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Palmerton inducts Everett, Hay, Owens, Piper

  • Palmerton inducts Everett, Hay, Owens, Piper
    Copyright 2012
Published April 28. 2012 09:01AM

The Carbon County Sports Hall of Fame will induct its 2012 class on May 27 at Memorial Hall in Jim Thorpe.

The doors will open at 12:45 p.m., with cocktail hour from 1-2 p.m. Dinner will be at 2, with the induction ceremony to follow.

Anyone looking for tickets to the banquet can contact any of the following people: Art George 610-826-2830; Jake Boyer 610-751-6634; Danny McGinley 570-325-3550; Tom Wehr 570-366-2694; Trevor Lawrence 570-645-4722; Ted Bortnick 570-645-9575; Emmett McCall 570-645-2093; Bob Gelatko 570-645-8652; John Harkins 570-645-2627; Tom McGrath 570-668-2237; Gary Clemson 570-668-1066; Tom Pilla 570-669-6666; or Bill Gardiner 570-669-6564.

The TIMES NEWS will run the inductees from all eight of the towns that are part of the Carbon County Hall of Fame on Saturdays during April and May.

This year's Palmerton inductees are as follows:

Conrad A. "Smokey" Everett

Everett graduated from Palmerton Area High School in 1975, where he initiated a storybook career in the game of baseball.

He led the Carbon County in strikeouts in 1974, received the Outstanding Senior Award for Bomber baseball in 1975, and was named to the Lehigh Valley Legion All-Star team in 1975.

Everett pitched in the Blue Mountain League where he tossed a no-hitter for the Bethlehem Red Sox in 1977 and then threw a perfect game for the Bethlehem A's in 1978, which was the first perfect game in the league's first 34 years.

"Smokey" was a four-year varsity starting pitcher at West Chester State College, which later was renamed West Chester University. He earned the Greg Smith Memorial Scholarship, the Charles "Jack" Hemmig Academic Award, the Aetna Big Play Award, named WSCS Hemmig-Polis Male Athlete of the Year and earned East Coast Conference (ECC) Player of the Week honors twice in 1979. He was a two-time First Team All-ECC pitcher in 1978 (7-2 record, 2.48 ERA) and '79 (6-2, 1.86 ERA). The 1990 WCU Baseball HOF inductee (1990) and WCU Sports HOF inductee (2002) held the WCU career strikeout record for 28 years (1979-2007). He held a career record at WCU of 20-9 with 2.88 ERA.

Everett signed a professional baseball contract with the Minnesota Twins in 1979 and then made the Minnesota Twins 40-man roster in 1982. He was a Midwest League All-Star with the Wisconsin Rapid Twins in 1981 and won the Rolaids Relief Man Award in 1981.

Everett has protected our nation's leaders and the integrity of our financial system for over 27 years as a member of the United State Secret Service. He's currently the Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Field Office, supervising all Secret Service operations in Northern Ohio.

He's married and has three children.

Jim Hay

Hay is a 1974 graduate of Palmerton Area High School where he was an outstanding athletes in both basketball and track and field.

Hay participated in basketball all four years of high school and lettered three years with varsity ball. He was named All-Lehigh Valley League First Team in 1973 and 1974 and was also chosen the school's Most Outstanding Basketball Athlete his senior year. He led the league in scoring his senior year and ended up scoring 929 career points and grabbing 733 career rebounds.

Hay lettered in all four years he participated in track and field. His accomplishment in the sport include Catasauqua Invitational Relays Champions in 1973 and District 11 Class "B" Team Champions in 1973. In 1974, they were the "Emrey Relays Field Events Champions.

Hay competed in all three jumping events, in which he scored a career 255 and a half points. In 1974, Hay leaped to a first-place finish of 6-feet, 7-inches in the high during districts. With the leap, Hay set a new meet record, which was five inches higher than the previous mark. This set the stage for his trip to States where he placed sixth jumping 6-5.

