NEW CASTLE —
Sports are more than fun and games.
There are lessons to be taught and philosophies to be shaped.
Those lessons and philosophies grabbed the spotlight yesterday when the Lawrence County Historical Society inducted Ralph Blundo, Angelo Burrelli, Katy Killmer DeMedal, Linda Magliocca, Lisa DeVite Malutic, Mark Manifrang, Rose “Lynn” Padice, Tom Patton, Bob Perrotta, Kim Bair Tindall, David Updegraff and Bill Young into it’s sports hall of fame during a ceremony at the New Englander.
“Athletics defined my life,” Young said, perhaps speaking for the rest of the class. “They were always a big part of my life. Life was simpler when I was growing up. There were no iPods, video games or smart phones then. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time outside. Participation in organized sports kept me out of trouble and kept me motivated in school. It led to some long and enduring friendships.”
Meanwhile, Anthony “Bucky” Richards was inducted into the Hall of Honor for his contributions to sports in Lawrence County.
The 1967 New Castle High football team received the Ellis Hoffman Memorial Team Award after going undefeated and securing a WPIAL Class AA title.
This year’s Red Hurricane boys basketball team was honored during the ceremony for winning WPIAL and PIAA championships in Class AAAA while going 31-0 on the season.
Wilmington’s Lauren Barber and Mohawk’s McKenzie Stelter received special awards for capturing PIAA gold medals during the 2013-14 season.
Jon Yohman of Wilmington and Shelby Brown of Mohawk were recognized for being named the 2012-2013 Lawrence County Athletes of the Year.
Blundo reflected on a chance conversation with his father and how it made him the coach he is today.
“Things didn’t appear to be the same,” he said. “The blue-collar attitude started to leave New Castle. I remember saying ‘Dad, why aren’t we having the success we once had?’ We were walking along the track at Blackhawk after a football game and there was this father and son along the track. My dad said, ‘That’s what happened. We have less of that. We don’t have enough fathers in their kids’ lives and we don’t have enough fathers giving good advice.’
“That resonated with me. I thought if I was ever the coach at New Castle that I was going to be that father. I’m going to be the same father to them as my father was to me. My father was tough, but he loved me more than anything in the world. That’s why he was so hard on me. My players will tell you that’s been my philosophy. I have no problem telling them that I love them, but I can’t believe they have no problem that telling me that they love me after everything I’ve put them through.”