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Montana to shine in 49ers Hall of Fame

| Sunday, June 28, 2009

Not so surprisingly, New Eagle native Joe Montana will be one of the initial members of the Edward DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame.

This new hall automatically enshrines members of the San Francisco 49ers family who've had their jersey numbers retired by the organization or have been selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Other automatic inductees include John Brodie, Steve Young, Y.A. Tittle, Dwight Clark, Fred Dean, Jimmy Johnson, John Henry Johnson, Charlie Krueger, Ronnie Lott, Hugh McElhenny, Leo Nomellini, Joe Perry, Bob St. Clair, Bill Walsh and Dave Wilcox.

The initial hall members will be recognized during alumni weekend on Oct. 11 when the 49ers play the Atlanta Falcons.

Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, in 1990 and the Mid-Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame in 2000, Montana played 16 years in the NFL, mostly with the 49ers, when he led that team to four Super Bowl championships. He was selected to eight Pro Bowls, was a three-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, and became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to pass for more than 40,000 yards.

Known for guiding teams to late-game comeback victories, Montana played college football at the University of Notre Dame, where he helped the Fighting Irish win consecutive Cotton Bowls as well as the national championship in 1977. In his final collegiate game, the 1979 Cotton Bowl, Montana rallied the Fighting Irish from a 34-12 deficit in the game's final eight minutes to a 35-34 victory.

He graduated from the Monongahela division of Ringgold in 1974. Besides being a star scholastic quarterback, the New Eagle native was also a standout basketball player and helped Ringgold win the 1973 WPIAL Class AAA boy's basketball championship. He was part of Ringgold's initial 2006 Hall of Fame Class that also included Stan Musial (baseball) Fred Cox (football), and Ken Griffey, Sr. (baseball).

As part of that class' induction ceremony at the start of the 2006 season, Ringgold Stadium was re-named "Joe Montana Stadium."

Allen released

Monessen High School graduate Charel Allen was one of three players waived by the Sacramento Monarchs just two days before the start of the 2009 WNBA season.

After being the 43rd player selected in the 2008 WNBA Draft, a nose injury limited Allen's playing time in her first professional season. She played in just six games.

Last winter Allen played overseas in the Turkish Women's League for Ceyhan Belediye in Adana, Turkey.

At the University of Notre Dame from 2005-2008, Allen, a 5-foot, 11-inch-inch guard, received first-team All Big East Conference honors each of her final two seasons, and the Fighting Irish advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of her four years. She finished her collegiate career as Notre Dame's eighth leading career scorer with 1,566 points. She also produced 656 rebounds, 239 assists, 71 blocks and 206 steals. She made 602 field goals in 1,422 attempts, 64 three-point baskets with 200 attempts and 298 of 373 foul shots for a 79.9%.

Allen ranks eighth among all Notre Dame career-leading scorers. In foul shooting, Allen ranks ninth in made shots and seventh in percentage. She is also seventh in total steals and tied for sixth in career games played.

Allen, who expects to return to professional basketball, concluded her high school career with 3,110 career points, second highest career total in WPIAL history. She had 1,247 career rebounds, and the Lady Greyhounds won 100 of 119 games during her scholastic career, including the 2004 WPIAL and PIAA Class A championships. She was a three-time first team All-State scholastic selection.

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