Saucon Valley to salute six in first Hall of Fame class

The school's first Hall of Fame class will include six individuals and the 1976 state wrestling champs

Saucon Valley High School has announced its inaugural class for induction into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony will take place June 6 at the school's end-of-the-year awards program.

Six individuals and one team from Hellertown/Saucon Valley High School make up the first batch of selections.

The honorees include:

Robert R. Hoppes, who was instrumental in bringing athletics to Hellertown High for the first time in 1918. Robert was Hellertown's first head baseball coach from 1918-1934, winning three league championships in 1932, 1933, and 1934. In 1927, Hoppes brought soccer to Hellertown and was the head coach from 1927-45, winning league titles in 1931 and 1939. In addition to his coaching career, Hoppes was a respected teacher in the district from 1916-1958.

William A. Szabo, a member of the Class of 1942 who was a four-year athlete in soccer, basketball, and baseball, was part of Hellertown's 1939 league championship team in soccer. In basketball, he was the team's leading scorer during the 1941-42 season. From 1943-46, he served his country as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps and from 1949-52, he was a Class B pro baseball player in the Washington Senators organization. Szabo later was a teacher and administrator in the district.

Nick Diehm, who spent 37 seasons as Hellertown/Saucon Valley's head baseball and soccer coach from 1965-1984 and won six league baseball titles from 1969-1979 and three league soccer crowns in 1972, '76, and '77. His team won a 1972 District 11 soccer title. In addition to serving his country in the Army, Diehm spent 34 years in the district as an elementary school physical education teacher.

Charles E. Bartolet, Jr., who was responsible for the introduction of wrestling at Hellertown High School. He served as the program's head coach for 25 years (1960-85) and his wrestlers compiled 86 team and individual championships, including 32 individual District 11 titles, 30 Southeast Regional Champions, 9 PIAA champions, 12 league team championships, two District 11 team titles and Saucon Valley's only team state champ — the 1976 3A PIAA wrestling champs.

In addition to his 25 years on the mat, Bartolet served the district for over 50 years as a teacher, administrator, and school board director.

Don Rohn, who is a member of the class of 1972, and was an outstanding wrestler at the scholastic and collegiate levels, headlining a dominant decade for Saucon Valley wrestling.

Rohn's accomplishments include three District 11 titles, three Southeast Regional championships, two state championships and four High School All-American honors. He went on to be a four-time PSAC champion, and a national champion and a three-time NCAA Division I All American at Clarion.

In 2011, Rohn returned to Saucon Valley as an assistant coach after earning almost 400 victories as a high school head coach at Hazleton and Northampton.

Thea Ackerman, a member of the class of 1979, was an accomplished track athlete in multiple events. She set records at both the District 11 and state level. Her record jump of 5 feet, 10 inches in the 1979 high jump remains the PIAA record.

She was a two-time state high jump champ, a two-time high school All-American and a four-time conference champ at Mount St. Mary's and a NCAA Division II national champ and a two-time NCAA Division II All-American.

The 1976 state championship wrestling team, which competed in 3A as a 2A school. The team also had three individuals win state championships.


Bloomsburg University sophomore tennis player Michelle Perez (Southern Lehigh) won her second straight PSAC East athlete of the week award.

Last week Perez was a two-time winner against Wilkes University. At No. 1 singles she earned a 6-3, 6-3 straight set win and followed it up with an 8-4 victory at No. 1 doubles.

With the two wins against Wilkes, she extends her winning streak to nine. Five of her nine wins came at No. 1 singles while the other four were at No. 1 doubles. In her last three doubles matches she has won 24 of 29 games played.

Featured Stories



Top Trending Videos