AFA Hosts Successful 31st Annual Semi-Pro Hall of Fame Inductions

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Canton, Ohio was the site for the American Football Association's 31st Annual Semi-Pro Hall of Fame Induction Dinner on Friday June 24th at the Canton Marriott Courtyard. Nineteen individuals representing semi-pro football teams across the country were enshrined as 'legends' of their level.

Canton, Ohio was the site for the American Football Association's 31st Annual Semi-Pro Hall of Fame Induction Dinner on Friday June 24th at the Canton Marriott Courtyard. Nineteen individuals representing semi-pro football teams across the country were enshrined as 'legends' of their level.

This year's semi-pro football enshrinement festivities began on Thursday evening with the annual AFA/HOF Alumni Huddle cocktail party. The "Huddle" provided attending HOF Alumni an opportunity to meet the new group of semi-pro football legends before they were inducted.

The enshrinement of this year's class of 19 new hall of famers saw the 31-year total number of inductees expand from 634 members to 653 members. Since the inaugural enshrinement in 1981 (including the Class of 2011) the AFA has recognized 370 players; 100 coaches; 82 executives; 29 officials; 23 pioneers; 20 media/historians; 13 trainer/equipment men; 6 associated with youth football; 5 involved with international semi-pro; 4 from the women's level; and even 1 'super fan.'

On Friday evening, the Class of 2011 was honored by AFA Alumni, family and friends as they received their commemorative Semi-Pro Hall of Fame recognition plaques. Craig Ochoa (Class of '03) served as MC while former teammates and/or family members presented the new inductees to the dinner crowd. A slideshow accompanied each inductee's introduction which was followed by very sincere and touching testimony from each inductee. The highlight of the evening was the induction of NFL Pro Bowler Mike Lewis of the New Orleans Saints. Mike started his semi pro football career in 1994 with the Kenner City Chiefs and went on to become the New Orleans Saints all-time career leader in punt returns (142) and punt return yardage (1,482). Mike also is currently the team ambassador of the New Orleans Saints. Mike's bio....... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Lewis_

The induction dinner event was also viewed by friends, family and fans around the world via live webcast. The events were well received by all who attended based on some brief comments below:
“It was a great time when we have the HOF inductions in Canton it is much easier for me to make it. You always do a great job. Thanks for all you do for US”
“Thanks for a great program on Friday night.”
“Excellent as usual”
“This year’s event was a great success. This was such an enjoyable experience”
“Great job, keep up the good work”
“Very well done and 1st class organization”
“It was wonderful”
“Wonderful event; thanks to all”
“I just watched the 2011 class induction broadcast. As usual, another fine job by you and the executive committee. And congratulations to the new members of the AFA.”
"There is only one semipro football hall of fame and that is the American Football Association"

The American Football Association is proud to present the names of those who will be enshrined into the AFA Semi-Pro Football Hall of Fame as the "Class of 2011" (names in parentheses indicate sponsors of the new inductees):

PLAYERS CATEGORY:

  • Lynn Patrick - LaFargeville, NY - (George Ashcraft)
  • Carl Neal - Manteno, IL - (Elmhurst Travelers, Mal Yarke, Don Busch, Al Klaeren, Jack Perry)
  • Dale Berman - North Aurora, IL - (Ron Hansen, Jim Benja, Pat Albanese, Fred Fiorelli, James Kulton)
  • Brett Wilson - Munster, IN - (Greg Skowronski)
  • John Rogan - Columbia, SC - (Jerry McGonigle)
  • Terry Gorton - Queensbury, NY - (Dick Leland)
  • Mike Lewis - LaPlace, LA - (Keith Ballard)
  • Andy Tranchita - Northlake, IL - (Neal Anderson, Bob Beshk, Ben Ward)
  • Beau Jarrell - Groveland, FL - (Don Jonas)
  • Mickey Morris - Middleburg Heights, OH - (Dennis McEllicott)
  • Dave Friese - Shippensburg, PA - (Dave Bonsell)
  • Christopher VanStone - Carpentersville, IL - (Sue Berg, Eliseo Saldivar)
  • Robert Harrison - Aurora, IL (Larry Schmidt, Gary Thomas, Jerry Schropp, Roman Strzala)

EXECUTIVE CATEGORY:

  • Bill Christie - Jackson, MI - (Ceil Real)
  • Alan Perkins - Crystal Lake, IL - (Craig Ochoa)
  • Daris Steen - Doral, FL - (Rev Gary Wilder)

OFFICIALS CATEGORY:

  • Tom Rudzinski - Clarks Summit, PA - (Bill Higgins)

COACHES CATEGORY:

  • Anthony Bartley - Las Vegas, NV (BoD/Bo Brooks)

PIONEER CATEGORY:

  • Lawrence Haynes III - Portland, OR (Dave Burch)

Webcast video of the 2011 Hall of Fame Inductions can be viewed at: http://www.steveweedproductions.com/AFA.htm

Copies of this video can be obtained by contacting 315-782-8383: Office or 315-783-2171: Cell

AFA 2011 Hall of Fame Induction Photo slideshow can be viewed at: http://www.adcomphoto.phanfare.com/5177442

About the American Football Association:
The American Football Association is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax exempt corporation in its 30th year of operation and is dedicated to the advancement of adult (semi-pro) football from coast-to-coast. Our slogan is Semi Pro & Proud®. We are not affiliated with any other national semi-pro/minor league organization. The AFA, Hall of Fame, American Football News™ and AFA logo design are registered trademarks of the American Football Association. All other AFA-related trademarks are trademarks of the American Football Association.

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Dave Burch
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