Alle-Kiski Sports Hall of Fame honors athletes with luncheon

Saturday, May 8, 2021 | 4:34 PM

For the second consecutive year the Alle-Kiski Sports Hall of Fame banquet had to be cancelled because of the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, but board members wanted to organize an event to honor local athletes for their accomplishments.

On Saturday at the Quality Inn in New Kensington, the board hosted a luncheon for a dozen A-K Valley athletes that made their mark in high school athletics over the last two seasons.

“We wanted to honor these student athletes, because with all of the uncertainties with the pandemic they’ve been shortchanged a little bit,” A-K Sports Hall of Fame chairman Larry Lutz said. “Normally we honor them at the banquet, but with the last two years being cancelled, we felt this was a good way to recognize them.”

Athletes honored from the 2019-20 seasons included Alex Arledge (Burrell, Valley News Dispatch football offensive player of the year), Allie Vescio (Burrell, VND female soccer player of the year) and Johnny Crise (Highlands, VND boys basketball player of the year).

For the 2020-21 seasons, those honored were Eli Yofan (Fox Chapel, VND boys basketball player of the year), Sophie Shao (Fox Chapel, PIAA 100 butterfly champion), David Manelis (Fox Chapel, PIAA diving champion), AJ Corrado (Burrell, PIAA 160-pound wresting champion), Gina Proviano (Plum, VND girls soccer player of the year), and Logan Dexter (Springdale, VND football defensive player of the year).

Athletes recognized for accomplishments in each of the last two years included Logan Harmon (Apollo-Ridge, VND 2019 football defensive and ’20 offensive player of the year), Michael Sullivan (Deer Lakes, 2019 and ’20 VND boys soccer player of the year), and Kennedie Montue (Plum, 2019 and ’20 VND girls basketball player of the year).

“It was pretty cool of them to do this for us,” Harmon said. “I enjoyed it.”

The event was closed to the public, but each athlete was accompanied by family and coaches. The athletes in attendance spoke about their future collegiate plans and presented a rose to a family member.

“It was nice to be here today. With the pandemic this year, I really haven’t been out much,” Montue said. “I basically just go to school and to work out and that’s it, so this was a good experience.”

Local standout athletes typically are honored at a banquet, and that tradition will continue at next year’s hall of fame event, scheduled for May 21, 2022.

The A-K sports Hall of Fame board announced Saturday that it has leased space inside the former G.C Murphy building in Tarentum. It will have a display for each decade of the Hall of Fame’s existence, including plaques for each inductee.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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