SOME PREVIOUS INDUCTEES TO THE BLAIR COUNTY SPORTS HALL OF FAME
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Blair County Sports Hall of Fame!
Hall to Welcome Five New Inductees, Little League Team
Fink, Gehret, Moschella, Turchetta and Williams form class of 2024.
By John Hartsock, Altoona Mirror
When the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame stages its 20th induction ceremony on Saturday, April 13, 2024 at the Blair County Convention Center, five individual inductees and one team inductee will be recognized.
The event will have a pronounced Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School flavor as three individuals with ties to the school – Mark Moschella, Alli Williams and Tom Turchetta – will be among the inductees, along with Artie Fink Jr. and Rachel Gehret.
The team inductee will be the 2022 Hollidaysburg Little League team, which became the first Blair County team ever to reach the Little League World Series in Williamsport and found considerable success there.
The 2024 enshrinements will bring the Hall’s total number of individual inductees to 115, and its total number of team inductees to 11.
“The selection committee continues to be super impressed with the accomplishments of our athletes, and this year is a great example,’’ Blair County Sports Hall of Fame President Neil Rudel said. “Each inductee enjoyed a remarkable level of success in their sport or at their school.’’
A guest speaker for the 2024 event will also be publicly disclosed this September.
Fink is the Hall’s first-ever inductee in both golf and bowling. He spent time on the Professional Bowlers Tour, has 90 career 300 games and has won more than 90 local golf championships — 37 individual titles and 59 best-balls.
Gehret made her mark as a six-time Big East champion jumper on the track and field teams at Louisville University after a standout career at Altoona Area High School.
Bishop Guilfoyle grad Turchetta went on to a prominent college football playing and coaching career. After starting for two years as an offensive guard at the University of Miami, Turchetta carved out a successful 30-year coaching career at six Division I programs, including the University of Pittsburgh.
In a fabulous 27-year coaching career, Moschella led the BG girls basketball program to four PIAA championships and nine total appearances in state title games, while amassing a total of 627 wins that is still an all-time record for either boys or girls basketball coaches in Blair County.
Moschella feels humbled to be inducted in the Hall’s 2024 class.
“I have been blessed to have such a great family, great players and great school administration that gave me such wonderful support all of these years,’’ Moschella said. “When I got the phone call informing me of this (induction), I felt humbled and honored.’’
Williams was a star on three of Moschella’s PIAA championship teams, before going on to star at Saint Francis University and later, overseas.
She graduated as the third-leading scorer in Saint Francis history and was just the 11th player in NCAA women’s basketball history to have at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 300 steals.
Moschella said Williams exemplified the concept of a team player during her days at Bishop Guilfoyle.
“Alli was a very unselfish player who was always willing to put her team first,’’ Moschella said. “She also had such a great attitude and a willingness to learn. When the team needed a guard, she was willing to play guard, and when the team needed help with the inside game, she was willing to play inside. Alli accepted everything that was presented to her as a player.”
Hollidaysburg Little League team shined on a national stage in the summer of 2022, reaching the Little League World Series and winning three games there during competition that was nationally televised daily on ESPN.
With Jim McGough serving as the team’s head coach, the squad – which was made up of Hollidaysburg Little League standouts and two players from Bedford County – reached the United States Final Four and finished among the top eight Little League teams in the entire world.
“When you talk about achieving national recognition – the top criteria for induction – the Hollidaysburg Little League team delivered and then some,’’ Rudel said. “In being on ESPN for two weeks straight, this team galvanized our area like perhaps no other team ever. The committee felt that the time is now to honor them.”
McGough expressed his gratitude for the recognition for his team.
“It’s a true honor, and a dream come true to be able to be recognized as a Hall of Fame team in the Blair County area,’’ McGough said. “I know that the kids, the coaches and the families are very excited for this honor.’’
Despite all of the positive and joyful feelings and sentiments, the 2024 Blair County Sports Hall of Fame ceremony will also contain an element of profound sadness, as the Hall mourns the passing of its only master of ceremonies ever, Pittsburgh television and radio sports personality Stan Savran.
Savran, who served so capably as the emcee for Blair County Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies since their beginning in 1987, died at the age of 76 on June 12 after a courageous battle with lung cancer.
Savran — who carved his own special niche in Pittsburgh sports history during a fabulous television and radio career that spanned over four decades — handled his duties as the Blair Hall of Fame’s emcee expertly for over 30 years, mixing his classy presentations with elements of humor and insight to help the ceremonies run so smoothly.
“To say that Stan was a pillar of the Hall of Fame would be an understatement, and we’re devastated by his passing,’’ Rudel said. “He was the only emcee that we’ve ever had, and a great one at that, and you could feel his love for the event and for Blair County.’’
