Sunday, March 1, 2015

7th Annual Hall of Fame Does Not Disappoint

<Originally posted 4/2/14>
Sunday's driving rains could not dampen the spirits of nearly 300 North Catholic Soccer fans and Hall of Famers as they turned out en masse at Romano's Caterers to honor the 2014 Hall of Fame inductees.

Tailgating began right on schedule, 4 hours before the event, as the Fishtown contingent invaded the parking lot at Romano's in Juniata. With a packed Winnebago and pop up tents, the loyal Towners welcomed the awaiting crowd in anticipation of local hero and North Catholic Hall of Famer, Mike Krecko '92.

Paul Moore, leader of the Paul Moore Band, once again emceed the event opening the festivities with a rousing rendition of our National Anthem. The invocation was delivered by Fr. Jim Dever, OSFS, former teacher at North Catholic, and a Kenzo from Visitation Parish. Fr. Jim spoke briefly on the importance of camaraderie of the North Catholic soccer community on and off the pitch and the place it held in the development of our lives after the North Catholic experience.

The day's main event, the induction ceremony, as in years gone by did not disappoint. Acceptance speeches by the inductees were poignant and spoke of the various roads North Catholic Soccer had taken them. Gene Chyzowych '53 his journey from Ukraine to Nicetown and North Catholic to US National Team Coach and a 50-year high school coaching and teaching career; Jim O'Donnell '72 from Ascension on the importance of his teammates and the role it played in his development; Joe Steffa'76 from Juniata on the essence of working for your fellow Falcons and how it influenced his career and family life; the 1977 Catholic League/City Championship Team, the first to be inducted, with 11 former greats in attendance and hosted by John Regan '78; the third Comey Brother, Tim '88, gratefully acknowledged all those who led the way for him, coaches, family and teammates; Mike Krecko '92 silenced the audience with a tribute to his mom and referenced his dad, Jim, for his coaching efforts on his behalf; Chad Donnelly'00, gave credit to his parents for the sacrifices they made in supporting his choice in attending North, following in his brother Bob's footsteps, and to the neighborhood local heroes who had gone before him; Chris Brunetti, the All-Everything in a 4-year varsity career culminating in 3 Catholic League titles and an All-American nod.

A short ride to Bobby T's Cigar Bar, ancestral watering hole of the North Catholic Soccer Hall of Fame, for a few nightcaps sealed the deal for the seventh annual event. Nominations for the 8th NC Soccer Hall of Fame in 2015 are now open.

The 24th annual North Catholic Soccer Golf Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, May 3 at Juniata Country Club. Flag, hole sponsors and foursomes are still available. It fills up fast; don’t be left out. We are looking forward to seeing all friends of North Catholic soccer on the links!