Pine-Richland Athletic Hall of Fame announces 1st class

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Friday, August 9, 2019 | 8:54 PM


The Pine-Richland Athletic Hall of Fame announced its first class of inductees as decided upon by the Pine-Richland Athletic Hall of Fame Committee.

The inductees will be honored at 6:45 p.m. on Oct. 4 before the football team’s WPIAL Class 6A game against Canon-McMillan at Pine-Richland Stadium. A banquet will be held for the inductees at 6 p.m. on Oct. 5 in the high school cafeteria. The class includes Meghan Klingenberg, Jack McCurry, Ossie Santacroce, Eugene Sullivan, Neil Walker and the 1969 Richland High School football team.

Selecting the inaugural class for this prestigious honor wasn’t an easy task, said Pine-Richland Athletic Hall of Fame Committee member Dr. Michael Pasquinelli, who also serves as the Pine-Richland School District assistant superintendent for secondary education and curriculum. Still, Pasquinelli said he and his fellow committee members set a criteria and stuck to it throughout the selection process.

“There are so many great candidates. We were fortunate to have 29 nominations, so narrowing it down was not easy,” Pasquinelli said.

“The committee considered candidates from a wide range of generations and connections to Pine-Richland athletics. Nominations were accepted and considered for any team, athlete, coach, administrator, or contributor who, through his or her commitment, sacrifice and dedication to the Pine-Richland athletic program brought pride and distinction to our school and community.”

Klingenberg, a 2007 Pine-Richland graduate, is an Olympian and played as a member of the United States women’s national soccer team.

McCurry graduated from Richland in 1967 after a decorated multisport career.

Walker, a 2004 graduate, has been playing professional baseball for more than a decade.

Santacroce and Sullivan served as pivotal leaders at Pine-Richland, with Santacroce acting as the first athletic director and first basketball coach in Pine-Richland history and Sullivan coaching the Richland football team that won WPIAL championships in 1969-70. Sullivan’s 1969 team that went undefeated also will be inducted.

Pine-Richland director of communications Rachel Hathhorn said each inductee plans to attend, with family members or representatives attending in the place of inductees who are deceased.

The induction ceremony will provide a way to christen the beginning of a year that marks a milestone anniversary for the school district.

“Last year, Pine-Richland celebrated its 60th anniversary. Initiating a hall of fame was an ideal way to celebrate both the past and look to the future,” Pasquinelli said.

“One of the key concepts of the Pine-Richland vision is that learning occurs both inside and outside of the classroom. Athletics is one example of outside-of-the-classroom learning experiences. The athletic hall of fame provides the district and community an annual opportunity to celebrate and commemorate those who have made significant contributions linked to athletics.”

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