Pagac the ‘Ace’ of this year’s hall of fame group

May 13, 2017
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Leon Pagac
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Frank Mosier
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Brian Pelkey
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Dan Petrola

His athletic career spanned nearly two decades and he played under legendary coach Bud Grant.

Leon Pagac has a wide-ranging and successful career. Now, he will be recognized for another accomplishment.

Pagac is one of 13 individuals and one team that will be inducted this year into the Washington-Greene County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He joins Ray Kemp of Fort Cherry (football), Ed Malinowski of Chartiers-Houston (football), Andy Migyanko of Trinity (wrestling), Frank Mosier of Trinity (wrestling), Brian Pelkey of Washington (football), Dan Petrola (youth service), Albert Sabol of Beth-Center (football), Marty Schottenheimer of Fort Cherry (football), Ron Skiles of Ellsworth (football and golf), Joe Throckmorton of Waynesburg (wrestling), Chad Williamson of Trinity (football) and Mark Wise of Washington (football) in this year’s group.

The 1961 Fort Cherry High School basketball team that won the PIAA Class B championship will be inducted as the Team of Yesteryear.

Ceremonies will take place 6 p.m. Friday, June 9, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Meadow Lands. Tickets are $45 each and can be purchased by calling B.J. at 724-678-4320. In addition to the inductees being honored, Bill Cowher and Ralph Cindrich will be guest speakers.

The following is brief bio of four inductees:

Frank Mosier

A standout wrestler at Trinity High School, Mosier went on to become a two-time college wrestling national champion.

At Trinity, Mosier compiled a 36-4 career record and won the 154-pound title at the WPIAL Championships in 1962 and advanced to the state tournament. He also was an accomplished football player for the Hillers and received all-state nomination in 1961.

Mosier went on to Moorhead State University in Minnesota and was a two-time NAIA wrestling champion at 167 pounds (1964 and 1967) and a three-time Northern Intercollegiate Conference champion (1963, 1964 and 1967). He helped Moorhead win the NAIA team title at the national championships in Spearfish, S.D. It’s the only team national championship in Moorhead athletics history.

Mosier was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in 1984, the Moorhead State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Hall of Fame in 2009.

Leon Pagac

A Centerville High School graduate, Pagac will be inducted as an Athlete of Distinction.

He played football under Pete Daley and ran track before graduating from Centerville High School in 1958. He received a scholarship from the University of Tulsa and played linebacker and guard. Pagac earned All-America status before graduating in 1962.

The Washington Redskins signed Pagac and he played guard during the 1963-64 season.

He played three seasons in the Canadian Football League (1965-68), including a stay with the Grant-led Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He went on to play with Montreal.

Pagac finished his playing career with the Wheeling Ironmen (1969 – 1971).

Pagac is a three-time champion and two-time senior club champion at Nemacolin Country Club. He has the distinction of recording 17 holes-in-one.

Brian Pelkey

A four-sport standout at Washington High School, Pelkey went on to play football at Kent State University.

During the fall, Pelkey was a three-time letterman for the Washington football team. In the winter, he lettered three times in basketball. During the spring, Pelkey earned four combined letters in baseball and track.

Football was Pelkey’s best sport as he was named all-conference on both offense and defense in 1993, on defense in 1992. A team captain in 1993, Pelkey was a key player on the Little Prexies’ WPIAL Class AA championship and PIAA runner-up squad. He also was named to the Blue Chip Illustrated All-Region All-America Team

In basketball, Pelkey was named all-section and twice selected all-district honorable mention.

After receiving a full athletic scholarship to Kent State, Pelkey excelled on both the football field and in the classroom. He received the Kent State athletic award for outstanding performance in football and was a four-time recipient of the Mid-American Conference Commissioners Award for academic and athletic excellence. A two-time GTE-Cosida Academic All-American (1996 and 1997), Pelkey was on the Kent State President’s List three times with a 4.0 grade-point average.

Dan Petrola

Petrola has been the executive director of the Brownson House since 1986 after serving as assistant director eight years previously. Petrola is a 1968 graduate of Immaculate Conception High School and 1973 graduate of California University.

He began his career at the Brownson House as boys program director in 1976 before becoming assistant director of the Brownson House in 1978.

Petrola was responsible for providing athletic opportunities for all children and adults in the Greater Tri-State area, about 3,000 participants on a yearly basis. He established new programs in flag football, summer basketball, girls volleyball, lacrosse, inline hockey and soccer at the Brownson House and Vernon C Neal Sportsplex.

During his 40 years of service to the Brownson House, Inc., he created a strong atmosphere of competitiveness, camaraderie and sportsmanship in all programs. Petrola is the Area 4 chairman for Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling, a former PIAA basketball official and 2013 Tri-County Athletic Directors’ Association Recipient of the Roy Gillespie Memorial Special Award.

In his Washington community volunteer work, Petrola served as vice chairman of Neighborhood Drug Awareness Corp, as a board member of the Olivia Scott Foundation, was past president and board member of Traveler’s Protection Association, Washington Post F, is a Eucharist Minister and a member of the Parish Council finance committee at St. Hilary Church.

Petrola is a past member of the City of Washington Planning Commission, vice Chairman of the Washington/East Washington Joint Authority; a member of the National Park and Recreation Association; and a member of the Pennsylvania Recreation Association.

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