Tamaqua Area High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee will induct seven new members into its 20th Hall of Fame class. Induction program will start before the start of the Jim Thorpe-Tamaqua football game scheduled tomorrow (Friday, September 18, 2015) at the Tamaqua Area Sports Stadium.
Members of the Tamaqua Area High School Marching will perform around 6:30 PM. Induction program will follow around 6:40 PM. Football game will start at approximately 7:10 PM (due to television broadcast).
Inductees include Herb Welsh, Class of 1956; Howie Miller, Class of 1984; Jennifer Kromer, Class of 1994; Eileen Gurcsik-Pinkey, Class of 2005; Andrew Snyder, Class of 2006; Jim Gurcsik, Class of 2007; and Katelin Hummel, Class of 2010.
During the event, inductees will receive a plaque with their name, year of graduation, some biographical information along with a photograph of their choice on it. The inductees will also have their name prominently displayed on a plaque in the high school which has all Hall of Fame members’ names and dates of induction on it.
All information courtesy of Mike Hromyak, Tamaqua Area School District Athletic Director/Public Relations Coordinator.
List of inductees include:
HERB WELSH (Member of the Class of 1956)
*Herb was a two year member of the football program, four years on the Blue Raider basketball squad and four years with the track and field team. Additionally, he was the class of 1956 president for three years.
*After high school he attended Stevens Technical Institute where he played basketball for three years. He was also the class president at Stevens for three years.
*Mr. Welsh is most known for his years of service to the Schuylkill League, District XI and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA). Herb was a PIAA basketball and football official for 42 years. He officiated numerous basketball and football playoff games including the 1986-87 PIAA State basketball playoffs.
*Herb also officiated collegiate basketball for 25 years.
*His service to District XI includes 25 years as a District XI officials’ representative, a position he currently holds. Mr. Welsh is also currently the chairman for the District XI Cross Country and Track and Field championships, another position he has held for numerous years.
*Mr. Welsh has been a member of the District XI committee for 25 years and has served two terms on the PIAA Board of Directors.
*Herb was inducted into both the Carbon and Lehigh County Hall of Fames.
*He is the husband of Annetta Welsh, a 1958 graduate of Tamaqua High School, and has a daughter, Michelle Stelmack, husband of Mark. He has two grandsons, Kyle and Tyler Stelmack and both attend the University of Pittsburgh. Herb is employed by EIC insulation for the past 52 years and resides in New Ringgold.
HOWIE MILLER (Member of the Class of 1984)
*Howie was a two sport athlete for Tamaqua Area before graduating in 1984. He was a three year starter in basketball and a two year starter in football for the Blue Raiders.
*In basketball as a sophomore, Howie played for Robert Fulton and was routinely tasked with defending the opponents leading scorer. He developed into a scorer in his junior and senior seasons scoring 951 career points which currently ranks him 14th on our all-time scoring chart.
*As a junior, Howie was a key member and starter for the 82-83 District XI, Eastern Conference championship team, and PIAA state runner-up. That team, coached by Ed Wise, and all its members have already been inducted to the Tamaqua HOF in 2003. That team won 22-straight games heading into the state championship, which they lost 71-64 to Sto-Rox.
*As a senior, he led the team in steals and assists. He was voted AP All-State honorable mention along with second team Standard Speaker 1984 all area team. He played in the ninth annual Schuylkill Boys Senior Charity Bowl all-star game.
*In football, Howie was a two year starter for the Blue Raiders where he was a two-way starter playing quarterback and safety for head coach Tom Bonner. Howie also handled the kicking and punting duties leading the area in punting average. He was voted to All-Anthracite team and selected to the Schuylkill County All-Star team where he played in the North/South Dream game.
*Howie went on to Brown University to play football after graduation.
*He is still involved in local sports as a volunteer in youth baseball and soccer. He is a member of the chain gang working the sidelines for every home Tamaqua varsity football game.
