Fox Chapel Hall of Fame enshrinee Fortun found success in several sports
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This is the first in a series highlighting the inductees into the 2013 Class of the Fox Chapel Sports Hall of Fame.
While at Fox Chapel Area High School, no matter what the season, Ben Fortun was playing a sport.
The 1996 graduate played three sports and earned eight letters.
He lettered for two years each in basketball and baseball and was a team captain in both sports.
It was in soccer, though, that Fortun left his mark.
He was a four-year starter and also a team captain.
He made the All-WPIAL team two times, once as a midfielder and once as a goalie. In his senior year, he was the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Goalkeeper of the Year.
During that magical season, he recorded a whopping 15 consecutive shutouts. It's a state record that still stands.
He was a member of the 1995 Fox Chapel WPIAL champion team that went undefeated. It was a team that was ranked No. 2 in the nation by USA Today after the Foxes won the WPIAL title.
“If you asked me to pick the sport that I enjoyed playing the most, I couldn't give you an answer,” he said. “I loved playing them all.
“Let's just say that I excelled the most at soccer.”
Fortun played as a midfielder in his sophomore and junior years and he was the goalie as a freshman and senior.
“I have so many great memories of the soccer team,” he said. “That senior year was great.
“So many of us had been playing soccer together since we were six and seven years old and to top it off with a WPIAL title was amazing. There was no better feeling than that.”
That 1995 Fox Chapel team is becoming to the Fox Chapel Sports Hall of Fame what the Super Steelers of the 1970s have become to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“My two best friends in life — Craig Morrow and Thomas Cavanaugh — have already been inducted and now I'll be joining them,” Fortun said.
“It's an amazing feeling and accomplishment for us. We had such great coaches at Fox Chapel in Jim Perry, Mark Perry and Eddie Boyle.
“They were great men and teachers.”
And to bring it full circle, Fortun's father, Dave, who won a WPIAL championship playing goalie for Springdale, was one of Ben's assistant coaches at Fox Chapel.
“He helped me so much and taught me a lot about the game,” Fortun said. “I can't say enough about all of the coaches I had in all three sports.”
After high school, he attended Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla., where he majored in sports management.
He continued playing soccer and earned four letters and was a team captain.
He was named an all-conference defender and the team advanced to the NAIA Regional Final while he played there.
“They moved me from goalie to defense and left back as soon as I got there and it wasn't too much of an adjustment since I had switched positions in high school,” Fortun said. “It was an eye-opening experience, though, due to the talent level.”
Fortun lives in Indiana Township with his wife, Dana, and their children, Mia and Maximus.
He worked for 10 years as an operations manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates and is now employed as a facility manager for a real estate firm.
The Fox Chapel Sports Hall of Fame weekend will be held on June 1 and 2.
The golf outing will be at Birdsfoot Golf Club on June 1 with an 8:30 shotgun start. Cost is $100 per person.
To register or for more information about the outing, contact Jeff Sigal at email@example.com.
The banquet will be held at the Harmar House on June 2. Cost is $30 per person.
To reserve a seat or for more information about the banquet, contact Ron Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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