RAY SWANSON | Keystoner Eleven slated for Mercer County Hall fete
Eleven athletic standouts will be inducted into the Mercer County Hall of Fame on Jan. 19 at The Radisson in West Middlesex.
Nearly all areas of Mercer County will be represented by this year's induction class. The banquet once again will be staged before a sellout crowd of almost 500.
Following is a brief resume of each inductee.
Bill "Willie Alford: A 1961 graduate of Farrell High, Alford played on two state championship teams for coach Eddie McCluskey. He attended Gannon College where he was accorded Small College All-American honors by both the NCAA and NAIA. He is a Gannon and Summit County Hall of Fame member. Bill was also a highly respected basketball official, working 15 Ohio state championship games.
Harry Beil: Inducted for golf, football and basketball, Beil is a 1970 graduate of Greenville High, he was team captain of all three sports in which he participated. He was all-county in golf (three years), football (two years) and basketball (two years). In 1967 he was a member of the Class B PIAA football championship team and was a two-time PIAA state golf qualifier. He won numerous golf awards while attending Slippery Rock University. He also instructed in the Corry Youth Golf League.
Gerald Bodnar: A 1961 graduate of Sharon High, Bodnar is being inducted for football and basketball. He was named to the Big 33 football team and received Honorable Mention all-state in basketball. At Gannon, he was co-captain of the basketball team as a sophomore.
Bob Braine: He was a member of the Grove City High football, wrestling and track teams. He was all-county in football and lost only four matches in his wrestling career. He was a four-year starter at defensive back at Lock Haven. For many years he coached in high school and college, including track and football at West Virginia Wesleyan.
Dave Cook: He was a high school baseball, track and basketball standout at Commodore Perry. He was member of two D-10 championship teams and reached the PIAA finals in 1960. Cook coached the Mercer High basketball team for 32 years, posting a record of 402-289. He coached eight Mercer County title teams and finished second nine times. His team made 19 playoff appearances, reaching the PIAA state finals in 1976-77.
Jim Goliner: A 1967 graduate of Reynolds High, he was a two-time Section III, District 10 and regional champion in wrestling. He was a PIAA runner-up in 1966 and state champion in 1967 at 145 pounds. He later was All-Army champion at 149.5 pounds in 1969.
Bob Leipheimer: Bob was a 1945 graduate of Sharon High where he was an outstanding back. He was heavily recruited and accepted a full scholarship at Indiana University. He served many years as a coach in football and basketball locally. He also helped organize and coach in the Hickory Midget Football Program.
Dr. Gary Roberts: A 1961 Hickory High graduate, Gary competed in football and basketball, later attending Grove City College where he also played basketball. At Hickory, he was a member of the 1961 team that was the PIAA runner-up. He is an outstanding handball and racquetball player, winning state and national championships in his age group. He was also a two-time Pennsylvania Senior Publinks Golf champion.
Joe Sebestyen: An outstanding basketball player, Joe was a 1969 Hickory High graduate. He went on to play at Clarion University. At Hickory, he was a member of two Mercer County championship teams and was named all-state in 1969. He set numerous records at Clarion and was named Pa. State Athletic first team twice and second team once. He was also named Pittsburgh Press and District 18 Player of the Year in 1973 and was an NAIA All-American in 1973.
Lorenza "Renzie" Hoffman: An outstanding basketball coach, posting a record of 240-81 at Mercer High. He never played basketball due to polio and was stricken with Rheumatoid Arthritis after the 1951 season. He then coached from a padded rocking chair until he retired. He won seven D-10 titles.
Frank Erimias: A 1963 graduate of Sharpsville High, played football player there and at California (Pa.) State. Sharpsville won the Mercer County crown and he was named to the all-county team. At California, he made the all-conference team and was named Small College All-American.