*Howie is a project manager for Clear Channel Airports and currently lives in Tamaqua with his wife Corinne (Marchetti) and three children, Dair, Tucker, and Kendle. He is the son of the late Howard F. & Donna L. Miller.
JENNIFER KROMER (Member of the Class of 1994)
*Jennifer is a member of the class of 1994 where she was a three sport standout in volleyball, basketball, and track and field.
*In volleyball she was named the 1993 Times News Player of the Year. The 1993 team qualified for the “AAA” District XI championships, the first time since 1981 Tamaqua qualified for the post season. She was named a District XI “AAA” honorable mention all-star. She was also a Division 1 Schuylkill Volleyball League All-Star and also on the league’s overall squad. In her last game of the regular season Jennifer recorded 10 consecutive points including five aces and contributed four kills which earned the team a berth in Districts.
*She played basketball for one season, her senior year.
*In track and field in her junior year, she qualified for the District XI AA Championships in high jump and 400 meter relay. As a senior she qualified for the District championships in the high jump, triple jump, and 400 meter relay. The girls team was also tri-champions of the Schuylkill League.
*She went on to Lehigh Carbon Community College where she excelled in volleyball. She was inducted into the LCCC Inaugural Hall of Fame Class of 2002 for her contribution for the 1994 and 1995 volleyball seasons. In 1994, she was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association All Region X1X – First team and Eastern PA Collegiate Conference – All-Conference team. In 1995, she earned Eastern PA Collegiate Conference – All conference, All tournament, MVP All-Tournament teams. In both ’94 and ’95 she earned Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association – All State Honors.
*She graduated from LCCC with an Associates of Arts degree.
*Jennifer is the daughter of LeRoy and Regina Kromer of Andreas and granddaughter of Nicolas and Margaret Butrie of Lansford.
*She resides on a farmette in Andreas, along with her significant other Rob. She is employed at Infinera in Allentown working in the fiber optic industry.
EILEEN GURCSIK-PINKEY (Member of the Class of 2005)
*Eileen is a member of the class of 2005 and was a four year letter winner in volleyball, swimming, and track and field.
*In volleyball, she was a member of a District XI qualifying squad and captain her senior year.
*She excelled in the pool where she was a 1,000 point scorer, holding four school records upon her graduation. In the 200 IM (2:18.59), the 50 free (24.77), as a member of the 200 medley relay team (1:55.60), and the 200 free relay team (1:42.65). She was a captain and Times News Swimmer of the Year in both her junior and senior years.
*She earned a number of league and district medals including a District Championship as a member of the 200 medley relay team; a District silver in the 100 free style, 200 medley relay, 50 free style, 200 IM, and 200 free relay; District bronze in 200 free relay and 100 free style. Eileen was a PIAA State qualifier in 50 free, 100 free, 200 and 400 free relay teams.
*In track and field her teams went undefeated all four years in dual meets. She earned District XI silver medals in both the 100 M and 200 M and was a PIAA state qualifier.
*She was also a member of the Blue Raider Marching Band.
*After graduation, Eileen attended Kutztown University where she graduated cum laude in 2009 with a BSBA in Management. She is currently working towards an MBA from DeSales University and will graduate next summer. *Eileen has also volunteered her time as a coach with the Tamaqua High School swimming program.
*Eileen resides in Upper Macungie with her husband Joe Pinkey and is a customer service team leader at Uline in Breinigsville, PA.
ANDREW SNYDER (Member of the Class of 2006)
*Andy is a member of the class of 2006 where he was a standout wrestler and baseball player. He was a captain of the wrestling team his junior and senior years and of the baseball team as a senior.
*Andy is one of the best wrestlers to come out of Tamaqua ending his wrestling career with 99 wins, good for 10th on our all-time wrestling wins chart. His career record was 99-37. In his senior year, he was a PIAA State “AA” medal winner finishing in 8th place in the 140 pound weight class. He finished that season with a 36-8 record including, Southeast region – 5th place, District XI – 3rd place, and Schuylkill League Champion in addition to his state medal. The 36 wins in a season ranks him 6th on the all-time Tamaqua list for number of wins in a season.
