Athletic greats to be honored with induction
By Michael Love
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The Gateway Sports Hall of Fame will induct the Class of 2013 at a banquet Saturday at Edgewood Country Club in Churchill.
This year marks the 14th time a class will be inducted, and the group includes five athletes, one coach and two teams.
For more information on tickets, call Tony Petrocelli at 412-855-3905.
Last week, the Times Express profiled Shannon Ruane, Vince Lamberti, Rege Laughlin and the 1965-66 wrestling team.
This week, inductees Michael Rugh, Mike Livorio, John Nemec and the 1983 Gators varsity baseball team will be in the spotlight.
The 1996 Gateway graduate started his soccer career at the age of five in Monroeville.
He scored 48 goals in one youth season and scored the goal that secured the championship for his team, the Monroeville Workers.
Rugh then played for the Monroeville Sting youth team and scored 29 goals in a season.
He continued to play youth soccer on various Monroeville travel teams and eventually landed a spot on the selective Penns Forest soccer club.
During his time with Penns Forest, Rugh's teams won four state championships (1990, 1992-94). He served as captain from his rookie year through his final season with the organization.
Rugh helped Penns Forest win a regional title in 1992.
Rugh played for Penns Forest while also playing on the boys soccer team at Gateway High School.
As a freshman on the Gators squad, he scored 21 goals.
Rugh finished with 48 career goals and 25 assists, and holds the Gateway boys soccer record for goals in a single season with 26.
He served as team captain his senior year and has the honor of being a part of the only Gateway boys team to make it to the WPIAL quarterfinals in school history.
Rugh was a 1995 All-WPIAL and all-state player and was selected to the Western Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association all-star game.
He earned all-section honors in 1994 and 1995 and was a Tribune-Review Elite 11 player as a senior.
After his time at Gateway, Rugh attended Gannon University on a soccer scholarship and earned a degree in business administration.
At Gannon, Rugh finished ranked seventh in school history for points and goals and eighth all time in assists.
In his senior year, he was 16th in the nation in points per game, 23rd in goals and 18th in assists.
Rugh was a team captain his junior and senior years and earned all-conference and regional All-American honors.
While at Gannon, with a full course load, he still found time to play cup soccer, and he helped the Erie Admirals U20 team win the state championship one year and Beadling Soccer Club reach the regional finals the next.
Since college, Rugh has played in a number of soccer leagues, including the Greater Pittsburgh Sports League and Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena league.
Rugh has worked for Wells Fargo since 2002.
The 1988 Gateway graduate was a multisport letterman in high school.
He played on baseball and soccer travel teams from an early age and, at age 9, was selected to play soccer during halftime at a Pittsburgh Spirit indoor soccer game at the Civic Arena.
LiVorio started playing football in seventh grade with the help of coach Mitch Adams, who is now the head coach of the Gaway varsity boys basketball team.
He became a three-year starter on Gateway's football team under Walter “Pete” Antimarino.
The 1985 Gators squad played North Hills to a 0-0 tie in the WPIAL Quad-A title game at Three Rivers Stadium, and he helped Gateway capture the 1986 WPIAL championship with a 7-6 victory over North Hills.
The Gators finished the season undefeated and ranked nationally by USA Today.
As a senior, LiVorio and co-captain Curtis Bray were featured by ESPN's Scholastic Sports America in a segment that highlighted the top blue-chip football prospects in the U.S.
He and Bray were labeled by Chris Fowler as the “best 1-2 combo in any school in the country.”
Gateway was nationally ranked in ESPN's weekly polls.
LiVorio and Bray were selected to play in the annual Big 33 Football Classic in Hershey.
It was the first time in the history of the game that two players from one school were selected for a single game.
LiVorio and Bray helped Pennsylvania beat Maryland, 21-13.
After graduating from Gateway, LiVorio attended the University of Pittsburgh on a full football scholarship and continued to play with Bray.
As a freshman, he won the Ed Conway Award given to the most improved player.
LiVorio was a three-year starter for the Panthers and anchored the offensive line.
