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Lehighton inductees are Shaffer, Hofford, Barry

  • Lehighton inductees are Shaffer, Hofford, Barry
    Copyright 2012
Published May 11. 2012 05:02PM

The Carbon County Sports Hall of Fame will induct its 2012 class on Sunday, 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 p.m. 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 during April and May.

This year's Lehighton inductees are as follows:

Robert Shaffer

Robert Shaffer is a Lehighton graduate and played football and baseball for the Indians.

The quarterback turned linebacker was football co-captain at Lehighton in 1973-74 and again at Muhlenberg in 1977-78 after leading the Mules in tackling in his final two seasons.

In his time at Lehighton the 5-11 180 pounder quarterbacked the Indians in his junior and senior seasons, earning mention on the Big 33 checklist after an outstanding performance in an upset win over Nazareth.

At Muhlenberg, Shaffer shifted to defense full time and started at linebacker in his final two seasons. After his playing days were over he showed loyalty to his alma mater when he stayed on to coach the defensive backs for the Mules where coached until 1985.

Shaffer became the head basketball coach at Southern Lehigh in 1988, where he won the Colonial League title in his first season. He won his second Colonial League title in the 1993-94 season with the Spartans going 25-3 and reaching the PIAA Eastern Semis.

Shaffer's coaching legacy leaves behind a 24-year run of multiple successes. He coached the Spartans to 18 District 11 playoff appearances in 23 years, including seven district finals. Shaffer's Spartans won the D-11 title over Pottsville in 2009 and have also made eight state playoff appearances in his time as head coach.

He has three sons and has been married to his wife Karen for 32 years.

Bob Hofford

Bob Hofford attended Lehighton High School from 1953-57. During that period, he was awarded seven varsity letters in baseball, basketball, and football.

In his senior season he was elected co-captain of the basketball team, while playing quarterback for the football team, and spending a lot of time honing his baseball skills in his high school career.

Hofford graduated first in his class in 1957 and immediately entered the Naval Academy in the class of 1961.

Hofford continued to play all three sports in different capacities while in the Naval Academy. He played freshman baseball in 1957 and led his Battalion football team to the intramural Brigade Championship. Playing full-back and playing well he was asked to walk onto the Varsity team for spring ball the next year. Sports were very critical to Hofford in his development in life.

After graduation he proceeded to Pensacola, Florida to become a Naval Aviator. He flew planes for the Navy is Vietnam and still continued to play sports in his free time.

On Nov. 7, 2009 Hofford received the Pennsylvania Congressional recognition for his service in Vietnam. Hofford retired from active duty in 1991 after 34 years of service. His career as a naval aviator he accumulated over 4,000 flight hours and 950 carrier landings. He also accumulated 350 combat missions during Vietnam.

Hofford is now retired in living in Severna Park, Maryland. He lives with his wife Emma and they four children and five grandchildren.

Marvin "Jay" Barry

A 1966 graduate of Lehighton High School Marvin "Jay" Barry excelled in athletics as well as in the classroom. He earned 10 varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball, and gymnastics.

Barry was a member of the 1964 and 1965 Indians football team that earned a share of the Lehigh Valley League Championships in that time.

After graduation in 1966 Jay was the first individual from Lehighton to receive an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy.

He was a member of the Falcons baseball team until knee injuries forced him to choose flight qualification of collegiate athletics.

After graduation from pilot training, he served two tours in Vietnam as a C-130 pilot and was highly decorated for combat actions.

In 1974, he began a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines while continuing his Air Force service at the Air Force base in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.

He was also deployed to Operation Desert Storm with command responsibility over eight C-130s and 270 personnel. After leaving his post with the 913th Airlift Wing he was promoted to the status of Major General.

Through all Barry's successes in life with athletics and also through the military he always made mention of Lehighton home, family, and friends. They were all responsible for the great success he has had in life.

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