*In his junior season in the 135 pound weight class he finished with a 24-5 record along with a runner up performance at the Sch. League Championships.
*Andy finished with a 23-10 record as a sophomore placing second at the league championships and sixth at the District XI Championships in the 125 pound weight class.
*His freshman year he was 16-14 in the 119 pound weight class finishing sixth at both the League and District Championships.
*Andy was a four-time Schuylkill League medal winner – one of only nine Tamaqua wrestlers in school history to accomplish that feat.
*Andy was also a member of the National Honor Society and German National Honor Society along with being an Eagle Scout and private pilot.
*After high school, Andy entered the Coast Guard Academy and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering in 2011. He also continued his wrestling career. He was a two-time New England Wrestling Association place winner and All Academy Tournament place winner. He served as the 2010-11 Captain of the wrestling team. He was also named two time team MVP and CGA 2010-2011 Winter Male Athlete.
*Andy is currently an Active Duty Lieutenant (O-3) in the Coast Guard Air Station in New Orleans – which is the Coast Guard’s busiest all rotary wing search and rescue unit. He is a MH65-D Pilot
*He is the son of Burdell and Francine Snyder and has a sister, Sheri. He is married to Emily Snyder and currently resides in New Orleans, LA.
JIM GURCSIK (Member of the Class of 2007)
*Jim is a member of the class of 2007 and competed as both a swimmer and diver for four years, earning eight varsity letters for the program. He was a three year member of the varsity football program and a one year member of the track and field program.
*In swimming and diving, Jim set seven Tamaqua school swimming records, two Panther Valley pool swimming records, and one Blue Mountain pool diving record. He currently still owns five Tamaqua school records in the 200 IM (2:09.40), 50 Free (22.78), 100 fly (57.51), 100 free (49.57), and 100 back (58.00).
*Jim was a District XI diving champion, and the Pottsville Republican Swimmer of the Year, Pottsville Republican Diver of the Year and Times News All-Star Swimmer and Diver. He was the only Tamaqua swimmer to ever compete at the state level for swimming and diving simultaneously. He also was a District silver medalist as a member of the 200 medley relay team and also in the 100 free which qualified him for the PIAA State Championships. He also qualified for the state championships in diving with a second place finish at Districts. He placed 28th in the 100 and 13th in diving at states his senior season.
*Jim is a three year varsity letter winner in football where he also marched at half-time for the Blue Raider marching band.
*Jim also attended Vo-Tech for one year and received the top Vo-Tech student award. Additionally, he earned Eagle Scout and continued to earn five ranks above Eagle Scout. *Jim graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in 2010 with High Honors with a bachelors in Hotel and Restaurant Management. *He is married to former Amy Kupres and they have two kids; Selina and Eli and reside in Tamaqua. He is currently working on his Master’s degree in career and technical education at Temple University.
KATELIN HUMMEL (Member of the Class of 2010)
*Katelin is a 2010 graduate and was a three sport standout in soccer, diving, and track and field. *In soccer, she was a member of the Lady Raiders team that made school history by winning the Schuylkill League Championship title in 2007 along with the District XI championship teams in 2008 and 2009. Over her four years of starting varsity, Katie achieved the following accolades: 2009 PA All State Player-1st team; Pottsville Republican Co-Player of the Year 2009; Pottsville Republican All Area -1st team – 2006 through 2009. Better known on the field as “Freddie”, she was co-captain her senior year and was well known throughout the district as one of the best defenders.
*Katie also made her mark on the diving team for four years. She was Rookie Diver of the Year in her freshman year. She competed in the District XI Championships all four years. In her junior and senior year she won the title of Schuylkill League Diving Champion.
