SHAMOKIN — The Bernie Romanoski Sr. Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame will induct five new members at its annual induction breakfast at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 20, at Masser’s Banquet Hall, Paxinos.
New inductees are Susan M. Hoffman and Gary Anascavage from Shamokin Area; Jeremy Tomaschik, of Southern Columbia; Robert Chesney Jr. from Our Lady of Lourdes Regional; and Todd Wenrich, of Line Mountain.
In addition, several people associated with Shamokin Area sports will be honored by the chapter. The honors are bestowed on a rotating basis between the participating schools.
Students Abby Nye and Marshall Buggy are the Joseph Bordell Scholar Athletes.
Students Lauren Wagner and Clif Zheng will receive the Charles Nesbitt Sportsmanship Awards.
Longtime track and field and cross country coach Sam Weaver will be the recipient of the Edward Binkoski Coaching Award.
Mike Savlov will receive the Harvey Boughner Jr. Booster Award.
Area entrepreneur Kathy Vetovich will be presented the Francis Gurski Community Service Award.
Special awards will be presented to PIAA Class AA 500-yard freestyle and 200-yard individual medley state swimming champion Abigail Doss, of Shamokin Area High School; PIAA Class AA 195-pound state wrestling champion Gaige Garcia, of Southern Columbia Area High School; and legendary Lourdes girls basketball coach Michael “Gish” Klembara for eclipsing 700 victories.
Robert Chesney Jr. Lourdes Regional High School, 1996 Dickinson College, 2000
Bob joins his father, Bob Sr., as a Hall inductee and, in addition to his accomplishments as a player, has distinguished himself at the college coaching level.
Presently the head football coach at Holy Cross of the Patriot League, Chesney has served prior head coaching stints at Division II Assumption College and Division III Salve Regina, after several stints as an assistant coach.
While playing for his dad at Lourdes, Chesney became the school’s all-time passing leader, throwing for 3,543 career yards and running for 478 more. Defensively, he had 288 career tackles, five fumble recoveries, three interceptions and two kick return touchdowns.
He was a four-year varsity letter winner at defensive back at Dickinson, earning second team All-Centennial Conference honors in 1998 and 1999. He was also recipient of the team’s Vincent Correale MVP Award and served as team captain as a senior.
He embarked on his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Norwich College in Vermont and went on to stints at Delaware Valley (defensive coordinator), Kings College and Johns Hopkins, where he served as associate head coach.
He was named head coach at Salve Regina in 2010 and led the Seahawks to a three-year record of 23-9 after eight straight losing seasons, earning a berth in the NEFC championship game in 2012.
He moved on to Assumption in 2013 and led the Greyhounds to a 44-16 record in five seasons, with three straight NCAA Division II playoff appearances in 2015-17. He was twice named Northeast-10 Conference Coach of the Year.
He was named head coach at Holy Cross and led the Crusaders to a 5-6 record in 2018. His career record now stands at 72-31 at the three schools.
Chesney and his wife, Andrea, reside in Worcester with daughters Lyla and Hudson, and son Bo.
Jeremy Tomaschik Southern Columbia Area High School, 1993 Susquehanna University, 1997
One of the Tigers’ finest all-around athletes, Tomaschik earned 11 varsity letters during his high school career, three for football and four each for basketball and track and field.
As quarterback for the Tigers, he led Southern to back-to-back District Four championships in 1991 and 1992, becoming the first Southern quarterback to pass for 1,000 yards in a season in 1991. In 1992, he served as team captain and was named Offensive MVP.
In basketball, he led Southern to the 1992-93 Mid-Penn League championship with a 22-2 regular season record and was a 1,000-point scorer for his career under head coach Al Lonoconus. He was team captain as a senior and named Charles Nesbitt Tournament MVP.
In track and field, Tomaschik won the Susquehanna Valley Conference triple jump championship and was team captain in 1993.
At Susquehanna, Tomaschik was a two-year letter winner in football under head coach Steve Briggs. He served as co-captain in 1996 and was a Middle Atlantic Conference All-Academic pick for both football and track and field as a senior. He also won the 1996 Army ROTC Leadership Award.
