Aliquippa great Darrelle Revis headlines 14th annual WPIAL Hall of Fame class

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020 | 12:22 PM


Darrelle Revis was one of the NFL’s all-time great cornerbacks for the Jets, Patriots, Bucs and Chiefs. He was a Super Bowl champion, four-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowl selection.

He was a dynamic college football player at Pitt, earning All-American honors as a freshman and All-Big East recognition as a sophomore and junior.

But the legend of “Revis Island” began in an Aliquippa uniform.

As a senior in 2003, Revis scored five touchdowns to lead the Quips to a 32-27 come-from-behind victory over Northern Lehigh in the PIAA Class AA championship game. It ranks among the greatest performances in state championship history. Two days later, he scored 35 points on the basketball court as Aliquippa beat rival Beaver Falls, 86-82, in overtime.

Also a track and field standout, Revis is being recognized for his outstanding accomplishments as a high school athlete with induction into the 14th annual class of the WPIAL Hall of Fame.

Eight athletes, two coaches, two teams, one official, two contributors, one Heritage Award honoree and a Courage Award recipient will be honored … just not this year.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s hall of fame banquet has been postponed. The class will be honored at a banquet next spring.

“With the uncertainty of gathering restrictions in the future, the difficult decision has been made to postpone this year’s class to be the Class of 2021. Therefore, the induction ceremony will not officially take place until May of 2021,” WPIAL associate executive director Amy Scheuneman said.

“We are still excited to announce this class with enthusiasm as we move forward.”

WPIAL officials compiled a video to announce the newest hall of fame inductees, produced by the TribLive High School Sports Network.

Westmoreland County is well-represented in the latest hall of fame class.

In addition to Revis, the athletes being honored include Latrobe’s Natalie Bower Toman (track and field, cross country); Avella’s Rob Gagliani (rifle); Derry’s Jimmy Gulibon (wrestling); Penn Hills’ Ed Josefoski (volleyball, basketball); Latrobe’s Michaela Kissell-Eddins (tennis); Hempfield’s Katie Miller Gee (golf); and Franklin Regional’s Samantha Pickens (diving).

The 1980 North Hills softball team and 2004 Upper St. Clair boys soccer team also will be inducted.

Honored coaches include longtime Quaker Valley boys soccer coach Gene Klein and Peters Township’s recently retired baseball coach Joe Maize.

The contributor inductees include Moon gymnastics coach Amy Caprino and longtime WPIAL administrator David Hays. Tom Evans is the inductee in the officials category.

The Heritage Award winner is Clairton’s Joe Tranchini. The Courage Award honoree is Bethel Park’s Anthony Chiccitt.

Here’s a look at each of the honorees:

Natalie Bower Toman, Latrobe (cross country, track and field)

Bower, a 2009 Latrobe grad, was the first runner to become a four-time WPIAL cross country champion. As a senior, she won the Class AAA title in 18 minutes, 4 seconds. She also captured eight WPIAL gold medals in track and field, winning the 1,600 meters three times, 3,200 meters twice and placing first three times in the 3,200 relay. Bower was a PIAA champion in the 1,600 in 2009 and a runner-up in ’08. The Wildcats also won the state team cross country title in 2008. She was a four-year letter winner in cross country and track at Penn State and qualified for the NCAA cross country meet four years in a row. She was a second-team All-American after placing 15th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Rob Gagliani, Avella (rifle)

The 2009 Avella grad is the only shooter to win three WPIAL rifle titles. He captured the championships between 2007-09. He is the first rifle competitor to be inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame. He also was a top 10 finisher at the state level all three seasons, winning a state title in 2009 with a score of 397-30x. He went on to shoot at Morehead State and was second-team all-conference in the Ohio Valley and Western Intercollegiate Rifle Conference.

