Friday, April 13, 2012

Bochna, Worrell part of WPIAL Hall of Fame class

The list of local entrants in the WPIAL Hall of Fame grew by two Thursday when Derek Bochna and Robert "Red" Worrell were announced as part of the incoming class. The induction banquet will be June 1 at the Green Tree Doubletree by Marriott.

Bochna (Mapletown) and the deceased Worrell (Centerville) join Aaron Gatten (Washington), Manuel "Buns" Pihakis (Canonsburg), Bill Christy (officiating), Jimmy Montecalvo (Courage Award), Brian Davis (Washington), Stan Musial (Donora), Cary Kolat (Jefferson-Morgan) and the 1945 Donora football team as honorees.

The following are short bios on the incoming class.

Derek Bochna - Graduated from McGuffey as WPIAL's all-time rushing leader with 4.793 yards and 74 touchdowns. Played football and baseball at Penn State, and started as a freshman defensive back. Bochna was a freshman All-American, intercepted 12 passes and finished with nearly 200 tackles. He graduated from Penn State as the school's all-time home run leader with 28.

Robert "Red" Worrell - A 16-time letterwinner at Centerville (now Beth-Center), Worrell was considered one of the top WPIAL football players of his time. He was the starting tailback for Penn State's freshman team in 1957 but died before his sophomore year. Every spring, Penn State honors a "Red Worrell Award" winner.

Sean Miller - The head basketball coach at Arizona (and formerly Xavier) was a standout point guard at Pitt and Blackhawk.

Neil Walker - The starting second baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Walker batted .504 with 32 home runs and 102 RBI in four years at Pine-Richland and was the first WPIAL selected in the first round of the MLB Draft in 26 years. Walker was also an all-state football player.

Jess Strom - Strom scored 2,840 points at Steel Valley and a WPIAL-record 205 goals in soccer. Strom played basketball at Penn Strate and is coaching the women's team at Cal U.

Ron Sepic - One of 12 WPIAL players to make the Parade All-America basketball team, Sepic of Uniontown was drafted by teams in the NFL and NBA.

Frank Fuhrer III - Fuhrer, a Fox Chapel grad, was a three-time WPIAL golf champion, an All-American at North Carolina and won of the top amateur golfers of his time.

Kelly Kovach - Kovach pitched Baldwin to three consecutive WPIAL championships and part of volleyball teams that won back-to-back WPIAL and PIAA titles. She went on to an All-American career at Michigan and is the head coach at Miami (Ohio).

Mel Nash - In 1972, Gateway's Nash was named "national high school swimmer of the year" by Swimming World Magazine. He never lost a race after his freshman year and won a gold medal in the Pan-Am Games at the age of 16.

John Miller - Legendary Blackhawk basketball coach won eight WPIAL and four PIAA titles. Miller's all-time record is 657-280.

Chuck Wagner - Wagner coached football for three years, including 47 as a head coach in the WPIAL before retiring following the 2011 season at Springdale. Wagner won the 2003 WPIAL title and 270 games.

Andy Urbanic - Urbanic's teams at Penn Hills went 84-8-1 from 1973 through 1980 with four consecutive WPIAL championships.

Bob Bleggi - A long-time cross country coach and chairman of cross country committee.

Zigmund "Red" Mihalik - A former pro basketball player from Ford City, Mihalik worked six NCAA finals as an official.

1989 Upper St. Clair football - The first WPIAL team to go 15-0 and win a PIAA Class AAAA title. USC, coached by Jim Render, finished No. 4 in the USA Today Top 25.

1960 Farrell basketball - The Steelers had Willie Somerset, Brian Generalovich and Jack Marin. All three were drafted by the NBA teams. Farrell won WPIAL and state titles.

Sara and Mark Pilarski - Student-athletes from Hampton with GPAs above 4.0. Mark battles Stephen Johnson Syndrome and Sara has a brain tumor.

No comments: