Norwin Athletic Hall of Fame ready to add its latest class
The Norwin Athletic Hall of Fame will host its fourth annual induction ceremony on Sept. 27 at Stratigos Banquet Hall in North Huntingdon.
A total of 14 teams, players, coaches and contributors will enter the Hall of Fame this year, and this week, the Norwin Star looks back on the achievements of six of the inductees before they are enshrined. Next week, the Star will feature the remaining eight inductees.
The 1924 Norwin football team
Norwin and its predecessor schools have sponsored football teams for nearly a century, and the 1924 squad remains its only undefeated team.
The team, coached by 2011 inductee Jack Clawson, went 10-0 — counting a forfeit over no-show Latrobe — and recorded six shutouts over Homestead, Vandergrift, Scottdale, Indiana, Windber and Conemaugh. Norwin earned a tough win, 19-12, over Jeannette in the middle of the season, and then capped the year with a Thanksgiving Day win at Greensburg, 13-6. The losses were the only ones of the year for both Jeannette and Greensburg.
Having outscored opponents by a total of 197-21 and being the only team to even score against Greensburg, the Nov. 28, 1924 edition of the Irwin Republican Standard printed that the team “could well lay claim to the high school football championship of the state,” a claim still upheld in Norwin football history.
The 1948 Irwin basketball team
One year after claiming the school's first PIAA title, the Black Knights defeated Robinson Township, 53-38, for the WPIAL title and topped Bridgeport, 49-34, for a second state title under coach Don Rose.
The team finished with a 27-2 record, and counting Rose, has four individual members of the Norwin Hall of Fame on its roster.
The 1954 Irwin basketball team
Like its 1948 counterpart, the 1954 Irwin team secured back-to-back state titles while being led by four individual hall-of-fame inductees.
Irwin beat Avonworth for the WPIAL title, 61-44, and Mt. Penn for the state title, 61-55, to finish with a 26-2 record under coach Lyman Stough.
If picking Norwin's most decorated alumnus, Earnest would have to be included in the conversation before even including high school athletics.
The former mayor of Del Mar, Calif., Earnest was the leading hitter (.429 average) and shortstop for Norwin's 1960 WPIAL title-winning baseball team and co-captain and leading scorer of the football team his senior year.
In addition, his many academic achievements helped him get accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he played in the 1964 Cotton Bowl for the Midshipmen.
Earnest later served as a pilot in the Navy and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, 21 air medals, two Navy Commendations and the Vietnamese Air Gallantry Cross.
A football and basketball player at both Norwin and Pitt, Naponick was an all-state player in both sports for the Knights.
Among his many honors were selections to the Big 33 football game, the Dapper Dan Roundball Classic and the Westmoreland County All-Star Classic, of which he was the 1966 MVP.
After his Norwin years, during which he set a school record with 47 points in a single basketball game, Naponick earned a law degree from Loyola (La.), where he graduated cum laude, and a Master's in Taxation from Georgetown.
Harper is this year's inductee as a contributor.
The owner of the C. Harper Auto Group, he is a major donor to Norwin athletics and many other causes through the C. Harper Charities program.
A former Norwin School Board member, he was a 1957 graduate of Penn Joint High School before moving on to the University of Delaware. He also played for Penn Joint, and later form multiple semi-pro football teams in the area.
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Kang story of the year for Pirates
- Penguins GM Rutherford ‘wouldn’t make’ Despres trade today
- Healthy defensive back Mitchell eager for 2nd season with Steelers
- IRS cybersecurity breach touches lives of homebuyers, others
- Ex-S. Allegheny teacher held on sex assault counts
- McKeesport Area poised to close East End Academy
- Pittsburgh bicyclist pedaling for pets
- Propel sixth-graders chronicle McKeesport history for younger peers
- Ford City told to correct problems with pension plan language
- Primary write-in votes tabulated in Armstrong County
- Emergency crews search Youghiogheny River in Layton for Charleroi man