Jon Vallina has influenced many people through the activities he has held as a teacher, coach and athletic director.
Vallina, along with a group of other outstanding individuals, will be honored Sunday, Sept. 26 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southpointe. This is the newest group for the Washington-Greene Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.
The following is a partial list of inductees and their accomplishments. The remainder of the group will appear in a later edition.
Burgettstown High School
Slippery Rock University
Vallina was inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame, Class of 2016. He was the head golf coach at Burgettstown for 28 years, compiling a record of 352-82 (.811 winning percentage), leading the Blue Devils to five WPIAL team golf championships. He coached three WPIAL individual champions and a PIAA champion
Vallin served as director of the Burgettstown Invitational Wresting Tournament for 36 years and established the Burgettstown Area Scholarship Foundation, which has raised more than $240,000 to fund scholarships for high school senior.
President of the Southwest PA Junior Golf Tour from 1990 to 2017. The Tour had membership of more than 200 junior golfers each summer and hosted 12 tournaments at local courses.
He was Burgettstown’s athletic director for 28 years, was an assistant football coach for eight years, and an assistant wrestling coach for 16 years.
Vallina was president of the Tri-County Athletic Director’s Association from 1998-2000 and was director of the TRICADA Golf tournament from 2005 – 2012. Vallina was the President of the WPIAL AD Association from 2000-2002, was a member of the Executive Committee from 1993 to 2013 and helped establish the New AD Mentoring Program in the WPIAL.
He was twice named Pennsylvania Athletic Director of the Year (1999 & 2002) and won the NIAAA State Award of Merit in 2000 and inducted into the Pennsylvania State Athletic Director’s Association Hall of Fame (2018) and was president of PSADA from 2000 to 2002
He was a member of the WPIAL Board of Control from 2000 to 2013 and served as Treasurer from 2006.
Bishop McCort High School
Washington & Jefferson College
Athlete – Football
Aigner led W&J to consecutive Presidents’ Athletic Conference football championships and NCAA Division III playoff appearances as starting quarterback in 1987 and 1988.
Aigner threw for more than 3,580 yards in his career and was a NCAA Division III Pizza Hut All-American in 1988. He also was an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American that season
Aigner was the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Offensive MVP in 1988 and was a first-team All-PAC quarterback that season and second team All-PAC QB in 1987, when he led W&J to an undefeated regular season, a playoff win over Allegheny and into the Southern Region championship game
He finished his career as the PAC leader in TD passes in a season and in a game.
Aigner was inducted into the W&J Pete Henry Hall of Fame in 2006.
As a catcher for the W&J baseball team, he was a four-time All-PAC performer and had a career batting average over .400.
In 1989, Mr. Aigner was named the PAC Baseball Player of the Year.
He was named to the PAC Baseball 60th Anniversary Team.
Dr. Anthony Canterna
Thomas Jefferson High School
University of Dayton/Univ. of Bologna, Italy
For 47 years, Canterna served student-athletes in Washington County and throughout numerous communities as an altruistic Orthopedic Physician.
In 1972, he began as a physician in sports medicine with Washington & Jefferson College, a position he holds today.
Dr. Canterna was hired by the Washington School District in 1974 as the Prexies’ sports team’s doctor. He held that position until 2001. He served as Canon-McMillan sports team physician from 2002 until 2009.
He has treated and continues to treat all types of sports injuries both surgically and non-surgically and has overseen the rehabilitation of countless athletes at all age levels.
Dr. Canterna played football and ran track at Clairton High School in 1957 then played football, basketball and track and field at Thomas Jefferson in 1958-59. He played football at Dayton for three years.
Many of the patients and athletes he has worked with for nearly 50 years will confirm, he is one of the most humanistic and philanthropic individuals to serve the young people of our area.
Washington High School
Morgan State University
Athlete – Wrestling
A two-time WPIAL Class AAA champion and PIAA semifinalist in 1977, Ellis lost to three-time PIAA champion and Olympic gold medalist, Bob Weaver, on a late takedown. Weaver, so impressed with Ellis’ near upset, raised Ellis arm as his own was raised in victory
Ellis was a three-time NCAA Division II All-American (1978, 1979 and 1981) for Morgan State University in Baltimore, all at 118 pounds.
