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Six for the Hall

SPRING VALLEY  — Three Red Devil football stars, a state championship football team, a highly successful basketball coach and a former athletic director have been selected for the Class of 2011 of the Hall High School Hall of Fame.

Longtime athletic director Frank Colmone, who is being inducted as a Friend of Hall High School, said it’s quite an honor.

“There’s some pretty good guys going in. Pretty good company,” he said. “Jim Troglio was one of the best football players ever. They all were. Remember Troglio and Leroy Lunn played against each other in college.”

Here’s a look at the Hall class of 2011, the second to be inducted into Hall's Hall of Fame:

Jim Troglio: Despite suffering from the early stages of glaucoma that would eventually cost him his sight, the 1951 All-State running back finished second in the state in scoring with 22 touchdowns and 132 total points and rushed for 1,326 yards in eight game, averaging 7.04 yards per carry.

He racked up 2,476 rushing yards (7.3 yards per carry) and 36 touchdowns during his Hall career. His uniform No. 66 was retired and remains on display on the Hall trophy case today.

Courted by many top colleges, Troglio went on to star at Northwestern, leading the Wildcats in rushing for his three varsity seasons and was one of the top punters in the Big Ten. He coached at St. Bede from 1961-66, until poor eyesight forced him off the sidelines. For 21 years, he taught veterans to adapt to a sightless world at Edward J. Hines Veterans Hospital in Oak Park.

He was inducted into the Bureau County Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. He lives in Merrillville, Ind.

Leon Mavity: The Red Devils All-State running back rushed for 857 yards and 27 touchdowns his senior season in 1958 at Hall, averaging 7.2 yards per carry. The Hall co-captain from Seatonville received NCIC all-conference, All-Illinois Valley, All-Northern Illinois and Honorable All-American honors.

After playing for LPO, Mavity headed West to play for the University of Colorado, lettering from 1961-63. As a sophomore, he was the Buffs’ starting running back in the 1962 Orange Bowl on New Years Day in Miami.

Mavity went on to play professionally in the Continental Football League. His play at safety for the Toronto Rifles and Hartford Charter Oaks squads led to him earning league All-Star recognition in 1966 and 1967.

A two-sport standout, Mavity also played Minor League baseball for the Wisconsin Rapids of the Midwest league in 1965. He lives in Clearwater, Fla.

Leroy Lunn: The Hall senior captain was an All-State guard in 1949, first in the area to receive recognition of All-American Honorable Mention. At Hall, he was named Athlete of the year and received the Tom Yasm Award and the Father Garrahan Award.

In 1950, he received appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Points. He played football at Army at guard on the offensive line, serving as the Black Knights’ captain in 1953 and was named to the All-East Top 50 players list. He led Army to a  7-1-1 season that saw Army awarded the prestigious Lambert Trophy for its win over Navy.

Lunn squared off against Troglio’s Northwestern team in 1953. He resides in Ladd today.

Eric Bryant: Known for his disciplined coaching style, Bryant, who coined his basketball team as the “Hustlin’ Hall Red Devils’, earns inclusion into the Hall in the coaches’ category.

Bryant amassed a 277-243 record over his 19-year tenure at Hall, highlighted by back-to-back state runner-up finishes in 1997 and 1998. The undefeated Red Devils were ranked No. 1 in the state season long in 1998 until falling to Nauvoo-Colusa 45-39 in the championship game, their lone loss of the season in 33 games.

Bryant also led the Red Devils to a Sweet 16 appearance in 1991 and six regional championships. The DePue native guided his hometown Little Giants to the Sweet Sixteen in 1980. He compiled an overall 28-year record of 431-340, including 10 years at DePue and one at Wenona.

Frank Colmone: Colmone served as athletic director from 1970-93, the longest tenure of any to hold that office. He was instrumental in bringing many sports to hall, including girls’ volleyball, track, softball, bowling and basketball as well as wrestling and cross country. He also served on committees to bring in the new Hall gym and former cinder track and present all-weather track.

The Hall Holiday basketball tournament he created in 1974 was renamed in his honor in 1994 as the Colmone Classic, a year after his retirement. He also ran the highly successful Hall Shootout, that brought 3,000 fans to Red Devil Gymnasium in its 1992 debut over four games.

2001 Red Devils football: Gary Vicini won his first state championship in 1995 and took second place in 1996. Five years later, Vicini landed his second state crown, this time traveling a little farther South to Champaign.

The 2001 Red Devils won their first six games of the 2001 season, before falling to Rochelle 21-0 in the NCIC championship game. They finished the regular season  8-1, beginning a playoff march which saw the Red Devils take out Rockford Lutheran (46-6), Riverdale (46-15), Bloomington Central Catholic (27-0) and Stillman Valley (13-7).

In Champaign, the Red Devils would face an undefeated LeRoy team at Memorial Stadium on the campus of the University of Illinois, for the 3A state championship game. Hall won 21-0, but its championship drive didn’t come without drama.

Levi Derber got the game started off with a bang with a 70-yard TD romp on the second play from scrimmage. Starting quarterback Brant Baltikauski was injured holding on the place-kick, and was knocked out of the game. Vicini turned to seldom used back-up quarterback William Chiado. He played a key role, throwing a 67-yard TD pass to Ryan Ferrari to give Hall a 14-0 lead late in the third quarter.

Members of the 2001 football team are asked to contact Hall athletic director Gary Barerra at 815-664-2100, ext. 206.

The Hall of Fame honorees will be honored May 14 during Hall’s awards recognition for the 2009-10 school year.

• Last year's induction class included the 1995 state champion football team, coaches Gary Vicini, Richard Nesti and Rollie Morris, track star D.J. Glynn and basketball standout Shawn Jeppson.

BCR sports Chris Yucus contributed to this article.

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