Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Class announced - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Class announced

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PHOENIX (March 4, 2014) – The Phoenix Regional Sports Commission (PRSC) has announced its 2014 class of inductees for the 44th Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.  This year's Induction Ceremony will honor Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club founder Arthur J. Martori; Phoenix International Raceway entrepreneur Emmett "Buddy" Jobe;  three-time Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby medalist Scott Hogsett; and Arizona high school baseball coaching legend Jerry Dawson.  The 2014 Induction Ceremony will be held Wednesday, April 16 at the PERA Pavilion at 1 E. Continental Drive in Tempe, Ariz.

            Each year, the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame honors outstanding athletes, coaches, administrators and others who have made significant contributions to sports in our state. 

            A graduate of Brophy College Preparatory, Arthur J. Martori made a name for himself as a talented and ambitious wrestler at Arizona State University, winning the Western Athletic Conference title in 1965.  He also won the Arizona AAU Freestyle and Greco-Roman state championships while wrestling for the Phoenix Wristlock Club.  In 1976 he founded The Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club, which has grown to become one of the most successful sports and wrestling clubs in the world, producing many Olympic and World Champion athletes.  In 2004, the Sunkist Kids Wrestling Academy for young athletes was born and is now considered the #1 Youth Wrestling Club in Arizona, having produced 10 national and 68 state champions from junior high and high schools throughout the state.  An exemplary competitor, leader and role model for the sport of wrestling for more than 40 years, Martori is a member of the National Italian American Sports and National Wrestling Halls of Fame, and the recipient of a Gold Star awarded by FILA, the international governing body of wrestling.

            Emmett "Buddy" Jobe is an Arizona rancher who in 1985 purchased a one-mile, oval racetrack and its surrounding property as a simple land investment.  But it wasn't long before he became enthused about the fabled, 21-year-old facility in Avondale, seeing its potential to bring stock car racing to the West.  By 1997 Jobe turned the white elephant into the "Desert Jewel" and one of the top race tracks in the country.  It also became the 

state's largest privately held economic impact contributor, generating over $272 million per year.  Jobe sold PIR that year, but stayed on as president for five more years, before retiring in 2002.  There is no doubt that he has created a legacy of contributions to racing and the community that will never be forgotten.  He saw a future for top-level motor racing in Arizona and did whatever was necessary to make it happen.  Without Jobe, it is uncertain if there would be NASCAR racing in Phoenix, and the racetrack itself would probably be nothing more than a memory.

            A resident of Tempe, Ariz., Scott Hogsett is not only a role model in the adaptive sports community, he is a role model for all athletes.  Hogsett has been playing wheelchair rugby for 19 years, 11 of them as a part of Team USA, winning a total of three Paralympic medals, one gold and two bronze. In addition he has won two gold medals in the World Championships and was the US Quad Rugby Association Athlete of the Year in 2007. Hogsett is a graduate of Arizona State University with a bachelor's degree in Therapeutic Recreation, and a founding member of Phoenix Heat.  The Heat, currently ranked number one in the USA, practices at the nationally recognized Virginia G. Piper Sports & Fitness Center in Phoenix.  A full-time athlete, Hogsett also spends time as a motivational speaker and a mentor to spinal cord injury patients, and is featured in the Academy Award nominated documentary "Murderball."

            Jerry Dawson is one of the most successful baseball coaches in Arizona history.  As the head baseball coach at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale for 37 years, he posted the most high school career victories in the state, with 774, elevating the baseball program into the upper echelon of Arizona high school athletics with eight state championships.  He was named National High School Coach of the Year five times and has been inducted into the Arizona Coaches Association, Arizona Baseball Coaches Association and the National High School Baseball Coaches Association Halls of Fame.  In 2004, Dawson was selected as the Arizona's Victory with Honor Coach of the Year, which is given by the Arizona Interscholastic Association (A.I.A.) to the outstanding coach for all sports in Arizona.

            "We are so excited by the inductees in this year's class, who have truly enriched our community through sports," said PRSC Executive Director Alan Young.  "As with every year, these individuals serve as inspirations to all of us."

            This year's Induction Ceremony will also include the introduction of the 2014 Youth Sports Awards winners for "Coach of the Year," "Athlete of the Year" and "Contributor of the Year."

            Tickets are now available for the 44th Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will begin with a cocktail reception and silent auction.  Event sponsorships, which include premium seats, are also available.  For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.phoenixsports.org or call the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission at (480) 517-9700.

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