Montgomery inducts three to Hall of Fame
MONTGOMERY – During half time of last week’s football game, Montgomery nominated three graduates into its Athletic Hall of Fame. Gary Yocum, Jr. President of the Montgomery Athletic Booster Club announced the 10th class inducted into the Montgomery Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, September 22.
Ernie Meisel Jr.
Ernie Meisel Jr. graduated in 1979 and was valedictorian of his class. He played football for the Red Raiders as a freshman, junior and senior. He played for Coach Craig Weaver and Meisel finished his senior with a 2-9 record. A highlight was a 31-12 win over Muncy bringing the “Shoe” back to Montgomery for the first time since 1974.
Meisel excelled in track and was the 1979 West Branch Conference Champion in the 100 and 200 meter dash, the 400 meter relay and the long jump. At District competition, he was the champion in the 200 meter dash and finished second in the 100 meters.
He went on to earn a fourth place finish at the 1979 PIAA Class AA 200 Meter competition. He was named the 1979 MAHS Track Most Valuable Player at the team’s banquet. Upon graduation, Meisel was the school’s record holder in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.3 seconds, which stood for almost 20 years until broken by D.J. Flick in 1998. His 400 meter relay team from 1978 still holds the school record with 44.5 seconds. A record that has stood for almost 35 years!
At graduation Meisel, Jr. received the Farley Athletic Award as the Outstanding Senior Athlete in his class. He competed in track while attending Susquehanna University where he was a four-year letter in track and co-captain in 1983.
He received Middle Atlantic Conference All-stars in 1981, 1982, and 1983. Named MVP of Track in 1982 and the 1983 Blair Heaton Award for the top senior male scholar and athlete, he also achieved All-American in the NCAA Division III in 1983 in the 400 meter relay. He was inducted into the Susquehanna University Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 and in 2003 was inducted into the West Branch Valley Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.
Kristy Balliet is a 1995 graduate of Montgomery who excelled in basketball and softball as a Lady Raider athlete.
She played softball for the Lady Raiders throughout high school and in her senior year, qualified for district playoffs for the first time in school history. She was named second team Mid-Penn Conference All-Star as an outfielder.
She was a three time letter winner and two year starter for the Lady Raider Basketball team. During her three years on varsity, she scored a total of 886 points placing her with the ninth highest total in Lady Raider basketball history. In her junior year she finished the season with 13.2 points per game average which led the team after starting out with a 2-6 record. Balliet was named a second team Mid-Penn Conference All-Star.
During her senior year, she let the team to a 24-6 final record. In the state playoffs, they defeated Greenwood, then Marian Catholic to set up a mach-up with Pottsville Nativity in the final 8 at Hazleton High School. Kristy let the team with a 17.8 points per game average and was named a first team Mid-Penn Conference All-Star. She was voted MVP of the Loyalsock Christmas tournament as she led the Lady Raiders to the title defeating the host Lady Lancers 52-37 in the final.
She averaged 11 1/2 points for her career. She is 10th all-time with 61 three point shots made. She has the third highest single season point total with 534 points in her senior year. Kristy scored a career-high 32 points in a win over Hughesvile her senior season and named team MVP at the annual banquet.
Balliet signed to play basketball at St. Francis University for the Division I Red Flash. In her freshman season, the team won its first ever Northeast Conference Championship and earned the school’s first ever NCAA Tournament and the team qualified all 4 years Balliet played there.
Kristy was the first Lady Raider to play in a televised game (ESPN). As of today, she is still ranked in the top ten of 3 point field goal percentage in a season. Balliet and the St. Francis women’s team were inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame in February of 2011. Balliet returned to Montgomery H.S. in 1999-2000 to be an assistant JV coach with the girl’s basketball team.
Dick Rocky Heiges known to his fellow classmates as just “Rocky” is a 2001 graduate of Montgomery High School. He excelled in three sports for the Red Raiders.
In football, Heiges was a three year letter winner and became a member of Montgomery’s 1000 yard Rushing Club. He rushed far over 1400 yards with 14 touchdowns his senior year when he played four outstanding games. One was against Hughesville with 38 carries for 180 yards rushing. The second was against S. Williamsport with 42 carries for 180 yards rushing. In a District 4 play-off against Bristol, he had 200 yards on 38 carries, and in a battle for the “Shoe trophy” against Muncy, he tore through their defense for 273 yards and finished with over 300 yards. He was named a first team Mid-Penn All Star his senior year.
In finishing his football career at Montgomery High, Heiges was named the sarting tailback in the North/South All-Star game. He helped lead Montgomery to District 4 title game 3 consecutive years.
Heigles was a three year letter winner in basketball scoring over 700 points as a Red Raider. He was a starter on an AAU traveling basketball team for 3 years and after high school graduation, he held the school record for 3 point shots made in one year.
Heigles also enjoyed a terrific career in track and field for the Red Raiders. As a four year letter winner on track, he was most successful in the javelin. In 10th grade, he qualified for Districts and finished with 5th place. In his junior year, he finished third at the District IV meet which qualified him for state competition.
In his senior year, Heiges made it a memorable one, as he finished second in the Javelin at District IV. At state competition he finished with a 5th place medal. He was ranked 8th in the nation for his senior year. He went on to Slippery Rock University throwing Javelin for two years.