MERCER COUNTY AREA —
Blase Iorio is a former Hickory High multi-sport star who went on to a superb career as a baseball star at Slippery Rock University.
At Hickory from 1964-68, he played 4 years in football and two years in basketball and track. In football, he was a 3-year letterman and named to the All-County team in 1966-67.
During that time from 1964-68 he also played on the Hickory American Legion baseball team and made the All-Star team all of those years.
He went on to Slippery Rock University, where he was a star baseball player for four years. In 1971 and ’72, Blase was named to the Tri-State College Coaches Association All-Star Team. In 1972, he served as team captain at The Rock and led the squad in six offensive categories.
He also played football for two years, before being injured and concentrating on baseball.
After college he was a standout in independent baseball and softball. He played with the Fabulous Goldstein’s baseball team in the Youngstown Class B League from 1973-75 and played in the Shenango Valley Slow-Pitch Softball League from 1976-86 where he was league MVP in 1978 and part of many league title teams with Pepsi-Cola.
He served as Sharpsville High assistant football coach to head coach Paul Piccirilli for many years, during which the Blue Devils won a state championship, numerous District 10 titles and Mercer County Athletic Conference crowns. He was a member of the West Penn Coaches Association.
He coached Sharpsville Little League from 1990-2000 and served on the board of directors. He has been a member of the Sharpsville Booster Club and helped in club activities and fund-raising. He was a volunteer for the Mercer County Challenger League and Special Olympics.
He was founder of Prime Time Prep Players, a college recruiting consultant group.
DAVID G. PALMER
Dave Palmer was one of the greatest basketball players in Mercer High School history who in the early 1960s led the Mustangs to two straight state finals appearances, the first in school history.
He was a standout on the Mustangs teams from 1961-63 and went on to an outstanding career at West Virginia University.
As a junior in 1961-62, he scored 603 points including 19 in the state championship loss to Darby, 51-42. The team finished 26-5 and Dave was named second-team All-State and first-team All-District. He was MVP of the Mercer High Invitational tourney that season as well. He also lettered in cross country that year.
He was first-team All-State and All-District his senior year as he helped lead the Mustangs to the state finals for a second straight season. He led the team in scoring with 549 points, including a team-high 15 in another state finals defeat at the hands of Darby, 61-45. The Mustangs went 23-4 that year.
Dave was the leading scorer in Mercer County his senior year and won the Hoyle Award at the annual prestigious Hoyle Tournament in Sharon. He was team MVP. He also served as sports editor of the school yearbook.
He was inducted into the Mercer High School Athletic Hall of Fame both as an individual and team member.
He became the first player in Mercer history to earn a four-year scholarship to a Division I University. He had a stellar career at West Virginia U., where he was leading scorer on the freshman team in 1964 and was a three-year varsity letterman.
He later served as a freshman assistant coach and recruiter for the Mountaineers after graduation.
Dave was head basketball coach at Woodsfield (Ohio) High School from 1974-77. His teams won three sectional titles and finished as district runners-up twice.