Six athletes from Lock Haven inducted into Pennsylvania Hall of Fame
WILLIAMSPORT- Lock Haven has produced an abundance of talented athletes over the course of decades, and on Sunday night these athletes were recognized for their once-in-a-generation achievements.
In a decorated ballroom located at the Genetti Hotel in downtown Williamsport, 12 athletes were inducted into the West Branch Valley Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Six of the athletes honored hailed from Lock Haven.
Given Lock Haven’s rich tradition of wrestling, it was no surprise that five of the six Lock Haven members had ties to the sport.
The first member inducted into the 2016 class was Maynard Aungst. As a former wrestler at Lock Haven High School, he captured state titles at 95 pounds in 1956, and 103 pounds in 1957. After high school, he went to compete with the Lock Haven YMCA and was named the national YMCA outstanding wrestler in 1960.
Aungst was also inducted into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008. During the ceremony, Aungst took a moment to thank his loved ones for their support during his wrestling career.
“I have to thank my family who stood by me for the whole time I coached, and the year I went to Bloomsburg University,” said Aungst. “I met good people and had good coaches there.
Joining Aungst was Doug Buckwalter, who this year was also inducted into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Buckwalter coached wresting at Lock Haven High School, Lock Haven University and Central Mountain High School. His Wildcats wresting team won the state championship in 2010, and Buckwalter has coached a total of nine state champions and 54 district champions.
“Looking at all the different people here being inducted with me makes me humbled,” said Buckwalter. “I’m going in with such a great group of coaches and athletes, and just good people all-around.”
Another member of that great group of people, Buckwalter spoke of was Ken Melchior. Melchior wrestled at LHU where he won the 1968 NCAA Division 1 championship at 115 pounds. Melchior qualified for the 1968 and 1972 U.S. Olympic teams–and has since been inducted into the South Jersey Wrestling, Lock Haven University Wrestling and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.
During the ceremony Melchior expressed how privileged he was to be inducted into the sports hall of fame.
“I’m honored of course,” said Melchior. “It’s a special privilege–and there was a lot of hard work involved. Melchior went on to thank his mentors, adding how he received great coaching that ultimately contributed to his success as a wrestler.
Also inducted was Biff Walizer–a former LHU wrestler who was a two-time NAIA champion in 1961 and 1963 at 130 pounds. His 1963 finals victory was against two-time Olympian Bobby Douglas. Walizer is also a member of the NAIA National Hall of Fame, as well as the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association hall of fame.
In his acceptance speech, Walizer was vocal on the importance of wrestling and how difficult of a sport it is.
“I’d like to thank everybody and every parent who put their son in wrestling,” said Walizer, “because it is by far the toughest individual sport we have.”
The last of Lock Haven’s wrestlers inducted was Bud Stehman, a former wrestling coach at Lock Haven High School. Stehman coached a 1961 team that featured four state champion who all went on to become NCAA All-Americans. Stehman was inducted into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame in 1975–and as a wrestler won the 121 pound PSAC title in 1941.
Representing Stehman was his son, John, who describe father as a selfless and dedicated man.
“My father would be honored, and thankful and grateful for this,” said John. “He would not have drawn attention to himself, he would have thanked his fellow coaches, his mentors and his wrestlers who went on to do great things in life.”
The last athlete inducted was Tom Poorman, who was the first major league baseball player from Lock Haven. Poorman played in the National League and American Association for parts of six seasons during 1880-1888. Poorman led the American Association with 19 triples in 1887.