The West Branch Hall of Fame inducted nine new members at their annual banquet held Sunday in Williamsport at the Genetti Hotel. They inductees were Jim and Janis Arp, Rick Burd, Bob Crawford, Trap McCormack, Mark Mussina, Mike Vuocolo, and Gene Depew.
As an athlete, Janis Arp is best known as a swimmer, where she competed in the Olympic Trials in the 100 and 200 meter breast stroke in 1964. As a coach, she guided Williamsport’s girls basketball team, girls and boys swim teams, and girls tennis. Combined, she compiled ten undefeated seasons and at one point won 70 swim meets in a row. She later went on to coach field hockey and swimming at Lycoming College, and also was a PIAA official for basketball, field hockey, soccer, and girls lacrosse. She officiated basketball for 38 years.
Janis’ husband, Jim, was also a long time official, working both PIAA basketball and football for nearly 30 years. He’s also been the official football timer and the official basketball book keeper at Lycoming college since the 90’s. However, Jim is best known for his eight year run as head coach of Williamsport’s softball team, where he posted a 158-39 record, and won AAA state titles in both 1989 and 1992.
Rick Burd was the first quarterback at Lock Haven High School to throw for 1,000 yards in a season (1976) and the first quarterback at Lycoming College to throw for 2,000 yards in a season (1980). At Lycoming, Burd led the conference in passing three years and compiled a 24-4-1 record as a starter. His number 11 was the first number ever retired by Lycoming’s football program.
Bob Crawford, a 1993 graduate of Milton High School, is one of only 12 wrestlers in Pennsylvania State History to win four state titles. One title came at 112, one at 119, and the last two were at 125. Crawford compiled a career record of 138-2.
Kelly Mazzante played 11 seasons of professional basketball, both in the WNBA and overseas. Drafted by Charlotte, she went on to win two WNBA titles with Phoenix in 2007 and 2009. What’s even more impressive were Mazzante’s accomplishments at Penn State, where she was two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, a two-time first-team All-American, and set the conference’s all-time scoring record (for both men’s and women’s basketball) with 2,919 points.
Trap McCormack was a three time state wrestling champion. At Sugar Valley, he won titles at in 1995 and 1996 at 103, before winning the 112 weight class for Bald Eagle Nittany in 1997, and finishing with a record of 138-4. As a soccer player, he also set a Bald Eagle Nittany school record for goals in a season with 36. At Lock Haven University, Trap compiled a record of 91-18 and was a four-time NCAA Championship qualifier at 125 pounds.
Mark Mussina was an All-State quarterback at Montoursville High School, leading the 1989 team to the state final and becoming the first player in program history to throw for 2,000 yards in a season. His 322 passing yards in the state championship game was a record that stood for 16 years. As a pitcher and a shortstop, Mark also helped lead the 1990 Montoursville baseball team to the state finals, and earned first team all-conference honors in baseball and basketball. He went on to play both baseball and football at Susquehanna University and was a member of the 1991 football team that reached the DIV III National Final Four.
Mike Vuocolo was one of the most versatile athletes to ever come out of Lock Haven High School. In football, he was second team all-state as a running back. In wrestling, he was a state semi-finalist at 180 pounds. In track, he finished fourth in the state in the discus and set a Lock Haven school record. He even went on to both wrestle and play football at the University of Michigan, before an injury shortened his Wolverine career.
Gene Depew (deceased) started out as a football player at Bucknell (from 1967-69) but will be best remembered as the Bison’s baseball coach. After serving eight years as an assistant, Depew spent the next 31 seasons as the head coach, racking up 591 wins, winning five conference titles and qualifying for five NCAA tournaments. He also coached seven players who went on to play professionally and two that made it to the majors.
Max Dell (Volunteer of the Year) coached football at South Williamsport High, started the Pop Warner football program in South Williamsport, coached Little League baseball and also coached South’s American Legion baseball team for over a decade. Dell, however, is best known for founding the District 4 Football All-Star game in 1991, and coordinating the event every year since, which has raised thousands of dollars for the South Williamsport Lions Club.