The Penn Yan Academy Athletic Hall of Fame recently announced their induction class of 2016. The 6th class of the local high school Hall of Fame includes three fine former PYA athletes, a legendary coach, and a Mustang team that enjoys a Section V title — the only sectional championship team in this sport in the long, proud history of Penn Yan Academy sports.
The PYA Hall of Fame will induct former Mustang athletes Ben Ridley, Brian Legg, and Sarah Popper. Longtime Penn Yan Coach and Athletic Director Edward Pond and the 1983 Section V Class A baseball champion Penn Yan Mustang baseball team.
Ben Ridley was a standout basketball player for PYA. He was a member of the PYA Class of 1958. Mr. Ridley also played baseball and football at Penn Yan. He went on to have a fine collegiate basketball career at Alfred Tech and East Texas State Universtiy.
Brian Legg had a fantastic athletic career at PYA, playing baseball, football, and basketball. He was a true leader for the Mustangs, helping the Orange and Blue dominate during this time in all three sports. Brian Legg was a member of the PYA class of 1968.
Sarah Popper, PYA Class of 1999, was a tremendous soccer player for Penn Yan in the later half of the 1990’s. She played varsity soccer at Penn Yan for five years, setting numerous school scoring records. Sarah also played point guard of the Mustang girl’s basketball team.
Coach Edward Pond was the legendary coach at Penn Yan Academy from 1933 until 1956. He coached baseball and basketball at PYA, but was best remembered as the “Architect” of the championship Penn Yan football teams of the 1940’s. He also served as PYA’s Director of Athletics.
The Penn Yan Mustang baseball team of 1983 enjoyed a 15-3 record in the regular season, winning the Finger Lakes League title. But it was their winning run in the Section V Class A tournament that would immortalize this team in Penn Yan sports history. Coach Donald Meyer’s team swept their way to the Class A championship, defeating Wellsville 5-2 to win the title. To this date, this is the only Section V title won by a PYA team in baseball.
This is the honored group that will be inducted into the PYA Athletic Hall of Fame in October and the “thumbnail” sketches of the incoming class.
Over the next few weeks, we will take a more in depth look, profiling each athlete, coach, and team.
This will be the sixth group of former athletes and coaches inducted into the Hall of Fame since it was started in 2010. This year’s Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony will be held Friday, Oct. 7. The dinner honoring the inductees will be held in the PYA cafeteria. The formal induction ceremony will follow in the Academy’s auditorium. Tickets can be purchased for the dinner by contacting the PYA Athletic office. The induction ceremony following the banquet is open to the public. The HOF Class of 2016 will also be honored at halftime of the Penn Yan Mustangs vs. Wayne Eagles football game on Saturday, Oct. 8 at Mustang Field. This is the annual “Homecoming Weekend” at PYA. Many Penn Yan alumni return home to go to this game. Game time is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Once again, more information can be found be contacting the Penn Yan Academy office.