Whitehall-Coplay Press

Sunday, October 22, 2017

School board reviews request to name WHS gym after Steckel

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 by JAMES BUNTING Special to The Press in School

At Whitehall-Coplay School Board’s meeting Oct. 9, a group of former Zephyr athletes petitioned members of the school board to consider naming the high school gymnasium after former coach and athletic director Robert Steckel.

Robert Steckel’s son Ross, a Whitehall High School Class of 1969 alumni, presented the school board with a petition that has been supported by 87 of the district’s most notable athletes.

Robert Steckel served as the boys varsity basketball coach for 22 years from 1941 to 1962 before assuming the role of athletic director. He was the athletic director for 22 years and oversaw the 1982 state championship basketball program.

Steckel was inducted into Whitehall’s first Hall of Fame Class in 1999. He is a member of Lehigh Valley Basketball Hall of Fame, as well as Lehigh Valley Sports Hall of Fame. He died January 2004 at age 86.

Notable names that signed the petition include Curt Simmons, Tony Cocca, Matt Millen, Pete Lisicky, Dan Koppen and Jason Greene. Thirty-seven members of Whitehall’s Hall of Fame offered their support to the proposal.

School board President Wayne Grim assured Ross Steckel and the other former athletes in attendance that the board would review the district’s naming policy and would advise on the next steps in the upcoming months.

In other news, multiple organizations within the district have participated in fundraising efforts to assist schools in Texas that are recovering from hurricane damage.

Whitehall High School Student Council President Genesis Perez announced that students from the high school raised more than $400 at the football game Sept. 22 and open house night.

Whitehall-Coplay Middle School Principal Glenn Noack said students from the Leo Club and Student Council have partnered with North Shore Middle School in Houston in an effort to secure paper, pens and other school supplies for that area.

The district received a $500 gift from Weis Supermarkets for the high school’s scholarship and student activities funds.

The Homecoming bonfire is scheduled for Oct. 19, followed by the football game Oct. 20 and the Homecoming dance Oct. 21.

The school board’s committee meetings are scheduled for Oct. 23, and the next school board meeting will be held Nov. 13.