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Tamaqua Area High School Athletic Hall of Fame

Published September 15. 2011 05:01PM

The Tamaqua Area High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee will induct its 16th class into the Hall of Fame which will include seven new individuals, prior to Friday night's home football game against Shenandoah Valley

Durbin L Wagner, Pat Davison, Lorri Maff, Dan Smith, Kyle spotts, Derrik Keich and the late Joseph Plasko will be honored with their induction.

Below is a brief biography of each inductee:



*Played Football, Basketball, and Track while in high school. Returned to his alma mater as a social studies teacher in 1963 where he also served as Editor of the Blue and White Newspaper, sports editor for the Sphinx and senior class advisor.

*Became the school's first head baseball coach when the sport was instituted in 1967. His team won the Anthracite League Championship in 1970 and participated in the District playoffs. Left his head coaching position in 1974 to take an administrative position.

*Was also an assistant football coach from the mid 1960s-1970.

*After graduation, went to Wyoming Seminary, US Army Prep School and West Point. His pedagogical education began at Dickinson College, with a BA in Political Science/Secondary Teaching in 1962. Received a Masters Degree in 1966 from East Stroudsburg and his Administration Certification in 1969 from Lehigh. Received his Doctor of Education in 1985 from Southwestern University.

*Served as principal at Minersville, Kutztown, West Branch and West Perry High Schools. He was also Director of Curriculum/Assistant Superintendent at West Perry School District where he retired in 1992.

*He presently conducts in-service programs for teachers while representing a number of different book companies, covering the state of PA with a staff of five.

*Married to the former Judith W. Garland of Boiling Springs, PA where they reside in Newport, PA. They have two children, S. Durbin - 43 and Jane - 42 and eight grandchildren.



*Pat is a 1965 graduate where he was a standout in both football and baseball.

*In football, he earned three varsity letters while playing tackle, fullback and linebacker. He was a member of the 1962 championship football team which was inducted into this Hall of Fame in its fourth class. He was a captain his senior year.

*Was named to the All-County team and received honorable mention All-Star honors. He was also nominated for the Big 33 Football Classic as an alternate. In 1964, he was awarded the Most Valuable Player in the annual Schuylkill County Dream game while playing for the North squad.

*In baseball he played centerfield and third base. He was selected to play on the all-star team three times and also excelled while playing Legion baseball.

*After high school, Pat served our country in the United States Air Force and earned the rank of Sergeant. He served in the Vietnam War from 1968-69 during the "Tet Offensive." While in the US Air Force, he umpired Little League baseball while stationed at Grand Forks Air Force base in North Dakota. After returning home, he coached knee high football at Tamaqua.

*He played semi-professional football for three years for the Schuylkill County Coal Crackers where he started as offensive tackle helping them win two league championships.

*Pat is the son of the late Dorothy and Frank Davison of Tamaqua. Pat resides in Hometown with his wife the former Karen Mundy. They have two daughters, Lindsey, wife of Anthony Schorer and Ashley of Hometown.



*Lorri is a 1979 graduate where she had a very successful academic and athletic career. She was the first individual to letter in five (5) sports. Track, Cross Country, Volleyball, Softball and Basketball. She earned 3 varsity letters in volleyball, and softball. Two letters in track and field and one letter in basketball and boys cross country.

*First girl to ever go to track districts where she participated in the two mile where she finished 3rd in 11th grade on the boys team.

*One of Lorri's greatest accomplishments was to be an influential athlete in beginning the girl's track and field program. Numerous girls participated that year and finished the season with a winning record.

*She attended Penn State University and obtained a BS in Health and Physical Education. She returned several years later to obtain her teaching certification in Elementary Education.

*She is the daughter of Anthony and Lorraine Maff and she resides in Tamaqua.



*Dan is a 1981 graduate and was a two sport athlete lettering in football one year and basketball for three years.

*In basketball, Dan, known as "the Ripper", started a record 82 consecutive varsity basketball games. He completed his career with 1,017 points which currently ranks 8th on the Tamaqua All-Time Boys Basketball scoring chart.

*He led the 1981 Blue Raiders to the District XI Championship game in which they beat Marian Catholic and went on to the PIAA State Eastern Semi-Finals.

*Dan was a two-time Schuylkill League First Team All-Star and a Harrisburg Big 33 PA Selectee.

*He was also a two-way starter for the 1980 football team.

*After graduation, Dan attended College Misericordia, graduating with multiple writing awards and highest literary honors. He led Misericordia to its first-ever men's basketball championship, a game in which he scored the last second winning shot. He was a two-time All Keystone Conference player at Misericordia, and was also awarded the MVP and Coaches Award.

*He is the CEO and founder of Smith Publicity, one of the nation's largest book publicity firms with offices in New Jersey, New York, Toronto, Los Angeles and London.

*He resides in Cherry Hill, NJ with his wife Fran. He has two children, a daughter Robin - 12 and a son Alexander - 4.


*A 2003 graduate Kyle excelled in football and in baseball earning three varsity letters in each sport.

*In football, Kyle was the quarterback and safety. In his junior year he threw for nearly 900 yards and seven TDs. In his senior season, he threw for 1,107 yards with nine TDs. He also had a rushing touchdown. Defensively he led the team with 48 tackles, 3 interceptions, two fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown) and 1.5 sacks.

