CORNING - The 43rd annual Corning-Painted Post Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet at the Corning Museum of Glass was a wonderful mix of the old and the new.
Inductees that graduated in the 1950s (Ron Peck), the 1960s (Neal Pipe, Robert Brucie) and the 1970s (John Vine, Jim Pitts, Kathy Patrick Kurkjian) were honored, while the George Bacalles Memorial Award winners represented present-day student athletes, who most-likely will find a future home in the Hall.
This year’s inductees included Ron Peck and Heather Reynolds (basketball), Jim Pitts (bowling), Kathy Patrick Kurkjian (golf), Neal Pipe (wrestling), Samijo Scheer, Emily Scudder Andress and Any Vogt (softball), Meghan Allen and Nicholas Jackobson (soccer), Robert Brucie, Derek Pope and Brian Carroll (football), Ashlee Warner, Christopher Driscoll, Josh Lewis, Jarrett Moffitt and Heidi Lott (lacrosse) Jared Cornfield, Cedric Forbes and John Vine (cross country/track) and John Freitas (contributor).
Representing the old guard, Peck’s speech gave attendees a glimpse of simpler times from his youth.
“I was fortunate enough to grow up in the 50s - some of the finest years ever,” Peck said. “It was a time when we had no computers, TV was just coming out, no cell phones, no things to bother kids from playing their favorite sport. Everybody was out, playing at the playground and they were great times.
“And that’s where you learned to play.”
In contrast, many of the youngest incoming members of the Hall referenced traveling all over the country while playing for club and travel sports teams while thanking their parents.
Representing the new guard, Bacalles Memorial Award winners included Lauren Ford (lacrosse, basketball, gymnastics), Jessica Lawson (cross country, track), Aidan Olmstead (lacrosse) and Kevin Moshier (cross country, track). It was noted that five past Bacalles Award winners were being inducted at this year's ceremony.
Every inductee was moved by the honor, but Moffitt may have summed it up best when he said, “This is a tremendous honor that for 14 years I’ve been waiting on. I’m glad to finally be here.”
The evening also marked a coming changing of the guard as it was announced that long-time Hall of Fame President Sandy Ostebo and treasurer David Miller will be stepping down.
WETM Sports Director Andy Malnoske was this year’s guest speaker.
A special achievement award was presented to the state-championship winning Corning Hawks boys cross country team of Kevin Moshier, Quinn Nicholson, Bryce Derick, Nathan Prisella, Dan Gahagan, Nathan Lawson and Grayson Campbell. Moshier and Lawson were also lauded for their recent state and federation championships, while cross country coach Ray Lawson was honored for being named New York State Coach of the Year.
While the runners were not able to attend because they were competing at nationals, they were shown receiving their honors via video - a nice touch.
For more information on the Hall of Fame, visit its website at www.c-ppsportshalloffame.com.