ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES-2015
Tom Yanetsko is a 1976 graduate of PCS. While a student athlete at PCS, he lettered four years in football, basketball and track, having been named an All Star in all three sports. He was also an honorable mention as a New York State All Star in football. Tom was a member of the 1975 undefeated basketball and football teams, having served as captain of both for 2 years straight.
After graduation from Portville, Tom went to Northwood University on a football scholarship, where he also played basketball.
Tom is an avid softball player and was named MVP of the Olean City Cup. He is also a member of the NYS Softball Umpires Association and the Cattaraugus County Basketball Referee Board and is a certified basketball official.
Tom attributes PCS athletics to making him the person he is today. He is still a strong supporter of PCS athletics and reports that he still bleeds maroon and white! He cherishes the memories and friendships he made through his participation in athletics.
Tom currently works as a supervisor at Dresser Rand and resides in Olean with his wife, Meme. He is the father of four children, Tom, Joshua, Melanie and Mackenzie. Congratulations, Tommy!
Jeff Nix is a 1976 graduate of PCS and served as class president. While a student athlete here, he lettered four years in basketball and golf. Jeff's athletic accomplishments at PCS include playing on the undefeated basketball team in 1975, the same year he earned a Section VI Championship shield and was named the Times Herald Catt. County All Star, an honor he would receive again in 1976. In his senior year, Jeff was named the Big 30 Basketball MVP, the Buffalo Evening News MVP, and was named to the NYS Sportswriter's All-State Team. Jeff still holds the school record for most points scored in a game, with 46 points against Ellicottville. He earned a Section VI Championship Shield in Golf as well.
After graduation from Portville, Jeff went to Canisius College where he was a member of the Men's Basketball Team.
Jeff is currently the Assistant General Manager of the NBA's Detroit Pistons. Previous to his position with the Pistons, Jeff coached with the New York Knicks for 8 years, the University of Notre Dame, Xavier University, Loyola College, St. Francis University, and Canisius College. He also assistant coached the NBA All-Star Game in 2000. Jeff has coached alongside coaching greats, Pat Riley, Lenny Wilkins, Don Nelson and Larry Brown! He was also featured on television's NBA Inside Stuff.
Jeff heads up a non-profit organization called “Camouflage Kids” which assists children of our military members, which he believes to be his most significant contribution in life and one that he is most proud of.
Jeff is also extremely proud of having been raised by his parents, Cliff and Margaret Nix along with his siblings, Deb, Scott and Gary, whom he refers to as the key to his life's happiness.
Jeff believes that Portville and PCS are the backbone to his success, and lists his mentors as the administrators and coaches of Portville, particularly, his late basketball coach Ray DeLand, and personal friend, Robert "Doc" Rasey. Jeff states that through his 35-plus years in professional, collegiate, and high school athletics, there is nothing better than being part of a team and bonding in the locker room, no matter what the level, even at a little gymnasium at Portville High School! Congratulations, Jeff!
Melissa Gundlah Hintz graduated from PCS in 1982. She was one of the first female athletes to participate in a varsity sport as a junior high student, having opened the door for other young athletes to participate earlier. Melissa lettered in track, swimming, and as a football statistician. Her accomplishments include County Champion and MVP in multiple track events, Section VI Champion in the 200 meter, and competing in the New York State Track Meet where she ran against future Olympian Diane Dixon. She also competed in the Empire State Games, was a Western New York AAU track member, and held track and swimming records at the school for many years. Besides athletics, Melissa was an excellent student, and was a member of the National Honor Society, among many other clubs. She was also a Foreign Exchange student, having traveled to Italy during the summer of 1981.
After high school, Melissa went to Drake University where she participated in track for two years before an injury sidelined her. She was on the Dean’s List at Drake and won the Presidential Scholarship.
Melissa is currently a Media Director at Trone Brand Energy, an advertising agency in High Point, North Carolina. She is very active in her church and volunteers for many organizations.
