­ing named Penn­syl­va­nia State Ath­letic Con­fer­ence (PSAC) Player of the Year and a Di­vi­sion II first team All-Amer­i­can. Hit .427 with 25 dou­bles, 11 home runs and 71 RBI his se­nior year. The only player in PSAC his­tory to have 300

hits, 200 RBI and 200 runs in a ca­reer.

CHRIS GORHAM » A true per­son­i­fi­ca­tion of the term “stu­dent ath­lete” while at Pottstown, car­ry­ing a 4.0 grade-point av­er­age and mem­ber­ship in the National Honor So­ci­ety while ex­celling in foot­ball and track. A three-time Al­lLeague sprinter and an­chor of a 4x400 re­lay team that won sil­ver medals at states. Played wide re­ceiver and de­fen­sive back for the Tro­jans, ac­corded all-league hon­ors twice as a de­fen­sive back. Had eight ca­reer in­ter­cep­tions and scored a num­ber of touch­downs on of­fense; con­sid­ered Penn­syl­va­nia’s sec­ond-best de­fen­sive back by Su­perPrep. Went on to the Univer­sity of Vir­ginia, where he played de­fen­sive back his first three sea­sons be­fore switch­ing to wide re­ceiver his se­nior year. Had sev­eral tremen­dous games for UVA against such tough ACC op­po­nents as Florida State, Mi­ami, Mary­land and Ge­or­gia Tech.

MAL­LORY GREENE » Earned 10 var­sity let­ters dur­ing her scholas­tic ca­reer at Pottsgrove — four in bas­ket­ball, three apiece in field hockey and soft­ball. Named first team PAC-10 de­fense in field hockey, sec­ond team PAC-10 guard in bas­ket­ball and first team PAC-10 pitcher her se­nior year. Won a Sum­mit Award for sports­man­ship in 2002 and was named 2003 Fe­male Ath­lete of the Year at Pottsgrove. In a soft­ball game against Lans­dale Catholic, pitched 20 in­nings with 38 strike­outs,

hit two triples, was in­ten­tion­ally walked four straight times but the Fal­cons ended up los­ing a 1-0 game on an er­ror. At­tended Ursi­nus Col­lege, where she be­came the first three-time con­fer­ence pitcher of the year (2005-07) and was in­ducted into the col­lege’s Hall of Fame in 2017.

KELLY (GRIM) CARAS » 1985 Boy­er­town High grad­u­ate ex­celled both in the class­room and on the ath­letic fields. Re­cip­i­ent of the G. Mar­cella Wise Award as an out­stand­ing fe­male scholar-ath­lete, and named to the Brine High School All-Amer­i­can lacrosse team for de­fense. She also played field hockey and bas­ket­ball for Boy­er­town. Re­ceived a lacrosse schol­ar­ship to Tem­ple Univer­sity, where she was a three-time Di­vi­sion I All-Amer­i­can and helped the pro­gram go 64-7. In­volved with the Owls mak­ing the Fi­nal Four each of her years there, fin­ish sec­ond in 1987 and emerge as national champions in 1988 with a 19-0 record. Team cap­tain her se­nior year. Played on the U.S. National team seven years, com­pet­ing all over the world. In­ducted into Tem­ple’s Hall of Fame.

RICK KRAYNAK » 1979 Phoenixville High grad­u­ate let­tered in four dif­fer­ent sports. Played full­back and line­backer on the school’s 1978 Ches-Mont League cham­pi­onship team, be­ing ac­corded its De­fen­sive Player of the Year and Most Valu­able Player awards. A first-team All­State selec­tion, he played in the pres­ti­gious Big 33 All-Star Game. Re­ceived a schol­ar­ship to the Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh, where he played in four bowl games (Fi­esta, Gator, Cotton and Sugar) and led the Panthers with 104 tack­les while mak­ing five in­ter­cep­tions. Pitt’s 1982 Stu­den­tAth­lete Award. Drafted by both the National Foot­ball League’s Philadelphia Ea­gles and the United States Foot­ball League’s Philadelphia Stars. With the Ea­gles, he was named Out­stand­ing Spe­cial Teams Player his rookie year. In 1984, he scored a touch­down fol­low­ing a blocked punt. In­ducted into Phoenixville’s Hall of Fame in 1997.

