New Castle News

April 20, 2013

2013 Hall of Fame Inductees: Special honors to round out event

Kayleen Cubbal
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Two individuals and a team will receive special awards at the Lawrence County Historical Society Sports Hall of Fame banquet.

The banquet will be held April 28 at the New Englander. The social hour begins at 1:30 p.m., with dinner at 3.

Tickets are available at the Historical Society annex from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday at Hyde Drug Store in Mahoningtown, Bucky Richards Barber Shop in the Westgate Plaza or from any hall of fame board member. The ticket deadline is 4 p.m. Tuesday. No tickets will be sold at the door, with no exceptions made.

•Fats Cubellis and Tom Riley and Riley’s Funspot will receive the Hall of Honor award.

Cubellis recently celebrated 50 years in officiating, including nine years at the college level. The starting quarterback for the New Castle football team in 1953, he has a career of memorable moments and highlights, including officiating 10 basketball playoff games in one season. Cubellis was honored for his longevity last August with a plaque displayed in the PIAA Officials’ Hall of Honor and Recognition.

The late Riley was a longtime owner and operator of the Union Township putt-putt golf and sports facility who served as a patron to many teams and individuals through the years.

•The Wampum High basketball teams of 1955-60 will receive the first Ellis Hoffman Team Award. The late Hoffman was the founder of the sports hall of fame.

Those teams won state championships in 1955, 1958 and 1960 under legendary coach L. Butler Hennon.

Hennon’s teams claimed 12 straight section titles beginning in 1950 and culminating in 1961 when the school was closed. A charter member into the hall of fame, Hennon’s career record was 513-143.

The 1955-60 teams went 142-13, including a section mark of 96-2, with the three title teams going 76-6.

The star and captain of the 1955 team was Butler Hennon’s son, Don, a three-time all-state pick who went on to an All-America career at Pitt. His talented supporting cast included Francis Bennett, Eugene Bennett, Joe Schnitzki, Bob Mathews, John Melfi, John Grinnen, Eugene Swogger, Tom Galbreath, Gabby McMillan and Robert Hackett.

The star and captain in 1958 was Harold Allen, with an all-star cast of Ron Galbreath, Mike Leonetti, Gary Guy, Larry Haswell, John Davidson, Bill Melfi, Bill Hennon and Ron Allen, Harold’s brother.

The star and captain in the final years of greatness was Harold and Ron’s brother, Dick Allen, who went on to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award while playing for the Chicago White Sox. Other notables included Bill Hennon, Eugene Wilson, Duane Bennett, Larry Walls, Ralph Deal, Lynn Grinnen, Jim Santelli and Jack Jones.

Ron Galbreath will speak on behalf of the group.