Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

Shawn Gaertner, Class of 1982 - Football/Community Supporter (posthumous)

Shawn Gaertner participated in football at North Hills. He was the captain and quarterback for the first North Hills team to ever appear in a WPIAL championship game. Shawn was a leader on and off the field. His thoughtfulness had an impact on many, including his teammates, co-workers, family and friends. When Shawn passed away, his family and friends came together to form the Shawn Gaertner Foundation. Shawn’s legacy through the foundation supports scholarships and donations for the North Hills School District and community.

Brad Hanes, Class of 1984 - Tennis

Brad Hanes was an accomplished tennis player at North Hills. He won the WPIAL boys doubles championship in 1981 and 1983 and also finished second in mixed doubles in both the WPIAL and the PIAA tournaments. As a senior, Brad played singles and made it to the WPIAL championship and placed fourth at the PIAA state competition. Mr. Hanes continued playing Tennis at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he finished second in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference tournament twice in singles and twice in doubles. He was ranked among the top 50 singles players in the country in NCAA Division II and finished his career with a 51-8 record in singles matches. Mr. Hanes is also a member of the class of 2017 IUP Sports Hall of Fame.

Duane Hitchcock, Class of 1989 - Football

Duane Hitchcock participated in football at North Hills. Duane was a junior running back and the leading rusher on the 1987 North Hills football team which was No. 1 in the country. He received all-conference and all-state awards and was selected to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 football team. Mr. Hitchcock went onto Slippery Rock University where he played both running back and wide receiver. He rushed 127 times for over 600 yards.

Mary Malone, Class of 2014 - Cross Country and Track & Field

Mary Malone was a two-sport athlete participating in cross country and track and field. She won nine WPIAL medals in cross country and track, including a gold and two silvers. Ms. Malone also won three PIAA state medals and three PTFCA state medals. Mary’s times in the 1600, 3200 and 3200 relay rank among the best in WPIAL history. She received a scholarship to Syracuse University. While running in college, she captained nationally-ranked cross country teams, earned All-Region honors and competed at the NCAA Championship meet. Mary was the recipient of the Syracuse Courage Award in 2019.

Tom Baier, Coach

Tom Baier coached multiple sports for 40 years during his tenure at North Hills. While teaching English for 37 years, he held multiple varsity head coaching positions in the sports of cross country, basketball, track and field and had many victories over the years.

Tom began coaching at North Hills in 1971 as a ninth grade boys basketball coach. Following the 1975 season, he became the boys basketball JV and assistant varsity coach in charge of defense. He was head coach of the boys basketball team for the 1983-84 season and returned the following year as the assistant head coach, a position he held until he retired from coaching basketball following the 1994 season.

Mr. Baier began to coach varsity track and field as an assistant in 1984. In 1988, he became the head coach of the boys and girls varsity track and field teams. Tom coordinated with the district’s planning team for the construction of the Martorelli track and field complex. He remained as track and field head coach until he retired in 2011.

In 1992, he became an assistant cross country coach in charge of developing a girls’ team.

After running one season as an exhibition team, the team was accepted into Section 3 of the WPIAL. He became Head coach of the girls varsity cross country team in 1994. He retired after the team’s WPIAL Championship winning season in 2010.

Tom resides in Ross Township with his wife, Diana.

Tom Bell, Class of 1996

Tom Bell was a two sport athlete at North Hills, participating in football and baseball. He was a two-year starter for the North Hills varsity football team and an All-Conference player both his junior and senior year. Mr. Bell was a member of the 1993 WPIAL and PIAA Quad A Championship Football Team and team captain his senior year.

Tom was recruited by Slippery Rock University and became a four-year starter on the offensive line and three-year PSAC West Division All-Conference First Team selection as an offensive guard.

Tom also was named to the first team All-Northeast Region First Team as an Offensive Lineman and was named to the Division II All-American Team.

Tom currently resides in York, Pennsylvania, with his wife April and two children, Addison and Ashton. He is a high school physical education teacher and a varsity assistant football coach.

Dawn (Jones) Bowser, Class of 1991 (posthumous)

Dawn (Jones) Bowser was a two-sport athlete at North Hills, participating in the sports of swimming and volleyball. Dawn was a key swimmer for North Hills and a member of the 200 medley relay that finished in first place at the WPIAL championship and PIAA championship.

Mrs. Bowser won first place in the 200 freestyle at the WPIAL championship and went on to Clarion University where she was an All-American.

