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County Sports Hall of Fame presents civic awards

July 23, 2007

The Washington County Sports Hall of Fame presented civic awards at its 21st annual awards banquet Saturday night at the Clarion Inn on Dual Highway in Hagerstown.

The recipients were:

Volunteer of the Year

The Mike Callas Stadium at North High Committee

The Mike Callas Stadium at North High Committee was organized in the winter of 2002, although groundwork for this undertaking began many years before. The committee operates as a part of the North Hagerstown Athletic Boosters Club. The goal of the organization was to help with design, planning and fundraising for construction of a home field for all Hub athletic teams. The group encountered many obstacles; however, with determination and dedication, this group of volunteers was able to go from a conceptual plan to witness the completion of Mike Callas Stadium in the fall of 2006.

To date, the committee has raised more than $4.2 million to make this field of dreams a reality for the students and athletes at North Hagerstown High School. Members of the committee are Rick Hill, John Williamson, Jim Brown, Jim Childerson, Bill Griemsmann, Herb Hardin, Jenni Hatcher, Jeff Mussolino, Marcia Nissel, Pete O'Boyle, Glen Singer, Rick Toms, Mike Spinnler, Bo Myers, Noel Boyer and Greg Slick.

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Educator of the Year

Bertha Miller

A lifelong resident of Washington County, Bertha Miller served the students of Williamsport High School, Smithsburg High School and Hagerstown Junior College as a mentor, teacher and coach. At Williamsport High School (1955-1966) her girls team won 22 county championships. Miller was a pioneer for girls and women before the enactment of Title IX of the U.S. code, which provided equity in opportunities on the field, court and track. She continued to teach health and physical education at Hagerstown Junior College. A graduate of Western Maryland College, where she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees, Bertha also attended New York University and American University. Miller is a member of the Williamsport Girls' and Women's Hall of Fame.

Policeman of the Year

Trooper 1st Class Kyle B. George

George is a 27-year veteran of the Maryland State Police, assigned to the Hagerstown barrack since October 1988. A graduate of South Carroll High School, he was active in scholastic sports. He is actively involved in the community by coaching Washington County Junior Football, Valley Little League and as an assistant coach for his son's wrestling team. George also volunteers at Ski Liberty, assisting with its mountain safety team. In 2006, George responded or initiated a total of 795 police calls. He has been a top producer for DUI arrests and leads by example in the Hagerstown barrack. George was chosen 2006 Hagerstown Barrack Trooper of the Year.

Firefighter of the Year

.Assistant Fire Marshal Richard Miller

Miller was given an award by the state's attorney's office for his hard work on a fire involving an arson investigation. The family lost all of its belongings, including its dog. Miller's determination to complete the long investigation was a significant reason an arrest was made. He worked with the family and showed true empathy for the victims, recognizing the loss of its pet. Due to Miller's hard work, a plea was reached with the suspect and the family had some closure.

Wibberley-Roy Military Person of the Year

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan Breehl

Breehl entered the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from North Hagers-town High School in 2005. Renowned for his prowess on the football field and wrestling mat, Breehl took that same determination into the Corps, with the intention of being the best Marine possible. With a family tradition of serving in the Marines, Breehl finished his stateside training and began his tour of duty in Iraq. While on patrol, he suffered injuries from a remote-controlled improvised explosive device. He is currently assigned to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va. Breehl is recognized for his courage.

The Wibberley-Roy award is named for Fireman Apprentice Patrick Howard Roy of Keedysville and Seaman Apprentice Craig Bryan Wibberley of Williamsport. Both lost their lives in the terrorist attack on the USS Cole in 2000.

Lifesavers of the Year

Sgt. Kevin Simmers and Officer Karen Hinchee

On June 23, Sgt. Simmers and Officer Hinchee of the Hagerstown Police Department talked a man down off the roof of a building from which he was threatening to jump. A passer-by heard the man yelling and contacted Simmers and Hinchee, who were down the street. After some talking with the man, they talked him into climbing down off the ledge and then down from the roof. The man was taken to Washington County Hospital for evaluation.

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