Blanca D’hoedt is considered one of the best athletes in Trinity High School track & field history.
Next month, she will lead a dozen other sports figures to be honored at the Washington-Greene Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame banquet.
The banquet will be held Friday, June 14 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Meadow Lands. Ticket prices are $45 each. Tables of 10 are $450. The ceremony starts at 6 p.m.
Make checks payable to P.S.H.O.F. Mail checks to PSHOF, PO Box 921, Washington, PA, 15301 or go to wash-greenesportshall.org and purchase your tickets through Paypal.
Joining D’hoedt in the class are Jeff Casper (Trinity), Emily Briggs (Chartiers-Houston), Mike Deegan (Trinity), Drew Headlee (Waynesburg), George Linck (Washington), Jim Morris (South Hills Catholic), Sarah Riske (Peters Township), Patrick Sadler (Trinity), Brian Simmons (Peters Township), Penny Starkey (Abington H.S., Philadelphia), Joe Marconi (Special Honoree) and the 1973-74 Jefferson-Morgan football team (Team of Yesteryear).
The follow is a brief bio on a portion of the athletes. Others will follow in future stories.
n Slippery Rock University
D’hoedt-Erickson won three WPIAL championships in 1978, winning what was then known as the 880-yard run, the mile and two-mile races all in one day. That particular threesome of events had never been won in the WPIAL finals by a female and hasn’t been duplicated since. She was named MVP of the WPIAL Championships and helped Trinity win the WPIAL team championship.
D’hoedt-Erickson earned two medals in the 1978 PIAA meet, finishing third in the 880 and sixth in the mile. She ran all three races in the state event.
She was Trinity’s first female qualifier to the PIAA cross country championships. D’hoedt-Erickson suffered a high school, career-ending knee injury in a basketball game in 1979, denying her the chance to defend her WPIAL titles and gain a PIAA gold medal.
At Slippery Rock, she was part of the championship 3,200-meter relay team and individually qualified for the 800-meter run. She was the NCAA Mideast regional cross country champion for Slippery Rock in 1982 and earned All-America honors at the national championship meet.
n Winthrop, California University
Briggs was a four-year starter for the Chartiers-Houston girls’ basketball team and was All-Section, All-County and All-South Hills all four seasons. She led the Bucs in scoring and rebounding each year and led the team to the WPIAL playoffs three times to a section championship. She is the second-leading scorer at C-H with 1,956 points and third all-time in rebounding with 1,098.
Briggs was the second player in school history to score at least 1,000 points and have 1,000 rebounds. She was first-team All-State as a senior and second-team All-State as a junior. Briggs played two years at Winthrop before transferring to Cal, where she helped the Vulcans reach the NCAA Division II Elite 8.
n University of Pittsburgh
Casper set Trinity single-season record with 32 receptions in 1979, and it stood for 22 years. He also was an outstanding kickoff and punt returner during his career. Casper was a first-team All-WPIAL selection in 1979 and also first-team All-Western Conference.
Casper also was named the Pennsylvania Association of Coaches’ All-Star game and was a Big 33 Classic selection. He was ranked the 10th best wide receiver recruit in the nation by note Joe Terranova’s national high school football recruiting report.
In addition to football, Jeff was an outstanding baseball player at Trinity. He was among the top pitchers in Hillers history in winning percentage and earned run average and was a power hitter and top-notch baserunner.
Casper was a four-year letterman at Pitt, where he played in four bowl games. He helped Pitt to a 39-6-1 record from 1980-83 and finished with 17 receptions and a touchdown.
n Marietta College
Deegan was a four-year starter in basketball and was the Hillers’ leading scorer in 1994-95, 1995-96 and 1996-97. He was first team All-Section 5 as a sophomore and senior and graduated as Trinity’s all-time leading scorer with 1,296 points.
Deegan was a three-year starter in baseball as a shortstop and led the team to the WPIAL playoffs three straight years. He was first team all-section in 1997.
Deegan was inducted into the Trinity High School Hall of Fame in 2012.
At Marietta, Deegan was a two-time first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference and first-team All-Mideast Region 2001. He was second in the nation in stolen bases (38) in 1999, led team in doubles, triples, walks and stolen bases in 2001 and batted .393 his senior year.
Deegan has been the head baseball coach at Denison University since 2013.