It took longer than anyone could’ve possibly guessed, but on Sept. 17, the Bethel Park Athletic Hall of Fame inducted the Class of 2020 prior to the Hawks’ home football game versus Gateway.
A reception for the newest honorees was held in the High School Cafeteria before the game.
This year's Honorees were:
- Alan Smith (Class of 1969--Swimming)
- Doug Michalke (Class of 1971--Swimming)
- Van Richardson (Class of 1982--Football)
- Wes Richardson (Class of 1989--Football)
- Danielle Gratton (Class of 2005--Basketball and Volleyball)
- Adam Lazenga (Class of 2010--Football and Wrestling)
The annual induction ceremony is typically held during basketball season. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced the postponement of last year’s ceremony. The Bethel Park Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2021 is expected be inducted during this year’s basketball season.
A belated congratulations to our 2020 Inductees!
More about this year’s inductees:
1) Alan Smith (Class of 1969) – A High School All-American Swimmer, who lettered on the Boy’s Varsity Swim team from 1966-1969. He was a member of the 1969 PIAA Gold Medal 400 YD Freestyle Relay Team, as well as capturing three PIAA silver medals in the 200 YD & 400 YD Freestyle events. He was also a 3X-WPIAL Champion in those same events. He set the school and pool record in three freestyle events, and two relay events, including setting the WPIAL Record in the 400 YD Freestyle Relay. He helped guide Bethel Park to four consecutive WPIAL titles (1966-1969). He swam collegiately at Kent State University, helping the Golden Flash capture its first MAC championship. As a prep coach, he guided St. Martin’s to 24 Louisiana State Championships.
2) Doug Michalke (Class of 1971) – A four-year letter winner on the Boys Swim Team, he helped guide the Black Hawks to consecutive WPIAL titles in 1968 & 1969. A 4X All-State and All-WPIAL selection, he captured a pair of PIAA Gold Medals in the 200 YD Individual Medley and the 400 YD Freestyle Relay. He set school records in six different events, and set the WPIAL Record in the 400 YD Freestyle Relay (with his teammate standing next to him). He went on to swim collegiately at the United States Naval Academy, where he was an NCAA Qualifier in both the 400 & 800 YD Freestyle Relays. He has coached high school swimming in Atlanta for 30 years.
3) Van Richardson (Class of 1982) – A varsity football player (1979-1981), he helped guide Bethel Park to the WPIAL finals in 1980, a game in which he had a pick 6 for the Hawks. He was a 2X All-Conference selection at Linebacker, he was an All-WPIAL honoree by being named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s prestigious Fabulous 22. He was also a 1981 2nd Team All-State selection. He played collegiately at WVU, serving as team captain in 1985, and guiding the Mountaineers to a pair of bowl wins.
4) Wes Richardson (Class of 1989) – Another force on the gridiron (1986-1988), he was a 2X All-Conference Linebacker, as well as earning All-South Area accolades in 1988. He played collegiately at WVU, where he finished his career 13th on the All-Time Tackles list. In 1993, he guided the Mountaineers to their first ever Big East Championship, and earned a trip to the Sugar Bowl, while being named 2nd team All-Big East.
5) Danielle Gratton (Class of 2005) – She collected 7 varsity letters, thee in volleyball and four in basketball. An All-WPIAL 2nd Team selection in volleyball, where she guided the team to a Section championship in 2004, but it was on the hardwood where she carved out her legacy in Lady Hawks folklore. She tallied 1,122 career points, earning 2005 first team All-State accolades, as well as being selected as a member of the Post-Gazette All-WPIAL Fab 5, and the Tribune-Review’s All-WPIAL Terrific 10. She led the Lady Hawks to the 2005 WPIAL title game, as well as back-to-back section titles. She played collegiately at both the University of IL and Ball State, helping the Lady Cardinals win their first ever MAC championship.
6) Adam Lazenga (Class of 2010) – A four-year starter in both varsity football and wrestling (2006-2010), he became one of the most decorated two-sport athletes in school history. In football he was a 3X All-Conference selection, earned All-WPIAL accolades as a member of the Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 and the Tribune-Review Terrific 25, was the 2009 Almanac Football MVP, and was selected as a member of the 2009 All-State Team. He helped lead the Black Hawks to back-to-back conference titles, a trip to Hershey for the 2008 PIAA championship game, and capture the school’s only WPIAL football championship. In wrestling, he earned 135 career wins, setting records for wins a season (45) and pins in a season with (30). He captured three individual section titles, a WPIAL silver medal, and was the 2010 WPIAL Heavyweight Champion. He twice placed at the state tournament including capturing a bronze medal in his senior campaign. He guided the wrestling team to its only WPIAL championship in 2009. He went on to play football at the University of Pittsburgh, where he twice was named to the All-Big East Academic Team.