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Hall of Fame banquet is June 9 for Bright, Bitting, Martin, Umberger

Posted 5/16/18

Three people with strong ties to Lower Dauphin High School and Middletown wrestling legend Earl Bright III will be among the 10 inductees into the 52nd annual Hall of Fame class for the Capital Area …

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Hall of Fame banquet is June 9 for Bright, Bitting, Martin, Umberger

Posted

Three people with strong ties to Lower Dauphin High School and Middletown wrestling legend Earl Bright III will be among the 10 inductees into the 52nd annual Hall of Fame class for the Capital Area Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame on June 9.

Lower Dauphin athletic director Dave Bitting; All-American field hockey player, Olympian and LD grad Laurel Hershey Martin; and Randy Umberger, a longtime coach, athletic director and administrator from Lower Dauphin High School, will be inducted.

The ceremony will be held at the Red Lion Hotel Harrisburg East, 4751 Lindle Road, Harrisburg. The program will begin at 3 p.m., followed by dinner at 4 and induction ceremony at 5. There is a cost. For reservations, call chapter vice president Bob Swanger Sr. at 717-545-8013.

Bright was a member of the first wrestling team at Middletown High School in 1961. He was a four-year varsity wrestler in the lower weight classes, compiling a record of 56-14-4. He later was a PIAA wrestling official for more than 10 years, while also coaching elementary wrestling. He is the founder of Middletown’s Pin & Win booster club and has been an off-mat official with Middletown wrestling for more than 30 years.

Bitting was the longtime high school boys basketball coach at Cumberland Valley and Central Dauphin who also spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Lebanon Valley College. He coached baseball at Central Dauphin for four seasons before shifting full-time to administration, where he has spent the last 17 years as an athletic director, first at Cumberland Valley and now at Lower Dauphin High School. He also has served as a chairman or representative for every sport either with District 3 or the PIAA.

Martin was an integral part of the pipeline of All-American field hockey players from Lower Dauphin High School, where she played for 2004 Chapter Hall of Fame inductee Linda Kreiser. Kreiser has more than 700 wins and six state titles at the school, and has been with the program since 1978. After graduating from Lower Dauphin in 1987, Martin became a three-time, All-American at the University of North Carolina, where she played on the Tar Heels’ 1989 national title team. She also played for the U.S. National Team in the 1994 World Cup, and later played in the 1995 Pan-American Games and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. She was inducted into the United States Field Hockey Association’s Hall of Fame in 2004.

Umberger is a longtime coach, athletic director and administrator from Lower Dauphin High School, where he was a three-time letterman in football and wrestling before earning a wrestling scholarship to the University of Maryland. He won two ACC championships at Maryland before returning in the early 1970s to teach at Lower Dauphin, where he became a head coach in wrestling, soccer — boys and girls — lacrosse, golf, volleyball and swimming. He spent more than 20 years as the athletic director, a span over which he was named the 2005 Pennsylvania State Athletic Director of the Year for Region IV.

The other inductees are:

• Jim Anderson, a graduate of Harrisburg’s old John Harris High School, spent a franchise-record 29 seasons on the Cincinnati Bengals staff as their running backs coach.

• Debbie Eckroth was the Harrisburg area’s premier amateur women’s golfer in the late 1980s, eventually playing at the University of South Carolina and then on the LPGA Tour.

• Rod Frisco spent 25 years of his award-winning sports writing career at the Harrisburg Patriot-News, where he was the No. 1 beat writer for high school football, wrestling and track.

• Dennis Green, who like Jim Anderson was a graduate of Harrisburg’s old John Harris High School, coached collegiately at Dayton, Iowa, Stanford and Northwestern before spending 13 seasons in the NFL as a head coach with Minnesota and Arizona. He passed away in 2016.

• Michael Horrocks was a quarterback both at Hershey High and West Chester University. He later was a pilot for United Airlines and passed away on Sept. 11, 2001 in New York.

• Clarence Smith was one of the best basketball players to come out of Susquehanna Township High School before becoming an integral player on Villanova University’s NCAA Final Four team in 1971.