He was a starter in the 1989 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, against Texas A&M, and Pitt was able to pull off a last-second win.
LiVorio played at Pitt with future NFL players such as Tony Siragusa, Curtis Martin, Alex Van Pelt, Jeff Christy, Keith Hamilton and Reuben Brown.
Today, LiVorio is the owner of a New York-based environmental restoration company. He lives on Long Island, N.Y., with his wife, Susan, and son, Michael Jr.
Michael Jr. already is being recognized as an all-star baseball player.
The 1964 Gateway grad enjoyed a strong playing career at his alma mater and then found success as a teacher and a coach.
Nemec played football, basketball and baseball at Gateway and earned eight varsity letters.
He served as co-captain in football during his junior and senior years.
In addition to football, Nemec was senior class president and participated in the choir and drama club.
Being heavily involved in student activities, he said, set a solid foundation for his philosophy as an educator with extra-curricular activities helping develop a student's values and their leadership skills.
After graduation from Gateway, Nemec attended the University of Toledo on a football scholarship.
He joined the ROTC program at Toledo and coached the freshman football team there in 1969.
Nemec was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army after graduating from Toledo.
He completed officer training and was assigned as an assistant football coach at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.
Nemec began his high school coaching career as the head football coach for four years at Wapakeneta High School in Ohio.
During his time there, the Wapakeneta football team had its first ever undefeated season.
Nemec then moved to Kent, Ohio, in 1976 and became Theodore Roosevelt High School's head football coach.
In 1989, he was the first recipient of the Clem Caraboolad Award, given to the top teacher/coach in a five-county area around the city of Akron.
Many of Nemec's former players have gone on to play college and professional football.
He retired from the Roosevelt head coaching position but continued to serve as the school's athletic director for seven years.
In 2009, he returned to the coaching job and remains there today.
In his 33 years as a head coach, Nemec's teams have won more than 225 games and 14 league championships.
In 1996, he was selected to be Ohio's head coach against Pennsylvania in the Big 33 Football Classic.
Nemec was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2005.
Nemec lives in Portage County, Ohio, with Mary, his wife of 44 years.
The 1983 varsity baseball team
The 1983 Gateway squad is the first baseball team to be inducted into the Gateway Sports Hall of Fame.
Under new coach Rege Giles and returning assistant coaches John Sandor and Joe Filipowski, the Gators finished the regular season 18-4 overall and 16-2 in the section.
Gateway won two games in the WPIAL playoffs — 8-1 over Greensburg Central Catholic and 11-0 over Sharon — before falling in the semifinals to Shaler, 12-8.
The Gators played in the PIAA tournament and lost to Laurel Highlands, 5-4, to complete a 20-6 season.
Gary Dinzeo (first base), Ricky King (outfield), John DiLucente (second base), Greg Ribar (shortstop), Rob Wilshire (third base), Tim McDowell (pitcher), Greg Garofolo (outfield) and Tony Cima (designated hitter) earned newspaper all-section honors as voted on by the opposing teams' coaches.
Senior Dave Sloan and junior Karl Seibel both managed the pitching staff from behind the plate.
McDowell and Garofolo were the team's top pitchers. Both had 7-1 records.
Along with juniors Derek Greico, Dickie Engel and Frank Szatkowski, the pitching staff posted 159 strikeouts in 160 innings.
In the 18-game section schedule, Gators pitchers allowed slightly more than two runs per game.
Dilucente, Wilshire, Dinzeo, Garofalo and Cima powered the Gateway offense which scored an average of 5.9 runs per game.
Dinzeo batted .352 for the season with 26 runs batted in and was voted the MVP by his teammates.
Wilshire had 10 hits in the four playoff games.
The defense, with infielders Ribar and Tony Ludovici, outfielders Joe Adams, Dave Mirelis and King and Sloan and Seibel at catcher, helped the Gators win games, as well.
The other members of the 1983 team were senior Pat Dolan; juniors Mike Groden, Paul Kocis, Tom Davis, Tim Sheehy and Tim McGivern; and sophomore Mark Sefer.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at email@example.com.
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