PITTSBURGH — The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) revealed their Hall of Fame Class of 2023 at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Heinz History Center Wednesday morning.
The Class of 2023 includes 15 inductees, which features seven athletes, two coaches, two teams and one for the official, contributor, heritage and courage categories who have played a large part in high school sports in Western Pennsylvania.
The athletes that are a part of the WPIAL Hall of Fame Class of 2023 are Ray Brinzer, Emily Carter, Laura Grimm, Jonathan Hayes, Greg Meisner, Tom Pipkins and Sarah Riske McGlamery.
Brinzer wrestled for North Allegheny and won three straight WPIAL and PIAA titles from 1988-90. He also finished undefeated in his final three seasons, made the First Team All-American and earned the 1990 ASICS Tiger High School Wrestler of the Year. He wrestled in college at Oklahoma State and Iowa, earning All-American status in 1993 and 1995.
Carter swam for Bethel Park, winning seven WPIAL and five PIAA gold medals. She propelled Bethel Park to three WPIAL Titles from 1998 to 2000 and two back-to-back PIAA titles in 1998 and 1999. Carter set WPIAL records in both the 100m breaststroke and the 200m medley relay while also earning 11 All-American honors in high school. She swam at Stanford in college.
Grimm played basketball for Serra Catholic, leading them to four WPIAL Championship appearances with titles in 2003 and 2005, as well as a PIAA title in 2005. She finished with an 103-12 record at Serra Catholic, scoring 1,940 points, creating 497 assists, making 391 steals and 283 3-pointers. She earned All-State First Team honors in 2005 and 2006 and played for Colgate in college.
Hayes played football for South Fayette, helping them to win the West Hills Conference in 1980. He won the Player of the Year award and played in the Big 33 game that season. Hayes played college football at Iowa and earned All-America honors in 1984. The Kansas City Chiefs drafted him in the Second Round of the 1985 NFL Draft and where he played nine seasons. He also played three seasons from 1994-96 with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is now in coaching and is currently the co-offensive coordinator of the Arlington Renegades in the XFL.
Meisner played football and track for Valley. He earned two All-Conference, one WPIAL and one All-State honor as a football player. He appeared in the Big 33 game in 1977. Meisner also set javelin records at Valley and in Westmoreland County and was a four-year letterman in track and field. He played collegiate football at Pitt and the Los Angeles Rams drafted him in the Third Round of the 1981 NFL Draft. He played 11 seasons in the NFL with the Rams, Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Giants.
Pipkins is another Valley high school athlete, who played basketball. He holds the current WPIAL record for points with 2,838 and broke the old record of Pitt legend Don Hennon, who played for the now defunct Wampum. Pipkins led Valley to their only WPIAL title in 1993 and they also finished as state runners-up. He played collegiately at Duquesne, earning two All-Atlantic-10 honors and is their third all-time leading scorer with 1,828 points.
Riske McGlamery played tennis for Peters Township where she won WPIAL singles titles in 1995, 1997 and 1998, as well as back-to-back PIAA singles titles in 1997 and 1998. She played collegiately at Vanderbilt, where she earned four All-American honors. Riske McGlamery led Vanderbilt to a National runner-up finish in 2001 and she once ranked No. 1 nationally in doubles in 2003. She played professionally on the ITF World Tennis Tour from 2003-06.
The 1981-82 Monaca Boys’ Basketball team finished with a 28-1 record and won both a WPIAL and a PIAA title in the 1A classification to earn their enshrinement.
The 2000-01 Oakland Catholic Girls’ Basketball team had a record of 31-1 and also won WPIAL and PIAA titles. Suzie McConnell-Serio, who is a WPIAL Hall of Fame 2007 inductee, led the team and had future collegiate All-Americans in Amy Kunich and Meg Bulger.
Bill Palermo coached Sto-Rox softball for 35 years, leading the program to 27 section titles, 10 WPIAL Titles and one PIAA 2A Championship in 1989.
Bill Cleary coached girls’ basketball for 34 years and is one of four girls’ basketball coaches to win more than 600 games. This also includes four WPIAL Titles and one PIAA Title in 2005 with Serra Catholic.
Don Rebel made it in as a contributor for his work in media and Bob Osleger earned his enshrinement as an official in a variety of WPIAL sports.
Virginia Fronk made it in as a “Courage” inductee, as doctors diagnosed her with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma prior to her senior year. She still played goalkeeper for her Seneca Valley girls’ soccer team and helped them make an appearance in the WPIAL semifinals in 2022. Fronk committed to George Mason to play soccer in college after high school.
James “Lash” Nesser coached boys’ basketball at Uniontown St. John and Uniontown, winning 680 games over his career. He won a WPIAL title with Uniontown St. John in 1975 and a WPIAL title with Uniontown in 1981, also winning the PIAA title that year. He made it in the WPIAL Hall of Fame in the heritage category and is also a part of the Pennsylvania and Fayette County Sports Hall of Fames too.
The WPIAL is hosting their Hall of Fame induction banquet on Friday, June 2 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Greentree (500 Mansfield Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15205).