Penn Hills Sports Hall of Fame inducting 8 new members

| Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

In the weeks leading up to the annual Penn Hills Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony and dinner, the Progress will present biographies of the eight athletes being inducted in 2013:

Ryan Caugherty

Caugherty graduated from Penn Hills in 2001. He lettered in soccer and football. As a four-year starter and captain of the soccer team his junior and senior seasons, he excelled in competitive events. He was named three times to the All-State, All-WPIAL, and All-Section teams, along with the All-American team in his senior season.

After graduating from Penn Hills, Caugherty chose to attend Wake Forest University on a full athletic soccer scholarship. While there, he again became a four-year starter and helped the Demon Deacons to their only undefeated season in school history. This led to three No. 1 rankings and four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

Caugherty continued his soccer career shortly after graduating from Wake Forest, when he was drafted by the Kansas City Wizards (currently known as Sporting K.C. in Major League Soccer), but opted to instead pursue a professional soccer career overseas.

The decision led him to play professionally for more than six years in leagues all across the world. During his career, he played in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, China, Austria and then the United States. Caugherty finished his career in Texas, where he met his current wife, Jaclyn.

She is an attorney with Fulbright & Jaworski, and Caugherty is the CEO and president of a sales company, CORE Communications, Inc. in Houston, where he and Jaclyn live with their three dogs.

Melissa Wharton

Wharton graduated from Penn Hills in 1994 and was a recipient of All-Section, All-WPIAL and PIAA All-State honors in girls' volleyball.

Wharton earned a bachelor of arts degree from Bucknell University, honored as a top-20 graduate for contributions to overall university life. Wharton graduated with more than 10 school and Patriot League records, and is considered one of the best players in program history. She is the only Bison player to hit .400 in a season, and she did so three times.

Wharton recorded a Bucknell and Patriot League-record .445 hitting percentage in 1995 (second-best in the nation that year), and she followed it up by hitting .410 in 1996 and .411 as a senior in 1997. She owns three of the top four single-season hitting percentages in Patriot League history, while her .400 career average is also the school and league record. She is also the Bucknell and Patriot League career leader in blocks with 631.

Wharton is a three-time First Team All-Patriot League selection and Bucknell Athlete of the Year. She earned the Christy Mathewson Award as the top senior athlete in her class.

In 1999, Wharton was selected as a member of the United States Professional Volleyball Dream Team.

In 2009, Wharton became only the second volleyball player to be inducted into the Bucknell University Hall of Fame.

Wharton founded The Church Online, LLC, in 2002, an industry leading, marketing and technology provider to churches throughout the world.

Dr. Nate Kincel

Kincel graduated from Penn Hills High School in 1999.

He began his sporting career at age 7, playing soccer in the Penn Hills Youth Soccer leagues. At Linton Junior High, he ran track, was a member of the wrestling team and played soccer. His freshman year he joined the varsity soccer team, where he started as the team's goalkeeper.

In ninth grade he also joined the volleyball team and appeared with the varsity team that year as they went to the state tournament. In 10th grade he joined the varsity swim team and also became the place kicker and punter for the varsity football team.

Throughout high school, he would amass a total of nine varsity letters, numerous playoff appearances with sectional, WPIAL and state recognitions.

He was co-captain of the soccer and volleyball teams. His senior year, he served as the student council president. He was recognized as the male scholar athlete of the year and the Penn Hills Junior Citizen of the year.

In addition, he was asked to join and competed with Pittsburgh's Junior Olympic Volleyball team. After being heavily recruited by Division-I football teams as a kicker, Kincel followed his passion and joined a national championship volleyball team at Juniata College, where he lettered four years and was captain his senior year.

He went on to medical school and was recognized as Chief Emergency Medicine Resident and Resident of the Year. Today he is a practicing board-certified emergency medicine physician working in Dubois.

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