Tony Petrocelli
Chairman and Founder Gateway Sports Hall of Fame
Gateway Class of 1974

I was born and raised in Pitcairn and damn proud of it. I moved to Monroeville in 1989 and have been here ever since. I have no plans to go anywhere else. As of 2022, I am 66 years old and run a successful CPA firm along with my wife Marcy, whom everyone one knows from our banquets, and my two children Lisa and Michael.

I have always had an unconditional love for my high school. Back in 1997, I really began to think about all the great coaches, athletes and friends that I met along my path from youth to mature adult. At the same time, hall’s of fame seemed to be popping up all around us. I knew in my heart that Gateway, especially on a local level, had coaches and athletes second to none. Their names are engraved in our spirits, Antimarino, Klipa, Betts, Hanley, Furrie, Statnick, Holden, Bane, Gratton, Nash, Chow, Parsons, Morgan, Bray, Devine, Jagdmann, O’Toole, Baltrus, Smith, Gay and on and on.

More than anything else, I felt it was time for us to let the world know what athletics at Gateway were all about. The time had come for us to honor our special athletes and coaches.

We developed a nominating committee as well as a selection committee. The nominating committee would discuss and debate HOF caliber athletes and coaches and present their findings to the selection committee for a final vote. Our bylaws state that you must be related to Gateway in some form to be a nominating committee member ie teachers, coaches etc. You must have graduated from Gateway High to be a selection committee member.

We began induction banquets in 1999. Our first banquet was hosted at Monzo’s Palace Inn on route 48 in Monroeville. We had a crowd of about 240. That first event lasted nearly 7 hours as we hadn’t developed time limits for the speakers. We have always had a presenter speak on behalf of our inductee prior to the inductee receiving their official induction award. After that first year, we did develop a time limit for presenters and inductees.

We then moved the banquet to Alcoma Golf Club in Penn Hills from 2000 through 2005 where we saw the banquet become more intimate. A much smaller facility with little or no disturbing outside noise. Those Alcoma banquets were very special and I believe that any and all inductees would agree.

From there, we moved our banquets to Churchill Valley Country Club from 2006 through 2011. That venue was just as intimate as Alcoma. Our crowds each year were never less than 200.

After the 2011 banquet I decided that, if we are to continue, Marcy and I needed a break. Planning the banquets each and every year was the same as planning a wedding each and every year. Just a little too much for the two of us at that time. Although we had help and were offered help, Marcy and I predominantly planned and executed each and every banquet. We then switched the format from every year to every other year.

Our next banquet, 2013, was hosted at Edgewood Country Club in Churchill. Again, this was an elegant location. The 2015 banquet was postponed as I was having rotator cuff issues and ended up with rotator tear surgery.

We bounced back in 2017 as our banquet was hosted at the Double Tree in Monroeville. The location wasn’t quite as nice as the country clubs. We did have a great induction banquet that evening.

2019 saw us return to Edgewood Country Club. That was our last hall of fame banquet as of this date. The pandemic canceled our 2021 banquet and we tried to initiate a 2022 induction banquet, but just can’t find the time this year and hopefully 2022 will be the last year of Covid concerns.

We will be back next year.

In the 25 years since the hall of fame has become a thought, we have inducted 79 premier athletes, 22 coaches and athletic directors as well as 1 athletic contributor. I am the lone athletic contributor.

17 championship or section winning teams have also been inducted into our hall of fame. I developed the team induction theory myself. I believed that many athletes were just not hall of fame material, however, many athletes were great team members that supported our hall of fame athletes. The team induction concept has been terrific. It gives the team members a chance to get together for their induction night. Our banquets continue to serve as an annual sports reunion. I use myself as a good example of a great team member without individual hall of fame credentials.

Football dominates the team inductions as Gateway has forever been considered a football school as football is the sport with the most section and WPIAL championships including three state championships. I learned quickly how great our male and female swimmers were through the years. I was able to meet and become close friends with all of the greatest swimmers of all time. Girls swimming is a close second behind football as our girls dominated the PIAA championships in the mid to late 1980’s. We also inducted one boys swim team within a team that won a state relay championship.

I have accumulated much information through the years. Pictures, picture boards, bio’s etc for nearly 25 years now. Now is the time that we give any and all Gateway retirees, administrators, board members past and present, teachers, alumni and students access to the abundance of information. Let’s let everyone know how great Gateway Athletics has been through over 60 years of Gateway Senior High School.

I dedicate this website to all that have walked the hallways at Gateway High.

And a very special thanks to Shane Rolin, Gateway 1986, who developed this remarkable website.

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