The Blair Hall is currently searching for an emcee to replace Savran, whose passing leaves the Hall with some very big shoes to fill.
“We’re doing what we can to find the next-best option who will take the torch that Stan carried so incredibly well,’’ Rudel said.
Following are the bios of the Hall of Fame class of 2024:
ARTIE FINK JR.:
First golfer and bowler to be inducted … Played in 2013 U.S. Amateur, which was won by Matt Fitzpatrick and included Scotty Scheffler, Bryson DeChambeau and several other PGA current pros … Represented PA in 2010 team state championship in California, one of three amateurs in the field … Also represented PA in annual Palmer Cup, pitting top amateurs from PA vs. Ohio as an event between Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus … Winner of two PA state four-ball titles (one with Anthony DeGol, one with Greg Ferguson) … Most dominant local golfer of all time … Has won 37 individual championships including eight Greater Altoona (where he holds the tourney record of 135) and an amazing 59 best-ball titles spread over every local course … 2023 Pennsylvania State Bowling Hall of Fame inductee … Has (90) certified 300 games and (55) certified 800 series … Was the 2004 and 2016 PA State USBC Scratch Singles champion and the 2004 PA State USBC Scratch All Events champion … Former Pro Bowlers Association member … Placed third in All Events at the 1994 USBC Open Championship and won $25,000 for third-place finish at Cincinnati Open in 1994.
Track standout at University of Louisville, where she earned first-team All-America honors by finishing fifth in the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships with a personal-record 6-foot leap in the high jump, tied for second-best in Louisville history … During her career, won six Big East individual titles in the high jump (three), long jump (twice) and triple jump (once) and was the Big East’s outstanding female field performer at the 2010 conference indoor championships when she won the long jump and triple jump and finished second in the high jump … Won conference championships in each of her four seasons … Louisville won Big East outdoor team championship in each of her four seasons … Earned all-academic honors four straight years at Louisville … Also ran in the 4×100 relays for Louisville … Won PIAA triple jump as sophomore and won Penn Relays high jump as a junior … Becomes part of first mother-daughter duo to be inducted as her mother, Lisa (Fubio) Shover, was 1998 inductee … Graduated Altoona Area High School in 2006.
Led the Bishop Guilfoyle girls basketball team to four PIAA championships and nine appearances in the state title game … In 27-year head coaching career, amassed a record of 627-173 … His victory total is the most in Blair County history for girls or boys among the statewide leaders … His 2010 went 31-0, setting a school record for most wins … 1993 team was recognized by USA Today as honorable mention in the nation’s top 25 … Coached a number of Division I players, including BG’s all-time scoring leader, Alli Williams, who is also a member of the class of 2024.
Two-year starter as offensive guard at University of Miami in 1970-71, co-captaining the team his senior year in ’71 … Voted the team’s most valuable player by coaches and players (Jack Harding Award) in 1970 … Played in North-South Shrine Game … Was part of Bishop Guilfoyle’s PCIAA championship basketball team in 1967 that was inducted into the HOF in 2014 … Prior to attending Miami, played at Taft Junior College for two seasons and earned JUCO All-American honors … Following playing career, spent more than 30 years in coaching at the college level, including stops at Kentucky, Temple, Memphis, UTEP, Pitt and Wyoming.
Bishop Guilfoyle and Saint Francis star (2010-14) was just the 11th Division I player to record 2,000 points, 1000 rebounds and 300 steals … Graduated as SFU’s third-leading scorer of all-time with 2,178 points … As a senior, finished fifth in the nation in points per game at 25.3 as a senior and seventh in steals (3.14) … Two-time Academic All-American and three-time Northeast Conference all-star … Played professionally in Greece, Germany and Luxembourg, where she was the team’s player of the year. … Three-time PIAA Class A champion and twice selected as Associated Press Class A Player of the Year … BG’s all-time leader in points (1,756), rebounds (907) and steals (421).
One Small County, One Big Sports Tradition
Those who have followed sports in Central Pennsylvania may already be aware that Altoona and Blair County can boast a sports tradition that can match most communities our size in America. For proof, just click around to digest the accomplishments of our 100 inductees.
You’ll find photos, a profile story and, we hope eventually, videos of the acceptances and presentations of all of our inductees.
In addition, you’ll find where and how to nominate an inductee or team for future consideration as well as learning about our scholarship and community service awards along with our past banquet guest speakers and our master of ceremonies, the great Stan Savran.
Although our organization has been in existence since 1987, this is our first venture into cyberspace. We’d like to thank Ed Kruger and Matt Clapper of EZtoUse.com who designed our website. We also appreciate the assistance of Shauna McDonough of Gazette Printers and J.D. Cavrich of the Altoona Mirror.
For a more complete history of the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame, click here or the link at the top of our home page.
Thank you for your interest in the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame.