Gateway Sports Hall of Fame to induct Class of 2023
Sunday, October 29, 2023 | 11:01 AM
More than 50 years have passed since a group of Gateway long distance runners made their mark on area and region cross country courses.
The 1967 Gators boys cross country team capture the Class AAA state title. It was the first state championship for any Gateway team since the school came into being almost a decade earlier.
The group will be remembered and celebrated Nov. 4 at Edgewood Country Club in Churchill alongside a number of other Gators greats as the Gateway Sports Hall of Fame returns to induct the Class of 2023.
“Eight of those gentlemen will be back,” hall of fame chairman Tony Petrocelli said.
“They’re coming from California, they’re coming from Florida and other states. They are excited because they really haven’t seen much of each other since high school. This is their one shot to get together. They have a great story to tell about what they accomplished.”
In addition to the cross country team, the Class of 2023 includes individual inductees in Rob Kalkstein (Class of 2010), Shayla Scott (Class of 2007), Cameron Saddler (Class of 2008), Luke Nosbisch (Class of 2011), Dan Schmitt (Class of 1986) and Gateway teacher and coach Ralph Guzzo.
“It’s been four years. It seems like forever,” Petrocelli said.
“We’re getting a good, solid feel from everybody about the hall of fame coming back. The facility at Edgewood is so nice. It just adds to the overall experience. It should be a great evening.”
Scott, a four-year starter on the Gateway girls basketball team, finished as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,468 points.
She earned all-state recognition three times before continuing her playing career at Pitt.
“Shayla is arguably the greatest female basketball player to come out of Gateway,” Petrocelli said.
“Others would note that we also had some great ones in the early ‘80s, too, but she was for real.”
Kalkstein was 41-9 as Gateway’s starting quarterback, and he played in three WPIAL title games at Heinz Field. He finished with 6,501 career passing yards.
“Unfortunately, he didn’t get that WPIAL championship he really wanted to get,” Petrocelli said.
“But he had the credentials, the statistics. He had everything you would want in a quarterback and a leader.”
Saddler earned four letters as a running back for the Gators. The three-year starter and two-year captain also was one of the top kick returners in Gateway history.
“Pound-for-pound, Cam was probably one of the greatest Gateway running backs and athletes,” Petrocelli said.
“He was small, but he was fast. He had touchdown after touchdown returning kickoffs.”
Nosbisch was a WPIAL and PIAA champion swimmer who also earned all-state and All-American honors. He swam at Pitt and also the U.S. Olympic Trials.
“I never saw Luke swim, but from what I hear and read, he was an amazing swimmer at all levels,” Petrocelli said.
“He was a great Gateway representative, and we’re proud he was a Gator.”
Dan Schmitt (Class of 1986) was a multi-sport athlete and a productive running back who finished his Gateway career with 3,500 all-purpose yards and 30 touchdowns.
“Without talking stats, everyone I would talk to through the years kept asking if we had inducted Danny,” Petrocelli said.
“He was such a strong runner. He was on the team his senior year when they defeated North Hills, 6-2, in a playoff game in the mud.”
Guzzo enjoyed a 37-year career at Gateway as a teacher, assistant coach, head coach and manager. He helped lead Gateway to a section title in baseball in 2001.
“Ralph has been involved with Gateway athletics since he went to Gateway himself,” Petrocelli said.
“He was a part of some great baseball teams as a player. We’re recognizing Ralph more for being a teacher and coach with longevity. Even to this day, he works for the high school during athletic events. He’s just such a dedicated person to Gateway.”
This year’s class is the 17th to be enshrined since 1999 when Walter “Pete” Antimarino, Henry J. Furrie, Richard Adipotti, Cliff Parsons, Mel Nash, Michelle Chow, Curtis Bray and the 1969 WPIAL champion football team comprised the first group of hall-of-fame inductees.
Petrocelli said close to 20 former inductees will be in attendance at this year’s ceremony.
After the induction banquet in 2019, plans were taking shape for the 2020 induction, but the covid pandemic halted hall-of-fame activities.
The hall of fame hoped to return in 2021, but plans again were scuttled. New efforts in the spring of 2022 yielded progress.
Petrocelli said the hall of fame could’ve inducted a class last year, but the decision to hold off until this year was the right call.
A hall-of-fame room at the Furrie Sports Complex commemorates each inductee, and banners in the hallway outside the main gymnasium display the names of each class.
Petrocelli invites the public to learn more about the Gateway Sports Hall of Fame by visiting its website at gshof.com. He said information and photos from Saturday’s banquet ceremony should make their way online by the end of the month.
“Going all the way back to the first class in 1999, I had decided that I was just going to keep everything that comes about from the hall of fame, whether it was pictures or bios,” Petrocelli said in Sept. 2022, shortly after the website’s official launch.
“Some of it made it online, and some of it didn’t. I knew there was going to be a good outcome from keeping everything.”
Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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