WPIAL Announces 2022 Hall of Fame Class

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 | 11:21 a.m.


Bob Kalp won over 400 games as Hempfield’s softball coach, and Chuck Tursky celebrated over 500 wins as Kiski Area’s wrestling coach.

The two longtime coaches who recently retired were among 13 people and two teams announced Wednesday to be inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame at a press conference at the Heinz History Center. The 15thand the annual class will be honored at an induction banquet on May 27 at the DoubleTree in Green Tree.

Also chosen for the induction was Johnny Lujack of Connellsville, a multi-sport athlete who won the Heisman Trophy playing college football at Notre Dame in 1947. Lujack, 97, is Heisman’s oldest winner and won three championships nationals with the Fighting Irish.

They are joined by Dion Bentley of Penn Hills (athletics), Mallory Dietrich of Oakland Catholic (swimming), Bob Gorinski of Mt. Pleasant (baseball/football), Micah Mason of Highlands (basketball), Jason Nolf of Kittanning (wrestling) , Brianne O’Rourke of Oakland Catholic (basketball), Chad Salisbury of Frazier (soccer/baseball/basketball) and Brian Simmons of Peters Township (baseball).

Contributor Ruth Ann Burke, who organized the Western Pennsylvania Girls Athletic League in the 1960s, and Ron Tyburski, one of NCAA basketball’s top officials, who officiated 14 WPIAL championship games (six basketball ball, five baseballs, three footballs) were also chosen for induction. .

Teams selected for induction were the 1989-90 Aliquippa women’s basketball team which won back-to-back WPIAL and state titles, and the March 2011 women’s soccer team which went 25-0-1 and beat their opponents 168-6, en route to winning WPIAL and PIAA. gold.

Sydney Willig, a Norwin graduate who battled cystic fibrosis to play high school and now college football in Geneva, has been chosen as the winner of the 2022 Courage Award.

Bentley, a star long jumper who holds the PIAA record in the event, was Gatorade National High School Athlete of the Year in 1989. He was a two-time state long jump champion length (1988, 1989) and won four WPIAL gold medals, including one in the 110 meter hurdles in 1989.

Dietrich was a 12-time state champion at Oakland Catholic and also won 14 WPIAL gold medals. She holds a Navy School record in the 200m medley relay and qualified for the 2008 US Olympic Trials in the 100m breaststroke.

Gorinski, who helped Mt. Pleasant win a WPIAL baseball title in 1970, was the first WPIAL player chosen in the first round of the MLB draft. He was selected 22nd overall by the Minnesota Twins in 1970 and played 10 professional seasons. He rushed over 3,000 yards at Mt. Pleasant and first accepted a football scholarship from Penn State before choosing baseball.

Mason led WPIAL basketball in scoring both his junior and senior seasons, and holds the WPIAL career record for most 3-pointers made (346). The previous record of 3 points was held by current Indiana Pacers guard TJ McConnell. Mason played college basketball at Drake and Duquesne.

Nolf is a four-time WPIAL wrestling champion and three-time state winner who finished his high school career with a 176-1 record. He continued that success at Penn State, where he was a three-time NCAA champion.

O’Rourke helped the Oakland Catholic women’s basketball team win two WPIAL titles (2002, ’05) and two PIAA titles (2003, ’05). She was a four-year winner at Penn State and was named an All-Big Ten three times.

Salisbury was a 4,500 yard passer for Frazier’s football team, a 1,700 point scorer in basketball, and a .400 batter in baseball. He played quarterback at New Mexico State and Buffalo, then played eight seasons in the Arena Football League.

Simmons was a multi-sport star at Peters Township who played college baseball at Michigan and was a second-round pick in the 1995 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox. Simmons played 10 professional seasons. At Peters Township he wrote 10 times across four sports.

This story will be updated.

Chris Harlan is an editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Keywords: , Armstrong, Connellsville, Frazier, Hempfield, Highlands, Kiski Area, Mars, Mt. Pleasant, Norwin, Oakland Catholic, Penn Hills, Peters Township

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