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April 11, 2024

Erie Sports Hall of Fame Announces 2024 Class

From local businessmen that helped shape Erie sports over the past few decades to a longtime NFL player, the Metro Erie Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce one of its best classes in the 38-year history of the organization.

The 2024 Hall of Fame class includes Marie Georger, Ann (Mimm) Evans, Jim Sertz, Jawan Walker, John “Casey” Wells, Doug White, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, L.J. Frisina and his dad, Joe Frisina, will be inducted posthumously.

The nine-person class will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Wednesday, June 26 at the Zem Zem Shrine Club. The induction ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online here

LJ FRISINA – Has been synonymous with District 10 sports and officials throughout his career. Frisina is at every major sporting event in D-10 and has helped local athletes in several different capacities for decades. He has served as a PIAA basketball official for 36 years, officiating 3 PIAA championship games and 8 PIAA semifinals, as well as numerous McDonald's Classic/Burger King Classic games. In 2023-24 he is in his 20th year as the officials representative on the District 10 Committee, which involves fighting for the rights of all officials and making crucial decisions regarding D-10 athletes and issues. He started as an assistant baseball coach at Corry in 1994 and helped the Beavers win the ECL in 1997 and 1998, Region 5 title in 2010 and the school's only D-10 championship in 2010. He has officiated numerous NCAA Division II and III regional games. He has served as an officials evaluator in basketball for countless games. He also served for 11 years as a scout for the Montreal Expos.

MARIE GEORGER – Was a standout in swimming while competing for Mercyhurst Prep. Was a 5-time Pennsylvania State Champion and earned 16 State Medals. Georger was the PA State Champion in the backstroke three years in a row and had the number one PA state time in AA and AAA before being invited to the Olympic Trials. Marie was never beaten in Erie County dual meets swimming her normal strokes. She went on to be a U.S. Olympic Training Center attendee and earned a four-year full scholarship in swimming at the University of Michigan. She helped the Wolverines to the Big 10 Championship and was an All-Academic Award recipient at Michigan. She was overall first place swimmer for the Erie Bay Swim and was a two-time winner of the Erie Times-News Varsity Cup Award. 

Marie served as a graduate assistant coach to Curtis Robinette during Mercyhurst University conference winning water-polo season. She currently serves as an Associate Vice President PNC Bank.

ANN (MIMM) EVANS – Was a standout in basketball at Girard High School and then Niagara University. Mimm led Girard to the PIAA state championship in 1998, and finished her career as Girard’s all-time leading scorer with 1,713 points before being inducted into the Girard Hall of Fame in 2022. One of two girls basketball players in Girard history to have jersey retired, she was selected to the Associated Press Small School Girls All State First Team both her junior and senior years (1998-99 and 1999-00).  She earned honorable mention All-ECL honors as a freshman and was a first team All-ECL choice her final three years, and led Girard to four District 10 championships and three ECL titles, reaching the PIAA championship game in 1997-98 and 1998-99. She played four years at Division I Niagara University, starting her final two years and serving as a captain for three years, averaging 12.8 ppg. and 3.4 rpg. as a senior. She excelled academically as well, and was selected to the Metro Athletic Conference All-Academic Team three times and the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association Scholar-Athlete Team in 2003 and 2004. She was the recipient of the Dr. George B. Banks Memorial Award for excellence in Mathematics at commencement.

DOUG WHITE – Has participated and run numerous events in Erie sports history, but is best known for being the game manager of the Save An Eye game for more than 25 years. He helped build the game into one of the top all-star games in the country and second-longest running game in the country as well. The Save An Eye game raises thousands of dollars for eye care for needy children each year, and is a year-round commitment – from securing a site, running the banquet, recruiting players to play and raising money. From 1980-84, Doug was the assistant wrestling coach, the JV football head coach and varsity football head coach at St. Peters Cathedral Grade School. He previously served on the board of the Metro Erie Sports Hall of Fame and the Erie Civic Center Authority board, which helped bring the SeaWolves and the Otters to Erie, along with serving on the Stadium Commission and as president of the Saint George Youth Athletic Association.

