HOPEWELL TWP. — For the second straight year, Hopewell’s Sports Hall of Fame class represents the best of Vikings sports over the years.
But this year, the class especially showcases baseball’s impact at Hopewell.
Two of nine inductees — George “Doc” Medich and Gary McLaughlin — have baseball backgrounds. Additionally, the 10th inductee is the 1986 baseball team.
“Baseball has always been good at Hopewell,” said Medich, a 1966 Hopewell graduate who went on to pitch 10 seasons in the major leagues.
The common denominator for Hopewell’s success over the years was the late Joe Colella, who coached the high school team and the community’s American Legion squad for 48 years (1964-2011).
Colella, who died in September 2011, was inducted into Hopewell’s inaugural Sports Hall of Fame class last year. He certainly had an impact on the baseball inductees in this year’s class.
Medich was a sophomore on Colella’s first team in 1964.
McLaughlin, a three-sport athlete at Hopewell, played on the Vikings’ 1979 WPIAL championship team coached by Colella. That baseball team was the first team in any Hopewell sport to win a WPIAL title.
Then in 1986, the baseball team became the first sports team at Hopewell to ever win a state championship.
“I will never forget this experience,” Colella said after the