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Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame seven-member class to make history as July event returns to 1st Summit Arena

Apr. 5—The seven-member class of 2024 will make history on multiple fronts during the Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony July 13.

This year's class includes athletes, coaches and builders who made an impact locally, statewide and even brought a national spotlight to the county over the years.

This group — which includes Mike Garbinski, Robert Gardill Sr., Joe Greenwood, Judy Heinze, Reg Kent, Joe Shorto and Randy Wilson — also will help the hall return to its roots.

The induction banquet will be held at 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial for the first time in 34 years.

"The great thing about the move back into a historic facility like 1st Summit Arena is that it brings back memories of all of the great hall of fame programs that were held at the War Memorial over the years," said Bruce Haselrig, chairman of the Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame.

"When I was a younger member of the community, I attended a few of the events held at the arena and have great memories," Haselrig said. "I remember (boxing promoter) Don King and Larry Holmes, the heavyweight champion, were there to present an inductee one year. Jesse Owens, Roger Staubach, Bob Prince, Billy Packer and so many others have been a part of past induction ceremonies at the arena."

The War Memorial was home to the Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame ceremony during the inaugural event in 1965 and 10 total ceremonies held through 1990.

"I'm always impressed with the quality and variety of the individuals who are selected for induction into the hall of fame," Haselrig said. "This year is no different. The class of 2024 is filled with people who displayed a true commitment to their sports, their community and their teams. They all possess some very good credentials."

The class of 2024 includes:

—Johnstown's Mike Garbinski (posthumous), a left guard on Penn State University football teams from 1939-40 and again in 1945 after he returned from serving in World War II. A member of the "Seven Mountains" Nittany Lions team in 1940, Garbinski is known as the first Penn State player to enter the U.S. Armed Services in 1941.

—Robert Gardill Sr., a college baseball and football standout at Pennsylvania Military College who helped organize long-running events such as the nationally acclaimed Cambria County War Memorial Invitational Basketball Tournament, Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Football Classic and the Big 33 all-star football game when it was played in Johnstown during the mid-1980s.

—Greater Johnstown High School graduate Joe Greenwood, an Associated Press first-team, all-state defensive back with the 1983 Trojans. He played four seasons for coach Bruce Arians at Temple University and competed internationally with the Frankfurt (Germany) Galaxy in the World League of American Football.

—Westmont's Judy Heinze, a pioneering Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association volleyball official with 65 years of service. Heinze continued to officiate games into her 80s and once earned a National Federation of High School Sports female volleyball official of the year award as well as the PIAA's Beverly M. Owens-Gaither Meritorious Service Award.

—Prolific goal-scoring Johnstown Jets hockey all-star Reg Kent — among the best players in the former Eastern Hockey League whose retired uniform No. 7 banner hangs in the War Memorial. Kent scored 273 goals and tallied 813 points in 601 games with the Jets from 1965-74. His totals are third in franchise history behind hall of famers Dick Roberge and Don Hall.

—Joe Shorto, the Sunnehanna Country Club professional for 30 years, is a member of the Tri-State PGA Hall of Fame and a former Tri-State PGA golf professional of the year. For decades, Shorto had a prominent role in the Sunnehanna Amateur Tournament for Champions, one of the top amateur golf events in the country. He also spent 13 years as golf professional at the City of Johnstown's Berkley Hills Golf Club prior to his time at Sunnehanna.

—Randy Wilson, the Central Cambria High School cross country coach whose girls (five) and boys (one) captured multiple team state championships while combining for more than 500 dual-meet victories and 17 undefeated girls dual-meet seasons. Named a Brooks Inspire Daily national coach of the year finalist in 2013, Wilson also will be inducted into the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame later this month. He serves as Central Cambria's guidance counselor, athletic director and girls track and field coach as well.

For information about tickets to the banquet, which begins with a social hour at 5 p.m. July 13, call 814-255-2809.

Mike Mastovich is a sports reporter and columnist for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5083. Follow him on Twitter @Masty81.