10 inductees to be enshrined
After a more than 10-year hiatus, the Warren County Sports Hall of Fame has announced its next induction class, which will feature people eight in the living category and two people in the deceased category.
In the living category are James Curran (basketball), Hallie Bunk-Dubia (golf, basketball, softball), Kelly Fredericks (football), Aaron Lanzel (cross country/coaching), Ben Maljovec (football), Ed “Wink” Rickerson (baseball), Fran Troyan (coaching) and Jeff Zaffino (bowling). In the deceased category are Kelly Allen (football) and Andy Randas (coaching). The Cornerstone and Family Lounge (organization) will also be recognized.
“This is the largest electorate of all previous elections,” said Jeff Bartsch, former WCSHOF director and current member of its board of directors.
Added current director Nate Sandberg: “Due to the long hiatus between induction classes, and the extremely strong group of nominees this year, the Hall of Fame is presently enjoying an unparalleled level of interest and enthusiasm. We are very excited to announce and induct — date yet to be determined — the first Hall of Fame class in over 10 years. We have put in a lot of work behind the scenes to make this happen, and it is great to hear so much positive receptiveness from the community.”
This year, there were exactly 450 voting members from 20 different states.
“We’re blown away by the response. The fact that we had so many voters from all corners of the country shows just how passionate Warren County is about its tremendous sports history. We are very humbled and grateful” said WCSHOF secretary Andy Close.
The WCSHOF board of directors also issued a statement to nominees who weren’t selected for this induction class:
“Being nominated, let alone making the ballot, is an accomplishment in itself,” the statement read: “It shows that people value your athletic-related accomplishments and feel you should be recognized for them. This was one of the strongest, if not the strongest, list of nominees the Hall of Fame has ever seen. We hope that you will try again to make it into the Hall for the next class. Thank you for allowing us to put your name on this year’s ballot.”
James Curren, Basketball (Warren)
¯ 1,726 career points at Penn State Behrend during his time there (school record at the time).
¯ Four-time All-AMCC selection, and two-time AMCC Player of the Year at the center position.
¯ AMCC Rookie of the Year as a freshman, and team MVP as a senior.
¯ NABC second-team All-Region in 2004 (Equivalent of All-American for Division III at the time).
¯ Penn State Behrend Male Athlete of the Year senior year (2003-04), as well as a 2014 Penn State Behrend Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
¯ Has won over 20 Ladies Club Championships on five different courses: Conewango Valley Country Club; Letterkenny Army Depot, Pa., Carlisle Barracks, Pa; Ft. Knox, Kentucky; and Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.
¯ Lettered as a three-year starter for the PSU Lady Lions golf team and was a three-year starter on the PSU Lady Lions basketball team and lettered one year in softball.
¯ Scored 44 points in one high school basketball game and averaged 25 points per game her senior year of high school.
¯ Holds the course record on both golf courses at the Chautauqua Institution (2-under par at the Hill Course, and 6-under par at the Lake Course), as well as Carlisle Barracks (4-under-par 69).
¯ As a swimmer in the early years, held numerous freestyle records at the Warren YMCA (the 50-, 100- and 200-yard events and relays). In ninth grade, won district and regional swimming championships, and placed fourth at the state meet in the 200-yard freestyle.
Kelly Fredericks, Football (Warren)
¯ Starting quarterback on Coach Toby Shea’s undefeated 1976 Warren Dragons football team.
¯ Named to the Northwest Conference first team as quarterback and was an honorable mention on the all-state team.
¯ Blue-chip prospect — recruited by and played for Penn State University as a linebacker.
¯ Voted the MVP of the 1980 Blue-White game at Penn State University.
¯ Finished high school football career with a 20-1 record as the starting quarterback for the Warren Dragons.
Aaron Lanzel, Track/Coaching
¯ Current Navy Midshipmen head cross country coach (2018-present).
