Plum set to induct new class of athletes into Hall of Fame

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Monday, November 13, 2017 | 11:00 PM


Plum graduates Anthony Cipollone and Jeff Hahn are members of their respective collegiate halls of fame.

Cipollone, a 1988 Plum graduate, received enshrinement into the Baldwin Wallace Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004 after successful football and wrestling tenures for the Yellowjackets.

Hahn, a 1985 Plum grad, made his mark on the football team at Westminster College in the late 1980s, and he was honored with induction in 1998.

Cipollone and Hahn now have an even closer hall-of-fame connection as they will join five other Plum athletic greats ­— Rick Jeletic (1992 grad), Lori Lisowski Caranfa (1994), Karin Painter Stamford (1994), Matt Paradise (2001) and Scott Umberger (1996) — in the Class of 2017 for the Plum High School Sports Hall of Fame.

“This is a very good class,” said the organization's president, Bill Rometo. “It's right up there with the best of them.”

The Class of 2017 will be celebrated at a banquet Friday at Edgewood Country Club in Churchill.

This is the 13th class to be inducted since the hall of fame was formed in 2005. The group of seven inductees brings the total number honored to 101.

“The resumes for this year's inductees are impressive,” Rometo said. “They were outstanding athletes in school and great citizens. We are proud to have them as representatives for Plum High School.

A wide variety of sports are represented in this year's class, including football, wrestling, basketball, volleyball, swimming, soccer, baseball and indoor/outdoor track and field.

“We're 13 years in, and the quality of credentials is just as good as in the first couple of classes,” hall of fame vice president Dan Casarcia said. “They also accomplished a lot after their time at Plum.”

Two of this year's honorees are joining relatives who earned past induction.

Cipollone's younger brother, Brian, was a standout wrestler and graduated from Plum in 1991. Brian was inducted into the hall of fame in 2007.

Umberger now will share space in the hall of fame with cousin R.J., a star hockey player at Plum who later made a name for himself in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Casarcia said the hall of fame's motto, “To Honor, Preserve and Inspire,” is carried out in several aspects of the hall-of-fame experience.

The inductees are honored through the banquet, and the hall of fame's quest is to preserve the history of Plum athletics through each of its members.

Current Plum senior student-athletes get to know the inductees through a partnership that extends to introductions at the banquet.

“We felt we were missing that inspiring aspect,” Casarcia said. “The inductees might be people (the Plum senior athletes) heard about from coaches or saw on record boards. Through this, we hope that these seniors are inspired to continue to do the things for themselves that make them successful in sports and in life.”

Rometo said there are a lot of great candidates who will become eligible for induction over the next couple of years.

A mission, he said, the committee continues to follow is making sure they don't miss anyone that deserves to be included.

“We really rely on nominations,” Rometo said. “We want to get the word out.”

There is a list of more than 50 nominated athletes, as well as nomination instructions and criteria, under the “Nominations” tab at plumsportshof.com.

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

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