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2003

2003 Inductees

Don Ficca 1960

Basketball

   Don got his start playing basketball at the old YMCA on Main Street at the age of nine. Like many young boys he was mentored by some of the older players, including Ron Brown, Marty Randler and Don Pryor. He credits his junior high and high school coaches (John McKenna and Bill Gaugler at Gordon: Ross Kershey and Walt Funk at Scott) for making him a team player and teaching him the finer points of the game. He polished his skills by playing on the courts at the YMCA, Terry and Benner schools and also in the alleys around his Olive Street home. "Growing up in the Coatesville area when I did was a great experience because I learned to play the game from the older players and coaches who are always willing to help a young player. I learn not only how to play the game but also to respect it."

   Don played on the varsity squad as a sophomore, but really blossom as a player during his junior and senior years. As a Junior, he was the team's leading scorer (11.8 per game) and was named all Ches-Mont team. Ficca garnered All Ches-Mont honors again as a senior and averaged 12.2 points per game. He was selected to the All-State third team and won a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania.

   Upon graduation, Don accepted a teaching position at West Chester Henderson and coached the Junior varsity basketball team. His record was an impressive 109–11. He had a seven-year stint as the varsity basketball coach at Springfield (Montco) with a record of 89–56. Don returned to Henderson as the varsity basketball coach in 1981. He retired from that position in 1997 was a record of 265–151.

   He taught English throughout his career and feels that teaching and coaching is analogous in many ways. "The most important thing to understand is that you are a teacher first and foremost. I want to thank all those who helped me to become a basketball player, teacher and coach. Many people were an inspiration to me as I was growing up. It is because of those people that I was able to be a success in my 32 years in education.

   Don Passed away on January 7, 2013.

 

Carol Renfrew (Haft) 1980

Tennis

   Carol Renfrew is the epitome of the scholar-athlete. A standout in three sports, Renfrew was named the 1980 Coatesville High School Scholar Athlete was also selected as her class Valedictorian.

   Carol was a varsity letter winner for three years softball. During her Junior and senior years, she was selected as first team All Ches-Mont. She capped off her senior year with the highest batting average on her team (.435)

   Renfrew was a four-year starter on the swim team. As a junior, she was a member of to school record-breaking relay teams. In her senior year, she set an individual school record in the 100 yard freestyle and was awarded the 1980 MVP and swimming.

   It was on the tennis courts the Carol's talents were most evident. Bypassing the tennis team during her freshman year because it conflicted with softball, Renfrew quickly rose to prominence when she joined the team in 1977. In that year, the team captured the only Ches-Mont Championship in tennis history of Coatesville Area Schools.

Renfrew played first singles during her Junior and senior years and in 1979 placed second in the Ches-Mont singles tournament. I n her senior year, Carol took third in the Ches-Mont doubles tournament and was recipient of the 1980 MVP award in tennis.

   At the University of Delaware, Renfrew played second singles and first doubles during her freshman and sophomore years. The 1982 team was undefeated in the Atlantic Coast Conference. In her Junior and senior years, Carol played first singles and doubles. She was voted ECAC scholar athlete for each of those years and held the University of Delaware record for the most individual career wins in tennis until 1989. She was selected as the scholar athlete for the graduating class of 1984. Carol finished her academic career by graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a doctorate in Cell Biology.

   Currently, she is the scientific program director in the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic diseases with the National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

 

John "Butch" Winters 1967

Cross – Country

   John started his athletic career as a soccer player at North Brandywine Junior High School.

   On September 22, 1964, he won his first cross country race against Springford High School. It was the only J. V. race of his career. In spite of starting 5 minutes behind the varsity race, he beat his opponents and eight other varsity runners to the finish line. This was an omen of what was to come! From that day on Butch was Coatesville's number one runner and begin the modern era cross-country in the steel city.

   In 1964 he finished second in the first annual Steel City Invitational and led his young teammates to a second place finish in the Ches-Mont championship. He finished in the top 20 At the District Championship qualifying for his first of three straight state races. The only Coatesville runner ever to accomplish this feat.

   In 1965 John led his team to a 9 – 1 season finishing first in eight of ten dual meets, his fourth-place finish in the second annual Steel City Invitational helped his team finished in second place. This team the season by winning the Ches-Mont championship.

   During his running career, he earned nine varsity letters: three in cross-country, three In indoor track, and three outdoor track.

   Because of his ability to run any race from the 440 to the 2 mile, he was a constant point score for his teams. He ran on some of the best 4 X880 yard relay teams in the school’s history and was a member of the mile relay team that won the Inquirer Game, symbolic of the indoor top mile relay the Delaware Valley for that year.

