A total of fifteen people will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.
Bill Vergantino: Bill was a four-sport star at Neshaminy before being named the starting quarterback as a freshman at Delaware. By the time he left Delaware he held 24 school records. He is one of only three quarterbacks to have passed for more than 4,000 yards and rushed for more than 2,000 yards in a career in Division I-AA.
Mark Groetsch: Mark’s four-year tennis career record at Neshaminy of 153-4 was possibly among the best in the state. A two-time PIAA champion, he declined over 200 scholarship offers to turn professional after high school. His career lasted eight years and he played at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the Japan Open and the South African Open.
Scott Green: Scott played football for three years at Central Bucks West, where he also ran track and played basketball. At Delaware he was a member of the football team that won the Small College National Championship in 1971. He was a football official for 40 years, officiating in college for nine years. In the NFL he was a back judge for 13 years and a referee and crew chief for 10 years, working 350 regular season and playoff games, including Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XLIV.
Brian Penecale: Brian competed in football, basketball, baseball and track and field for Central Bucks East, where he established the record for points in a career in basketball. At West Chester he established NCAA and school receiving records and caught 46 touchdown passes to break the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference record. He surpassed Jerry Rice’s single season consecutive game touchdown record with a 20 game streak.
Michelle Delloso: Michelle was a multi-sport standout at Quakertown and a four-year softball star at South Carolina, where she was a three-time All-American. She played professional baseball for the Colorado Silver Bullets and was the first woman to have her name on a Louisville Slugger bat and sign an endorsement contract with Nike.
Mary Ellen Smith: Mary Ellen played basketball and softball for Pennridge as well as being a standout swimmer representing the Allentown YMCA. At Ursinus College she played basketball, starting for three years and playing in the National Invitational Tournament in her junior and senior years. As the girls basketball coach at Pennsbury she posted a record of 381-276, winning five straight league championships and competing in the PIAA tournament twice, reaching the semifinals in 1978.
Whitney Diebolt Bender: Whitney was a four-sport athlete at Central Bucks East, playing field hockey, lacrosse, soccer and swimming. At James Madison she was a four-year starter in field hockey, where she was a South Regional All-American. She was an assistant coach at Wake Forrest.
Hillary Mintz: Hillary played tennis at Bensalem, where she was a two-time state champion. At Iowa she was the number two singles player for three years and the third singles play for one year and played doubles all four years. She went to the NCAA team tournament three times as a Hawkeye, was named to the All-Big Ten team in 2004 and set several school records.
John Salmon: John excelled at football and wrestling at Bishop Egan, where he was All-Catholic in both sports and twice named to the National Prep team. He was a four-year varsity wrestler at Rider, where he was a Division I Freshman All-American and an NCAA qualifier in 1985.
Ron Righter: Ron played basketball, baseball and volleyball at Central Bucks West, scoring 1,000 points in basketball where he was all-state honorable mention. He played basketball and baseball at Duke before transferring to St. Joseph’s, where he was the leading scorer on a basketball team that competed in the NCAA tournament. He coached cross country at Wilkes College. In basketball he was an assistant coach at Washington State and Iowa and an associate head coach at USC before becoming the head coach at Clarion.
Tom Nuneviller: Tom was a basketball and baseball standout at Pennridge, helping the Rams to a PIAA baseball title. He continued his baseball career at West Chester, where he was an All-American and ECAC Player of the Year. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies, playing in their minor league system from 1990-96. As the baseball coach at Pennridge, he won four league titles and the District One championship.
James Allahand: James competed in cross country and track and field at Bensalem in the late 1960’s. He was the PIAA Class A champion in cross country and the two-mile. He continued his career in both sports at Penn State, where he was the 3,000-meter steeplechase champion, a four-time NCAA qualifier and the American indoor mile record holder. Following graduation he held the American record for the half marathon (1.05).
Betty Jane (B.J.) Howat: B.J. graduated from Pottsville, where she participated in gymnastics and track and field. At Temple was on the swimming and diving team from 1950-53. She went on to coach at Temple from 1954-58. She founded the swimming program at Abington Friends before moving on to William Tennent, where she coached the girls swimming and diving team for 15 years. She served on the District One Steering Committee for swimming and has been inducted into the Pennsylvania Swimming Hall of Fame.
Two people will be inducted in the ‘Legends’ category.
Joan Marcotte: Joan was a standout athlete at Pennsbury in the late 1950’s, playing field hockey, basketball and softball. She led Lower Bucks in field hockey scoring in 1958 with 16 goals. At Appalachian State she participated in intramural basketball, volleyball and tennis since the school did not sponsor collegiate teams for women at that time. She competed in ASA softball fast pitch ‘A’ class for four years and played for the Trenton All-American team. From 1969-82 she was the softball coach at Pennsbury, posting a record of 135-53, winning two District One titles and advancing to the PIAA semifinal. She is in the New Jersey softball Hall of Fame.
Vernon Von Sydow: Vernon graduated from Pennsbury in 1958 after a standout football career, highlighted by an 8-1 record and the Lower Bucks County League championship in his senior year. He was also the catcher on the baseball team, helping the Falcons to three league titles. He played football at the Naval Academy, starting on the offensive line for two years and playing in the 1960 Orange Bowl. He played two years of military football in Pensacola, Florida while undergoing navel flight training, subsequently becoming the team’s offensive line and linebackers coach. In his retirement he coached at Mar Vista High School in San Diego for 11 years.