He was undefeated in his collegiate career against MEAC Conference competition (36-0) and was undefeated at home against non-conference competition.
Ellis was a four-time MEAC champion and two-time East Regional champion (1980-1981). He was invited to and won the Penn State In-vitational in 1980 and was ranked eighth in the NCAA Division I national rankings in 1980.
Ellis was a team captain and completed his collegiate career with a 102-17-1 record
Ellis was inducted into Morgan State’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. He was a key performer on Wash High’s undefeated dual team in 1976. The Prexies finished as WPIAL Cass AAA runners-up.
Washington High School
Old Dominion University
Athlete – Baseball
Gregula led Wash High to the WPIAL Class AA championship in 2002.
Gregula batted .446 in 2002, went 4-2 as a pitcher and hit a three-run triple in the WPIAL championship game. Gregula was an All-Section baseball performer three years and a four-year starter.
A three-year starter at Old Dominion, he hit .286 in his career with 186 hits, 30 doubles, nine home runs and 93 RBI. He had a .447 slugging percentage, .324 on-base percentage and a .771 OPS. As a senior, he had 19 multiple-hit games, starting all 51 of the Monarchs’ games. He hit .295 or better in all of his final three seasons.
Gregula led the Little Prexies to the 2001 PIAA and WPIAL football Class AA championships as starting quarterback, placekicker and punter
He threw 39 touchdown passes in his career, a school record that stood for 17 years. In his senior season, he threw for more than 1,400 yards and 18 TDs. More than 33 percent of his completions in his two seasons as a starter went for TDs.
His 113-career kicked extra-points and single-season 57 extra-points kicked are school records
Gregula is one of few kickers to make field goals at both Three Rivers Stadium and Heinz Field.
He also played in WPIAL championship games at Three Rivers Stadium, Heinz Field and PNC Park.
Gregula played for the Washington Wild Things in 2007, hitting two doubles and two home runs with an .806 OPS in 10 games as a third baseman.
Gregula played on the 2006 NABF Collegiate Summer League World Series championship team, playing for the Pittsburgh Pandas. He was the NABF Tournament Team third baseman. He played on the 2000 Keystone Games baseball championship team.
He tied a Pony World Series record with three pitching victories and helped Washington to finish as the PWS runner up in 1998.
Canon-McMillan High School
Athlete – Football
Hackley was a standout three-sport athlete at Canon-McMillan High School in football, wrestling and track, earning nine letters, winning a section wrestling championship in 1973 and being named All-Conference in football in 1972-73.
Hackley was an All-American football player at Edinboro University as a receiver and was inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame for football and track and field in 1988.
He made 135 catches for 2,476 yards for the Fighting Scots and scored 18 career TDs. He held several other school receiving records upon graduation including 47 receptions in a single season, 190 receiving yards in a game, nine receptions in a game, among others
Hackley was named prior to this 150th season of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference as one of the 150 most influential players/coach in the conference’s history.
Hackley was the NAIA District 18 MVP in 1976 and was first-team All-West Division in 1973-76 and a second-team NAIA All-American.
He was named as recipient of the Sox Harrison Award as Senior Male Athlete of the Year in 1977.
Hackley held track records at Edinboro, including 100 meters (10.3), 4x100 relay team (40.08), 4x400 relay team (3:15).
He played for a handful of teams in the Canadian Football League, including for the Montreal Allouettes in the 1977 Grey Cup, the CFL championship game.
Hackley also played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. He went to camp with the Cleveland Browns in 1977.
Canon-McMillan High School
Washington & Jefferson
Athlete – Football
Kern was a defensive standout and stalwart as a defensive tackle at W&J from 1985-1988. Kern was a four-year letterman for the Presidents.
He was one of 10 student-athletes in W&J College history named to the Associated Press Little All-America Football Team in 1988.
He is one of the top tacklers in school history with 275 and he left W&J as the second all-time leader in quarterback sacks with 34.
In 1986 and 1987, he led the Presidents in sacks.
After the 1988 season, Kern was chosen as Pizza Hut All-American. He was a two-time, first-team All-PAC honoree and had 113 tackles (25 for loss), including 14 sacks in 1987.
Kern is a member of W&J’s College Athletics Hall of Fame, inducted in 2008.