After two COVID-19 related postponements, the Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony is back on, and what originally was hailed as the Class of 2020 officially will be inducted on Oct. 16, 2021.
The banquet will be held at the Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center. The six-member class and two distinguished area teams originally were to be honored in July 2020, and then during a rescheduled event in July 2021. But COVID-19 pandemic restrictions twice led to postponements.
“The Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame Committee is excited to welcome six new members into the hall,” said CCSHOF Committee Chairman Bruce Haselrig. “The induction ceremony for the Class of 2020 has been postponed twice out of concern for the health and safety of the honorees, their family and friends. We’re now eager to give this well-deserving class and two area championship teams long overdue recognition.
“The committee felt it imperative that the Class of 2020 experience a first-class event like those that have been provided to the past 142 honorees over 20 banquets dating to 1965,” Haselrig continued. “That’s why we followed all the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts throughout the pandemic.”
The Class of 2020 runs from A (Andrew Hawkins) to Z (Jess Zinobile). The six inductees are a study in sporting diversity, with careers ranging from the NFL to Division III volleyball and track, and boasting accolades earned in playing, coaching, or athletic administration.
The Class of 2020 includes:
- Andrew Hawkins was a member of two Grey Cup championship teams in the Canadian Football League before moving to the NFL and enjoying a six-year career from 2011 through 2016 with the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns. The Bishop McCort High School graduate retired while in training camp with the New England Patriots in 2017 due to injury issues.
- Don Bailey’s Forest Hills High School football teams were 375-120-8 during his 45 years of coaching the program. His teams won 10 District 6 or 5/6 championships, advanced to the western finals of the state playoffs five times and lost to Mount Carmel, 20-14, in double overtime in the 1994 Class AA state championship game. In 2017, Bailey was presented the Lifetime Contribution to Football Award during the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Central Pennsylvania Chapter’s 20th annual banquet.
- Northern Cambria High School standout Melissa Myers earned All-America honors in volleyball and track and field while playing for Division III Juniata College in the late 1990s. She went on to produce consistent winners and earn honors for her coaching of volleyball during a six-season career at Division II California University of Pennsylvania and had a similarly successful nine-year run coaching volleyball at NCAA Division I Illinois State.
- Ed Sherlock served as athletic director at Pitt-Johnstown from 1970 to 2001. During his tenure overseeing the UPJ athletic programs, the school gained admission to NCAA Division II, the Sports Center was built and the wrestling and women’s basketball programs gained national prominence. A Windber native, Sherlock also played and coached basketball at UPJ and competed in track and field at University of Pittsburgh.
- Brad Stramanak endured six knee injuries – two complete reconstructions – during his career as a fullback at the United States Naval Academy from 1990 through 1993. The Westmont Hilltop High School graduate had 16 career touchdowns and a rushing average of 3.8 yards a carry. He also became the first Navy player to score vs. Army during a freshman game and varsity game in the same season.
- Jess Zinobile was a key player on four NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament teams at St. Francis University from 1996 through 2000. At the time of her graduation, she held school and Northeast Conference all-time records for scoring (2,338 points) and rebounds (1,295). She is a member of both the St. Francis and NEC halls of fame and went on to play professional basketball in Spain.
The Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame also will recognize three teams representing two distinguished area programs.
- The 2018 Martella’s Pharmacy baseball team became the first Johnstown representative to win the AAABA Tournament in the 74th year of the event.
- The Northern Cambria High School girls’ volleyball team won state championships in both 2018 and 2019 under coach Mike Hogan.
For more information, contact Chairman Bruce Haselrig at 814.659.0982.