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Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame to welcome 11 inductees

| Monday, March 4, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Armstrong County Hall of Fame inductee Dennis Yajko
Lori Gamble, a 1987 Ford City graduate who became a national karate champion, is a member of the Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame's 2013 induction class.
Doug Goodman, for Armstrong County Hall of Fame story running 3/4/13.
Randall Punchard, for Armstrong County Hall of Fame story running 3/4/13.
Clint Holes, for Armstrong County Hall of Fame story running 3/4/13.
David HighField, for Armstrong County Hall of Fame story running 3/4/13.
Tom Emminger, for Armstrong County Hall of Fame story running 3/4/13.

Football and track have always been big sports at Freeport High School — and 1973 graduate Doug Goodman contributed to the success of both programs.

Goodman was a center and defensive tackle on the 1972 Yellowjackets team that pitched six shutouts en route to the WPIAL Class AA title game against Beaver. He was also the 1973 WPIAL javelin champion before heading to Edinboro University.

On April 28, Goodman will be one of 11 inductees at the 41st annual Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame banquet at Freeport's Laube Hall.

Other inductees:

• George ‘Butch' Aggen. The 1972 Freeport graduate lettered in football, basketball and track. A four-year starter at middle guard for Indiana (Pa.) University, Aggen still holds the school record for career tackles with 429.

• Thomas Emminger. A letterman in football, basketball and baseball at Kittanning, Emminger has coached young athletes in Armstrong County for 45 years. He is the Kittanning softball coach and has guided the Wildcats to six WPIAL playoff berths since 2000.

• Lori Gamble. After lettering four seasons in basketball and volleyball at Ford City, Gamble made her mark in karate. She was the national champion in the novice division in 1986 and was on the U.S. Karate team from 1987-93.

• Sgt. Joseph Garrison. Motorists crossing Redbank Creek in New Bethlehem recognize the name of a true hometown hero on the new bridge's nameplate. A football player and wrestler at Redbank Valley High School, Garrison entered the Marine Corps in 2002 and was killed in Afghanistan on June 6, 2011, by an Improvised Explosion Device.

• Clint Holes. Part of the first two Apollo-Ridge WPIAL football playoff teams, Holes played in the Big 33 high school all-star game. He played the vital hero position with the Penn State defensive unit and was a starter on the Nittany Lions' 12-0 team in 1994.

• Randall Punchard. A Shannock Valley High School product, Punchard was the school's all-time leading basketball scorer when he graduated. He continued his basketball career at Westminster College.

• Roger Shumaker. A standout in golf, football and wrestling at Redbank Valley, Shumaker has been a successful wrestling coach in Virginia. His teams won 386 matches and he was twice coach of the year in Virginia.

• Kevin Talmadge. A standout in baseball and basketball at Apollo-Ridge, Talmadge helped Slippery Rock University win the 1991 baseball conference title. He was named Mid-Atlantic Pitcher of the Year in 1992.

• Dennis Yajko. A four-year letterman with the Leechburg football team at running back and linebacker in the early 1960s, Yajko earned a scholarship to South Carolina. He recently retired after 25 years with the Bayer Corporation.

• David Highfield. A longtime reporter with KDKA-TV, the Ford City graduate will receives the hall's Special Builder award. Highfield has won three regional Emmy awards has been nominated 14 other times for news and sports reporting.

Male and female athletes from each of the eight Armstrong County high schools also will be honored.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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