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Four inducted into Montgomery Athletic Hall of Fame

By Staff | Oct 2, 2019

Nathan Hakes

Amid cheers and applause last Thursday, Sept. 26, four former athletes were inducted into the Montgomery Athletic Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place during halftime of the varsity football game against Pottsville Nativity.

Those four include Nathan Hakes, Jeff Deisher, Lehman Hakes Jr., and Edwin B. Sampsell, III.

Nathan Hakes, a 2001 graduate, was a three-sport athlete, participating in football, wrestling, and baseball.

In football, Nathan was a four-year starter. During those years he was part of an offensive line that paved the way for four straight 1,000 yard rushers, and made three consecutive District Four Championship games.

During his junior year at inside linebacker, he eclipsed 100 tackles, ending the season with 102. His senior year he again went over 100 tackles, ending the season with 142 which was a school record that stood until the 2018 season. Over his career he amassed 314 career tackles from the linebacker position, which too was a school record that stood until last year.

Jeff Deisher

During his senior year he was team captain, and earned First Team West Branch OL, First Team LB, and was a member of the District Four All Star Team. Nathan was voted team MVP during his senior year. He was part of a team in 2000 that won a West Branch Conference Title.

Nathan was also a standout in wrestling. As a two-year starter, he was a two-time district qualifier, winning a sectional title his senior year and placing sixth at districts.

In baseball, he was a four-year starter, playing catcher, pitcher, and shortstop. Nathan was a two-year team captain during those years, and was part of a team his senior year that made the district playoffs. He ended his baseball career with over a .300 batting average.

After high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served four years on active duty, completing three tours of duty in Iraq. After his service in the Air Force he attended Lock Haven University and graduated in 2009 with a degree in Criminal Justice. He also participated in Army ROTC while at Lock Haven. He served in the PA Army National Guard, and was honorably discharged in 2017 after 10 years of service at the rank of Captain.

Nathan is also a current football coach for the Red Raiders and part of the coaching staff that resurrected the Montgomery program and helped lead them to a 2018 Northern Tier League Title and 2017 District IV runner-up finish. During his tenure he also coached linebacker Rhyle Strausbaugh, who ironically broke Coach Hake’s season and career tackle records last season.

Lehman Hakes, Jr.

He is currently employed at the United State Penitentiary in Lewisburg as a drug treatment specialist in the psychology department. He lives in Elimsport with his wife Angela, and two children, daughter Mckenna (10), and son Konner (4).

Jeff Deisher was hired as the head wrestling coach for Montgomery in 1992, bringing years of experience with him.

He graduated from South Williamsport with a West Central Sectional Champion title and a Top Hat runner up achievement. Following high school, Jeff attended the former Williamsport Area Community College where he was a two time PCCAC all league and named Outstanding Sophomore Wrestler. He then transferred to Bloomsburg University where he was a member of the wrestling and track teams.

Upon graduating, he was named head coach at Roosevelt Jr. High in Williamsport. He then spent two years as the assistant varsity wrestling coach at South Williamsport before securing a teaching position in Florida. After a few years, Jeff returned to PA where he served as a varsity assistant at the Spring-Ford School District in Southeastern PA. During his time there, his team secured the best winning percentage in school history. This included setting the school record for wins in a single season. During the seven seasons he spent there, he had four district six champions, as well as four state place winners.

Looking to relocate back to this area, Jeff found himself hired as Montgomery’s head varsity wrestling coach. He spent the next 20 years coaching and winning. His teams won over 246 dual meets and the West Branch Conference Championship at Montgomery High School and 325 overall. He has had the privilege to coach six individual District IV champions, four Northeast Regional champions, eight PIAA State place winners, and a runner-up in the Northeast Regional Team Competition.

Ed Sampsell III

Under his direction, the school won its first and only sectional team title, and the record for dual wins in a season was set. Jeff has also coached 11 wrestlers to over 100 wins in their high school careers.

Beyond serving as the head wrestling coach, Jeff was also a volunteer assistant golf coach alongside head coach, Joe Stoudt, from 20072013. During their campaign the team claimed three District IV titles and three PHAC League titles. He also helped mentor his son Kyle to qualify for the state tournament three times.

Lee Hakes, a 1979 graduate who graduated with honors, and lettered in football, track and wrestling.

As a wrestler, Lee was a Sectional Champion in 1979, and two-time District qualifier. On the football field he earned first team West Branch All-Star selection as defensive lineman.

Beyond wrestling and football Lee excelled at track and field. He claimed the District IV championship in the shot put in 1978 and 1979. He qualified for the state track and field meet both years and still holds the school record for the shot-put at 51’7“.

Lee was not only a standout athlete, but also contributed as a wrestling, football, and throwing coach as well. He served as the Jr. High wrestling coach for 17 years. During his tenure the team brought home a Mid- Penn League Championship.

Lee was a volunteer coach for football for 20 years at both the Jr. High and Sr. High levels. Once again Lee truly excelled as a throwing coach for the Red Raiders. Lee coached throwing events for 20 years and guided numerous athletes to district medals and to the state championships in the shot-put, javelin and discus.

On a personal note, Lee is a devoted father of two daughters and a son, as well as two grandchildren. He has served as a member of the Montgomery Fire Department, and as a trained scuba diver. He is employed by First Quality as a project tech group leader and enjoys spending his time with his family.

Ed Sampsell has an endless passion for sports and all the lessons that can be learned through athletics. He pitched for Montgomery Little League, Legion baseball, at Lock Haven University, and with the Williamsport Bowman League after college. He walked on to Lock Haven University’s baseball team as a starting pitcher and a reliever, even though Montgomery did not have a baseball program during his high school years.

Ed also loves football and earned the West Branch First Team Running Back Award during his junior year and received the Montgomery MVP award in football. He was sidelined with an injury his junior year of high school at the Montgomery/Muncy football game, and unfortunately could not return to the playing field.

Ed lettered for three years in senior high wrestling.

Ed also lettered for four years in track. He held the javelin record for several years, ran the 100 yard dash, and also ran the 4×200 relay for which he also held a school record. The 4×200 relay team went to the PA State Track meet twice. Ed’s teams won two West Branch District Track championships as well.

He was not only a standout athlete at Montgomery but also served as a coach in the district. Ed has coached Montgomery Junior High Football and Warrior Run Girls Softball. He spent most of his coaching years with the Montgomery track team, as a javelin and throwing coach out of which produced a PA State Champion and two PA State finalists. He also mentored several district qualifiers and medalists. Ed is thankful for the opportunity given him to coach the young, student athletes of Montgomery High School.