Middletown Athletic Hall of Fame

Athletic Hall of Fame

The Middletown Hall of Fame recognizes athletes, coaches, and other outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to Middletown’s Athletic program. Athletes become eligible for the Hall of Fame seven years after graduating from Middletown, while coaches, administrators, volunteers, and other individuals may become eligible after retirement from coaching or after their involvement with the school ends. The selection and induction into Middletown’s Hall of Fame shall be limited to five individuals each year after the inaugural class.

 

MIDDLETOWN ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME COMMITTEE:

  • John Wilsbach, Chairman
  • Earl W. Bright IV, MAHS Alumni Association Executive Board Member
  • Lee Bloes
  • Larry Etter
  • Owen Hannah
  • Brian Keyser
  • Steve Leedy
  • Elaine (Brown) Nester 

Athletic Hall of Fame By-Laws
Athletic Hall of Fame Nomination Form
Digital Nomination Link

 

Nominees must have made an outstanding contribution to their sport while attending Middletown. This may include recognition via accolades from our respective division, conference, district or all-state honors, school record holder, and other notable honors. Also, post high school accomplishments including collegiate, professional, national or international, and any extraordinary circumstances will be considered. Nominees must exemplify outstanding qualities of character and sportsmanship while respecting Middletown and also throughout the years following graduation. Nominees should serve as a positive role model, worthy of being emulated by students, both current and in the future. In the event that an individual becomes unworthy of this honor, they can be removed from the Hall of Fame.


MIDDLETOWN ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2021 

Henry Brown's Family

Henry Brown ‘66
Accepting in his memory:
Vanessa Moore, Keith Brown, Debra Brown,
Renee Brown, and Mike Moore
 
  Henry was a 1966 grad who played football, basketball and track & field. His '65 Blue Raiders went 9-1 and outscored opponents 291-71 while taking the C-A-C. Henry was a Big 33 player as an end. In basketball, he scored a career total 989 points while leading his team to a 18-and-4 record. He played football at the University of Missouri where he was an end and kicker. He was drafted by the Boston Patriots in the 10th round in 1970. He played in the WFL, the World Football League, as a punter. Teammate and Big 33er Jim Sniscak said, “Henry was on the field for one reason, to win. At 6’2 and speed galore, he could run like a deer after a catch or bowl over a defensive back on a slant or out. The 60's were not an easy time to grow up as a minority. Henry handled himself with dignity and courage.” 
     
 Clifton Brown's family

Clifton Brown ‘70
Accepting in his memory:
Cliff's son Clifton Brown Jr. and his children
  Cliff played football, basketball and track and field. He was a member of the 68 state championship basketball team. In track and field, he won the District 3 championship for pole vault three straight years, 68-69-70. As a football player, he was a Big 33 quarterback and went on to be the first “starting” black quarterback at Notre Dame. He was the backup QB in the 1973 National Championship season for the Irish. He scored a 6 yard TD run in the final regular season game of that season against Miami….before Notre Dame knocked off Alabama in the Sugar Bowl for the national championship. His Middletown basketball teammate Dave Judy says “Clifton always worked hard and encouraged all of his teammates to hustle both in practice and at our games.” Former Notre Dame teammate and also his roommate at one time was hall of fame tight end Dave Casper of the Oakland Raiders. Dave Casper said “Cliff was a talented QB with a great arm. He was somewhat of a pioneer as the first black QB at Notre Dame. It brought a lot of pressure, also. We all miss him.” 
     
 Ed Chubb

Ed Chubb ‘69
  Ed played basketball and track and field at Middletown. In basketball, as a junior, he averaged over 7 points a game to help lead his team to the 1968 State Championship. He is widely recognized for his play in the Eastern championship game against Mansfield and eventual NBA player Tom McMillon. In track and field, he won the district and PIAA championship in the 120 High Hurdles in 1969. He also played both sports at Penn State where he was captain of the 72-73 basketball team. As a junior in basketball, he set the season field goal percentage record and led the team to a 17-8 record. He was also part of a national ranked shuttle hurdle team and record setting relay team in the 440, 880, mile relay and sprint medley. His former coach at Middletown and assistant at Penn State, Casper Voithofer says, "Ed Chubb is the epitome of hard work, determination, team play….and always striving to be the best person he can be.”
     