Jimmy Gulibon, Derry (wrestling)

Gulibon, a 2012 Derry graduate, is one of just 13 athletes in state history to win four PIAA wrestling titles. Also a four-time WPIAL champion — a feat only 28 others have accomplished — Gulibon compiled a 136-4 career record at Derry. He was 39-1 at 103 pounds as a freshman, 36-1 at 112 as a sophomore, 36-1 at 119 as a junior and 25-1 at 126 pounds as a senior. He then was a four-time NCAA qualifier at Penn State, where he finished 75-47. He placed fifth in the nation at 133 pounds and earned All-American honors as a sophomore. The Nittany Lions won three NCAA titles during his tenure.

Ed Josefoski, Penn Hills (volleyball, basketball)

A 1990 Penn Hills grad, Josefoski led the Indians to consecutive WPIAL boys volleyball titles in 1989-90 and also won the state title in ’90. One of the most successful volleyball players in WPIAL history, he earned first-team All-WPIAL and all-state honors as a junior and senior. Volleyball Magazine selected him for its Fab 50 as one of the nation’s top players his senior year. He also was a two-time all-section basketball player who was selected for the Dapper Dan Roundball Classic. The 6-foot-5 outside hitter went on to play volleyball at Penn State and helped the Nittany Lions win the NCAA title in 1994 with 14 kills and 12 digs. Penn State also was a NCAA runner-up in ’95. He was twice named an All-American. He also medaled at two U.S. Olympic Festivals, trained with the U.S. men’s national team and was on the roster at the 1995 World University games in Japan. He played professionally in the Brazilian Superior League in 1995-96.

“It’s an affirmation that all the faith, love, support and hard work that my family, friends, coaches and teammates from Penn Hills gave to me is recognized,” he said.

Michaela Kissell-Eddins, Latrobe (tennis)

For three straight seasons, Kissell-Eddins didn’t lose a high school tennis match, winning three section, WPIAL and PIAA tennis titles from 2003-05. In her first three WPIAL and PIAA tournaments combined, she lost just one set. As a senior in 2006-07, she had knee surgery and missed the fall girls tennis season. So, she played during the spring boys tennis season and went unbeaten until the WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinals. She went on to play two seasons at Miami before transferring to Marshall, where she was a two-time all-conference selection and ranked the No. 1 player in the Atlantic Region. She went 110-41 at Marshall in singles and doubles matches. She then got into coaching, leading teams at Pitt and Western Carolina.

“I’m really proud to represent Greater Latrobe High School and excited to share with my family this honor in representation of all my hard work as a high school athlete and also all their hard work helping me achieve what I was able to achieve,” Kissell-Eddins said.

Katie Miller Gee, Hempfield (golf, basketball, track and field)

Miller, a 2002 Hempfield graduate, won three PIAA golf championships, becoming only the second female golfer in state history to accomplish the feat. She was the PIAA runner-up as a junior. She won the 2002 WPIAL title, was the runner-up in 1999 and 2001 and tied for third in 2000. She also lettered in basketball and track and field. After high school, Miller was a two-time All-ACC golfer at North Carolina and then went on to compete on the LPGA Futures Tour in 2009-10 before reclaiming her amateur status. She won the Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur in 2015.

“It is a true honor to have your name next to some of the best athletes from Western Pennsylvania, and a Hall of Fame induction doesn’t mean anything without your support system,” she said. “So a huge thank you to my parents, sister, high school teachers and coaches.”

Samantha Pickens, Franklin Regional (diving)

The 2010 Franklin Regional graduate claimed four PIAA Class AAA diving titles from 2007-10, becoming the first girl to win four in a row at the highest classification. Pickens also captured three WPIAL championships in that span, setting the district record of 605.55 as a senior that still stands. She went on to dive at Arizona, where she captured two NCAA titles in the 1-meter springboard in 2013 and ’15. She also was a gold medalist at the USA Diving Winter National Championships in 2014 and a 2015 bronze medalist in the 3-meter at the FINA Puerto Rico Grand Prix. She also competed internationally earlier this year at the FINA competition in Madrid, Spain.

