YSU Athletics Hall of Fame Adds 7 Members

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Seven new members will be inducted into the Youngstown State Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 25.

The induction ceremony and lunch, which will be held in Kilcawley Center, begins at 1:30 p.m.

This year’s inductees are Tom Clayton (baseball), Joe Conroy (contributor), Aaron Merrill (track and field), Frank Pokorny (football), Marcella Scaife (track and field), Rebecca Sylak (volleyball) and Pat Toler (football).

The group will also be honored at halftime of the Penguins’ football game against Western Illinois. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

Clayton played in 168 games from 2007 to 2010 with 156 hits, a .517 slugging percentage, 17 home runs, 41 doubles, 94 RBIs and 90 runs scored. The 2010 Horizon League Player of the Year and All-Horizon League First-Team selection, Clayton is the only player in program history named conference Player of the Year. 

Conroy was YSU’s volleyball coach from 1992 to 2004 and holds the school record for career victories with 188. He was named the Mid-Continent Conference Coach of the Year in 1994, 1995, 1998 and 1999 – including a 27-5 mark in 1999. 

Merrill was a four-time NCAA regional qualifier in outdoor track and field and six-time Horizon League champion. He was named YSU’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2009-10, also earning two-time academic All-American honors both of those years.

Pokorny, who played four games for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1985, played football from 1981 to 1984 and caught 87 passes for 1,230 yards and 12 touchdowns during his career. He was an honorable mention Associated Press All-America selection and first-team All-Ohio Valley Football Conference selection in 1984. That year, Pokorny had a team-best 43 receptions for 549 yards and seven touchdowns.

Scaife earned first-team all-conference track and field honors in 1999, winning the women’s long jump in the Mid-Continent Conference indoor championships – claiming honors in the 400-meter dash and long jump in previous years. She was also the team’s jumps coach from 2001 to 2012, seeing her athletes claim 23 conference titles and have four athletes advance to the NCAA outdoor preliminaries.

Sylak had 1,096 kills in 2,913 attempts, averaging 2.68 kills per set from 1997 to 2001. She also had 618 digs, 363 blocks, 149 assists and 90 service aces. The first-team, Mid-Continent Conference selection helped the volleyball team win a share of the regular-season title in 1999 with 199 kills on 493 attempts, along with a .264 hitting percentage and 108 blocks.

Toler, who played football from 1981 to 1984, had 351 tackles, which still ranks in the top 10 in school history. He led the team in tackles in 1983 and 1984. His senior year, he was named a first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference pick at linebacker. That season he had a team-high 162 tackles.

Tickets are available by calling YSU’s ticket office at 330 941 1978.

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