   John "Butch" Winters helped inaugurate the modern era of the Big Meet Cross-Country Championship running and laid the foundation which continues today in Coatesville for one of the most successful running programs in the state of Pennsylvania.

 

David Lapp 1974

Track

   Dave Lapp was an outstanding track and cross-country athlete for years at Coatesville Area Senior High School.

   His successes were many, but two accomplishments during his senior year were the highlights of his high school career. Dave was a member of the Championship of America Mile Relay Team at the Penn Relays, a previous inductee, George Holmes, was also a participant on that team.

  At the Pennsylvania State Track and Field Championship in 1974, Dave was the state champion the 880 yard run.

   Dave received a scholarship to the University of Tennessee. He continued his stellar track career and was the Southern Conference Champion in the mile run. Later, he ran a 3:47 mile leg in the Distance Medley Championship of America. The relay held the American record until 1989. Dave was awarded All-American honors, capping a great track career.

   Dave still is listed in the Tennessee Track record books as the holder of the seven school records. Since these records are in yards and races are now in meters, those records will remain.

   Dave currently serves as assistant coach on the Cross-Country and Track teams at Coatesville High School. With is assistance the Red Raiders have become a dominant force in Pennsylvania distance running.

   He is married to the former Audrey Wills and their son, Matthew, is carrying on the family tradition as a distance runner at Tennessee.

 

Robert H. McNelly 1931

Football

   To his players, he was simply known as "coach." Bob McNelly left a legacy of unparalleled excellence on the playing fields while exerting a positive influence on those lives he touched.

   Bob had an illustrious sports career at Coatesville high school before graduating in 1931. He played four years of varsity football (captain his senior year), excelled in baseball as a catcher, and played three years varsity basketball.

   At West Chester State Teachers College, he played football for the legendary Glenn Killinger. He also played basketball and baseball. Upon graduation, Bob went on to Penn State University for graduate studies.

   Bob returned to his hometown to teach biology and physical education. He coached football, basketball, and swimming. In 1942, McNelly began a spectacular 32 year teaching and coaching career the Spring Ford School District. He coached football, basketball and baseball until 1954 then continued to coach baseball until his retirement in 1975.

   Bob's contributions to his community were renowned. Was a member of the Lions Club, taught Sunday school and played an active part in organization of many recreational leagues. “He wouldn't have done anything else in his life if he couldn't coach,” said his wife Ruth McNelly. "He loved the kids...they were all his boys."

 

Guy Griswold 1931

Baseball

   Guy Griswold son, Glenn said it best "…even though it he certainly was a terrific athlete, to me he was just one great guy."

   Guy Griswold was a three sport standout at Coatesville High School. He played on the varsity soccer team, was a champion swimmer and diver, and was a professional caliber baseball player.

   In high school, it was swimming that guy first gained notoriety. During his senior year, the 160 yard relay team made up of Griswold, former inductee Mac Stuber, Charles Pawling, and Jim Clymer were State Champions. The team established a new state meet record in the event. A few days later, the same quartet went out and set a new school record. Guy also placed fourth in the state in the fancy diving competition.

   Guy continued to a Excel in swimming. At Mercy Hearst Academy he also played soccer and baseball. When he entered union college the following year, his baseball talents had been recognized by the various professional teams and in 1935 he received an offer to play for the Boston Braves. Guy decided not to pursue a professional career in baseball, although he did play on a semi professional team upon graduation. He lettered in soccer, swimming (captain), basketball, and baseball co-captain while at union.

   Upon returning to Coatesville, Guy continued to play baseball in the twilight league. He was an avid tennis and golf player and won numerous titles in local tournaments. Guy also devoted hours of his time to the development of youth on local teams. In 1953, he started the Thorndale Midgets baseball team, and later coached in the Babe Ruth league. Somehow, he also managed to find time to coach the YMCA swimming team. The 1960 team won the Eastern YMCA Championship. Guy also assisted in the development of the parks Caln Township.

 

Nakeya Crutchfield 1998

Track

   Keya Crutchfield was a multitalented athlete who not only dominated the sprinting events in track, but also was a force to be reckoned with on the basketball court.

   Keya had many athletic honors bestowed upon her throughout her career. Her most memorable include winning the State Championship in the 100-meter dash as a Junior. In her senior year, she successfully defended her 100-meter crown and added 200-meter dash State Championship to her awards. In that year the Daily Local News also named her Runner of the Year.

   Her basketball talents were also recognized as she was named to the 1998 First Team All Ches-Mont team and also in 1998 First Team All Area.