Hay, who was chosen the Most Outstanding Track and Field Athlete his senior year, set the Palmerton field record of 6-feet, five and inches in the high jump and the school record of 6-7, which still stands and is also the district mark.

After having an impressive basketball career at Muhlenberg College, where he scored 1,424 career points, Hay got involved in his two sports as a coach. He came back to Palmerton to assist his own high school coach, Art George, Jr., in 1989 and 1990. He later became the head girls' basketball coach at East Stroudsburg Area from 1991 to 1995 and later became the boys' coach from 1996 and 1997. He also was an assistant track and field coach at Eastburg from 1995 till 2003. Later, he became the track coach at his alma mater from 2004 till 2008 and currently serves an assistant with the Bombers.

Hay is currently in his 21st year as a Social Studies teacher at East Stroudsburg Area (South). He and his wife Milissa have three children Kelsey, Kacie and Specer.

Art Owens

Owens was not only an outstanding student and a talented clarinet player in the band, the 1939 graduate was also a talented athlete in both basketball and track and field.

Owens, who was the Senior Class President, was the center and captain of the basketball team, and later ran middle distance (440, 880 and relays) with the track team.

During his junior year, Owens was undefeated in the 880 during dual meets. He took first-place in the 880 and anchored the winning mile relay team at the Silver Jubilee Meet, the Carbon County Meet, the Lehigh Valley Interscholastic Track Meet and the District 11 Track Meet.

In his senior year, Owens remained untouchable in the 880 and the mile relay as the team's anchor. He took first place at the Carbon County Track Meet and Districts in the 880 and as a member of the mile relay.

Legendary boys' basketball and track coach Bill Wilheim cited Owens as being "the best half-miler in school history and in the Lehigh Valley area." He stated that he would never forget Art's "heart to win attitude" in overcoming a 100-yard lead by an opponent in a mile relay, which was the biggest thrill of his coaching career.

Owens' running abilities earned him a scholarship to Temple University. There he became one of their "All-Time Temple Track and Field" greats. He placed in the top three, with a number of first-places, in all of his events (440, 880, 1,000 yard, relay events) he ran, including a best time of 2:00.3 in the 880 yard run.

After serving in the Air Force, and graduating from college, Owens returned to Palmerton to work in the Purchasing Department for the New Jersey Zinc Company. Eventually, he took a job in Nashville, Tennessee as the Manager of Purchasing for Gulf and Western.

Owens passed away on October 23, 1998. He is survived by his wife Marie (Kudloch) Owens and his three children - daughters Karen (Owens) Kromer and Megan (Owens) Collis and son Thomas.

William "Bill" Piper

Piper came to Palmerton Area High School in the fall of 1968, taught geometry for 30 years and retired from teaching in the spring of 1998.

Piper, a 1964 Pen Argyl and a 1968 East Stroudsburg University graduate, was not only successful teaching geometry to his students in the classroom, but was also successul in teaching the fundamentals to his boys' cross country and his girls' basketball teams.

In coaching girls' basketball, Piper was known for saving and using his timeouts late in games. His expertise in the sport helped him gain wins where they could have easily lost them.

Piper's record speaks for itself. He coached both sports for the first nine years of his coaching career. He then decided to solely concentrate on basketball.

Piper started the boys' cross country program at Palmerton and served as its first coach from 1970 to 1978. He finished with a record of 67 wins and 34 losses.

His teams captured several championships Lehigh Valley League champions (1970, '71, '75), Centennial League champions ('76) and District 11 champions ('75). His team finished district runners-up in 1976.

Piper led the girls' basketball team for 24 years from 1970 through 1993. His overall coaching record was 351 wins and 199 losses.

He led his teams to titles plenty of times Lehigh Valley champions ('71, '72), Centennial League champions ('78, '79, '80, '81, '83, '85 and '87) and District champions ('81, '82). His teams finished district runners-up in '76, '84 and '88.

In 1999, Piper was inducted into the Lehigh Valley Basketball Hall of Fame.

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