 Amy Holman

Amy Holman ‘85
  Amy was a three sport athlete: field hockey, basketball and softball. She earned 12 varsity letters from her freshman year to her senior year. Her 1985 basketball team has gone further than any girls basketball team in the history of the program, the Eastern semi-finals. She finished Middletown basketball with 1232 points. She was a Travers Award Winner and a senior captain at the University of Pittsburgh women’s basketball team. She coached basketball at Camp Hill and Cumberland Valley. She was also a PIAA field hockey referee and won the women’s golf championship at the West Shore Country Club. Her coach John Scudder says, “Amy was an extremely hard worker whose talent was only surpassed by her desire to excel. Her vast improvement from her freshman year to her senior year reflected her work ethic. This dedication to her growth and to the success of the team made her invaluable. She was a coach’s dream.”
     
 Ed Tennis Family

Ed Tennis ‘68
Accepting in his memory:
Ed's Siblings, Joy, Gary Tennis and Dave Tennis
  Ed played football, basketball, and track & field at Middletown. He was a Big 33 Quarterback. In his junior and senior years, he passed for over 2600 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also rushed for over 700 yards his senior year. Tennis averaged 3.5 points per game as member of the '68 state championship basketball team. He went to Virginia Tech where he played QB and switched to tight end. He was also a respected Mid-Penn football referee until pancreatic cancer took him from us. Former Miami Dolphins quarterback and Ed’s college roommate Don Strock said, “I’ve run into great people in my life, but there was no one better than Ed Tennis. Humility, trustworthy...he did the little things that just helped you throughout the day. He was one of the coolest guys and dearest friend I ever had. One of the greatest guys you’ll ever meet in your life.”


 State Soccer Champs

2001 Boys Soccer State
Championship Team
  The history of Middletown boys soccer had not been overly successful before the 21st century. The program itself began in 1982, and the early years were a struggle to find wins. Even the Ben Olsen driven groups of the early and mid 90's had minimal team success. But when the 2001 season began, it was quickly clear that there was a special group of players on the pitch for head coach Bob Stitt and assistant coach Larry Hoover. It was a group that had grown up together in the sport on the grass fields at Jednota playing club soccer for Olmsted, and they brought that chemistry and understanding with them for their high school. After a very successful 2000 season, more was expected from them the following year. Though how much more was possible, we don't know how many of them really knew or dreamed about. The 2001 regular season produced a division title with just a single defeat. Many of those victories were dominant results against respected opponents. After losing in the district quarterfinals the year before, the 2001 squad grew from that experience, outscoring Conrad Weiser, Pequea Valley, Lancaster Mennonite, and ELCO by a combined 13-1 count to win the program's first district title. But despite having no experience at the state playoff level, this team's journey was far from over. In their playoff home-away-from-home game at Hersheypark Stadium, where they won the district title and played every game in states, Middletown survived an overtime battle with Radnor in the first round, followed by wins over Dallas and Lancaster Mennonite. Waiting in the state final was highly hyped Thomas Jefferson, the powerhouse from the west. Thomas Jefferson’s head coach, Doc Kulish, knew what they were up against. Reflecting on that game, he recently said, "Coming into that game we knew that Middletown was going to be the best team we faced all year. They were coming in with not only a high potent offense with three or four 20-goal scorers, but also a very stout and strong defense." When the game started, it was quickly clear that it was going to be a long day for the Jaguars. Geoff Bloes' electrifying strike from distance opened the scoring, followed by goals by all-state midfielder Pat Gallagher, all-time program goal scoring leader Joe Rados, and all-time program point scoring leader Jason Pelletier. Thomas Jefferson never knew what hit them. The 4-0 shutout was the 21st for goalkeeper Jeremy Stokes breaking another school record, and the Blue Raiders had achieved something that seemed so unlikely just a couple years before, a state soccer championship at Middletown.

The legacy the 2001 boys soccer team left behind is one of winning and teamwork. But what their final opponent's coach said when remembering them 20 years later is maybe even more poignant. "They were a well-coached team that played within the rules and respected the game." And that is a way that every coach should hope that his teams will be remembered. And now they will also be remembered as inductees into the Middletown Athletic Hall of Fame.

- Brian Keyser 



MIDDLETOWN ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME INAUGURAL CLASS OF 2020 

Earl Brown

Earl Brown '74 
  Earl played football and track and field. Earl Brown is the most decorated athlete in Middletown track and field history with 7 District III and 7 state championships. He won the 100 and the 220 in 72-73-74 and was a member of the 880 relay team in 74. In football, his Blue Raiders won the C-A-C in 71-72-and-73 with a combined record of 30 wins, 2 losses, and 1 tie. He was given the title of MR PA Football in 1973. Earl rushed for 2697 yards, 4349 total yards and 48 touchdowns at Middletown. Former Offensive coordinator and later head coach Terry Eberly says, “He was a kid with fast feet and the smarts to follow his blockers”. Rival football player and track and field runner Jim Abraham of Lower Dauphin says, “You didn’t run against Earl Brown….you ran behind him.”
     
