Armstrong County Hall of Fame to induct 11 new members
Freeport High School has had an outstanding track and field program for more than 40 years.
One of the biggest contributors to that legacy, Linsey Westerman, will be enshrined in the Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame.
Westerman and 10 others will be part of the hall's 43rd induction banquet April 27 at Laube Hall in Freeport.
As a ninth-grader at Freeport, Westerman medaled in the 400 meters at the WPIAL finals. In the following three seasons, she medaled in the 100 hurdles and in the 300 intermediate hurdles.
At Slippery Rock University, Westerman held or shared records in five events.
She will be a third-generation Hall of Fame member, joining her late father, Mike, and her grandfather, Ralph “Sonny” Westerman.
The Westermans will join the Brochettis as three-generation hall of famers.
Also slated for induction are:
• Jeff Cortileso, an all-state lineman for Leechburg in the early 1970s. He also played at West Virginia and was part of the 1975 Peach Bowl team. Cortileso has been a high school and college football official for more than 20 years.
• Shintrika Renee Hudson, currently the softball coach at Clarion University, was a standout in the sport at Dayton High School and Clarion. After playing in 126 games at Clarion, Hudson coached high school softball and basketball in North Carolina before returning to Western Pennsylvania.
• Dennis Stewart, a graduate of Kittanning and Indiana (Pa.), coached varsity wrestling for 13 years and produced 20 WPIAL section champions. He will end a 19-year tenure as Ford City's last athletic director before the school merges with Kittanning next year.
• Frank Sulava excelled in football, baseball and basketball at Leechburg. He was first-team all-conference in 1971 and '72 before continuing his career at Clarion.
• Carol Perroz played softball, basketball and volleyball at Freeport before moving on to Slippery Rock. As a softball coach at Valley, she has led Vikings to two WPIAL titles and one PIAA title.
• John G. Simensky won numerous bowling titles while attending Ford City and Penn State. He has bowled 16 300 games and 16 series of 800 or better.
• Brandon Stefaniak, an Apollo-Ridge and Penn State graduate, has been successful in six gymnastics events: the floor, Pommel horse, high bar, parallel bars, rings and vault. He helped lead the Nittany Lions to a team national championship.
• In the builder category, David Stewart has been active in the Worthington Little league for 26 years, including league president for the past 16 seasons. He also has been instrumental in numerous field improvements to the Little League complex, which hosted a junior division state softball finals in the past.
• Also in the builder category is West Leechburg's Joe Boario, a long-time educator, coach and football official. He officiated nine WPIAL championship football games and one PIAA title game.
• Receiving induction in the military category will be 2nd Lt. Michael Girdano, a 2003 Apollo-Ridge graduate. After lettering four years in high school football and baseball, he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. One month into his deployment in Afghanistan, he died from wounds suffered when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device Aug. 1, 2008.
George Guido is a freelance writer.