QB Palko highlights Hall of Fame class

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Individuals and teams who won with uncommon regularity is a thread that runs through much of the WPIAL Hall of Fame class of 2013.

The WPIAL announced the seventh annual class at a news conference Wednesday at the Heinz History Center in the Strip District. Among the inductees are:

• West Allegheny's Tyler Palko, who won more games than any starting quarterback in WPIAL history.

• North Catholic's Don Barth, the winningest girls basketball coach in WPIAL history.

• Hopewell's Christa Harmotto, who won an Olympics silver medal last summer with the U.S. women's volleyball team.

• Jack McCurry, the third-winningest football coach in WPIAL history.

• Two teams that won every game during memorable seasons.

Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be at a June 7 banquet at the DoubleTree Hotel, Green Tree. The banquet is open to the public and tickets can be purchased through the WPIAL website at www.wpial.org

The WPIAL selects inductees in six different categories. Here is this year's class with high school, sport and year of graduation:

Athletes: Lou "Bimbo" Cecconi (Donora three-sport standout, 1946); Sean Gilbert (Aliquippa football, 1989); Christa Harmotto (Hopewell volleyball, 2005); Jeremy Hunter (McGuffey wrestling, 1996); Tyler Palko (West Allegheny football, 2002); Elaine Sobansky-Blackhurst (Trinity track and field, 1980); Megan Schnur, (Butler soccer, 2003); Jack Waltz, (Mt. Lebanon tennis, basketball, 1963).

Coaches: Don Barth (North Catholic girls basketball, 1974-97); Lindy Lauro (New Castle football, 1961-92); Jack McCurry (North Hills football, 1978-2012); Donna Richey (Aliquippa girls basketball, 1975-90, 1999-2001).

Teams: 1983 Mount Alvernia girls basketball, 1996 Quaker Valley boys soccer.

Official: Don "Woody" Woodward (football, basketball, baseball, softball).

Contributor: Jack Fullen (longtime Blackhawk High School athletic director).

Courage Award: Kurt Wolfe, Pine-Richland baseball. Award is named after former Freedom High athlete John Challis, whose courageous battle with cancer became a national story a few years ago. Wolfe has battled colon cancer the past few years and he won a WPIAL championship in 2010.

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