Class of 2014 inductees announced: Eight new members will be enshrined on Feb. 17
The Board of Directors of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame has announced eight inductees who will comprise the Class of 2014.
Vincent Calarco, Geza Farkas, Dan Lunetta, Cindy Miller, Al Muck, Tom Prechtl, Tom Priester and Jack Wigley are the inductees who will be honored at the 33rd annual Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner on Feb. 17 at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club.
Tickets for the event are $50 and are available by contacting chairman Chip Johnson at 485-6991.
The eight new inductees bring the number of CSHOF membership to 153.
Following are brief biographies of the new inductees. Longer biographies will be published at a later date.
Calarco was born in Westfield in 1923 and graduated from Westfield Central School in 1942. He has lived his entire life in Chautauqua County.
While in high school, he earned 15 varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball and track.
Calarco received an IAABO award for 50 years of service as a basketball official in 2006 and sponsored, played and coached basketball, football, softball and baseball teams over the years.
He owned Calarco’s Italian Restaurant in Westfield, a family business for more than 75 years.
Calarco has been married to Charlotte Calarco for 63 years and they have three children.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1932, Farkas became interested in gymnastics as boy and was eventually selected by the Hungarian Olympic team.
Farkas was 25th in all-around at the 1952 Oslo Olympics and was 15th in all-around at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. He led Hungary to a bronze medal at Melbourne and refused to carry the Communist flag. After arriving in the United States in 1956, Farkas coached gymnastics at Kent State and later moved to Jamestown in 1960. In 1996, while coaching gymnastics at the Lakewood YMCA, Farkas was chosen the YMCA National Coach of the Year.
He passed away in 2002 and is survived by two children.
A Jamestown native, Lunetta was born in 1955 and graduated from Jamestown High School in 1973, Jamestown Community College in 1978 and Brockport State in 1980.
He began his baseball career as a groundskeeper at College Stadium (now Diethrick Park) in 1979 and became the general manager of Jamestown Expos a year later. That began his administrative baseball career which is nearing 35 years. Along the way, Lunetta has served as the director of team travel for the Montreal Expos and the Cincinnati Reds.
After serving a year as the general manager for the Rochester Red Wings in 1990, Lunetta joined the front office of the Florida Marlins in 1991 and served in various capacities, including director of minor league administration, farm director and director of baseball adminstration. Highlighting his tenure there was a World Series championship in 1997. In 2002, he became a special assistant to the general manager of the Montreal Expos.
Since 2004, he has been director of minor league operations for the Detroit Tigers and has helped the franchise to two World Series appearances.
Miller was born Cindy Kessler in 1956 in Dunkirk and currently resides in Silver Creek.
She was captain of the Miami (Fla.) University golf team that won the NCAA Tournament championship in 1977 and 1978. It was in 1978 she was selected an All-American.
Miller, who won the New York State Amateur Tournament in 1978 and the Lake Chabot Women’s Open on the professional golf tour in 1979, has qualified to play on LPGA Tour, LPGA Legends Tour and the Futures Golf Tour.
In 2004, she captured the Women’s Magazine title in Daytona Beach, Fla., was named 2010 LPGA Teacher of the Year and has been among the top teachers in 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2012.
Miller teaches at Wehrle Golf Dome in Williamsville and is a Class A LPGA teaching and club professional.
She participated in the Golf Channel’s Big Break III, Ladies Only and Big Break VII and the Reunion.
Muck was born in Buffalo in 1944 and has lived in Chautauqua County since 1951.
He is a 1962 Forestville High School graduate where he was an outstanding athlete in baseball, basketball and football.
In baseball, he averaged 15 strikeouts per game and tossed five no-hitters. For football, he was a top-notch quarterback and captain and high scorer on the basketball team.
He signed a pro baseball contract with Kansas City A’s and played in Class A for Shelby (1965), Burlington (1964) and Lewiston (1963) and in the Class D League for Daytona Beach (1962).
Muck pitched competitively for the Jamestown Oldtimers, refereed hockey, basketball and football and was a founding member and a member of the board of directors for the Northern Chautauqua County Youth Hockey Association.
Prechtl was born in Dunkirk in 1935 and attended Fredonia Central School from 1950-1953 where he was a multi-year letter winner in basketball, football, track and baseball.
He played under coach Taps Gallagher at Niagara University from 1954-1957 where his teammates were Larry Costello, Hubie Brown and Frank Layden.
After college, Prechtl played basketball in many leagues and on traveling teams. In addition to coaching at Panama Central School, Jamestown High School and Jamestown Community College, Prechtl taught elementary school for more than 30 years in Jamestown and Chautauqua, and volunteered countless hours of excavating expertise to create playgrounds and athletic fields.
Prechtl passed away in 2008 and is survived by his wife Judy and three children.
Priester was born in Erie, Pa., in 1939 and came to Chautauqua County in 1962.
Priester was a 1958 graduate of North East (Pa.) High School, where he played basketball and track. A soccer player during his college days at Slippery Rock, he graduated in 1962 and took a teaching position at Southwestern where he also coached cross country, track and field, volleyball, bowling and tennis.
Priester has officiated national and international track & field meets, including the U.S. Olympic Trials. He also officiated high school track and field since 1975, has been USATF official since 1985 and has received multiple awards for teaching, coaching and officiating excellence.
He has been married to Susan Priester for 48 years and they have two children.
Wigley was born in 1934 in Jamestown and was a 1952 graduate of Southwestern where he was the salutatorian and performed superbly in football, basketball, baseball, track & field and volleyball. He still holds the Southwestern long jump record of 22 feet, 2 inches.
In 1953, he signed a pro baseball contact with the New York Giants of the National League. That season, Wigley played for the Maryvale-Alcoa Twins of the Mountain State League (Class D) followed by stints with St. Cloud of the Northern League (Class C) in 1954-55 and with Sioux City of the Western League (Class A) in 1955.
He coached La Jolia Country Day School in the San Diego area, where he claimed four girls basketball conference championships, two boys basketball titles, two softball titles and a tennis title.
Wigley was inducted into the San Diego Hall of Champions (2001) for his coaching accomplishments.
He taught math at La Jolia for 34 years (1962-1996) and passed away in 2011. His is survived by his wife Carolyn and four children.