New website displays history of Gateway Sports Hall of Fame

Sunday, September 11, 2022 | 11:01 AM

The journey to the formation and implementation of the new Gateway Sports Hall of Fame website — — had its genesis more than two decade ago when the first class of Gators greats — the 1969 championship football team, the late Curtis Bray, Michelle Chow, Richard Adipotti, Mel Nash, Cliff Parsons, Henry J. Furrie and Walter “Pete” Antimarino — was inducted.

“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,” Gateway Sports Hall of Fame chairman Tony Petrocelli said. “Some of it made it online, and some of it didn’t.”

Now, all of it is online. Last week, Aug. 31 to be exact, the website went live, and Petrocelli said he couldn’t be more excited.

“I knew there was going to be a good outcome from keeping everything,” Petrocelli said.

“Gateway has such a rich sports history, and it is a great feeling to know there is a place where everyone can go to view all of it.”

Petrocelli said the real goal of his was to have the hall-of-fame items from the more than two decades of enshrinement put on display at Gateway’s Furrie Sports Complex, close to the room that houses all of the inductee plaques and near all of the hanging banners listing each year’s class.

“We wanted to have some type of enclosed display case,” he said.

“But the problem I see now, all these years later, is there is too much stuff. There is no way there is enough room to display all of it. A couple of years ago, I and a few others started to think about a website to place all the items. Once it is completed, it is there, and it will never go away.”

Petrocelli said the new site houses a bountiful collection of Gateway sports history before and after the 1958 merger to form the Gateway School District.

“Everything, from each individual and team inductee photo and biography to galleries from all of the induction banquets and information on the hall of fame, is there,” he said.

The site was assembled, produced and organized by Amixa’s Shane Rolin, a longtime supporter of Gateway athletics. Petrocelli said he’s received a great deal of positive feedback.

“I had people already call me and say, ‘I was up to 2 in the morning once I first clicked on it at 9 p.m. I couldn’t stop looking at all of the stuff on the site,’” Petrocelli said.

“That is a good feeling to know it was so well received like that. It is a true walk down memory lane for those who are connected to Gateway athletics. It’s also a great way for others to learn more about Gateway sports history.”

Petrocelli said that while the website is pretty detailed, there always are new ideas formulating to bolster the content.

Plans are in the works to add a message center feature which will have announcements and updates on all of the past inductees and also news and updates on the current crop of Gateway teams and individual athletes.

“It will give people up-to-date information on Gateway athletics,” Petrocelli said. “It also will give information on where the committee stands with meetings and discussions on the next induction.”

Petrocelli said he and the rest of the hall-of-fame committee hoped that the launch of the hall of fame website would coincide with plans and preparation for the next hall of fame induction banquet this October or November.

The last induction ceremony was in October 2019, just a few months before the covid pandemic became a reality.

Plans for the next induction were scuttled last year, and renewed efforts this spring resulted in progress. But, Petrocelli said, the goal now is to have the next group of Gateway greats celebrated in 2023.

“We are set for the next induction banquet on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, at Edgewood Country Club,” he said. “The pandemic jacked us up a little bit. We could’ve had one this year, but I am glad we waited. Next year, it is going to be special.”

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


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