¯ Member of the fastest indoor distance medley relay team in Navy history (9:39:17 — March 3, 2002)
¯ Won the 2003 Naval Academy Athletic Association Sword which is “presented to the midshipman of the graduating class declared by the Association’s Athletic Committee to have personally excelled in athletics during his years of varsity competition.”
¯ 1,500-meter semifinalist in the 2004 Olympic Trials for the United States (broke the 4:00-mile mark as well).
¯ 1999 800-meter PIAA State Champion with a time of 1:56.97.
Football/Track and Field (Warren)
¯ 2003 First-Team all-state football player.
¯ Rated 29th best football prospect in Pennsylvania by Super Prep.
¯ Four-time BIG East All-Academic team selection.
¯ 2004 AAA 110-meter hurdle D-10 champion with time of 14.70, and D-10 champion in the 300-meter hurdle run with a time of 40.18.
¯ Attended Syracuse University on a full-ride athletic scholarship for football (received offers from Vanderbilt and Iowa as well).
Ed “Wink” Rickerson,
¯ Signed with the Cleveland Indians organization in 1957 — the same day he threw a no-hitter for the Warren Elks.
¯ Played basketball from 1959-60 for the House of David traveling basketball team — an organization known for their long hair and beards — that traveled the country playing basketball.
¯ Played baseball for the Warren Bombers (formerly known as the Jamestown Bombers) at age 15 for two years. (Teammate of Ernie Banks).
¯ Manager of the Warren Beverage Team in 1963.
¯ Struck out 20 of 21 batters to lead the Western Auto Team to a league championship.
Fran Troyan, Coaching (Warren)
¯ All-American shortstop at DIII Allegheny College in 1985.
¯ Longtime D1 Lehigh University head softball coach for 26 years and counting.
¯ As head coach, has overall record of 816-456-6, a Patriot League record of 341-75, and has led Lehigh to 19 Patriot League regular season titles, 11 tournament crowns and 10 NCAA Tournament appearances.
¯ 11 consecutive regular season Patriot League crowns from 1999-2009 and has won nine of the last 16 tournament titles.
¯ Seven-time Patriot League Coach of the Year (1997, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, and sharing it in 2007).
¯ As head coach, he has produced 44 All-Region performers. He has coached four Academic All-Americans and 153 All-Patriot League selections.
Jeff Zaffino, Bowling (Warren)
¯ PBA Tour (Professional Bowling Association) bowler since 1994.
¯ Has won 29 total (and counting) PBA regional tournaments.
¯ Featured as the tournament leader in the national televised ABC-TV finals of the Greater Detroit Open in 1996, losing the title to Doug Kent.
¯ Has appeared on ESPN’s Pro Bowler’s Tour three times.
¯ Has rolled 14 perfect games on the PBA Tour.
Kelly Allen, Football/Track and Field (Warren)
¯ Nicknamed “The Multi-Man” due to his ability to play multiple positions on the football field.
¯ During his senior year of football, he rushed for 1,645 yards, averaging over 7 yards per carry, and scored 12 touchdowns on the 10-1 team.
¯ Qualified for the state track and field championships in the 120-yard high-hurdles and the 330-yard intermediate high hurdles in 1978.
¯ Played running back, slotback, wide receiver, defensive back and even punt returner.
¯ Named to the Northwest Conference first team as a running back, received honorable mention on the all-state team, and received a Pennsylvania Big 33 nomination as well.
Andy Randas, Coaching/Officiating (Warren)
¯ Head coach of the 1982-83 Warren Area High School Basketball team that won the 1983 District 10 title against Cathedral Prep in overtime
¯ PIAA football official for 32 years, PIAA softball umpire for five years, Warren Rec League softball official for 22 years.
¯ Head basketball coach at Sheffield from 1974-79 and the head coach of Warren basketball from 1979-88.
¯ Assistant basketball coach in Warren County for 14 years and coached alongside Joseph Massa Sr., as well as the head basketball coach for Edinboro State College for two years.