Eight to be inducted into the Berks chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame
Mar. 19—The Berks County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame will induct eight members at its 46th banquet Sunday, April 30, at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Reading.
The late Tim Brill, Seth Brizek, Jarra Rusnock Dennis, James Develin, Chad Henne, Wade MIller, Rich Scarcella and Fred Wittich have been selected by the chapter's voting members from this year's list of nominees.
The inductions will bring the Berks chapter to 404 members, including 34 who have been inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
The 1984 and 1985 Oley Valley High School baseball teams, which won PIAA championships, will be honored as teams of distinction.
This year's "Award of Distinction" will be presented to Roger Krause for his battle to overcome adversity.
The banquet, which is open to the public, will begin at 5 p.m.
Reservations will be accepted until April 10. For more information or download a banquet form, go to berkscosportshof.org and click on the "Induction Banquet."
Brill, a 1973 Oley Valley grad, scored 1,033 points in basketball and led the Lynx to a county title in soccer as an All-Berks striker. He was an All-Berks pitcher and drafted by the California Angels in the 24th round in 1973, but opted to attend Saint Joseph's. He was drafted in the 21st round by the Cleveland Indians in 1977. He had a three-season minor league career as a catcher. After his playing career, he coached the Oley Legion team for three years.
Brizek, a 1992 Oley Valley grad, was an outstanding all-around athlete. In baseball, he was a member of the 1989 PIAA championship team and is the Lynx's career leader in home runs, RBIs, hits, wins and ERA. He went on to attend Clemson University, where he played shortstop and was a member of three ACC championship teams, played in the College World Series and was an All-American. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the eighth round of the 1995 draft. In basketball, he was an All-Berks and All-State selection in 1991 and '92. He averaged 29.1 points per game as a senior to lead the county and finished his career with 1,956 points, seventh in Berks history. He also played soccer and was an All-Berks selection in golf.
Jarra Rusnock Dennis
Rusnock Dennis excelled at Muhlenberg (1994 grad) and Albright College (1998 grad) in basketball, tennis and softball. In high school, she earned 12 varsity letters, four in each sport. She was the school's Outstanding Senior Athlete and finished her basketball career with 1,021 points. At Albright, she also earned four letters in all three sports. In basketball, she finished as the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,642 points. She also set records for points in a game and a season. In tennis, she was MAC Rookie of the Year, a GTE All-Academic All-America first-team selection and a MAC silver medalist. She also has served as Muhlenberg's head girls basketball coach. Rusnock Dennis is also a basketball referee at the high school and college levels. She already has been inducted into the Muhlenberg High School, Albright College and Berks County Basketball halls of fame.
Develin, a 2006 Boyertown grad, won three Super Bowls and played in a fourth as a fullback for the New England Patriots during an eight-season NFL career. He was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2017 season. In high school, he was an All-Berks and All-PAC selection in football and also played lacrosse. He played college football at Brown, where was a three-time All-Ivy League selection as a defensive end and was a National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete. He signed with New England as an undrafted free agent.
Henne, a 2004 Wilson grad, was a four-year starter at quarterback for the Bulldogs who went on to be a four-year starter at the University of Michigan and win two Super Bowls with the Kansas City Chiefs. In high school, he was an All-State and All-America selection, and the Gatorade state Player of the Year as a senior. At Michigan, he was named to an All-American Freshman team, was named MVP of the Capital One Bowl following his senior season and was a two-time All-Big Ten selection. He remains the Wolverines' all-time leading passer. He was selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins. He spent four seasons with Miami, then six with the Jacksonville Jaguars before signing as a free agent with the Chiefs. He spent his last five seasons with Kansas City, retiring following the Chiefs' Super Bowl win in February.
Miller, a 1994 Brandywine Heights grad who played one season at Alvernia, went on to have a nine-season major league career. At Alvernia, he went 7-1 with a 2.89 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 55 innings, and hit .397 to help the team reach its first NCAA regional. He was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 20th round of the 1995 draft. He made his major league debut in 1999, and finished his career with a 62-46 record and 4.10 ERA in 147 starts. He went 16-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 2001, 15-4 with a 3.28 ERA in 2002 and 14-13 with a 4.13 ERA in 2003 with Houston. He also pitched for the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs. He later was the pitching coach at Alvernia.
Scarcella has been a sportswriter and columnist for the Reading Eagle since 1986. He has covered a variety of high school, college and professional sports, including Penn State football since 1989. He has won many awards in writing contests sponsored by the Football Writers' Association of America, the Associated Press Sports Editors, the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (Keystone Awards) for event coverage, columns, features and beat reporting. His work also has appeared in Lindy's Sports College Football Preview for three-plus decades and The Sporting News.
Wittich, a 1972 Mount Penn grad, was a standout basketball and baseball player for the Mounts. He was the leading scorer on the basketball team that won three District 3 championships and PIAA Class C titles in 1971 and 1972. He led the county in scoring and was an All-Berks selection in 1971 and 1972. He still holds the Mounts' single-season and career scoring records (1,495). In baseball, he pitched a no-hitter. In college at Elizabethtown, he scored 1,217 points in basketball and was selected to a MAC all-star. He also played baseball for the Blue Jays. Wittich has been inducted into the Mount Penn, Elizabethtown and Berks County Basketball halls of fame.