Norwin inducts 2012 Hall of Fame class
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Across generations, sports and backgrounds, one common theme emerged from the 2012 inductees to the Norwin Athletic Hall of Fame — family.
A class of 14 inductees were honored at this year's ceremony, held on Thursday, one night before Norwin's homecoming game, at Stratigos Banquet Centre in North Huntingdon.
Four teams, two coaches, a contributor and seven individual athletes received the honor in the hall's fourth year of existence, and nearly all focused on the topic of family. Some recognized their own, whether it was parents or spouses, and others described their teammates as family.
But perhaps the largest family recognized was the Norwin community at large, which was one large family to many of the inductees.
“It's all about love,” inductee Dick Earnest said. “It's about love of the district and of the people that are there for you.”
Inductee Jay Murray seconded that when he said: “The people you surround yourself with are who put in the position to succeed.”
Before athletics became the focus, the Norwin family shared a somber moment of silence for Lt. Col. Chris Raible, the U.S. Marine and Norwin graduate killed in action last month in Afghanistan.
The ceremony's first inductee, the 1924 Norwin Union football team that remains as Norwin's only unbeaten squad, was inducted by 2011 inductee Tom Shrump, whose father was a part of that team.
After briefly speaking about the team itself, Shrump showed off a Norwin letterman's sweater from the 1930s and encouraged community members that still own pieces of the district's athletic history to bring them to the Hall of Fame committee's attention to be displayed in the Norwin High School trophy case.
The focus on the district's past continued with the induction of two state championship basketball teams from Irwin, the 1948 and 1954 squads.
The remaining inductees all have been a part of the post-merger Norwin High School's history, including contributor Casey Harper, whose C. Harper Auto Group has been the title sponsor of the induction ceremonies for the hall's four years.
Paul Naponick kept the family theme going by joining his older brother John in the hall, while the induction ceremony was held on a special day for former swimming coach Dave Rider, who was celebrating his 43rd wedding anniversary last Thursday.
Other highlights of the ceremony included an “Odd Couple” reference by emcee Dan Miller when introducing former state doubles champions Bill Bailey and Dan Stewart, which was borne out by Bailey's brief, sincere acceptance speech and Stewart's colorful, humorous telling of their championship season.
Miller also received some friendly teasing himself for his Penn Hills roots, as two inductees — former pitcher Al Leukhardt and the 1973 boys cross country team — both suffered their only losses at the hands of Penn Hills.
Many of the inductees were multisport stars, such as former WPIAL hurdles champ Allan Bilinsky, while others went on to play at top colleges, including Earnest at Navy, Murray at Pitt and Leukhardt at Stanford.
“I want to thank my teachers at Norwin,” Leukhardt said. “They had me more prepared for Stanford than teammates and classmates of mine that went to private schools and boarding schools.”
The ties the inductees keep to the district were shown in the memorabilia on display, which included the sweater shown by Shrump, Leukhardt's letterman's jacket that he put on at the podium, and the state championship jacket put on by coach Ed Matko, who was the final inductee of the night and the only double inductee, as he led the 1973 cross country team, as well.
To see more photos from the induction ceremony or read full bios of the Hall of Fame inductees, visit www.YourNorwin.com.
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or email@example.com.
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.
- National Weather Service predicts up to 7 inches of snow before Sunday night
- Man killed in Shaler house fire identified
- Steelers not limiting themselves in free agency
- Chicago’s 1st black major league baseball player Minoso dies
- Devices, exercises can keep technology from being a pain
- Coyotes proliferate despite year-round hunting
- Rossi: Pirates must pay for Mr. Right
- Arrogant media elites mock Middle America
- Sawchik: Should McCutchen really get a huge salary bump?
- Burnett’s farewell tour wishlist has just 1 item: Pirates World Series
- Under Rutherford, it’s been a sizeable shakeup for Penguins