“I am so grateful to be chosen to be inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame,” Pickens said. “It’s such an honor to be with such amazing coaches and athletes and teams and to be part of that, I’m so grateful. I couldn’t have done it without my family and my coaches and all my supporters.”

Darrelle Revis, Aliquippa (football, basketball, track and field)

Revis was the Associated Press Pennsylvania Class AA Football Player of the Year as a senior after accumulating 1,637 yards for the Quips. He also averaged 22.8 points in basketball that year and scored 1,722 career points. He was part of a 400-meter sprint relay team that won WPIAL gold and was third in the state. In the 2003 PIAA title game, he rushed for three touchdowns, returned a punt 89 yards for a score and scored on a 69-yard blocked field goal return. He went on to a stellar career at Pitt and played 11 seasons in the NFL. He finished with 29 career interceptions in the NFL.

Coaches

Gene Klein, Quaker Valley (boys soccer)

Klein led the Quakers for 29 seasons, winning more than 500 games, seven WPIAL titles and a state-record six PIAA championships. In 1996, he led Quaker Valley to a 26-0 record with a WPIAL and PIAA title. That No. 1 nationally ranked team was inducted to the WPIAL Hall of Fame in 2013. Klein was named coach of the year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America that season. The Quakers also won PIAA titles in 1985, ’91, ’93, ’95, ’96 and 2000. He had a career record of 505-139-38. He also coached the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and was head coach at Carnegie Mellon.

“To be included in this group is very special. To be representing the sport of soccer is extra special,” Klein said.

Joe Maize, Peters Township (baseball)

Maize led the Indians baseball team for 35 years and won more than 400 games, eight section titles and two WPIAL championships. He also led the Indians to the PIAA final twice before retiring in 2019. His career record was 422-241. He also helped more than 100 players continue their careers in college; eight former players played professionally, including three major leaguers. Peters Township qualified for the WPIAL playoffs 17 times under Maize and reached the finals three times, winning in 2007 and ’08. The Indians were PIAA runners-up in 2004 and ’05. He also served stints as Peters Township’s softball coach, middle school boys basketball coach, ninth-grade boys soccer coach, girls basketball coach, assistant athletic director and athletic director. He was on the WPIAL soccer steering committee for 34 years.

“Recognition that our baseball program received means a great deal to me. The WPIAL has been an important part of my life,” Maize said. “… I’m humbled by this recognition, but I do not look at this as an individual recognition, but recognition of the success of our baseball program. The success was due to the contributions of our players, our school district administration, school board, booster group and especially our coaching staff.”

1980 North Hills softball team

Led by pitcher Leigh Curl, a steady defense and great hitters, coach Denny Papalia’s Indians went 25-1 and became the first WPIAL softball team to win a PIAA title. Nine players hit better than .300, and Curl went 14-0 with a 0.34 ERA. Curl threw a two-hitter as North Hills beat North Penn, 2-1, in the state finals. Melanie Lees batted .369, Mary Maloney batted .338 and Linda Massucci hit .344. Massucci also went 10-0 with a 1.97 ERA as a pitcher. North Hills defeated Mt. Lebanon, 9-3, in the 1980 WPIAL finals.

2004 Upper St. Clair boys soccer team

Coach Uwe Schneider’s Panthers went 27-0 in 2004, capturing the WPIAL title and repeating as PIAA champions. The team featured 17 seniors and finished No. 1 nationally after defeating West Chester Henderson, 2-0, in the state final. The Panthers scored 111 goals, allowed only nine and had 18 shutouts. Senior forward Andy Machi (Penn State) led with a team-high 22 goals, and senior midfielder Scott Dillie (Virginia Tech) had 17. Goalkeeper Andrew Baldasare (West Virginia Wesleyan), goalkeeper Joe Diederich (Xavier), Brett Fackenthal (West Virginia Wesleyan), Cam Griffin (Davidson) and Mitchell Minerd (Allegheny) also played college soccer.

