Frazier's 1969 basketball team to join Fayette County Hall
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Back in January, members of the 1969 Frazier boys basketball team came together to witness the raising of the team's new WPIAL championship banner at Frazier High School. The new banner was raised after the team's original banner had been lost.
On June 21, some of those players will gather once again for another celebration of the team's success as the 1969 Commodores will officially be inducted into the Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony and banquet will take place at 5:30 p.m. at Penn State Fayette.
“I think the ultimate thing for any athlete is to be inducted into a hall of fame, and we are very proud of this honor,” said Charles Ramsey, who was an all-state player and senior on the 1969 Frazier team.
The Commodores were coached by the late Henry DiVirgilio and assisted by coaches Joe Lafko and Chuck Kelley.
According to Ramsey, there were several things that made the 1969 team special. However, chief among the reasons for the team's success was a willingness to work hard when it didn't have the ball. That hard work stemmed from DiVirgilio.
“Defense and conditioning is why we won,” Ramsey said. “We just swarmed teams, and by the fourth quarter, other teams were tired. Coach DiVirgilio had us train all the way up until the last game. That team was made of defense.”
The 1969 Commodores won four games in the WPIAL Class B (now known as double-A) playoffs, including a 69-56 championship win over Center High School at Pitt Fieldhouse. The Commodores also made a strong run in the state tournament that year. Frazier defeated a pair of previously unbeaten teams in the state playoffs before losing to Mansfield in the PIAA Class AA title game 65-43.
But for all the success the team enjoyed on the court, Ramsey, who was a co-captain with the late Jerry Boyle, remembers the team for its outstanding group of individuals.
“This team was special,” Ramsey said. “It was a great group of guys on and off the court. Guys didn't get into trouble and they kept their grades up. Even today, these guys are great fathers and grandfathers. They are great men.”
Ramsey said some team members will not be able to attend but anticipates a big contingent of players to be on hand at the banquet and induction ceremony.
“We're very excited about it,” Ramsey said. “We've got a lot of guys going. To be there with these guys will be unbelievable.”
The 1969 Frazier boys basketball team is one of two teams that will be added to the Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame. The 1962 WPIAL champion Uniontown football team will also be a part of the sixth class of inductees.
Seven individuals will be inducted, including former Geibel boys basketball coach Ken Misiak and former Penn State football player and Connellsville native Henry Oppermann Jr.
Former Laurel Highlands High School and University of Richmond basketball player Greg Beckwith, former Albert Gallatin High School and West Virginia University basketball player Buddy Quertinmont and former German Township High School and Pitt football player Ralph Still will be inducted.
Former Uniontown High School, University of Nebraska and Buffalo Bills running back Bennett “Pope” Gregory and former Point Marion and Uniontown High School football coach Bill Power will be posthumously inducted.
According to Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame co-founder George Von Benko, the 1969 Frazier squad is certainly worthy of this recognition.
“We are pleased to induct the 1969 Frazier basketball team,” Von Benko said. “It is a very deserving honor. We also hope that their induction will spark more interest in the Perryopolis area.”
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at 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.
- LaBar: Sting making history fighting for WWE title
- RB Williams believes he’s making seamless transition to Steelers
- White lion Prince dies at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
- No certainty for Pirates’ call-up veterans
- Pitt basketball team starting to get injured players back
- Brashear cornerback Coleman picks Pitt
- Rossi: Continuing legend of Pirate Ray
- Morton inconsistent, Pirates’ bats go quiet in 5-0 loss to Rockies
- Switching roles on defense doesn’t faze Duquesne LB Stone
- CDC lauds schools for better nutrition
- MLB notebook: Mets add bullpen depth, get Reed from Diamondbacks