*A four year track participant, Katie was a member of the 4X100 and 4X400 teams, 400 meters and pole vaulting. She was a state qualifier 2007-2008-2009.
*After graduation, Katie attended Alvernia University in Reading where she obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forensics Science. Katie continued her soccer career at Alvernia leading them to break all school records and changing the school’s history for the women’s soccer program. She was a four year starter playing center back. Her senior class the “winningest class in school history” at Alvernia. The Alvernia Crusaders set numerous records for the Commonwealth conference with the most shut-outs and goals against scoring average. Three of the four years, the defense lead the Crusaders into the Commonwealth semi-finals along with two of the four years into the ECAC semi-finals. She received the 2nd team All Commonwealth award and Coaches award in her freshman year. She was also Commonwealth MVP player in numerous tournaments throughout her Crusader career.
*She is currently enlisted as a cadet at the PA State Police Academy, Class 143. Upon graduation in December, she will become a PA State Trooper. She currently resides in Andreas, PA.
BELOW IS THE HISTORY OF THE TAMAQUA AREA SPORTS HALL OF FAME
The following is additional information regarding who has already been inducted into the Tamaqua Area High School Athletic Hall of Fame:
The first TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on October 18, 1996 prior to the Panther Valley game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- H. RODEN WELKER – Graduating Class of 1922
- ELI “PINKEY” PURNELL – Graduating Class of 1922
- DR. JOSEPH PICHACOLAS – Graduating Class of 1929
- HARRY FETTERMAN – Graduating Class of 1943
- RICHARD “DICK” JONES – Graduating Class of 1943
- WALTER LIGENZA – Nesquehoning High School – Graduating Class of 1957
- BILL YELSH – Graduating Class of 1959
- GEORGE BARRON – Graduating Class of 1963
- KAREN WESTON ROTTET – Graduating Class of 1964
- CINDY MILLER – Graduating Class of 1980
The second TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 26, 1997 prior to the Blue Mountain game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- BOB HARTMAN – Graduate of Selinsgrove, PA High School, Sole coach for Tamaqua Athletic Teams from 1925-1930
- JOE RHUBRIGHT – Graduating Class of 1930
- SAM PAGANO – Mt. Union Public Schools – Graduating Class of 1932
- JOE CUTCAVAGE – Graduating Class of 1934
- RICK JONES – Graduating Class of 1974
- TRICIA PLASKO ROCCHINO – Graduating Class of 1988
The third TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 25, 1998 prior to the Mahanoy Area game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- JACK REESE – Graduating Class of 1927
- CURT STEIGERWALT – Graduating Class of 1947
- TONY FREDICINE – Graduating Class of 1959
- DANIEL TRUSKEY – Graduating Class of 1969
- MIKE MIORELLI – Graduating Class of 1976
- 1977-78 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GIRLS’ BASKETBALL TEAM
Team Members Include: Karen Weston Rottet, Head Coach, Dennis Kormonick, Asst. Coach, Lisa Baddick-Knoblauch, Donna Zimmerman-Stevenson, Julie Warcholak-Pitts, Carla Yanoshik-Zimmerman, Karen Jones-Mason, Karen Major, Karen Deininger, Kim Haldeman-Stidham, Cindy Miller, Barb Koch-Feege, Christine Mateyak-Titus, Betsy Boyer-Paisley, Lynne Titus, Wendy Truskey, Kathy Young, Jane Boyer-Reagan, and Beth Delay.
The fourth TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 10, 1999 prior to the Minersville game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- E. DARE HEYDRICH – Graduating Class of 1929 (Deceased)
- BOB HARTWIG – Graduating Class of 1939
- BILL EISLEY – Graduating Class of 1957
- PAUL JAMES – Graduating Class of 1975
- DAVE KEICH – Graduating Class of 1983
- ED TITUS – Graduating Class of 1984
- THE 1962 CHAMPIONSHIP FOOTBALL TEAM (Eastern Conference – 10-0-1),
Coaches: Dick Jones (Head Coach), Harry Fetterman, Walt Ligenza, Sam Pagano.