Dawn's memory lives on today with her family and friends. She is survived by her husband Tom and three children.

Debbie (Jones) Wittig, Class of 1991

Debbie Wittig was a two-sport athlete. She participated in the sports of swimming and Volleyball. She was a member of the 200 medley relay that finished in first place at the WPIAL Championship and also first place at the PIAA championship.

Mrs.Wittig also won first place in the 50 and 100 Freestyle races at the WPIAL Championships and went on to swim at Clarion University.

Mrs. Wittig resides in the North Hills with her family.

Abigail O'Connell, Class of 2012

Abby O’Connell was a three sport athlete, participating in track and field, basketball and soccer. She lettered all four years on the soccer and track and field teams, and broke the 400 Meter North Hills school record in 2010 and was a four-year state qualifier, finishing in the top eight all four years.

Abby earned a full athletic scholarship for track to Duquesne University. At Duquesne, she broke school records in the 400 and 4x400 relay, won five Atlantic 10 Conference medals and was a three-year ECAC qualifier.

Ms. O’Connell currently lives in Pittsburgh.

Juris Silenieks, Class of 2011

Juris Silenieks was a two-sport athlete who participated in cross country and track and field. He is a six-time WPIAL medalist, a three-time PIAA State medalist and was a member of the historic North Hills 1-2-3 sweep at the 2010 WPIAL Cross Country Championship.

Juris went on to Syracuse University where he was a member of the 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championship team and three ACC Championship teams.

Juris continued his career as a professional runner and includes wins in the 2019 Detroit Half-Marathon, the 2019 Airforce Marathon, and a fourth place finish in the 2018 Philadelphia Marathon.

Mr. Silenieks recently qualified for the 2020 US Olympic Trials in the Marathon. He currently resides in the North Hills.

Dennis Watson, Community Supporter
Dennis Watson was the founding member of the North Hills Sports Hall of Fame which began in 1995. Over the past 25 years, the North Hills Sports Hall of Fame has impacted more than 125 players, coaches, administrators and community supporters who have brought pride and recognition to the athletic programs of the NHSD. Watson served as a director for the North Hills School District for eight years as a member of the school board. He was an avid supporter of North Hills athletics and activities and continues to serve the North Hills community. Watson is currently a trial attorney with Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C. and resides in the North Hills with his wife Joan.

Andrew Johnson, Class of 2004
Andrew Johnson was a two-sport athlete at North Hills, participating in the sports of football and track and field. He was named first team All Conference, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette Fabulous 22, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review Terrific 25, and the Associated Press All-State Team. He was the North Hills leading rusher. Johnson currently holds the North Hills track record in the 100 meters, the WPIAL 100 meters champion and also the Pennsylvania 100 meters state champion. After graduation, he accepted a full scholarship to the University of Miami where he participated in football and track. Mr. Johnson currently is a restaurant entrepreneur and resides in Los Angeles, California.

Bill Lamb, Class of 2003
Bill Lamb participated in the sport of football at North Hills. He was three-time starter at inside linebacker and still remains the leading tackler in the history of North Hills. Bill was named first team All Conference, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 22, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review Terrific 25, and the Associated Press All-State Team. He went on to play football at Slippery Rock University as an outside linebacker where he was a two-year letter winner. Mr. Lamb currently resides in Allison Park, Pennsylvania.

Brian Lovasik, Class of 2015
Brian Lovasik was a two-sport athlete at North Hills, participating in the sports of swimming and tennis. He was a two-year team captain for the swim team while at North Hills and broke every school and pool record in every freestyle event. Lovasik went on to the University of Pittsburgh where he continued his swimming career and was awarded the University of Pittsburgh Carson Fellowship post graduate scholarship. Lovasik currently resides in the North Hills.

Shannon Malone, Class of 2013
Shannon Malone was a two-sport athlete at North Hills, participating in cross country and track and field. She is one of the greatest distance runners in WPIAL history and currently ranks in the all-time WPIAL top 10 in three track events. Malone is a six-time WPIAL medalist, three-time PIAA State medalist and the 2013 WPIAL 3200 champion. In addition, Malone holds North Hills school records in both the 1600 and 3200 meters. She went on to earn a full scholarship to Syracuse University where she continued to excel in both cross country and track. Shannon currently is a professional runner. Among her accomplishments as a professional is a fourth place finish in the national half marathon championship in 2019 and qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon. Malone currently resides in the North Hills.

