Welcome to the Official Website of the
Blair County Sports Hall of Fame!

For Your Calendars:

The next Blair County Sports Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony has been scheduled for

Saturday, April 11, 2026

Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you there!

‘No Place Like Home’: 2024 Inductees Praise Support Systems

By John Hartsock, Altoona Mirror

During the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame’s 20th induction dinner Saturday night at the Blair County Convention Center, each of the five 2024 inductees — Mark Moschella, Alli Williams, Rachel Gehret, Artie Fink Jr. and Tom Turchetta — effusively praised the family members, friends, teammates and coaches who had helped them to reach the pinnacle of their careers in athletics.

Another common theme expressed by each inductee was the terrific relationship with, and gratitude for, that each inductee had with the community that was honoring them.

“There’s no place like home,” said Gehret, a mother of three and former three-sport athlete at Altoona Area High School who went on to become an All-American in track and field at the University of Louisville.

Blair County Sports Hall of Fame inductee Alli Williams (left) and her sister Dani Williams shared stories with their coach Mark Moschella, who was also inducted, Saturday night during the Hall's 20th ceremony at the Blair County Convention Center. Hall of Fame photo by JD Cavrich

“It is my greatest blessing to raise my children in the same positive atmosphere in which I grew up,” Gehret added.

Former Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School athlete Turchetta, who played football at the University of Miami and went on to a long and distinguished coaching career with several major college football programs, also saluted his hometown.

“This is a tremendous honor,” Turchetta said. “This is an

awesome community that has continued over the years to embrace this awesome event. I had the good fortune to grow up in the glory years of Altoona athletics, when many athletes were being heavily recruited by college sports programs, and many went on to play professional sports.

“Every lesson that I learned growing up in Altoona was related to hard work and teamwork, and I tried to emulate those two things in my coaching career,” added Turchetta, who now lives in Tennessee. “I’m proud to become a member of the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame, and I’ll continue to proudly be an Altoona guy.”

There was plenty of emotion expressed by inductees in Saturday’s ceremony, and Fink — who earned his selection by excelling in both bowling and golf — was the most emotional as he expressed his gratitude to all of those special people who helped him along his way.

“I feel very honored to be inducted, along with so many other athletes,” said Fink, a former member of the Pro Bowlers Association and inductee into the Pennsylvania Bowlers Hall of Fame, who began bowling at the tender age of 7 and has rolled an eye-opening 90 perfect 300 games. “This all wouldn’t have been possible without the love and support of my family and friends.

“Later in my life, I picked up golf, and although it was completely new to me, I couldn’t get enough of it,” added Fink, who learned the game with the help of his grandfather, father and uncle, and was taken under the wing of local area golfing legends like Greg Ferguson, and the late Bob Sweitzer and Jimmy Gilliam. “I got my competitive juices from my father, while my mother has always been my rock — a one-of-a-kind human being who always had the ability to say the right thing at the right time. And to see my son, Derek, to now be doing the same things that I do, is a treasure for me. He is truly my world.”

First-time Blair Hall Master of Ceremonies Bob Pompeani, a veteran Pittsburgh sports television personality, was taking over the emcee duties for his late friend and colleague, Stan Savran, who passed away last June after having served as emcee for the Blair Hall since its first induction banquet back in 1987.

Pomepani carried Savran’s torch well, expressing profound emotion in his tribute video to Savran, which was played at Saturday’s ceremony.

Pompeani also provided some levity after Fink had struggled to maintain his composure.

“There’s nothing wrong with emotion,” Pompeani said, consoling Fink after Fink had finished speaking. “Emotion is a part of life, and it’s good to show it. I actually even cry when they’re opening a new Wal-Mart.”

The Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School influence was very much in evidence at Saturday’s induction dinner.

Along with Turchetta, Moschella, who coached the BG Lady Marauders girls basketball program to four PIAA state championships and a Blair County basketball record 603 career wins in 27 seasons, and Williams, a former basketball star at BG and Saint Francis University who went on to play professional basketball overseas, graced the dais with their presence.

“So many great people had such a great influence on my life,” said Moschella, who coached three PIAA Class 1A championship teams that were led by Williams. “Bishop Guilfoyle gave me the opportunity to lead for 27 years, the school always supported the basketball program, and I was blessed to be there.”

Williams thought that it was quite fitting that she was being inducted into the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame on the same night that Moschella was also being inducted.

“It’s tremendous to be inducted into the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame, and I could not think of a better way to be inducted than to be inducted here with my coach,” Williams said, alluding to Moschella that “You were so much more than just a coach to us.”

Williams also said that participating in basketball taught her many valuable life-long lessons.

“Through basketball, I learned vital life lessons — like the importance of teamwork and how to negotiate both success and failure,” Williams said.

Video presenters for the five inductees included: Vince Nedimyer Sr., for Turchetta; Ken Love for Fink; Jake Jacoby for Gehret; Mary (Forr) Szoch for Moschella, and Tom Fox for Williams.

Members of the 2022 Hollidaysburg Little League team that won three games in the Little League World Series were recognized individually, and local soccer icon Jim Fee was honored with the Hall’s Community Service Award.

Tyrone’s Braden Ewing and Altoona’s Hailey Kravetz were $2,000 scholarship recipients.

Julius Erving, legendary member of the Philadelphia 76ers, speaks Saturday during the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Blair County Convention Center. Photo for the Mirror by JD Cavrich

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 105 inductees.

You’ll find photos, a profile story and videos of the acceptances and presentations of all of our inductees and banquets. There’s plenty for your reading and viewing pleasure.

In addition, you’ll find 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.

Although our organization has been in existence since 1987, this is our first venture into cyberspace. We’d like to thank Ed Kruger for helping to get us started along with Matt Clapper and James Henderson of, which designed our website. We also appreciate the assistance of graphic artist Tom Worthington III of the Altoona Mirror and photographer J.D. Cavrich.

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.