Tomaschik resides in Wallingford, Conn., with his wife, Nicole, and children Grace, 11, and Garrett, 8. He has served as a youth flag football coach and Little League baseball assistant coach.
Todd Wenrich Line Mountain High School, 1999 Bucknell University, 2003
Todd Wenrich played football and basketball at Line Mountain. He graduated in the top 10 of his class and participated in Future Business Leaders of America and Odyssey of the Mind.
He was a four-year letter winner in football and a two-year starter at quarterback for head coaches Mike Buriak, Darwin “Shubby” Marquette and Mike Carson. He passed for more than 3,200 yards and rushed for over 1,400 yards in two seasons as a starter, during which time the Eagles were 16-6 and won Tri-Valley and Twin Valley league championships and qualified for district playoffs.
As a senior, he was the first player in Pennsylvania history to throw for more than 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000. He was named first team all-state and All-Anthracite and was MVP and first team Tri-Valley/Twin Valley as a senior. He also was team captain.
In basketball, Wenrich was a four-year starter for head coaches Ian Lundy, Scott Gross and Al Laskowski. He scored more than 1,700 points (second in school history) and had over 1,000 rebounds with career averages of 17.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game over 98 games. He was three-year Tri-Valley all-star and captain in his senior season when the Eagles qualified for the district playoffs.
At Bucknell, Wenrich was a two-year starter at quarterback for head coach Tom Gadd. He threw for more than 3,500 yards and still ranks in the top 10 in several season and career passing categories.
He received the ROTC Leadership Award and was named Patriot League Player of the Week several times. He graduated in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, concentrating in accounting.
Todd, his wife Jinae, their daughter Jacqueline and an infant son expected in May, reside in Dalmatia.
Gary Anascavage Shamokin Area 1992
Anascavage was a standout on the Indians’ great teams in 1989-91, earning three letters and Associated Press Big School all-state first team honors at linebacker in 1991. Shamokin was 13-1 that season under head coach Dave Zielinskie and was a Class AAA state semifinalist as well as District Four champion. Anascavage had 162 tackles that season and 1,200 yards rushing as a fullback. He was also the team’s placekicker and punter and led the team in scoring with 129 points.
The year before, the Indians were 11-2 and Eastern Conference Southern Division champions. Anasacavage, who resides in Coal Township, joins his father, Bob, as an inductee.
Susan Hoffman Shamokin Area, 1988
Hoffman ranks as one of the greatest softball players in Shamokin history. A four-year letter winner, she had a career batting average of .548 for head coach Dave Kopitsky.
She was named as a catcher to the Pottsville Republican all-area team and was a catcher at the 1987 and 1988 Keystone State Games.
In addition, she was a three-year letter winner in volleyball for head coach Dean Schroyer.
Later, she was the ladies champion at Indians Hills Golf Club in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2006.
A Coal Township resident, Hoffman has been employed at National Ticket Company for 11 years. She enjoys riding her Harley-Davidson and spending time with her family and friends.
Joseph Bordell Scholar-Athlete Award Abby Nye, Shamokin Area
Nye is a four-year letter winner in cross country, soccer, swimming and track and field. She was captain of the soccer team under head coach Todd Nye. In swimming, she was a district qualifier and won the Most Dedicated Swimmer Award for coaches Pat McDevitt and Jessica Wolfgang. She has been a captain in track and was a district medalist under head coach David Koptisky Jr.
A member of the National Honor Society, she is also secretary of the chemistry club and the Class of 2019. Her other extracurricular activities include science club, Students Against Bullying, varsity club, environmental club, works club and math club.
Her community activities include the Healthy Kids Running Series and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
She plans to attend Villanova University to major in biology, then attend medical school. She also plans to pursue club running.
A daughter of Todd and Jill Nye, she has a brother, Brett, 14; and a sister Carly, 13. Her hobbies include reading, running, painting and up-cycling.
(Part two of this article will be in Friday’s edition of The News-Item.)