 Tony Colston's family

Tony Colston '64
Accepting in his memory:
Tony's cousins
  Harvey Colston, class of '64, or Tony, as he was called, played football, basketball and track & field at Middletown. His senior year, Colston was the 1963 scoring leader in Pennsylvania with 166 points and also a member of the Big 33. He was 1st team all-state. He helped lead his Blue Raiders to an 8-1 record and a Capital Area Conference title. He rushed for almost 2900 yards. He earned 10 varsity letters at Middletown. The 63-64 basketball team went 18-6 and also took the Capital Area Conference title. Tony served his country as a Marine during the Vietnam war. He died tragically at age 24 from an auto accident. Former teammate Gary Hahn said quote: “He was the classiest person you met. He never acted like he was better than anyone else.” Fellow teammate Don Stago said, “He was the heart and soul of our team, very humble, a good guy to be around.”
     
 Dave Grabuloff

Dave Grabuloff '93 
  Dave Grabuloff is the all time leading scorer in Middletown basketball history, and the only one to hit the 2000 point mark. Dave led his Blue Raiders to the 1992 district 3 championship over Kennard Dale and runner up in '93. He went on to play at Florida State and then William and Mary averaging over 7 points a game. Former Middletown basketball coach Bob Heusser says quote: “When I think of Dave and his basketball career at Middletown, two things come to mind. 1) Dave could carry our team to a win by himself 2) Dave made everyone who played with him better players. I believe those two things are what stamp a player in any sport as great. Dave Grabuloff was a great player. It was an honor to have been his coach” 
     
 Ben Olsen

Ben Olsen '95
Photo courtesy of Washington Spirit
  Ben played soccer and basketball at Middletown...but we know soccer was his sport. In 1993, he was the Parade Magazine National player of the year. At the University of Virginia, he tallied 34 goals and 41 assists. In ‘97, he was named Soccer America player of the year. He played 11 seasons with 29 goals professionally with D.C. United, leading them to a 1999 championship where he was the MVP. He has enjoyed stints with Nottingham Forrest, The U-S National Team, the U-S Olympic team, and played in the 2006 World Cup. He was head coach of D.C United from 2010-2020, accumulating 113 wins and Coach of the Year in 2014. Ben Olsen is now the President of Club Operations of the women’s pro soccer team the Washington Spirit. His travel team teammate, Geoff Honeysett, who played at James Madison, says, “His quickness and foot skills were at a professional level all his years, and he has an internal fire that just won’t go out. Every coach wished they had 10 Ben Olsen’s on their team.” His head coach at Middletown, Bob Stitt says, “He was a very skilled player and very smart tactically. He was a team player and he was the whole package.”
     
Missy Stewart

Missy Stewart '86 
  Missy ran cross country and track and field. She was a 3-time state cross country champion, 1982 in AAA, 1983 and 84 in Double-A, however, her times were even better than those runners in the AAA finals those years. She also finished 5th in the 1985 state championships. Stewart also won district cross country championships in 1982 and '83. In track, she won the district and state championships in 1983 for the 1600 and 3200. One of her toughest competitors was Greencastle’s Tracy Bowers who finished behind Stewart in '83 and '84. Bowers said, “Missy had so much natural talent. In '84, she outleaned me at the finish line and I still have the picture. It was the hardest loss I had to accept. She was a great runner and she deserves this. I congratulate her.”
     
 PHOTO UNAVAILABLE 

Dave Twardzik '68
  Dave Twardzik averaged 18 points a game during his senior season as a member of the 1968 state championship team. He was the first to score over 1000 points during his career at Middletown. He went on to play college ball at Old Dominion where he was a two time All American. He would play 4 seasons in the ABA with the Virginia Squires before the merge with the NBA when he joined the Portland Trailblazers. He would help the Blazers win the championship in 1977. He has been in the front office of several NBA teams and has done broadcasting for Portland and Old Dominion. More recently, he was a special assistant to the G-M for the San Antonio Spurs. Head coach Casper Voithofer says, “He’s a winner, he does everything that has to be done on the court, and he does it to near perfection.” Dave was unable to attend the Induction Ceremony due to a family commitment.
     