Arlene Bender, Community Supporter (posthumous)
Arlene Bender was one of the founding members of the North Hills Sports Hall of Fame. Mrs. Bender served the North Hills School District for 35 years as a member of the school board. She was an avid supporter of North Hills Athletics and Activities. With her support, North Hills made significant improvements to its’ athletic facilities, including the expansion and renovation of Martorelli Stadium, the addition of the Junior High Annex Athletic Complex and the addition of the softball field at McIntyre Elementary.

Ken Bollens III, Class of 1994
Ken Bollens was a three-sport athlete at North Hills, participating in the sports of Football, Basketball and Baseball. He was named first team All-Conference as a wide receiver and is the North Hills all-time single season record holder for pass receptions. Ken was a key member of the 1993 WPIAL and PIAA State Championship teams. After graduation, Ken went to Dartmouth where he was a three year starter at the wide receiver position for the Big Green. Ken is currently a veterinarian in the North Hills. His father, Ken Sr., was previously inducted into the North Hills Sports Hall of Fame.

Joseph Kush, Class of 2011
Joe Kush participated in the sports of Cross Country and Track & Field at North Hills. He was a nine-time WPIAL medalist, a four-time PIAA State Medalist and a four-time PIAA State top ten finisher. Joe went onto Syracuse University where he excelled in both cross country and track. Joe was a member of the Syracuse’s 2015 NCAA Division I National Championship team. Joe is currently working on his Ph.D in Educational Psychology at the University of Virginia.

Shannon Rankin, Class of 1998
Shannon Rankin was a three-sport athlete at North Hills. She participated in the sports of Soccer, Basketball and Track & Field. She earned 10 varsity letters at North Hills, and was named team captain for both the soccer and track teams. Shannon is the school track and field record holder for North Hills in the shot put Shannon went onto Muskingum College where she was a member of the Women’s Soccer Team. She is a physical education teacher at Sewickley Academy, where she coaches three sports.

Curtis Rice, Class of 1980
Curtis Rice was a three-sport athlete at North Hills, participating in Football, Basketball and Track & Field. It was in the sport of football that Curtis excelled as a three-year starter. He was All-Conference, selected as member of the Post-Gazette Fabulous 22, and named to the All-State Team. Curtis participated in the prestigious Pennsylvania Big 33 Game. Curtis resides in the North Hills.

Dan Cardone, Administrator
Dan Cardone served North Hills School District as the Director of Athletics and Activities for 21 years and oversaw the district’s greatest improvement and expansion to its sports facilities. He served as President of the Northern Athletic Directors’ Association and the WPIAL Athletic Directors’ Association and was an officer and member of the WPIAL and PIAA Boards of Control. Cardone created the WPIAL Student Athlete Leadership Academy and the WPIAL Sportsmanship Summit. During his tenure, North Hills was a seven-time winner of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Sportsmanship Award and was named an All-American Sportsmanship School by the Institute of International Sport. In 2005, Cardone was the recipient of the National Interscholastic Athletic Association Award of Merit. He also was inducted in the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

Josh Eddy, Class of 2005
Josh Eddy was a cross country and track and field athlete and a key member of teams that won back-to-back WPIAL cross country team championships in 2003 and 2004. He was the WPIAL cross country individual runner-up in 2005 and the WPIAL champion in the 3200 meters. Eddy continued his academic and athletic careers at Duquesne University where he was a four-year letter winner in cross country and track and helped his team win an Atlantic 10 Conference Cross Country Championship. In track and field, Eddy was the Atlantic 10 champion in 2007. He ranks as the No. 4 runner in Duquesne history in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. Eddy graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in Criminal Justice and joined the U.S. Army. He is a Green Beret, a Jump Master and Special Forces Master Mountaineer. He has served in three deployments including one in Afghanistan.

Emily Jamison, Class of 2012
Emily Jamison was a three-sport athlete at North Hills participating in lacrosse, basketball and soccer. She led her team to back-to-back WPIAL lacrosse championships, and she remains the all-time leading women’s lacrosse scorer in North Hills history. In 2011 and 2012, Jamison was named Academic All-American and First Team All-WPIAL and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette North Extra Female Athlete of the Year in 2012. She went on to play Division I Women’s Lacrosse at Robert Morris University where she was a four-year letter winner and scored 109 career goals. She graduated from Robert Morris University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Sports Management. 

