Deadline looms for Hall of Fame nominations

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Nominate someone to the Hall of Fame.

The time for nominating former PYA Sports athletes to the new Penn Yan Academy Athletic Hall of Fame is rapidly nearing an end. The deadline for nominations for the inaugural class of “The Hall” is Friday, July 1. 

The committee will soon evaluate the entries to make their recommendations for the initial inductions.  The choice of the first H.O.F. slate will be a difficult task, given the rich tradition of high school sports in Penn Yan, and the number of worthy athletes.  The number of inductees will be limited each year, but there will be inductions made everyyear.  The PYA Sports Hall of Fame committee will be making selections public by the end of the summer.  The induction ceremony will be held on Homecoming weekend in September.

The process for the Hall of Fame candidate can be a difficult one, especially for the athletes from a long time ago.  I had a nice talk with Burt Fingar about these problems last week.  Burt was an excellent athlete for Penn Yan in the early 1950’s.  He was named to the Greater Rochester All-section team in both football and basketball in 1950.  The PYA Orange and Blue fielded some very good teams in both football and basketball in those years.  Burt is a prime candidate for the PYA Hall of Fame.  But 1950 was a long time ago.  

Finding documentation for your accomplishments can be difficult at best and impossible at times.  Section V kept very few records back then, and many times, newspaper clippings were lost or misplaced.  The annual awards were generally handed out by the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and the Syracuse Post Standard back then. 

These newspaper All-Section Team Awards were the forerunners of the current Section V and NYS Awards and honors.  

Fortunately for Burt Fingar, his daughter came to the rescue.  She spent the better part of a day in the Rochester newspaper archive library, and ferreted out the needed information from some 1950 newspaper stories.  The hope is the new PYA Hall of Fame will be a place where this information will be kept for future generations to see and appreciate our Penn Yan sports heritage.