PASD Sports Hall of Fame names 18 new inductees

Photo by Barry Taglieber Members of the Phoenixville Area School District Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2013 are pictured. From left to right are Jason Meister, Jakwan Ford-Bey, representing the late Chris Minor; Laurie (McAvoy) Hissey, Tim McAvoy, Amara (Thornton) Brown, Rob Vance, Margaret Wallence, daughter of the late Charles "Art" Faddis, William Thornton, Lori (Way) Gulati, Greg Tull, Barbara Isanski, Ashley MacLelland, Barbara DiArcangelo and Tara (Kramer) Rosenbaum.

PHOENIXVILLE - Eighteen new names were added to the Phoenixville Area School District Sports Hall of Fame during the Homecoming football weekend against Boyertown on Oct. 12.

Fourteen living people and four deceased were named in the Class of 2013, the third class to be enshrined at Phoenixville.

The four deceased members include Charles “Art” Faddis, Chris Minor, John “Willie” Stevens and Kuhrt Wieneke.

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The living athletes, coaches and contributors are Amara Thornton Brown, Barbara DiArcangelo, Lori Way Gulati, Laurie McAvoy Hissey, Barbara Isanski, Ashley MacLelland, Tim McAvoy, Jason Meister, Tara Kramer Rosenbaum, Carlos Garcia Samuels, Nick Sutyak, William Thornton, Greg Tull and Rob Vance.

A crowd of some 200 people attended the morning luncheon and program at the Phoenixville Area Middle School. Judy (Smiley) Wolstenhome is chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee.

Wolstenholme gave opening remarks. She pointed out how two members of the Class of 2013 figured prominently on the famous 1934 Phoenixville High School football team that finished undefeated at 9-0-0 to win the league championship. Faddis starred as a blocking fullback on that squad while Wieneke served as the head coach. The team gave rise to the school mascot and nickname “Phantoms” because of a 7-2 upset victory over Lower Merion. The late Herb Good, a sports writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer, used the term “Phantoms” in his account of the game.

Former Phoenixville athletic director Jack Ertell and boys tennis head coach Leo Scoda, both members of the selection committee, took care of special introductions. They included previous inductees Lonny Moore and Jimmy Deoria. Moore, a Pennsylvania State Wrestling Hall of Fame member for his many years as a Phantom wrestling head coach as well as a District 1 Steering Committee Chairman, also served as an assistant football coach and track & field coach. Deoria, a former professional boxer, is now the executive director of the Phoenixville Police Athletic League (PAL) amateur boxing program along with other activities.

Superintendent Dr. Alan Fegley, Principal Dr. Craig Parkinson and Asst. Superintendent Dr. Regina Palubinsky were also introduced. Fegley read the resumes of the inductees while Parkinson helped present the special gifts and certificates.

Julian McCracken was on hand as a member of the board of directors of the Chester County Sports Hall of Fame. Three former Phoenxiville athletes - baseball’s Mike Piazza, football’s Neal Olkewicz and baseball’s Andre Thornton - are already members of that organization. Two more Phoenixville representatives - Scoda and former baseball head coach John “Doc” Kennedy - will be honored this year during a banquet on Nov. 16 at the Downingtown Country Club.

Faddis was represented by his daughter, Margaret Wallence. Minor was represented by Jakwan Ford-Bey.

Garcia Samuels was represented by Mauro Medina, a track & field coach at Ursinus College and Phoenixville. Sutyak is ill at his home in Ohio and could not attend. Neither could his brother, Buddy Sutyak, who is also ill at his home in Massachusetts.

The Class of 2013 Inductees:

Thornton Brown, Class of 1987, starred in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse, was a Genuardi Award recipient, Temple University.

DiArcangelo, Class of 1987, played basketball and lacrosse, went on to Old Dominion University and became an NCAA Division I coach.

Faddis, Class of 1935, starred in football for the original “Phantoms.”

Way Gulati, Class of 1987, was a standout in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse, went on to Slippery Rock University as a Hall of Famer there as well as the United States National Lacrosse Team.

McAvoy Hissey, Class of 1978, starred in field hockey, basketball, tennis and lacrosse and continued her career at William & Mary.

Isanski, Class of 1971, was both an outstanding player and coach at Phoenixville. She starred in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse, won the Genuardi Award, and went on to a phenomenal career as a coach at the junior high/middle school level for 30 years.

MacLelland, Class of 2000, played field hockey, basketball, lacrosse and softball. She became the all-time leading scorer in basketball and went on to play at Lafayette College.

McAvoy, Class of 1976, starred in tennnis and also played basketball. He and Rob Vance teamed up to win the PIAA State Championship in Doubles as sophomores. He went on to play at Penn State University and pursued platform tennis as a national champion.

Meister, Class of 1999, starred in wrestling and also played football for the Phantoms. He became a PIAA state medalist in wrestling as a lightweight and recorded the most victories as a PAHS wrestler with 126 wins. He went on to become an All-American wrestler at Baptist Bible College and now coaches the sport locally.

Minor, Class of 1989, starred in football and track as a running back and sprinter. He earned a scholarship to Temple University and played two years for the Owls before passing away from injuries suffered in an auto accident.

Kramer Rosenbaum, Class of 1990, starred in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse and became an NCAA All-American at Loyola University.

Garcia Samuel, Class of 1995, starred in track & field as a sprinter and became a multiple state champion in the 100- and 200-meter dashes as well as an NCAA champion and Olympics participant.

Stevens, Class of 1929, was widely recognized as a Major League Baseball umpire in the American League.

Sutyak, Class of 1957, starred in basketball and baseball and went on to the University of Pittsburgh. He played minor league baseball as a pitcher in the Los Angeles Dodgers system.

Thornton, Class of 1960, starred in football, baseball and track & field, before playing at Utah State University and participating in the Olympic Trials.

Tull, Class of 1987, starred in swimming and became a PIAA medalist. He continued his excellence as a student and swimmer at Harvard University, where he became an NCAA Champion. Several of his freestyle sprint performances still rank among the best-ever at Harvard. He continues to compete at the Masters level and also is part of some world records there as well.

Vance, Class of 1976, starred in tennis and basketball. He teamed with Tim McAvoy to win the PIAA Doubles title when they were sophomores. He continued his career at Bloomsburg University.

Wieneke became a legendary football coach from 1931-43. The undefeated 1934 team served as the origin of the nickname “Phantoms.”