(Special Contribution to Hopewell Sports Nation by long-time Beaver County Times writer and Hopewell graduate Mike Bires)
Here are some highlights from the recent Hopewell High School Sports Hall of Fame festivities.
On Thursday, Aug. 24 at The Club at Shadow Lakes, the Hall of Fame Class of 2023 was inducted. It’s a special group that includes history-making, record-setting athletes and a man who helped raise a lot of money for Hopewell sports teams.
- Chuck Blaney, 1965 graduate (football, basketball, track and coaching/administration).
- Dale Grimes, 1969 graduate (football, track).
- Butch Bass, 1973 graduate (football, basketball, track).
- Dina Santia Spagnolo, 1983 graduate (basketball).
- Kim Zikovich McCabe, 1995 graduate (soccer, track).
- The late Vince Gratta (community sports programs, fundraising).
Besides honoring our high school’s greatest athletes, coaches and sports personalities from the past, the Hopewell High School Sports Hall of Fame also helps current student/athletes with scholarship money. This year $2,000 was awarded each to three recent graduates for their academic and athletic achievements. They are: Greg Barlion (football, baseball), who will attend the University of Tennessee; Taylor Roberts (track), who will attend Robert Morris University; and Lauren Speicher (basketball, track), who will attend Niagara University.
On Friday, Aug. 25 between the first and second quarter of the South Side vs. Hopewell game at Tony Dorsett Stadium, the Hall of Fame class was introduced.
Plaques honoring each Hall of Fame class are on display outside the high school gymnasium.
Finally, on Sunday, Aug. 27, the fifth annual Hopewell High School Sports Hall of Fame golf outing was held at Shadow Lakes. It was a successful event that served as a fundraiser for the Hopewell High School Sports Hall of Fame and also as a Hopewell reunion of sorts. Many former Hopewell athletes and graduates attended.
The Hall of Fame committee thanks everyone who attended the golf outing and those who donated to the cause. Among the major sponsors were Giant Eagle supermarket of Aliquippa, the law firm of McMillen, Urick, Tocci and Jones, and Force Turf Solutions.
In the picture shown with this post are three of the 2023 Hall of Fame inductees as well as three gentlemen who represented inductees who couldn’t attend the banquet. Sitting, from the left, are: Butch Bass; Dave Gratta, who spoke on behalf of his father; Andy Robertson, a 1964 Hopewell graduate who spoke on behalf of Chuck Blaney; and Ed McConnell, a 1969 graduate who spoke on behalf of Dale Grimes. Standing, from the left, are Kim McCabe Zikovich and Dina Santia Spagnolo.