Armstrong Hall of Fame to welcome 12 new members
Like many kids, Kittanning's Jon Spangler dreamed of playing major league baseball.
However, shortly after signing with the then-world champion Brooklyn Dodgers as a pitcher in 1955, Spangler suffered a recurring foot injury, and his baseball aspirations were quashed. But Spangler later channeled his energies toward another sport — hockey.
He founded the Armstrong Amateur Hockey League and later coached the first Kittanning varsity team to a 16-0-1 record and twice was named to coach in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League all-star game.
Spangler will be one of 12 inductees, including two honored for a combination of athletic and military service, at the 40th Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet.
The event will be at 4 p.m. April 29 at Laube Hall, Freeport.
Other inductees will include:
• Wendell Ray Alcorn, a Dayton High School graduate who played four years of basketball for the Lions, before becoming a three-sport letterman at Penn State's Mont Alto campus. Alcorn served in the Navy from 1961-92 and endured more than seven years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.
• Andrew Balbo was a three-year starter as a center and linebacker for Leechburg. He made the all-WPIAL team as a center in 1969 and moved on to Bucknell University, where his career was cut short by an injury. Balbo later founded Sun Blessed Landscaping in Allegheny Township.
• Dave Buchner helped Apollo High School to the 1965 WPIAL Class B football title game and accepted a scholarship to Wyoming before suffering a career-ending knee injury. He taught 32 years for the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit.
• Frank Brochetti was a three-sport standout at Shannock Valley High School before serving in Vietnam. He was killed in action on April 8, 1972, less than a year before U.S. combat operations ended.
• Jody McMeans Dean was the first female basketball player in Dayton High history to eclipse the 1,000-point career scoring mark. She went on to excel in three sports at Westminster College. McMeans Dean is a 1995 Westminster Hall of Fame inductee.
• Shawn Allen Earl, a Kittanning graduate, has a successful career in archery that has spanned three decades, starting as a Pennsylvania regional and statewide champion in 1990. He currently is on the pro shooting staffs at Mathews Inc. and Easton Sports.
• William Hodak will be inducted in the builder category. A Worthington High School graduate, he was a charter member of Worthington Little League and served 42 years as president of the Buffalo Valley Sportsman's Club.
• Capt. Adam Brochetti, who recently returned stateside after two Marine deployments in Afghanistan, was a major figure in football and wrestling while at Kittanning. He remains Kittanning's third all-time rusher in football and was Valley News Dispatch first team in wrestling for three years.
• Don Marco played football at Leechburg High School but has become better known as a runner as an adult, competing in 5Ks, 10ks, six Pittsburgh marathons and 10 ultramarathons.
• Carrie Miles earned four letters in track and two in softball at Karns City High School. She later was named track MVP at Clarion University and was an NCAA scholar-athlete.
• Joe Ridgeley was part of two WPIAL football finalists at Freeport and has had a distinguished coaching career, particularly at Central Cambria High School in Ebensburg. He was defensive coordinator for the Red Devils from 1979-2010 and compiled a 149-21-1 record as the school's head track coach.
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.
- Pirates prospect Bell gets a taste of big league lifestyle
- Western Pennsylvania thrift shops accept many items — but not guns, skulls
- Armstrong County Pasta maker takes his fruit-filled pierogi to Kennywood
- Pirates notebook: No All-Star break for Cole
- Drug court planned in Westmoreland County
- Etna residents petition to save longtime parking spaces
- St. Vincent’s $1M technology upgrade part of school’s 5-year-plan
- Pittsburgh FBI cyber expert is ex-discount furniture salesman
- Kiwanis Community Garden in McKeesport rallies support from nonprofit
- Liriano struggles in his return from injury as Reds knock off Pirates
- 20th year of Vans Warped tour is no big deal to backer