Paul Kress III, Class of 1992
Paul Kress III was a four-year letter winner and team captain for the North Hills swim team.  He was the WPIAL Champion in the 100 backstroke and undefeated in dual meets his junior year, and his 100 backstroke record still stands at North Hills. An outstanding student, Kress was selected to the Allegheny Mountain All-American Scholastic Team and received an appointment to attend the U.S. Naval Academy. He was a four-year letter winner on the swim team and held the 200 backstroke record at Navy for ten years. Upon graduation, he spent seven years in the U.S. Navy as a surface warfare officer. Kress continued his education after his service ended receiving a master’s degree in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University. Kress currently serves as the Vice President of Market Organization for EQT Organization.

Mick Yokitis, Class of 2001
Mick Yokitis was a two-sport athlete and three-year starter in both football and basketball at North Hills. An outstanding wide receiver in football, Mick was named to the Quad A North All-Conference team in his junior and senior year. He went on to the Naval Academy Preparatory School and then to the U.S. Naval Academy where became a starting wide receiver for the Midshipmen. Yokitis was a three-year letter winner starting 37 consecutive games. He began his coaching career as head coach at the Naval Academy Preparatory School and is now in his eighth season as wide receivers’ coach at the U.S. Naval Academy. During that time, Navy has posted a record of 50-28, beat Army six times, went to bowl games six times and won the Commander in Chief’s Trophy four times.

Inductees

2017

Keith Brown
Liz Cleary
Zach Hebda
Margo Malone
Sal Marsico

2016

Bob Hood
Dana (Pecanis) Simile
Michael "Mickey" Schramm
John Wilkie
John Zanieski

2015

Rich Esswein
William Knoch
Vince Sebal
Rhonda (Caye) Vorndran
Tim White

2014

Percy Barnett
Mark Farris
Lisa (Hall) Halstead
Paul Thomas
Thomas Welch

2013

LuLu (Troy) Braun (posthumous)
Jenielle Hunt
Jack McCurry
Andrew Richardson
Morrow "Woody" Woodburn

2012

Dave Collins
Kevin Donas
Marc Mitchell
Robert Weider
Sara Zilles

2011

Michael Czerwein (posthumous)
Greg Morris
David O'Keefe
Dave Weinerth
Jessica Zapf

2010

Scott Chisholm
Sarah Emory
Janet (Schmitt) McDowell
Brian Stumpf
Joe Wadlow

2009

Ken Bollens
Ian Fitzgerald
Casey Mohn
Ryan Redman
Mike White

2008

Charles (Chum) Kovach
Kelly (Keenan) Check
Joe Smithco
Mark Taylor
Eddie Crankovic (posthumous)

2007

Bill Corley
Gary Gorajewski
Chris Helon
Jenna Hough
Brian Kagle

2006

Gerry "Boz" Bosworth (posthumous)
Doug Hetzler
Scott Merlack
Robert H. Soleau
Victoria Wilson

2005

Eric DeMario
Russ Hollyfield (posthumous)
Linda Massucci
Seamus Murphy
Mike Tongel

2004

Pat Carey
Stephani Ehrenfeld
Lynn Kelso
John Robic
Rob Schellhaas

2003

Chris Cisar
Chris Fertig
Eric Kasperowicz
Linda (Mitchell) Nauman
Gus Nauman

2002

LaVar Arrington
Geoff Bender
Jason Bender
Sue Latshaw
David J. Mayernik
Michael Yoest

2001

Art Hartman (posthumous)
Melanie Lees
Fred Matheis
Mary Ann (Maloney) Miano
Ray Nunamaker
Eric Renkey

2000

Zena Hermann Courtney
Richard Dalrymple
Michael Flynn
Thomas Maloney
Douglas Shore

1999

Steve Fedell
Maryanne Pacconi
Robert Potter Sr.
Robert Reilly
William Stara

1998

Pam McGonigle
TJ Osman
Charles Rebel
John Weixel
Cheryl (Rau) Zangaro

1997

Bruce Abel
Ed Abel
Earl Ceh
Thom Dornbrook
Judi Dum
Jill Ann Kern

1996

Nancy (Henry) Albright
Steve Brown
Ed Fullerton
Guy Guadagnino
Robert "Chip" Lang

1995

Leigh Curl
Mark Kelso
Tom Tobin
Scott Winkler
Mario Martorelli

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