MERCER COUNTY AREA —
The Mercer County Hall of Fame will induct 12 new members at its 66th anniversary banquet Saturday at the Park Inn by Radisson, near West Middlesex. The banquet is sold out as always.
Inductees with ties to the Allied News area are: Bill Bestwick, Doug Butler, Dave Palmer, Blase Iorio and Joe McMullin (posthumous). Other to be enshrined are: Bob Gruber, Andrea Jackson, Sue McLaughlin, Phil O’Mahen and Rande Stottlemyer, Mary Joe Vodenichar-Staunch and Steve Klaric (posthumous).
Former Pirates announcer Lanny Frattare, the “Voice of the Mercer County Hall of Fame” will return as master of ceremonies.
Speakers include former Sharon High and NFL standout Marlin Jackson and Cleveland Indians broadcaster Matt Underwood. The banquet is sponsored by Erme Distributors, Hermitage, with co-sponsorships from Cottonwood Associates and ComDoc, where former Lakeview High great Gordy Opitz (2012 inductee) is president.
Following are sports bios of Allied News area inductees:
Doug Butler was a tremendous all-around athlete at Grove City High School and scholastic and collegiate standard-bearer in the sport of track and field.
At Grove City, from where he graduated in 1973, Butler shined in football, basketball, cross country and track. He established the school record in the 880-yard run (1:56.7) and the District 10 mark of 1:58.0 that lasted for more than a decade. He was the Class B state champion in the 880 in 1972 and ’73, and runner-up in the mile his senior year.
He was a two-year letterman in basketball, but after playing football for two years, he turned to cross country and finished third in the state in Class B in 1972. He was the lone member of the GCHS team that year after he petitioned the board of education to start the program.
He won the Jiggs Wolford Award from the school for track his senior year.
He went on to Bucknell University where he competed in indoor and outdoor track was well as cross country. He was an NCAA Division I All-American in 1976 as part of the 4X800 relay team. He was NCAA qualifier in the 800 (1:52.7) and had a personal indoor best in the mile (4:09.5).
After college he participated in volleyball and softball in the military, winning several league championships. He served as a player-coach some years in volleyball.
He is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and a life-long golfer.