Three to join York Area Sports Hall of Fame
- Dave Gable excelled as a wrestler and varsity wrestling coach at Dallastown High School.
- Rich Howley's swimming teams at Dallastown High School have dominated the York-Adams League.
- Kevin Stover starred as a distance runner at West York High School and Millersville University.
The York Area Sports Hall of Fame will have three new inductees for the Class of 2016.
Longtime Dallastown varsity wrestling coach David Gable, current Dallastown varsity swimming coach Rich Howley and West York track and cross country athlete and current Hershey varsity track and field coach Kevin Stover will be inducted on May 15.
Gable: Gable coached the Wildcats wrestling program from 1989 through 2009, resigning following the 2009 season to spend more time watching his two children compete at the college level. However, he still remains active within the Dallastown wrestling program, returning a few years back to coach the youth program and is now the junior high coach. His career coaching record is 257-84-1 and he coached 23 state place-winners and two state champions.
Gable was a graduate of Dallastown in 1982 and won 101 matches as a wrestler for the program. He was a four-time York County sectional champ, finished third in the District 3 tournament as a sophomore and then second as a junior and senior, and earned third- and fourth-place finishes at the state competition. He went on to wrestle at Franklin and Marshall, where he qualified for the NCAA Division I championships twice.
"The success of my wrestlers probably means the most for me and created the most memorable experiences, a lot more so than anything personal," Gable said. "So, when I think of something like this, I think of it more as recognition of having the opportunity to work with a lot of great people over the years — coaches, with wrestlers. So, I guess I look at it more that way."
Howley: Howley has been coaching the boys' and girls' swimming teams at Dallastown since 1986 and has turned both into York-Adams League powerhouses. The boys' swim team has won every Y-A League Division I championship since 2009, and prior to that, won 13 straight titles from 1992 through 2004.
Meanwhile, the girls' team has won 22 of 23 Y-A League Division I titles contested since 1992, with the only year it didn't win coming in 2004.
Howley has coached more than 100 All-America swimmers, six individual state champions, 46 all-state boys, 44 all-state girls and 42 total District 3 champions. He coached the girls' team to a 1991 District 3 team title. He's won more than 400 meets all time.
"When I was called and told of this, I said I would accept this under one condition — that I'm accepting it on behalf of all the athletes that I've had the privilege and honor of being with," Howley said. "Never have I ever gotten into coaching for this."
Stover: Stover is the only inductee this year to achieve his recognition primarily as an athlete. He was a standout track and cross country athlete at West York, graduating in 1985. He was the league and District 3 champion and then state runner-up in the mile and two-mile runs in 1985. He was an AAU Junior Olympics All-American in the 1,500- and 3,000-meter events in the same year.
Stover then went on to star at Millersville University, where he was named to the All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Team eight times, the All-Eastern College Athletic Conference Team, the NCAA All-East Regional Team and was an NCAA All-American in 1990, finishing sixth in the nation. When he was in his late 30s he took up marathon running and even finished with times that put him in the U.S. Olympic Development Program.
"It puts an ending to the things I've done over the years," Stover said. "When you look at the opportunity to be in the Hall of Fame of where you grew up and what it means to the people who are in the Hall of Fame and have the opportunity, it's real significant. And being looked at by the community. It brings things to a closure."
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org