New Castle News

Sports

March 22, 2012

The Class of 2012: Sports hall of fame to induct 10 new members

NEW CASTLE — The Lawrence County Historical Society Sports Hall of Fame is ready to induct a new class.

A total of 10 former standouts in various areas of athletics will be inducted April 29 at the New Englander. The social hour is set for 1:30 p.m., with dinner at 3 p.m.

The 2012 class includes Ronda Book Beery, Darren Berkley, Chuck Cuba, Wynn Hassan, Mike Kirkwood, Mike Latsko, Doug Peters, Phyllis Cournan-Racek, John Sarandrea and Lori Haswell Stelter. Mendall Altman and Eugene “Gabby” Kendra will receive induction into the Hall of Honor.

Tickets are available at the Lawrence County Historical Society or from any sports Hall of Fame board member. Tickets also can be purchased at Bucky Richards Barbershop at Westgate Plaza and Hyde Drug Store in Mahoningtown.

Following are the bios of the inductees:

RONDA BOOK BEERY

Beery starred in softball, basketball and track and field while competing at Mohawk. Beery graduated in 1989.

Beery played on four state championship softball teams (1981, 1983, 1986, 1989), while being named Lawrence County Softball Player of the Year. She played in three national tournaments as well.

On the basketball court, Beery was a four-year letter-winner, earning WPIAL honorable mention in 1988 and WPIAL second-team status in 1989.

Beery was a four-year letterwinner in track and field as well for the Lady Warriors. Her top event was the javelin. She won a WPIAL Class AA championship in 1989, while taking second place in 1988. Beery was a two-time state track qualifier, medaling each year. She earned sixth place in 1988 and fifth in 1989.

Beery earned a Division I athletic scholarship for track and field to Kent State University, where she was a two-year varsity letterwinner in the javelin.

She was third in the Mid-American Conference as a freshman and fifth as a sophomore.

DARREN BERKLEY

Berkley graduated from Union High in 1989 and was a basketball standout for the Scotties. He was a three-year letterwinner, scoring 937 career points.

In his senior season, Berkley netted 579 points en route to first-team selection on the WPIAL Section 12 A-AA All-Star Team. Berkley holds Union’s all-time record for most consecutive free throws made and the mark for most career 3-pointers made.

Berkley went on to star at Houghton College for four years. He’s first on Houghton’s all-time list in career free-throw percentage (.840) and 3-pointers made (244), while ranking fifth all-time in scoring (1,508 points) and fourth in career assists (442).

Berkley played professionally with Mongolia and he toured internationally with Athletes in Action. In addition, Berkley played for the Washington Generals on tour with the Harlem Globetrotters.

Following his playing days, Berkley got into coaching. He won two junior high championships at Fredericksburg Christian (Va.), while winning the conference championship three times and the conference tournament as the school’s varsity head coach. The three conference championships are a first for the program.

Berkley’s team reached the top five in the state of Virginia this year.

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