16 Oct 2014

Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame inducted its 24th annual class

Front row left to right Robert “Rip” Simonick, Ed Kilgore, Larry Veronica, EJ “Skip” Doyle
Back row left to right Vicki Mitchell, Dale Tepas, Jim Ritcher, Erik Schlopy, Therese Forton Barns

The Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame inducted its 24th annual class on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Therese Forton-Barnes, president of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame welcomed more than 900 attendees and guests, including several past inductees. Handling Master of Ceremonies duties for the evening was Paul Peck, voice of UB Buffalo Bulls football.

This year’s class joins a rich heritage of native Western New Yorkers and those who starred in and around the Queen City during their playing days. The Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame honors those who have enhanced our lives with their performances and commitment to Western New York sports, an effort surpassed only by the positive impressions they have left on our athletes of tomorrow. Proceeds from the dinner, auction and raffle benefit the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame Amateur Sports Development Fund.

Class of 2014 included:

  • E.J. “Skip” Doyle – a sailor and one of the winningest skippers on Lake Ontario and for the Youngstown Yacht Club
  • Ed Kilgore – a veteran broadcaster for 40 years, and a community advocate who raised more than $40,000 for Kids Escaping Drugs.
  • Larry Veronica – Bennett High School Coaching Legend
  • Vicki Mitchell – One of the most distinguished athletes and international competitors in the Western New York running community.
  • Jim Ritcher – A Buffalo Bills first round draft pick (1980) who played in two All-Pro games and started four Super Bowls with the Bills.
  • Erik Schlopy – A skier from Colden, N.Y. who is a three-time U.S. Olympian, and seven-time U.S. National Champion.
  • Robert “Rip” Simonick – the last original Sabres employee whose far reaching impact has been felt both on and off the ice in Buffalo and throughout the NHL.
  • Dale Tepas – a five-time All-Catholic, two-time All-Western New York and one of the greatest high school athletes in WNY history.

The Pride of WNY inducted posthumously this year:

  • Howard Ehmke – a 15-year Major League veteran, who won 20 games for the Red Sox (1923), including a no-hitter.
  • Edith Johnson Miller – a five-time National Women’s Bicycle Champion, and three-time national champion in speed-skating.
  • Clint Small – a legendary football and baseball coach for the Tonawanda Warriors, he led the football team to a record of 108-69-15, including five league championships, and not a single losing season from 1956 to 1972.
  • Ernie Warlick – Known for his gigantic hands and gentle personality, he caught 90 passes for over 1,500 yards during his four-year career and was an important member of the Bills’ 1964 and ’65 AFL Championship teams.
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