Melissa believes that her athletic career at Portville suited her well in her career, as it taught her teamwork, perseverance, dedication and good sportsmanship.
Melissa recalls the great coaches at Portville whom were like second parents to many of the athletes. She is forever grateful to her track and swim coach, Chuck Hild, for his encouragement and dedication.
Melissa and her husband, David, reside in Kernersville, North Carolina, and have two daughters, Sara and Spencer, whom she refers to as her greatest accomplishment in life. Congratulations, Melissa.
Sherry Gardner Slifer graduated from PCS in 1983. She played volleyball, basketball and softball, having lettered in all three sports. Her honors include being selected to the Catt. County Volleyball All Star Team, Catt. Co. Basketball All Star Team, and the Catt. Co. Softball All-Star Team. She also started on the 1981-82 basketball team that reached the New York State finals. Sherry was an excellent student as well and was a member of the National Honor Society.
After high school graduation, Sherry attended Clarion University on an ROTC Army Scholarship, where she played one year of softball. She was a Distinguished Military Graduate in ROTC, and in 1987, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Army. She was a Medical Service Corps Officer, and graduated from the US Army Airborne School, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and was selected as the Fort Knox Female Athlete of the Year in 1995.
PCS Athletics taught Sherry the true meaning of teamwork, dedication and commitment. She believes that her athletic success can be attributed to all her great teammates and dedicated coaches throughout her years at PCS.
Sherry would like to dedicate her induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame to her mother, who lives in Florida, and her late father, Keith, who avidly supported her and siblings in all sports activities, and believes that her father would have been so proud to see his daughter and son inducted into the Hall of Fame this evening.
Sherry and her husband, Gordon, reside in Canton, Ohio, with their children, Danielle and Connor. Congratulations, Sherry, and thank you for your service to our country.
Jon Gardner. Jon graduated from PCS in 1985, and lettered in Football, Basketball, Baseball, Track and Golf! His honors in football include 1st Team Border Conference All Star twice in two different positions, Big 30 Player of the Year, All Western New York, and All State. He was the MVP of the Homecoming game in 1984 and captained and quarterbacked Portville’s last undefeated football team. Jon made 4 interceptions in his first varsity start on defense as a sophomore. In basketball, Jon made the IAABO all-tournament team and the NYS Small School All Star team, and is still in the top 20 scorers of all time at the school. In baseball, he made the All County Team and was a Sectional Qualifier in Golf.
After graduation, Jon attended Bucknell University on a 4-year football scholarship. He was a 3 year varsity starter there and a 2 time honorable mention in the All Colonial League.
Jon states that he was blessed to play for some of the greatest coaches and athletes that will ever grace the fields and courts at PCS, specifically, Coaches Kevin Curran, Robert The Bear Connell, Kerry Snow, Ray Deland, and Ron McMahon. He also attributes his success to the great administration and teachers at the school, including Mike O’Brien, Mike McCann, Helen Worth, Linda Monsell, and Dave Shelc. Most importantly, he thanks his mother, Joan, for all her sacrifices for him and his sisters over the years and for making the trip from Florida to be here this evening. He also wishes to thank and recognize his sisters, co-inductee, Sherry, and his eldest sister, Sue, as well as his later father, Keith, who is watching and smiling down from above this evening. Finally, he wants to thank his wife, Suzanne, for her love and support over the years.
Jon is the proud father of three children, Derek, Shayne and Addison, who he has had the privilege of coaching over the years and watching their competitive spirit and drive. All 3 children have competed at the National level in Snowboarding in Colorado. He looks forward to the family attending the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea or the 2022 Winter Olympics in China to hopefully bring back a medal to the U.S.!
Jon and his family reside in Riegelsville, Pennsylvania. He has received multiple sales awards in his medical sales career. Jon is also a ski instructor at Big Boulder Resort in the Pocono Mountains in the winter.