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Sports

Five outstanding alumni players will be inducted into the Belle Vernon Area Football Hall of Fame this season, an occasion that also will be used to posthumously honor Don Asmonga, its long-time basketball and baseball coach.

Activities honoring the newest selections will take place at halftime on September 5 at James Weir Stadium as part of the varsity football team’s home opener against Thomas Jefferson.

The inductees represent teams covering five decades of BVA sports history. They are Roy Dudgeon, Dennis Delmastro, Vaughn Hewitt, Erick Pabis and Jon Fowler.

This year, the BVA Hall of Fame committee is postponing its practice of conferring “special inductee” status on others who have made significant contributions to the program in order to pay belated tribute to someone outside of football who nonetheless created a sports legacy at the school: Mr. Asmonga, who passed away in January at age 85.

The head basketball and baseball coach from 1965 through 1988 who guided the 1978 basketball team to BVA’s only WPIAL championship, he was to have been honored by remaining members of the original BVA Boosters Club on Jan. 7 before he became ill and died several weeks later.

This represents the 15th year that the small group responsible for the BVA Football Hall of Fame will honor outstanding alumni football players, coaches and others who represent predecessor schools from the early 1900s to today’s merged BVA School District.

BVA Football Hall of Fame committee members Darrin Belsick, Bill Blick, John Zunic, Stephen Russell, Joe Grata, Jack Fayak and Rob Harhai are already working on next year’s group.

Inductees are profiled in a special booklet that will be sold at the game. Their names are displayed on a press box banner for the entire season. Plaques will be presented at halftime and a public “mixer” will follow at Redd Dawgs in Rostraver.

  • Roy Dudgeon – Playing both offensive center and standout defensive back, he never left the field after the kickoff in the first game as the Ed Hogan-coached Rostraver team marched to the 1962 WPIAL co-championship.
  • Dennis Delmastro – Known for aggressive, cool-headed play, he earned All Big-10 Conference honors as a leading tackler and top receiver. As a senior in 1977, he had 10 interceptions and never dropped a pass.
  • Vaughn Hewitt – A three-year lettermen from 1979-1981 and a top player on conference championship teams under former coach Jeff Petrucci, his natural talents as an offensive and defensive lineman brought numerous honors.
  • Erick Pabis – A punishing guard and clutch defensive lineman, he was a three-year starter and all-star on Leopards teams that won three straight Keystone Conference crowns under former coach Gary Dongilli in the late 1990s.
  • Jon Fowler – He finished his career in 2003 with 133 FG and PAT points as a kicking specialist. Adding punting as a senior, he averaged 42.8 yards. Jon’s performance earned him Associated Press All-State honors and MVP runner-up in the Big 33 Classic in Hershey.

Click on "Gallery" to view photos of these oustanding players.

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