Ten individuals, one team set for induction into Hanover Athletic Hall of Fame

STEVE HEISER
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Athletic programs at Hanover High School, and its predecessor, Eichelberger High School, have been around for more than a century.

During that time, the school has produced numerous standout athletes.

In 2015, the Hanover Athletic Booster Club, the Alumni Association of Hanover & Eichelberger High Schools and the Hanover Public School District partnered to create the Hanover Athletic Hall of Fame, which recognized athletes, teams, coaches and contributors from both Hanover and Eichelberger high schools for their scholastic athletic accomplishments.

A new class is inducted every two years.

The 2021-2022 class of inductees will be enshrined at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28, in the Hanover High School gym between games of the girls’ varsity basketball holiday tournament.

After a nomination process that was open to the community, a 12-member selection committee of current coaches, Booster Club and Alumni Association representatives and community members has selected 10 individuals and one team for induction. They are:

Athletes: George Stetter, 1959; Dave Reese, 1970; Larry Swartz, 1970; Julie (Gerken) Hollinger, 1987; and Leandra (Dede) Golden, 2003.

Coaches: Hal Reese, Connie Hoke and Betsy Bucher.

Contributors: Jack LeFevre, 1952; and Carroll Granger, 1961.

Team: 2003 softball.

Plaques honoring each inductee will be permanently displayed on the Hall of Fame Wall outside the high school gym and a reception will be held before the induction ceremony at 1:30 p.m. in the high school’s Integrative Learning Center.

Following are brief biographies for each inductee:

ATHLETES

George Stetter: Stetter was a three-year varsity letterman in football and the captain of the 1958 team. He was a second-team All-South Penn selection and honorable-mention all-state pick. He was a four-year varsity letterman in baseball and an American Legion All-State pick. He was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1959. He was also a two-year varsity letterman in basketball.

Dave Reese: Reese was a three-sport standout. In basketball, he was a two-year varsity starter, helping Hanover to a combined record of 44-5. He led York County in scoring as a senior at 20.2 points per game. In the 1970 league title game he had 32 points and 26 rebounds, helping Hanover win the crown. He had 32 rebounds in a single game. In football, he was a two-year varsity starter and an all-state honorable-mention wideout in 1969. He was also a two-year varsity starter in baseball, batting .306 with six stolen bases as a junior and .280 with 15 stolen bases as a senior, when he helped his team win the division crown.

Larry Swartz: Swartz averaged 16.7 points per game and led the basketball team in steals and assists in 1969 and 1970, when Hanover won a pair of county crowns. He helped the Nighthawks average 84 points per game in those two seasons. He was a 1970 York County all-star and the Hanover Sports Booster Outstanding Basketball Player. He was a four-year letterman in baseball, helping the team to a division title in 1970.

Julie (Gerken) Hollinger: Gerken was a four-year basketball starter who finished with 1,007 career points, leading the team in rebounds all four years. She is third all-time in career rebounds and fourth all-time in career steals at Hanover. She helped the team to a District 3 runner-up finish. She was a three-year starter in volleyball as a middle hitter, racking up the seventh-most kills and second-most blocks in program history. She helped the volleyball team to a pair of district runner-up finishes and a county co-championship. She was a three-year letter-winner in track and field, participating in the long jump, triple jump and high jump and anchoring the 400 relay.

Leandra (Dede) Golden: Golden was a 2003 state champ in the pole vault. She also won district and county titles that year and was named a Gatorade Athlete of the Year. In 2002, she was a state pole vault runner-up, while also winning district and county championships. She also collected a USA Junior Olympic title. She was a four-year letter-winner in track and field, a four-year letter-winner in tennis and a two-year letter-winner in gymnastics.

COACHES

Hal Reese: Reese was the head football coach for 11 years, compiling a 66-35-7 record, including a school-record 16-game win streak. His 1947 team went 10-0 to win the South Penn Conference. It was the first undefeated team in program history. He was also the head basketball coach for four years, going 42-29. He was head baseball coach from 1946-1954. His teams won four straight South Penn baseball crowns from 1951-1954. He was inducted into the South Central Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.

Connie Hoke: Hoke was a pioneer for equal opportunities in girls’ sports prior to Title XI. She was the volleyball coach at Hanover from 1965-1974 and 1981-82 and a field hockey assistant from 1966-1981. Her 1971 volleyball team went undefeated and her 1982 volleyball team went 11-3, which was Hanover’s most successful league team up to that time. In 1980, she was president of the Pennsylvania State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and in 1974 she was chairperson for Division of Girls’ and Women’s Sports.

Betsy Bucher: Like Hoke, Bucher was a pioneer for equal opportunities in girls’ sports prior to Title XI. At Hanover, she was the girls’ basketball head coach from 1963-1974, the field hockey head coach from 1966-1978 and the track-and-field co-head coach in 1967 and 1968. She was a Hanover High teacher from 1955 through 1982.

CONTRIBUTORS

Jack LeFevre: LeFevre served the Hanover Evening Sun newspaper for 44 years, including a long stint as the sports editor, helping to promote Hanover sports. He was a member of the original Big 33 panel and helped select all-state football teams starting in 1959. He was a founding member of the Hanover Public School District Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee. At Hanover, he was sports editor for the Orange and Black and the Nornir.

Carroll Granger: Granger was a founding member of the Hanover Public School District Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee. He played football and basketball at Hanover, earning a varsity letter in basketball. He was Hanover’s junior high basketball coach from 1965-1972. He managed Hanover Borough Morning League baseball for 43 years and was involved with Hanover youth baseball and softball from 1973 through 2016. He also organized and administered the Hanover Street High School Basketball Summer League. He coached the South Western boys’ basketball team to its only York County crown.

TEAM

The 2003 softball squad: The softball team won the 2003 District 3 title, beating Reading Central Catholic, 7-2. The team earned a school-record 19 wins and outscored the opposition, 156-36. The team won 15 straight games before losing to eventual state champion South Williamsport in the state playoffs.

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