Gateway Sports Hall of Fame making plans for next induction

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Sunday, June 20, 2021 | 11:01 AM


When the Gateway Sports Hall of Fame enshrined its 2019 class in October of that year, the committee members already were looking forward to the next biennial induction ceremony in 2021.

But the covid pandemic caused a change in plans.

Now, the hall of fame is looking forward to the next class to be celebrated in 2022.

“We were planning for a banquet for this year, either in October or November,” hall of fame chairman Tony Petrocelli said. “Last year, around October or November, the pandemic was still a major issue and things just weren’t happening. Rather than hold a spot, I sent a letter out to everybody that basically said we were going to skip the 2021 banquet and pick it up next year.”

Petrocelli said that through the last selection process in 2019, there were eight or nine individuals selected, but the committee decided to stick with the five that they normally go with for induction each year.

Petrocelli said the committee has a pretty good head start on next year’s induction class.

“We get nominations every year, and it is always amazing to see the amount of quality candidates there are who distinguished themselves in athletics at Gateway,” he said.

The hall of fame inducted a class every year from 1999 to 2011, but it decided to move inductions to every other year, starting with the 2013 class of John Nemec, Vince Lamberti, Mike Livorio, Shannon Ruane, Mike Rugh, Rege Laughlin, the 1983 Gators baseball team and the 1965-66 wrestling team.

“I didn’t want our hall of fame to get stale,” Petrocelli said. “We still have plenty of great athletes, coaches and teams to put into our hall of fame. With the one year off, we are all refreshed for the next one and are ready to honor many of those Gateway greats.”

The 2019 class, the 16th since the hall of fame formed in 1999, featured athletes Paul Krusey (football, basketball, track), Gregg Nemec (football, wrestling), Crista Coles (soccer), Matt Houy (football) and Katrina Streiner (swimming), former Gators football coach Russ Gratton and the 1976 record-setting boys track and field team.

In all, the hall of fame has enshrined 79 individual athletes, 18 coaches, a swimming relay quartet, seven teams and five other contributors to the success of Gateway athletics.

Hall of fame members Pete Antimarino, Larry Hanley, Terry Smith, Michelle Chow, Melanie Morgan, Curtis Bray, Justin King and the 1986 WPIAL and PIAA champion football team also have been enshrined in the WPIAL Hall of Fame.

Petrocelli said he is excited the process is moving forward to put together a hall of fame website.

“With this website, we will be to display many pictures from each induction banquet,” he said. “We also will be able to publish the biographies from each inductee. We also will ask each of the inductees if they want to give us anything they have from their time in high school to be put on the website. It should have a lot on there.”

The goal, Petrocelli said, is to have the website up and running by the end of this year.

The Furrie Sports Complex houses banners recognizing each hall of fame class, and a hall of fame room in the front foyer displays induction plaques and other forms of recognition.

Petrocelli said the room has filled up quickly, and he hopes it can one day expand to other parts of the facility.

“We would have to go to the school board and ask for its permission to do that,” he said. “That is something we are looking at for the future.”

To nominate someone for the Gateway Sports Hall of Fame, send information outlining why the athlete or team warrants consideration to Gateway Sports Hall of Fame, Attention: Nominating Committee, 103 Trotwood Drive, Monroeville, PA, 15146.

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

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