Trumbull County Sports HOF inducts 12
By Greg Gulas
The 16th annual Trumbull County Sports Hall of Fame added 12 new members, including two posthumous selections during ceremonies Sunday at DiVieste’s Banquet Center.
Youngstown State head basketball coach Jerrod Calhoun served as guest speaker, congratulating the honorees for their individual accomplishments while calling out the Valley’s passion for sports.
“When I think of sports, I think about five things and in looking at this year’s class, each honoree had these five things in common,” he said. “I think of togetherness, sacrifice and discipline. The last two things are drive, because it takes that special desire within and then struggle because in sports, at some point during our careers we’ve struggled.”
He noted the area has some of the best resources and coaches around.
“To all the young people, this area has such great resources and some of the very best coaches to learn from,” he said. “Set your goals and then go out and achieve them.”
The class included Bill Beasom (football), Bill Burke (football), Carl Diggs (football), Bobby “Kid Alfonso” Hughes (posthumous, boxing), Jeff Hundley (baseball), Michelle Kriebel (basketball, track and field), John Krok (football), Emil “Butch” Perunko (posthumous, baseball), Andy Saxon (baseball, basketball coach), Steve Telego, Jr. (football), Bill Triplett (football) and Cheryl Weaver (coach, softball).
“I believe that an award like this is a combination of all of the people in your life,” added Diggs, who played for the Warren Harding Raiders and was an all-Big Ten selection during his four seasons at the University of Michigan. “My family was always so very supportive, stayed on top of me and there was always someone at my games. They set examples for me about what it takes and the reward when you work hard.
“My grandmother told me if you start something, then you had better finish it and I thank her every day for instilling that in me.”
Weaver has led the Champion girls softball team to five state titles, a runner-up finish and 410 victories during her 19 seasons at the helm.
“When I read about the many accomplishments of our inductees, I still don’t believe I belong here,” she said. “Players that I have had over the last 19 years are the reason that I stand here tonight, not because of what I have done. It has been an amazing ride for me. What I take in is to see the girls, how they’ve grown and gotten better.”
Saxon credited his coaches at Girard High School and the late Dom Rosselli during his baseball career at YSU.
“My career is two-fold, one as a player and then as a coach. I can tell you first hand that you are only as good as those around you,” he said. “I had great coaches at Girard and YSU and there were many great players that I had the pleasure of playing with.
“I was fortunate to get a scholarship to YSU and a lot of it had to do with coach Rosselli because he believed in local talent.”
Saxon also credited his father with an attitude that he instilled in him during his formative years.
“My father taught me that it’s not how big, how fast or how strong you are, but rather the size of one’s heart,” he said.
Kriebel still owns the 440 relay record for the Howland Tigers, set during her senior season in 1977.
“Sports has done so much for all of us,” she said. “It has taught us to win gracefully, lose miserably and come together as a team.”