Class of 2016

Demer Holleran is possibly the most dominant and decorated Squash player in US history. A member of the US Squash Hall of Fame, she led the Princeton Tigers to the 1989 NCAA Squash title, was a four-time College All-American and won the NCAA Women’s individual squash titles in 1986, 1987 and 1989. While at Princeton she also found time to be named AllIvy League in Field Hockey and Lacrosse as well as Squash. As a professional Demer won six hardball and six softball US Singles titles, 10 national doubles titles, three world doubles titles and one world mixed-doubles title. She was a U.S. National Squash Champion for 16 straight years in either singles or doubles. As a coach at the University of Pennsylvania for nine years she led the Quakers to an undefeated season and NCAA Squash championship in 2000. Demer also coached the U.S. National team for four years. She went on to open and run Fairmount Athletic Club in Upper Merion, continuing to coach the regional sports community. 

Tom Lonergan is a Cheltenham High three-sport standout and La Salle University alumnus, who went on to win virtually every type of title and award as a girls’ basketball coach. As coach of Bishop McDevitt High from 1984 to 1999, Central Bucks East from 1999 to 2013 and Gwynedd Mercy Academy from 2013 to present, Lonergan accumulated championships and awards while sending players on college programs. Lonergan was Philadelphia Catholic League Coach of the year six times over 11 years, won four Catholic League Championships, 11 Suburban One Championships, had a 90 percent winning percentage in Suburban One Conference play, was named the Philadelphia Inquirer Coach of the Year in 1988, ’94 and ’02, and Coach of the Decade for Bucks / Montco ’00, the Montgomery County Coach of the Year in 1986, ’87, ’88, ’91, ’94 and ’97, the Southeastern PA Coach of the Year in 1987 and 1997, Philadelphia Daily News Coach of the Year in 1994 and Suburban One Coach of the Year in 2012. 

Bobby Baker rose to national prominence as a record-shattering quarterback for the Upper Merion Vikings. Known as the “Mr Fling” portion of the pass-catch duo -- with receiver Bobby Thomas, “Mr Cling” -- they set volumes of state, district and school records. When Baker graduated from Upper Merion he held Pennsylvania State records for passing yardage in a season (2,728) and career (5,387), attempts in a season (309), completions in a game (32), completions in a season (193), completions in a career (363), touchdown passes in a career (74) and TD passes over two seasons (tie). Fifteen years after graduation he still held those records. He led Upper Merion to two Suburban One Titles. He was field general in one of the greatest high school football comebacks in history -- the 1972 title game against Abington, a 27-24 victory chronicled in the book “Incredible Football Feats”. Baker went on to play at Florida State and Temple University and then served as an assistant coach at Temple. 

 Joe Bello (Deceased) was an All-League Football Selection three years on both offense and defense while at Archbishop Kennedy High School, and was an All–Area selection two years and MVP in his junior year. In his senior year Joe led the league in rushing yards and TDs, was second in receiving and was named captain of the Montgomery County All-Star game. Bello won back-to-back championships and was voted to the Times Herald All-Century football team. He went on to play at Delaware Valley University. 

Lewis Scott enters the Montco Chapter as another member of the Scott family of athletes who dominated many sports in the 1950s and ‘60s. Lewis played defensive back and special teams for the Denver Broncos, was the starting QB for Mesa Junior College as a freshman and sophomore before becoming a starting defensive back for the Oregon Ducks in the 1965 Rose Bowl. While at Upper Merion High, in addition to football, he was Pennsylvania State Champion in the 440 and 880, placing third in the 100 while leading UM to a second-place finish in the State Track and Field Championship. He also finished first in the quarter-mile junior college invitational held at BYU. 