Heritage Award winner

Joe Tranchini, Clairton (football, basketball, baseball)

The 1955 Clairton grad led the Bears to a WPIAL title in 1954 as a quarterback and defensive back. He was voted as one of 23 players on the Western Pennsylvania All-Time Scholastic Team in the Pittsburgh Press in 1989. He earned nine varsity letters at Clairton in football, basketball and baseball. He was invited to two tryouts with the Pirates in 1955, but he instead went to Bullis Preparatory School in Maryland. He then was a three-year football letterman at Navy and played in the 1959 North-South all-star game in Miami. He scored a touchdown in Navy’s 1958 Cotton Bowl victory. Tranchini also was an Academic All-American in 1958 and a second-team All-East team quarterback.

“I’m deeply humbled and sincerely honored to have the Tranchini name now included among (hall of fame greats),” he said. “It’s been a longtime dream come true for me.”

Official

Tom Evans

At age 16, Evans began umpiring youth baseball. He took the PIAA baseball official’s test at age 18 and began a baseball and softball officiating career that has spanned more than 35 years. He has officiated 15 WPIAL baseball championship games and three PIAA finals. He also has officiated college baseball and volunteered as a clinic instructor for local and state organizations. In 2010, he was named athletic director at Yough after 16 years as assistant athletic director. He’s served as an educator for 36 years. He also has been a member of the WPIAL golf steering committee, the WPIAL Hall of Fame committee and the WPIAL board of directors. His work as an administrator earned him the WPIAL Athletic Director of the Year award in 2016, and in 2019, Evans received the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Distinguished Sport of Merit at the State Athletic Directors Conference in Hershey.

Charles ‘Ace’ Heberling Contributor Award

Amy Caprino, Moon (gymnastics)

Caprino has coached the Moon gymnastics team for 39 seasons and is a major reason the sport has been sponsored by the WPIAL. She has led the Tigers to six WPIAL titles and eight PA Classic championships since 1980. She also has served as chairman of the WPIAL gymnastics committee for more than two decades and led the effort to keep gymnastics as a WPIAL-sanctioned sport after the PIAA discontinued its sponsorship after the 1993-94 season. The 1972 Rochester graduate started the PA Classic, so that there could still be state championships awarded.

“There are so many of my gymnasts over the years who are deserving of recognition as well as Moon Area schools for the support they’ve given me,” Caprino said. “I am so glad the WPIAL Hall of Fame is recognizing gymnastics, and I’m very proud and honored to represent the sport.”

David Hays, WPIAL administrator

A retired Moon principal, Hays was a dedicated member of the WPIAL Board of Control until his retirement in 2000. He also served 21 years on the WPIAL Student-Athlete Scholarship Committee. The 1961 Moon graduate was a social studies teacher at North Hills before heading to Moon to teach American history. After earning a master’s degree and principal certification from Duquesne, he joined Moon’s administration as an assistant principal in 1976 and then high school principal in 1986.

Courage Award

Anthony Chiccitt, Bethel Park (football, basketball, baseball)

A three-sport standout at Bethel Park, Chiccitt was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in February 2019, a cancer that spread to his neck, chest, stomach and pelvis. The Stage 4 diagnosis and treatment interrupted his junior basketball season. He returned for baseball season and batted .286 in helping the Black Hawks win the section title and reach the WPIAL semifinals. During his senior year, he threw for more than 1,000 yards in football and then helped the basketball team reach the WPIAL quarterfinals. In January, Chiccitt committed to play football at Robert Morris.

“Winning the WPIAL Courage Award means a lot to me,” Chiccitt said. “At this point last year, I was just starting my final round of chemotherapy. If you would have told me then I would be where I am now, playing Division I football and receiving this prestigious award, I wouldn’t have believed you. I’m beyond grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of being inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame.”

The newest class of inductees will join fellow WPIAL Hall of Famers in a display at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Heinz History Center.

A banquet is scheduled to be held May 28, 2021, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Green Tree.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.

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