WPIAL Reveals 15-Member Hall of Fame Class of 2023

Wednesday, January 18, 2023


Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) is proud to introduce the WPIAL Hall of Fame Class of 2023, which features 15 inductees across seven different categories. The 16th annual WPIAL Hall of Fame class was revealed to the public on Wednesday morning in a press conference at the Senator John Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum.

Out of the 15 inductees, seven are listed in the Athlete category, two in Coach, two in Team, and one each in Official, Contributor, Heritage, and Courage. The full class is listed below, as well as a brief overview on each inductee’s career.

WPIAL Hall of Fame Class of 2023

 Ray Brinzer  North Allegheny  Athlete  Wrestling
 Emily Carter  Bethel Park  Athlete  Swimming & Diving
 Bill Cleary  Serra Catholic  Coach  Basketball
 Virginia Fronk  Seneca Valley  Courage  Soccer
 Laura Grimm  Serra Catholic  Athlete  Basketball
 Jonathan Hayes  South Fayette  Athlete  Football
 Greg Meisner  Valley  Athlete  Football, Wrestling, Track & Field, Basketball
 James “Lash” Nesser  Uniontown  Heritage  Basketball
 Bob Osleger  Ringgold  Official  Softball, Basketball
 Bill Palermo  Sto-Rox  Coach  Softball, Basketball
 Tom Pipkins  Valley  Athlete  Basketball
 Don Rebel  —  Contributor  —
 Sarah McGlamery Riske  Peters Township  Athlete  Tennis
 1981-82 Monaca Boys’ Basketball  Monaca  Team  Basketball
 2000-01 Oakland Catholic Girls’ Basketball  Oakland Catholic  Team  Basketball


Ray Brinzer (Athlete) –
Captured three straight WPIAL and PIAA titles from 1988 to 1990 … Won 109 consecutive matches in his final three varsity seasons … Named 1990 ASICS Tiger High School Wrestler of the Year and was a First Team All-American in high school … Won three USA Junior National Championships … Wrestled at Oklahoma State University and the University of Iowa and was a two-time All-American in 1993 and 1995 … Earned USA Wrestling’s Cadet Greco-Roman Coach of the Year award in 2006

Emily Carter (Athlete) – Won seven WPIAL and five PIAA gold medals, while leading Bethel Park to three WPIAL titles from 1998 to 2000 and back-to-back PIAA crowns in 1998 and 1999 … Earned 11 All-American nods over her high school career … Set WPIAL records in the 200 medley relay and 100 breaststroke, as well as the PIAA record in the 200 medley relay … Competed collegiately at Stanford University

Bill Cleary (Coach) – Finished his 34-year career with a record of 657-156 … One of four WPIAL girls’ basketball coaches to win more than 600 games … Guided Serra Catholic to 18 section championships, four WPIAL titles (1992, 1999, 2003, 2005), and 2005 PIAA 1A championship … Appeared in 10 WPIAL Championship Games, including in his final season in 2021 … Never had a losing season over his career and only missed the postseason once

Virginia Fronk (Courage) – Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma prior to her senior year … Played goalkeeper on the Seneca Valley girls’ soccer team, helping lead the team to a 13-2-2 record and WPIAL semifinal appearance in 2022 … Committed to play collegiately at George Mason University and plans to major in biology

Laura Grimm (Athlete) – Compiled career marks of 1,940 points, 497 assists, 391 steals, and 283 three-pointers over her varsity career … Led Serra Catholic to an 103-12 record in four seasons, making four WPIAL Championship Games appearances and winning the 2003 and 2005 editions, as well as the 2005 PIAA championship … Named the Associated Press Pennsylvania State Player of the Year in 2005 … Collected Player of the Year accolades from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in 2005 and 2006 … Earned All-State First Team honors in 2005 and 2006 … Played collegiately at Colgate University

Jonathan Hayes (Athlete) – Won the West Hills Conference with South Fayette in 1980 and was voted Player of the Year … Selected to play in the 1981 Big 33 Game … Played collegiately at the University of Iowa, earning All-American honors in 1984 … Selected in the 2nd round (41st overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs and played 12 seasons with the Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers … Coached at the University of Oklahoma and the Cincinnati Bengals, and currently serves as the co-offensive coordinator of the XFL’s Arlington Renegades