Frank “Hank Cisco” Ciaccio is a legendary figure – in the world of boxing and in community service. His varied accomplishments include: being the only Official Ambassador for any municipality in the U.S. (Norristown); throwing a disorderly spectator, Muhammad Ali, out of the ring before a Joe Frazier fight; his professional boxing and refereeing career; serving in the Norristown Police department for 24 years; becoming the first Executive Director of the Montco Safety Program; starting the Norristown Police Athletic League (PAL) Boxing program and leading them to a Pennsylvania State Championship; his local television show, where he has interviewed celebrities like Rudy Giuliani and Willie Nelson, in addition to everyday figures from the community. Early in his boxing career he was trained by the same person who trained Rocky Marciano, he refereed fights in iconic venues featuring boxing legends such as Joe Frazier, Marvin Hagler, Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts, Matthew Saad Muhamad, Willie “The Worm” Monroe and Eugene “Cyclone” Hart. Amid the glitz and notoriety Hank always found a way to give back, constantly championing kids, Norristown and Montgomery County. 

Scott Palmer certainly has the most television air time of the group of inductees. He spent 24 years as a sportscaster for the Philadelphia region’s highest-rated station, Channel 6 Action News. He was well-known for bringing personalized stories from every imaginable sport and location to the viewers in Philadelphia. After leaving Action News, Palmer joined the Phillies in 2005. He is currently the Phillies Director of Public Affairs but has juggled many other roles through the years including the Phillies Pre-Game Show "Behind the Pinstripes" and helping support the Phillies charitable and youth sports causes. Palmer is in the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame, was Pennsylvania Special Olympics Sportscaster of the Year, won the Champion in the Community award given by Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, and was given a special award from the Philadelphia Section of the PGA. He is a board member of the Friends of Jerry Segal Golf Classic, and provides his time to several other charities, including Michaels Way. 

Gene Coder (Deceased) was a Norristown High School legend as a basketball, football and tennis record setter and champion. He led Norristown to its only State Basketball Championship in 1948, as part of a team nicknamed “The Buzz Boys”. Coder led Norristown to that win over Ford City before 8,500 fans at the Palestra. That same year Coder won the PIAA State Tennis Doubles Championship. He also received the Ray Musselman Memorial Football award (MVP) and the Harold Tyler Memorial Basketball Award (MVP). He is a member of the Norristown Hall of Champions. 

Chad Levitt played on the St. Louis Rams Super Bowl XXXIV championship team and was also with the Chicago Bears after having played for the Oakland Raiders as a fourth-round draft pick. While at Cheltenham High Levitt was a three-sport star; football, wrestling and track. He was 1st team All-League, All-Academic, and All Montgomery County in football, 1st team All-League in Shot Put and the 4x100 relay. He was a PIAA State Qualifier in wrestling, and was the all-time leading rusher in Cheltenham (1601 yds.). Levitt won the Ben Bell Award as the top male athlete at Cheltenham and went on to star and set records in football for four years at Cornell University. He was a three-time All-Ivy selection 1st team, Ivy League Player of the Year (Asa S. Bushnell Cup), ECAC Div. I-AA Player of the Year (1996), Associated Press All-American and left Cornell with the record for most 100-yard games (24), and the Ivy League record for most rushing attempts (922), plus the career rushing mark of 4,657 yds. He is a member of the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, Cornell Hall of Fame and was the New York Sports Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete of the Year. 

Sal Bello Sr, “Unsung Hero”. Publically -- as a player, coach, leader, innovator, mentor, sponsor and executive -- Bello has a long list of qualifications for this special award. Combine that with the untold stories from those he humbly and quietly helped or supported and it becomes obvious why Bello is considered an “Unsung Hero.” A three sport co-captain all three years at Bridgeport High (football, baseball, basketball) Bello was also MVP in football and basketball, 1st team intercounty basketball and football, and honorable mention All-State in football. He was co-founder of the Bridgeport Softball League and served as its first president and later also served as Norristown Softball president. As coach and president he led the SSS (Triple S) softball and flag football teams to state and national prominence. He grew the flag football team to the largest in the state, winning 14 league championships. His softball teams won over 80 percent of all games as well as 50-plus tournament championships. Bello is in the Bridgeport Hall of Fame and the Honor Roll section of the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame. His business interests, such as Peppers Italian Restaurant, have sponsored many teams and worthwhile causes over the past few decades. They include a state champion women’s “A” softball team as well as scores of basketball, baseball and softball teams. He has donated scoreboards, fences, lighting, a tractor, printers, equipment and countless other items to benefit men’s and women’s teams and youth sports programs.