CHONN LACEY » Four-year starter on of­fense and de­fense for Pottstown’s foot­ball team. In 1996, was first team all-area wide re­ceiver, sec­ond team de­fen­sive back, team’s Most Valu­able Player for team, on de­fense and spe­cial teams. Went to Val­ley Forge Mil­i­tary Academy for post-grad­u­ate year, named team’s MVP. Went on to Tem­ple Univer­sity, where he played at de­fen­sive back as a true fresh­man and started 40 games. A three-way player his se­nior year, he started the Blue-Gray All-Star Game, was named Tem­ple’s MVP his se­nior year. A two-time Big East De­fen­sive Player of the Week, he ranked fourth all-time in tack­les (215) and sev­enth in in­ter­cep­tions (10). After grad­u­at­ing from Tem­ple and be­ing named to Ath­letic Direc­tor’s Honor Roll, had brief stints in the National Foot­ball League with the Bal­ti­more Ravens, New Or­leans

Saints and Seat­tle Sea­hawks.

JOE MASLEH » A foot­ball player at Pottstown, the start­ing de­fen­sive end on the Tro­jans’ un­de­feated 1961-62 team. Started long coach­ing ca­reer in 1985, coach­ing the St. Pius X High School soft­ball team un­til 1991 and lead­ing it to a first-ever Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship in 1989. Coached Pottstown’s girls bas­ket­ball team from 1992 to 1999, win­ning league ti­tles in 1996 and 1997. Went on to coach girls bas­ket­ball at Pius from 1999 to 2010, com­pil­ing a 130-68 record in that span while win­ning the 2005 PAC cham­pi­onship and seven straight Dis­trict 1 Class AA crowns (2002-09). The Mer­cury’s Coach of the Year in 1997 and 2005, he also coached a Po­lice Ath­letic League girls teams to a national cham­pi­onship in 1985. DEB (MINZOLA) JIMENEZ

» 1985 Boy­er­town High School grad­u­ate was a twosport star in lacrosse and field hockey. An All Ch­esMont lacrosse first team pick three times and twotime high school All-Amer­i­can by the United States Women’s Lacrosse As­so­ci­a­tion. Named Fe­male Ath­lete of the Year by sev­eral or­ga­ni­za­tions, among them the Pottstown Chap­ter of the Penn­syl­va­nia Sports Hall of Fame. Ca­reer to­tal of 248 goals led both the Boy­er­town pro­gram and the Ches-Mont League. Named Player of the Year by both the Pottstown Mer­cury and the Pottstown Old

Timers. Player in nu­mer­ous All-Star Games. Led Boy­er­town to Ches-Mont and Dis­trict 1 cham­pi­onships in 1984 and 1985. Re­ceived a schol­ar­ship to Tem­ple Univer­sity, where she was named to All-Amer­i­can teams while help­ing the women’s lacrosse team win a national cham­pi­onship in 1988. AN­DRE “THUN­DER” THORN­TON » Phoenixville High grad­u­ate went on to have a stel­lar 14-year ca­reer in Ma­jor League Base­ball that in­cluded stops with the Chicago Cubs, Mon­treal Ex­pos and Cleve­land In­di­ans. Signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an am­a­teur free agent in 1967, he was traded to the At­lanta Braves in 1972 and to the Cubs later that year. Named to Base­ball Digest’s 1974 Al­lRookie Team as a first base­man. A two-time Amer­i­can League All-Star, he fin­ished his ca­reer with a .254 bat­ting av­er­age, a .360 on-base per­cent­age, a .452 slug­ging per­cent­age, 253 home runs and 244 dou­bles. A 2007 in­ductee into the In­di­ans’ Hall of Fame and the mi­nor-league Read­ing Phillies Hall of Fame. Re­ceived the Roberto Cle­mente Award in 1979 for demon­strat­ing sports­man­ship and com­mu­nity devel­op­ment. The pres­i­dent and CEO of ASW Global, a sup­ply-chain man­age­ment com­pany, he is in­volved with var­i­ous boards in the Cleve­land com­mu­nity — among them the Cleve­land Coun­cil on World Af­fairs and the Cleve­land Zo­o­log­i­cal So­ci­ety.

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