The Phoenix Reporter and Item (

PSD Sports Hall of Fame adds 23 inductees

By Barry Sankey, Phoenixville Reporter Item

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

PHOENIXVILLE - More than 200 people attended the luncheon induction of the second class of the Phoenixville Area School District Sports Hall of Fame Saturday morning in the senior high school cafeteria.
The attendance of honorees, family members and friends was considered double of that of the initial class in 2011.
Five deceased honorees and 18 living honorees were members of the 23 people who comprised the Class of 2012. Selections are based on excellence in terms of athletes, coaches and contributors to the Phoenixville sports program.
A permanent plaque will be placed at the school with the names of all inductees. Saturday’s honorees received certificates, gift clocks and purple and white carnations as a symbol of Phoenixville’s school colors.
Deceased honorees included Michael “Nick” Basca, Joseph Geri, J. Elmer “Doc” Gotwals, Rachel McAvoy and Catharine Rankin.
Living honorees included Amy Umbach Bokker, James Deoria, Dorothy Harrop, Carole Devlin Hummel, Judy Jarrett, Mary Lozier, Jill Peirson, Mike Piazza, Margaret Tomlinson Pinchock, Sue Yeager Romano, Dr. Keith Sedlacek, Clayton Setzler Jr., Ginny Ramsey Siemanski, Chrissy Miller Sullivan, Aamina S. Thornton, Andre Thornton, Stacy Robinson Warkentine and Judith Smiley Wolstenholme.
Leo Scoda, the mayor of Phoenixville, gave the welcome and closing remarks. William Ross presented a gift on behalf of the PAHS Class of 1957 to help honor Jerry Rutter, a member of that class who was one of the original inductees last fall.
The presentation of the Hall of Fame plaque to the school included Scoda, Jack Ertell, Phoenixville Superintendent Dr. Alan Fegley and Principal Dr. Craig Parkinson.
Fegley read the biographies of the inductees.
Basca, a member of the Class of 1935, played football, basketball and baseball for the Phantoms before moving on to Villanova University and the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles. He was killed during World War II.
Geri starred in football before graduating with the Class of 1942. He went on to the University of Georgia. He later coached in Georgia and is a member of the Georgia State Hall of Fame.
Gotwals served as team doctor to PAHS sports teams from 1922-57.
McAvoy, a member of the Class of 1921, excelled in field hockey, basketball and golf.
Rankin, with the Class of 1925, is considered a pioneer of women’s sports in the Phoenixville area. She played field hockey and basketball at Phoenixville and went on to Temple University as a champion swimmer. She coached for 26 years at Phoenixville.
Representing Rankin was Virginia Groff, a member of Rankin’s undefeated basketball team from 1940.
Representing Basca was his nephew, Steve. Jack Klenk was acknowledged on behalf of Geri. Longtime Phoenixville physician Dr. Donald Harrop, a mentoree of Dr. Gotwals, was present on behalf of Dr. Gotwals.
Bokker (1991) starred in field hockey, lacrosse and swimming. An All-American in college lacrosse at William & Mary, she is now the head women’s lacrosse coach at Stanford University. Amy was represented by her mother, Stephanie Umbach.
Deoria (1988) is known for boxing as a member of the Pa. Boxing Hall of Fame. He is also founder and coach of the Phoenixville Area Police Athletic League (PAL) program.
Harrop (1975) starred in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse and went on to the University of Richmond and became a member of the United States National Lacrosse Team.
Hummel starred in field hockey, basketball and softball and became a successful high schooll coach for more than 20 years.
Jarrett served as girls basketball head coach for 19 years and her teams captured two league and one District 1 championship. She also served as a PIAA official for 25 years.
Lozier coached field hockey, basketball and lacrosse for 26 years and her teams won two District 1 titles in lacrosse.
Peirson (1977) was a standout in field hockey and softball and was a multi-award recipient. She has also been action with the Phoenixville Booster Club and with community youth sports.
Piazza (1986) played Major League Baseball for 15 years, mostly with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets. He was named National League Rookie of the Year in 1993 and was chosen for 12 All-Star teams, 10 Silver Slugger Awards and had 427 home runs, the highest number by a catcher in MLB history.
Pinchock (1979) starred in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse and was voted an all-league player in three sports before becoming a star at Ursinus College, where she is a member of the Hall of Fame.
Romano (1981) starred in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse for the Phantoms and was named all-league in three sports. She went on to an All-American career in lacrosse at Temple University.
Sedlacek (1963) starred in footbll and basketball and was named all-league in both sports. He went on to become a Hall of Famer in basketball at Harvard University as well as an All-Ivy League performer.
Setzler (1950) starred in football, basketball and track & field. He became the Pennsylvania state champion in the high jump event in 1950.
Siemanski (1974) starred in field hockey and lacrosse and went on to William & Mary, where is a member of the Hall of Fame. She was also a member of the U.S. National Lacrosse Team.
Sullivan (1994) starred in swimming as an individual at YMCAs since Phoenixville had no official swim team back then. She earned a swimming scholarship to the University of North Carolina, where she became an All-American. She was also picked for the U.S. National Swim TEam and for the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Aamina Thornton (1986) starred in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse for the Phantoms. A member of the Temple University Hall of Fame for women’s lacrosse, she was a member of an NCAA championship team. She has entered the field of coaching at the senior high school and middle school levels.
Andre Thornton (1967), Aamina’s uncle, starred in football and baseball for the Phantoms. He went on to a Major League Baseball career, most notably with the Cleveland Indians. Thornton was named to two MLB All-Star teams, won the Silver Slugger Award, Hutch Award, Roberto Clemente Award and was chosen as the American League Comeback Player of the Year.
Warkentine (1992) starred as a runner in track & field and cross country. She became a PAC-10, District 1 and PIAA state champion before graduating to Villanova University. She was a member of Villanova’s NCAA cross country championship squad.
Wolstenholme (1961) excelled in field hockey, basketball, softball and golf and moved on to Ursinus College, where is in the Hall of Fame. She was a member of U.S. Women’s Field Hockey and Lacrosse Teams. She also had a distinguished career as an NCAA official.
Wolstenholme is also chairman of the PSD Sports Hall of Fame Committee.