Previous Hall of Fame
inductees sought for
May event in Boardman
By Greg Gulas
The Curbstone Coaches will celebrate their 50th hall of fame class with 13 new members set to be enshrined May 7 at Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center, 7440 South Ave., Boardman.
Former Cardinal Mooney and University of Michigan football standout, NFL Super Bowl champion and local business entrepreneur Ed Muransky will serve as guest speaker as the organization welcomes Jeff Bayuk (football, coach), Mark Brungard (football), Jim Bryant (bowling), Bruce Burge (contribution to sports), John Cullen (basketball, coach), Tony DelBene (baseball), Wally Ford Jr. (all-sports award), Jim O’Malley (football), Anthony Montana (special award), Henry Nemenz (posthumous award), Craig Snyder (boxing), Tammy Swearingen (volleyball, coach) and Dave Veitz (special award) to its registry.
Begun in 1958, the hall of fame has honored athletes representing all competitive sports, as well as coaches, referees, contributors and team owners-front office personnel that have hailed from or played in the Mahoning Valley region.
Inductions have taken place every year since its founding — there have been 10 occasions during that span when inductions were not held – and as they get ready for this year’s ceremony, it is the banquet committee’s hope that past inductees will consider attending and help celebrate its golden anniversary ceremony.
“This would be a nostalgic occasion for our past inductees and an opportunity for them to see the many other honorees who have also been feted,” said Joseph F. Maxin, organization president. “Not only is it a tribute to their athletic accomplishments, but a great way for them to welcome this year’s class to the fold as well.”
The purpose of the organization is to preserve and perpetuate the memory of athletes who have brought favorable reflection and distinction to the Mahoning Valley.
“After I was fortunate enough to be inducted, I decided to become a regular member and am I ever glad that I made that decision,” said banquet co-chair Tom Miller, heralded international boxing judge and a 2000 honoree. “I never realized how much we do for the local sports scene and I am hoping that past inductees will come back and share in this special anniversary celebration.”
Including this year’s class, 669 past greats will have now been honored for their outstanding athletic accomplishments and contributions.
“The banquet is a great way to reconnect with the Valley’s sports figures that you might have lost track of,” said Dan Wathen, a former YSU athletic trainer and a 2008 contribution to sports honoree.
Four-time PGA champion and 1977 Ryder Cup team member Jerry McGee, is a 2011 inductee.
“It’s a great honor to be a past inductee and what a wonderful evening it is while you watch others being honored like you,” McGee said. “It’s tremendous seeing others being acknowledged for what they’ve accomplished over the years.”
Weekly meetings featuring guest speakers from the area sports scene help build interest leading up to May’s annual induction ceremony.
Longtime area official and umpire Bill Sferra is a 2013 special award honoree.
“The ceremony that night is something that will stay with me forever. It was such a great feeling and if previous inductees feel the same way, then hopefully they will find a way to join us for this year’s ceremonies,” he said.
A noted area high school basketball coach for the past six decades, John Hritz was a 2016 inductee.
“Being inducted is an honor that I will never forget. On a more personal note, however, I’d really enjoy seeing past honorees and having the opportunity to talk to them about their many accomplishments,” Hritz added.
Banquet co-chair Helene Gran Salreno is a 1995 bowling honoree.
“It’s a great tribute for everyone, both past and present and I cannot wait to welcome and greet the many former honorees who plan on attending,” she said.
Tickets for the event are $60 each and $480 for a table of eight.
The committee is making a special $50 ticket available for all past inductees wishing to attend.
Further information can be obtained by calling 330-519-6819 or by visiting www.curbstonecoaches.org.