AFA Hosts Successful 37th Annual Semi-Pro/Minor League Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK – JULY 05, 2017 – For the sixth consecutive year, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio was the site for the American Football Association’s 37th Annual Semi-Pro/Minor League Hall of Fame Induction Dinner on Friday, June 23rd. Nineteen individuals representing semi-pro/minor league football teams across the country were enshrined as ‘legends’ of their level.

This year’s enshrinement festivities began on Thursday evening, June 22, 2017, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH with the annual AFA/HOF Alumni Huddle cocktail party. The “Huddle” provided attending HOF Alumni an opportunity to meet and greet the new group of semi-pro/minor league football legends before they were inducted.

On Friday evening, the Class of 2017 was honored by AFA Alumni, family, and friends as they received their commemorative Semi-Pro/Minor League 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. Each inductee provided very sincere and touching testimonies about their backgrounds and careers. The induction dinner event webcast was viewed by over 1000 friends, family, and fans worldwide. This webcast video is now available for viewing at AFA Hall of Fame Induction Dinner.

Our printed dinner program with sponsor ads was very well received and as a result, we are now taking ad orders for next year’s dinner program. Please consider supporting our 38th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Dinner at the Pro Football Hall of Fame next year (June 21st – 22nd). Just click AFA Dinner Program

The American Football Association is proud to present the names of those who were enshrined into the AFA Semi-Pro/Minor League Football Hall of Fame as the “Class of 2017” (names in parentheses indicate sponsors of the new inductees):

Coaches Category: Larry Stith – Hampton, VA (Dale Glossenger) 
International Category: Tim Beasley – Knoxville, TN (Donita Hines) 
Media/Historian Category: John Phillips – Kent, WA (Bill Alexander) 
Officials Category: Dale Wotherspoon – Rotterdam Junction, NY (Bill Higgins)

Player Category: 
Raymond Almeida, Jr. – Ashland, MA (Jay McGee) 
Robert Beckwith – Charlestown, MA (Larry DeVoe) 
Michael Bridges – Richmond, VA (Hal Lockhart) 
Brian Carder – Chicago, IL (Tom Hawkins) 
Mike Carnevale – Troy, NY (Tom Manny) 
Tom Fischer – Monroe, WA (Wes Fischer) 
Scott Ford – Brownville, NY (George Ashcraft) 
Robert Hunt – Detroit, MI (Norris Jackson) 
Dale Ilko – Akron, OH (Don Kempf, Paul Takach, John Tichy) 
Carl Majer – Berwick, PA (Alan “Butch” Keller) 
Thomas Miniscalco – Addison, IL (Simeon Hendrickson, Ron Hansen, Roman Strzala) 
Russ Simoncelli – Besenville, IL (Charlie Bliss) 
Maceo Tillman – Plainfield, IL (Jack Ball) 
Rudy Vido – Albany, NY (Mike Galeo) 
Earnest Williams – Chicago, IL (Thomas Robinson)

The enshrinement of this year’s class of 19 new hall of famers will see the association’s 37-year total number of inductees expand from 742 members to 761 members. Since the inaugural enshrinement in 1981 (including the Class of 2017) the AFA has recognized 458 players; 108 coaches; 87 executives; 32 officials; 25 pioneers; 21 media/historians; 13 trainer/equipment men; 6 associated with youth football; 6 involved with international semi-pro; 4 from the women’s level; and even 1 ‘super fan’.

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