Greg Meisner (Athlete) – Earned two All-Conference, one All-WPIAL, and one All-State honor in football … Selected to play in the 1977 Big 33 Game … Four-year letterman in track & field where he set Valley and Westmoreland County records in javelin … Also participated in wrestling and basketball at Valley … Played football collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh, collecting two Academic All-America nods … Picked in the 3rd round (63rd overall) of 1981 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams and played 11 seasons with the Rams, Kansas City Chiefs, and New York Giants

James “Lash” Nesser (Heritage) – Posted a 680-297 career record between Uniontown St. John and Uniontown High School … Went 246-64 at Uniontown after Uniontown St. John closed after 1975-76 … Won WPIAL titles in 1975 with Uniontown St. John and in 1981 with Uniontown, also capturing the PIAA 3A championship in 1981 … Member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame

Bob Osleger (Official) – Started umpiring in the late 1970s and worked numerous WPIAL and PIAA championship games … Worked as a long-time teacher and coach at Ringgold High School … Currently serves as the WPIAL softball rules interpreter and as a member of the WPIAL golf steering committee

Bill Palermo (Coach) – Finished his 35-year career with a record of 589-137, with the 589 wins being a WPIAL record in softball … Guided Sto-Rox to 27 section titles, 10 WPIAL championships (1985, 1986, 1989, 1993, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006), and the 1989 PIAA 2A championship … Made the WPIAL playoffs 30 times and the PIAA bracket 20 times, adding three PIAA runner-up finishes to the aforementioned title … Never posted a losing season in softball, and also coached girls’ basketball at Sto-Rox

Tom Pipkins (Athlete) – Owns the WPIAL boys’ basketball career record for points with 2,838, breaking the old mark set in 1955 by WPIAL Hall of Fame 2008 inductee Don Hennon … Helped lead Valley to its only WPIAL boys’ basketball championship in 1993 and a PIAA runner-up finish … Played collegiately at Duquesne University, earning two All-Atlantic-10 honors while still sitting as the program’s third all-time leading scorer at 1,828 points

Don Rebel (Contributor) – Has promoted Western Pennsylvania high school sports since 1988 … Started at Nauticom Sports as a program director, then helped launch MSA Sports Network in 1998 before Trib Total Media purchased it to create TribLIVE High School Sports Network in 2017 … Once served as a member of the WPIAL Hall of Fame committee

Sarah Riske McGlamery (Athlete) – Captured WPIAL girls’ tennis singles titles in 1995, 1997, and 1998, and PIAA singles crowns in 1997 and 1998 … Played collegiately at Vanderbilt University, earning four All-American plaudits … Helped Vanderbilt finish as the national runner-up in 2001, and was once ranked No. 1 nationally in doubles in 2003 … Enjoyed a professional career from 2003-06 on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Tennis Tour

1981-82 Monaca Boys’ Basketball (Team) – Finished the season with a 28-1 overall record, winning WPIAL and PIAA championships at the 1A classification … Defeated Serra Catholic, 61-59, in the WPIAL Championship Game on a buzzer-beater … Knocked off Elk Lake, 57-48, in the PIAA Championship Game for the school’s only state title … Did not have a player on the team taller than six-foot-two

2000-01 Oakland Catholic Girls’ Basketball (Team) – Coached by WPIAL Hall of Fame 2007 inductee Suzie McConnell-Serio, Oakland Catholic posted a 31-1 record, winning the WPIAL and PIAA titles at the 4A classification … Topped Ambridge, 66-48, in the WPIAL Championship Game … Avenged its only loss of the season in the PIAA Championship Game, winning over Council Rock, 70-52 … Defeated its PIAA opponents by an average of 22.4 points … Roster included high school and collegiate All-Americans in Meg Bulger and Amy Kunich

The WPIAL Hall of Fame was organized as a means of recognizing, preserving, and promoting the heritage of interscholastic sports in Western Pennsylvania. Many individuals have made extraordinary contributions and have achieved superb accomplishments in high school sports. The WPIAL Hall of Fame honors the contributions and accomplishments of these individuals who are worthy of recognition as examples for others to emulate.

The annual WPIAL Hall of Fame induction banquet will be held on Friday, June 2 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Greentree (500 Mansfield Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15205).

About the WPIAL
Founded in 1906, the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) represents Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) District VII, which is one of the 12 districts governed by the Constitution and By-Laws of the PIAA. The WPIAL represents its member schools by promoting academics, the safety of participants, sportsmanship, citizenship, and lifelong values as the foundation of interscholastic athletics. The league holds championships for 26 different sports, and its member schools are made up of 10 state counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland.

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