*In baseball, Kyle was a pitcher and infielder for the 2003 District XI championship and PIAA State Runner-up team. The District XI championship was the first ever baseball district championship in school history. He led the 20-5 Blue Raiders on the mound with a perfect 8-0 record along with two saves heading into the PIAA State championship game. He had a 1.70 ERA in 66 innings of work along with 74 strike outs. At the plate Kyle had a .378 batting average with 30 hits including 5 HRs. He also had 22 RBIs and 25 runs scored. Kyle was the starting pitcher of the state championship game vs. Ellwood City. He was the Times News Player of the Year and Channel 13 Spring Sports Athlete of the Year.

*The 2003 baseball team was inducted into this Hall of Fame in its 13th class in 2008.

*After graduation, Kyle went to Colgate to play football. He transferred to Kutztown University where he was a three year starting quarterback for the Golden Bears and was also a team captain. He holds three KU records for most passing yards in a game (463), total offense in a game (494) and longest pass (88). For his career he threw for 6,065 yards, 51 TDs and added 12 rushing TDs.

*After graduation, Kyle signed a professional contract with the New York Dragons of the Arena Football League.

*He is a 2008 graduate of Kutztown University with a Bachelor's in Sport Management and a 2010 graduate of East Stroudsburg University with a Master's Degree in Sports Management.

*He is married to Heather Spotts and they reside in Slatington, PA. He is the son of Allen and Gwen Spotts. Kyle is currently employed by the Lehighton Area School District as the Director of Student Services and Facilities Planning.



*Derrik is a 2006 graduate who was a nine time letter winner in three sports during his high school sports career…cross country, swimming and track and field.

*He was a three year captain and four year letter winner on the Cross Country team. Over his four years he qualified for the PIAA State Championships as an individual all four times. He ran in the top 10 at the District 11 Championships three times with his best finish in his junior year finishing third.

*As a member of the swim team during his freshman year he competed at the District 11 Swimming Championship.

*Derrik however excelled on the track over his four years. He was a three year captain and a four year letter winner. As a freshman he finished in the top six at the Schuylkill League Championships as well at the District 11 Championships. Over the next three seasons he started building an impressive hurdle resume while still finding ways to be competitive in several other events.

*During his sophomore season, Derrik won the Schuylkill League 300 intermediate hurdles and won the District 11 championship in the same event setting a new District 11 record in the process with a time of 39.80 seconds. Derrik's first hurdle loss his sophomore year came in the opening round at the PIAA State Championship.

*As a junior, Keich won the Schuylkill League Long Jump title and the 300 intermediate hurdles. At the district meet he won the 300 intermediate hurdles and was a member of the 4x800 meter relay team that qualified for the PIAA State Championships. At the state meet Derrik finished 6th in the 300 intermediate hurdles earning his first State Medal.

*During his final season at Tamaqua he was undefeated in the 300 intermediate hurdles. Winning the League, District, and PIAA State Championship. Along the way he won the District 11 Championship in the 200 meter dash and reset the 300 intermediate hurdle record at the District 11 Championships with a time of 38.71 seconds. At the PIAA State Championships Derrik finished first setting a new Tamaqua Area High School Record of 38.65 seconds. Ironically the record that was broken was previously held by his father David C. Keich with a time of 39.39 seconds. He was also recognized with All State Honors and the recipient of the 2006 Times News Track & Field Athlete of the year.

*After graduating from Tamaqua, Derrik accepted a scholarship to Monmouth University, a Division I track and field program in West Long Branch, New Jersey. There he was a part of a total of three championship teams. Running for the Hawks his events were the 500m dash indoor and the 400 intermediate hurdles outdoor, while also running on the 4x400 meter relay team.

*Currently Keich is a part of "The Worlds Strongest Navy," the United States Navy. Making a decision to enlist in 2011. He is set to Graduate from Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas on September 20th with a rating of Hospital Corpsman. Keich will be stationed at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia for the next few years.

*Derrik is a third generation Keich family member to be inducted into the Tamaqua Area Athletic Hall of Fame. His father, David, was inducted as a member of the 4th Hall of Fame class in 1999 and his grandfather, Paul, was inducted as a member of the 1958-59 basketball team in the 9th class in 2004.

*He is the son of Renee L. Keich of Tamaqua and David C. Keich of Tamaqua.




*Joe is a member of the graduating class of 1979, where he ranked 6th out of a class of 199…He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously as a contributor to the athletic department. Joe died unexpectedly on March 22, 2011.

*While in high school, Joe was a member of the football, baseball, basketball and track teams. He was a writer for the Blue and White newspaper and sportscaster for the Raider Review, closed-circuit TV show. In 1979, he won the Zerbe Newspaper Award for outstanding writer on the school newspaper.

*Upon graduation, he attended Penn State University where he graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication and Journalism.

*Joe was a long time employee of The Times News Newspaper, serving as the bureau chief in the Tamaqua office along with his continued coverage of Tamaqua athletics for the newspaper. He had previously worked in the newspaper's sports department as a writer and photographer. He earned the 2010 Keystone Press Award in the Sports Event Coverage category.

*Joe was an avid sports and music fan; he served as president of the Tamaqua YMCA; secretary of the Eastern Schuylkill Recreation Committee; president of Downtown Tamaqua, Inc.; secretary of the Tamaqua Area Community Partnership; Panther Valley Little League Tournament Director; board member of the Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce; a guest sportscaster for WMGH Radio station; was member of the Nittany Lion Club, The Tamaqua Elks and Lions Clubs and a vital member of this Hall of Fame committee. Thus earning Joe the nickname, "Mr. Tamaqua."

*Joe was the son of Particia A (Kubilus) Plasko of Tamaqua and the late Joseph A. Plasko. He was the husband of Donna (Markovchick) Plasko.

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