East Boros Sports Hall of Fame to enshrine newest class

Saturday, September 30, 2017 | 1:12 AM

Amy (Williams) Scheuneman was a star in soccer, cross county and track and field at Plum High School in the late 1990s.

Just a few years later, she would be involved in the entire spectrum of WPIAL sports as District 7's youngest athletic director when she ascended to the position at Avonworth High School.

Scheuneman, a soccer and track standout during her time at Robert Morris, also served as the athletic director at Bethel Park and moved to the same job at North Hills two years ago.

She has been lauded and awarded several times in recent years for her work in athletics, including her service to the WPIAL on the executive and soccer steering committees.

Scheuneman again will be celebrated for her work and will share the spotlight with seven other athletic greats as the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, East Boros Chapter's Class of 2017 is inducted Oct. 12 at Edgewood Country Club in Churchill.

“I was surprised and also honored by the call that I would be inducted into the hall of fame,” Scheuneman said. “I've been thinking of my acceptance speech, and it has allowed me to take some time to reflect back on my (athletic) career.”

Joining Scheuneman in the 40th induction class since the hall of fame began in 1978, is Rick Arturo (Penn Hills), John Jenkins (East Allegheny), Dennis King (Gateway), Tom Montgomery (Turtle Creek), Pat O'Reilly (Turtle Creek), John Samsa (Turtle Creek — posthumously) and Kim Thomas (Gateway).

“I've just tried to do my job the best that I can. I guess someone took notice and felt I was worthy of this honor,” Scheuneman said.

The event will be a mix of grateful celebration and emotional reflection for the friends and family of Samsa who passed away in March after a multi-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Samsa was well-known in a wide range of arenas: as a baseball player at Turtle Creek High School and Slippery Rock, an assistant football coach at his high school alma mater, an assistant baseball coach at CCAC Boyce, a baseball umpire and football referee and a volunteer with his local youth athletic association.

John's brother, the late Frank Samsa (Turtle Creek, West Virginia), is a member of the East Boros Hall of Fame Class of 1987.

Kim Thomas, who excelled in track and basketball at Gateway before doing the same in track at Ohio University, is the daughter of former Pittsburgh Steeler J.T. Thomas.

The East Boros Chapter represents 21 communities in eastern Allegheny County and western Westmoreland County, stretching from Edgewood and Swissvale in the east; Oakmont in the north; Murrysville, Trafford and Penn Township in the west; and Wilmerding and East Pittsburgh to the south.

Bob Ford, president of the chapter, is pleased with the response to this year's banquet and the support for what he feels is a stellar class of inductees.

The banquet sold out faster than in any other year in the event's four decades.

“The evening is always a special time for the inductees, as well as their family and friends,” Ford said. “It is a celebration of their lives and their careers in sports.”

Ford said more than 50 past hall-of-fame inductees or a family representative of a deceased past inductee will be on hand to celebrate the 40th enshrinement.

“It's nice to see so many of the past inductees we've honored be able to come back and greet the new members,” he said.

Bill Hillgrove (2005), Curtis Bray (2015), Roger Kingdom (1996), Sean Knapp (2007), George Novak (2004) and Herb Sendek (2001) are some of the notable past inductees into the hall of fame.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, East Boros Chapter, as well as the scholarship golf outing held each May, visit paeastborosshof.com.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MLove_Trib.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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