WILKES-BARRE — The Luzerne County Sports Hall of Fame will induct 10 new members, including three from the Greater Pittston area, at its annual induction ceremony on Aug. 16 at Genetti’s Hotel and Conference Center in Wilkes-Barre.
Maria Zangardi, Tom Evans and Robert Tambur, all natives of Greater Pittston, will be inducted. The other seven to be inducted are Tim Crossin, Christine Kansky, Paul McGrane, Ronald Marchetti, Jack Monick, Erin Beggs-Treaster and William Ziegler.
Tickets for the event can be obtained from any of the inductees or by calling 570-824-7133.
Maria Zangardi was a three-sport standout at Seton Catholic High School. She played tennis, basketball and softball, earning varsity letters in each.
Zangardi led the Eagles to trips to the district championships in each sport, including a pair of conference and district titles, and went to the state playoffs three out of four seasons in basketball.
“I think it’s a great honor,” Zangardi said. “I was lucky to have great coaches and mentors — parents and family who always wanted to be outside.”
Zangardi credits her peers more than herself for her success.
“I kind of think of myself as pretty average,” she said. “A lot of people helped me make the best out of my ability.”
Zangardi graduated from Seton Catholic as co-valedictorian in 2000. She continued her athletic career at King’s College on a Presidential Scholarship for academics. During her career in softball, Zangardi was part of a Monarch team that won four straight Middle Atlantic Conference titles and had four straight berths in the NCAA Championships.
Zangardi was named the 2004 Middle Atlantic Corporation Spring Sport Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was a two-time College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) District 2 All-American selection. In 2004, she made history as the first Lady Monarch to earn National All-American honors in softball when she was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III All-American squad.
After King’s College, Zangardi obtained her master’s degree in counseling from The University of Scranton. She received her Professional in Human Resources certification in 2008 and is an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management. Since May 2006, she has worked for Mohegan Sun Pocono and currently serves as director of Human Resources and Environmental Services.
In November 2013, she supported Ryan’s Run 4 to benefit Allied Services and completed the 26.1-mile New York City Marathon.
Zangardi currently resides in Exeter. Her parents, Alfonso and Barbara Zangardi, reside in Pittston Township.
Tom Evans’ nickname was “Touchdown Tommy” on a team called the “Touchdown Terrors.”
Evans was a halfback for the West Pittston Rams in the early 1950s. In his senior season, 1953, the Rams finished 10-0 and averaged 48.7 points per contest. In a game against Exeter, Evans ran a kickoff back 92 yards for a score. The next time Exeter kicked, he ran 100 yards for his touchdown. In a game against Pittston in 1953, Evans had 271 yards in the first quarter, which included two kickoff returns for touchdowns.
“This is a lifetime achievement as far as I’m concerned,” Evans said of the Hall of Fame honor. “It’s terrific. I thought I was forgotten a long time ago.”
West Pittston lost just one game in Evans’ junior and senior seasons.
“(West Pittston) was the best,” he said. “We were unbeatable as far as I was concerned.”
Evans scored 33 combined TDs in his junior and senior seasons. He was also a sprinter on the four-time champion track and field team.
Evans, 79, and his wife, Patricia, have five children, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He is retired from the Pope and Talbot Paper Mill where he worked 43 years. He and his wife reside in Exeter. Evans was inducted into the Wyoming Area Ring of Pride in 2011.
Robert L. Tambur
Robert Tambur was a pitcher and a home run hitter on the first West Pittston Little League team. He went on to play several sports at West Pittston High School.
Following his junior and senior football seasons, he was selected for the West Side All-Scholastic Team. He scored 28 touchdowns in a three-year period. He also ran the 100-yard dash and won district championships in shot put and placed sixth in the state.
Following his time at West Pittston, he played baseball on the Suburban League and Scranton Association teams. He attended Bloomsburg Teachers College and played halfback and defensive back on the football team. Following his time at Bloomsburg, he played tailback and linebacker at Ellendale State Teachers College, a branch of the University of North Dakota.
In 1960 and 1961, Tambur coached football at Cheyenne Eagle Butte High School in South Dakota. In 1964, while in the Army Reserves at Fort Knox, he played on the Brigade baseball team as a catcher and batted against Major League pitcher Phil Niekro.
In 2008, Tambur was inducted into the Wyoming Area Ring of Pride. A resident of Shavertown, he is a developer and chairman and CEO of Tammac Holdings Corp. He and his wife, Virginia, have a son, Robert, and a daughter, Lisa Tambur-Rolland.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick