Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame to honor 10 inductees in Class of 2023
HOPEWELL TWP. – The Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame will honor 10 inductees, as well as others, at its 46th annual banquet at The Fez on May 20.
President Larry Zigerell noted that the class represents the best of Beaver County's contributions to sports, reflecting its history, the breadth of its contributions, and outstanding accomplishments at the local, state, national and international levels.
Ticket information is available at the Hall website, www.bcshof.org, or contact Hall of Fame secretary Janet Zigerell (email@example.com, 724-561-3226). Following are capsules of the 10 newest members of the hall.
John Burkett, Baseball — Beaver
John Burkett is a Beaver High School graduate who made his Major League Baseball debut in 1987 for the San Francisco Giants. John pitched for five different teams during his career from 1987 to 2003, compiling 166 wins with the San Francisco Giants, Florida Marlins, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox. In 1993, John was the National League wins leader, going 22-7 and being voted to the All-Star game. John turned pro again as a member of the PBA50, the senior arm of the legendary Pro Bowlers Association. The two-time MLB All-Star is also a PBA50 champion.
Virginia Carver, Baseball — New Brighton
Virginia Carver was born in New Brighton and is a Lions high school graduate. She was a pitcher and fielder in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), playing for the 1953 South Bend Blue Sox and the 1954 pennant-winning Fort Wayne Daisies in the final season of the AAGPBL. The AAGPBL has a permanent display at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, honoring the entire league.
Sam DiMatteo, Baseball — Center
Starring in football and baseball at Center High School, Sam DiMatteo went on to attend California University of Pennsylvania to play baseball, where he was a four-year starter, from 2007-10, and a three-time, first-team all-conference selection for the Vulcans. Sam completed his collegiate baseball career holding the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference career record for stolen bases with 115 (which he still holds) and school records of 223 hits and 175 runs scored. He signed as a free agent with the Washington Nationals and spent five seasons playing minor league ball. Sam is a 2020 inductee of the California University of Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame.
Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, Basketball — Blackhawk
Playing basketball at Blackhawk High School, Brandon Fuss-Cheatham scored 2,278 points, which at that time was eighth best in WPIAL history. He was the Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year in 2000, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Male High School Athlete of the Year in 2001, and was ranked by ESPN as tenth in its list of top 20 point guards for the freshman class of 2001-2002. Moreover, Brandon helped Blackhawk win four section championships, two WPIAL championships, and a PIAA championship. Brandon later played basketball for the Ohio State University Buckeyes from 2001-05.
Mark Lyons, Coaching — Central Valley
Mark Lyons has been a football coach for 36 years including 26 as a head coach. At Central Valley since 2010, Mark has averaged 10 wins a season, winning seven section titles, five WPIAL championships and two state championships. Mark's resume includes 36 consecutive victories and many Coach of the Year awards, including the 3A Pennsylvania Writers Coach of the Year Award in 2020 and 2021 and the NFHS Sectional Coach of the Year in 2020 and 2021 for the section covering Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.
Anthony Piroli, Trainer — Aliquippa
Since 2019, Aliquippa High School graduate Anthony Piroli has served as the head strength and conditioning coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including during the Bucs' championship win in Super Bowl LV. Among other prior experiences, Anthony served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Arizona Cardinals, as head strength and conditioning coach for Mississippi State, as a graduate assistant coach for Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and as co-owner of the Evolution Sports Institute.
Darrelle Revis, Football — Aliquippa
Darrelle Revis was an award-winning football player at Aliquippa High School and the University of Pittsburgh. Darrelle was drafted by the New York Jets in the first round (14th overall) of the 2007 NFL draft, and, in his 11 years in the league, would earn a reputation as one of the best cornerbacks in NFL history. Among other awards, Darrelle was named to the Pro Bowl seven times, was first-team All Pro four times, was named to the New York Jets Ring of Honor, and was named to the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team. Darrelle was in the starting lineup of the New England Patriots when the team won Super Bowl XLIX.
Willie Smith, Track and Field — Rochester
Rochester native Willie Smith was a track star at Auburn University from 1975 to 1978. In 1977 and 1978, Willie won the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 400 meters, and he won gold medals in the 4 x 400-meter relay in 1979 in the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) World Cup in Montreal, in 1981 in the IAAF World Cup in Rome, Italy, and in 1984 at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Fred Vuich, Sports Media — Midland
Midland native Fred Vuich is an award-winning sports photographer whose work includes multiple cover shots for Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine and a first-prize award in the 2002 World Press Photo Contest. Fred has contributed to Major League Baseball and the U.S. Golf Association, and he is a member of the Midland Sports Hall of Fame.
Mike Warfield, Coaching — Aliquippa
In his first five years as head coach of the Aliquippa Quips football team, Mike Warfield has won three WPIAL championships and two PIAA state championships. In 2019, Mike was named Pennsylvania Football Writers Class AAA Coach of the Year in 2019, and in 2021 Mike was named PA Football Writers Class 4A Coach of the Year and PAFootballNews.com Coaches Class 4A Coach of the Year. Before his outstanding coaching career, Mike played football at Catawba College, where in 2005 he was inducted into the Catawba College Sports Hall of Fame.
HOF Class of 2023
John Burkett (Baseball - Beaver)
Virginia Carver (Baseball - New Brighton)
Sam DiMatteo (Baseball - Center)
Brandon Fuss-Cheatham (Basketball - Blackhawk)
Mark Lyons (Coaching - Central Valley)
Anthony Piroli (Trainer - Aliquippa)
Darrelle Revis (Football - Aliquippa)
Willie Smith (Track - Rochester)
Fred Vuich (Sports Media - Midland)
Mike Warfield (Coaching - Aliquippa)
This article originally appeared on Beaver County Times: Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame to honor 10 inductees in Class of 2023