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Norwin Hall of Fame to induct 14 new members

Doug Gulasy
| Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The 1977 Norwin girls volleyball team.
Submitted
The 1977 Norwin girls volleyball team.
The 1978 Norwin girls volleyball team
Submitted
The 1978 Norwin girls volleyball team
Lori Duncan
Submitted
Lori Duncan
Submitted
Harry Hickle
Submitted
Harry Hickle
Randy Lease
Submitted
Randy Lease
Pat Shedlock
Submitted
Pat Shedlock

The Norwin Athletic Hall of Fame will host its fifth annual induction ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday at Stratigos Banquet Centre in North Huntingdon.

A total of 14 players, coaches and teams will enter the Hall of Fame this year. The Norwin Star ran biographies of seven of the inductees last week and will profile the remaining seven this week.

Lori Duncan

Duncan will enter the Hall of Fame as an individual and as part of the 1978 girls volleyball team.

A two-time all-PIAA first-team selection in volleyball, Duncan helped lead Norwin to a 123-1 record and three section, WPIAL and PIAA championships from 1977-79. She was named most valuable player at three tournaments her senior year and also garnered Norwin's team MVP honors. She also won the 1980 YMCA of Pittsburgh Outstanding Athletic Achievement Award for volleyball.

As a girls basketball player, Duncan played on two section championship teams, and she helped the 1,600-meter relay team win first place at the Westmoreland County track meet during her senior season. She won Norwin's Kass Kovalcheck Memorial Outstanding Athlete Award, the Westmoreland County Sports Hall of Fame Most Valuable Athlete Award and the Judge Charles H. Loughran Scholar-Athlete Award for Westmoreland County.

A 1980 graduate, Duncan played volleyball for four years at Eastern Kentucky before becoming an assistant with the Colonels. She later coached at Penn State McKeesport and Indiana (Pa.) before becoming Eastern Kentucky's coach in 1998 — a title she still holds.

Mitzi Frye-Hall

Frye-Hall started as a gymnast, but her work on the volleyball court helped begin a strong Norwin girls volleyball tradition.

A three-year starter in volleyball, Frye-Hall helped lead the Knights to a WPIAL title and PIAA runner-up finish in 1974 — the first year girls volleyball was sanctioned by both organizations. The WPIAL title began a run of 13 straight for Norwin, which also won nine state titles from 1974-84.

Frye-Hall also played basketball at Norwin and was named MVP in both basketball and volleyball during her senior year.

After graduating in 1974, Frye-Hall played volleyball for two seasons at Pitt and received an invitation to try out for the USA women's volleyball team.

She has been a licensed PIAA volleyball official for nearly 30 years. Additionally, Frye-Hall works as a professional mosaic artist, selling her pieces in galleries and art shows. She also teaches in the Norwin Art League.

Harry Hickle

Hickle, who played football and basketball at North Huntingdon before graduating in 1954, will enter the Hall of Fame for the work he did later as Norwin's track coach.

In his 17-year career, Hickle led the Knights to a 120-21 overall record in dual meets and the 1977 WPIAL championship. The Knights were also the PIAA runners-up that season and the WPIAL runners-up in 1988.

The Knights also won four Westmoreland County championships in Hickle's time, and he was named Western Pennsylvania Track Council Coach of the Year in 1977.

Hickle also taught physical education at Norwin. He retired in 1996.

Randy Lease

Lease was the workhorse starting pitcher for the Norwin baseball team in 1969, when the Knights advanced to the WPIAL semifinals.

The senior pitched in 15 of 20 games that season, piling up 89 innings of work. He struck out 103 batters, including five performances with 12 or more strikeouts. He began the season with a no-hitter against Sewickley.

Lease went 10-1 in his senior season, with the only blemish a 3-2 loss to Bethel Park in the WPIAL semifinals.

Pat Shedlock

One of the most decorated swimmers in Norwin history, Shedlock won six gold medals in his four seasons competing for the Knights.

The golds began in his freshman season, when he was part of Norwin's 200-yard medley relay team that took first place in the WPIAL championships. The team won again in his sophomore season, which is also when he won his first of three WPIAL titles in the 100 butterfly.

He added a sixth gold medal by placing first in the 100 butterfly at the PIAA championships his junior season, and he was named to the all-state team that season.

He earned six more top-10 finishes at states, including a silver medal in the 100 butterfly as a senior.

The 1997 graduate, who also started two seasons for Norwin's baseball team, later competed for the Pitt swim team.

1977 girls volleyball team

In 1977, the Norwin girls volleyball team won the WPIAL and PIAA championships for the second straight season ­— part of an eight-year run that saw the Knights claim both titles.

Norwin defeated Thomas Jefferson to claim its fourth straight WPIAL championship before beating General McLane, 2-0, in the PIAA championship.

Seniors on the team included Sue Flaherty, Mary Ellen Gillespie, Terri Perz, Lynn Sofaly, Nancy Zentner and Michelle Ziska. Mary Jo Hensler was the only junior, and sophomores included Valerie Benish, Peggy Brighenti, Chris Cashmere, Linda Petrosky, Lisa Shirey, Sue Sotak and Tammie Weiss.

1978 girls volleyball team

These Knights continued the work of their predecessors from 1977, defeating Kiski in the WPIAL championship and General McLane in the PIAA double match.

Seniors on the team included Mary Jo Hensler and Cindy Stefanov. Juniors included Valerie Benish, Chris Cashmere, Lisa Fawcett, Lori Lokash, Linda Petrosky, Lisa Shirey, Sue Sotak and Tammie Weiss, and Lori Duncan and Nancy Hensler were sophomores.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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