The Lancaster County Sports Hall of Fame has roots that go back to the late 1970s.
Paul Cogley, Al Karlip and J. Freeland Chryst were the chief names behind the Old Timers Athletic Association, a forerunner of the Lancaster County Sports Hall of Fame.
At its early stages, the Old Timers Athletic Association was formed to honor Lancaster County football players. Soon, the group grew to honor athletes in other sports.
Early meetings were held in the Lafayette Fire Hall.
The Old Timers Athletic Association began holding an annual banquet for the purpose of honoring Lancaster County’s top athletes, coaches and others who distinguished themselves in athletics.
In August of 2011, the Old Timers Athletic Association officially changed its name to the Lancaster County Sports Hall of Fame.
Honoring local athletes who have distinguished themselves as players and coaches began in 1991 with the distribution of the J. Freeland Chryst Athletic Achievement awards. Robert Hicks was the first so honored.
To date 81 people have been honored with the J. Freeland Chryst Awards. Each Chryst Achievement Awards honoree – before and after the name change – is considered a member of the Lancaster County Sports Hall of Fame.
Included among the honorees to date are Barney Ewell, Don Wert, Tom Herr, Gene Carpenter, Mimi Senkowski Griffin, Wally Walker and Pam Neiss Stuper.
The Hall of Fame’s current board of directors are Ed Flick, Jack Segro, Jack Neal, , Dave Byrne, Denise Goebrecht, Ken Gerber, Doug Kraft, Tom Bennett, Paul Nicklaus, Barbara Barr, Bill Bert, Ron Meikrantz and Tony Woods.