We have entered full speed into the month of August. The start of a new high school sports season is literally around the corner. And as the new season approaches, it time to talk about the newest class of the Penn Yan Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. 

This induction class will be the eighth to enter the school’s sports Hall of Fame. As with past years, we will announce the entire new class this week and follow up with profiles on each inductees in the coming weeks leading up to the actual induction ceremony. The 2018 class includes two exceptional female athletes, one from the 1980s and another from the first decade of 2000. A well known sports star from the 1940s will also join the newest inductees. Also two highly successful, championship Mustang teams, one girl’s team and one boy’s team, will also take their rightful place in the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. And last, but certainly not least, a well known and highly respected Penn Yan businessman will enter the HOF as a Significant Contributor.

The 2018 Induction Class features Kiki Seago from the PYA Class of 1989. Kiki was a standout three sport athlete for the Orange and Blue (basketball, soccer, track and field) in the late 1980s. 

Karen Folts, PYA Class of 2006, will also enter the Hall this year. She starred on the Orange and Blue basketball, soccer, and softball teams from 2002 until 2006. Karen was also a swimmer during her high school years. 

From the PYA Class of 1947, the late King Brennan will also be inducted. He was a four-sport star at the Academy from 1944 until 1947, playing football, baseball, basketball, and track. Later on, King was a longtime coach and supporter in the community’s youth baseball and basketball programs. 

Two championship Mustang teams will also join the ranks of honored teams. The 1991 Mustang softball championship team will enter the Hall of Fame as will the 1997-98 Boy’s Mustang Basketball team. Both teams enjoyed tremendous success. The 1991 softball team won the Finger Lakes East title and picked up a Section V Class B crown. The 1997-98 boy’s basketball team also won the Class B Section V title and advanced the New York State Final 4 by winning the Far West Regional. 

And for the second time in its short history, the PYA Athletic Hall of Fame will induct a Special Contributor from the community. Well known and respected Penn Yan businessman Steve Trombley will be inducted into the PYA HOF for his strong support of PYA Athletics and young athletes in our community.

Another impressive class will be joining the Hall of Fame this fall. And as stated earlier, individual profiles of the newest class will be presented in the next few weeks leading up to the actual event.

This year’s Hall of Fame ceremonies will take place during the annual PYA Homecoming weekend. The Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony will be take place Friday, Oct. 5. The HOF dinner will be held in the Academy cafeteria starting at 6 p.m. The HOF induction ceremony will follow in the auditorium at the conclusion of the dinner. Tickets must be purchased and reserved for the dinner. The induction ceremony does not require a ticket. Dinner tickets are available by contacting the Penn Yan Academy Athletic Department. The entire 2018 Hall of Fame induction class will be introduced at halftime of the annual Homecoming football game Saturday, Oct. 6. This game will start at 1 p.m.

Congratulations to the 2018 Class of the Penn Yan Academy Athletic Hall of Fame!

Little League Response

Following up last week’s story on the approaching 70th anniversary of the Penn Yan Little League program. I received several calls with stories and information concerning the history of the league. I certainly appreciate the stories, information, and input. I have also received a nice collection of very early stories and pictures highlighting the league’s formation and earliest years. Thank you to the Cook family, Sally (Monnell) and Lee Cook for their help and collection of pictures and stories. Their father, of course, was Les Cook, the first President of Penn Yan Little League (1951–52.) 

It is fascinating to see the huge community commitment and response that led to the formation of the new league and the construction of the fields. And the early pictures and newspaper accounts of those year years were amazing. Four hundred to 500 people attended every game. A truly strong and dedicated group of youth baseball and youth sports pioneers made this program happen. It was really carved up from scratch. The idea of preserving the stories and history of this organization is a task worth pursuing. Most of the founding members of the league are gone. The hundreds of volunteers and thousands of players who were part of the 70 years of Little League baseball in Penn Yan all have stories and memories that need to be remembered and preserved. Every year a few more of these people are gone. But with the “Growing Up At Bat” committee, we hope to keep these memories and stories alive for future generations to hear, see, and understand. This is an important part of our community’s sports heritage. There is a good group of people dedicated to making this happen. But we need more help. Stay tuned for updates and more information about this group and its mission.

And Finally…

If you check this week’s “Positively Penn Yan” cartoon, you will find a trivia question to be pondered. This question and story came from a conversation with a well known Penn Yan personality. See if you can answer it. The answers and a little background story will be in next week’s “From the Bleacher Notebook” column.