Team Members include: Paul Ansbach, Joe Baddick, Dave Barron, George Barron, Tom Brockel, Pat Davison, Bob Derr, Bob Fagan, Dennis Ryan, Bob Flail, Paul Gimbel, Don Guy, Ron Griffiths, Bill Henry, Bill Hinkel, Tom Jones, Dennis Kalish, Bruce Keich, Bill Klotz, Dr. Norm Lindenmuth, Dr. Ed Lyba, Don Mikruk, Mike Mikruk, Pat Morgans, Bill Petticrew, Bill Rodgers, Marc Rovner, Bill Semko, Mike Sotak, Gene Titus, Bob Werley, Dave Whetstone, Bill Wishousky, Bob Breiner, Jim Hosler, Carl Kupres.
The fifth TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 22, 2000 prior to the Mahanoy Area game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- CLARENCE J. “PEG” KOCH – Graduating Class of 1922 (Deceased)
- WENDELL A. WELSH – Graduating Class of 1928 (Deceased)
- CHARLES BAER – Graduating Class of 1950
- GLENN BEHR – Graduating Class of 1971
- GARTH LAKITSKY – Graduating Class of 1986
- DENISE (STAHLER) HOPE – Graduating Class of 1987
- THE 1927 UNDEFEATED FOOTBALL TEAM
Two living members: Dr. Joseph Pichacolas, Mr. Joseph Rhubright
The sixth TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 14, 2001 prior to the Shenandoah Valley game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- BOB BARNISKY – Graduating Class of 1958
- LAFAY HOPE – Graduating Class of 1961
- GEORGE KRELL – Graduating Class of 1966
- WAYNE SCHICKRAM – Graduating Class of 1978
- LYNNE TITUS – Graduating Class of 1978
- JIM HOPE – Graduating Class of 1991
The seventh TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 20, 2002 prior to the Mahanoy Area game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- BILL SEMKO – Graduating Class of 1963
- EDWARD HROMYAK – Graduating Class of 1973
- TODD MCLAUGHLIN – Graduating Class of 1983
- JOHN APPICELLO – Graduating Class of 1984
- CARLA KEMMERER-DAVIS – Graduating Class of 1988
- JOE LIGENZA – Graduating Class of 1995
The eighth TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 12, 2003 prior to the Shenandoah Valley game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- DR. GORDON D. WEAVER – Graduating Class of 1928
- GEORGE TEPO – Graduating Class of 1939
- PERRY BREINER – Graduating Class of 1976
- WENDY TRUSKEY – Graduating Class of 1978
- LORI LAWSON – Graduating Class of 1988
- 1982-83 BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM
The ninth TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 24, 2004 prior to the Mahanoy Area game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- DENNIS PASTUCHA – Graduating Class of 1972
- BILL MILOT – Graduating Class of 1973
- STEVE PRICE – Graduating Class of 1975
- TOM SCHEITRUM – Graduating Class of 1986
- 1958-59 BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM
The tenth TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 16, 2005 prior to the Shenandoah Valley game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- ED KEMZURA – Graduating Class of 1929 (Deceased)
- JEROME ANDRUKITIS ANDREWS – Graduating Class of 1939
- TONY MORFY – Graduating Class of 1941 (Deceased)
- HUB BECKER – Graduating Class of 1945
- FRANK IKE – Graduating Class of 1957
- LISA WILLING – Graduating Class of 1982
- CHRISTA (ZIMMERMAN) ANDERSON – Graduating Class of 1994
The 11th TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 22, 2006 prior to the Mahanoy Area game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- BOB LUSKY – Graduating Class of 1957
- JOHN GOZJACK – Graduating Class of 1958
- JOE SEIGENFUSE – Graduating Class of 1980
- MISSIE CHINCHAR O’NEAL – Graduating Class of 1989
- VANCE WELKER – Graduating Class of 1989
