The inaugural class of the Centre County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame has been elected and is set to be inducted Oct. 15 at a ceremony at the Ramada State College Hotel and Conference Center.
Honorees were chosen in three categories — Legends, Deceased and Living — and represent five sports — baseball, football, gymnastics, wrestling and basketball, as well as media.
“The hardest part is that it will take time to recognize all of those deserving of hall of fame recognition,’’ chapter President Ron Pifer said. “I’m sure it will be an emotional moment to be part of our first class of inductees.’’
Those who were chosen in the Legends category are former Bellefonte baseball player John Montgomery Ward, who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964, and State College baseball player Myles Thomas.
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Elected in the Deceased category are former Bellefonte football coach Bill Luther and former Penn State and U.S. Olympic men’s gymnastics coach Gene Wettstone.
Included in the first living class to be inducted are former Penns Valley wrestling coach Joe Hammaker; Bellefonte baseball player and coach Denny Leathers; internationally known fly-fisherman Joe Humphreys, who also wrestled for Penn State and coached Penns Valley and Bald Eagle Area; Doug McDonald, who was a decorated sports writer and editor of the Centre Daily Times; Bruce Parkhill, basketball and soccer player at State College before becoming the men’s basketball coach at Penn State; Dave Adams, a two-time PIAA wrestling champion at Bellefonte; Rich Lorenzo, long-time wrestling coach at Penn State; Thad Turner, former Philipsburg-Osceola wrestler who was an All-American at Lehigh, where he later coached; and Ward Whitehill, from Bellefonte, who had long and distinguished career as a pitcher in the Centre County Baseball League.
Memberships in the Hall of Fame are available by contacting Lloyd Rhoades. Cost of a yearly membership is $10, a life membership for those younger than 50 is $120, for those 50-59 is $90 and older than 60 is $60. Membership includes the right to nominate an individual for possible induction, a chance to vote in the election of nominees, a chance to vote for nominees for the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and the option to attend the annual Centre County Sports Hall of Fame Honors Banquet. It is not necessary to be a resident of Centre County to belong to the Centre County Chapter. Send a check for membership dues to Centre County Chapter, PA Sports Hall of Fame, 1138 N. Eagle Valley Road, Howard, PA 16841.