   She attended Florida State University on a scholarship for track and field. She was named to the All-Conference Team from 1999 – 2002. She was NCAA qualifier the 200-meter dash and was the 2002 Atlantic Coast Conference Champion in the 200–meter dash.

 

Donald E. Wilkinson 1965

Football

   As an athlete, as a student and as a school citizen, Don Wilkinson left quite a legacy in Coatesville. Now, nearly 40 years later, he continues to give something back to the community. It he calls "home."

   Don was a three sport athlete, participating in football, wrestling and baseball. It was on the football field he excelled. He played both wide receiver and safety and was named to the all Ches-Mont second-team in his junior year.

   As a senior, Don's baseball skills at first base were recognized with a selection the First Team All Ches-Mont squad. He continued to improve in football and was named to the First-Team All Ches-Mont team in both offense and defense. He was the recipient of the order of the Purple Heart, which signified him to be most outstanding Football Player in the Ches-Mont League. During that season, the Red Raiders were the Ches-Mont Champions and Don was a co-captain of the team.

   At West Chester University Don was named to the first-team all-conference team for three years. He also earned Honorable Mention for Small College All-American for three years as well. He was named best player of the week in the State Conference four times and broke his own record for pass receptions in the tangerine bowl (11) in 1967. "Wilkie" was listed in Who's Who for athletes in Colleges and University, and Who's Who for students in Colleges and University.

   Don played semi professional football for Pottstown Firebirds for four years when they captured the Atlantic Coast Football League Championship.

   Don taught and coached in the Coatesville area schools for 20 years. He is currently the director of public works/recreation for the city of Coatesville.

 

Joy B. Renfrew

Coach

   There was a little girl that used to tag after her big brother when he went off to play baseball with his friends. Not many other girls were playing baseball on those days, but fortunately Joy Renfrew didn't give up on her dreams. Joy later became the winningest softball coach in the history of Coatesville schools.

   Julie Renfrew has never strayed very far from her hometown, she graduated from Scott High School in 1952 and went on to West Chester State Teachers College. She played softball, tennis and basketball for the Golden Rams and graduated in 1956 with a degree in Health and Physical Education. Although talented in many other athletic endeavors, Joy’s love of the game led her to enjoy many years of AAU fast pitch softball. She coached for two years at North Penn High School before returning to Coatesville to begin an illustrious teaching and coaching career. While at North Penn her teams won the Bux-Mont championship one year and was runner-up the next.

   Renfrew was named softball coach of Coatesville High School in 1972. She remained at that post until her retirement from coaching in 1985. Joy never had a losing season and at one point in her career her teams boasted a 25 game winning streak. She built a strong foundation for a respected program in district 1. Her teams racked up two Ches-Mont crowns, one district title in one district runner-up. In just her fourth year at the helm her team was runner-up in the State Championship tournament.

   Joy developed many quality players that were recognized as All Ches-Mont. Several players want to play at the collegiate level and a few have competed in the softball World Series. Some of her former players have become coaches.

   Off the diamond, Joy taught physical education at Scott Intermediate High School for 23 years until her retirement in 1990. In 1972, she organized a successful title IX lawsuit that won equal pay for female coaches and equal opportunity for Coatesville's female athletes.

 

Allen "Al" Black

Coach

   When Al black came to Coatesville in 1971, he brought with him an impressive background in Southeast Pennsylvania high school football. As head coach at Springfield, Montgomery County from 1966 to 1970, he won the 1968 Bux-Mont Championship followed by the Suburban One title in 1970. He compiled a four year record of 31 – 9 in 1970 the Philadelphia Inquirer voted his team number one in the state. That team was the highest scoring team in the nation, averaging 49.5 points per game. He was named coach of the year in 1967 and 1970.

   At Coatesville, Al's teams 7 Ches-Mont Championships and were league runner-up seven times. Twice, the teams were named Eastern Pennsylvania Champions by Philadelphia newspapers in 1981, Black was named by Philadelphia Magazine as the     "Best High School Coach."

   After leaving Coatesville in 1983, Al became The Offense coordinator at Widener University. In his first season, the team was Division Champion. In 1988, at Millersville University, Black successfully guided the offense to a league championship. The team which national semi-finalist and was named ECAC team of the year. He then spent the next few years returning to Widener and also at Delaware Valley College as offensive coordinator.

   Al continued in the role of offenses coordinator, with Central Penn and National Minor League Football League. In 1995, the team was a national finalist in 1966 won the national championship.

   Currently, Al is serving as offensive consultant to team Europe in the 2003 Junior World Championship. He is 2003 offensive coordinator with the London, England Olympians, British Division 1 American Football and team advisor for the British American football Association.

   Al black has written four texts on coaching football.