- MISSY LONGHI AMERSHEK – Graduating Class of 1992
- NOEL POWELL – Graduating Class of 2000
The 12th TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 14, 2007 prior to the Shenandoah Valley game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- DR. DAVID B. EVANS – Graduating Class of 1956
- ROBERT FULTON – Head Boys Basketball Coach (1978-1982)
- BILL PLASKO – Graduating Class of 1981
- KENNETH J. DUNKELBERGER JR. – Graduating Class of 1991
- GEOFF KRUCZEK – Graduating Class of 1993
- ADAM KNOBLAUCH – Graduating Class of 2001
- 1956-57 BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM
The 13th TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 19, 2008 prior to the Mahanoy Area game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- WILLIAM “ABBIE” ABROMITIS – Graduating Class of 1943
- PAUL DODSON – Head Wrestling Coach (1969-1974)
- DAN DEEBLE – Graduating Class of 1970
- TOM BUTTERWORTH – Graduating Class of 1987
- ANDY BREINER – Graduating Class of 2000
- 2001 and 2002 4 x 800 METER STATE CHAMPIONSHIP RELAY TEAMS
- 2003 BASEBALL TEAM
The 14th TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 18, 2009 prior to the Shenandoah Valley game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- Billy McHale, Contributor
- Phil Houm, Track and Field Coach (1980-2003)
- Rochelle Evanousky, Head Swimming/Diving Coach (1991-92; 1994-2000)
- James Barron, Class of 1971
- Larry Lishman, Class of 1971
- Kristine Lyn Fegley Rudy, Class of 1986
- Alex Zukus, Class of 2004
The 15th TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 24, 2010 prior to the Mahanoy Area game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- Howard Walker, Member of the class of 1923
- Sidney McMichael, Class of 1929
- Jim Freed, Coach from 1968-1984
- Eric Zerbe, Wrestling Coach for 15 years
- Wayne Truskey, Class of 1967
- Trevor Steigerwalt, Class of 1991
- Joelle Evanousky LeMasters, Class of 2000
- Matthew Benza, Class of 2001
The 16th TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 16, 2011 prior to the Shenandoah Valley game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- Durbin L. Wagner, Class of 1955
- Pat Davison, Class of 1965
- Lorri Maff, Class of 1979
- Dan Smith, Class of 1981
- Kyle Spotts, Class of 2003
- Derrik Keich, Class of 2006
- Joe Plasko, Contributor, Class of 1979
The 17th TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 21, 2012 prior to the Mahanoy Area game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- Larry Lech, Class of 1978 (Coach)
- Joe Urenovitch, Class of 1982
- Tara Rottet-Blackburn, Class of 1988
- Erika Barron, Class of 2007
- Isaac Dunkelberger, Class of 2007
- Alexa Griffiths, Class of 2007
- Amanda Sandlin Schoonover, Class of 2007
The 18th TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 13, 2013 prior to the Shenandoah Valley game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening.
- Christa DeAngelo, Class of 1995
- Randi Wagner Brady, Class of 2001
- Tracy Smudin Earhart, Class of 2001
- Amanda Fenkner, Class of 2004
- Megan Inama, Class of 2008
- Travers Schmidt, Class of 2008
- Casey Wagner, Class of 2008
The 19th TAHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 19, 2014 prior to the Schuylkill Haven game. The following individuals were inducted on that evening. (Click HERE to view TamaquaArea.com photos and video from that event.)
- Kristin Fulton Fritz, Class of 1991
- Jeremy Benza, Class of 1999
- Travis Pitts, Class of 2008
- Lauren Wenzel, Class of 2008
- Alex Zubey, Class of 2008
- Cody Wisniewski, Class of 2009
- 1975-76 Boys Basketball Team