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11 Inducted into Centre County Sports Hall of Fame

by and on October 16, 2018 5:00 AM

What was a dream two years ago became full-blown reality Oct. 7 afternoon in the packed ballroom of the Ramada Inn in State College.

That’s where the Centre County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame inducted its second class of honorees.

It was an eclectic group covering football, basketball, wrestling, baseball, softball, broadcasting and journalists who represented Bald Eagle Area, Bellefonte, Penns Valley and State College.

“Our first two induction classes represent women and men, a heralded sports announcer, outstanding newspaper writers, outstanding coaches and athletes,’’ said Ron Pifer, president of the Centre County Chapter. “They participated in football, soccer, wrestling, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, track and field and fly fishing.

“We do this to recognize and keep sports memories alive and visible for all to enjoy.’’

From the football front, there was former State College and Penn State player and coach Jim Williams, who guided the Little Lions to the mythical 1973 state championship and a 36-game unbeaten streak, and BEA’s Alex Murnyack, who was a second-team All-PSAC choice as a senior lineman in 1963 and won three letters in football, four in baseball and two in wrestling. He later coached football, wrestling and baseball for 32 years at BEA.

In wrestling, legendary BEA coach Dick Rhoades, who amassed 399 career wins and took the Eagles to the No. 1 ranking in 1999, and Bellefonte state champ Ken (Foxy) Moyer, a state champion in 1953 who won two national prep titles, were inducted.

Basketball was represented by a pair of outstanding Division I players, Penns Valley’s Dana McDonald, who was a four-year letter winner and co-captain at Duke in 1993 and still holds the Centre County scoring for both male and female players with 2,269 points, and State College’s Barry Parkhill, an all-state performer for the Little Lions who went on to play at Virginia where he was an All-American in 1973 and became a No. 1 draft choice of the Virginia Squires in the ABA.

Representing softball were Nan Sichler Moerschbacher, of State College, and Penns Valley’s Carol Fultz, both of whom went on to play at Penn State. Fultz was a four-year letter winner in softball and a three-year letter winner in basketball (1983-84), and Sichler Moerschbacher, who holds the Penn State career record for batting average (.369) and who only struck out 12 times in 621 at-bats, was a team captain in her final three years (1986-88).

One of the two deceased inductees was the late Cal Emery, who graduated from Centre Hall and later went on to play at Penn State, where he helped the Nittany Lions to the 1957 College World Series finals where they lost to California, 1-0. Emery was named the series MVP and later went on to play professionally for the Philadelphia Phillies. He later coached and managed in the Chicago White Sox organization.

The late Fran Fisher, longtime broadcaster and the Voice of the Nittany Lions, and retired Centre Daily Times sports writer Ron Bracken were the other inductees.

Nominations are now being accepted for the class of 2019. Nominations will be accepted until Wednesday, Oct. 31. Balloting won’t be held until early December.

This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

Ron Bracken
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