JIM SERTZ – Was one of Cathedral Prep’s premier athletes in the early 1960’s and then one of the Ramblers top coaches from 2008-11. He was inducted into the Cathedral Prep Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015. Sertz was recognized as Prep’s athlete of the year in 1961 and awarded the prestigious Babe Ruth Award (now the Ma Kaiser Award) that year. He was a four-year letter winner in cross country and Prep’s top runner as a junior and senior. In track he was the team MVP and won the City Championship in the long jump while establishing a school record of 20’11”, defeating Fred Biletnikoff. Sertz returned to Prep in 2004 as the first Director of Alumni Relations and Director of Planned Giving. In 2008 he led the Prep golf team to its first PIAA state championship. In three and a half seasons overseeing the team he led the Ramblers to four Region titles, four District 10 titles, and won the Western PA championship three years in a row. In addition to state championship, finished as runner-up in 2009 and was in top four other two years. He began his coaching career at Our Lady’s Christian School as a basketball coach.

JOHN A. “CASEY” WELLS -- For well over forty years, Casey Wells managed some of the premier sports facilities in Northwestern PA and was instrumental in their development, and the development of Erie's pro sports scene. During his tenure at the Erie County Convention Center Authority (Erie Events), the Erie Insurance Arena, The Erie County Fieldhouse, UPMC Park and the Bayfront Convention Center hosted professional athletic events including NHL exhibition games, NBA exhibition games, MLB exhibition games, minor league hockey, minor league baseball, arena football, professional basketball and pro wrestling. Casey managed national television broadcasts of professional boxing, the historic Erie Blades vs. The Soviet Union hockey game just prior to the 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic games and the first arena in the nation to host the PBA in a live arena event. But perhaps the greatest legacy is the hundreds of high school athletes who had the unique privilege to excel in a major arena and a minor league ballpark. From legendary PIAA basketball classics to PJW Wrestling state championship, high school hockey, figure skating, cheer competitions and add in the hundreds of thousands of fans that crossed through the turnstiles to enjoy the varies events.

JAWAN WALKER – Was a standout in football at Cathedral Prep from 1998-2001 and went on to play at the University of Pittsburgh. Named to the Erie Times-News City all-time team at running back, Walker broke school and Erie County season rushing records with 2,430 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2001 and set school and Erie County career records with 4,865 rushing yards, 72 touchdowns and 432 points. As a senior, he was named first-team all-state, Metro League Player of the Year, and was selected to the prestigious Big 33 game. Walker scored the winning touchdown on four-yard run in 41-35 overtime win over Central Bucks West in the 2000 PIAA Class 4A championship game for the Ramblers, finishing with 163 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries in the game, scoring on runs of 68 and 61 yards. Played at Pitt in 2002-03. Suffered preseason injury that cost him most of freshman season, playing in three games with six carries for 15 yards and one reception. As a sophomore was the team’s second-leading rusher with 407 yards on 107 carries with 3 TDs and had 13 catches for 111 yards and a touchdown. Was named the team’s Most Improved Player.

BLIDI WREH-WILSON – Was a soccer standout at General McLane before changing fall sports to football as a senior and going on to enjoy a long career in the NFL. He was named all-region, all-district and honorable mention all-state as a senior at General McLane, where he was a four-sport star (football, basketball, track & soccer), including playing for the state champion basketball team. He went on to play football at the University of Connecticut from 2008-12. After being redshirted in 2008, he saw action in all 13 games in 2009, with nine starts, finishing with 40 tackles and one interception. In 2010 he started all 13 games at cornerback with four interceptions, returning two for touchdowns, while recording 57 tackles, five pass breakups. In the 2011 season, he only played in eight games due to an injury, finishing with 37 tackles, two interceptions and seven PBU. As a senior in 2012, he played in and started 11 games, and was named the team's Most Valuable Player. He was a second-team All-Big East selection and recorded 47 tackles, nine passes broken up and an interception. He went on to be drafted in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans. He played nine seasons in the NFL finishing with 129 tackles, 28 passes defensed, and four interceptions. He spent 2013-15 with Tennessee, 2016-2020 with Atlanta and was on the practice squad in 2021 for Las Vegas and Tampa Bay. In 2014, he started 11 games at cornerback for Tennessee and ranked second on the team with 10 passes defensed. He recorded 57 tackles.

DECEASED

JOE FRISINA -- Had a lifetime of sports accomplishments before passing away in 2017. After serving four years in the US Navy, he taught for 30 years in the Corry School District before retiring in 1980. He served for 56 years as a basketball official, for 48 years as a football official, and for 21 years as a baseball umpire. He was a longtime coach of 3 sports at Corry and Spartansburg. He played minor league baseball for the New York Giants, Chicago White Sox, Brooklyn Dodgers and Cleveland Indians and was a minor league manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates 1980-84, winning the Southern League title in 1981. He was an MLB scout for 40 years and was named MLB Scout of the Year in 1990.

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