Paula Wilkins

Paula Wilkins '90
Photo courtesy of University of Wisconsin
 
  Paula is a 1990 grad who excelled in soccer at Middletown. There was no girls soccer at Middletown until 1989 so she played on the boys team her freshman and sophomore years and the girls team her junior and senior years. She also played basketball for the lady Raiders. She was a soccer defender at U-Mass, and captained her team to a 17-3-3 record. She was an assistant at Penn State for 7 seasons before becoming the women’s head soccer coach for 6 seasons where she was 119-19-11 and Big Ten League champion every year. Since 2007, she’s been the head coach at the University of Wisconsin with a 165-87-43 record and 8 NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2020, she became the winningest coach in the soccer program’s history. Patrick Farmer was the head coach at Penn State when Paula was his assistant. He says, “Paula was an excellent coach and tremendous positive influence and role model for the young women in the Penn State program immediately upon her arrival. She progressed to a stunning record as the Head Coach there and then at Wisconsin both in team success and developing national and world class student athletes. A truly iconic representative of central PA female athletes and coaches.” 
     
 Mrs. Brunner

Coach Ed Brunner
Accepting in his memory:
Ed's wife, Barb Brunner
  Mr. Ed Brunner, may have graduated from Swatara High School, but he was 100% Middletown. Ed began as a teacher in Middletown in 1952. He was also the basketball coach and track and field coach. He became the principal in 1959 so his coaching days were over. He was a longtime college basketball and track and field referee, which included the Summer Olympics in 1984. He also served as the District 3 PIAA chairman. He was inducted into the Elizabethtown College Hall of Fame and the Capital Area Chapter of the PA Sports Hall of Fame. But aside from that, he impacted thousands of Middletown students with his motivation, his encouragement, his discipline, and his character. Longtime District 3 Committee member Wendell Hower, who’s now 90, says, “Ed was the type of guy that had many friends and very few enemies. He would help me find the needed direction and solutions. He was a good person and a good friend of mine.”
     
 Coach Dennis Iezzi    Coach Dennis Iezzi has won more games than any Middletown football coach in its 100 year history. From 1982 to 1995, his record of 109 wins-52 losses-2 ties included 5 league titles and 2 District III championships in 1986 and 1988. There were no state football playoffs in 1986. However, his '88 team lost in the Eastern Finals. Since leaving Middletown, Iezzi has been an assistant coach at Kutztown University, Alvernia College, and he’s currently the head coach at Thaddeus Stevens College in Lancaster. Legendary Hershey football coach Gump May said, “Coaching against Dennis was family. The best fight I ever had was with my brother, 6 years older and a boxer in the Navy. We fought like crazy, but loved each other. Denny and I had the same relationship as rivals. I still have a Middletown football coffee mug on my desk. Congratulations and God Bless one heck of a football coach.”
     
 Coach John Rowan   John Rowan is the winningest coach in Middletown sports history. He coached at Middletown for over 40 years. Thirty-three years of cross country coaching at both the junior high and senior high levels for both boys and girls and fielded the first girls' cross country team in the area in 1974. He coached for basketball at the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade levels for boys and girls for 40 years and also boys and girls track for 33 years at the high school level. He amassed a grand total of 1,156 career victories, 30 league championships, and coached many individual state champions, some of which are here tonight. Alumni President Earl Bright says: "Former students and athletes of Mr. Rowan remember him as an excellent teacher and coach that instilled pride, discipline, values, and a good work ethic.” Lt. Colonel Kevin McNamara class of '84 had Rowen from 7th grade thru 12th grade and said, “He was the most influential role model and coach a Blue Raider could have. Coach Rowan is the Vince Lombardi of Middletown Sports.” 

 

 1968 state basketball champs

1968 Boys Basketball State
Championship Team

Ed Chubb, Charlie Bowen, Dick Barnoski, Owen Hannah, John Scudder, Jerry Butler, Sam Turns, and Head Coach Casper Voithofer

Not pictured: Harold Brown, Chip Etter, Ed Tennis, Dave Twardzik, Barry Ulsh, and Brett Whittle
  The first inducted Hall of Fame team is the 1968 State Championship boys basketball team. The 1967-68 season started with a win against William Penn and then the infamous loss to Steel-High. The Blue Raiders then proceeded to go on a 27 game winning streak that included a district championship win over Ephrata 64-43, state quarterfinal win against Wissahickon 79-57, an eastern championship win over Mansfield 65-53, and then a state championship win in Pittsburgh over East Brady 78-48. Middletown outscored its opponents 2284 to 1269. That’s an average of 79-44. Mansfield’s Tom McMillon. former NBAer and Congressman, said he’s played in over 1000 games in his life and that’s one he’d rather forget. “Every time I got the ball they collapsed on me. They were quick with Twardzik and they were very talented with Ed pulling them together.” 

 

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