GANT News sports writer Fred Kavelak has been selected for induction into the Pennsylvania American Legion Sports Hall of Fame.
The awards presentation ceremony will be held Friday evening at the Morning Star Fellowship Church in Bechtelsville, Pa. It’s being held in conjunction with the Pennsylvania American Legion State Baseball Championships, which begin Saturday morning at Boyertown’s Bear Stadium.
The Pennsylvania American Legion Sports Hall of Fame was organized in 1963 to honor those persons, whether members of the American Legion or not, for their outstanding accomplishments to the youth of Pennsylvania.
Kavelak was nominated for induction by long-time Clearfield head baseball coach and legion manager Sid Lansberry.
“I’m very humbled,” he said, “especially when you consider those who have been inducted in the previous years – the major leaguers, the coaches, the managers.
“I am just doing what I love in going to these events and watching teens competing in a sport they love … I’m the most appreciative and grateful. It’s a humbling honor.”
Kavelak is the fourth inductee from Clearfield and will join Lansberry, Don Billotte and the late Arlan Smith, all of whom Kavelak said have given many years of service to legion baseball.
Kavelak graduated from the Curwensville Area High School in 1958. He began covering legion baseball games that same year as a sports writer for the Clearfield Progress.
He covered ball games for the Clearfield, Curwensville and Philipsburg legion posts, along with other local sports. In 1961 Kavelak was promoted to the position of sports editor at The Progress at the age of 20.
After serving in the U.S. Army from 1963 until 1965, he returned to the sports editor’s desk and headed the department until 1986. He devoted a total of 26 years to covering local sports in Progressland.
In 2006 Kavelak joined the sports department at GANT News, and this year marks Kavelak’s 38th anniversary covering local sports.
Some of his career highlights include covering Penn State football for over 20 years and several bowl games, along with the Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic in Pittsburgh.
Kavelak has become a well-respected and premier sports writer not only in Clearfield County, but also across Pennsylvania.
He is a member of the Clearfield County Region Chapter for the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame; the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame; and the District 9 Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame.
Kavelak is a lifetime member of the Curwensville American Legion Post No. 505. He has also served as the official statistician for the Clearfield Chiefs Post No. 6 Legion team.
After each game, he pens a “comprehensive account” and prides himself on thorough and accurate coverage. Thanks to him, area sports fans can closely follow legion baseball.
Kavelak is married to the former Susan Rosselli and has two children and five grandchildren.